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Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:26 pm

Greetings all! I play mostly trombone now, but back in late 90s when I was in HS, I played a bunch of baritone/euphonium. I'm thinking of getting back into the community band setting (I play orchestral only now), and having a euph would definitely help. So the main problem is that I know very little about euphoniums, except that compensating is good, but expensive, and that older used euphoniums may need a medium shank mouthpiece, of which I have none.

I have one friend who picked up an older 3-valve compensating Euphonium, and he says that has been pretty good for just about everything he has needed it for. I think it was a Besson. I was checking out the Dillon Music website this morning, and they appear to have a Boosey & Hawkes 3 valve compensating horn, but I don't know much about that particular brand.

I've also been looking at 4 valve euphoniums (non-compensating) on the used market as well, but most of them seem to be of "intermediate" build quality, while an older used 3 valve compensating horn might be of better manufacture. Also I would think the 3 valve compensating system would have somewhat better intonation within and slightly above the staff.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby 58mark » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:28 pm

I played a 3 valve compensating horn for years. They can be really nice horns. They play in tune, don't weigh a lot, and have good quality. You have to be careful, because most of those horns are 40 years old by now or older, so inspect the valves for wear
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby kmorgancraw » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:41 pm

A Yamaha YEP-321 4 valve non compensating is a good workhorse euphonium that will play well and hold up. Or if you want to go compensating on a budget, Wessex or Mack brass have euphoniums that folks seem to like.

Honestly you shouldn't get too hung up on the whole compensating thing. It only helps to play below E, below the staff, which you'll almost never do. Probably never in community band.
Last edited by kmorgancraw on Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby bloke » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:45 pm

fwiw,
I have some very high-grade (yet relatively lost-cost) 3+1 four-valve compensating euphoniums in stock...11-inch bell, very similar (sonically, and intonation characteristics/quirks) to the classic Besson/B&H euphoniums.

low $1XXX range... new w/case & warranty. Allied Supply Corp. (Wisconsin) carries this company's parts. :|

yes - made in China

' price is well below M.A.P. I can either mention the price range or the model. :oops:

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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby imperialbari » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:17 am

Both of my euphoniums are compensating, but if you have played bass trombone and if you like me are thinking in length of tubing needed for a given note, then a non-compensating instrument actually makes for an easier transition.

From other 4 and 5 valve instruments I was used to finding the best funny fingering for a given low note.

When I first played a compensating euphonium, the low range came out a semitone flat, because the instrument automatically did the compensation that I also did by my fingerings. Leading to a gross over-compensation.

Of course I soon learned the right fingerings for the 4-valve compensating euph.

If you are used to playing with a very light sound, then the non-compensating Yamaha YEP-321 will be good.

For a heavier approach go for a compensating euph. Since I bought mine, a fully new lower priced selection has entered the market. If you can buy from a dealer, who will back his sales by his own competent repair shop, then this may be something to consider.

For the more traditional quality brands getting service should not be a problem.

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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby nworbekim » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:38 am

kmorgancraw wrote:A Yamaha YEP-321 4 valve non compensating is a good workhorse euphonium that will play well and hold up.


yes, and i like the King 2280 also.

i questioned my favorite tech about a few of the older bessons and he liked them but said finding parts could sometimes be a problem.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby imperialbari » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:44 am

nworbekim wrote:i questioned my favorite tech about a few of the older bessons and he liked them but said finding parts could sometimes be a problem.


The current Besson instruments are made after metric measurements, whereas the original UK-built ones were made after Imperial measurements.

So parts are no immediately interchangeable.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby 58mark » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:46 am

I love the 2280 and you can use your favorite large shank mouthpiece with it.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby 58mark » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:49 am

These are surprisingly good

Mendini MEP-L Lacquer Brass B Flat Euphonium with Stainless Steel Pistons, Gold https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052N90CO/re ... gybY24TQ9K
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby Donn » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:14 am

tbonesullivan wrote:Also I would think the 3 valve compensating system would have somewhat better intonation within and slightly above the staff.


Sure, compared to 4 valve - I see you have been looking at the diagrams - but I wonder how far you could count on this. I mean, I have only brief experience with euphonium, but with tubas, they play in tune or they don't, and the valve-arithmetic issue that compensation solves is a relatively small factor. Bottom of the 3rd partial, and the same range of the 2nd partial, but it's maybe 4 notes, assuming you're happy to use combinations of multiple valves where needed, i.e. standard non-compensated fingering. The highest of those notes is C in the bass staff (for euphonium.) Most of the range of the instrument, you just hope you got one that's easy to play in tune, and the rest is up to you. It's a little different than trombone (but again, I only know from experience with a very unusual euphonium-like-object, so take with salt.)
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby kmorgancraw » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:29 am

58mark wrote:These are surprisingly good

Mendini MEP-L Lacquer Brass B Flat Euphonium with Stainless Steel Pistons, Gold https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052N90CO/re ... gybY24TQ9K" target="_blank


A $400 euphonium? Holy cow, what 3rd world country are these made in and what are the chances of a venomous spider crawling out of it after it arrives?
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby tbonesullivan » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:34 am

Yeah, coming from trombone, which is a giant tuning slide, I know there will be some things to get used to. My sense of pitch is far better now than it was back in HS, having studied music and trombone in college, and then playing in various community groups for years. I know there's going to be some real getting used to in terms of not really being able to adjust things as much. It wouldn't be much different than most tuba players I know, who are always pulling and pushing tuning slides, and often have valve levers installed on more than one tuning slide. I play a Bach 42, and a King 3b trombone, so I'm used to dealing with intonation quirks and partials that don't line up.

I was looking at the YEP321 and King 2280, especially after reading the lengthy write up on hornguys.com regarding the King. It certainly seems to offer a lot of options to help with intonation. I also happen to be one of those "curmudgeon" people who likes owning trombones without F attachments, as in almost all of the playing I do, they are not needed.

Of course I also have a double valve bass trombone (dependent of course), an alto, and a bunch of Bb/F trombones, because for pit playing, not having to go to 6th position can be quite helpful.

I will definitely have to think more about the pitfalls of the older horns out there. Getting parts for an older 3 valve Besson or Boosey&Hawkes would probably be close to impossible.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby 58mark » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:53 am

kmorgancraw wrote:
58mark wrote:These are surprisingly good

Mendini MEP-L Lacquer Brass B Flat Euphonium with Stainless Steel Pistons, Gold https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0052N90CO/re ... gybY24TQ9K" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank


A $400 euphonium? Holy cow, what 3rd world country are these made in and what are the chances of a venomous spider crawling out of it after it arrives?



They are Chinese, and actually pretty nice. I did a review on one I picked up used before selling it to a band director who didn't want to take her hirsbrunner to school. She played it and bought it on the spot from me

Demonstration video is in this thread, the cecilio is the same horn as the Mendini


viewtopic.php?f=2&t=75075" target="_blank
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby kmorgancraw » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:10 pm

I thought it might be Indian. I guess we have yet to see anything playable out of that country.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby marccromme » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:21 pm

I have seen Wessex and Mach Brass 3+1 comp euphs for as litte as 500 pound, and have myself bought one used Wessex Dolce at that price range. The Wessex plays well and does satisfy all my doubling needs, and that wich excellent intonation and good high as well as low range. Uses large shank mouthpieces.

As for compensated 3v euphs, the Hirsbrunner is found from time to time cheap for almost the same price, as everybody wants a 4v. It plays even better.

You better check the http://tromboneforum.org site as well, and post a WTB ad there.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby marccromme » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:32 pm

marccromme wrote:I have seen Wessex and Mach Brass 3+1 comp euphs for as litte as 500 pound ....
You better check the http://tromboneforum.org" target="_blank site as well, and post a WTB ad there.


Newer and more expensive, but here there is one: http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,95776.0.html It does not cost anything to negotiate ...
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby bloke » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:59 pm

If someone is OK with the Jinbao-made YEP-642 copy, isn't Tom's brand-new/silver price still only $995...??
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby iiipopes » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:21 pm

Have you been over to Dave Werden's forum? They talk a lot about this very issue. The Wessex Dolce is a favorite, although the rest of the alternatives are also discussed.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby bloke » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:27 pm

Myself, I'd probably go for the $230.
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Re: Starting out on Euphonium - instrument choice.

Postby ValveSlide » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:04 am

Unless you want to buy the real thing (which is what I recommend...), they're all the same horn, out of the same factory.

Why pay more than necessary?

http://www.jimlaabsmusicstore.com/store/schiller-elite-compensating-euphonium/

My warranty experience with other sellers hasn't been any different than this place's reputation.
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