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Thread: Buying without trying? - Adams E3

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
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    Perth, Western Australia
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    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Vito View Post
    ...youíll most often get answers that are subjective, keep that in mind.
    Agreed that the responses will be subjective but it still gives me a little more information to work with to inform my decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vito View Post
    -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 doesnít 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 arenít bad per se, but their European brand-name equivalents are regarded as better-quality instruments and retain their value way better.
    As for the Sovereign, I know the reasons behind why it hasn't been sold yet and I'm comfortable with that (particularly given I would be able to play test it first), however I do note your comment about maintaining the finish and whilst I do really like the appearance of the frosted finish I may elect to get a regular 967T if I went the direction of the Sovereign.

    The Eastman isn't really on my list to be honest, it just happens to be one that I think I can get hold of to try relatively easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vito View Post
    But would you ever buy a car without seeing it in person beforehand, let alone driving it before pulling the trigger?
    In the right circumstance then yes. I have previously bought a car without driving it.

    I also actually purchased my Shires (pre-Eastman) Trombone without seeing or playing it due to circumstances where it just wasn't possible to get somewhere to try a range of instruments. I've had that instrument 15 years now and I've still not found anything I prefer over it (although I've yet to put my hands on the Rath Trombones).

    But I do agree in general with your point that it is much better to try these things before handing over your hard earned money.

  2. #12
    Contact Matt van Emmerick and ask him if he can help you - you might be able to attend a Victoria Brass rehearsal and play his Shires which could help. Matt also previously endorsed Adams and can give you his take on the horns. For myself, my favorite horn I've ever owned was an Adams E3 0.6mm with Yellow Brass Bell. I currently have one with the Silver Bell and am pleased with it but took some work to fix issues from the factory. I have it at a place though where I can work with the issues and have a tech that I trust locally who can fix problems if/when they come up. Adams horns are handmade, there is a variance between horns. They also have intonation characteristics that can be jarring for some people on first play, noticeably lower 6th partials and lower pitch in general. People used to the sharpness of an 842 or Besson regularly comment on the "weirdness" of the Adams pitch tendencies. I think we have all come to agree though, for people who decided to stick with the Adams, that the pitch tendencies make it *easier* to play, *easier* to play in tune and *easier* to make music with long term. But on first play it's not everyone's cup of tea. We just had the North American National Brass Band Championships and a vendor had a few Adams horns there. I heard comments like "Oh I've never been able to get used to the intonation on these".

    I play tested a new Besson 2052-8G last fall and it had THE SOUND. I also had to use the trigger on every note above Middle Concert Bb. It was exhausting just managing the trigger. I actually had the trigger removed from my current E3 to improve response. I was told I would get "used" to the new intonation but who has time for that? I am a working professional and I'm lucky if I can get 45min of practice every other day.

    My advice - talk to Matt and have him guide you.
    Adams E3 0.6 with SS Bell
    K&G 3.5D
    ---------------------------------
    Founder and Solo Euphonium
    San Francisco Brass Band

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by JakeGuilbo View Post
    Contact Matt van Emmerick and ask him if he can help you - you might be able to attend a Victoria Brass rehearsal and play his Shires which could help. Matt also previously endorsed Adams and can give you his take on the horns. For myself, my favorite horn I've ever owned was an Adams E3 0.6mm with Yellow Brass Bell. I currently have one with the Silver Bell and am pleased with it but took some work to fix issues from the factory. I have it at a place though where I can work with the issues and have a tech that I trust locally who can fix problems if/when they come up. Adams horns are handmade, there is a variance between horns. They also have intonation characteristics that can be jarring for some people on first play, noticeably lower 6th partials and lower pitch in general. People used to the sharpness of an 842 or Besson regularly comment on the "weirdness" of the Adams pitch tendencies. I think we have all come to agree though, for people who decided to stick with the Adams, that the pitch tendencies make it *easier* to play, *easier* to play in tune and *easier* to make music with long term. But on first play it's not everyone's cup of tea. We just had the North American National Brass Band Championships and a vendor had a few Adams horns there. I heard comments like "Oh I've never been able to get used to the intonation on these".

    I play tested a new Besson 2052-8G last fall and it had THE SOUND. I also had to use the trigger on every note above Middle Concert Bb. It was exhausting just managing the trigger. I actually had the trigger removed from my current E3 to improve response. I was told I would get "used" to the new intonation but who has time for that? I am a working professional and I'm lucky if I can get 45min of practice every other day.

    My advice - talk to Matt and have him guide you.
    Thanks for your comment mate. I reached out to Matt and had a chat to him today. It's not practical for me to travel to Melbourne to try his Q41 as he is roughly 2,100 miles from me but fortunately a local music shop has a Q41 in stock that I plan to go and try out.
    SE Shires Trombone (1G Bell, TB47 Slide, Tru-bore valve), Bach 5GS Mouthpiece
    Besson Prestige 2052-8G, Alliance 2 Mouthpiece
    Yamaha YCR2330 Cornet

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Summerville (SC)
    Posts
    316
    Hello Woltz, if your local Shires dealer had also a Q40 in stock, it might be worth while play-test that as well.... Q40 seems to be closer to the Besson tone than Q41.

    And then of course there are the new Shires higher end euphoniums of the custom series, that you might ask your dealer about.

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

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by guidocorona View Post
    Hello Woltz, if your local Shires dealer had also a Q40 in stock, it might be worth while play-test that as well.... Q40 seems to be closer to the Besson tone than Q41.

    And then of course there are the new Shires higher end euphoniums of the custom series, that you might ask your dealer about.

    Regards, Guido
    Hi Guido,

    At this point there doesn't seem to be much info down here about the higher end Shires stuff. The dealers don't seem to know much more than what I've seen on this forum. And they have no idea when we might actually see an instrument. I will absolutely look into whether there is a Q40 around that I can try out.

    Cheers,

    Woltz
    SE Shires Trombone (1G Bell, TB47 Slide, Tru-bore valve), Bach 5GS Mouthpiece
    Besson Prestige 2052-8G, Alliance 2 Mouthpiece
    Yamaha YCR2330 Cornet

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    I had a bit of spare time the other day and dropped by my local music shop. They had a Shires Q41 and an Eastman 826S. So I spent some time with both and thought I'd chuck up some of my thoughts just as an amateur. For mouthpiece, I used my Alliance 3A.

    Sound
    The Shires was a step above the Eastman in my opinion. The Eastman was solid but I found it was more difficult to colour the sound and it tended to want to sit more on the brighter side. The Shires was much more receptive and flexible and had more 'soul'.

    Build quality
    It's impossible to predict long term but the Shires already had issues with the 1st valve guide and the valve button pearl insert also popped off whilst I was playing. This is a brand new instrument so the issue with the valve guide doesn't inspire confidence for long term durability. The threads for the valve cap also not the greatest.

    Intonation
    The instruments overall played flatter than my band Sovereign but that doesn't bother me too much as I tend to play a bit sharp anyway so it balances out. The only time this would be an issue is if I used the supplied Shires 5 mouthpiece which made the instrument even flatter than when I played with my Alliance m/p. However, my feeling is the supplied mouthpiece is too small so I'd never use it anyway.
    Both instruments are way better than my Sovereign above open treble C. The only absolutely horrible note was on the Shires where the treble clef E played open was about 20c flat.

    Valves
    The Eastman valves were solid without being exceptional and I could get used to the different feel but they aren't even close to as good as my band Sovereign. The Shires were disappointing. They felt sluggish and given the other issue with the valve guide makes me wonder if this one was one that slipped through QC.

    One other general comment is I found them to be a little stuffy in the upper register, although again perhaps this could be just because they are both new instruments that have barely been played.

    The outcome of above is that I'm unlikely to buy either based on what I tried in the shop, although I'd get the Shires before the Eastman and hope for a sample where the valves are better if I had to choose between the two. Hopefully I should get my hands on a Neo, a Sovereign and a Prestige in coming weeks to try.
    Last edited by Woltz; 06-07-2022 at 06:12 AM.
    SE Shires Trombone (1G Bell, TB47 Slide, Tru-bore valve), Bach 5GS Mouthpiece
    Besson Prestige 2052-8G, Alliance 2 Mouthpiece
    Yamaha YCR2330 Cornet

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Woltz View Post
    The outcome of above is that I'm unlikely to buy either based on what I tried in the shop, although I'd get the Shires before the Eastman and hope for a sample where the valves are better if I had to choose between the two.
    For what it's worth, most valves don't react well to life at conventions or in music stores. If you are in doubt, just take out one valve as a test. Wipe it down well, put on some oil, and try it again. If that fixes things for even a few runs, the chances are good that the sluggishness was caused by general gunking up of the piston from sitting around and/or other folks blowing into it.
    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. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    After trying out the Yamaha Neo and the Bessons (967T Sovereign and 2052 Prestige). The winner was......

    A Besson Prestige 2052-8G
    SE Shires Trombone (1G Bell, TB47 Slide, Tru-bore valve), Bach 5GS Mouthpiece
    Besson Prestige 2052-8G, Alliance 2 Mouthpiece
    Yamaha YCR2330 Cornet

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Woltz View Post
    After trying out the Yamaha Neo and the Bessons (967T Sovereign and 2052 Prestige). The winner was......

    A Besson Prestige 2052-8G
    Glad to hear you found a horn! Would love to hear your thoughts on what made you pick the Prestige, compared to all the other horns you tried. You had a solid line-up minus not getting to try an Adams!
    Steven Vaughn, D.M.A.
    Professor of Tuba & Euphonium, University of Northern Colorado
    S.E. Shires Euphonium Artist

    Principal Tuba - Fort Collins Symphony

    Eastman 836 CC Tuba
    Meinl Weston 2182W F Tuba
    Shires Q40 Euphonium

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by stevevaughn View Post
    Glad to hear you found a horn! Would love to hear your thoughts on what made you pick the Prestige, compared to all the other horns you tried. You had a solid line-up minus not getting to try an Adams!
    Hi Steve,

    It was a really interesting process trying so many different horns and going in I actually didn't expect to pick a Prestige. I am a little disappointed that I didn't get the chance to try an Adams but maybe on my next trip to Europe I'll duck into the factory and have a look out of curiosity. I'll have a go at summing up each of the horns I tried briefly.

    Eastman 826S - Solid instrument for the price point but the most difficult to get the sound I wanted. The one major criticism being the threads on the valve caps are junk. However, let's acknowledge, at retail prices this would be half the price for a Prestige.

    Yamaha Neo - Extremely well built and our 2nd Euph player tried it at the same time I did and actually bought it. She loved it and sounds very good on it (she was playing a very old band-owned Imperial prior to this). For me, it's difficult to put into words but I disliked it from the moment I started playing it. Perhaps I would've liked the Yamaha Custom more if I'd had the chance to try one. There was nothing immediately obviously wrong with it, but it just didn't feel right to me. (Going into this whole process, this was the one I actually expected I would probably buy.)

    Shires Q41 - Sound wise the Q41 might've edged the Sovereign for second place to be honest. I really liked how I could colour the sound with it. Valves not up to the standard of the Besson on the particular horn I tried but I suspect with some different springs and a decent clean and oil they would've been improved significantly. I did find the upper range to have too much resistance? (not sure how else to describe it) for my taste though. Build quality still needs some work but at the second cheapest it's still a solid choice and hopefully Eastman/Shires will continue to refine things. As a side note, I really wanted to love the Shires because I have a pre-Eastman Shires Trombone which is a sensational instrument but it was not to be. (It would've been interesting to try a Q40 but I never had that chance.)

    Besson Sovereign 967T - Better trigger placement than the Prestige. I did notice the difference with the ergonomics due to the leadpipe wrapping around the bell more than the Prestige but I wouldn't say I had a preference. Very easy to slot and incredibly consistent. More forgiving than the Prestige if you're having a bad day. The sound was very typically Besson but interestingly I found it a bit more difficult to colour the sound away from it's natural point compared to the Prestige and the Shires. However I can understand why so many players love the Sovereign, it's a pleasure to play.

    Besson Prestige 2052-8G - First let me start by saying the two negatives: I don't like the angle of the trigger but I'll get used to it and I don't love the yellow lacquer. However, apart from those two things it came out the clear choice when playing. Valves were superb (the best of any of the instruments I tried). The sound was what I was imagining in my head and I found it more flexible than the others. The high range for me I found to be a bit easier than on any of the others (2nd pick for ease of high register would've been the Sovereign). And overall it was just the instrument that I found myself wanting to continue playing even when I'd run out of time at the end of my practice session.

    I'm obviously not a pro and so I'm purely guessing here but putting aside the sound concept for a minute, my theory why the Prestige ended up being my choice is that the Prestige to me feels more free blowing than the others. So as I've come across from being primarily a Trombone player it probably suits what I've been used to the most.

    One final comment about the elephant in the room. Intonation. The Yamaha, Sovereign and Prestige all suffer the usual issues and the triggers all see a lot of use. From that perspective the Shires and Eastman were much better.

    Anyway that's my brief thoughts that immediately come to mind this morning.
    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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