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Thread: Redesigning The Euphonium

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMav View Post
    Thoughts on the accuracy of this statement? (From a manufacturer rep I recently chatted with.)

    ”Don’t get hung up on this clone thing. At the end of the day everything out there is a copy of something. The Yamaha really is a copy of the besson that evolved. Even the besson that you buy today is a copy of the older models. When buffet bought besson out of bankruptcy there were no designs or tools so they just copied the old range in the B&S factory…other than adding a trigger there has been very little development of the euphonium generally in a very long time.”
    Copy is a cop out word on this case. The basic design is over 100 years old. Current euphoniums are evolutions of that design not copies. Also, each brand and model has their own characteristic sound.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by highpitch View Post
    "If it ain't broke"...
    I actually really like the current design of your standard 3+1, compensating euphonium. One could say that were are all "used to it"...however, I was away from playing for many years; and when I came back, it immediately felt comfortable and "right".

    The short action valves is a nice innovation. It's one thing I like a LOT about playing rotary valve instruments (the short action)...my son has a baritione/tenor horn with three rotary valves...they are whisper-quiet and (obvs) fast!
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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by iMav View Post
    Thoughts on the accuracy of this statement? (From a manufacturer rep I recently chatted with.)

    ”Don’t get hung up on this clone thing. At the end of the day everything out there is a copy of something. The Yamaha really is a copy of the besson that evolved. Even the besson that you buy today is a copy of the older models. When buffet bought besson out of bankruptcy there were no designs or tools so they just copied the old range in the B&S factory…other than adding a trigger there has been very little development of the euphonium generally in a very long time.”
    I think it's certainly true that the old B&H instruments defintes the ideal euphonium, and that most instruments now are just iterations on that ideal. Certainly Bessons (Sovereigns and Prestiges both), Sterlings, and Yorks all are/were advancements of this design. For some brands, however, these mentioned modern instruments have lost something of that ideal sound and so Yamaha with their 642 Neo and I believe Geneva with their Cardinal are both intended to be instruments that correct the course. Effectively, however, they are indeed all just iterations on probably the Round Stamp Soveriegns of days gone past. I couldn't speak to Willson and Shires, and how the American tradition informs modern American instrument design though.
    Harry Weir - Besson Sovereign 967-T | K&G 4D+

  4. One thing I would think would be beneficial would be a means of "continuous lubrication". It seems crude and inefficient to have to unscrew and remove the valves in order to add valve oil.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CousinJack View Post
    I think it's certainly true that the old B&H instruments defintes the ideal euphonium, and that most instruments now are just iterations on that ideal. Certainly Bessons (Sovereigns and Prestiges both), Sterlings, and Yorks all are/were advancements of this design. For some brands, however, these mentioned modern instruments have lost something of that ideal sound and so Yamaha with their 642 Neo and I believe Geneva with their Cardinal are both intended to be instruments that correct the course. Effectively, however, they are indeed all just iterations on probably the Round Stamp Soveriegns of days gone past. I couldn't speak to Willson and Shires, and how the American tradition informs modern American instrument design though.
    I’m not sure that round stamp and prior model sound is ideal in today’s world of concert and especially brass banding.

  6. #16
    We need to keep in mind the situation in almost all instruments today. How much innovation has there been in trumpets? A modern trumpet looks like the ones from 100+ years ago. Given the larger number of trumpets being made, why haven't they shown more change? To some extent it's because there is no perceived need for change...rightly or wrongly believed. In trumpets, Adams has probably made the most creative changes, but I'm referring to the shape, not the playing qualities, and it's only a special model that most people are not getting.

    As much as the current design, which I play, is "standardized," I think there are some ergonomic problems. The side valves cause more strain on the muscles and tendons than front valves, for one thing. And DO we accept the idea that the upright side-firing bell is creates the "correct" euphonium sound? It can be very hard to project from your chair to the audience on some stages. If the band is in a horseshoe setting with euphs on the audience's right, the bells point more backward than forward. Given a common stage design with light bridges above the stages and short curtains between them, sound going up into them is pretty well absorbed. And as soloist in front of the band, we can be at the mercy of reflective surfaces that can bounce any fuzz in the sound right to the audience. Most trumpets point straight out, but a Dizzy Gillespie design points the bell up about 30 degrees. Sergei Nakariakov points his horn about 45 degrees down. That mellows the sound. The American bell front design has about that kind of offset. Something to think about, assuming we are willing to upset the tidy arrangement of current euphonium sections!

    NOTE: I have not requested that Adams make such a euphonium, and have no current plans to do so.

    Here are some photos of Adams horns made for Christian Scott and Gino Goss:

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    Here are photos showing bell angles for Sergei and Dizzy:

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post
    I’m not sure that round stamp and prior model sound is ideal in today’s world of concert and especially brass banding.
    Why ever not? A good sound is a good sound. If you mean they don’t produce the bland overschooled, homogeneous university sound you’re right. I know of at least two top echelon players who would play round stamps if their bands allowed it. If a round stamp is good enough for Lyndon Baglin and Stephen Lord it’s certainly good enough for anyone. The intonation issues are exaggerated, in my opinion, having owned two and played many.

    If I had to get rid of my Adams, I’d replace it with a round stamp, and certainly not Sterling or Geneva or Besson.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post
    I’m not sure that round stamp and prior model sound is ideal in today’s world of concert and especially brass banding.
    Seeing that the Round Stamp is still the euphonium that a lot of modern horns are modeled after (the Geneva euphs, for example), I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. The biggest general change that happened after the Round Stamp is that bore sizes got a bit larger (from 14.7mm to 15mm flat, and a conical redesign of the 4th-valve loop compared to the cylindrical 4th-valve loop that the Round Stamp had, also increasing bore size through there). Some people still use the Round Stamp (or large shank New Standards) in army bands.
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  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post
    I’m not sure that round stamp and prior model sound is ideal in today’s world of concert and especially brass banding.
    I think it's certainly not in concert bands and soloist work, and euphonium development, especially from Besson, has favoured soloists. I think it is an argument to be had in brass banding - modern euphoniums of that ilk do sound great on their own and in solo/soli settings, but from my listening and playing experience they're harder to blend with the characteristic saxhorn sound of the brass band and sometimes struggle to float over the sound of the band when playing countermelodies. This is my experience though. I mention this because being easy to blend and to float across the band texture is something Yamaha and Geneva are trying to ensure their instruments do. Of course lots of this is down to individual players but I do think some modern instruments make perhaps too wallowy a sound
    Harry Weir - Besson Sovereign 967-T | K&G 4D+

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    To clarify, the top-sprung system on Doug's horn does not shorten the piston travel. I suggested it for Adams to try out because it eliminates the issue of springs getting sideways in the bottom and causing noise (and also eliminates the need for plastic coated springs).

    The prototype ALSO had short-action valves, which could be done with the standard spring design as well. To accomplish this, the tubes have to go to an oval shape as they enter the piston. In the piston, the oval is horizontally positioned, which reduces the vertical space needed to fit all the holes in. That shortens the piston travel.

    I agree that if Adams can make them work without losing the horn's playing qualities, it would be a real boon!
    Ah I see - this makes sense. No idea why I thought the length of travel came from which side the springs are placed on rather than the combined vertical height of the many tubes that go in and out of the valve block!
    Harry Weir - Besson Sovereign 967-T | K&G 4D+

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