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Thread: Besson New Standard EEb

  1. Besson New Standard EEb

    Hi everyone! I have recently acquired what looks to be a pretty old Besson New Standard EEb tuba (the seller claimed it was only 5 years old - unlikely given the ĎMade by BESSON Englandí bell stamp and general wear and tear). I havenít touched a tuba in over 15 years but saw this one for sale just around the corner and couldnít resist.

    It carries the serial number: 621802.

    Iíve spent a fair amount of time searching this serial number to try to date the tuba, but no luck.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Or indeed give me any further information about this model of tuba such as itís age, student / professional standard, preferred mouthpiece etc?

    Iíve had a tentative play and am finding it a bit difficult to find particular pitches, and it also feels a bit stuffy around the mid-range, but in all honesty after 15 years that could well be user error!

    It has 3+1 valves and is compensating. Silver lacquer.

    Thank you 😃

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    The tuba was probably made in 1977-78. Those were good years for Besson, so it should be a good horn.

    I believe all New Standards were compensating. If so, this horn should have an "extra" set of tubes/slides curving from the rear of the valve casings. Assuming that is so, a non-compensating tuba feels much different and it may take a while to get used to this one. The compensating system, which nearly all pro euphoniums use, adds extra twists and turns in the tubing, so it is a little less free blowing than a non-comp tuba. BUT, as you go low enough to need the 4th valve, the compensating system comes into play. A full step below an open note is created by lowering the first valve. With a compensating tuba, a full step below a 4th valve note can be had by using 1+4.

    If you were used to a CC or BBb tuba, an Eb requires new fingerings. The "patterns" are the same for scales, but the patterns start on different notes. A C in the bass clef staff is played with either 12 or 3 on this horn. The normal trumpet-like scale (0, 13, 12, 1, 0, 12, 2, 0) starts on the Eb on the first ledger line below the bass clef.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
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