Beryllium or not Beryllium?????

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 4th valve and water key, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Hi all

    I'm gettting my own soprano cornet shortly and have settled (not surprisingly) on a Schilke having tried the others and not liked them as much. The question I'm faced with is whether to get one with a Beryllium bell or not? I've tried both alongside each other and I have to say I struggled to notice much difference. I know that the Beryllium one is supposed to give better projection/brighter sound etc. but maybe it's just as I'm still fairly new on sop that I couldn't tell..... I also realise that everyone's opinion is different but I was hoping for some people who are more experienced/knowledgeable than I to throw their tuppence worth into the ring....

    Thanks for any input!!

  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  3. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Just buy the cheapest, as you said, you can't tell the difference and I'm sure we won't either...........
  4. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    I found the beryllium bell too bright ,not worth the extra money in my opinion.
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Why is it so popular when buying a Schilke? A case of marketing before trial?
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

  7. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    I tried both and found it too bright,but people think it can come across a band more,a sop doesnt need that as it can be heard anyway lol !!!
    Also think they can sound hard too! :cool:
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily; they do make a difference, partially to sound, but also (possibly more importantly) to response.

    It is (bit like mouthpieces) a matter of preference; some people like them, some don't.

    And, (at the risk of sounding like a stuck record!) They are not beryllium; they are fabricated from pure copper, using a process of electro-deposition ...
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    The linked article does explain the properties of the bell, especially how thin it is compared to standard ones. It was also tried by Yamaha with the Maestro 632 tuba bell which has a better response at the cost of it's build fragility. With the "beryllium" sop bell, the choice usually has to be made before they are manufactured and shipped across the Pond.
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Depends. If you don't live anywhere near London, and you're having to order one specially, that's probably true, however Phil Parker's usually have a couple of both flavours in stock ...
  11. bannisa

    bannisa Member

    Having played soprano cornet for 20 years with bands such as Brighouse, I wouldn't use anything but a Schilke with berylium bell. IMHO it is simply the most beautiful soprano cornet in production. If you are new to sop playing, the Schilke will take a while to get used to. It will only be too bright if you play it like that. The true sound of the soprano is a sweet one. Get hold ofrecordings of Brian Evans to hear how it should sound. Not trumpety or razzy. The soprano is a unique instrument with it's own sound. It's not a scream trumpet. If it helps, I know Kevin Crockford always chooses a berylium bell Schilke and he doesn't sound too shabby!

    Also consider what mouthpiece you put in a Schilke. Shilke mouthpiece seem to be the best suited to the instrument. I used a 10b4 and I know Martin Irwin used the same. Of course, the mouthpiece choice is personal. I bought my last Schilke from Rayburn musical instruments in New York. Saved a fortune even with import taxes. Worth a look.

    Andrew Bannister
    Assistant Principal Cornet
    Grimethorpe Colliery Band

  12. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    It all depends on the player. A good player can play a piece of old pipe and get a good tune out of it. It's as simple as that! Beryllium bell or not!
  13. Big - C

    Big - C New Member

    It all depends on the player. A good player can play a piece of old pipe and get a good tune out of it. It's as simple as that! Beryllium bell or not!

    I am not so sure about that! I am a brilliant player but I am not sure I could get a good tune out of a piece of old pipe... I might have to give it a try!
  14. Thanks for all your input chaps, it is appreciated!! My natural sound is quite bright so I am concerned that with the Beryllium I might be a little trumpety. I do however take Andrew's point that it'll only sound that way if you play it that way!! A good teacher will help combat that I'm sure. The standard Schilke I'm playing on at the moment gives (I think) quite a nice sound so I"m happy enough for now but I don't know if as I develop (hopefullly) as a player that I might not be getting the best out of it. An additional concern is that as I travel a lot for work and take my cornet with me in a gig bag, the Beryllium bell might be a little fragile. Lots of people seem to have damaged them really easily and at £2500 a pop it's not an instrument I want to hurt! Any Beryllium owners have any thoughts?
  15. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    A little common sense goes a long way. It's possible to damage pretty much any instrument with sufficient carelessness.

    I've had my lightweight-bell Schilke for around 15 years now, and it's survived undamaged thus far, barring some plating wear, which is only to be expected. I have a Schilke B5 with two bells, one of which is a lightweight model, and that has a small ding on it, but that was most definitely caused by my own stupidity, not by any inherent fragility!

    There are those who refer to soft gigbags as "a repairman's dream", and you ought possibly to give some thought to getting something like a Pro-Tec gig bag, which has a semi-rigid (but still lightweight) shell, offering more protection.

    But I certainly wouldn't let worries about possible damage prevent you from using a lightweight-bell Schilke, if that's what you like best. You should, of course ensure you have good insurance cover, but then that would be true of any instrument of comparable value.