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Thread: Advice for First Time Purchaser

  1. Advice for First Time Purchaser

    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping to get some advice as a first time purchaser. I'm looking to get back to playing after about 10 years (since I graduated and lost access to a horn) in a very casual manner, at most playing with a local community band. I've considered purchasing a few times over the years and now the social distancing forecast has helped push me to that decision. I've scrolled through some of the threads here so I know that ebay and these brand options are not the best choices but they are also far more accessible in terms of my price range. With that said, I'm trying to do as much due diligence as I can, so I hope that you all could give me your opinions on these options:

    Maestro Brand 3 valve Euphonium

    Barrington/Maestro Brand, 4 valve, large bore Euphonium The pictures show "Barrington" but it is listed as a Maestro (misspelled) brand in the description

    Jupiter JEP 468 3 valve Euphonium

    Olds Ambassador 3 valve Euphonium I've seen that some folks have had issues with this seller in the past... This one is also at the top of my price range at the moment.

    There are a ton of unbranded options from India and China that I don't trust, but please let me know if you've had a good experience with those. I don't care so much about aesthetics and am more concerned about any potential unexpected repairs that would be required. (I know that by looking on ebay, I'm pretty much wishing on stars on that front but I don't know of where else to look).

    *I do have own a large shank mouthpiece and have much more history of playing on large shank instruments but I'm not opposed to getting a small shank horn and/or purchasing a small shank mouthpiece if needed. After 10 years, I don't know that it will make too much of a difference. Ideally, I would like to find a horn with a case.

  2. #2
    Have you looked at the King 2280? It is a large bore euphonium and can be had under $1000. Also the Yamaha yep-321 - small bore which can be converted to large bore. I have played both and they work well for community band. Their resale is pretty good if you decide to upgrade. There are also a few Besson 3 valve compensating euphoniums on e-bay you could make offers on.
    Cerveny BBb Kaiser Tuba
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Welcome to the forum. I agree with the links that Rodgeman shared above. Both of those are 3 valve 'compensating' horns so you'll be able to play better in tune for the 1-3, 123 fingered notes. The horns you linked to don't look all that promising to be honest. I would suspect you would be disappointed after playing those after a short while... with the exception of the 3v Olds.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandes, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)

  4. #4
    Yeah, none of those are the best deal you can get. (*edit* I mean the first four, not the Bessons. They're fine if you're into those types of horns.) There are some decent Chinese made instruments out there, but if you go that route, get something newer. Otherwise, look for an old horn in better condition than those others. I wouldn't try to buy a horn just because you have a certain mouthpiece, either.

    Avoid anything marked or sold as Maestro. These are old generation Chinese horns and the quality is pretty poor. I bought the Maestro 4-valve rotary Euph a while back, hoping it would make for a good Bb Bass. It took "some" work to overcome the quality issues, which included a mismatching mouthpiece and reciever. Even after that, it is incredibly stuffy at the low end of 2nd partial, which basically defeats the purpose. It's not all bad, but meh. Do better.

    I don't know what your budget is, but if you want something shiny and new, Wessex is selling their Kaiser Baritone at $895 as part of their Spring Collection. It's a large shank Rotary Baritone.
    Last edited by notaverygoodname; 03-23-2020 at 12:07 AM. Reason: possible unintended meaning

  5. Thanks for the advice, everyone! I wound up getting a Schiller Elite 4-valve compensating horn through a connection on this forum. I'm excited to get back to playing!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ECRiver View Post
    Thanks for the advice, everyone! I wound up getting a Schiller Elite 4-valve compensating horn through a connection on this forum. I'm excited to get back to playing!
    Let us know how it goes once you get to know the horn!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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