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Thread: Selecting a Besson

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Posts
    713
    I'm with Doug on a longer look at them, and I just LOVE satin finish epuhs!

    DG
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

  2. #12
    Grab that Besson at Duchy Brass now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks wonderful and will be a good solid horn. Did I say to get it now???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    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)

  3. Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    Horn 2: Based on serial number, this is a 1985 Sovereign. Again, the amount of corrosion under the lacquer is worrisome. New Besson horns use an epoxy lacquer that is pretty resistant to wear, etc. Older Besson horns used lacquer that didn't hold up and would absolutely melt if you used bug spray in outdoor play situations. I personally would steer away from this horn as well.
    That's gotta be Nitrocellulose lacquer, which is still used by a lot of repair shops for touchup work and refinishing. Nikolas lacquer is "Nitro" based, and Bach Trombones and Trumpets used to use it, as did many other companies, before they moved to epoxy.

    The problem, as many know, is that it doesn't cure, it just dries, and exposure to certain chemicals, like bug spray, ruin it. It also was the finish of choice for guitar clearcoats, and Gibson and others STILL use it due to the magical properties it has. Quite a number of horror stories have resulted from outdoor gigs, bug spray, and guitars.

    Looking back at that sovereign, it just really doesn't look like it was properly taken care of, at all. Probably never cleaned inside or out, so who knows what the valves look like.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    That's gotta be Nitrocellulose lacquer, which is still used by a lot of repair shops for touchup work and refinishing. Nikolas lacquer is "Nitro" based, and Bach Trombones and Trumpets used to use it, as did many other companies, before they moved to epoxy.
    Yes, I couldn't remember the name. Besson DID use Nitrocellulose lacquer on the old horns. The lacquered Sovereigns (which my 1980 was before I had it restored in silver) were very prone to lacquer wear. Even w/o bug spray, my body chemistry was hard on that stuff.

    A lot of manufacturers no longer use this (particularly on brass) and have switched to epoxy lacquer due to the flammability and other OSHA issues.
    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. Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    Yes, I couldn't remember the name. Besson DID use Nitrocellulose lacquer on the old horns. The lacquered Sovereigns (which my 1980 was before I had it restored in silver) were very prone to lacquer wear. Even w/o bug spray, my body chemistry was hard on that stuff.

    A lot of manufacturers no longer use this (particularly on brass) and have switched to epoxy lacquer due to the flammability and other OSHA issues.
    Yeah, it's just not as durable as the modern epoxy lacquers. Also, it isn't very heat resistant. If you give an older Bach trombone a hot bath... the lacquer falls right off. I think even Bach has now seen the light and gone with epoxy. Nitrocellulose is just bad news overall.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, Yamaha YBB-631S BBb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  6. It seems I was not quick enough to purchase the 767 at Duchy. I appreciate all the insight and information. If anyone knows of a comparable horn in the $3k range I would appreciate any links or a heads-up. My son's 321 plays very well but he's getting to a level where it may make it more challenging to advance. Thank you!
    Scott

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Yeah, it's just not as durable as the modern epoxy lacquers. Also, it isn't very heat resistant. If you give an older Bach trombone a hot bath... the lacquer falls right off. I think even Bach has now seen the light and gone with epoxy. Nitrocellulose is just bad news overall.
    In the case of the eBay horn, it has to have been re-lacquered (because of all the apparent buffing its had). It would be quite possible a more modern lacquer is now on the horn. FWIW.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    11
    Since the Besson 767 circa 1980 (referenced/linked earlier) was a predecessor to the Sovereign series, how does it compare to the 968 (London) in tone and overall performance with its slightly smaller bore (.580)?
    David Shinn
    1974 Besson New Standard Euphonium (Frosted/Satin Silver)
    Besson 180th Anniversary Dennis Wick 4AL &
    Denis Wick Heritage 4ABL
    Peninsula Concert Band
    Yorktown, Virginia

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinn View Post
    Since the Besson 767 circa 1980 (referenced/linked earlier) was a predecessor to the Sovereign series, how does it compare to the 968 (London) in tone and overall performance with its slightly smaller bore (.580)?
    I believe all the Bessons made in the British factory had a .580 bore. The larger bore did not show up until the German production. The BRITISH 968 had a 580 bore. I know on the Sovereign 967 they only changed the leadpipe and bell from the 767 series. Not sure exactly what they changed on the 968, but it did have a little nicer sound (IMO) than the 767. The German versions have a 590 bore.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    11
    And when comparing the 968 to the mid-1970’s Besson New Standard / Boosey & Hawkes Imperial, what is the opinion with regards to tone, intonation, responsiveness, etc?
    David Shinn
    1974 Besson New Standard Euphonium (Frosted/Satin Silver)
    Besson 180th Anniversary Dennis Wick 4AL &
    Denis Wick Heritage 4ABL
    Peninsula Concert Band
    Yorktown, Virginia

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