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Thread: Update on playing my Adams E3 after its upgrades

  1. Update on playing my Adams E3 after its upgrades

    So it has been one week (almost) since I received my upgraded E3 back from Adams. Today (Sunday, Dec. 4) was the first time I played it in performance, though I practiced using it every day since I received it on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Today was particularly auspicious since I played a 30 min warmup at home this morning, followed by a 2 hour rehearsal from 11a-1p for a Christmas Cantata at a local church, followed by a 2 hour concert with the New England Brass Band from 3-5p where I was subbing for the regular solo euphonium player.

    Intonation: The intonation of my prototype E3 has always been good, though not perfect and perhaps not quite as good as other "stock" Adams horns I have played. In this respect, the change to the bell and leadpipe appears to have no adverse affect and intonation is at least as good as before if not better. The only two notes I have to be particularly careful with are G in the staff (use 3 instead of 1-2) and F above the staff (use 1-2 occasionally instead of open or just lip it down.)

    Response: Overall, the Adams is easier to play softly than my Sterling as it responds to a "light touch" quite nicely with the Alliance DC4 that I am using. I set the AGR to 3 - 3.5 turns and find the horn produces a full sound and is not "airy" at low volume levels. The horn also responds very well at the upper end of my range. I find that the Adams doesn't "beat me up" when I use the DC4 (as opposed to a larger 4AL or E3). On my Sterling I find I have to use the 4AL or larger to get the best response and sound, yet then I also have to work harder in the high range and get tired more easily. Overall, I think this is the biggest single difference between my Adams and any other horn I have ever played. It just is easier on the chops to play.

    Sound: This is something very hard to assess from behind the bell. Qualitatively, I have had fellow band mates say they really liked my sound today in concert, but I have no blind A/B comparisons with either my Sterling or my Adams E3 prior to the switch to the sterling silver bell. IMO I think the horn sounds better at low volume producing a more robust sound at low levels. My Sterling has the slightly smaller 300mm bell, whereas the Adams is a full 12" (305mm) bell. Qualitatively, I think the Adams is a little darker overall, but perhaps with a little less of the smooth "British Sound" I so admire in my Sterling.

    Ergonomics: Huge win for my E3. It is light. Easy to play, easy on the right hand due to the short action top sprung valves, and is more accurate in its response. Proof is in the pudding since today I put 4.5 hrs behind the mouthpiece finishing the afternoon with a 2 hr concert that included J. William's Liberty Fanfare, Walton's Crown Imperial (the original long version), 2nd mvt of Sparke's Year of the Dragon, Prokoviev's Troika, and Kevin Norbury's Gaudete! among others. This was a long day of playing and I still had enough left for "Sleigh Ride" for the encore.

    I will happily answer any questions you might have, but I must admit that this horn is spoiling me.

    Last edited by daruby; 12-06-2022 at 01:39 PM.
    Adams E3 0.60 Sterling bell - Prototype top sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS - 300mm red brass bell
    Concord Band
    Winchendon Winds
    Townsend Military Band

  2. Update #1

    1. One specific piece of feedback I have is related to heavy 4th valve bottom caps. I have a lot of choices since I have the original Bauerfeind standard cap, a medium weight Sterling cap, a heavyweight Sterling cap, and the Adjustable Bottom Cap (ABC) in order of weight. Playing in the most resonant room in my house I find the tone with the silver bell to be more "open" and the response of the horn a bit easier with the unweighted stock cap. Definitely the ABC with all of its weights attached is too heavy. The horn sound dead and the high range come with more effort. With the brass bell, I was generally playing with at least two of the four ABC weights or with the heavy Sterling bottom cap. I am not completely sure how much of this is due to the heavier red-brass leadpipe or the sterling silver bell.
    2. Another piece of feedback relates to the dynamic range of the horn post-modifications. I think that I can play softer with good response and louder without breaking up the sound with the silver bell. Again, either the leadpipe or bell (or both) could be affecting this.

    I will experiment over time with 4th valve bottom cap weights and update these comment as needed.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
    I need to experiment with the ABC I have. (I just through all the weight on, tried it, and thought it made a positive difference and let it be.)
    John Packer 374LT
    John Packer 274L

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