Buying a cornet online?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by claudine, May 24, 2004.

  1. claudine

    claudine New Member

    Hello there from a newbie,
    I'm really glad to have discovered this forum. I have been a cornet player since age 10 and have been playing Besson Sovereign 928 for a long time. Now I want to buy a Besson Prestige cornet but without spending 3000 Euros. I have seen that some online-shops sell it for about 2000 Euros. Is it ok to buy such an instrument online? Will I get a top-quality instrument that way? Thanks for any information.
    kind regards from Luxembourg
    - claudine -
  2. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    I'm going to stick my neck "on-line" and say NEVER buy a brass instrument without playing it first.
    Although these days, there is less personal care taken with the production of instruments, this doesn't always mean uniformity of standard.
    Play it, before you buy.
  3. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I'll second that!

    I will go even further out on this limb and say watch who you buy it from. Some people will just send you an instrument fresh from a manufacturer complete with box, and the parts will be stiff before it even gets to you. A good sales rep will check the iunstrument and should even lube it up for you, so if there's ever a problem with it immediately after purchase, the sales rep should know. Or at the least, expect it.

    I say this because I had an incident where a student bought a trumpet over the phone, and it arrived from Rockhampton in a nice big box. He went to play it, and the valves stuck first go. He learned to oil themn at school, but when sticking them in, he couldn't get air through it. Reason? No one told him that the numbers on his valves all face different directions! He had them all lined up facing him, as stated in his book! He had it sent back to Rocky and they couldn't make it work. $200 later, it was fixed, but it happenned a few weeks later. this time, I saw what was going wrong!
  4. claudine

    claudine New Member

    The problem is that there is no good shop around here. If I was going to buy a Prestige cornet from one of the shops in my area, they would order only one instrument and I would have to buy that one. So no opportunity to choose between several instruments either. And it would be very expensive, too.
    So I was thinking about ordering a cornet from Normans ( ) as they offer very good prices and they say they test the instruments before dispatching them.
    - claudine -
  5. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Someone correct me if i'm way off the mark here, but i always thought the reasons Normans were good prices was because the instruments they sell are either ex demo models or have slight problems will them (e.g tiny amount of lacquer come off).

    I say this because when i visited Normans shops, the instruments were always slightly not perfect.

    Someone please correct me if i'm wrong. :?

    Claudine, try they are always very helpful and knowledgable.

  6. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    I would reckon that the best way to purchase a cornet in your situation would be to ask someone to buy it for you (after playing/evaluating it), then pay for the postage seperately.

    Welcome to tMP, Claudine.
  7. claudine

    claudine New Member

    Thanks for the friendly welcome and for all that advice. Guess I'd better think about it for a few more days.
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    "Never" is overstating it - I've bought a Contrabass Trombone and more recently a Bass Trumpet through eBay, and have payed under the odds on both occasions, receiving instruments of good quality. Admittedly, these are 2nd hand rather than new, so a different set of problems attends, but careful prior inspection should see you through most difficulties.

    If you approach buying online sensibly, there's no reason why you should regret your purchases.
  9. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member

    Well said Dave.

    I bought a brand new trumpet on ebay last year and it is fantastic. I bought from Texas and it was less than half the price I'd have paid if I bought it hear. It's a superb instrument. I did as much research as I could on the model (it's a Holton Maynard Ferguson 370s) and I am so pleased with it. I buy mouthpieces online as well and mutes, gigbags etc.
    Check import tax and if you can swap it if it doesn't meet your requirements. I would definitely buy another instrument online.
  10. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Cheaper the B&Q then!

  11. claudine

    claudine New Member

    I read a test of the Prestige cornet and it had a foreword by Roger Webster. Mr Webster wrote that he checks every single instrument before it leaves the B&H factory. Now - can this be trusted or is this just a commercial bluff?
  12. Kerwintootle

    Kerwintootle Member


    I don't think that they would be able to make a claim like that (i.e Roger checking every instrument) if it wasn't true. I would trust that statement.

    Good luck

    PS the courtois chambord is excellent too :wink:
  13. tim

    tim Member

    Im nearly 100% sure this is true. I know that the prestige euphoniums are tested by Steven Mead and a instrument doesn't leave if it has a problem (valves, triggers everything is checked!)

    And im pretty sure that Roger Webster does it for cornets... If anyone knows differently then it may not be the case
  14. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    I know where you're coming from Claudine - Is virtually impossible to test a specific instrument before you buy it here too - the best you can hope for is to have a go at a friend's to get an idea.

    Having said that, it's not all bad. Last October I bit the bullet and blind ordered a Prestige cornet, and on the whole, been very pleased. I am having a wee bit of trouble with some plating coming off :s, so it'll be going back after the next contest.

    That's the secret - if you're not happy with it, send it back...
    Ask Despot for his Euphonium chronicles....

    ;) As the man said, welcome to tMP, and hope you find yourself a good one...
  15. claudine

    claudine New Member

    hi Keppler,

    I didn't know there were cornetplayers in Ireland. I thought there was only fiddling and whistling on the green island. So that's good news ;-)

    About the cornet: I did a search on this forum and there seems to be a lot of quality problems with the prestige, mainly plating and also sticky valves. So maybe I'll go for a Smith-Watson instead. Many years ago, I had the opportunity to play an older model of Smith-Watson at the Frankfurt International Music Fair and it was amazing.
  16. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    We're in disguise... we all wear potato sacks and large floppy hats, eat only mashed barley soaked in Guinness, and say "bejaysus" all the time....

    It's to fool the rest of the world into thinking that we're not really the super-intelligent-advanced race we really are...
    seems to be working.. (infacta... bejaysus)
  17. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    shhhhhhhhh!!! :evil:
  18. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member


    Hello Claudine. If you still have lessons ask your teacher to advise. The teacher's advice and judgment will need, possibly, to be paid for. Even so the small extra expense will be worth it. A teacher's reputation will be on the line so you will be able to rely on what they advise.
  19. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry to bring this old subject back up, but I was looking through some old threads about "buying a new cornet" (I'm thinking of doing that myself). Are yous till looking for a cornet, or how did you buy one, Claudine?

    I don't know how far you want to travel for testing a new cornet, but in Belgium there are several shops: the biggest ones are Adams in Diest (halfway between Louvain en Hasselt, ) and Lemca (in Brussels and a few other cities, including Namur; ). Also Adams in Thorn (The Netherlands) is not that far (about 250 km from LX city), but I don't think they will speak much French over there (but certainly English and some German)...
  20. Flugelmahorn

    Flugelmahorn Member

    I quite agree Alex. I bought mine (Courtois Chamboard 106 XLR) from Fred Rhodes in Oldham near Manchester back in 1999 and the service Glyn and Jonathon provide is first class. They take orders over the phone and their mail order service plus after service is superb.

Share This Page