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Thread: Adams E3 Impressions

  1. #1

    Adams E3 Impressions

    OK, I've got a little time to share some thoughts now, after a relaxing visit with relative and an old friend.

    I ordered an Adams E3 and it arrived a little over a week ago. Subtracting my vacation days, I've had about a week to play on the horn now, which included a rehearsal with my regular accompanist, Sara.

    Breaking in:
    The horn and I are breaking each other in. I'm doing as I always suggest, taking out the valves each day to wipe them down and re-oil. I also ran a cleaning sponge through the leadpipe to get any factory residue out (there was some). After about 4-5 days the valves started to feel mostly normal. They are still not quite as fast as my "old" horn, but are workable now and getting better each day. I've played with the AGR, but I don't think I'm familiar enough with the horn yet to really know where to place it. For now I'm just going with the 2-full-turns-out setting, but that may change. The horn is getting a little more "open" in response each day, and my past experience is that after a month or so it is going to be around 95% as responsive as a well-broken-in horn. I'm still working on the right way to approach a few notes on the E3, because some are different from the E1. In concert pitch, the upper G does not feel quite comfortable yet. The high C# is easier to play, but I don't feel like I have it centered well for tone, mostly. But the high B is better than the E1, as are the high D, Eb, E, and F.

    Intonation:
    I ran a tuning chart on it today and the results on now up on the Intonation page on the main site. There are differences compared to the E1, and I don't know if I would say it's better, but it surely is different and I think it is easier to manage (kinda soon to say, really). See the attached image.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Build Quality:
    The fit/finish on this horn is better than my previous ones, especially regarding the brushed finish. That effect is incredibly hard to make even as they brush around all the twists and turns of the valve tubes, but it's really quite a good job! The pistons have a nicer finish all around, which I like. All the tuning slides have a nice fit. And they are now buffing further down inside the bell, which looks better, too. See attache image (although the light-bounce effect makes it hard to see in the photo).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tone:
    This is really why I ordered an E3 to try. It was a bit of work to be heard over the civic orchestra I recently soloed with, and now and then I want more headroom in other settings. The E3 is definitely capable of taking more input and producing a larger sound when you want. It also has an inherently deeper sound, with more gravitas. The latter quality is attractive even in soft, pretty songs. I am still able to get an edgy sound when I prefer, without being forced to play louder than I want. Overall the tone is as flexible as the E1, which is a requirement in my book. Oddly enough, it seems even easier to handle during very soft passages - that's a bit counter-intuitive, given the extra capacity it has. Its wide dynamic range makes it easier to get the degree of expression I want. I hope you know what I mean - it's when you want to have certain notes jump out a bit more, or have a few notes at different volume from the line in general; it's all easier on the E3, which I was not expecting. When Sara and I did a rehearsal last week (on my 3rd day of playing the horn) she noticed the deeper sound and liked it.

    Hug Factor:
    The horn feels larger when I hold it. However, I can't quantify that. It fits in the Bonna case about like the E3 (might be a tiny bit tighter, but I can't even say that for sure). My Bonna case had both pads on the 4th-valve side, so it is outfitted like my E1 case is. I tried to measure its girth, much as you would measure a waistline when buying clothes. I tried to measure the length of a cord that went all the way around the horn, just above the 4th valve's position, and both horns where the same. However, I CAN say that the leadpipe angle is opened up a bit more now, so the horn is less parallel to your body front. This makes a more relaxed position for the right wrist and elbow, and may help a bit with projection (because the bell is effectively pointing out more). This angle makes a difference in fit to the case, because there is now no margin from the end of the leadpipe to the case wall (there was almost no margin before anyway, and I have not heard of any leadpipe damage during flights). Oh, and the reach to the 4th valve is about the same as the E1, but I think a bit shorter. (Having no good metric to use, I just measure the distance from the edge of the 4th valve button to the under-edge of the 3rd valve tuning, and their closest points. That should be a decent way to do it, I think.)

    ========

    When I have a chance I'll do a couple videos. I'll probably record another piece with Sara in July, and I'm going to try to do an A/B comparison in my church's sanctuary, where the tone has enough cubic feet to do its stuff.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Inside Bell.jpg  
    Last edited by davewerden; 06-23-2017 at 04:12 PM.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #2
    Nice review. So, you are trying it out, if you like it, you keep it? I never had the chance to play on an E1 or E2 before getting the E3, so other then a couple minutes on them at ITEC last summer, the E3 is the only Adams I have really played. I like it a bunch, and at this point, can't imagine changing it out ever. I was curious about intonation on your G in the staff. I notice you play that with the 3rd valve for notes with any length. I have found it not necessary on the E3, both 1&2 and 3 work equally well. I didn't see this note in your graphic above. The C in the staff is pretty sharp using 1&3 on my E3, so I do use 4 for that note with any length to it.

    Be curious to hear more as you get used to it. I simply have not found a horn I like better.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    So, you are trying it out, if you like it, you keep it?
    Yes, and I suspect I will like/keep it!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I was curious about intonation on your G in the staff. I notice you play that with the 3rd valve for notes with any length. I have found it not necessary on the E3, both 1&2 and 3 work equally well. I didn't see this note in your graphic above.
    Not every note has a label, but it is a representation of a chromatic scale from low Bb to high Bb. Notice the dots on the line. Each represents a note. So you'll find the G one dot to the right of the grid line that has the "F#" label. So far I like 3rd valve better, but on this horn, 12 seems to work better than on the E1, so it's easier to use 12 when I'm in the mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Be curious to hear more as you get used to it. I simply have not found a horn I like better.
    Certainly I'll share any revelations as they happen, but I hope that the video(s) I plan to do will be helpful.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Oklahoma City
    Posts
    263
    Did you just go with the Sterling bell brushed finish?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Msan1313 View Post
    Did you just go with the Sterling bell brushed finish?
    Yes, just like my old one. However, the way they brush them now give a more "alive" look to it, I think because the brushing is deeper. That's the look I like! Compare these two photos, with the E1 on the left and the E3 on the right:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. Dave,

    My E3 is different from yours in that I have .a 70 yellow brass horn rather than .60 sterling and I have the top sprung valveset. I found that 3 full turns on the AGR worked best for me on my E3. It seems to give me the best compromise between responsiveness and tone.

    The prototype top-sprung valve section affects quite a few things. The biggest difference, I suspect, would be my pitch chart would be different from yours. My horn has a bit longer top to bottom distance than the E1 or a standard E3 due to the extra length of the top sprung valve set. I am not sure whether the top and bottom bows are identical to yours or if they were proportionally shortened to offset the slightly longer inner and outer branch. I do know we had to shorten the tuning slide. In the end, the differences in tubing lengths before and after the valveset probably affects pitch.

    The biggest difference between the E1 and E3 (or any of my Besson's or my Sterling for that matter) is the bell shape. The throat of the bell on the E3 is MUCH larger than E1/E2. My Best Brass practice mute gets lost in my E3.

    Overall, I still like the sound of my Sterling best. It is just the most mellow horn I have ever played. I am also more easily able to play it in tune with the trigger than my Adams without. My Sterling is NOT as responsive as the Adams and is MUCH heavier. I like the ergonomics of the Adams and of course the fantastic valve action. But I must admit my number one horn is still my Sterling, with my Adams a close second. The strengths and weaknesses of each horn are so different, though, that I find myself using them for different purposes. For outdoor community band playing,. I prefer the Adams. Easier to carry around, projects well, and is very comfortable. For solo and brass band, and indoor concerts, I prefer the Sterling. It is easier to match pitch (its foibles match other euphoniums more closely), and it just has a wonderful, dark, mellow sound.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,425
    Congratulations Dave! Looks and sounds great.

    I'm beginning to feel a bit jealous.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Relicario (Jose Padilla; arr. R. Longfield)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    The prototype top-sprung valve section affects quite a few things. The biggest difference, I suspect, would be my pitch chart would be different from yours. My horn has a bit longer top to bottom distance than the E1 or a standard E3 due to the extra length of the top sprung valve set. I am not sure whether the top and bottom bows are identical to yours or if they were proportionally shortened to offset the slightly longer inner and outer branch. I do know we had to shorten the tuning slide. In the end, the differences in tubing lengths before and after the valveset probably affects pitch.
    I'm sure our tuning charts would be different. It's surprising how small a change it can take to affect intonation (and also how some large changes don't do all that much, as we found when I was trying to help Besson improve the 6th partial in the early 80's).

    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    The biggest difference between the E1 and E3 (or any of my Besson's or my Sterling for that matter) is the bell shape. The throat of the bell on the E3 is MUCH larger than E1/E2. My Best Brass practice mute gets lost in my E3.
    I noticed that! I have the same practice mute, and it barely clears the side of the bell. Next step for me is to figure out what I can use to thicken the rubber so it fits better.

    Quote Originally Posted by daruby View Post
    Overall, I still like the sound of my Sterling best. It is just the most mellow horn I have ever played. I am also more easily able to play it in tune with the trigger than my Adams without. My Sterling is NOT as responsive as the Adams and is MUCH heavier. I like the ergonomics of the Adams and of course the fantastic valve action. But I must admit my number one horn is still my Sterling, with my Adams a close second. The strengths and weaknesses of each horn are so different, though, that I find myself using them for different purposes. For outdoor community band playing,. I prefer the Adams. Easier to carry around, projects well, and is very comfortable. For solo and brass band, and indoor concerts, I prefer the Sterling. It is easier to match pitch (its foibles match other euphoniums more closely), and it just has a wonderful, dark, mellow sound.
    I think I understand everything you are saying and it makes sense to me. At last year's ITEC I missed my chance to try a new Virtuoso - the only one on display was sold by the time I was going to give it a blow. But I suspect it would still be my next-favorite after the Adams. On all the other brands, I feel they are not as close to my concept of tone, even though some others seem like really fine horns. Sterling and Adams are comfortable for me. As I've mentioned before, it was a long, tortuous decision to change from my Virtuoso to the Adams - they were both right in my "sweet spot"!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,425
    Dave. Don't know if the Best Brass mute fits as far down inside the Adams E3 as it does on the M5050, but this discussion thread might help. At ToneWheeler's suggestion, I added some electrical tape to the rim of the mute.

    M5050 and Best Brass Mute:
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Relicario (Jose Padilla; arr. R. Longfield)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RickF View Post
    Dave. Don't know if the Best Brass mute fits as far down inside the Adams E3 as it does on the M5050, but this discussion thread might help. At ToneWheeler's suggestion, I added some electrical tape to the rim of the mute. M5050 and Best Brass Mute:
    Thanks, Rick. That is helpful. The mute seems to work OK way down in there, but the knob and black tape might do the trick for making things more practical.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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