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Thread: ACB/Mack/Wessex

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Summerfield, Florida
    Quote Originally Posted by EvanWeeks View Post
    John, you were right, it was sharp on that 1-2-3 B natural, by about 15-12 cents on avg. I can bend it down with no issues, though, so armed with that knowledge it shouldn't be but a little practice to memorize that.

    Working on a recording, might be ready by Monday.
    That sounds better, Evan. BTW, with these 4 valve compensating horns, you will probably want to play the low B natural (in the staff) using 2-4 rather than the way sharp 1-2-3. When traveling through a short/quick B natural note with a bunch of notes on either side of it, 1-2-3 is okey-dokey. But when landing on a B natural for a period of time, say a slow eighth note or a quarter note or longer, the 2-4 works much better (and easier) for good intonation. In fact, using the 4th valve with other valves or alone to improve intonation is one of the great benefits of a 4 valve compensating horn. And I think you already know that. Your Sinfonico sounds like a really nice horn. Wish I had one (I have to say that quietly or my very, very supportive wife may finally blow a fuse if I attempt to gather in another euphonium).
    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
    Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)

  2. Quote Originally Posted by EvanWeeks View Post

    I just went back and read that thread where you described your experience, including James Garney's response to the thread. I think Dave is right that it's very easy to over-blow this instrument. I've got the longer tuning slide pulled about a half inch from completely out at the moment, but that's better than when I started. I actually pushed it in a little today.

    When moving from my marching euph to this thing, I liken it to stepping out of a Ford F-150 and into a Porsche 911 GT2 RS. The marching euph is powerful and hauls a ton of sound, but the Sinfonico... it's a sensitive, touchy tool that wants to be stroked, told it's pretty and handled like the lady it is. I can't just blast a lungful of air into it and expect to be anywhere near in tune. If you relax and sigh into it and be gentle, there's a "sweet spot" with every pitch where the instrument just RESONATES. I stepped outside and played it, finding the center of the tone, and it just echoed like I was pushing great lung-fuls of air through the marching euph. It didn't take a ton of air, either, it's actually really cool when I can manage to get it right. That's what I'm working on now, is practicing with it a lot at finding those perfectly supported pitches a little easier and more naturally.

    I tell you, my embouchure, breathing and control are going to get WAY better as a result of using this instrument. I can already feel a difference just a few days in. I'm able to be more accurate with less effort. Now I just need to work on being CONSISTENTLY so.

    I don't know if I agree with Mr Garney's comment that the instrument won't be good for amateurs. I'm nothing if not an amateur, albeit a moderately talented one, and it seems to be working well for me. That said, it's not an instrument that you just pick up and instantly start ripping through the last few pages of the Arban's book with perfect tone and intonation (I couldn't do that with any instrument I own, but the point stands). While there's a definite "center" for every pitch, it will allow you to EASILY bend a half-tone up or down, and will take your lead on where to go. So, if you're in a situation where you need to play something with a certain intonation to fit into a chord, for example, this instrument will let you do that without fighting you on it at ALL. For me, this results in ME playing the pitch off-center almost effortlessly (and frustratingly frequently). It's just... agile, and compliant, and much gentler than any other brass instrument I've ever played, and it's highlighting that I need to work harder to be a better player. That's NOT a bad thing.
    An interesting position and I'm really glad your horn is working out for you.

    That said mine was a dog and I was only one of five people who thought similarly. Granted we are not pros but collectively we know how to play Euph/Baritone/Tuba/French Tuba and this thing was mercilessly sharp to the point where people wanted to measure the piping. No overblowing--one of us can barely blow at all. Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, it actually was a decent instrument. It was well put together and, though sharp, consistently within ten cents of being in tune with itself. I somewhat regret having to go in a different direction, and I regret Wessex' definition of "Customer Service" in my case.

    Sorry about the piece you had to return.

    Anyway I am where I was. I can get great customer service from ACB, Inderbinen, Getzen (for Willson), and so on, so it's not like I have no choice. I have had the opportunity to steer at least a few people far from Wessex, and I'll continue to do so, but if you've got a Porche 911 I can only wish I had had the same!

  3. #43
    New Euph spotted on TikTok!
    Wessex Sinfonico Euphonium
    Leuchter Bass Sackbut
    Conn 88H
    Bach 50B3
    Cool Winds Tuba Blue!

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