Flugelhorns - Courtois/Geneva/Eclipse: Experiences?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by katienewton, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. katienewton

    katienewton New Member

    Hi there, I'm after some advice before buying an instrument! Any help/experiences would be great!

    I'm looking to buy a flugel and I've been doing a spot of research between brands. An option to buy a silver plate Eclipse came up for around £1500, but I'd only ever heard about them through some trumpet player friends, as quite a jazz based brand. So I'm wondering what people think of them in brass bands instead and as general instruments (tuning/general playability etc)? They seem to be based on the Bach Stradivarius flugels (if a Strad were for sale secondhand I'd snatch someone's hand off - my budget is a little below the RRP at the moment) so they look quite nice, but I'v never heard/played an Eclipse before, so I'm asking for your experiences before I book a free trial!

    Geneva are obviously on the rise, but my last band bought a new set of cornets and a lot of us found them very hard to get on with (funny valves/triggers) - are the flugels any different? There's also an option to buy a Courtois, but I'm a little wary as I'v played a Courtois horn before and just didn't like it (just wasn't the right sound).

    Thanks guys!
  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Of those three I would buy an Eclipse
    Including the Bach - I would buy an Eclipse
    Including everything else that is possible - I bought an Eclipse :)

    Instrument choice is a personal choice and if you are serious about playing (and spending that much money) take the time to try each of the instruments and choose the one that is right FOR YOU, with your chops in the context that you play in.

    The Eclipse flugels are the finest I have ever sound and the only one that I have played that allows me to produce the flugel sound I wanted. Intonation wise I have found it vastly superior to anything else I have played.
    You say that the Eclipse is silver played - do you know which bell material it has? This has a MUCH bigger difference to the tone than the plating.

    I have tried a few Geneva instruments and wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.
  3. katienewton

    katienewton New Member

    Hi there, thanks for your reply!

    I've been edging towards the Eclipse, so it's nice to know that someone else went with that choice too. I've got a few trials lined up for a Courtois, Yamaha and 2 different Eclipses (one silver, the other i don't know yet), so i'll be able to have a try of each and make a decision. Not sure what bell material they are yet, I know that's the biggest difference between tones. I'v always preferred the look of silver plate to gold, and it seems like something that splits people - I'v heard silver can brighten a sound, and I guess that's not exactly what you want on Flugel (at least i don't really).

    Also, what mouthpiece do you use on your Eclipse? Think I remember hearing that Warburton's go nicely with them, but never given them a try.

    Cheers for the advice!! :)
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    I use a Warburton (1FLX) - works superbly.
    The Eclipse flugels come with two leadpipes - the theory being that one of the leadpipes works with certain mouthpieces, the other with the others. If you want more information as to which is which, give Leigh a call in the Eclipse factory and they can give advice (he doesn't play but Leigh's ears are MUCH better than the vast majority of musicians and his advice is always good).
    I haven't tried a silver Eclipse - have tried them lacquered and gold plated - mine is scratch gold - looks as good as it sounds (and has two matching sisters with my Bb trumpet and piccolo)