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Thread: ACB/Mack/Wessex

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  1. #1


    Been lurking for a couple of days, learning a lot, getting ready to buy an instrument, after 20 years or so. Noticed some of the threads were pretty old so am asking for current info/opinions.

    Currently I am looking at the ACB Doubler, Mack Brass 1150, and the Wessex Sinfonico. ACB seems to be out of stock? There is also a Tuba exchange TE 2052 demo model available. It is slightly used, but would have been vey well broken in, taken care of by staff.

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Summerfield, Florida
    Welcome to the forum btrbcomposer!

    The ACB Doubler, Mack Brass 1150 and Wessex Dolce are in the same relative price range. I own the Wessex Dolce and it is a fine horn for the $1200 I spent a few years ago, it is a little bit more now. I also tried out the ACB Doubler at home recently as part of a traveling try out experiment between ACB and 4 of us here on the Forum. It, too, is a fine horn for the price point. I find these two horns fairly similar in quality and playability. One more similar to a Yamaha, the other more similar to a Besson. The Mack Brass, from all accounts, is also a fairly nice horn, but I have no experience with it, and it is also the cheapest of the three.

    The Wessex Sinfonico is hand made and about twice what the Doubler and Dolce cost. From all accounts, this is a very nice horn and a clear notch above the other three mentioned above. If I had $3K, I would be inclined to get the Sinfonico, if I only had half that, either the Dolce or Doubler would be my choice.

    All of these horns come from China, so there is sometimes a wait. Wessex usually gets shipments every 3 months or so. Wessex travels to China before each shipment to quality check each horn before accepting them. They probably have the most stringent quality control of the several brands above. The Doubler offers several different finishes and has a satin brass finish which is very striking.

    I don't know anything about the TE 2052 (other than the fact the seem to have stolen the number from Besson).

    There are a wealth of reviews in the Euph Brands section, just do a search for the instrument you want to check. I have done reviews for both the Wessex and Doubler.

    Good luck with your search and choice and again, welcome to our little corner of the universe. You will find it welcoming, friendly, and highly useful.
    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)

  3. The TE 2052 design sounds like it's based off the Besson 2052. Here's a post I found about it:

    It sounds like you are in a very similar situation to mine a little bit ago. I was looking for a euphonium after taking a 20 year break and was eager to find an instrument. I looked around, but the only one that was immediately available was a Demo Tuba Exchange 1150S (TE-1150S) or the equivalent Mack Brass 1150S. The Wessex and ACB Euphoniums were out of stock. I didn't have the budget for a Wessex Sinfonico.

    Thought #1: I really wanted to play immediately

    Other thoughts: The TE-1150S I eventually bought was a demo model. I went through the same thought process as you and was thinking that if I was going to buy a Chinese stencil that I couldn't try out in person, I wanted some assurance it was a good one. I reasoned that they would have chosen a good one to use as a Demo (showroom model) instrument and that it would have been "broken" in which would have revealed any manufacturing issues. Also, it would come professionally cleaned, which I kind of wanted (I was so eager to play I didn't want to even spend time to clean it when I got the instrument).

    Tuba Exchange Experience: I can say that they were very responsive and the instrument shipped immediately and arrived in about a week. I asked exactly what shape the instrument was in and they sent very detailed pictures of every defect to me.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by 1Cor13:4; 03-19-2021 at 07:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Sinfonico has been ordered!

  5. Let us know how it plays!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Summerville (SC)
    Hello BTRBComposer, and congrats for pulling the trigger on Sinfonico!

    What is the ETA on your unit? If the wessex site is correct, Sinfonico is in stock, so your wait should not be too long.

    My Wessex Festivo came with the standard 4Y mouthpiece.... An MP with a Slightly dry tone, and was not my favorite... It is my understanding that Sinfonico might ship with the same. At some point I adopted the Wick 4AL, which much prefer it over Wessex 4Y.... But -- oh so recently -- I have been much intrigued by the results of Dave Werden's comparative experimentation with the Alliance DC3 versus his 4AL, thus there might be a DC3 or DC4 somewhere in my future.

    I hope you will post a youtube demo of your upcoming Sinfonico!

    Regards, Guido
    Wessex EP104 Festivo + DC4, SM4U, 51D

  7. Please note that the Alliance number system and Wick numbering system do not coincide. At 26 mm, the Wick 4 (4AL, SM4, SM4U, Sm4X, SM4UX) is equivalent to the Alliance 3 (DC3, E3).

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

  8. #8
    If I remember correctly, two plus decades ago, I used either a 2G or 4G, probably the 2G. I was doubling on tuba as well as my usual bass bone back then.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Summerville (SC)
    Hello Doug, thank you for reminding everyone of the nominal equivalency of the 26.00 millimeters DC3 cup size with Wick 4 sizes.

    While this is slightly OT, my indecision about eventually/possibly/may-be getting DC3 or DC4 stem from the mixed reports I read on this forum about whether DC3 "feels" larger, or same size, or smaller on the chops than the Wick 4AL.

    What might the reality be? Might it depend on the particular 4AL and DC3 vintage? My own 4AL, for example, is but 2 years old. Or might individual chops be a factor in the perception differences?

    My friend Richard (the one with III in his moniker) has suggested that a player of my biological seniorhood combined with a doutless very junior chopmanship might very well benefit from a slightly smaller cup diameter than 4AL. Thus, if I ever obtain leave from SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed a.k.a wife *Rolls Eyes!*) to spring for a David Childs MP, I might want to consider the slightly smaller 25.75mm DC4 rather than the 26.00mm DC3.


    Regards, Guido
    Wessex EP104 Festivo + DC4, SM4U, 51D

  10. #10
    It is here, a day earlier than expected! Got a lot of work to do on my chops to get them up to speed to do this horn right, but it is a blast to play. Already decided I don't like their mouthpiece, have my old Bach 2G and 4G, leaning towards the 2, love to play the bottom ranges.

    And they sent me a hat!

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