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Thread: Customizing my Adams E3

  1. Customizing my Adams E3

    Hi folks,

    As many of you know, I have an Adams E3 prototype .70mm yellow brass bell and short action top sprung valves. Aside from the valveset, my horn is a plain vanilla E3 in brushed brass/lacquer finish.

    After speaking with Miel Adams, I am planning a trip to the Adams factory/retail store in Ittervoort, The Netherlands this summer after the International Brass Band Summer School in Swansea, Wales. I will leave my horn with Miel to have the bell removed and replaced with a sterling silver bell. I know several of you (David, John Morgan, Barry Bocaner, ?) have posted pictures of you fantastic horns over the last few years. could any of you re-post a few pics with some discussion of what modifications/customizations you have had done and what your experience has been?

    One of the things I will have done is some custom engraving. This change to my horn is in honor of my 60th year playing euphonium, so some kind of inscription is in order. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, given the body of my horn is brushed lacquer brass, should I stick with brushed silver like Dave and John, or maybe I should consider polished silver? Also, what weight/thickness should I get, given that I am coming from .70mm yellow brass?

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  2. #2
    mine is pretty plain. I'm not a fan of engraving. I ordered it with the tuning trigger and without the AGR. I got some fancy green color fake abalone inlays in the finger buttons. Other than that, what I liked best (and continue to like best) is a plain yellow brass bright silver plated .6mm E3.

    Sounds like a super fun project! Best of luck.
    --
    Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    184
    For some reason, your description of getting custom engraving reminded me of someone getting a tattoo (laughing). No disrespect intended. Here are some ideas for engraving. Use them individually, or in any combination with each other.

    1 - A monogrammed/calligraphied/stenciled version of your own initials, the initials of a loved one, or the initials of a favorite composer/artist/musical hero.
    2 - The date, done in roman numerals, of some significant life or musical event (wedding anniversary, big musical triumph, first horn acquisition, loved one's birthday, your own graduation, etc.)
    3 - The "address" of a favorite Bible verse, if you believe that way. Or a favorite music related quote.
    4 - Musical symbology such as the treble or base clef, an eighth note, the forte symbol, any musical marking you like.
    5 - The melody line of your favorite piece of music or from a favorite composer. As you can see, I really like the idea of putting something musically meaningful on a musical instrument.
    6 - Any image that has a highly significant meaning to you personally.

    If you will take advice from a total stranger about the finish to use. Take a look at a few samples on other horns. Pick the finish that makes the engraving most visible. 60 years of playing is worth a little flaunting. Unless that is just not your style. Then go with something classy that you could live with for another 60 years (smile).

    Have fun picking it out and make sure to post before and after pictures here.
    - Sara
    Last edited by Sara Hood; 02-09-2020 at 10:04 PM.
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  4. Hi Doug,

    I've had my E3 "pimped" after some damage work. I chose to have several parts plated in "ruthenium" pictures and thread here: http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...m#.XkElwzFKiUk

    Still love to look of the rutenium.... (only Adams doesn't offer the option, so your have to do it externally)

    Mine has a Stainless steel receiver. The Stainless steel against the silverplating looks nice to (in my opinion) Would be cool to have several parts in stainless on a silverplated euph. (Valve buttons, stems caps (top & bottom) Trigger padle, waterkeys, Trigger protection cap)
    If Adams could supply those parts in Stainless I'd order a set for my E3!

    The Sterling Silver Bell is a great addition. Mine is a 0.60. for me this is the perfect thickness....
    Euphonium: Adams E3 Custom Series (SS Bell)
    Trombone: Benge 175F


  5. #5
    Good project, Doug! I would point out that one of Adams' main concepts is keeping the metal a uniform thickness, which would point to a .70 ss bell. The extra thickness would make it a teeny bit more immune to denting, too, which would be good. But it will be heavier to hold, of course.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. David, I think .60 is as thick as one can get in SS.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    David, I think .60 is as thick as one can get in SS.
    Ah...news to me! In words of Emily Litella:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #8
    Here is part one of my Adams E3 review with a lot of pictures (there is also a part two with more pictures):

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...t#.XkGLRndFyM8

    I had the engraving done after seeing what Matt Van Emmerik did with his E3. Mine is like his. Miel said they would not be doing that particular engraving again, and I can't remember why exactly, maybe it was a copyright issue. I have Brazilian Rosewood finger button inlays. A trigger. My name engraved near the main tuning slide. This was in part my wife's directive so that I would not be tempted to sell or trade the horn (who would want a horn with my name on it - well, actually, who wouldn't - ha-ha?).

    I LOVE the engraving. I have seen the horn with the brushed sterling silver bell without the engraving and mine with the engraving. In my opinion, there is no comparison. Don't get me wrong, the unengraved horn is nice, but I think the engraving really sets this horn apart from others. I can't tell you how many compliments I have received. Tons of them. Raving over it, really!! And not ONE negative comment.

    I am careful to keep the rosewood inlays dry to avoid any possible damage to the wood. After three years, no problem at all.

    I don't know if you can retrofit a tuning trigger to your horn. Probably could. But, I rarely use mine, and at this point, I might even consider it an unnecessary addition and one I might not do if I had it to do again. But, I am not sorry it is there, I just don't use it much. I do use it on low C and B natural just above pedal Bb. And occasionally on the F above the staff when I hold it for a while. But I don't have to on the F, I could lip it easily.

    I really like the brushed finish all over. The upkeep is absolutely minimal to keep the horn looking sharp. Just a damp cloth once in a while. Nothing hardly shows up on this horn, no fingerprints, water spots are almost invisible, etc. So it is better than a lacquer finish or a silver plated finish. It is just a delightful finish. I do have the shiny finish inside of the bell which I like.

    I use the stainless steel receiver. It replaced the nickel-silver receiver that came with the horn. Both are nice. The differences are minimal, but I "think" I like the stainless steel better. You can get either or both from Miel I am sure.

    I do notice differences with the AGR settings, so I find it useful. To this day I have still not tried very many of the possible AGR positions / mouthpiece choices / receiver (stainless vs. nickel-silver) combinations. Too many for sure, but I have what I like at this point. 2-3 turns out on the AGR, a Demondrae signature Warburton mouthpiece and the stainless steel receiver.

    I am sitting here right now looking at my horn, and I love it, and I don't think I would change anything on it. I have never been so completely infatuated and satisfied with a euphonium as I am with my Adams. It is a monumental keeper, and I can't imagine playing anything else as my main horn.

    Good luck with your Adams adventure, Doug.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  9. John,

    Many thanks. Just to note that I already have "RUBY" finger buttons (red "quartz-like" inserts). I really like your horn and the engraving. I would skip a trigger. The only sharp notes a trigger would help me on are 4th partial G (1-2) which is dead on using 3rd valve, and 6th partial open F which is sharp. Using 1-3 is even sharper, and 1-2 is flat, so I just live with it and adjust accordingly. There are also some flat notes in the 1st partial (G, A, Ab) which are fairly close and for which a trigger wouldn't work.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  10. #10
    yep, the G in the staff is my biggest intonation complaint with my E3. I'm pretty used to using third valve on that note with my baritone, but I still prefer using 1+2+half trigger.
    --
    Barry

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