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Thread: Recommendations for Lightweight, tall and narrow brands?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    US East coast

    Recommendations for Lightweight, tall and narrow brands?

    I thought I’d never be able to play a compensating euphonium, but I happened to play a rather heavy one a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked some aspects of playing it.

    Are there any euphonium brands that are typically lighter in weight, more narrow, and taller than others?

    I have arthritis in my fingers and wrists, and light weight, narrow and tall works best for me.

    Any thoughts? Recommendations?

  2. #2
    if you want a lightweight instrument with a professional sound, what about a 3 valve compensating besson?

    They are SO light. I have one here that I am considering parting with, but it's at the shop right now getting cleaned up and a a few dents removed.

  3. #3
    Well, most compensating horns are heavy for good reason - all the extra tubing involved and the longer pistons. Among those, the lightest option would be the Adams E1. The selected model is cheapest and comes in .60 thickness (thinner than most). Because the metal makes up a LOT of square inches, thinner metal can make a difference. If you want to go to a Custom model, which is a bit more money, you would get one in .55 metal (I would not advise going to the .50, and I'm not sure if they still even offer that one). The Selected model is around $7500 so...

    If you don't actually need or care about the compensating system itself, but want the 3+1 design, the Adams Sonic is around $4400, and would be lighter than the E1.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Simply as a reference, here are a couple pictures of a Besson 3-valve compensating euphonium (Model 176) along with associated catalogue sheets with descriptions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1A2133DF-CB19-4E43-B3A8-C97529780A3D.jpeg   0FDAFA50-794D-46E7-BBA6-81D1E97D69C0.jpeg   652E0682-A155-42A2-94AA-FFB299AC4BED.jpeg   45F93779-C886-4459-A5D5-D3DF2572722D.jpeg  
    David Shinn
    Peninsula Concert Band
    Yorktown, Virginia

    1971 Besson 181 ‘New Standard’ Euphonium (4 valve compensating) ~ Alliance DC3M
    1960 Besson 180 ‘New Standard’ Euphonium (4 valve compensating) ~ Alliance DC3M
    1971 Besson 176 ‘New Standard’ Euphonium (3 valve compensating) ~ Alliance DC3M
    1979 Besson 755 'New Standard' Baritone (3 valve compensating) ~ Alliance DC5S

    Peninsula Concert Band:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Summerville (SC)
    Hello Ann, the non-comp Adams Sonic non-comp sounds to me a very impressive horn in this substantive demonstration by Mauro Martins:

    If you give a buzz to Austin Custom Brass, Trent and his crowd should be able to dredge up actual weight and dimentions for you.

    Regards, Guido
    Miraphone M5050L
    Wessex EP104 Festivo (available)
    DT16, DC3, DC4, SM4U, 4AL, 51D

  6. #6
    Some have suggested a three valve compensating Besson for having a great sound and being lightweight. I really like mine and it is lightweight. A couple things that I think you should consider if you were interested in that horn is I don't really think it is very tall. More significantly, there is no hand bar behind the valves for your right hand, just a curved brace between the first valve and the inner branch/tubing. Those ergonomics took a little while for me to get used to and I wonder if it would be difficult with arthritis.
    I'm happy to take some photos/measurements to share if you are interested.

  7. I’ll agree with Dave on the Adam E1’s weight. I had to switch to something lighter after playing on an older Yamaha 642S. It was painful to play standing up due to the weight and strain on my back! The Adam’s is incredibly light, you almost don’t notice it when holding it.
    Adams E1 Gold Brass Bell and SS Leadpipe
    Undergrad at Angelo State
    Future TA at University of Oklahoma

  8. #8
    I'm 6 foot 8, so height should be a major concern to me, but with Euphonium, I just build a lap pad out of foam to fit the contours of my leg, and then set the horn on that. Weight doesn't matter, height doesn't matter

  9. #9
    That's a good point 58mark. I've tried small pillows and rolled up towels in the past but for some reason I've never found a setup that I like. Admittedly I haven't tried very hard so maybe I'll revisit it. I'm currently using a Comfy Euph Strap with my 3 valve New Standard which works fairly well.

  10. Playing the French C Tuba and Bb Saxhorn Basse I use the Ergobrass system. With the 3+3 or 3+2 valves there are no fingers left to hold the horn (and they are all quite heavy!).
    With the Ergobrass stem ( the horn is floating weightless in front of you with more freedom to move than with a knee pillow. And using a belt pocket you can play while standing.

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