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Thread: Brand Preference

  1. #1

    Brand Preference

    Hello everyone,

    There seems to be so many top brands out there at the moment producing quality instruments and it can seem hard to make a decision in regards to knowing which brand of instrument to purchase. I have been rather curious to know how people make their own decisions when picking a new Euphonium.

    Some of the top brands at the moment include Besson, Geneva, Adams, Yamaha, Sterling and Willson. Each brand has their own unique selling point which draws potential customers in and I am rather curious to know what makes you go for a certain brand over another brand? Potential reasons for going for one brand over another can be the look of an instrument, the customisation options available for certain brands of instruments as well as choosing the same instrument that your Euphonium heroes play.

    There seems to be a real popularity at the moment for The Besson Prestige 2052-2 Euphonium and The Geneva GVL Cardinal Euphonium and I am rather curious which instrument out of these two choices you would pick and why?

    Thank you again for all your continued support.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons
    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

    Website - https://mdpmicahdominicpar.wixsite.com/my-site
    Blog - https://theblogofabrassmusician1994.blogspot.com/

    Facebook Account - https://www.facebook.com/Micah-Domin...05492345484536
    Twitter Account - @MicahDParsons94
    Instagram Account - @MDP.Micah.Dominic.Parsons
    Youtube Account - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRj...KljG3JLcuMs60A

  2. #2
    You grew up in The Army. Fantastic.
    Des


    Meet the Family
    Junior - Euphonium - 1906 - Henry Distin Mfg.
    Hastings - Trombone - 1952 - Boosey and Hawkes
    Bramwell - Euphonium - 1988 - Besson/Boosey and Hawkes (BE967)
    Donna - Baritone - 2012 - Dillon Music
    Margaret - Baritone - 2015 - Sterling1050HGS


    New York Staff Band :1991-1994
    Philadelphia Freedom Band - 2022-
    Lancaster British Brass Band (all hail the 2nd baritone) - 2022-

  3. #3
    Hello Anadmai,

    I was a part of The Coventry City Salvation Army Band for a very short period of time, I also had the opportunity to attend The Territorial Youth Band Course and The Territorial Music School for a few years and also had the opportunity to play with The Household Troops Band of The Salvation Army on a few occasions as well which was really fun. I believe I left The Salvation Army in 2013 to join The Jaguar Land Rover Band which is a Championship Section brass band based in The West Midlands.

    I really hope that everything is keeping well at your end.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons
    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

    Website - https://mdpmicahdominicpar.wixsite.com/my-site
    Blog - https://theblogofabrassmusician1994.blogspot.com/

    Facebook Account - https://www.facebook.com/Micah-Domin...05492345484536
    Twitter Account - @MicahDParsons94
    Instagram Account - @MDP.Micah.Dominic.Parsons
    Youtube Account - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRj...KljG3JLcuMs60A

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MDP.Micah.Dominic.Parsons View Post
    Hello everyone,

    There seems to be so many top brands out there at the moment producing quality instruments and it can seem hard to make a decision in regards to knowing which brand of instrument to purchase. I have been rather curious to know how people make their own decisions when picking a new Euphonium.

    Some of the top brands at the moment include Besson, Geneva, Adams, Yamaha, Sterling and Willson. Each brand has their own unique selling point which draws potential customers in and I am rather curious to know what makes you go for a certain brand over another brand? Potential reasons for going for one brand over another can be the look of an instrument, the customisation options available for certain brands of instruments as well as choosing the same instrument that your Euphonium heroes play.

    There seems to be a real popularity at the moment for The Besson Prestige 2052-2 Euphonium and The Geneva GVL Cardinal Euphonium and I am rather curious which instrument out of these two choices you would pick and why?

    Thank you again for all your continued support.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons
    Willson 2900. Brian Bowman got it for me about 40 years ago. I've tried a few other brands, but they never matched the 2900 sound. The 2900 is built like tank. The only issue in nearly 40 years was a loose solder on a brace about a year ago. I would be interested in trying the Shires models.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    230
    Mostly ergonomics and sound flexibility. One reason that I passed on even considering Genevas around 2015-2016 is that the ergonomics did not fit me at all. I also want to be able to change my sound a lot, since I play in both concert bands and Dutch fanfare orchestras, in which the euphonium needs a slightly different sound (the latter needs a bit more of a brass-band style solistic approach than a standard concert band, so having a not *too* focused tone really helps with that.)
    The Willson 2960, although it leans quite heavily to a very thick, focused sound, is able to be opened up more than enough to play sufficiently in a fanfare orchestra.

    I also love my B&H Sovereign because it's just... different, and the ergonomics fit me a lot better. But it's an older instrument and has has some slight technical disadvantages compared to the Willson (response, slotting in the compensating register, and mainly intonation)

  6. #6
    Hello MBrooke,

    I have heard so many positive things about the Willson Euphonium. I recently had the chance to test The Willson Celebration 2960TA-UK and I was really surprised by the superior build quality and overall sound of this instrument. I am rather curious why it is not more widely played in The United Kingdom to be honest with you.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons
    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

    Website - https://mdpmicahdominicpar.wixsite.com/my-site
    Blog - https://theblogofabrassmusician1994.blogspot.com/

    Facebook Account - https://www.facebook.com/Micah-Domin...05492345484536
    Twitter Account - @MicahDParsons94
    Instagram Account - @MDP.Micah.Dominic.Parsons
    Youtube Account - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRj...KljG3JLcuMs60A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, MI
    Posts
    395
    Micah would it be fair to say that Besson and itís sound have dominated the UK market for so long that other brands cannot gain much market share?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post
    Micah would it be fair to say that Besson and itís sound have dominated the UK market for so long that other brands cannot gain much market share?
    This, and the fact the retailers are very conservative and with a brand that was almost unrivalled, didnít need to take chances. I worked for one of the UKís top Besson and Yamaha dealers and the owner would always try out other brands - certainly I remember playing a Meinl Euphonium, as well as Geneva and Sterling - but would always stick to the big two. IIRC Bessonís trade terms were, for the really big dealers, an additional 39% off cost price if you stocked the right number of instruments (from cornets to tubas, via Keilwerth saxes, and Buffet Clarinets) so the margin was enormous.

    Example
    Besson 967 euphonium
    RRP £5500
    Trade price £3019
    Main dealer trade price £2172
    55% put on cost plus VAT £2172 1.82125 =£3955 so £1500 off a euph and still make a ton of money - whatís not to like?!)

    This was the time a Denis Wick 4AL cost £35 in silver and £55 in gold!

    I was made redundant in 2012 and that was when Thomann had started making inroads into the UK, and Yamaha were walking a very fine line of price-fixing, which is illegal, but they were of the thought their products didnít deserve to be discounted - the obvious solution was donít sell to the discount stores, and donít have credit terms with retrospective bonuses for hitting sales targets.

    The cabal of brass band dealers liked Besson because selling them was like shelling peas. The lottery instruments, taken as whole, because I know some people had good ones, were the worst instruments ever to bear the Besson name, but even so, bands couldnít get enough of them. It was in the early 1990s when Black Dyke ďchoseĒ Besson instruments although in truth they would have been using them anyway. This was great advertising, and theyíre still at it - Dyke with Geneva and Cory with Besson, although theyíd previously used York because of the Childs family connection and they could get a set dirt cheap.

    I find it fascinating Packers, long with Rosehill, have taken Adams on board. It has to be good for business as long as the stocking commitments arenít too heavy. Tom, who sold me my euphonium, said the margin is much smaller than on other brands.

    Another thing to consider is brass bands are inherently competitive, for good or bad, and Besson / Boosey & Hawkes sponsored all major competitions so the reminder was always there. There were always a few renegades who played alternative brands - Robin Taylor of Grimethorpe used a Willson, Stephen Singleton played on a Yamaha Maestro, but in all other regards it was Besson all the way. Besson also came with Wick mouthpieces out the factory. People have long memories, but not long enough to remember the dreadful lottery filth peddled by Besson.

    As an aside British brass band instruments in the 1990s would invariably have been;

    Schilke soprano cornet
    Besson cornets, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, tubas
    Vincent Bach Strad flugelhorn
    Conn 88H trombones
    Hilton TR181 bass trombone

    And woe betide anyone trying anything new!

    Captive market only hints at the situation.

    Luckily things are changing and the dominance of a single company, no matter how good their products, or how fabled their heritage, is at an end. Itís now down to the retailers, the few who are left at any rate, to be brave and proactive and offer the consumer a choice.
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    Denis Wick SM4XR Gold

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Sacramento, CA area
    Posts
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post
    Micah would it be fair to say that Besson and itís sound have dominated the UK market for so long that other brands cannot gain much market share?
    I think that it would also be fair to mention that until quite recently, Besson was an English company. If you could buy a product that was produced domestically, had more than 150 years of manufacturing history and product support, and was associated with a famous name in the field, wouldn't you buy that one too? There are advantages to buying the brand that is manufactured within your own borders, regardless of product. The Besson brand had all that going for it within the UK. While Bessons are no longer made in the UK, the local manufacturing edge and the name recognition that comes from their history and lineage, have not worn off yet.

    Or to put it another way, what brand of car do you think the people of Dearborn, Michigan drive? I lay you odds that you will find a heavy piece of the market share goes to Ford. In part, because that is where the Ford brand was started by its original founder. Local company fueling local jobs and being sold without tariffs or other economic penalties.

    - Sara
    Baritone - 3 Valve, Compensating, JinBao JBBR1240

  10. #10
    in the late 80s early 90s Getzen was popular too. Hated those spit valves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Magikarp View Post
    This, and the fact the retailers are very conservative and with a brand that was almost unrivalled, didn’t need to take chances. I worked for one of the UK’s top Besson and Yamaha dealers and the owner would always try out other brands - certainly I remember playing a Meinl Euphonium, as well as Geneva and Sterling - but would always stick to the big two. IIRC Besson’s trade terms were, for the really big dealers, an additional 39% off cost price if you stocked the right number of instruments (from cornets to tubas, via Keilwerth saxes, and Buffet Clarinets) so the margin was enormous.

    Example
    Besson 967 euphonium
    RRP £5500
    Trade price £3019
    Main dealer trade price £2172
    55% put on cost plus VAT £2172 1.82125 =£3955 so £1500 off a euph and still make a ton of money - what’s not to like?!)

    This was the time a Denis Wick 4AL cost £35 in silver and £55 in gold!

    I was made redundant in 2012 and that was when Thomann had started making inroads into the UK, and Yamaha were walking a very fine line of price-fixing, which is illegal, but they were of the thought their products didn’t deserve to be discounted - the obvious solution was don’t sell to the discount stores, and don’t have credit terms with retrospective bonuses for hitting sales targets.

    The cabal of brass band dealers liked Besson because selling them was like shelling peas. The lottery instruments, taken as whole, because I know some people had good ones, were the worst instruments ever to bear the Besson name, but even so, bands couldn’t get enough of them. It was in the early 1990s when Black Dyke “chose” Besson instruments although in truth they would have been using them anyway. This was great advertising, and they’re still at it - Dyke with Geneva and Cory with Besson, although they’d previously used York because of the Childs family connection and they could get a set dirt cheap.

    I find it fascinating Packers, long with Rosehill, have taken Adams on board. It has to be good for business as long as the stocking commitments aren’t too heavy. Tom, who sold me my euphonium, said the margin is much smaller than on other brands.

    Another thing to consider is brass bands are inherently competitive, for good or bad, and Besson / Boosey & Hawkes sponsored all major competitions so the reminder was always there. There were always a few renegades who played alternative brands - Robin Taylor of Grimethorpe used a Willson, Stephen Singleton played on a Yamaha Maestro, but in all other regards it was Besson all the way. Besson also came with Wick mouthpieces out the factory. People have long memories, but not long enough to remember the dreadful lottery filth peddled by Besson.

    As an aside British brass band instruments in the 1990s would invariably have been;

    Schilke soprano cornet
    Besson cornets, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, tubas
    Vincent Bach Strad flugelhorn
    Conn 88H trombones
    Hilton TR181 bass trombone

    And woe betide anyone trying anything new!

    Captive market only hints at the situation.

    Luckily things are changing and the dominance of a single company, no matter how good their products, or how fabled their heritage, is at an end. It’s now down to the retailers, the few who are left at any rate, to be brave and proactive and offer the consumer a choice.
    Des


    Meet the Family
    Junior - Euphonium - 1906 - Henry Distin Mfg.
    Hastings - Trombone - 1952 - Boosey and Hawkes
    Bramwell - Euphonium - 1988 - Besson/Boosey and Hawkes (BE967)
    Donna - Baritone - 2012 - Dillon Music
    Margaret - Baritone - 2015 - Sterling1050HGS


    New York Staff Band :1991-1994
    Philadelphia Freedom Band - 2022-
    Lancaster British Brass Band (all hail the 2nd baritone) - 2022-

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