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Thread: Buying without trying? - Adams E3

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14

    Buying without trying? - Adams E3

    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd seek some input from what appears to be a very knowledgeable and supportive community here.

    Firstly my background. I've been playing brass instruments since I was a child and actually passed up an opportunity to study music (Trombone as my primary instrument) at University when I was 18. I've always played in Brass Bands (mostly on Trombone but did do a stint on Baritone as well) but have ventured to the dark side to play with orchestras and concert bands on occasion when they required help to fill parts for Trombones. Recently I relocated and joined a Brass Band that I played with 4 years ago. When I rocked up to rehearsal they had coverage on Trombone but they were short a Euph player and asked if I'd be happy to fill that spot. I happily said yes as I've always had a soft spot for Euph. As a Euph currently isn't part of my instrument collection they provided me with a mid 80's 966 Sovereign to use. However I'd really like to purchase my own instrument (purely for playing in the brass band) which leads me to my current dilemma to which I'd love to hear some of your thoughts.

    I'm in Australia so the ability to try large numbers of different brands and models is made more difficult, compared to the US for example, but I should be able to get my hands on any of the following to try (although maybe not at the same time):

    2052 Prestige (AUD$15,599)
    967T Sovereign 180th Anniversary (waiting on price but the regular 967T is AUD$14,299)
    Shires Q41 (AUD$9,499)
    Yamaha 642ST (AUD$10,999)
    Yamaha 842ST (AUD$13,499)
    Eastman 526S (AUD$5,999)

    All of the above prices are retail prices so I expect I would be able to get a discount.

    However the one instrument that I am unable to try which I like the look of is the Adams. There is a dealer here in Australia but they don't stock any instruments, it's order only.

    If any of you are curious these are the prices I've been quoted on the Adams.
    Adams E3 Select (AUD$10,995)
    Adams E3 Custom w/SS bell, gold brass body, 0.6, no trigger (AUD$13,795)

    So my question is this, would you buy an Adams Euphonium without having put your hands on one and played one?

  2. If you know what you want you can safely order a Adams Euphonium. They have good quality control and a great service and guarantee.

    If eventually something is wrong they will no doubt fix it and provide fantastic service.

    If it would give you peace of mind you could get someone to check (and play test) the instrument before shipping. I live relatively close to the factory and would be glad to test an do some kind of quality control on the instrument if you would want me to.

    I play (and enjoy) a Adams E3 SS bell myself and can honestly say itís the best euphonium Iíve every played. And Iíve played (and tested) a lotÖ

    Pm me if there is anything I could do for you!

    Ps: Iím not connected to Adams in any other way then me being a happy customerÖ
    Last edited by DutchEupho; 05-17-2022 at 07:19 AM. Reason: Extra infoÖ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    375
    I have pretty much the same horn as DutchEupho and bought it without trying. My decision was based on what I read here and how it fit my needs and wants. I have no regrets. Itís easily the best horn Iíve ever played. Tone quality is luscious, intonation is first rate and the quality is excellent. The SS bell took some time to adjust to but you can get it to sparkle. You might also consider the SS lead pipe which I donít have but a few here do.

  4. I’m slightly biased as I used a Yamaha for years in college, but the 642S is pretty robust. Now for brass band sounds, I would try to go for the 842S due to how well it blends in a band setting. Personally I would try to look for a used 842S without the trigger, because in my opinion it is unnecessary. You would be happy with all of these instruments, but I would test out everything above.

    The only one is Adam’s, their instruments are extremely well made and play just a finely. The E3 would fit the brass band sound, but unless you are familiar with the SS bell I’d get a E3 select. The response and feeling of the SS bell is not for everyone, and it takes some getting used to. I think for brass band playing and anything else the E3 select would be a fine option if you decide it is fine to take the chance!
    Adams E1 Gold Brass Bell and SS Leadpipe
    Undergrad at Angelo State
    Future TA at University of Oklahoma

  5. #5
    I agree the sterling silver bell may not be for everyone, although it can be wonderful when used to its best advantage. An interesting alternative I have tried was an E3 in yellow brass of .70 thickness. It is VERY close in tonal characteristics to the sterling bell .60 that I have, but many would find it "friendlier" to play. Its feedback to the player is more assuring because the bell radiates more like other horns you have played.

    On the other hand, I heard 3 pros playing a special feature with a large brass band in a large hall. The horns were an Adams like mine (sterling bell and .60), a Willson 2900, and a Besson 2052. The Adams not only had the best tonal color for my taste (which leans toward traditional British-make Besson sound), but it projected the best of any of the 3.

    I'm not sure of current pricing, but ordering .70 yellow would probably save you well of $1k compared to the sterling silver.
    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. #6
    All Adams hooters are brilliant. The E3 wasnít for me but I can see why theyíd appeal - more so than the E1.

    Build quality is superb so Iíd guess thereís little risk of a real dog making its way into the hands of a customer.

    I did give serious thought to sterling silver bobbins but ultimately was so happy with the standard E2 felt it was a step too far.

    Whatever you decide on, you will love an Adams euphonium.

  7. #7
    Hmm, I find it slightly amusing to see this post pop up along with four answers within an hour of posting. This is a euph-oriented forum with a very active community and a lot of knowledgeable members and interesting topics along with helpful comments, but when it comes to questions like these (“Should I buy *insert brand/piece of equipment*?”) you’ll most often get answers that are subjective, keep that in mind.

    Coming back to your question; the list of euphoniums you said are available to you seem to be decent options, yet 2 of them caught my eye:

    -Besson Sovereign 967T 180th anniversary edition - This is in essence nothing more than a normal 967T with 2 lines of extra engraving and a cosmetic that is very hard to maintain AND you pay extra for. These horns were also made in 2018 so the fact that this instrument has been laying on the shelf for a couple of years now and is still for sale doesn’t really predict that this is a very good instrument.

    -Eastman 526S - I do not have any experience with Eastman brass instruments but I do know that they are made in China. Chinese produced instruments aren’t bad per se, but their European brand-name equivalents are regarded as better-quality instruments and retain their value way better.

    And now for the actual question:
    Quote Originally Posted by Woltz View Post
    So my question is this, would you buy an Adams Euphonium without having put your hands on one and played one?
    Well that depends. Buying a euphonium is comparable to buying a car in my opinion. There’s a diversity of brands, qualities, price-points , etc. But would you ever buy a car without seeing it in person beforehand, let alone driving it before pulling the trigger? Right now you seem to be set on buying a custom BMW, which is fine if that is what you want, but even a high-quality brand like BMW can sometimes produce a turd of a car riddled with problems.

    I noticed over the years that buying/ordering instruments off the internet seems to be way more common in places like the US compared to Europe where I live. That also makes sense considering the US is literally a country the size of continent where as in Europe you’ll have everything much closer by, including music stores.

    To conclude this comment: please try the instruments out by yourself before buying if you are able to. A musical instrument is a tool that has to meet your requirements and style playing (“The wand chooses you, Harry!”). As others have already pointed out Adams is a very high-quality brand with great service if you decide to go that route, but consider the fact that if something is wrong it will be pain to get it sorted from Australia.
    Music educator - Brass Instruments Enthusiast - Euphonium Player
    2019 Besson Sovereign 967T-2 - Alliance DC3

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida
    Posts
    1,610
    I bought my Adams E3 (Sterling Silver bell, 0.6 gauge, trigger which wasn't really necessary, brushed brass, fully engraved bell) without ever seeing an Adams in person. All pretty much based on some reviews and comments by a select few well-known and world-class players. I have owned Besson, Miraphone, Yamaha, Hirsbrunner, and with some of these, many samples. I have to say after more than 6 years, it is unquestionably the best euphonium I have ever owned/played. I recently had an upgrade done to the trigger and main tuning slide, as well as added a Sterling Silver leadpipe. WOW!! I love this horn. The sound is just simply incredible. I agree the Sterling Silver bell (and now leadpipe) take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, what a sound.

    I was playing on another horn for a couple months while my Adams got the recent upgrades. Everyone in the band could immediately notice the difference once I got my Adams back.

    Sure, my opinion about my horn is my opinion, and to the extent that I say the sound is great, that could be considered subjective. But I know what I like, and I love the sound of the Adams. I play solos with some of the groups I am in, and I continually get very nice comments on the horn, both for its looks and for its sound. To me, the single most important thing I look for in a euphonium is the sound. All other things are secondary. But the horn is also built beautifully, things feel high quality, and I have not ever had a horn that I like the looks of more than this one.

    I have an extensive review of my Adams in the Euph Brands sub-category along with many pictures. Take a look. 2016 time frame.

    So, to answer your question of "would you buy an Adams Euphonium without having put your hands on one and played one?", my answer is yes. But it certainly doesn't hurt to be able to play one before purchasing one.
    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)

  9. #9
    If I lived in Australia, I probably wouldn't buy one sight unseen--the cost is too great. They're really fine euphoniums, and I've mostly played Adams over the last 10 years. I've found the sterling bellied ones are the truly special euphs. But the safest one on your list is the least expensive, a new Yamaha 642, which will sound great and blend beautifully with the other instruments in the band.

    I know the Adams people read this list--maybe they should consider seeding the market by shipping one down to their dealer on consignment. If you like it, you could buy it....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by DutchEupho View Post

    If it would give you peace of mind you could get someone to check (and play test) the instrument before shipping. I live relatively close to the factory and would be glad to test an do some kind of quality control on the instrument if you would want me to.

    Pm me if there is anything I could do for you!
    Thanks I will absolutely keep that in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by bayoung36 View Post
    I’m slightly biased as I used a Yamaha for years in college, but the 642S is pretty robust. Now for brass band sounds, I would try to go for the 842S due to how well it blends in a band setting. Personally I would try to look for a used 842S without the trigger, because in my opinion it is unnecessary. You would be happy with all of these instruments, but I would test out everything above.
    To be honest I've heard recordings of the 842 and 642 back to back and I wasn't really sold on the sound of the 842. The 642 however I thought sounded quite good.

    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I agree the sterling silver bell may not be for everyone, although it can be wonderful when used to its best advantage. An interesting alternative I have tried was an E3 in yellow brass of .70 thickness. It is VERY close in tonal characteristics to the sterling bell .60 that I have, but many would find it "friendlier" to play. Its feedback to the player is more assuring because the bell radiates more like other horns you have played.

    On the other hand, I heard 3 pros playing a special feature with a large brass band in a large hall. The horns were an Adams like mine (sterling bell and .60), a Willson 2900, and a Besson 2052. The Adams not only had the best tonal color for my taste (which leans toward traditional British-make Besson sound), but it projected the best of any of the 3.

    I'm not sure of current pricing, but ordering .70 yellow would probably save you well of $1k compared to the sterling silver.
    Thanks for your comments Dave. I actually listened to your back to back comparison of the two horns (without looking at which was A and which was B) and other than the high range tone in the Holst, I thought your SS had the nicer sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by JTJ View Post
    I know the Adams people read this list--maybe they should consider seeding the market by shipping one down to their dealer on consignment. If you like it, you could buy it....
    That would be perfect, but I won't hold my breath as we are certainly a much smaller market than the US and Europe

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