Damn Prestiges!!!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by probertprestige, May 30, 2005.

  1. probertprestige

    probertprestige New Member

    As you might guess by ny name, I own a Besson Prestige... cornet. This thread only really applies to people with a prestige cornet. I would like some help with the thing and any helpful answers would be greatly appreciated.

    1. My valves are sticking and making scraping noises and still does it, no matter how many times I take out and clean the valves and valve casings and re-oil. :confused:

    2. I have lost that little piece of clear rubber on the back of the main tuning trigger. Does anyone know where to get these from?

    3. (as an after thought) Do you think it looks better with the chunky valve bottoms or the normal ones?



    PS: I have had it over a year
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  2. Chippy_Cornet

    Chippy_Cornet Member

    Find a really good brass repairers and get them to lap the valves in, and change the springs etc. Had exactly the same problem wth my Prestige cornet, and this sorted things out, and valves work fine now.

    Had exactly the same thing happen to me, chance visit in to B & Q (kitchen section) found the answer, the clear rubber things are the same as on the back of kitchen doors - £1 for a bag of 10 when i bought them. used three befroe realising that the glue is rubbish, so on the fourth one i scraped the glue of and superglued it on!

    I use the normal ones, i find the balance all wrong with the chunky ones

    Hope this helps
  3. My prestige had to go back to Besson to get the valves sorted - it took them three months. I must admit though, that there havn't been any problems since, and I love the instrument.

    I too lost the clear plastic thingy - so I will be off to B&Q soon.

    I think you will find that the heavy caps are supposed to "darken" the sound (by adding more weight)......... although it is debatable whether it works or not. A bit like the cryogenic issue.....
  4. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I think that is meant to read which PLAYS better?!?!?!
  5. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    I had the same problem with mine, I played on one for about 2 months and had to get rid of it! The valves are really shocking! Had to oil them every day to keep them anything like right. And use the normal valve bottoms, the other one's are too heavy!
  6. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    An instruction in a new Bach Strad Flugel that yorkshirepud picked up at the weekend said that for about the first 6 week valves should be cleaned after every use, this removes the tiny bits of metal that can be left in the instrument after manufacture and can build up on and damage the valves. I guess this applies to all instruments.

    With all the complaints about Prestige instruments, how do they compare to the older instruments when they were first bought? Being a trombonist, I couldn't really care less, but thought i'd ask anyway!! ;)
  7. em_d

    em_d Member

    i had the same problem with my valves. i sent my prestige back to the suppliers 4 times who lapped them in again each time but they were still no better so a few weeks ago it was returned to besson who replaced the valves. they are now not sticky but the 2nd valve is really really flat. fighting a losing battle!!! if anyone has any ideas about the flatness please let me know-send me a private msg or something, cheers.
  8. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Got my VB Strad flug about 7-8 years ago, brand new. Followed the instructions about cleaning, meticulously!!

    After a few months, first valve was sticking a bit (but not dire, merely annoying...) - it eventually started behaving.

    A few months back, 2nd was doing the same, and now 3rd has joined the party...BUT: what I've found is that, if I press the valve at a slight angle, it sticks, and you can feel the 'notch'; press straight & it's OK. (Problem being, the way I hold the instrument, I'm probably pressing the valves at an angle...:( )

    The answer seems to be to a) keep 'em clean, b) keep 'em oiled, c) shove 'em down straight, d) for 6 weeks (see above), read 6 years... (or practice more than I do...;))

    (PS - before I'm accused of being a butcher, other new instruments that survived my tender care include a Corton trumpet, a Lafleur flugel, Besson New Standard and Yamaha cornets, and an Imperial Eb bass..... maybe the Strad is too good? :confused::rolleyes: )
  9. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    It messed up on you a few times a NYBB didn't it, I've heard no complaints from people who play on the prestige euphs, but as for the prestige cornets going on what people have said and my opinion on them from the short time I had one is generally the valves are pretty shocking.
  10. persins

    persins Member

    Despite all these issues, would you guys still recommend buying onw? I currently play on a Yamaha Maestro and get on quite well with it but I do prefer the darker sound that the Bessons seem to acheive. Is it worth bothering to swap in the hope that I get a good one as I have heard lots of stories as above about the fact that they are not all as good as we are meant to believe.

    I was under the impression that each of them were tested by Roger Webster. I take it that this quality check has lapsed somewhat since more are being produced?!! Can anyone confirm?
    With reference to the sticky valves, could it be that they are all being checked by Roger but he's been experimenting with the superglue again???!!!!;) :biggrin:
  11. I would certainly recommend them - BUT go to a supplier that has a number in stock - and play on them all. Ensure you don't buy one of the dogs....

    Roger Webster testing them all, is a bit of a joke isn't it.
  12. Flugelmahorn

    Flugelmahorn Member

    I'm considering getting a new cornet as I had problems with my current one (courtois XLR106) for the xxxth(!) time during a concert at the weekend. I love the way it blows but the mechanics of the instrument do at times leave a lot to be desired.

    I'd thought about a Prestige but the demo model I looked at in March seemed a bit clunky and the main slide trigger looks quite frightening. Despite the problems people have mentioned with valves, how does the instrument blow - is it very free blowing and has anyone had problems with intonation? What about the build quality and the silver plating? Has that been up to scratch (so to speak)?


    As if playing top man for Black Dyke wouldn't keep you busy enough ;)
  13. lottie4744

    lottie4744 Member

    I'd recomend them for the sound, that's what I liked about mine. I'm currently on a Maestro and I love it. The only cornet I'd rather play on than my Maestro is probably an old Boothsy (sp) and Hawkes International. Old un's are the best!
  14. persins

    persins Member

    I know exactly what you mean about the Courtois! SWT Woodfalls bought a job lot of them and I played on one for ages. It was also a XLR106. I think that all of them have had problems but then they are french!!!!! The one good thing I will say for them is that they can certainly handle a lot of air!!!

    I tried out one of my mates Prestiges and thought that initially is was very free blowing. Even easier than the Maestro which would make you think that you weren't even playing it compared to the Courtois. The overriding theme seems to be that if you get a good one, the prestige is fine but there are some about which really struggle in lots of areas including the mechanics (i.e. valves and the main tuning slide trigger sticking) and the silver finish.

    I still might get one but would make sure that I thoroughly tested it first!!! A bit of common sense advise really!!
  15. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    I tried to buy a new Prestige cornet earlier this year. The first one I sent back because of problems with the end cap threads and also the lyre holder was so over-plated that you couldn't get a lyre to fit. The second one went back because it played consistently flat (with all slides in). Both had sticky valves too, although I'm sure they would have bedded-in with time. The Prestige is also a heavy cornet, even without the chunky end-caps it weighs more than the Sov 928.

    On the plus side, (and assuming it's in tune) I really liked the darker sound of the Prestige although I found that mouthpiece choice was critical. I normally use a Lewington McCann with a 928 but found the Denis Wick 3BRW much nicer with the Prestige.

    I ended up with a Smith-Watkins and I'm much happier with that. The valves are incredibly slick and it's lighter than both the Sovereign 928 and Prestige. It has a much brighter tone than the Prestige and only slightly brighter than the 928.

  16. probertprestige

    probertprestige New Member

    Well thanks everyone... i'm sorted now :)
  17. Jasonp

    Jasonp Member

    I'm currently on a brass instrument repair course and I've done some work on sticky valves. What you need to do is take out the valves and remove the valve bottoms. Put loads of brasso on the valve and give it a good clean. Put more brasso on the valves and work them through the valve casing from the bottom twisting and turning them for some time. When your done make sure you clean off all the brasso and see what happens. It's worked everytime for me so far ;)
  18. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    I've got to say, this horrifies me! Perhaps it would be OK on an old instrument but I wouldn't want to do it to a new instrument, no matter how sticky the valves are. Much better to give it back to Besson for a while and let them sort it, surely?

  19. Jasonp

    Jasonp Member

    I've recently done the same job on a brand new Smith Watkins trumpet and it works just fine.
    If you have a new instrument that is still under warrenty then yes, send it back and if you have any doubts about what to do then take it to a qualified repairer.

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