Euphonium help

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by super_sop, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    Hi guys and gals. I need help! ok ok less of that this is serious!
    we have a young lady in our youth band who is looking to by her first euph. Now being a cornet player i know very little about Euphoniums. so thats werre you folks come in.
    im hoping you can tell me about the different types of instrument avaliable

    Whats the difference between compensated and non compensated?

    were is the best place to look for second hand instruments?
    how much would you expect to pay for a decent second hand instrument.

    many thanks

  2. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    I'll respond to the 1st question:

    Brass instruments tend to not be perfectly in tune when multiple valves are pressed at the same time: you need slightly more tubing that you add for them singly.

    On a cornet, you often find that triggers are present that extend the 1st and 3rd tuning slides when you play bottom D and C#

    A 4 valve Euph (and bari/bass) has it even more: 4th + other valves is very sharp (going for notes lower than bottom F#). So what B&H did was to design the main 3 vavles so that the air could go through them twice if 4th was pressed. The 2nd path added additional lengths of pipe to "Compensate" for the combination. The patent on compensation has run out, and other manufacturers are now using the technology.

    [Why do Prestige euphs have to have a trigger TOO on the main tuning slide - is it because they're all out of tune on top G harmonic, by any chance??]

    Cost wise, I don't know, but suspect a good quality reasonably modern instrument could be had for £1000 - £1300. A new case can be bought for ~£175 - £200 (depending on whether you want a huge B&H crate or a cute little Hiscox :) ).
    Imperial euphs (1960s are better than those from the early 70s (which are often horribly out of tune), but try and make sure you get a real low-pitch one, not a conversion as it'll look better) are cheaper, however they are normally smaller bore so don't produce as fat a sound as the Sovs/Prestiges. I've seen Imperials on Ebay for ~£500
    Likewise good value for a first buy can be found in the even older instruments (I've a 1920s Boosey & Co Class A that still blows well - was my 1st instrument when I was 14!!!)

    I'm sure you'll pass on the advice to go and try what you propose to buy and maybe take another euph player along to have a go too!

    Good luck

    (1974 Soverign Euph + Hiscox case that fits the boot of my MGF!)

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