Blank Cheque

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 007ish, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. 007ish

    007ish Member

    In a perfect world where you are given a blank cheque to purchase a full set of instruments for your band, including a maxed out percussion section which make and model would you choose?

    A big question… but would we stick with Besson or maybe more to the point can, or should we stick with Besson?

    Are us banders out of touch with top quality instrument manufactures ?

    As for percussion the choice seem vast, which manufacturer, model, material and where do you stop?

    Your suggestions please:-

    Tenor Horns…
    Tenor Trombone…
    Bass Trombone…
    Eb Bass…
    Bb Bass…
    Tuned Percussion…
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2006
  2. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    The fact is that Besson are a top quality manufacturer. I've had my Soveriegn for 18yrs and it has never let me down. I just give it a bath every few months and everything works no problem.

    For cornets I would definately say Besson Soveriegn 928
  3. Andybassbone

    Andybassbone Member

    In terms of trombones, i still reckon Conn 88HO's matched with a Holton TR181 bass gives a fantastic sound (that should get the Edward and Rath guys typing;) )

    You would need to try a number of them to get ones you like tho.......shame they can't produce every one the same!!
  4. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    For Cornets it would have to be Yamaha Maestro's Horns Sovereign and Euphs Yamaha Maestro/Custom Percussion Tamourine from IKEA it's great and only a couple of quid
  5. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    For Baritones Besson Soverigns:clap: 4 valve Laq
  6. Maestro cornets make a lovely sound, but the ones I've tried out have a top-A problem. The note is difficult to find, and tries to escape when you've got it.

    What is the consensus on Eclipse and Taylor cornets - are they really the best that money can buy?
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Its quite difficult really - is a custom built Eclipse or Taylor cornet the best instrument to give a 14 year old who has only been playing for a couple of years, for instance? Or even the best thing to do the back row "plugging" parts? I guess these are top quality instruments designed with soloists in mind, so maybe not the best thing for tonking out bottom G's? Having said that, I don't subscribe to this notion of "jazz flugels" and "band flugels" - surely a good flugel is a good flugel whatever you're doing with it? OK I know I've just contradicted my own argument there, but as I say, this is actually less than straightforward.

    I think (and not really knowing as I don't play lower brass) that most of the instruments in the lower band would still be good ole' Besson sovs. I think the competition is rapidly catching them though and I guess for the euph's its already as good if not better in some cases. As for the rest:

    Sop - Shilke - but the new Xeno is apparently very good so it may come down to player preference.
    Cornets - My pick (without playing one) is an Eclipse or Taylor, but given my comments above maybe the Xenos or Prestige's are a better pick for a whole section
    Flugel - Well I picked a Kanstul Signature, but the Conn V1 is very good. If your talking custom jobbies then I hear the Eclipse is about the best flugel on the planet.
    Horns - Sovereigns. I know someone (a very good player) who bought a Courtois horn, but soon went back to a Sovereign. AFAIK still the best tenor horn.
    Trombones - No idea. We have Conn 88H's and a Holton bass.
    Percussion - Even less idea than for trombones.

    I guess the thing about all this is that for the individual instruments (like sop, flugel bass trom) player preference comes into the decision, but for the majority some sort of happy compromise needs to be met.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2006
  8. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    I see you have missed out the two most important instruments -- baritone and euphonium!!!
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    I am only going to list those that I have experience of.

    Soprano - Blackburn - simply NO CONTEST. The new Xeno sop is superb (I would take it over the Schilke), but the Blackburn is in a class of its own.

    Cornet - Eclipse Red Bell - I have played everything and this is the best cornet I have yet played. The only one that even comes close (aside from the other Eclipse models) is the Taylor.

    Flugel - Eclipse Copper - the only time I have played a flugel and felt like a flugel player (as opposed to a trumpeter holding a flugel)
  10. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Maybe we should think of what the instrument's used for. As WoodenFlugel pointed out, flugel, sop & bass trom. could be allowed personal preference choices - but how about principal cornet? Wouldn't they like an instrument that allows them to 'merge' in the tutti sections, but 'shine' in the solo passages? Would it have to be the same instrument as the other 3 front row players?

    Possibly the same for back row - a mixture of larger and smaller bore instruments? - and, by extension, that goes for the rest of the band as well - the instrument that does the particular job best, be it Besson, Yamaha, Holton or hosepipe...

    (I remember a band buying a set of Besson New Standards [having played previously on an assortment of makes], and the conductor wondering why the cornets still sounded out of tune and 'different' from each other :confused: . A 'set' of instruments doesn't make a band ;) )
  11. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

    I see nobody has raised the issue of tubas...
    The finest Tuba I have been lucky enough to play on is a Hirschbrunner. Unbelieveably delicate response across the range, great tone, very fliexible, and the smoothest valves imaginable... a price tag to match too. I've heard estimates for new Eb models of around £9,000.
    I've also heard that the Willson is very good, but I've not played on one.
    I play a Yamaha Maestro, which gives a great overall flexibility and tone, but also a power to match up to the Sovereign. It's also cheaper than a Sovereign too, or at least it was when I bought mine. Also, bottom concert E's sit better in the instrument, unlike those on the Sov. There are many differences between a Yahama and a Sovereign, but the big one for me is definitely sound and tone, aswell as being much easier to blow.
    My biggest issue with the Sovereigns though is the workmanship on newer instruments, which in many cases is shoddy to say the least. Valves that don't fit, Lacquer that acidifies. One pair of BBbs we received at St. Austell once were about a quarter tone sharp compared to previous models! It is for that reason that I wouldn't buy or play a Sovereign now.
    So my order...
    1. Hirschbrunner (keep saving!)
    2. Yamaha
    Also ran: Sovereign
    Would like to try: Willson and also Miraphone, which I've heard good stuff about.
  12. Rimshot

    Rimshot New Member

    One of the best things i would suggest as far as brass goes is to try and an instrument retailer to bring or lend various instruments to you for a rehersal and let players try them out rather than just deciding on a particular make or model that way individuals will get a better idea what is right for them, as far as percussion goes the choice is endless for the tuned stuff have a look at or try adams, majestyk or messer the only thing i would look at premier for is the kit or a WIDE bar glock just depends on what is left on the blank cheque!! the only other thing is really the kit which i would strongly suggest you buy from a drum centre or specialist drum shop you will get a much better deal and the percussionists will be able to play around b4 deciding what suits them and the band best, but please make sure that you choose a set of cymbals which compliment the kit and perc section not just the bog standard dustbin lids which will probably come with the kit if you have the money a set of zildjans are a must but very expensive but you will hear a massive difference!!
  13. Trouble is most major retailers aren't in a position to lend bands loads of instruments. Things have changed.

    Anyway, if it helps

    Sop Xeno
    Cornets Xeno
    Flg Strad
    Horns Sov (assuming the new ones are like the old ones)
    Bari Sov 3V (4V sounds to euphish)
    Euph Prestige, Personally - but I could be persuaded by LMI or the new Miraphon (subject to trying)
    Bones - Conn, 8H, 88H and Yamaha Bass
    Tubas Sov

    Percussion CBA
  14. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    D'oh....and to think my better half plays baritone too :redface: . Although to be fair I did mention Willson Euphs and the like in the wordy bit at the start of my post. To be quite honest my comments about anything except Bb cornets, flugels, and (maybe) tenor horns should be read as being written by someone who doesn't really know what they're talking about...:rolleyes:
  15. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    Baritones - Besson Sovereign 955s

    No four valves ones please!
  16. tam-tam2

    tam-tam2 Member

    I have to agree with that, my band bought maestros and I didn't get along with mine for that reason, also has a problem with G#'s. In the end I bought a Courtois Chambord 2 XXLR to replace it, although if I had the choice and the money I would buy a Smith-Watkins!! Sop, when I played it my band had a Sovereign (awful thing) but played it last weekend and used a Schilke, that was a cracking instrument so I would have one of them given the choice.

    I only feel licensed to offer comments on cornets, after all a lot of it comes down to personal choice, if you are going to spend money on a new set of instruments get the opportunity to try as many different ones as you can before you decide.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2006
  17. llewellynd

    llewellynd Member

    As Besson are defunct, the replacement Buffet instruments will be made off new tooling by a new workforce with an unknown quality, would you wait until production settles down, or find an alternative and if so what?
  18. 007ish

    007ish Member

    Ok not a bad response:clap: a number of alternatives in all brass sections EXCEPT horns. Remember "Blanck Cheque" is there any other alternative to Yamaha for our horn players

    :( Dissapointed our pecusionists havn't wanted the oppertunity to make their wish list...
  19. llewellynd

    llewellynd Member

    Id love to see some more responses from horn players, Im trying to but one at the moment but dont really want a Yamaha.


    Give a Virtosi a try, seriously!

    I Bought one for the better half a month or so ago: fantastic. Even puting the price asside(about half the price or less), they would push the big boys a long way for build quality and playability (if their is such a word!).

    On too the basses. I gave seen the difference in quality of the newer and older sovereigns, yet bands still buy them. In the champ section bands, what do the basses play?