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Thread: Looking to Buy Good, Affordable Euphonium

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    NYC metro area
    Posts
    516
    I bought a Mack Brass euphonium a number of years back. It needed some adjustments to the first valve. Tom told me to bring it to a local shop and he'd reimburse the cost. That's exactly what I did, and he did. It saved me the cost and time of shipping it back to them. I was impressed by this simple solution to my problem. The horn has been trouble-free in the 8 years since.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1 (DE 101XTG9 mouthpiece in the drawer)
    Bach 36B trombone; Bach 6.5AL mouthpiece (pBone on loan to granddaughter)
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo; RIP) and Delilah (the cavapoo) keep me company while practicing

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    141
    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Roberts View Post
    Thank you for your comments. I am a little concerned about how Jin Bao horns would sound
    The JinBao instruments sound fine. My euphonium professor offered the opinion that my euphonium is a good instrument. (For the record, mine is a JinBao-based horn that I bought at musicstore.com.) My professor's own euphonium is also a JinBao based horn. (Euphonium is a secondary instrument for him, so a JinBao horn serves his needs well.)

    iMav has tested instruments from several vendors, and the JinBao-based instruments sounded fine, although he prefers the JP274.

    The way I see it, the JinBao-based horns are 90% to 95% as good as a Yamaha at 10% to 20% of the price, depending on the vendor.

    If you have plenty of money, and you don't mind spending it, then buy a top of the line instrument. There are a bunch of good brand. Adams is highly favored by many users here. Besson is another one. So is Yamaha. I'm sure that other users will chime in to complete a larger list of top of the line brands.

    As far as the suggestion to save up and buy a top of the line instrument is concerned, in my opinion you are better off buying an instrument that you can afford right now, and if you want to save up for a "better" instrument to buy later, that's fine but probably not necessary because you can make great music using one of the less expensive horns. To put it another way, one of the less expensive horns is probably not going to be a limitation for you until you progress to a very advanced level.

    There is one thing to watch out for, which is the very inexpensive horns from India. They don't have a good reputation. Matonizz on youtube did a comparison of several euphoniums, and the one from India didn't sound terrible when he played it, but the other instruments he demonstrated sounded better, including the Chinese made ones. However, Matonizz could probably make a garden hose sound good, so I wouldn't assume that an instrument from India would be a great choice for an average player. On the other hand, although Indian instruments have a bad reputation, I have found very few examples of anyone reporting their results of actually testing one. The bottom line is that buying an Indian instrument is probably not worth the risk.

    Another thing to watch out for is the plastic euphoniums. I have one that I bought on a lark. It sounds like a euphonium, but it doesn't sound like a great euphonium, and it's hard to play because some of the notes do not speak as easily as they should, at least not in my hands. However, it's nice and light, and is a good one to play outdoors in the cold, such as at some Tuba Christmas events.

    One final comment. Of the JinBao-based horns, Wessex probably has the best reputation. I think they do an extra level of quality control that some of the other vendors might skip. This is reflected in a higher price.
    Last edited by massmanute; 12-01-2023 at 03:57 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    141
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    For the record, Wessex has been a long-time supporter of the site. So far Mack Brass has not responded to my invitation.
    Thanks for the clarification.

  4. Thanks, this is helpful

  5. #15
    274 by a mile. I have one for sale for a great price, but I dont know how expensive shipping would be. If you are in Texas, let me know

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    44
    My recent experience with Mack Brass was very pleasant. Tom and his wife were responsive and open to my questions. I had some lengthy conversations with both of them about the horns they sell and my plans. (By the way, they prefer talking on the phone rather than communicating by email.) I bought a new euphonium and a new tuba for about what my Yamaha 642 Neo would sell for used. They reminded me a number of times during our conversations that if I'm not happy with either horn, I can return it (but Tom emphasized that they have had very few horns returned).
    David Smith

  7. #17
    Can't go wrong with a JP247 or Wessex Dolce, been around for a while now and have a good reputation. Depending on what's in your area, you may also be able to find a used professional standard instrument for around that price point
    Adams E2 | K&G 4D+

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