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Thread: Besson Prestige

  1. #31
    It's always nice once you have made a tough decision and can enjoy the result!

    Note: many people enjoy a new horn (or mouthpiece) for a while, and then don't see the improvement they first noticed. That is usually because they let themselves slip back into a mental habit and "treat" the new horn like the previous horn. I'm sure you have already noticed some nice new results, so as you practice work on solidifying those new improvements and don't backslide to old habits.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #32
    Congrats on the new horn! What fun it is indeed!
    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. #33
    Congratulations! It looks quite well maintained! Enjoy!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJH View Post
    I just checked the price of a new Neo with trigger, and it's 7.3K-ish, which would be the equivalent of roughly GBP6.700 and $8.6K
    Oh, perhaps I misremembered or the regional pricing is lightly different. Horns are so expensive huh x.x
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. Always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euph)"

    Euph: Yamaha 642II Neo - 千歌音
    Mouthpiece: K&G 4D, Denis Wick 5AL

  4. #34
    Maybe one of you guys can find more informations to my Besson Prestige Euphonium by the serial number?
    I would like to find as much as information I can find.
    My internet research was not successful.
    Serial number: 896690

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Matzeuph,

    Serial number 890008 is the last known completely English made instrument manufactured at the former Besson Edgeware Road facility in London. After that, the tooling was shipped out, the factory closed and "parts" were made at the Schreiber-Keilwerth facility in Markneukirchen, Germany. and then shipped back to Watford, UK for completion by a small cadre of Besson/Boosey&Hawkes technicians from the former London factory. This covers the late 2002 - 2005 era just prior to the final collapse of the former Besson. Typical consumable parts such as valve felts, guides, and dampers are interchangeable with the 2007 and later German Prestige. Valve buttons will also interchange (I have done this). HOWEVER, valve caps, pistons, slides will not and the later clear plastic belly pan will not properly afix to your horn as it doesn't have the support brace on the inner branch that is required. All of the threads and diameters on the newer horns are metric, which was not the case on the older ones.

    This does not mean that an instrument of this last era of the "British-built" Besson is less than excellent. I had Sovereign #886505 dated from 2001, the final year of Edgware Road production, that played beautifully. My seatmate had a Prestige that was just two serial numbers from my Sovereign that was not nearly as nice. In those last few years, the quality was highly variable. It appears that you have a good one and you should enjoy it.

    After 2005, Schreiber-Keilwerth continued to use the old tooling to build "York" horns which are generally more interchangeable with your Prestige than a modern "German Built" Buffet-Besson Prestige. York continued to manufacture until they too collapsed around 2009-10 and were bought up by Buffet. Since the York instruments were functional duplicates of the newer German built horns, Buffet shut down the operation.

    If you are interested in more of the history of these events, see: written by Denis Wick who was intimately familiar with all of these issues. A short quote follows:

    "Once a major manufacturing enterprise exporting world-wide, the disintegration of the manufacturing arm of Boosey and Hawkes, later known as Besson, came as a surprise to many, leaving a substantial gap in the market, which global market forces have swiftly moved to fill. The sad demise of Boosey and Hawkes at the end of 2005 was a tragedy, the culmination of a series of events over several years that beggared belief, and which more convolutions than a serialised Victorian novel: inexplicable massive losses in the United States, bad management, short-term solutions with long-term costs, the closure of the famous Edgware factory, the making of instrument parts in Germany to be trucked across Europe and assembled in Watford - all were part of the disaster, which unfolded rapidly in 2005, but like all good tales, this novel must start at the beginning."

    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  6. #36

    THANK YOU! That's a great bit of information and fills in some holes for me.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #37
    WOW, thank you Doug for this nice explanation.

  8. BTW - The York "Eminence" was the equivalent of the Besson Prestige and was largely built using the older Edgeware tooling. However there were a number of differences, some cosmetic and some functional:

    1. It had a new leadpipe (supposedly better) that was different than that on the British Prestige. I believe David Childs was part of the "aural" development that came up with this leadpipe. This plus use of the old tooling was supposed to be the magic sauce that made the York "sound better" than the German built horns.
    2. The trigger mechanism was a substantial improvement over the Prestige but without the snap ball introduced on the German Prestige. Roland Froescher (a terrific Swiss euphoniumist and student of Roger Bobo and Thomas Reudi) was instrumental in the redesign of the trigger.
    3. The valve stems on the York were a carry over from the British Prestige. They were not tapered with a screw-in step to positively hold the guides as in the German built Prestige. Anyone who has had a British Sovereign or Prestige is familiar with the "step" that allowed the guide to snap in, but didn't hold it firmly. Valves were problematic on the Yorks
    4. The valve buttons, top, and bottom caps on the valves were redesigned so they did not look like the Prestige or Sovereign. While York had silver prototypes with gold trim, the production horns were silver with black nickel trim to change the appearance.
    5. The York Eminence did use the same clear plastic belly pan as the German Prestige.

    I was able to acquire a York leadpipe and receiver after Buffet purchased their inventory. I converted my 2001 Sovereign (#886505) into an "almost Prestige" using the York leadpipe and receiver, a custom receiver brace that fit over the old Besson solder pad on the bell, a center leadpipe brace from a Sterling, a set of Prestige valve buttons, and by gold plating the valve caps and water keys. This horn played beautifully and I would have it today if Meil Adams and Trent Austin had not made me a deal I could not refuse on my E3. See picture below:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sovereign-7.JPG   Sovereign-6.JPG   Sovereign-9.JPG   Sovereign-4.JPG   Sovereign-2.JPG  

    Last edited by daruby; 09-29-2020 at 03:42 PM.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Schweet, Doug. Just schweet!

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original

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