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Thread: Thoughts on Tuba Exchange Horns?

  1. Thoughts on Tuba Exchange Horns?

    Hi all, first post here.

    I've been looking for an inexpensive euphonium recently for the purpose of doubling. I know of Mack Brass, Wessex, and ACB and their reputation for selling very good, inexpensive horns. Are TE horns (such as the 1150) comparable to these in terms of quality, tone, and intonation? What professional horns does it resemble in terms of sound profile? Is it worth purchasing one, especially on a discount?

    Thanks!

  2. I have no experience of how the TE euphonium plays, but just looking at the pictures is has some strange configuration for tubing, which will affect how it sound but good or bad I couldn’t say.

    To be honest the other two brands you mentioned both state being play tested, and are a similar price point, this would give me a better assurance regarding the quality.

    Having listened to a YouTube video of a tuba exchange euphonium it sounds awful! Like it’s got a practice mute stuck in it! No resonance at all, very weird…

    Be interested if anyone has had a positive experience that differs from that YouTube video as the brand has been around a while…

  3. Quote Originally Posted by Jharris View Post
    I have no experience of how the TE euphonium plays, but just looking at the pictures is has some strange configuration for tubing, which will affect how it sound but good or bad I couldn’t say.

    To be honest the other two brands you mentioned both state being play tested, and are a similar price point, this would give me a better assurance regarding the quality.

    Having listened to a YouTube video of a tuba exchange euphonium it sounds awful! Like it’s got a practice mute stuck in it! No resonance at all, very weird…

    Be interested if anyone has had a positive experience that differs from that YouTube video as the brand has been around a while…
    Thanks for your reply. It'd probably be better to stick with the known brands, like those I mentioned above, rather than taking a risk on something that might not work out well. However, I won't disregard it outright for now.

    Can you send a link to the video you're referring to?

    Thanks!

  4. https://youtu.be/Atqd5UNWwvU

    It sounds so like a practice mute is in it… that it might have and not shown him putting it in….

  5. Ah yes, this is the same one I have seen as well. I think that the issues in sound can be blamed less on itself and more on the environment the horn's being played in: a large convention hall with multiple other people playing instruments in close proximity or simply talking. Additionally, the recording device he is using (presumptively a phone) could be recording his sound poorly. It might also be what you suggested: that there's an unshown mute in the horn, though I find it unlikely that this man would post a quick evaluation of a horn with a mute inside.

    Maybe I'm just making excuses for the hon because I want it to be good, but I feel like I'd need a better example, good or bad, to go off of.

  6. I have a TE 1150. The 1150 is a Chinese stencil horn and should be identical to the Mack Brass EU1150. There are a few different sellers of 1150 euphoniums, it's the same instrument, just with their own brand stenciled on it.

    The reason to buy a 1150 from TE or Mack Brass rather than some other company is that TE or Mack Brass checks out the instruments they receive from the Chinese factory and might make slight adjustments. This gives you some assurance you aren't getting a lemon. Also, they have good customer support.

    The 1150s are decent instruments, at least to my untrained ears =)
    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4

    And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

  7. Thanks for the response! I was wondering if there were some similarities between those two horns.

    This puts my mind at a little more ease about the horn, though I still do have reservations about the stencils in general. I think with the amount of good reviews I've read it'll be a safe buy, but I want to make sure.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor13:4 View Post
    I have a TE 1150. The 1150 is a Chinese stencil horn and should be identical to the Mack Brass EU1150.
    Yes, in my experience the TE euphs have always been generic Jin Bao products. But I don't know if they may have changed that recently. They are more expensive than Mack Brass, but what you're paying for there is a kind of "service" and perhaps "comfort". When the time came for me to buy a euph some years ago, I had the choice of ordering from Mack Brass or just driving up to TE (about 45 minutes) and getting one. I chose Mack Brass and don't regret it.

    There are a few different sellers of 1150 euphoniums, it's the same instrument, just with their own brand stenciled on it.
    Yup -- including Schiller (Jim Laabs). These horns are basically a "commodity" or a "generic". But they're quite good horns.

    The reason to buy a 1150 from TE or Mack Brass rather than some other company is that TE or Mack Brass checks out the instruments they receive from the Chinese factory and might make slight adjustments. This gives you some assurance you aren't getting a lemon. Also, they have good customer support.
    Tom McGrady is wholly trustworthy and honest, and provides good customer support. So far as I know, TE is as well -- and they have one of the very best brass repairmen in the area doing their service.

    Based on my own experience I have always been highly skeptical about the degree of "play testing" and overall inspection that ANY of these places devotes to an instrument. I discount these claims other than the belief that mostly someone may blow through the instrument and see if it produces a sound. But really, don't expect more than that from such vendors. I've received instruments (from Mack, Jim Laabs, and Wessex) that had a variety of minor flaws in them. Not to the degree that they needed to be replaced or (generally) significantly repaired -- but to the degree that it's hard to believe that anyone claiming to provide close customer support, inspection, and play testing would have let it out of the shop and shipped it to a customer without at least some minor work or part replacement or adjustment. This includes such things as really crappy valve felts/corks, and bottom or top cap threads that were severely poorly cut. In at least one case I got an instrument that obviously had never been removed from the plastic bag inside its case and with a misaligned slide.

    But all these instruments are, in a clear sense, "economy grade" and while you should have reasonable expectations, your expectations can't be too high. I've always replaced the valve corks and felts on them immediately, and sometimes the springs.

    The 1150s are decent instruments, at least to my untrained ears =)
    Yes. I used to sit next to someone in band who played one of these. It was in all respects indistinguishable from my Mack Brass euph, but he had paid more for it -- in large part because he got it locally and felt more comfortable with that. In a sense, I got my Mack Brass euph in the same locale. That is, I drove up to the Durham, NC Greyhound station (just a couple of miles from TE) and picked it up.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Schilke 66
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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