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Thread: Sterling Virtuoso Price and Others

  1. Sterling Virtuoso Price and Others

    Hi, 2 years ago I was making inquiries about Sterling Virtuoso, comparing it with other brands. In the end, I bought a Virtuoso with a heavy yellow bell.

    Q#1. I saw the price on JP website for Sterling Virtuoso depreciated a lot (3,912.50 excl VAT. RRP: 6,353.33). That's quite disappointing for us owners =( May I know that is the trend after JP acquired Sterling?

    Approximately what serial number is after the JP acquisition? Mine is 7546xx

    Q#2. At the time I picked the Virtuoso, I was testing and comparing with a Willson 2955, having a same price tag. The Willson was obviously the more polished horn, but I got a major problem with playing it in the high registers. The resistance was very high and i struggled to play G4 upwards. To my surprise, knowing that Virtuoso is also a heavy euphonium, I still managed to play fairly easy from G4 to Bb4, and the vibration response from the horn makes me happy (i don't know if it is an advantage).

    May i know if Willson 2955 was a good choice i might have missed? (though I do not regret picking Virtuoso since it was the right choice for me at that moment). Willson 2900 and 2960 are quite popular, but I seldom see threads about 2955, nor second hand mentions of it. (2955 has a lighter bow guard than 2950? The official site mentions some other differences). And the recent acquisition of Willson by Eastman will further make the pre-acquisition 2955 value for money I suppose?

    Please kindly help me with my thoughts. I'm still new to this euphonium world.

    Regards,
    Glen

  2. #2
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    Are you located in the UK? (I know that, generally, horns there are much cheaper than here in the US...especially those from companies based in the UK.)

    Given the fact that this is a near 2500 discount, I am guessing that the Sterling Virtuoso is being sunsetted...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by iMav View Post
    Are you located in the UK? (I know that, generally, horns there are much cheaper than here in the US...especially those from companies based in the UK.)

    Given the fact that this is a near 2500 discount, I am guessing that the Sterling Virtuoso is being sunsetted...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Could you share the link to that page? I'm wondering if the Virtuoso is used. As of now I don't see any Virtuoso on the JP site, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
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  4. #4
    Glen,

    First, thank you for your patience. Your post was flagged as possible spam by an automated system, so it had to wait until a human reviewed it. The spam filter keeps a lot of junk from ever showing up, but it does make mistakes sometimes.

    I can't say much about the Willson question, but I can tell you that the cheaper Sterling JP instruments you see are NOT the same as your Virtuoso. The JP instruments are made in China and are influenced by the man who makes the Virtuoso. But the Virtuoso is largely made in England and is a professional-level instrument.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Could you share the link to that page? I'm wondering if the Virtuoso is used. As of now I don't see any Virtuoso on the JP site, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place.

    Hi, I'm viewing from outside UK. These are the results I found.
    https://www.johnpacker.co.uk/prod/st...-silver-plated
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Could you share the link to that page? I'm wondering if the Virtuoso is used. As of now I don't see any Virtuoso on the JP site, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place.
    https://www.johnpacker.co.uk/prod/st...-silver-plated
    Groups
    Valley City Community Band
    Valley City State University Concert Band
    Valley City State University Jazz Ensemble

    Larry Herzog Jr.

    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  7. #7
    The description looks like the Sterling Virtuoso model 1. Sterling has made four models of the Virtuoso, with model 4 having features including a trigger, optional heavy red brass bell, gold plated trim, heavy 4th valve cap, etc.

    I'm wondering whether the appearance of what appears to be an actual Sterling Virtuoso on the John Packer site indicates a change in marketing and distribution of the British-made instrument line. The Sterling website was a "Coming Soon" page for at least five years, and now the link is completely dead. The Sterling Facebook page still lists that dead URL, and the most recent post is from March 2022. I am only aware of one U.S. dealer that lists Sterling Virtuoso euphoniums online (https://www.customtubas.com/products.php?cat=21), but, hopefully, there are more.

    I really like the product and, whatever these things may mean, I hope that they making adjustments that will ensure the continuation of this fine line of instruments.
    Sterling Virtuoso IV; Wick 4ABL
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial (1972); Wick 4AM
    Renton City Concert Band

  8. #8
    I contacted JP about this, and the super low price is for a new instrument. Note, however, that there is not one in stock at present.

    In any case, here is the response I got:

    We are able to offer good prices on the Sterling Virtuoso models because of our relationship with Sterling – they provide leadpipes for some of our higher end JP models. Although we sell the Virtuoso Euphonium for about 4500, the RRP is closer to the 7500. The Virtuoso models are certainly still in production, but Sterling is better known as a custom maker, and most of our enquiries with them are for custom orders. Because the Virtuosos aren’t made separately, there can be quite a long production time on them. They are still certainly considered pro-end instruments.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I contacted JP about this, and the super low price is for a new instrument. Note, however, that there is not one in stock at present.

    In any case, here is the response I got:
    And when they DO have them in stock, they won't sell direct to folks in the US. You have to go through a reseller (just like with their JP horns). (I've tried buying from them direct before.)

    Guaranteed you won't see those low prices here in the US.
    Groups
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    Larry Herzog Jr.

    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  10. #10
    One person you could reach out to is Mark Glover. He's a Sterling artist (and newly appointed solo euphonium of Grimethorpe!) and has a good knowledge of the horns, and an approachable guy. I do believe that Sterling hasn't been *acquired* by JP - John Packer seems to work with several custom high-end instrument manufacturers on the design of their more expensive line - and I guess naming rights are included with that. I believe they do the same thing with Rath and their trombones.
    Sean Kissane
    Low Brass Specialist, Paige's Music
    Principal Euphonium, Indianapolis Brass Choir
    Principal Euphonium, Crossroads Brass Band

    Equipment:
    S.E. Shires EUSOLO
    Warburton Gail Robertson mpc

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