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Thread: Bell Front American Baritones

  1. #1

    Bell Front American Baritones

    Rodgeman recently posted a video of Maynard Ferguson playing a bell front baritone in a big band setting and it got me thinking that it would be fun to have one of those horns for various types of music and occasions when I'm looking for a different sound. Mostly I'm thinking of using it for jazz-type stuff, but maybe concert band-type music occasionally as well.

    What types of horns would I be looking for? Conn 20i? Conn 14i? Some sort of King?

    Thanks for you thoughts!

  2. #2
    To someone who is used to a modern compensating horn, the top brands of the American-style bell front horns will seem similar in blowing. My personal choices would be a Conn or King, in their better series. Look for the rolled ends on the slide receivers, which was not present on the cheaper models.

    The Conn bell-front is adjustable (not in the cheap models). The King is a fixed bell. If being able to turn to specific angles is important, then you want a Conn.

    The Conn has a smoother, more mellow sound. The King's sound is a little more brassy, and might be capable of handling more powerful input, but most jazz players would not reach that level of input for a euphonium because it gets blatty-sounding on either brand. I think it might be easier to project with the King at average input levels.
    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
    Thanks for all that info Dave. Any idea what King model numbers to look for for the nicer models?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by aroberts781 View Post
    Thanks for all that info Dave. Any idea what King model numbers to look for for the nicer models?
    Well, I know the 2266 is the right model in the 4-valve version, but I don't know the number for the 3-valve. If you see a "King Cleveland" (as a model name) that would be the lower model. The text on any King may say the horn is made in Cleveland, but that would apply to either line. "Diplomat" is also a student line.

    Here is one of the 3-valve Kings that appears to be the higher line, just as an example:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/254931105387

    It has the extra roll on the tuning slide receiver:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Most of the 4-valve Kings you see appear to be the top model, so that is simpler!
    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. In the postwar Conn line, you would be looking for a 20i (Artist Series) which is a 3 valve with short action valves. Alternatively, in a 4 valve, the 24i Connstellation was the premier horn from early 1950s until late 1960s.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  6. #6
    Would you believe it -- I grew up less than a mile from the Conn factory, but I have never so much as touched a Connstellation, let alone played one.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  7. Quote Originally Posted by DaveBj View Post
    Would you believe it -- I grew up less than a mile from the Conn factory, but I have never so much as touched a Connstellation, let alone played one.
    Says the man with a Conn 86I. Sigh. I keep looking for an 84I. Long wait.
    Richard

    1935 Conn 64I Baritone
    Mouthpieces: Too many to list and growing

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard III View Post
    Says the man with a Conn 86I. Sigh. I keep looking for an 84I. Long wait.
    Well, yeah, the Connstellation would have to be really good to beat my old 86I. Still . . .
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  9. #9
    Last edited by Shinn; 05-10-2021 at 08:04 PM.
    David Shinn
    1974 Besson New Standard Euphonium (Frosted Silver/Bright Highlights)
    Besson 180th Anniversary Dennis Wick 4AL (Frosted Silver/Gold Rim)
    Peninsula Concert Band
    Yorktown, Virginia

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinn View Post
    Good catch! They both have nice cases apparently, which is a plus. If it were me I'd be tempted to go for the $400 horn - its leadpipe looks to be in better shape. And the horn seems to be in ready-do-play condition. It has short-action valves, too, which are great fun!
    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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