Besson Prestige Baritone Horn

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by catto09, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. catto09

    catto09 Member

    I noticed today that the much waited (matter of opinion) Prestige Baritone has now been released. A picture has been posted on Normans (here), and it has come to my attention that it is lacking a trigger...isn't this the point of the Prestige Range?
    Aside from that point. I noticed that this is their only 4 valve model of the baritone. Maybe this is what gives the "advantage" (although in my opinion, the 4 valve models were always bad for tuning) of the Prestige Baritone.

  2. westoe_horn

    westoe_horn Member

    Well being a horn playing and knowing nothing about baritones..........
    On the Besson website it says they have redesigned the position of the tubing and of the 4th valve which should eliminate the tuning problems and the weight issues. And of course the instrument has the obligatory gold plated 'bits' so it MUST be a prestige!!
  3. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    triggers don't mean jack when you don't know you're out of tune to begin with :)
  4. Moy

    Moy Active Member

    Totally agree with you Aidan
    Also need to know all about the # and b harmonics of the instrument as well.;)
    Mind you I am sure Mr Catto knows all about harmonics - Bet Mr James has hammered that into you.
  5. catto09

    catto09 Member

    Well there is that i suppose :p
  6. catto09

    catto09 Member

    He has indeed :p
  7. carlwoodman

    carlwoodman Member

    Add it to the growing list of pointless things in music.
    One of my friends had use of one last week and it seemed so bulky and awkward he could hardly hold it.

    When (old) Besson first brought out a 4 valve Sovereign baritone, I thought it was a waste of time and effort (or a cynical marketing ploy) seeing that it cost £1K more than the 3 valve version for very little, if any, benefit. I'm yet to be swayed from that opinion with a convincing argument.
  8. catto09

    catto09 Member

    Exactly. When i played Baritone, i made a concious decision not to use the 4th valve. It was absolutely pointless in my opinion. Playing the 1st and 3rd, as opposed to the 4th didn't seem to change the note at all. 4th maybe slightly dampened it, but didn't change the tuning...Mind you, i only played on the baritone once or twice and had it home once...I tended to play the Baritone parts on Euph in rehearsals...

    The only instrument left in the Besson range not to be in the Prestige range. EEb & BBb Tuba's!

    Ooh, and French horn, but there aren't any professional models of them out yet
  9. carlwoodman

    carlwoodman Member

    Re-mortgage application forms to be included with every instrument.
  10. catto09

    catto09 Member

    Another of the Many reasons not to be a tuba player :p
  11. catto09

    catto09 Member

    I found this review while googling earlier today

    [FONT=&quot]The New Besson Prestige Baritone [/FONT][FONT=&quot]BE2056-2-0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
    [FONT=&quot]In the words of Steven Mead….[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The new Besson Prestige Baritone 2056 has several new features which will undoubtedly make it a leader in its field.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Its substantial and extensive remodelling from the previous[/FONT]
    Besson 956 is sure to delight devotees of the instrument as now the instrument plays better, is easier to hold, is more in tune and has the significant benefit of a newly designed valve group, the hallmark quality of the all the new Besson range.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The valve action is quite incredible, making troublesome valves a thing of the past![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Its striking good looks with its gold trim on valve top and bottom caps, valve button tops and water keys are sure to attract attention and it sits proudly as the ‘new member’ in the Prestige range of Besson brass instruments.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The 4th valve has been repositioned at a different angle making it much more ergonomically easier to hold and operate this valve easily. Besson took advice from several leading exponents of the instrument who suggested exactly the best position for the 4th valve.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]The previous position was more at right angles to the body of the instrument and more difficult to operate and so the new angle allows the first finger of the left hand to use this with much greater ease and rapidity.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]The tuning of the instrument is a big improvement[/FONT][FONT=&quot] over the old model due to exhaustive testing and modification of slide lengths. Concerns over tuning have for a long time troubled baritone players and they have been forced into making changes of fingering to get the notes close to the correct pitch. This new 2056 will make playing in tune so much easier, especially with the fully compensating system that this instrument has.
    [FONT=&quot]By fully compensating we mean the third compensating slide on the back on the instrument is now at the correct length (compare this to the old model 956 and that of our competitors), enabling players to play the low chromatic scale from bottom C to pedal C completely in tune. In the past the lowest notes, using 2,3,4, 1,3,4 and 1,2,3,4 were very sharp in pitch as this 3rd compensating slide on the back on the instrument was too short. The clever remodelling of the slide configuration has enabling the lengthening of this slide and still reducing blowing resistance[/FONT]


    A close inspection will reveal
    a reshaping of some of the ‘internal’ tubing of the instrument , getting rid of the tight bends in the tubing and thus reducing resistance and making the instrument easier blowing.


    [FONT=&quot]In short , the new Prestige 2056 is a joy to hold , a pleasure to operate and yet the crowning glory has to be the fact that
    [FONT=&quot]true Besson sound, famous for generations, has now just got even better.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]All the tubing of this instrument has been made in a new way, using different high pressure water techniques,[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] resulting in tubing that is more resonant than ever before, without the huge metal tension present in the old way of bending tubing. These benefits have been noticed on the superb Besson euphoniums as well as all the other instruments throughout the range. Up to 30% greater resonance has been measured in scientific tests.
    [FONT=&quot]There is a clearly detectable improvement in the smoothness of the instrument as well as a much improved centred and richness of tone in the high and low registers. The notes around and above top C play with more centre and freedom, and respond better now to extremes of dynamics. The pedal tones, should you ever need them, are massive and stable ![/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Technology has also benefitted greatly with the new drilling procedures of the valve group[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] ensuring perfect fit and perfect action every time for the new 2056 Baritone. Smooth, silent action is guaranteed, summing up the remarkable achievement in valve technology demonstrated in the new Besson range. No spring noise, no excessive bouncing, just a smooth action with no sticking, meaning you can depend on these valves whatever the situation. They will never let you down.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]All in all this is a remarkable breakthrough in baritone design, well and truly taking this instrument into the 21st century.”[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot] Available to order from Normans NOW!

    [FONT=&quot]Note, the Baritone is the only prestige model without the Black Onyx inserts...again, why?
  12. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Can't argue with science.... :) although, I didn't think that greatness could be quantified in percentages...
  13. gcbtrom

    gcbtrom Member

    What about trombones, soprano cornets and flugel horns? ;)
  14. catto09

    catto09 Member

    As of yet, Besson are still to make Student and Sovereign Models of those particular Instruments, nevermind Prestige...
  15. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    Not cheap - loosk like it might be an improvement on the old 4 valve instrument with all its problems.

    I will be sticking with my 3 valve Sov.
  16. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Oh dear oh dear!

    I spent two days playing this instrument on a band course I was on this week, so roughly ten hours of playing over the two days including a concert with heavy works.

    My thoughts:

    Tuning. After noticing some terrible intonation in the first rehearsal, I sat down with a tuner and went through the the chromatic scale from a low C up to a top C. Intonation is slightly improved in the higher register, ie. F, F#, and G...but they are still not in tune. The big surprise was on middle D, Eb and E where the instrument was consistantly and horrendously out of tune! Very flat over those three notes in particular, and not a problem that could be cured with slide movement. I ended up having to use alternative fingering, so 4th (useful for something!) on D, 2nd and 3rd on Eb, and 1st and 2nd on E. Even then I was still having to do a bit of lipping in!

    Holding the instrument was very akward. For startersd there was tubing in the way of the right hand, so I was having to arch my hand out just to hold on causing aching and cramps. There is no sensible place to hook the thumb under either, so when I did hold my thumb under the supporting bar, I found after an hours playing that it had broken through the skin on my thumb (yuk!). The fourth valve is in a terrible place. If you like to keep a finger resting on the fourth valve when you play as I do, there is no comfortable way to hold and support the instrument. And on to this that the extra tubing etc makes keeping the instrument up without supporting it on your body tiring!

    Looks of the instrument are pretty good. I did like the gold trim and onyx caps etc, but it does look prety massive. Very bulky and confusing to look at with all the added tubing!

    Sound of the instrument was overall, very good. It retained the sound of a baritone even with a euphonium player (me!) playing it. However, I found that I had to pump massive amounts of air in and put in so much more effort to produce the sound than I would normally have to on other baritones I have played. Again, I guess this is down to the extra kilometres of tubing added. :D

    Overall I would say it is nowhere near being good value for money. Intonation alone puts me off, awkward to hold, does look good if a little cramped, and whilst it has a nice sound, it requires an inordinate amount of air and effort to produce it! Whilst I would recommend having a try just for the experience, I wouldn't buy one, even if money wasn't an object!!

    disclaimer. It may come across that I don't like the brand or the range...this isn't the case! I am a euphonium player by trade, playing on a besson presitge which I love...just seems that they have tried too hard to copy the euphonium with the baritone, which just doesn't work!

    extra-fine print. As I've said above, I am a euphonium player, so whilst I have played baritones before in bands, I am by no means an expert or even an informed judge of the instrument, these are just my observations based on my limited experience!
  17. catto09

    catto09 Member

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  18. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Thanks for patronising. As I'm sure you well know I was talking in terms of an octave higher.

    I have played baritone enough and have enough musicianship to know about intonation. Forgive me for thinking your comments are worthless. Thanks again.
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think he meant 4th line D - if you're an SA euphonium player used to Norman Bearcroft's writing that is middle D :eek: ;)
  20. catto09

    catto09 Member

    Lol, calm down, huh? Maybe I was being a little patronising, but i was only clarifying...

    And in terms of intonation, i was merely making a small comment, that wasn't intended to be insulting in any way what-so-ever...

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