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Thread: How to decode the serial number for Besson 2052 prestige professional euphonium?

  1. How to decode the serial number for Besson 2052 prestige professional euphonium?

    I bought a besson 2052 prestige professional euphonium. However, I am not sure when it was made and other information. What is more, what would a serial number tell me? Thank you!
    Last edited by acclaim2008; 07-22-2018 at 09:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum.

    See this link from Dave Werden on S/N for Besson instruments:

    Besson / Boosey & Hawkes
    Rick Floyd
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    Welcome to the forum.
    See this link from Dave Werden on S/N for Besson instruments:
    Besson / Boosey & Hawkes
    Both of the resources quoted in the linked article by Dave Werden refer to "English" instruments manufactured prior to the Boosey/Besson receivership in 2005. These instruments have serial numbers on the bell, either under the Besson logo or lower on the bell under the leadpipe. Serial numbers for any post WWII Besson/Boosey are never on the valve body.

    The German instruments manufactured from late 2006 have serial numbers on the mouthpiece receiver rather than any portion of the bell. These instruments begin with two digits (i.e. 063000175) that tell you the year in which the production began. This particular number was for my 2007 Besson Prestige 2051-2, begun in 2006 and completed in January of 2007. It was the 175th horn of all types built by the revitalized Besson (with a 06 prefix). I think (?) that the digits on the right side of the serial number reset back to 0001 each time the "year code" is incremented.

    So if your Prestige has a serial number on the bell (under the Besson logo) then it is of British manufacture and the serial number can be decoded (up through 2002) by the articles Rick references. If it has a serial number on the receiver, it can be decoded as I just described.

    Doug
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  4. Quote Originally Posted by acclaim2008
    This is from a PM sent to me by the OP.

    Thank you very much! Daruby for your help.
    The serial number of my horn is 083xxxxxx
    1) does it mean the horn is made in 2008 as the first two digits are 08?
    2) I am not sure what is the 301 mean and I noticed yours is 300. is your horn a 2051 or 2052? what I bought is 2052.
    3) The last three digits of your horn is 0175. So my horn is now xxx which might not be correct. It might be 0xxx.
    What about the quality of besson made in 2008? does it have consistent good quality or every horn is different?
    Thanks again!
    Dear acclaim2008,

    I would interpret the serial number 0830xxxx as an instrument manufactured in 2008 (or at least the number was allocated in the factory for in process inventory in 2008). It MIGHT have been completed in 2009. The actual unit number is (I think) xxxx or the xxxxth instrument built in that year. This includes all forms of Prestige and Sovereign euphoniums, tubas, and baritones, and any other instrument that Buffet-Besson include in (at least) their Markneukirchen production. I do not know what the digit 3 (right after the 08) means. My horn also had a 3, but it was a 2051, not a 2052. I believe the model number (2051-1/2 or 2052-1/2) are not included in the serial number, just the year and manufacturing sequence. Perhaps the "3" is a location code indicating Markneukirchen? I will zip off a note to Steve Mead and see what he says!

    As regards build quality, almost all of the Markneukirchen horns have quite good build quality. Some say they tend to play with better response but a brighter sound than the earlier British built horns. The valve action on mine was superlative. The dreaded high B-natural is better on later horns (at least post 2010). Also, around 2011 or 2012, Besson modified the layout of the third valve slide so that it lays very close to the outer branch. This makes the left hand grip of the horn (especially when using the trigger) more ergonomic for smaller hands. This was important for Besson in the Japanese market. The pre-2012 horns have the wide grip between the 3rd valve slide and outer branch that dates back to at least the New Standard/Imperial.
    Last edited by daruby; 07-22-2018 at 01:37 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  5. Note that I did check with Steve Mead regarding the meaning of the digit "3" in a new Besson serial number (0830xxxx). He also did not know but said he would find out and get back to me. Aha! Soon we will be able to fully decode the Buffet-Besson "German" built horns.
    Last edited by daruby; 07-22-2018 at 01:38 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  6. Thank you
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    Note that I did check with Steve Mead regarding the meaning of the digit "3" in a new Besson serial number (). He also did not know but said he would find out and get back to me. Aha! Soon we will be able to fully decode the Buffet-Besson "German" built horns.

  7. #7
    Just a word of thanks for this helpful thread. I look forward to hearing the meaning of that third digit.

    No replies necessary.

    Randy

  8. My newly acquired Besson 2056-2 baritone has two serial numbers, one on the first valve casing and one on the mouthpiece receiver. They are different and indicate different years of manufacture. I checked my section-mate’s horn and it was the same. I’m guessing, but I think the serial number on the valve set applies only to the valve set, while the serial number on the receiver applies to the horn. In my case, that means the valve set was built in 2012 (12xxx) and the horn was built in 2013 (13xxx).
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