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Thread: Embarking on a new euphonium adventure

  1. #1

    Embarking on a new euphonium adventure

    The short version is I need a kick in the rump to revitalise my playing. I fear the lockdown has caused my enthusiasm to wane because of ensemble playing, and I have, I suspect, developed a focal dystonia.

    Therefore I have purchased a Stratos embouchure tool, which seems to have nothing but glowing comments, although given my issues with reviews (!) I won't be paying any heed to them; and I am now actively looking into buying a new euphonium, namely an Adams E1 or E2. The E3 seems to have a different placed leadpipe which doesn't seem practical for me.

    Luckily I have also been chatting to Gary Curtin about this, as he now has an E1, and an appointment will be made with John Packer as soon as they me know they have stock.

    I have some idea of the specification I will be looking at, and some of it does fly in the face of somewhat trenchant opinions I have espoused in the past, most specifically that of yellow brass and main tuning slide trigger (for the avoidance of doubt, I suspect I will end up with both).

    I am quite looking forward to trying g these fascinating euphoniums out.
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    AR Resonance M Top / L Backbore Gold Plated Phosphor Bronze

  2. #2
    Please give some thought to providing your embouchure with a bit of rest. Trying to "play through" embouchure dystonia can make it worse.
    Sterling Virtuoso Euphonium, Denis Wick 4AL
    Besson New Standard

  3. #3
    I can't remember exactly what you mean about the E3's leadpipe placement, but the E1 is fantastic ergonomically. Compared to, say, a Willson it's a bit less "compact" but I find it's actually more comfortable to hold, especially at a slight angle. I'm also of the opinion (as I've probably already said on here more than once) that the E1 is a HIGHLY underrated model in euphonium world, and just because the E3 is a lot of people's preference doesn't mean the E1 isn't a better fit for some people, myself included.
    Sean

  4. #4
    Iím only going on what the photos on Adamsí website indicate, but it appears that the E3 lead pipe is set lower than the other two. Having played on Yamaha Customs, and Besson 966/8s, a low lead pipe is a deal breaker.

    It might of course only be a trick of perspective.

    As for the distonia, I am as yet unsure as to whether it is focal distonia or a an almost complete lack of embouchure strength caused by lack of proper playing. Iíve said it before but for me, home practice isnít the miracle that everyone suggests. I need to play in an ensemble to keep match fit. Otherwise itís a bit like practicing goalkeeping by yourself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    376
    I donít find the E3 lead pipe to be too low. I have a long torso so have always used a pillow to make sure the lead pipe is at a good level but itís no different than on my previous horn. A Willson 2900.

  6. I'm not sure the E3 leadpipe is set much lower (if at all) than the E1 or E2, based on comparing the placement of the leadpipe with the height of the valve block on each model.

    I think it appears lower on the E3 at first glance, because of how the connection between the bottom bow and bell is much higher on the E3 than on the other two. (similar to a Hirsbrunner, which the E3 is based on).
    Willson 2900 TA-1 Euphonium - Schilke 51D-E
    Yamaha YSL-643 Trombone - Hammond 12ML
    F.E. Olds Special Trombone (ca. 1941)
    VMI 3301S BBb Tuba

    Past:
    York Preference 3067 Euphonium - Denis Wick 4AL
    Benge 165F Trombone - Benge Marcellus
    Wessex BR140 Baritone - Denis Wick 6BS

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Fujiifilm View Post
    I'm not sure the E3 leadpipe is set much lower (if at all) than the E1 or E2, based on comparing the placement of the leadpipe with the height of the valve block on each model.

    I think it appears lower on the E3 at first glance, because of how the connection between the bottom bow and bell is much higher on the E3 than on the other two. (similar to a Hirsbrunner, which the E3 is based on).
    Bingo! I think that is exactly correct.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #8
    Packerís have been in touch to let me know the demo instruments will be in stock hopefully later this week, so next week I will scuttle off and have a try. A friend with decent ears has agreed to come along and I envisage the testing process will take no more than an hour - 15 minutes warm up and then 15 minutes per hooter. One mouthpiece - Alliance DC3, two bits of music - Horovitz Euphonium Concerto and Rimmerís The Cossack.

    I never understood why people feel the need to take so long trying something, especially if you have an assistant with an opinion you can trust. I guess if you narrow it down to a model, and then wish to investigate materials it might add some time, otherwise I would think it would be over quite quickly - maybe itís the trauma of witnessing the five hour ďTop C#Ē tester has affected me more than I thought. After an hour I will still be fresh both physically and mentally.

    I have two criteria - intonation and tonal consistency at high dynamics. Everything else I will adapt to, just like I have in moving from New Standard to 967 to Prestige to 966 to round stamp.

    I am extremely keen to try these euphoniums and see how much improvement they have made.

  9. Every time I try something and then come back and play it later, I usually have a different impression the second time around. It might be because I play it up against other horns, or with other mouthpieces, or when my chops feel different, or the wind is blowing a different direction.

    The truth is I'd be happy playing just about anything, and on a different day I'd be happy playing anything else. This is probably why I've ended up with a collection of horns and mouthpieces - one for every mood.

  10. #10
    I have been, I have played, I have returned. I can say without hesitation that the Adams range should be a compulsory audition for any serious euphonium player. I have never experienced such an improvement over what is a very good euphonium (my trusty '83 globe sovereign).

    Anyway, I tried and E1 (didn't like it - too light), and an E3 (didn't like it - too light) and an E2, which is best euphonium I have ever played. Standard 0.80 gauge yellow brass bell, no trigger and in BSP. All three showed up the Sovereign to an extent, but the E2 trumped it in every conceivable regard. Sound, intonation (although my automatic compensation will have to be turned off), resonance, all were superlative. The one thing all three had in common was a resonance in the middle lower register, which is where the majority of us spend the majority of our time I'd guess. I also didn't bother with the adjustable receiver gubbins - they were all in as far as they'd go.

    The E1 felt light and a little insubstantial. It didn't sound it, but like all lighter weight instruments didn't hold up to extremely forceful playing as well as the heavier hooter. Intonation was remarkable, for someone used to the foibles of a B&H flute. This instrument had a trigger which I didn't use but which seemed well designed, and sterling silver bell which looked gorgeous, especially against the lacquer body and valve block.

    The E3 felt even lighter and a result was clearly my least favourite. it felt small, but I doubt that it is any smaller than the other two. BSP finish so naturally a brighter sound than the E1. It reminded me a little of a Besson 967GS, which is never going to rest well with me,

    The E2 however, was wondrous.

    Soundwise it held up to the loudest playing, intonation unimpeachable, and the facility to change sound not found in the other models, this has a denser, fuller sound than the other two, and much more suited to a British Brass Band, I'd suggest. Ugly notes - top B, C#, and E (treble clef) spoke well especially the latter two. Bottom C# was flat but I guess this instrument has a true octave rather than the compressed octave of the B&H, so again familiarity will sort that. The harmonic series seemed more organised, if that makes sense. Top G seemed closer than it does on the B&H. Arpeggios were easier. I could gliss from low F to super F, which on the B&H is a 2/10 effect at best. I could also play much more quietly on the E2, and I pride myself on being able to play fairly quietly. Things just happened, and I could take risks with dynamics I simply can't with my trumpet.

    I made a lot of noise and probably drove myriad customers away, but I loved it. I played excerpts from Vinter's Spectrum, Mealor's Concerto, Wilby's Concerto, but the piece that really focused my mind on the difference? Arthur Pearce's arrangement of Toselli's Serenata.

    I could save you all the tedium of reading my thoughts by simply stating - I'm smitten, and am currently deciding between satin lacquer, and antique finish. Spec is basic - E2, yellow brass, trigger, and blue abalone buttons.

    If anyone is going to John Packer's to try them, I cannot recommend them highly enough, and the brass specialist Tom is a euphonium player, albeit a bass clef pirate so not entirely to be trusted. My dealings with them have been, and hopefully will continue to be, very pleasurable.
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    AR Resonance M Top / L Backbore Gold Plated Phosphor Bronze

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