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Thread: Introducing a new Euphonium to the market the ACB Doubler's Euphonium

  1. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Thanks for clarifying the opinions already expressed. FWIW, during the 10 years I was a Besson artist I played on a 967, which had a 12" bell. large shank receiver, and a .580 bore. Perhaps this horn is made in that concept.
    Yes this was our intent...

    with no trade shows happening in the near future (sigh) I have an idea to run by y'all:

    If anyone would possibly want to take the horn for a test spin (US only due to shipping costs) please send an email to info@austincustombrass.com. Perhaps we can get enough people to test the horn each for a day or two upon receipt of the horn. I'll pay all shipping charges of course.

    Best,
    T
    Trent Austin
    Owner
    Austin Custom Brass
    www.austincustombrass.biz
    I started on Baritone BTW in 3rd grade band

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by AustinCustomBrass View Post
    Yes this was our intent...

    with no trade shows happening in the near future (sigh) I have an idea to run by y'all:

    If anyone would possibly want to take the horn for a test spin (US only due to shipping costs) please send an email to info@austincustombrass.com. Perhaps we can get enough people to test the horn each for a day or two upon receipt of the horn. I'll pay all shipping charges of course.

    Best,
    T
    I am game to try it out, and I might be a good subject. I have a high end Adams E3, a B&H Imperial and a Wessex Dolce. So sort of the gamut between top of the line modern, old but really good horn, and a nicely made Chinese horn that is a lot of bang for the buck.

    If you would like me to try it, let me know. I think you have all my contact info from having bought the Adams TB1 from you and a M.B. case.

    Oops, just reread your message, you said send an email to you, sorry about that. I will send an email.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 10-30-2020 at 06:16 PM.
    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 John Morgan View Post
    I am game to try it out, and I might be a good subject. I have a high end Adams E3, a B&H Imperial and a Wessex Dolce. So sort of the gamut between top of the line modern, old but really good horn, and a nicely made Chinese horn that is a lot of bang for the buck.

    If you would like me to try it, let me know. I think you have all my contact info from having bought the Adams TB1 from you and a M.B. case.

    Oops, just reread your message, you said send an email to you, sorry about that. I will send an email.
    Fantastic John! We'll ship you one out next week to toot on and have some fun. We'll then have you ship to the next tester (we'll provide all the labels and packing materials as well).

    Thanks so much and hope you are well!

    Best,
    Trent
    Trent Austin
    Owner
    Austin Custom Brass
    www.austincustombrass.biz
    I started on Baritone BTW in 3rd grade band

  4. What a gracious offer.
    Unlucky for me I'm not in the States.

  5. #25
    Mr.Austin if I may ask again, what sets this horn apart from your standard Jinbao/Mack Euphonium? Get into the technical details if you're able to. I'm very interested what sets this horn apart from the rest other than the 4th valve lever design, the stainless steel valves(Compared to Jinabo/Mack's Monel), and the horn being yellow brass all throughout(Including the leadpipe) ?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    NYC metro area
    Posts
    393
    Quote Originally Posted by Beef View Post
    Mr.Austin if I may ask again, what sets this horn apart from your standard Jinbao/Mack Euphonium? Get into the technical details if you're able to. I'm very interested what sets this horn apart from the rest other than the 4th valve lever design, the stainless steel valves(Compared to Jinabo/Mack's Monel), and the horn being yellow brass all throughout(Including the leadpipe) ?
    Just a quick note: my Mack Brass horn has stainless steel valves. I think the valve set changed from year to year.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1, Kadja, and DE 101XTG9 mouthpieces
    Bach 36B trombone; pBone; Vincent Bach (from 1971) 6.5AL mouthpiece
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo) and Delilah (the cavapoo puppy) keep me company while practicing

  7. #27
    My apologies, I was talking about the current EU1150s, although I do remember the older ones having stainless steel valves.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    14
    I was able to play the ACB Doubler's Euphonium today at the Austin Custom Brass shop in Kansas City today - perks of living in the area! Props to the folks at ACB for a great customer experience even in the midst of the pandemic. If I happen to find a few extra thousand dollars sitting around, I'll be back for the Adams E2 I was able to play at the shop!

    They had three different horns, one each in lacquer, a brushed lacquer finish, and silver plate. Aesthetically, these horns look good! I like the brushed finish look myself. Fit and finish was good on all three, though the clear lacquer finished horn had the most fine tuning done to it and it was, consequently, the best playing and also had the best valve action. I played all three horns with my Giddings Kadja as well as a Wick Heritage 4AL, just to see how the horn played with a different mouthpiece.

    Build Quality
    Nothing with these horns felt cheap. My inspection wasn't especially thorough, but the construction felt solid. The silver plating on that horn looked pretty good - I believe that this has been an area of concern with Chinese imports over the last few years. I'm no expert, but everything seemed sturdy in my hands.

    Ergonomics
    Compared to my Yamaha 641, the ACB is more comfortable to hold and play. The leadpipe is farther up the bell and angled such that playing while sitting or standing felt reasonably good. In terms of weight, it didn't feel remarkably heavy or light - just like a 4 valve compensating horn. With that said, I'm a fairly average shaped adult male and made my living for awhile carrying a government-issued Willson around the parade field, so my tolerance for such things may be a little off. Your mileage may vary.

    tldr - it felt fine.

    Tone Quality/General Performance
    I had better luck with the Kadja than the Wick 4AL, but the Kadja is my daily driver mouthpiece so that's not unexpected. I could hear the Besson influence in the horn, and the tone was generally pleasing. Response was pretty good and the horn was pretty consistent from top to bottom. The high register spoke very clearly. The compensating and pedal register were a little iffy, but I think that's on me rather than the horn. I played through several lyrical and not-so-lyrical excerpts and things seemed to work well enough. Dynamically, it handled the softs very well, and the loud's well enough - its dynamic tolerances reminded me of a Yamaha 842 army horn I had about 10 years ago. That wasn't a deal breaker though; I think I could take the horn to go play the Planets Suite with an orchestra or to a concert with my unit and it wouldn't hold me back much at all. Ultimately, the horn pretty much got out of the way and I sounded like me, so kudos there!

    Intonation
    I didn't go to the same amount of effort that Dr. Werden has put in to the intonation chart resources that we have on the site, but I did kick the tires with a tuner. For me, it was a struggle to get the horn to blow in tune without pushing the tuning slide all the way in. In hindsight, I think that my Yamaha blows sharp and I've likely gotten used to it over the years. At any rate, the 5th and 6th partials were pretty good - 6th was a bit high, but at the end of the day it's a brass instrument. There wasn't anything in that register that one couldn't learn to adjust to. The 3rd partial C and D were really flat with 1st, 2nd, and 4th valve tuning slides pushed all the way in.

    Overall
    I will admit that I have not played a Wessex, Mack, or any of the other budget conscious compensating euphoniums over the last few years save for what I think was a JP374 at the TUSAB conference back in like 2013, so I don't have much of a basis for comparison with horns at this price point. I think ACB's doubler's horn is a great new addition and should be on a buyer's short list if one is looking for a good horn with less than $2K to spend. I have colleagues looking for a horn like this, and will refer them here. Was it in the same ballpark as the Adams E2 that I played today? Not at all, but it comes in at less than a quarter of the price. If that Adams is a Mercedes or BMW and my Yamaha is a well-equipped Honda, the ACB is a Kia Forte - a great option at the price point that does about 90% of what the other offerings do.

    Compared to the non-compensating Yamaha 321 and whichever model King it is that are both ubiquitous in American school band rooms, this horn definitely sounds more like a "grown up" euphonium sound. If I was sitting in for a wind band gig with professionals/good college players/equally strong amateurs, I would rather have the ACB horn than the non comp options. Also, my pinky dexterity is horrendous so I very much prefer the 3+1 configuration. The one area where I would give the nod to Yamaha and King is proven durability. They can take quite a beating and still play; we know that because they have. The Doubler's euphonium may be just fine handling the rigors of teenagers using borrowed equipment, but we won't know until we find out.

    I would gladly recommend this horn for any trombone/tuba players that play euphonium often enough to justify owning a horn, as well as euphonium students in high school and up through college in music ed. If you have a little more cash to spend and have the luxury of patience in your search, you may be able to find a used Besson Sovereign/New Standard or older Yamaha (641 or the original 642) for a bit more that may suit your needs better, but the ACB euphonium is new and shiny and gets the once over from one of the best brass shops around. This horn is a tremendous value!
    Last edited by Ajeasley; 11-06-2020 at 08:42 PM.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Ajeasley View Post
    I was able to play the ACB Doubler's Euphonium today at the Austin Custom Brass shop in Kansas City today - perks of living in the area! Props to the folks at ACB for a great customer experience even in the midst of the pandemic. If I happen to find a few extra thousand dollars sitting around, I'll be back for the Adams E2 I was able to play at the shop!

    They had three different horns, one each in lacquer, a brushed lacquer finish, and silver plate. Aesthetically, these horns look good! I like the brushed finish look myself. Fit and finish was good on all three, though the clear lacquer finished horn had the most fine tuning done to it and it was, consequently, the best playing and also had the best valve action. I played all three horns with my Giddings Kadja as well as a Wick Heritage 4AL, just to see how the horn played with a different mouthpiece.

    Build Quality
    Nothing with these horns felt cheap. My inspection wasn't especially thorough, but the construction felt solid. The silver plating on that horn looked pretty good - I believe that this has been an area of concern with Chinese imports over the last few years. I'm no expert, but everything seemed sturdy in my hands.

    Ergonomics
    Compared to my Yamaha 641, the ACB is more comfortable to hold and play. The leadpipe is farther up the bell and angled such that playing while sitting or standing felt reasonably good. In terms of weight, it didn't feel remarkably heavy or light - just like a 4 valve compensating horn. With that said, I'm a fairly average shaped adult male and made my living for awhile carrying a government-issued Willson around the parade field, so my tolerance for such things may be a little off. Your mileage may vary.

    tldr - it felt fine.

    Tone Quality/General Performance
    I had better luck with the Kadja than the Wick 4AL, but the Kadja is my daily driver mouthpiece so that's not unexpected. I could hear the Besson influence in the horn, and the tone was generally pleasing. Response was pretty good and the horn was pretty consistent from top to bottom. The high register spoke very clearly. The compensating and pedal register were a little iffy, but I think that's on me rather than the horn. I played through several lyrical and not-so-lyrical excerpts and things seemed to work well enough. Dynamically, it handled the softs very well, and the loud's well enough - its dynamic tolerances reminded me of a Yamaha 842 army horn I had about 10 years ago. That wasn't a deal breaker though; I think I could take the horn to go play the Planets Suite with an orchestra or to a concert with my unit and it wouldn't hold me back much at all. Ultimately, the horn pretty much got out of the way and I sounded like me, so kudos there!

    Intonation
    I didn't go to the same amount of effort that Dr. Werden has put in to the intonation chart resources that we have on the site, but I did kick the tires with a tuner. For me, it was a struggle to get the horn to blow in tune without pushing the tuning slide all the way in. In hindsight, I think that my Yamaha blows sharp and I've likely gotten used to it over the years. At any rate, the 5th and 6th partials were pretty good - 6th was a bit high, but at the end of the day it's a brass instrument. There wasn't anything in that register that one couldn't learn to adjust to. The 3rd partial C and D were really flat with 1st, 2nd, and 4th valve tuning slides pushed all the way in.

    Overall
    I will admit that I have not played a Wessex, Mack, or any of the other budget conscious compensating euphoniums over the last few years save for what I think was a JP374 at the TUSAB conference back in like 2013, so I don't have much of a basis for comparison with horns at this price point. I think ACB's doubler's horn is a great new addition and should be on a buyer's short list if one is looking for a good horn with less than $2K to spend. I have colleagues looking for a horn like this, and will refer them here. Was it in the same ballpark as the Adams E2 that I played today? Not at all, but it comes in at less than a quarter of the price. If that Adams is a Mercedes or BMW and my Yamaha is a well-equipped Honda, the ACB is a Kia Forte - a great option at the price point that does about 90% of what the other offerings do.

    Compared to the non-compensating Yamaha 321 and whichever model King it is that are both ubiquitous in American school band rooms, this horn definitely sounds more like a "grown up" euphonium sound. If I was sitting in for a wind band gig with professionals/good college players/equally strong amateurs, I would rather have the ACB horn than the non comp options. Also, my pinky dexterity is horrendous so I very much prefer the 3+1 configuration. The one area where I would give the nod to Yamaha and King is proven durability. They can take quite a beating and still play; we know that because they have. The Doubler's euphonium may be just fine handling the rigors of teenagers using borrowed equipment, but we won't know until we find out.

    I would gladly recommend this horn for any trombone/tuba players that play euphonium often enough to justify owning a horn, as well as euphonium students in high school and up through college in music ed. If you have a little more cash to spend and have the luxury of patience in your search, you may be able to find a used Besson Sovereign/New Standard or older Yamaha (641 or the original 642) for a bit more that may suit your needs better, but the ACB euphonium is new and shiny and gets the once over from one of the best brass shops around. This horn is a tremendous value!

    Thank you so much for coming and trying out the horns. Sorry I missed you in the shop yesterday we really appreciate you coming and for this great review. We know the ACB will never be the Adams, Besson, Sterling, or Wilson but we firmly believe it's a fine horn in the price range we have put it. The Kia analogy works well with me (I had a Kia Soul for years before getting my Chevy Volt). Well built, no-frills, will do the job nicely!

    We are getting ready to start shipping out the travelin' trial euphonium today or Tuesday! We are certainly bummed we cannot bring these horns to shows like Midwest, NAMM (I had plans on exhibiting there for the first time with my shop), TMEA, etc but we are excited to see what folks say about these horns.

    Best regards and thanks again!
    -T
    Trent Austin
    Owner
    Austin Custom Brass
    www.austincustombrass.biz
    I started on Baritone BTW in 3rd grade band

  10. Trent,

    Which one are you sending, Brass, Silver or Brushed?

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

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