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Author Topic: Euphoniums  (Read 2066 times)
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Tbonedude

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« Reply #40 on: Feb 11, 2018, 08:04AM »

I was checking out the Festivo on Wessex's website and read:

"Wessex are thrilled to introduce the EP104 'Festivo', an original design compensated euphonium fitted with front action valves for greater comfort in playing through the ergonomic positioning."

The site says Wessex is based in the USA, and I had some crazy idea that it was a UK company,  but that sentence made me wonder if Wessex is not actually a China based company. "Wessex are" = UK speak
"Through the ergonomic positioning." = Chinese operator's manual English.

Just got me wondering who actually runs Wessex and who is doing their product descriptions and web design. I'm interested in these businessey kind of things.

The Festivo is the design I'd probably want to try most. Valves on top is uncomfortable and the front valve design seems so logical.

Wessex imports chinese-built instruments to both the UK and the USA. They do extensive QC to ensure every horn is a great one. They also have some special contracts with their supplier to build horns such as the Festivo that only Wessex can sell. Their product design and prototyping is done in the UK, I believe. Forum user Jonathan could probably chip in some info here, he *IS* Wessex. (thanks blast for the correction)

Their horns are great- one of my buddies has a Dolce and it's a fantastic player... I was tempted to buy a Festivo! I decided not to splurge, and came to the conclusion that while I loved the valve-front ergonomics of the Festivo, I didn't need a compensating horn. So I got a used King 2266... same ergonomics, non-compensating, granted it's an American-style bell-front euphonium which doesn't sound quite as nice. Funny enough, the Wessex BR115 baritone is a modified clone of the 2266, but I found a used one a little cheaper.
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blast

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« Reply #41 on: Feb 11, 2018, 09:24AM »

Jonathan IS Wessex.... it is his company.  The US side is big and has it's own US friendly website to make purchase easier.

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ronkny

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« Reply #42 on: Feb 11, 2018, 12:11PM »

My favorite is the Willson 2900.  Tried a MW Phoenix.  Nice sound but valves wear crummy and the distance between the valve buttons and the upper bow was too tight for my hands.
Tried an Eastman. For $2800 it was awesome. Not a Willson but amazingly easy to play.  Valves were nice. Sound was beautiful. I was very impressed.
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« Reply #43 on: Feb 11, 2018, 01:31PM »

I own a Mack Brass Euphonium.  While I have been happy with it overall I would recommend Wessex.  I have bought two trombones from Wessex and am very happy with the quality and feel that they are bringing in better instruments than Mack Brass.  They both are Jinbao instruments but Wessex play tests every one prior to shipment and this makes a big difference IMHO.  Best wishes in your search.
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« Reply #44 on: Feb 12, 2018, 08:49AM »

So I got a used King 2266... same ergonomics, non-compensating, granted it's an American-style bell-front euphonium which doesn't sound quite as nice

I don't know anything about euphoniums at all, but my bell front tuba sounds remarkably different (to me) when I pull the bell over so it's pointing straight up, and hence closer to my left ear.  I can do that because it's a removable bell, of course, so that's no good for you, but my point is really just that it's just about impossible to compare with a bell up.  I bet it sounds every bit as nice as other euphoniums from the position of a normal listener.

I personally go for the bass saxhorn.  E.g., look for Opus 333 videos.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #45 on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:04AM »

...

I personally go for the bass saxhorn.  E.g., look for Opus 333 videos.

Over the shoulder or bell up?
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John the Theologian
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« Reply #46 on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:05AM »

I'm a doubler and purchased a new Mack Brass euphonium  3 years ago and I've been very happy with it.

I can't comment on the Wessex, but it looks like the big plus is their claim for better ergonomics with the floating lead pipe.  I've never noticed any ergonomic issues with my Mack, so I think it's an individual thing.

I previously owned a well-used Yamaha 321 and the Mack was not only a clear upgrade, but I got so much out of the sale of the 321 to a very happy customer that my financial upgrade to the Mack was very small.

BTW, on the euphonium sites, used Wessexes and Macks seem to be holding their value quite well.  Both have good warranties- not identical, but similar, so they don't seem like much of a risk to me.  Both companies seem to have very pleased customers; I was pleased with the service at Mack Brass.
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« Reply #47 on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:21AM »

free-floating leadpipe doesn't do anything for ergonomics. It tends to make the slots tighter on the instrument and makes it respond quicker.
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« Reply #48 on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:34AM »

free-floating leadpipe doesn't do anything for ergonomics. It tends to make the slots tighter on the instrument and makes it respond quicker.

I know that Wesse used to tout something about ergonomics.  If it wasn't the leadpipe, what was it in their design?
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« Reply #49 on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:46AM »

Over the shoulder or bell up?

Whatever Opus 333 plays.  I believe these are bass saxhorns.  I think they may currently play Willsons.  (E.g., C. Debussy: Chansons de Charles d'Orléans.  If looking for a quick snip, maybe listen to the beginning of the 2nd song ca 2:10.  Try not to be put off by the bobbing up and down.)
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« Reply #50 on: Feb 12, 2018, 11:04AM »

free-floating leadpipe doesn't do anything for ergonomics. It tends to make the slots tighter on the instrument and makes it respond quicker.
Tighter? It's the other way around. Slots are looser and the horn plays more "open".

It's like the difference between playing a Bach 42B with a million braces and a bell with no bracing like a Shires. Neither are bad but the slotting is very different in both designs.
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« Reply #51 on: Feb 16, 2018, 10:50AM »

I used to be a doubler, though my main euph for a while was a 1922 Conn New Wonder. ...

The first euph I bought, when I started doubling back in high school, was a Conn New Wonder made in 1917.  Trying to play it with a 6-1/2AL was an exercise in frustration because the second partial went nearly 50 cents flat with that mouthpiece.  With a smaller mouthpiece (a 6-1/2AM or preferably a 7) it plays well in tune and has a pleasant sound that's on the light side by modern standards.


I sold that horn and now I'm also in the euph market. ...

The euph that took me out of the market was a 1952 Reynolds Contempora that I bought at a trunk sale.  It's a 3-valve bell-front horn, which is all I need for the community groups that I play it in.  (I did buy a non-compensating VMI 4-valve horn after I picked up the Reynolds, but that's another story with a much less favorable ending.  The thing has so many annoying tuning issues that it spends most of its life in its case.) 
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« Reply #52 on: Feb 18, 2018, 03:14AM »

My personal favorite has always been the Willson 2900.... most schools in the US use the 2950... which is MUCH larger and has a wide array of tuning issues... the 2900 is great.  I was lucky enough to nab a used one off of this list a few years ago... in perfect shape!  The old Besson are also nice.  I played of the Wessex horns at a convention this past week... nice horns... I would just be concerned with the long term lifespan of the valves.  Most of the Jin Bao stuff tends to freeze up after a few years... they look and sound great at first... but they are, in essence, disposable instruments.  I know there may be one or two exceptions... but I would venture to say that 50 years from now my Willson euphonium and Miraphone tuba will still be in use... while the Jin Bao instrument won’t even be a memory.  I’m not knocking people who buy them... if that’s all you can afford, the go for it... you’ve gotta play.  But if you CAN bite the bullet... get a quality Willson, Yamaha, Miraphone, etc. euphonium... the same is true of all instruments. 
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