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Thread: Jim tests the doubler--part i--intro

  1. Hi Jim

    To change the subject a bit--are you still in Indianapolis? I grew up in Monon, which is 100 miles northwest.

    I am planning to sell my Yamaha 621, since it is more horn than I need. Any sales suggestions? I am buying a Wessex baritone and use Schilke 51D and Bach 5G mouthpieces. Since I often play a euphonium part, can you suggest a mouthpiece which will give me a darker sound sound? Thanks.

    LittleJimmy

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    891
    Jimmy,
    I'm still about 30 mins. south of Indy. Smartest thing I ever did was to get the heck out of NYC in 1970.
    As to mouthpieces, here's my $0.02:
    1. Using euphonium-sized mouthpieces on a baritone will not necessarily produce a "darker" tone.
    2. Using a euphonium mouthpiece on a baritone may well make the baritone sound tubby and dull rather than dark.
    3. Using a euphonium mouthpiece on a baritone may create intonation issues and produce a mix of harmonics that lead to the tubbiness I described earlier.
    3.14i59: Neither the 51D nor the 5G is a baritone mouthpiece IMHO.
    4. A baritone isn't supposed to be a euphonium, and any attempt to make a baritone sound like a euph is unlikely to succeed.
    5. If you need to switch parts between trombone and euph, you might well be better off with a Conn Constellation or one of the King front-action models that are abundantly available at reasonable prices.
    Apology if this isn't what you wanted to hear; I hope others chime in with their opinions.
    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meters)
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103E, SM3.5
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone
    www.soundcloud.com/jweuph

  3. #13
    Ditto and +1 and I agree, Jim (Williams), especially with factoid 3.14i59!

    Jimmy: You say you are buying a baritone because the Yamaha 621 is more horn than you need. Why not a Wessex Euphonium or an Austin Custom Brass Doubler?? Unless you think the euphonium is too big for you? Not sure why you are switching, but you can get either one of those horns (Wessex or ACB) for less than $2K. And have a horn that might fit better with your playing circumstances. Not knowing why you are moving from euphonium to baritone, I can't say for sure.
    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)

  4. Thanks Jim and John. I switched to baritone a few years ago because my euphonium was getting too heavy. I'm 81 and have lost a step or two.

    Jim--I'd appreciate your opinion about what mouthpiece or mouthpieces I should be using. I have ordered and will be getting a new Wessex 140 baritone in a few days and may want to order a new mouthpiece right away.

    LittleJimmy

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    891
    I still think the best balance point is a King or Conn as I mentioned above.
    They're not terribly heavy, and the front-action valves are more ergonomic than any
    3+1 IMHO.
    A King or Conn will also be better than ANY baritone at fitting in with trombones and
    euphs.
    Honestly, if you are neither the solo euphonium nor the solo trombone, almost any
    baritone or King/Conn will blend into the section sound, so you may well be overthinking the
    whole deal. If you are the only "trombone" or euph, that might be another story.
    So my vote would be a Conn/King with a mouthpiece in the 6.5AL range.
    If you use the Wessex baritone, try the mouthpiece that comes with it. If you don't like it, try
    a Wick 6.
    You might recall that I also own a Yamaha 621 Baritone. If I use it at all, I use it for French Horn
    parts in small or large groups when my Yamaha 321 too present in the horn register. I use a home-
    doctored mouthpiece sized roughly between a Wick 5 and 6 with an enlarged throat...but that's for
    playing horn parts.
    Again, these are my thoughts based upon many years of playing experience. Others may offer different
    possibilities.
    Big Jimmy
    Jim Williams N9EJR (love 10 meters)
    Yamaha 642-II Neo, Wedge 103E, SM3.5
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone
    www.soundcloud.com/jweuph

  6. It might be too late, but a Wessex maly travel euphonium is 5.5 lbs I believe if that's something you'd consider

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA, USA
    Posts
    19
    I have an Olds Ambassador 3-valve, front-action, removable-bell "baritone" euphonium (1970's euph/bari American hybrid) that I bought relatively inexpensively on eBay many years ago for use in rougher environments - specifically, alumni marching band day.
    Great valves (rugged, fast, short-throw), lightweight, good ergonomics (since the bell rotates, it fits in a slimmer case), would work in a community band with a larger sound than my baritone or tenor trombones (I.e. distinctive voice), supports a deeper-cup without wonky intonation, and blends with the other low brass while cutting through nicely when necessary (I don't use it for band work, but I've played with folks who do, and it's fine).
    It's a much better-playing instrument than a marching baritone (I own the Yamaha version - terrible playing-experience, but it is an attractive, showy horn, which is unfortunately a priority for one of my groups) for evenness of scale, attack, range, dynamic control, valve throw - you name it, hands-down the Olds.
    It's also ergonomically superior for me, because one can hold a flip folder in the left hand, cradle the horn on the left arm, and dynamically move the music to the best distance to reduce glare, catch light, and adjust up/down, in/out to accommodate my worsening cataracts, the glasses I forgot to bring, or the right spot in my progressives, etc. The horn also hugs close to my body, so very easy on the lower back. The nature of its wrap also offers a lot of different, usable hand-holds.
    I don't use it a lot, and I'm sometimes tempted to declutter it, but it fills a niche. Incidentally, It had been several years since I Christmas-caroled my English-style Yamaha baritone (ybh-103 - 3 valve), but my eyes have degraded since the last time, so the lyre offset made my music into a blur, and despite my best efforts to sandwich the horn between my left upper arm and body to liberate my left hand to hold the music, it just didn't work - I ended up making up parts on the fly, because I can't play it without support from my left hand. The Olds Ambassador in all its antediluvian beat-up, old-tech glory, would've been a much better functional tool, albeit that shiny, silver Christmas-ornament Yamaha attracts the hoi polloi's attention.
    in short: I endorse the recommendation to try an old-timey, 3-valve, front-action, "it just works" euphonium.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Snorlax View Post
    I still think the best balance point is a King or Conn as I mentioned above.
    They're not terribly heavy, and the front-action valves are more ergonomic than any
    3+1 IMHO.
    A King or Conn will also be better than ANY baritone at fitting in with trombones and
    euphs.
    Honestly, if you are neither the solo euphonium nor the solo trombone, almost any
    baritone or King/Conn will blend into the section sound, so you may well be overthinking the
    whole deal. If you are the only "trombone" or euph, that might be another story.
    So my vote would be a Conn/King with a mouthpiece in the 6.5AL range.
    If you use the Wessex baritone, try the mouthpiece that comes with it. If you don't like it, try
    a Wick 6.
    You might recall that I also own a Yamaha 621 Baritone. If I use it at all, I use it for French Horn
    parts in small or large groups when my Yamaha 321 too present in the horn register. I use a home-
    doctored mouthpiece sized roughly between a Wick 5 and 6 with an enlarged throat...but that's for
    playing horn parts.
    Again, these are my thoughts based upon many years of playing experience. Others may offer different
    possibilities.
    Big Jimmy
    Have you played both the King AND the Conn? How do those 2 instruments compare? I love my Conn and I’ll never part with it, but I’ve wondered about differences in overall sound and volume between the Connstellation and the King 2280 because of the larger bore?

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