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  1. #1

    Newbie

    As a new member to the forum (and an aging one!-will turn 70 in Dec), I'd ;like to take this opportunity to post for the first time. My name is Joe, from the state of RI. I've recently bought a used ( more like abused) Euphonium/Baritone??. I went this route to see if, after a 20 year hiatus, I could even get a note out of it. Well, I did, and have been practicing daily now for 2 months. I find that I'm already considering upgrading/replacing this horn. I'm playing a dented up and resoldered Conn and I don't think that I can improve my tone much more on this particular horn.

    Having had numerous medical problems over the past 12 years, I've moved on after open heart surgery 6 months ago. I made it a goal to try to get back to a community group somewhere.

    A question I have for this group is -how do I go about looking for a new horn?? There are no music stores in my area that carry Euphoniums. I'm also fairly new to this "digital" world and not the biggest fan of it. It seems that I would have to purchase "sight-unseen" on-line?

    My financial situation somewhat limits my purchase, but my considerations will be new vs. used, 4 valve compensating and brass NOT plastic. I'd like to keep my price range around 1000, but would consider slightly higher if it proves beneficial. I know that the 3-10 thousand dollar range is out of the question.

    Any insight from this forum would be greatly appreciated.

    Joe Mintel -aging amateur Euphonist

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    Your budget is fairly limiting, given the parameters you have set: new, 4-valve compensating. It is complicated a little by your location, where there are not a lot of shops carrying this type of horn. However, not many stores in the U.S. would have a $1k horn like this in new stock.

    There are 4 stepping stones for cheaper euphoniums. 1st is the direct-from-China "off brand" route. Names like Lark come to mind, and these are generally to be avoided. 2nd step would be the direct-from-china Jin Bao route, offering a little more stability. The design is pretty good but quality control is not assured, and there are better options, albeit at a slightly higher price. 3rd step is a brand with some U.S. quality assurance, of which Mack Brass is the best example. They do check and adjust each horn on arrival, but now we are at around $1200. The 4th step is preferred and spoken well of on the forum in many places. That would be for brands that take a much more active role in the QA process. Wessex and Austin Custom Brass (ACB) are the ones we know best. Wessex will cost you about $1500 for their lacquer model, and the ACB a bit more, around $1,649. ACB does have a demo model of their horn for just under $1500.

    Mack Brass has been spotty in responsiveness from what I have heard and experienced, but most people are happy with the instruments they get. Wessex and ACB are my personal entry-level choices, because I feel the extra cost of their horns is justified and the risk is minimized, particularly when buying "sight unseen".

    WESSEX: https://wessex-tubas.com/collections...12238594441273

    ACB: https://www.austincustombrass.biz/au...l-new-in-2020/ (there is even a video of my testing one on this page)

    ACB demo (the very instrument I, and a few other forum folks, recently play-tested): https://www.austincustombrass.biz/de...ers-euphonium/
    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

  3. #3
    Hi Dave and thankyou for the quick response.
    I agree...hard to fit the bill for 1000...but I'm willing to go higher, with financing for a better horn, just not the real professional models. That would seem to be overkill for me.
    I don't know if I'd ever get to play that well, but I'll try my best. It'll just be great to get back in the game a little- even if just at the community band level.

    JimLaabsMusic is advertising the compensating 4 valve Schiller Elite V right now for 1585.00, and I'm seriously considering it. What do you think of that horn and have you ever heard of JimLaabsMusic? Seems so difficult to do business this way. Not the world I remember- of driving to the music store, looking at display models and buying or ordering,maybe even after trying the horn.

    Thanks again for the help in my decision process.
    Joe

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMin View Post
    JimLaabsMusic is advertising the compensating 4 valve Schiller Elite V right now for 1585.00, and I'm seriously considering it. What do you think of that horn and have you ever heard of JimLaabsMusic?
    Oh, yes. They have been around for a while. They were getting some rather bad comments for a while on some forums for lack of response/service. I have heard nothing good or bad since then.

    Many people have had good experience with Schiller horns, but I prefer to go a different route. To me, they are on the downside of Chinese instruments because they are basically just copies of brand-name horns that are made to sell cheaply. They are decent enough instruments, but there is no "value add" with them. We know China is good at copying designs and producing them, but I think the music world can do better than that.

    Companies like ACB and Wessex work more with the factories to make sure what is produced is done well, and they also require various improvements based on customer needs and/or general quality improvements. They hold the factory more accountable on an ongoing basis. And they both work hard to maintain a good relationship with customers and consequently their own reputations. ACB and Wessex displays are both often found at various music conferences, usually manned by company people, so they have more direct contact with not only their customers but also other players who can offer valuable insights. You will even see some of the pro players testing the horns (out of curiosity or perhaps so they know what their students may want to buy), and those folks usually offer comments/feedback that helps to improve the breed.
    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

  5. #5
    Hey Joe! Welcome to the forum indeed, and almost to the class of 70 year olds and older (as I am, 73, and also in December).

    A big "Ditto" on what Dave said above. I was one of those forum folk who play tested the ACB Doubler Demo. And I own a Wessex Dolce. In my opinion, you can stop your search right now, and pick one or the other. And you probably just received $1,400 from Uncle Sam perhaps in the last week, yes? Well there you go. Pick which one you like best. Either would be a great choice.

    There is really no time like the present, and a wise man once said "One day spent without a euphonium is one day less you will have to play this glorious instrument!" Good luck!
    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)

  6. #6
    Thank you John,
    I took a look at both the Austin Doubler AND the Wessex Dolce. I think that I could spring for either of those or the Schiller Elite V. Unfortunately, the gov't money just received to both the wife and I is pretty much already spoken for . We need to replace a couple of windows in the house, both oversized windows. So, I'll probably put down an amount and finance the remainder. Now, for the big question..which one? and should I add a case (soft or hard case??) decisions, decisions..Oh well, at 70 I may as well go out with a bang!
    Thanks again for the experienced help from both you and Dave. I'm impressed with the credentials attched to both of your names on the forum. Wish I had taken that avenue long ago.
    Joe

  7. #7
    Joe,

    Either one of those horns comes with a case included and a mouthpiece (although you might want a different one). That is in the price of the horn. You might check with each dealer on availability as they are sometimes sold out. But they have orders coming on a regular basis. If you go to the Wessex site, I believe it tells you if they are available or out of stock. Check each of the Dolce horns (silver w/gold, silver, lacquered brass) to see what the status is. I am not sure about the ACB horn, but you can easily call them. So the availability might persuade your choice. If both are available, then go to the "great decider" - flip a coin!! Both are very good choices.
    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)

  8. I think both the Dolce and ACB Doubler are out of stock. There was this post about a used Dolce recently for $1200, which is pretty close to your target price:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...0#.YFjpddKSm70

  9. #9
    Wessex has a delivery prediction in late May, I believe.

    The ACB DEMO model does not show out of stock, so that should be available.
    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

  10. #10
    You can also check into the John Packer JP274. I play one and others also. Talk to Joe:

    https://www.facebook.com/midsouthmusic79

    Also:

    Phone: (901) 458-8791
    E-mail: midsouthmusic@aol.com

    He has the best prices shipped to your door.

    This is the model I play:

    https://www.jpmusicalinstruments.com...p274-euphonium

    Good luck and welcome back to playing.
    John Packer JP274L Euphonium
    __________________________
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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