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Thread: Euphonium Upgrades

  1. Euphonium Upgrades

    Hello everyone,

    I have always been interested in how much more can be developed for the Euphonium in terms of instrument design. We have such a innovative community which has shown us the benefits of Heavy Valve Top and Bottom Caps, Sterling Sliver, Yellow Brass and Red Brass Bells as well as smaller changes such as the slight alteration to the third valve slide. I often wonder if there is anything else left to discover.

    I wondered if more can be done to the leadpipe of the instrument perhaps using different plating options on the inside or outside of the leadpipe or even adding rifling into the leadpipe. I am always amazed at the technology being developed for the Euphonium and I wonder how much further this can be pushed.

    The Euphonium over the course of the past twenty years has really developed with the addition of larger bells and trigger systems often to the point where each instrument manufacturer has a number of different standard euphonium's taking into account all potential options. I often wonder if there is a simple and obvious change that could be made which we are missing.

    It would be great to see what has actually been tried and tested on the euphonium and to see what prototypes have been created to test out these new features. I did hear about a prototype Besson Prestige which tested a few features but know very little about this.

    Many Thanks

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Netherlands
    Posts
    158
    Good question. I honestly have no idea what else could be invented. As you said, there's already been a lot of experimentation with different metals and brass alloys, bigger bells, tuning slide triggers, slight repositioning of valve slides, heavy valve caps, etc. Different types of valves like trombones are kinda out of the question since professional euphs are, afaik, pretty much bound to piston valves because of the compensating system. The Adjustable Gap Receiver made by Adams is also a thing already.

    the only thing I could maybe think of would be differently tapered leadpipes, like you have with trumpets?
    Euphoniums
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick SM4
    Baritone
    1975 Besson New Standard
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 6BS

  3. Hello,

    That is a really interesting idea with tapered leadpipes! That would be a really interesting combination to have a play around with, I am curious if leadpipes in different materials could also be a thing in the future.

    Many Thanks,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  4. #4
    Adams has the adjustable-gap receiver (AGR) as mentioned above. They offer many options in material, including alloy and thickness. You can get vented valves now if you want, and I believe those are standard on the Miraphone 5050. I know Adams made some horns with sterling silver leadpipes, but that is not an option they prefer. Still, for some players it might be a good thing. Forum moderator Doug Ruby has one of the prototypes Adams built with top-sprung, short-action valves.

    I'm waiting to test the Adams Sonic euphonium, which is built like an E1 but is non-compensating. That could be an interesting option for some players at about half the price of the E1/2/3.

    And Wessex has made a new, affordable model of 4-valve compensating front-action valves, not to mention a compensating double-bell euphonium.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Forum moderator Doug Ruby has one of the prototypes Adams built with top-sprung, short-action valves.
    miketeachesclass (forum member ID) also has an E3 with SS bell, trigger, and top sprung short action valves. He originally had the same horn with regular valves and then purchased the new one so he could try them out in parallel. He sold his original horn to Jake Guilbo (also forum member). SO, there is at least one "production" Adams with the new short action valves.
    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. I might add that "heavier is better" vs. "lighter is better" has gone through some extremes over the last 15 years. Examples of "heavy" horns include Sterling Virtuoso, Miraphone 5050, Adams E2, certain Geneva models, and perhaps others. Adams E1 and E3 have specifically tended to get a "big" sound with a lighter horn that seem to emphasize responsiveness.
    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. Hello everyone,

    That is really interesting to hear. I know that Adams and Sterling both have quite a few options for customising their Euphoniums. I think a big thing that makes me wary of moving to anyone other than Besson is the mechanics of the instruments. I love the valve action of my Besson Prestige Euphonium and the colour of the sound just perfectly fits the brass band but I am curious to explore this option of leadpipes in a different material.

    Many Thanks,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  8. Micah,

    True that the mechanics of the German Besson's are very good and build quality generally better than English Bessons. I had one of the first 2051's imported into the US. It had a 2006 serial number but was tested by Steve Mead in January 2007. I sold it a few years after I purchased my Sterling in 2008.

    I know you once owned a Sterling and had some issues. I have an earlier (than yours) Sterling with Bauerfeind valves. After 11+ years, I have valves and trigger mechanism both working beautifully. The valves are easily the equal of my 2007 Prestige, the tigger, though, is a bit less robust. I have no experience with newer Geneva's but I also own an Adams E3. The mechanics of the Adams is superior and it is easier for me to play as I approach 70 years old. I keep the Sterling, though, because it is my "baby".

    Unless you are a sponsored Besson artist, I strongly suggest you consider auditioning an Adams. The mechanics and ergonomics are superb. A downside with both Adams and Sterling is that they cannot offer the kind of sponsorship packages that Besson can, so that may be a factor. Also Adams (in particular) has no sponsorship deals with any British Championship bands like Sterling, Geneva, and Besson do.

    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

  9. Hello Doug,

    Thank you so much for your message. You are totally correct. I have played on both an English Besson Prestige Euphonium and when I compare it to my German Besson Prestige Euphonium it is a totally different beast. I just love the sound and mechanics of my German made Besson Prestige Euphonium but it would be great to look at how instrument design has changed in the past five years since I bought my last instrment.

    I always loved the look of your Sterling Virtuoso and they are a fine instrument to play! The sound was just incredible! I should start to have a look again at Sterling Virtuoso. I have to admit I have never seen an Adams Euphonium played in a British Brass Band but again the same could be said of the Yamaha Neo, most British Euphonium Players are using a Besson Prestige Euphonium, Geneva Euphonium or Sterling Euphonium. I know in my band we have two Besson Prestige Euphonium's, Two Sovereign Baritones (both with 4th Valves) and a Sterling Baritone.

    I hope you are well Doug and I hope we can catch up soon.

    Many Thanks,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I know Adams made some horns with sterling silver leadpipes, but that is not an option they prefer.
    Any idea why that is, Dave? More difficult to manufacture?

    My particular E1 was already made with the SS leadpipe, and honestly I've never had a horn I enjoy playing more. Now, whether or not the leadpipe is the sole cause of that is certainly up for debate, but out of all the horns at ITEC, it was the one I fell in love with.
    Sean Kissane
    Development Director - International Tuba-Euphonium Association
    Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Custom Euphonium (FOR SALE)
    Adams E1 Custom (.6 Gold Brass, Brushed Lacquer, Sterling Silver Leadpipe)
    Giddings DHWA-S Mouthpiece

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