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Thread: Euphonium with best Intonation

  1. #1

    Euphonium with best Intonation

    I was curious which professional Euphonium people thought had the least intonation problems. I have a Besson Prestige 2052 and an old Conn Constellation 24i/25i. I find the Conn with the least intonation problem when I play with a tuner. The Besson can be hit and miss. Somedays I am way sharp on high notes and even middle F while other days I am not as bad. When I pull out the Conn, it is much better. The bands I play with will be off for the summer and I intend to work on intonation (lots of long notes). I have a lot of work to do to get my skills up to par with others in this Forum.

  2. #2
    I agree with your comments about intonation, and also would mention that an American-style euphonium can be easier to play on marches especially.

    A smaller bore, such as on the Conn, is less taxing on the chops if you don't try to overblow its capabilities.

    Intonation. It is possible that a large, conical bore is harder to design with smooth intonation. In my experience, and symphony tenor trombone in 1st position does not exhibit the extreme sharpness in the 6th partial that we are used to in euphoniums. A smaller, but still conical American euphonium also is not as sharp as large-bore euphoniums, and is a bit more sharp than the trombone.

    Among large, compensating euphoniums there is considerable difference in intonation, which I believe is due to variations in the taper (i.e. how much taper / where) and also the vibrating characteristics of the tubing.

    Anyway, the American-style euphoniums hit a sweet spot for band music. A larger sound is nice in many places in our band rep, but it comes at a cost.
    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

  3. #3
    Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but harkening back to the older Boosey & Co. and Boosey & Hawkes 3+1 British euphoniums (these had the so-called "European" shank receiver, meaning smaller than today's standard "large bore" receivers), the older horns with the smaller receivers did better with intonation overall.

    Dave's comment about the length/breadth of the conical bore taper surely has a role to play as well. I'm not as well informed on where/when as others are, so I'll defer to those comments.

    But I'll stick to my point that when the large bore receiver came in vogue, that created problems where there were few before.
    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)

  4. #4
    I’m currently playing an older large bore non compensating horn that I’ve come to like playing a lot. With some alternate fingering, I can play in pitch in both of my ensembles.

    This horn has one somewhat annoying flaw, but I doubt that I’d attempt to have it corrected because the horn is so good now.

    SO- I’ve been window shopping among the really good uncompensated horns I’ve seen online, and have been asking about having a potential purchase fitted with a trigger. Recently a sales rep responded to my blind comment by saying that company ABCDE WOULD, and COULD do a trigger, but didn’t recommend it because the intonation of this uncompensated horn is so good it doesn’t really need one.

    I’ve been interested in the intonation question since I’ve started playing, so is this plausible? Will a very high quality horn have better intonation than a mass produced one?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Eupher6 View Post
    Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but harkening back to the older Boosey & Co. and Boosey & Hawkes 3+1 British euphoniums (these had the so-called "European" shank receiver, meaning smaller than today's standard "large bore" receivers), the older horns with the smaller receivers did better with intonation overall.

    Dave's comment about the length/breadth of the conical bore taper surely has a role to play as well. I'm not as well informed on where/when as others are, so I'll defer to those comments.

    But I'll stick to my point that when the large bore receiver came in vogue, that created problems where there were few before.
    My experiences matches this. My old Bessons (in college and for my first few years in the CG Band) had the typical 6th partial sharpness, but when I bought my New Standard with the larger shank it was a little worse. Then when I got the Sovereign 967 it was worse yet.
    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
    FYI: I moved this thread to Euph Brands because it was not really a brass band exclusive topic.
    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

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ann reid View Post
    SO- I’ve been window shopping among the really good uncompensated horns I’ve seen online, and have been asking about having a potential purchase fitted with a trigger. Recently a sales rep responded to my blind comment by saying that company ABCDE WOULD, and COULD do a trigger, but didn’t recommend it because the intonation of this uncompensated horn is so good it doesn’t really need one.

    I’ve been interested in the intonation question since I’ve started playing, so is this plausible? Will a very high quality horn have better intonation than a mass produced one?
    It depends on the horn. The Adams Sonic is uncompensated and is based on the Adams E1. I haven't had a chance to try one yet, but I suspect it would have the same good intonation. I have never thought I needed a trigger on my E1 or E3.

    As far as high quality vs. mass produced, that is tricky. Besson is high quality, but in a sense is mass produced in that much of the work is done by machine. I'm not sure a Chinese clone is any more "mass produced" than a Besson, for one example. However, Besson does put more quality into the horns, both in the design and production phase.

    You can poke around here and compare 2 or more horns at once if you like:

    http://www.dwerden.com/Intonation/index.cfm
    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
    "It depends on the horn. The Adams Sonic is uncompensated and is based on the Adams E1. I haven't had a chance to try one yet, but I suspect it would have the same good intonation. I have never thought I needed a trigger on my E1 or E3."

    My Sonic's intonation is good, very much like the other Adams I've played.

  9. #9
    Looking at the charts for many horns, it sure seems like the Adams 3 is closest to being in tune in all ranges compared to other horns. When I took up playing again after a long hiatus, I did not think about intonation of a horn. When I was young, playing a Conn, it never seemed to be a problem. I had sold my horn 50 years ago (dummy) and just bought the Prestige because of looks. Even after i bought it, I noticed quickly that a lot of notes were not in tune. I just thought it was me being away so long. Either someday I sell my Prestige and buy another horn, or I learn to use alternate fingering and the trigger much more fluently. In my last concert, the conductor noticed that the Euphoniums were out of tune on a note (sharp) and I assumed it was me. During the concert, I was thinking extend the trigger, but I also know to use the 4th valve for certain notes if they are long. Like a dummy, instead of extending the trigger, I depressed the 4th valve! I better get more Prevagen!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida
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    1,610
    Quote Originally Posted by rgorscak View Post
    ...During the concert, I was thinking extend the trigger, but I also know to use the 4th valve for certain notes if they are long. Like a dummy, instead of extending the trigger, I depressed the 4th valve! I better get more Prevagen!!!
    You are not the only one who has mistaken the trigger for the 4th valve and vice versa!
    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)

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