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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    880

    Jim tests the doubler--part i--intro

    BACKGROUND:
    1.The Doubler arrived at Chez Snorlax yesterday in fine shape--thanks, Dave...and thanks, Trent!
    2. I just had two major surgeries on my sinuses, and I now have use of the right sinus cavity at ca. 80%--yes, it helps on ALL my horns!!
    3. Of the three testers so far, I'm the one who performs most on a Yamaha 321--I use it to play horn parts in my quintet, and have done so for about 30 years. Since ACB wants to position the Doubler against the 321, I'll make sure to highlight that comparison.
    4. At some point in the last 30 years, I have owned a variety of horns--Yamaha 621, 641, 642 Neo; Willson 2900, 2905, Miraphone 5050, Sovereign 968, Mack 1150, etc., so my bases for comparison are ample.
    5. John's and Dave's reviews are extremely thorough--tough acts to follow, guys...
    6. I intend to make videos if and only if I can do justice to the instrument--Dave's sound quality is the best I've heard of these videos, and I'm not sure the video with Dr. White did the Doubler full justice.
    7. I'm rotating mouthpieces among a 4AL, SM 3.5, an Alliance E3A, and a Wedge 103

    INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:
    1. This instrument is VERY IMPRESSIVE! I love the way it blows--a good amount of back pressure for me--easy blowing but not an "air sucker."
    2. The upper register speaks nicely with normal effort--important to me for the type of stuff I like to do. Goes up to the screamer B flat nicely...I'll try to put that on a video without clipping the audio.
    3. The high B natural slots well with either 3 or 1-2, depending upon the mouthpiece.
    4. The high C (octave above Middle C) slots well with 1, 4, or open, depending upon mouthpiece.
    5. The high D can be fingered 34 different ways, and they're all ok...takes a bit more effort/concentration FOR ME to get it clean,, but whaddya want for two days?
    6. While the promotional material positions the Doubler against the Yamaha 321, I question ANY sonic comparison. The Doubler sounds infinitely richer and fuller than my 321. If I can get the sound good enough, I'll do a video, but I don't want to post anything that would shortchange the Doubler. I noted that one poster here preferred the sound of the 321 in the ACB video, but if that poster were in my basement with me, he'd notice that the Doubler is much fuller
    6.5 Position the Doubler as an alternative to the 321 and (MUCH) more horn for the money at the 321's price point, sure, but the Doubler's sound is much fuller.
    7. Following up on the sound--of all the horns I've owned, the Doubler reminds me most of the Sovereign 968 I had around 1990--and that's a compliment. The feel and response remind me very much of the 968.
    8. I do note some additional resistance on certain notes, as did Dave and John, but I'd bet we'd all acclimate if we could have the horn for more than a couple of days.
    9. I do wonder, though, if one or more valves might be slightly out of alignment. I tried to remove the back compensating slide on the first valve to check, but I was unable to remove it, and didn't dare force it.
    10, Having used a Mack 1150 for a while, I can say with certainty that the Doubler is a much nicer instrument--feels heftier, sounds fuller--any price over the Mack is well justified in terms of sound and build, especially the former.
    11. I love the floating leadpipe--my Sovereign 968 had one, and I believe it improves response/tone.
    12. I like the silencers in the top of the valve caps rather than in the bottom of the finger buttons--gives a firmer feel.
    13. Valves seem well machined--no rough edges. Can't say that about every horn I've owned.
    14. Is the lyre holder really necessary these days?

    SUMMARY: My first impression of the Doubler is extremely positive--I am really enjoying my test so far!!

    TOMORROW:
    *I'll weigh it--for some reason, I seem to have lost any scales in my house since my gym has been closed and Thanksgiving just ended...
    *I'll see if my heavy cap fits on the fourth valve...if it does, I'll see what difference it might make.
    *If there is some little detail that Dave and John overlooked, please let me know & I will try to test it.
    *If any forum members have questions, please ask & I'll try my best to respond.
    *I will try to make some videos if I can get a bit more face time on the instrument and get my Blue Snowball mic to respond well enough to do justice to the Doubler.
    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

  2. #2
    Nice review and comments, Jim. This is kinda fun, isn't it? I am hoping this sort of thing can happen with some sort of regularity in the future. Sure makes trying out horns easier.

    Yeah, the lyre holder thing is a good question, what for?? Unless you are also selling this to marching bands, which doesn't sound like the end user that ACB has in mind.

    Your comparisons with the Yamaha 321 are interesting. I suppose I could have compared the Doubler with my Wessex Dolce, but didn't. I will say they are both good in their own right, but different.

    Looking forward to any more comments, videos, etc.
    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 Snorlax View Post
    [...]
    I noted that one poster here preferred the sound of the 321 in the ACB video, but if that poster were in my basement with me, he'd notice that the Doubler is much fuller
    6.5 Position the Doubler as an alternative to the 321 and (MUCH) more horn for the money at the 321's price point, sure, but the Doubler's sound is much fuller.
    7. Following up on the sound--of all the horns I've owned, the Doubler reminds me most of the Sovereign 968 I had around 1990--and that's a compliment. The feel and response remind me very much of the 968.
    [...]
    (emphasis mine)

    Guilty as charged.
    Your observations are exciting.
    If others concur, this horn could be a category-killer at this price point.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    211

    Keep the lyre box please

    I, for one, vote to keep the lyre box. But then, I came up through the marching band side of brass music. It also makes other stand up gigs, Christmas caroling anyone?, easier. I remember looking into how much it was to add one after market. More than I wanted to pay. But to each their own. I just had to chime in on this one.
    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    880
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    (emphasis mine)

    Guilty as charged.
    Your observations are exciting.
    If others concur, this horn could be a category-killer at this price point.
    PLEASE don't misunderstand--it wasn't you! The audio in the ACB video did not do justice to either horn, IMHO, compared to playing both instruments at home in my basement.

    Of all the videos posted here, I most trust the ones Dave does in the church with Sara...that's a reverberant space that allows the horn and music to unfold properly, and the setup Dave uses takes advantage of that situation. On the next level are Dave's home videos, but I must confess that I can barely hear some of the fine distinctions in those "A/B" tests he does. Perhaps that's a result of too many years sitting next to drummers or bass trombone players.

    I'm gonna fiddle with my Blue Snowball mic this afternoon and see if I can get a full sound in video without doing audio separately and running it through Audacity to add reverb. If I can't do the Doubler justice, I'll confine my comments to posts here on the forum.

    Yes, the Doubler is a very nice instrument...since I've owned so many fine but different horns, I can place the Doubler in the upper group. I haven't played a JP, so I can't make that comparison.
    So, If you thought I was casting some shade at you, I'm sorry!!
    Jim
    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. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    880
    ATTENTION, ALL...

    If you have ANY questions about the ACB Doubler, please ask within the next day or two.

    Later today, I'll try to do a video and I will make a few comments comparing the Doubler to other horns I've owned recently. As much as I'd like to hold on to it for a while, I need to get to the next tester.

    Unfortunately, the groups I play in are on hiatus now, so I can't do an on-the-job test...but maybe I can sneak in to a church and make a few comparisons!

    John and Dave offered so many valuable insights, but on the off chance that any questions remain, please ask me by post here or via PM if you wish.

    Jim
    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

  7. Thanks so much Jim! I'm so happy it got there safe and sound. We'll look forward to hearing the updates!

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

  8. Snorlax,
    Naw, I wasn't thinking you were throwing shade at me at all
    Sorry that I didn't make that clear. In fact, I appreciate that you used my first impression as context.
    I did/do prefer the 321 in the original posted A/B, and if you are getting better results for the Doubler in your own real-life test, that's great news for the product.
    You think it's a good instrument, John Morgan agrees, and Dave Werden made it sound like Dave Werden, so I think this is all really promising -- more reviews to come, but they might have wiped out the under $5K field for $1700.
    I'm not so old that I won't have the pleasure to test it one day myself

  9. #9
    I would definitely love to read your thoughts on the comparison between the AB Doubler and the Yamaha Neo that you are using now!
    "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

    https://soundcloud.com/ashsparkle_chika
    https://www.youtube.com/user/AshTSparkle/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis area
    Posts
    880
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianeSparkle View Post
    I would definitely love to read your thoughts on the comparison between the AB Doubler and the Yamaha Neo that you are using now!
    Chrissie,
    Please read part II of my review & watch the videos!
    Jim
    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

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