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Thread: What is the best way to "try before you buy"?

  1. What is the best way to "try before you buy"?

    I want to upgrade from my Mack Brass Euphonium and I want it to be a big upgrade. Over the years from high school I've played on (in terms of professional horns) on a Besson Sovereign, a Wilson (don't know the model) and a Yamaha Neo.

    My gut reaction is to say that I want a Besson Sovereign but I haven't played that horn since high school and I'm a much different player since then. I never cared to much for the Wilson, I felt like it was overly dark sounding but again I was in high school playing that so my expectations could be much different since then.

    The Yamaha Neo is a good horn, but never was my favorite, and I played that for two years in college (it was the University's horn).

    So basically I don't know what I want from a professional model Euphonium. There's many brands I haven't tried before, Kanstul, Adams, Hirsburnner, etc. that I want to try and play and see if it's a good match.

    The local music store around me (All County Music, South Florida) doesn't have pro models available to try (at least not for Euphoniums) and I'm not sure where else I could try them. Do any companies have any trial programs? Where you play for a while and can make a decision on whether or not to keep the purchase?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    If you're on the east coast (or close enough to it), you should think about going to the Army tuba/euph workshop since a number of vendors are always there. You might also try contacting some of them ahead of time to see what they'll have available or be willing to bring. And in addition you might be able to find someone there (or arrange a meeting) who has a model you're interested in trying and is willing to let you toot on it for a while. Finally, it's just a GREAT experience. Unfortunately, it's not until late Jan.

    https://www.usarmyband.com/tuba/index.html
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Time for a Road Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by bman94 View Post
    I want to upgrade from my Mack Brass Euphonium and I want it to be a big upgrade. Over the years from high school I've played on (in terms of professional horns) on a Besson Sovereign, a Wilson (don't know the model) and a Yamaha Neo.

    Do any companies have any trial programs? Where you play for a while and can make a decision on whether or not to keep the purchase?
    I concur with the above recommendations, but I think you might want more time before buying a horn, and you want to play the actual one you purchase, in case the demo horns at conferences are not available for sale at that moment.

    Yes, some companies have a return policy, but frankly, that's only for one horn that you have to put on your card, and for the amount of money you're looking at spending and uncertainly on what brand and model you'll land on, it is well worth it to make a road trip to check out multiple makers, horns, sizes, and finishes.

    I agree with the conference recommendations. Sometimes, they are showing horns in real noisy environments, but show them you're a serious buyer, and ask if you can take the horn out into the hall to play at least. Always bring a recorder and a companion who is a serious player themselves.

    If you road trip to Dillon in NJ, (and certainly you could find friends to go with you!), you could play in stock besson, willson, yamaha, maybe a miraphone 5050. I used to own and play Hirsbrunner, Besson, and Miraphone, and have played Wilson, Sterling, and Yamaha, so I understand what you might like in the Besson's sound, but I think most makers have changed and improved in the last 5 to 10 years, so you might be in for a surprise.

    I recommend, stay the night and come back the next day to see if you're still in love with a particular horn.

    BUT THEN, head four hours down the road, you can check out Meinl Weston and Adams and some of the same others at Baltimore Brass in MD.

    Call ahead to make sure the ones you are really interested in are in stock. But worth a drive or flight and hotel stay. People have literally flown from Japan in the morning to play horns all day and left the next morning with their new horn. Bring a couple of mouthpiece choices in case your regular mouthpiece doesn't seem to match the horn just right.

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