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Thread: Step-up?

  1. #1
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    Step-up?

    Iíve been playing a Willson 2704 for almost exactly a year, and in my opinion, as a geriatric novice, it is a WONDERFUL instrument. The seller didnít know its exact age when I bought it, but surmised ďdecadesĒ.

    I like THIS 2704 SO MUCH that I have tried through most of the good 2nd hand instrument sources to buy another 2704, which I would modify with a few little nitpicking improvements.

    I will not do ANYTHING to change my current 2704, I think itís THAT GOOD.

    Willson is no longer making them, and has no plans to do so.

    SO- since I want to achieve the highest level of wind ensemble playing that I can before Iím no longer able to improve with high quality lessons and daily practice, would the Adams Sonic or the Shires Bravo give me more than this older horn cannot offer? Is it worth it to me to look for a modern horn?

    I work on intonation almost every lesson, and Iím steadily improving through breath support and alternate fingerings, (some that may be unique to MY instrument), but Iím not as sophisticated as Iíd like to be.

    I can afford almost anything I could get interested in, but neither Shires nor Adams have a dealership near enough for multiple visits.

    Iíve tenaciously followed reviews and charts and suggestions here, always finding them helpful, but I donít see too much said by owners about the Bravo or the Sonic.

    Any opinions??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
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    So, are you looking at any of the “pro level” horns? (Mentioned simply because you said money wasn’t a concern).

    I don’t know how your model compares…but maybe a Willson 2900 or 2960 if you are smitten with the brand. (Others here can probably make a more direct comparison between what you have and what is available.)
    Euphoniums
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  3. #3
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    A little on the fence about this, thanks for mentioning, Larry.

    My 2704 is a non-compensating horn, as are the Sonic and the Bravo.

    I’ve wondered about a Willson compensated horn, but also wondered if a “modern” non-compensating horn would be a real “step-up”?

  4. #4
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    I’ve been curious about the Besson 100-series, non-compensating horns. (The BE-165 is the 3+1 configuration). Seems it would be a decent option if one is not, necessarily, interested in a compensating horn.

    https://youtu.be/D2l6zSLuL1g
    Last edited by iMav; 10-23-2022 at 11:21 AM.
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
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  5. #5
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    Hi ann, while I have not found a telling recording of the Shires Bravo, Mauro Martins illustrates the beautiful musicality of the Adams Sonic in the youtube below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5ie...&start_radio=1

    For the purpose of playtesting Sonic and Bravo at home, have you considered contacting some dealers, such as Austin Custom Brass for Sonic and maybe Bravo, and Paiges Music for the shires Bravo? They might perhaps arrange for an at home audition.

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

  6. #6
    The SONIC is a non-compensating horn, but otherwise it is the same as the E1 - hand made of the same materials by the same people with the same specs. That would not be so with the Besson 100 series, as far as I know. I was hoping to try one, but they are selling out as quickly as they are made, or nearly so.

    I was going to approach Austin or Brass Stop about doing another round-robin testing run of that horn like we did with the Doubler, but I'm not sure how anxious they would be to support it if they think people impressed with the results would buy it from Thomann. (In the previous pass-off testing Austin was paying shipping for each leg of the horn's journey, so we testers were not burdened with any expenses.)
    Last edited by davewerden; 10-23-2022 at 12:16 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
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  7. #7
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    I was hoping you’d be thinking about doing your review Dave, and also your assessment of the intonation of the Sonic.

    Whatever I learn from any comments here, I have to buy as locally as I can find and have an easy route to returning if necessary.

    The Sonic seems from description to be closer in dimensions to my Willson, but I may be comparing apples to corkscrews with that observation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I was going to approach Austin or Brass Stop about doing another round-robin testing run of that horn like we did with the Doubler, but I'm not sure how anxious they would be to support it if they think people impressed with the results would buy it from Thomann. (In the previous pass-off testing Austin was paying shipping for each leg of the horn's journey, so we testers were not burdened with any expenses.)
    Yeah, probably tempting considering they are currently in stock at Thomann. (Coupled with your mentioning US retailers can’t keep them in stock.)

    I’ve considered one due to the low cost ($1500-ish) and my curiosity regarding them in general…but, I’m probably going to wait on buying anything additional for a spell, since I just got my new E3.
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
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  9. #9
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    Hello Larry, you might be referring to the price of the Sonic flugelhorn. Actually, Thomann lists the Sonic euphonium for more than twice as much.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Summerville (SC)
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    Admittedly, Thomann may feature attractive pricing, and no hassle cross-Atlantic shopping.

    Yet, in my final decision on where to source my upcoming new eupho baby -- more about it before long -- I did not deem pricing and instant fulfilment to be my only priorities. A good relationship and the technical support from the respected low brass tech working for one of the several well-established US dealer has been crucial to my eventual choice.
    After all, peace of mind is a very long-term concern.


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

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