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Thread: Buying without trying? - Adams E3

  1. #21
    The decision's been made, so any further comment toward a recommendation is a moot point, but I want to chime in anyway with my thoughts on the Adams E2.

    First and most important - for whatever reason, all the Adams euphs I tried - E1 and E2 (have not tried the E3 and probably won't, unless at a conference), they were consistently flat for me. About 30 cents flat, sometimes more depending on the pitch/valve combination. So while I am a big fan of Adams euphs, any horn I purchased would have to be cut down at the factory.

    Miel and the boys did that, and they nailed the pitch perfectly.

    The only note that is even more than a little out of tune is 4th space G in the bass clef. It's about 40 cents sharp, so the workaround is to finger than note 3rd valve, which aligns the pitch very well.

    I do not need a trigger with my E2 (purchased 2017, btw). I cannot say the same for the 967 and the Sterling Virtuoso I owned. Not only were the triggers finicky and needed more maintenance than I thought reasonable (I had Dan Schultz, the Tuba Tinker, install an after-market trigger on the 967), the added weight was a distraction.

    My E2 is a standard yellow brass bell, silver plated. Adams' brochure says the bell thickness is 0.031", which is heavier than the E1 I owned at one time (and I prefer the heavier brass). I never quite got used to the SS bell that I had on my E1, so it wasn't a sell item for me.

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that this kind of customization can be and is done by Adams. I get a great horn with a great sound, a 6th partial that does NOT need a trigger to tame, and it's my go-to horn for all manner of playing.
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-1950s)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)

  2. #22
    I have had a couple of people say their Adams was flat - haven't found mine to be so - tuning slide if anything is slightly further out than on my B&H Sovereign. Agree with points about tuning and the G (treble middle A) being sharp - most of the time I play it on 3rd and it's fine, depending on the role of the note in the chord.

    It probably sounds a little bit obsessional to those who've not tried an Adams but the intonation is so much better than on any other euphonium I've played, and I have played and owned some pretty exotic stuff. I absolutely bloody love my E2, and am very glad I took the (marginal) risk.
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    AR Resonance M Top / L Backbore Gold Plated Phosphor Bronze

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    368
    Intonation on my E3 with SS bell is easily the best of any horn Iíve played. I had mine built with the tuning slide shortened a bit. The 1st and 2nd valve combinations in the treble clef staff are sharp. I play the concert D and G with third valve and that is just slightly sharp

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida
    Posts
    1,604
    I have to admit that what I will say sounds a bit unbelievable, but it is actually the case for me. I received my custom Adams E3 (0.60 gauge brass, SS bell, trigger) in 2016, just over 6 years ago. Initially and even after playing it for a while, it tended to play on the flat side. I had to be really warmed up and have the main slide usually all in to play in tune. But I did get it figured out and it worked for me, although I would have liked the horn to be pitched a wee bit higher than it was. This would be so that I could have the main slide out half an inch or more when in tune to give me room to go in either direction.

    Fast forward to now. I have since added a SS leadpipe and a new main trigger setup (which mostly made changes to the main tuning slide so that one leg is male, and the other is female). I have also had the hand brace strengthened with an additional weld on each side.

    Now, I have the main tuning slide out perhaps 3/4 of an inch when I am warmed up and ready to play. This has been the case even before the above changes, which were made within the last year. So don't ask me how this has happened. Perhaps I play differently? I am using the same mouthpiece as I have from day one, so no difference there. I am right now just about older than dirt, so maybe that makes some kind of difference. Maybe there is so much crud in my horn (I surely hope not, yuk!) that it shortened the length somehow.

    In any event, the tuning has long since become a non-issue on my beloved Adams E3. By the way, it did take a bit to get used to the SS leadpipe. It is surprising, or maybe not, how some seemingly minor changes can have a substantial effect on the playability and sound of a horn. Adams truly allows one to do so many custom things to a 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)

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Now, I have the main tuning slide out perhaps 3/4 of an inch when I am warmed up and ready to play. This has been the case even before the above changes, which were made within the last year. So don't ask me how this has happened. Perhaps I play differently? I am using the same mouthpiece as I have from day one, so no difference there. I am right now just about older than dirt, so maybe that makes some kind of difference. Maybe there is so much crud in my horn (I surely hope not, yuk!) that it shortened the length somehow.
    Oh, boy - that one may keep me up tonight! I've been trying to figure out a logical reason for this, but I can't. No doubt it is real, and I have experienced similar things myself over the years. But I like knowing WHY!!
    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

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Magikarp View Post
    I have had a couple of people say their Adams was flat - haven't found mine to be so - tuning slide if anything is slightly further out than on my B&H Sovereign. Agree with points about tuning and the G (treble middle A) being sharp - most of the time I play it on 3rd and it's fine, depending on the role of the note in the chord.

    It probably sounds a little bit obsessional to those who've not tried an Adams but the intonation is so much better than on any other euphonium I've played, and I have played and owned some pretty exotic stuff. I absolutely bloody love my E2, and am very glad I took the (marginal) risk.
    Adams does offer a "shortened" tuning slide which ostensibly compensates for the flat horn, indicating that Adams is aware of this issue to some level. But after having tried the shortened tuning slide, it didn't help much at all. I had to send back the first E2 I tried through Baltimore Brass, and then made arrangements through Austin Custom Brass to get an otherwise stock E2 (0.8mm yellow brass bell, silver-plated) cut down at the factory. And yes, I bought the horn sight unseen and without having the benefit of playing it first. It worked out famously, I think.

    I should also mention that the cutting process resulted in the necessity of removing the first valve button before the valve can be removed from the casing. Small price to pay for a great horn!
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-1950s)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    This conversation for me highlights how there is still so much for us to learn about instrument design and its relationship to the player. In fact the other thing that became very apparent to me during this process was the difference a mouthpiece can make to intonation (or perhaps more accurately, how large of a difference it can make). I made brief mention about it when I wrote about the testing of the Shires and Eastman. But in relation to the Prestige, when I wrote my previous post I was using my Alliance 3A on the Prestige. I've since swapped to the Alliance 2 that came with the instrument and interestingly it had a significant and positive effect for me personally with intonation on the Prestige, so much so that a number of notes don't require trigger now. And I found that the mouthpiece switch didn't negatively impact any other aspects of my playing, so I'm calling that a win.

    I think this experience for me plus what others have said above about mods to their Adams horns really highlights how we all have a combination out there that will fit us, unfortunately it just may be a bit of a process (often with quite a bit of money involved) to narrow that down.

    I will say the discussion does make me a tad envious that I wasn't able to try an Adams but this Prestige is beautiful and I have no regrets.
    SE Shires Trombone (1G Bell, TB47 Slide, Tru-bore valve), Bach 5GS Mouthpiece
    Besson Prestige 2052-8G, Alliance 2 Mouthpiece
    Yamaha YCR2330 Cornet

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Woltz View Post
    This conversation for me highlights how there is still so much for us to learn about instrument design and its relationship to the player. In fact the other thing that became very apparent to me during this process was the difference a mouthpiece can make to intonation (or perhaps more accurately, how large of a difference it can make). I made brief mention about it when I wrote about the testing of the Shires and Eastman. But in relation to the Prestige, when I wrote my previous post I was using my Alliance 3A on the Prestige. I've since swapped to the Alliance 2 that came with the instrument and interestingly it had a significant and positive effect for me personally with intonation on the Prestige, so much so that a number of notes don't require trigger now. And I found that the mouthpiece switch didn't negatively impact any other aspects of my playing, so I'm calling that a win.

    I think this experience for me plus what others have said above about mods to their Adams horns really highlights how we all have a combination out there that will fit us, unfortunately it just may be a bit of a process (often with quite a bit of money involved) to narrow that down.

    I will say the discussion does make me a tad envious that I wasn't able to try an Adams but this Prestige is beautiful and I have no regrets.
    Agreed about design and the individual. Lots and lots of variables to contend with!

    I didn't go crazy trying to find the perfect mouthpiece, but I did try more than a few in attempting to address the flatness issue in my Sterling Virtuoso and also in the E1 I owned. Nothing seemed to help appreciably, so that's when I decided to see just how "custom" Adams was willing to go to address my issue. Curiously, I've played at least a half dozen Bessons and a couple of Yamahas over the years and never had this issue. It surfaced only with the Sterling and then with the Adams. It no doubt has no effect on others, but it did me. I'm grateful to Adams for knowing exactly how far down to cut this horn. When I'm warm in an ambient-temperature room, I'll have the tuning slide pulled out maybe a half inch.

    Good luck with your Prestige!
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-1950s)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    368
    Quote Originally Posted by Woltz View Post
    This conversation for me highlights how there is still so much for us to learn about instrument design and its relationship to the player. In fact the other thing that became very apparent to me during this process was the difference a mouthpiece can make to intonation (or perhaps more accurately, how large of a difference it can make). I made brief mention about it when I wrote about the testing of the Shires and Eastman. But in relation to the Prestige, when I wrote my previous post I was using my Alliance 3A on the Prestige. I've since swapped to the Alliance 2 that came with the instrument and interestingly it had a significant and positive effect for me personally with intonation on the Prestige, so much so that a number of notes don't require trigger now. And I found that the mouthpiece switch didn't negatively impact any other aspects of my playing, so I'm calling that a win.

    I think this experience for me plus what others have said above about mods to their Adams horns really highlights how we all have a combination out there that will fit us, unfortunately it just may be a bit of a process (often with quite a bit of money involved) to narrow that down.

    I will say the discussion does make me a tad envious that I wasn't able to try an Adams but this Prestige is beautiful and I have no regrets.
    Only a theory but it could be when we put more air though a horn and rely more on the diaphragm than the embouchure we have better control over intonation. Changing to a larger mouthpiece forces the player to use more air.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post
    Only a theory but it could be when we put more air though a horn and rely more on the diaphragm than the embouchure we have better control over intonation. Changing to a larger mouthpiece forces the player to use more air.
    I never did try the same brand of mouthpiece on the Shires as I compared my Alliance 3A vs the Shires 5 that was shipped with the Q41. The Shires mouthpiece I played much flatter on than the Alliance (although the 3A was a bigger mouthpiece so perhaps something to do with depth they insert into the receiver?).

    In the case of the Prestige I believe your hypothesis may be correct, the slightly larger mouthpiece (Alliance 2) requires me to use a bit more air (a requirement for the Prestige to sound its best anyway).

    I'm so curious now about trying a larger mouthpiece for my trombone as well because I tended to play a bit sharp on my trombone in the past but I'd always been reluctant to go bigger than a 5GS for fear of losing high range.
    SE Shires Trombone (1G Bell, TB47 Slide, Tru-bore valve), Bach 5GS Mouthpiece
    Besson Prestige 2052-8G, Alliance 2 Mouthpiece
    Yamaha YCR2330 Cornet

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