Maestro euphonium won't play quietly

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by phildriscoll, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. phildriscoll

    phildriscoll Moderator Staff Member

    Hi folks

    The concert band I play in has a Yamaha Maestro euph which looks to be in perfect condition. Though we don't have a permanent euph player on the team, one of our trombonists, Ian, (a superb player) often doubles on euph when it has an important part.

    The Maestro seems unusually resistant to wanting to start notes quietly. Ian can confidently and reliably start a note at ppp on his trombone, as can I on my tuba. I played euph up to about 6 years ago and could do the same on my Imperial. Neither of us can reliably start a note on this Maestro until we get into mp territory. Any quieter, and there's a high chance of all air and no note.

    We've tried with a range of mouthpieces, and the instrument has been cleaned out within an inch of its life. I've tried with the same mouthpiece on a Sovereign and can readily start very quiet notes reliably.

    Can anyone think of a fault condition that would produce these symptoms? In all other respects, the instrument is superb.


  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    As I recall, the Maestro euph is quite an open-blowing design, which can make control at the lowest dynamics difficult. Likely not a fault, but a "feature"!

    I'm reminded of the Courtois bass trombone I once tried on a trade stand at a contest. I spent literally a minute trying to make it make any noise at all - to the extent that it became really quite embarrassing... It just wouldn't catch for anything less than loud. But the guy on the trade stand (a dealer, not a Courtois rep) loved it.
    phildriscoll likes this.
  3. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Some instruments really don't like playing quietly, but I can't imagine that a major manufacturer would put out a key model that was designed this way.

    You say it's been well cleaned - has it also been re-comissioned properly?
    Any instrument can play significantly worse if it's not lubed up properly - and such flaws become most apparent with poor low-volume or poor extreme high register performance, for me.
    Any slide that's removable wants grease whether you need it fast-moving or not - I'd use a heavy-ish (preferably lanolin based) grease on the main slide and any others you don't shunt, I particularly like Schilke's slide grease, La Tromba cork and slide grease but there are plenty of good ones - you just want it pretty thick and lasting.
    phildriscoll likes this.
  4. phildriscoll

    phildriscoll Moderator Staff Member

    I'm certain there are no problems on the lube front Tom, valves or slides.

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