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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:06 am

Buying the real thing is always an option. Just a question of which one to get. I tend to be somewhat partial to instruments made by Yamaha, and they are very good about having parts available.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby ValveSlide » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:30 pm

The gold standard is the YEP 321. Very affordable second hand . Used by a lot of professional trombonists. Reliable as they come. Probably should be on any short list.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby timothy42b » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:18 pm

tbonesullivan wrote:Yeah, coming from trombone, which is a giant tuning slide, I know there will be some things to get used to. .


Trombone players use the slide on every note for fine tuning.

Euph players have two different approaches: use a combination of lipping and fingering choice to play in tune, or play blissfully out of tune.

I've played in bands with both types. So I know it's possible to play euph musically and in tune. Sadly it's not all that common. I would suggest spending some time with a drone, particularly in the range from middle C to the G above it. Those notes are often horrendously out of tune, F, E, and Eb being the worst offenders. When I have a soli line with euphs in that range, I sometimes have to drop out and let them play it, because even with a slide I can't match their pitch choices.

A few decades back I played euph in a good band for a couple years. I wish I could take back some of the out of tune notes I played back then - my standards have risen over the years. I did build a practice keyboard to get the notes under my fingers, took it and Arban's scales to work and played on all my breaks. If I knew how to upload a photo I'd show it.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby largobone » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:15 pm

Here's a good list (off the top of my head)

"Student" (<$1000)
-Jinbao-not recommended in general
-pretty much any used 3-valve euph/bari-might be fine for what you want
-Besson New Standard-3 valve compensating-might be better for what you want
-"Meh" condition Yamaha 321, Jupiter, Besson/Boosey&Hawkes (essentially the same company now)-you can have a number of these bought and fixed up for under 1k; I got a vintage Boosey (1906) compensating euph for about $450 and sunk about $100 worth of repairs into it to make it just about perfect, still the best euph I've ever played and it has a very distinct british-euph sound that so many people love

"Intermediate" ($1000-3000)
-Jupiter 470, 570 (now 1000, 1020)-470 is a 4-valve non-compensating, 570 is a 3+1 non-compensating so the only difference is which is more comfortable for you and whether you see an upgrade to a pro model in the future
-Yamaha 321-the go-to trombone doubler euphonium, very reliable 4 non-compensating model and they can be found cheap; I'd suggest having a large shank receiver put on
-King 2280-4 valve non-compensating, similar to the 321 but has a large shank receiver
-Wessex Dolce-3+1 compensating; THE budget horn, can't find a better euphonium for less than 4k (and this one's less than $1500 all tricked out)
-Mack Brass-3+1 compensating; very highly acclaimed by euph players when recommending budget horns, I'm sure several tubists here can attest to their customer service
-Amati-supposedly cheaply made and dent very easily; come in all configurations (4, 3+1 non-comp, 3+1 comp)
-Kanstul 985 or 985-L I think the difference here is 4 vs. 3+1 both non-compensating

"Professional" ($3000+)-all of these are 3+1 compensating models
-Yamaha 642/Neo/Maestro
-Besson Sovereign, Imperial, Prestige
-Cerveny Emperor
-Jupiter 1120 and XO
-Kanstul 975
-You could also look at a used Miraphone or Meinl Weston, but they may be a little overwhelming.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:09 pm

timothy42b wrote:Trombone players use the slide on every note for fine tuning.

Euph players have two different approaches: use a combination of lipping and fingering choice to play in tune, or play blissfully out of tune.
I have seen the "pro" level euphs from some makers that have a main tuning slide kicker/trigger, but it doesn't seem to be completely widespread. I'm surprised that there isn't more tuning correcting built in, like in a trumpet with the 1 and 3 valve slides.

King 2280 is looking better and better, and it seems to have a variety of tuning possibilities, and is a lot cheaper than most of the options out there.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby 58mark » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:52 pm

My king is the most in tune euphonium I've ever played (above low Eb)

I like it so much I added a 5th valve to mine to give even more options down there
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby LowBrassNYC » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:25 pm

I'll second the YEP-321 again. Your not going to find the same quality for the price. It's a no-brainer.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby timothy42b » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:18 pm

tbonesullivan wrote:I have seen the "pro" level euphs from some makers that have a main tuning slide kicker/trigger, but it doesn't seem to be completely widespread.


It seems like a good idea to me, but I've never played one nor seen one played.

So maybe it's not practical for some reason that doesn't occur to me. Or, just not needed.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:48 pm

I would guess it depends on the player. It's definitely more of a "tuba" thing to be adjusting the main tuning slide all the time. Brass Ark has an alexander CC tuba up for sale that has an adjustment rod running from the bottom tuning slide to above the upper bow so you can just use your right hand to adjust. The kickers on the Euphoniums seem to be spring loaded, so they return to "center" after being used.

I have a friend with a B&S F Tuba with a kicker on one of the valves, and had the valve vented as well so it doesn't trap any air.

I will try to get down to DIllon Music next week and see if I can try out some euphs.

timothy42b wrote:It seems like a good idea to me, but I've never played one nor seen one played.

So maybe it's not practical for some reason that doesn't occur to me. Or, just not needed.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby FreeBandMusic » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:49 pm

The king 2280 plays well and has a good full-size tone, but the springy tuning gadget is totally unusable... the human hand just does NOT bend that way. I've seen a lot of kings, but no one uses the 3rd valve thing... just disconnect the spring.

the yep 321 is well built and plays in tune, but the tone is much lighter and brighter than the compensators, 3 or 4 valve.

Our music for community band typically has at least one piece on each concert that calls for a fourth valve.

I've heard several of the chinese compensators and they seem okay... Our first chair player uses a Schiller and sounds great.

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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby 58mark » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:53 pm

Love my king, but yes, the spring is useless. Great intonation above low Eb.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby dwerden » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:55 pm

There is nothing wrong with the 321, although I prefer the King 2280's tone. However, if you would rather only deal with 3 valves and don't need to go below low E, and 3-valve compensating horn is just fine. I personally prefer the Besson sound over the 321 or 2280. FWIW, Boosey & Hawkes is basically the same instrument as Besson (same company, parts, and production line in modern history). Willson also made one, so if you are a fan of the Willson sound that might work for you. They are extremely rare, but one just sold on eBay recently for $1,750. If you keep an eye on my forum's For Sale section, I will invariably list any of the 3-valve compensating horns when I see a good one for sale.
http://www.dwerden.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/327-For-Sale-Wanted-to-Buy

A 3-valve compensating horn allows you to play low C with 13 and the B below that with 123... AND be in tune! Same for the low F and E.

You can learn more about both the 3- and 4-valve compensating system below. Try the icon/link near the top for an animated version if you want a quick overview:

http://www.dwerden.com/eu-articles-comp.cfm
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby largobone » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:13 pm

^This guy knows what he's talking about-go to his forum and do some looking around/inquiries (http://www.dwerden.com/forum/forum.php#.WB6kL_krKUl)
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby MaryAnn » Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:34 pm

The problem with Jim Laabs is you cannot ever get your money back. You can exchange but you cannot send back. For that reason, no matter whether the quality is the same or not, I won't buy from there. That's just my choice of how to spend my bucks.

I had a 2280 for years. Upgraded to a used Sterling Perantucci 3+1 compensator that I got on ebay. For me, no comparison; the Sterling is SO much easier to play in tune, and being a horn player, the stuffiness of the compensating system is below the radar.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:46 pm

dwerden wrote: I personally prefer the Besson sound over the 321 or 2280. FWIW, Boosey & Hawkes is basically the same instrument as Besson (same company, parts, and production line in modern history). Willson also made one, so if you are a fan of the Willson sound that might work for you. They are extremely rare, but one just sold on eBay recently for $1,750. If you keep an eye on my forum's For Sale section, I will invariably list any of the 3-valve compensating horns when I see a good one for sale.
http://www.dwerden.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/327-For-Sale-Wanted-to-Buy

A 3-valve compensating horn allows you to play low C with 13 and the B below that with 123... AND be in tune! Same for the low F and E.
Thank you so much for the info! Another reason the 3 valve compensating system appealed to me, aside from price (if I can find one), is that I played in a community group with another trombone player, and he had picked up a 3 valve compensating Besson, and really liked it, and none of the literature he needed it for had anything below E2, or nearly that low. Given that Tenor and bass trombone come "before" Euphonium in my preferred instrument, sinking a bunch into an instrument. I'll have to see if the Boosey & Hawkes is still at Dillon Music so I can go check it out on Thursday.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:43 pm

Sorry for the thread from the dead. I'm still on the hunt, and noticed some horns down at Baltimore brass. They have a Marzan 4 valve non compensating front action, and a "Mahillon" 5 valve (4 top 1 side) that has a flat half step 5th valve. Also looks like they have a Jean Baptiste clone of a Yamaha 321, as well as some oval rotary valve euphs.

Does anyone have any recommendations besides going down and playing them? I'll be down there for other reasons this saturday, so it would be the perfect opportunity to play some horns.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby imperialbari » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:00 pm

Took a look at a couple of the photos.

From my single Bb horn I know that 5 valves with a long semitone in the fifth gives good options for funny fingerings in the low range, low B natural is still missing though. If the Mahillon has tight valves and if it has been well put together, then it could be an interesting instrument. It definitely needs a thorough testing before a potential buy. I do not like the very exposed position of the 4th slide.

The airpath of the Marzan is hard to follow from the photo. Looks like the main or the 4th slide is accessible on the back for adjustments on the fly, which is a good thing. This one rather looks like made by Böhm & Meinl than by Willson, which is not a bad thing, but it likely will be a little lighter. Does not look like it takes a large mouthpiece stem. The same might go for the Mahillon, but there I am less sure.

If I were to pick one of these just from the photos, I would take the Marzan.

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