Cornet Buying Advice

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by Andy Pulford, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Andy Pulford

    Andy Pulford New Member

    I started playing 3 years ago after a break of 22 years. I used to play trumpet and long model Bach Strad cornet. I have settled on brass band and am now practising seriously again. I now want to try and find a cornet to suit but I want to have an extended trial before committing to buy. I bought my Bach's on the basis of a short blow. I loved the cornet but didn't really get on with the trumpet and don't want to make the same mistake again. How do people go about checking instruments out before parting with hard earned cash. I like the sound of the York Eminence and the Prestige.
  2. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Why don`t you have a chat with Gary Bond at Normans? He is very knowledgable and also an extremely helpful genuinely nice man. I had a xeno cornet bought from there before moving back onto flugel (Conn) and it is lovely.
    Good luck and enjoy your banding. X
  3. Andy Pulford

    Andy Pulford New Member

    Thanks for that Mesmerist I will give Gary a call.
  4. Happyon2nd

    Happyon2nd New Member

    I came back to playing after a 7 year break - had always played Sovereigns but found the (then ) recently intrduced Yamaha Maestro the best I'd ever played. The later xeno is supposed to be better - not that much better in my opinion but they're both great.I wouldn't part with any cash till you've played both.
    Good luck in your search.
  5. Jasper

    Jasper Member


    Just like you (spookily) I started playing again about 2.5 years ago after a short 22 year break !
    I still consider that I am trying to get my lip back in...and slowly getting there.

    You are absolutely right to shop around and try a few options before throwing some hard earned readies at a shiny new cornet - believe me I know from experience. I am back on an old ( 25 years old!) round badge sovereign from my band which I have found to be as good as anything at my stage of comeback blowing. The mistake I made was forking out on a shiny new Xeno a year ago which I just couldn't 'fill' and slot well enough on and its currently sitting redundant in my music study waiting for my lip to get sufficiently back to do it justice. I'll get there!!!!!!

    Try as many as you can before you take the plunge !

    Good luck.

  6. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Best advice you can possible receive.

    Any recommendations you read on here (or any other website) will be what works for those posting, not necessarily what works with you (and your mouthpiece and your embouchure) on the end.

    Get to a decent shop and try as many different instruments as you can.

    I had a student purchase a cornet recently and I went with her (as an extra set of ears - well worth it if you can find someone willing to act as an adjudicator). She tried every cornet there (as well as both of the cornets I currently have - a Maestro and a Xeno - the former is mine, the latter is being stored with me) and it took her about three hours to decide. I had worked out which she would choose within about 10 minutes of her starting to play her way through, but it was her decision not mine (safe to say that I know my students - we chose the same one with her on the end, lol).
    Oddly enough, I chose the same instrument as she did, despite the fact that we play in quite different ways.

    (we both chose the Prestige, if you are interested)
  7. tam-tam2

    tam-tam2 Member

    Yes, definately try as many as you can but you may also think about trying a few of the same type once you have decided which one you want to go for!! All the best in the hunt!:tup
  8. geo

    geo New Member

    Xeno is the best if you've got a pair. (Takes a bit of filling.)
  9. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    These guys are very good for unbiased advice and I rate them pretty highly for customer service too:

    But if you can stretch just a little further than a Prestige/York - take yourself along to see Leigh at First Class Brass in Luton - if you can make the effort to arrange to go there I'm sure you'll come away impressed, as I did.

    He'll echo the advice of others in this thread: cornets are a very personal choice, what suits one person will not suit another etc. However his cornets are very well made and easy to play, so worth a look.

  10. I have played on a Maestro, Prestige, Xeno, & Sovereign.

    My favourite instrument out of the four is the Xeno, It is easy blowing and good through all the ranges with a bright sound. The worst for me had to be the Prestige by a long shot! it was really hard work to blow, I bought the instrument new and the valves where terrible!! I had it for two years and with frequent maintenence the valves remained very slow.

    I go to Trevada Music and they will give you a room to test all the cornets for as long as you want to give you an idea of each instrument.
  11. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    'Supposed to be'??!
    It IS!!! By a long way. And you would know-having played mine!!

    Go for a xeno. Best I've ever played.


    Just echoing whats been said above. My other half plays on a Xeno, and after years of swearing blind that Sovereign's were the best thing since sliced bread, has changed her mind.

    I have to agree - the sound seems clearer and the high register sounds great. Only thing she did say was that the instrument feels smaller than a sovereign and that she's had to change her hand position slightly to play this model.
  13. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Have you tried the new French Besson Prestige cornets?
    I would NEVER have recommended even trying the English ones from a few years ago (I used to love that certificate of quality from Roger Webster - absolutely laughable) but the one that my student played (and purchased) was one of the new French ones - a MAJOR improvement in quality, let's hope it continues.

    I agree about the Eclipse cornets (the Red bell model would be my cornet of choice, if I played cornet full-time) but they are the next price range up. Well worth looking at if you can afford it.
  14. CubbRep

    CubbRep Member

    Our top cornet player has an Eclipse.It looks ab fab and plays really well.I have found that it is so easy to blow compared to my sovereign 928.But when we play together the sound of both cornets are comparable.The Eclipse has a lovely mellow sound.Where as my sov is not a million miles away.I suppose it is what you are used to playing on.Personally,I would'nt change from my sov.But if I did,I would definately go for an Eclipse.
  15. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    I cant get on with them at all!!!! The 2 i have played kick back. It could be me putting the air down it poorly, but Iwant it to be louder than it is, but I will carry on regardless. Can anyone advise me? Having said that, the build quality is second to none!
  16. Andy Pulford

    Andy Pulford New Member

    Thanks for your replies to this thread everyone. One of the guys at the band has a new Xeno and I had a blow for a couple of minutes. For me it seemed to have a lot of resistence. I don't know if thats charachteristic of the Xeno or just his one or perghaps it's just me. I don't like too much resistance, just a bit to enhance the tone because i naturaly play a bit on the bright side, I guess a legacy of my old trumpet playing days. I want to get it right so I intend to play the field so to speak. I might bump into something I really like that I hadn't thought of.


  17. mdunk

    mdunk New Member

    Try a Geneva cornet, just bought one from Tim Oldroyd, Its the best cornet ive played in years including xeno, sov etc...Worth a look:clap:
  18. ericthered

    ericthered Member

    Best thing to do is to speak to a reputable dealer. Get them to line up a number of instruments (the more the merrier). Go in, warm up before if you can, and then play on each. Take a piece of music if you have to. Compare all models. Buy the model that you think is best.

    From the grapevine I understand that the new Besson is good as is the York. The Xenos are also good, very good build quality (cannot speak for the others as I haven't played on them), but there are various types. If you fancy something special try "Smith & Watkins" or "Taylor Trumpets" who make custom instruments.

    If you're flying to the US on holidays this summer you could always buy a Kanstul who make good cornets and flugels but again you need to try them before you buy.

    Good luck.
  19. andy;-)

    andy;-) Member

    Have to recommend the Smith Watkins, spent 3 hours at Richards workshop trying various different lead pipes then borrowed the chosen one to try for a week at rehearsals and a concert - he even let me hold on to it for a few weeks more while mine was built!

    Superb instrument which oozes quality.

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