Instruments; Willson Euphoniums

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by Highams, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Highams

    Highams Member

    The Swiss made Willson euphoniums have long been standard issue to nearly all the top military bands in the U.S.A.

    Why do we never see them over here ? Well I have found that so-called stockists just don't stock them !
    These are only made to order and a shipment due to arrive at one dealer in a few weeks is already sold, so then it will be another wait of some 6 to 8 months, with three players still waiting.

    Whatever the 'arrangements' for stockists over B&H or Yamaha is, these instruments deserve to be made available, if only to compare them with other brands.

    The Willson quality is admired throughout the industry and for many years, they only made euphoniums & tubas. The range now extends to trombones, baritones, tenor & French horns, with Getzen taking the trumpet, flugel & cornet range.

    There are two models to choose from, the 2900 & the 2950.
    The 2900 was the prototype designed by Brian Bowman and the most popular. It has a slightly smaller leadpipe & bell that gives it an incredible sound and singing quality. If you want something to blast the big bores of the stage then the 2950 will do it with its large leadpipe and huge bell of over 12 inches.

    Valves on Willsons are excellent. The earlier models actually used B&H units supplied from Edgeware, the difference being that these were lapped with care, to match the casings and to be trouble free.

    This is my second Willson. I cried when I had to give the first one back ( in those days I could not justiify or afford it ). My current one is now 12 years old, picked up second hand, although it's 'as new'.

    When the first Sovereigns appeared I purchased one. They were like a breath of fesh air after struggling on the old heavy Imperials & New Standards. It was one of the first batch of some 100 instruments and was very, very good. Sadly those days are gone. Now there many other options with Yamaha, Courtois, Sterling and even the student Werril models are getting very good reports as production techniques and computer design come into it.

    4 Bars Rest will soon be comparing the Prestige & Courtois instruments, and we need more of this.

    I have found very little variation in both playing and build quality of the Willsons, to me they are the Rolls-Royce of euphoniums, but these are my own observations and you must make up your own minds.

    If anyone wants a free detailed colour catalogue of the whole Willson range, email me your landmail address.
  2. Highams

    Highams Member

    Just had a great afternoon blowing 2 brand new 2950 Willson Euphoniums straight from the Swiss factory.

    The stockists have already sold these and I was asked to choose an instrument for a friend that could not get time off work to collect one.

    I could not decide ! Both were first class, in every respect and blew almost identical. After a lot of swapping around, I finally decided on one over the other, but even then I was not sure if it was me or the instrument behaving differently.

    These are top quality products, made to the highest of high standards. The next batch are scheduled for October delivery but these here today were already 3 months overdue as they are only made to order.

    If only other instrument manufacturers worked to thse standards.

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