Imperial Baritone

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by pdj, May 24, 2007.

  1. pdj

    pdj Member

    For the last 10 years i have played on a Besson Sov 3v Baritone and have found it to be a decent instrument. When i first started playing in my band in 1991, the Solo Baritone player then had an Imperial Baritone and that same instrument is still in the bandroom today collecting dust.

    I have often thought about getting the Imperial out and having a go at it and wondered if anybody still plays on one or has any thoughts on how if would compare with the Sov 3valve????
  2. I expect it probably is very good still. Besson say that they have aimed to capture the brilliance of the old instruments with their new range so they must still think very highly of the older ones. I think the tone will be lovely but possibly the intonation will be a bit dodgy...
  3. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    I always found them a great instrument to play and had a nice sound to them
  4. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    They're quite a bit smaller than the Sov and easier to fill. When I was younger, most of the baritone players I knew played Imperials, Sovs were in their infancy and very expensive, very few second hand ones in a decent condition too.

    I played an Imperial the other week and really over-filled it, modern instruments seem so much larger than their older counterparts. Very solid instruments though, robust but reasonably heavy, ideal for learners in my opinion. Interesting exercise giving one a blow but will stick to my modern sovereign!
  5. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    A couple of the kids in my school band have imperials and they so bring back memories of being able to drop your baritone without it crumpling- they are built like tanks! They are (I've found) harder to fill (possibly because they may need minor repairs?) but sound ok, better than some of the new Japanese tat that parents keep buying of ebay-"Bargain!". They are indeed classy instruments and the frosted bells are gorge. I did my 1st ever NYBBS course on an Imperial. But definately much more sturdy than the modern "crumply bell" Sov. I still love my Sov though!
  6. pdj

    pdj Member

    I had a quick look after i got back from the Spring Festival and it does look like a solid instrument like you say Laura. Looking forward to having a go on it, but dread to think whats inside it lol.
  7. Veri

    Veri Member

    Did I ever tell you about the cr*p that came out of my second-hand baritone when I gave it a bath?! And that was only 6 years old...
  8. Yeah, always give a second hand instrument a good bath! Manufacturers seems to say nowadays that you should bath it once a month to keep if working properly but i don't know about anyone else, i wouldn't be keen on doing that- can't be good for the finish i would guess...
  9. pdj

    pdj Member

    Lol ye you did Verity....nice!!! Well i know this Imperial hasnt seen a bath in atleast a decade if not more, should be interesting, quite scientific infact hehe. Surprising enough the valves did still move quite freely when i had a look at it.
  10. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    I suppose if I were feeling energetic, I could take a photo of the 2 together - I've got a Sovereign and my son has an Imperial! Maybe next week if the thread's still running...

    As has been pointed out the Imp is smaller bore, so doesn't produce as much sound. Also, its metal is thicker, so its more resistant to knocks.

    The imperial also doesn't have the silly plastic bits in the valves, so is more resilient in that area too. But.... when the guides wear, they "clack", though not as badly as my euph does!

    Both have compensating valves, which is a big advantage on the lower notes.

    Might be me, but the Imp is better in tune than the sovereign when I played it for a while...

    Interesting, my son doesn't like the pearl finish much - he'd rather have shiny....

  11. You pay a big premium for the frosted finishes nowadays! Meinl Weston do a frosted limited edition Euphonium, and its hundreds of pounds more expensive than the bright finish version!