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Thread: Redesigning The Euphonium

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
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    I like my euphs just the way they are (top action 3+1, compensating)…don’t think I’d want anything bigger than the 5050.
    Euphoniums
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

    Larry Herzog Jr.
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  2. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Varese,Italy
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    300
    The current configuration of the euphonium is pretty much the same since it first appeared in the 19th century. Over the years, instruments have appeared on the scene which, to a certain extent, produce a similar but at the same time different sound, such as saxhorns, French tuba, oval baritones, American baritones etc... Lately there seems to be a fashion-trend increase in the bore of the tubes which, in my opinion, tends to distort the sound making it more similar to a tuba. I own a Prestige, a New Standard and a French tuba and find that the 14.5mm bore of the N.S. and the French tuba are the best, both in sound and air requirement. The ergonomics of the Prestige are very good, even if the position of the fourth piston behind the main branch forces the wrist of the left hand to be bent by about 70, which could create problems in the long run. From this point of view, the three pistons for the left hand of the French tuba passing in front of the main branch, with the wrist kept in a straight line with the forearm, are much better positioned. Another positive note of the French tuba, in addition to the clearer tone compared to the euphonium, therefore not tubby at all, is the very free and open bass register with respect to the euphonium's compensation system which can sometimes be stuffy; moreover, the 5 or 6 valve system should have enjoyed better luck, but it is certainly more practical and economical to build compensated instruments. There is also the use and research of new materials but brass and copper-based alloys still seem to be dominant in the field of brass. In conclusion I feel good with my specimens, but I'm getting old and I'm starting to have some difficulty satisfying the air hunger that my Prestige requires.
    Besson Prestige 2052, 3D+ K&G mouthpiece; JP373 baritone,4B modified K&G mouthpiece; Bach 42GO trombone, T4C K&G mouthpiece; Besson New Standard 3 compensated valves 1974, 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece; Wessex French C tuba 3D+ K&G modified mouthpiece.

  3. #33
    This kind of goes to what the OP said, but I am curious if there was a design "break through" on euphonium in the last 50 years and what it was? For instance, modern flugelhorns added a trigger and got a better bell design and the result is a less pitchy instrument (though still made with a variety of bore sizes). It sounds like on euphonium maybe it was the rise of the compensating system or the Besson trigger? The Wick mouthpieces must date to the 80s. What was popular before that?
    Jupiter 462 & 470, XO 1270
    Stork 4.5 mouthpiece

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Netherlands
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    245
    Wicks were from the 70s primarily for trombones but worked surprisingly well on euphs too. Triggers existed before Besson put them on the Prestige (Steven Mead had one put on his round stamp Sovereign in the mid-90s during a trip in Japan which angered Besson). The compensating system is probably the biggest development, and after that conversion to large shank and bigger and different bell configurations?

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
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    154
    I think most of the "innovations" that would be of actual functional use have already been done, especially by ADAMS with their adjustable gap receiver, short through valves, and now top sprung valves. Floating mouthpipes for Euphonium and Tuba are also honestly a relatively recent innovation.

    It should also be noted that none of these are really "new". Adjustable mouthpiece mountings with a metal adjustment have been used on some saxophones or years, though for a completely different reason. Short through valves were probably first used on Conn Tubas, and trumpets have been mostly top sprung for quite some time.

    Innovations and changes are usually driven by the need to "fix" something, so the question should be what does the present Euphonium not do that is desired of it? The legendary huge York CC Tuba made for Donatelli and then owned by Arnold Jacobs was made to give a broad "organ like" sound in the orchestra, and that then became the norm, with all types of tubas having bigger bores and bells attached as the 20th century progressed. Euphoniums have also seen some of the same gradual increase in bore size, bell size, and so forth. But I think there really is a limit, and in some cases unbalanced designs have been created.

    Trombones went through something like that in the 90s and 00s, with heavier bells, dual bore slides, bass trombones with no leadpipes, new and improved valves for more and more open airflow. However things have really swung back, with many now being inspired by the trombones of the "old days", with thinner hand brazed and hammered bells, tuning in slide, and so forth. I wonder if we'll start to see more "lightweight" euphoniums designed more for the singing sound they produce and less for trying to make them into sound cannons.
    Sterling / Perantucci 1065HGS Euphonium, 1952 B&H Imperial Eb Tuba, and a bunch of trombones.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hidden Valley, AZ
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    930
    +1 for T-Bone.
    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

  7. #37
    "I wonder if we'll start to see more "lightweight" euphoniums designed more for the singing sound they produce and less for trying to make them into sound cannons."

    I think the Adams Sonic fits this
    description.

  8. #38
    I think anything done on other brass instruments could come to euphonium, so that's also things like integrated mouthpiece, swappable leadpipes, or heavy bracing. JTJ's comment on a light euphonium is an interesting idea. I still don't really have a handle on how much variation there is already. On some brass instruments light = more flexible, brighter sound, and heavier tends to = darker, projects more, and can play louder without breaking up. I don't know how feasible it would be, but maybe a lightweight noncompensating with triggers could compete with compensating on intonation and offer a different sound concept.
    Jupiter 462 & 470, XO 1270
    Stork 4.5 mouthpiece

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    US East coast
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by comebackplayer View Post
    I think anything done on other brass instruments could come to euphonium, so that's also things like integrated mouthpiece, swappable leadpipes, or heavy bracing. JTJ's comment on a light euphonium is an interesting idea. I still don't really have a handle on how much variation there is already. On some brass instruments light = more flexible, brighter sound, and heavier tends to = darker, projects more, and can play louder without breaking up. I don't know how feasible it would be, but maybe a lightweight noncompensating with triggers could compete with compensating on intonation and offer a different sound concept.
    I had asked a dealer some time ago if an instrument manufacturer could add a trigger to one of the new noncompensating “professional” euphoniums, and was told that while that could be done, the intonation on the instrument(s) is already good enough that a trigger wouldn’t be necessary.

    For my particular situation, a noncompensating (lighter) horn is almost a necessity, so this sort of adaptation would definitely be worthwhile for me, and of course I’d expect to pay for it.

    I also know that older/retired passionate players would be potentially most interested in non traditional solutions, in ergonomics certainly, out of a desire to continue playing as long as possible. To the best of my knowledge none of the well established, reputable companies have taken on this specific selling point, and it might work well for both sellers and users if they did.

  10. Ann,

    I happen to know that if asked, Miel Adams almost certainly would be willing to do this on a Sonic on some sort of special order. The basic geometry of the tuning slide loop on the Sonic is the same as an E1, E2, E3. I would suggest writing a not to Miel at the main plant in Ittervoort (c/o of the Adams Music Centre store?). You could work out which American reseller you would purchase this special build through.

    Doug
    Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS - 300mm red brass bell
    Concord Band
    Winchendon Winds
    Townsend Military Band

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