New Cornet Advice

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stephenmrry, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    I am currently in the process of looking for a new cornet. I currently play a Yamaha Maestro Cornet. It has served me very well over the past eight years but I do feel I need a change now or an update. I have played the Xeno and did not like it at all. I found it difficult to keep it in tune particularly when i went above a G on top of the stave. I know its personal taste with instruments but what would people suggest as the best instrument both value for money and quality of the instrument
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Smith Watkins are nice.
  3. smaca

    smaca Active Member

    Tried and tested most.............For me, The Besson Prestige is way ahead of the rest. However, it's down to personal preference, and I am sure if you speak to a reputable supplier who is looking for your business they will let you "road test" the ones you like. After that, follow your instinct.
  4. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    I agree with Rapier! I went up to see Richard Smith and he built my cornet around me and the sound I wanted. The engineering that has been used to make it is flawless. Every note is in tune, top A's (the dreaded Yamaha bugbear) are hit every time, through the centre. I could go on...

    I used to play on Xeno, and it felt heavy. The tuning was OK but you have to fight it.

    I have a Maestro which i think is better than the Xeno as I prefer the sound.

    As for the prestige, I prefer having a trigger for 1st and 3rd valves. The tuning slide trigger is not a good idea. The sound is OK but I still prefer the smith-watkins. I know it's a specially made model so obviously it will be perfect for me but I'm sure the "off-the-peg" cornets are just as well made!

    If I had to order the cornets I have tried:

    1) Smith Watkins 470 G0
    2) Yamaha Maestro
    3) Besson 928 Sovereign
    4) Besson Prestige
    5) Yamaha Xeno
    6) Bach Stradivarus
  5. squirrel

    squirrel Member

    I've got one and I quite agree, it's a bizarre idea in fact, as if I ever need to adjust the tuning, it's often that it needs sharpening as the lips get tired, which you can't do. And even if you did need to flatten off, the action of triggering such a large slide affects the tuning more than the change of slide position does. Damn thing :/

    I'm considering changing my cornet at some point, the alternative is to get the Prestige overhauled and the trigger changed from the tuning slide to the 1st valve (which I'm sure can't be beyond the wit of man), as overall I'm happy with the sound/valves/tuning.
  6. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    I bought a B&S Challenger II a couple of years ago and I'm really pleased with it. Several of my friends have also bought them subsequently and I haven't heard any complaints. The only change that I made was the mouthpiece, I found that the one supplied with the instrument made my tone a little too bright for my taste so I stuck with my DW.
  7. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I've been playing a Getzen Eterna cornet for a few years and am pleased with it. Quite like having the copper bell as well.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Wot, no recommendations for the York ... ???

    Actually, the best cornet I've ever played is the Schilke XA1; however, it has to be said it's not the easiest beast in terms of blending with a section, the rest of whom are likely to be playing more 'conservative' choices ...

    Before that, the best cornet I ever played was a Besson "International", back in, ooh, 1975-ish, I guess ...

    Before that, I remember the Hawkes 'Solbron' was an excellent instrument, and before that I seem to recall the Henri Distin was quite, err ...
  9. Par10

    Par10 Member

    I had the same problems with the Maestro and bought the Eclipse, I do not have any tuning problems and the Cornet is a pleasure to play.

    I also have a round stamp Sovereign which I think is the best Sovereign made but the Eclipse is a better instrument.
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    I have a Maestro and a Xeno (long story, don't ask - no, neither are for sale). I prefer the sound of the Maestro but tend to play the Xeno more (I find it easier to "click" into the intonation). If I was regularly playing cornet and looking to upgrade/replace I would either be getting a Prestige (love those, the sound is simply stunning and I find the tuning slide trigger very easy to use) or an Eclipse (this is a more likely option - it is simply a stunning instrument).
    I have tried just about every make/model and would avoid some of the ones mentioned like the plague, they just didn't work with me on the end of them.

    If I was to rank the cornets I have tried:


    Everything else

  11. simonpohare

    simonpohare Member

    I bought a 928 Sovereign 2 years ago and thought it was terrible to begin with. I had heard of 'blowing-in' instruments before but with Bach strad, Xeno and Shilke trumpets hadn't experienced it myself. However, the Sovereign has improved remarkably and I coudn't be happier!
  12. jrshimmon

    jrshimmon Member

    Best Cornet I had was a Bach Stradarvarius (I think thats how you spell it). Very Smooth,rich sound but I remember it weighed a lot more than Yamahas and Bessons. Really noticed when I went back to a Sov. Might be worth a try.
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    got to be Smith Watkins for me, large bore with K2 leadpipe (thats Richard Smith's standard cornet but I found that the K2 leadpipe worked best for me).
  14. Mr. Stomvi

    Mr. Stomvi Member

    Got to go with the Smith Watkins "Soloist" with either a K2 or T4 leadpipe. Response and intonation to die for. Have had mine for a few years now and would do it agin in a heartbeat. Couldn't be happier.
  15. I also used to play a Yamaha. If you have the finances go for a smith watkins K2. Ring them for a chat, they give good advice and a great service.
  16. John_D

    John_D Member

    After trying one of his flugels I would recommend trying a Taylor cornet if you want something a little different.
  17. chill

    chill Member

    I looked at the Geneva's when I was at the RAH over the weekend. Really liked the valve action and the cornets seemed to be really nicely made. Did not get to blow one though.
    if I was in the market I would definitely take a closer look.
  18. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    The thing to remember when trying different models, is to back off a bit... you could be trying to force an instrument to play like what you are used to, which could lead to false impressions regarding tuning, intonation.
    Because you are so used to a particular brand / model, you will automatically adjust chops / air etc to compensate for it, so for example, a not may be quite sharp on your instrument which means you will automatically adjust for this playing another. Back off, and see where the sweet spot is for that note, it may slot in tune with much less effort than you are used to. Trying to play and overcompensate makes things worse... leading to a false impression of the instrument.

    ... if that makes sense.. :)

    My choice would be Eclipse, Stomvi Titanium, SW, .... haven't tried Xeno..
  19. GeordieSop

    GeordieSop Member

    Get a York cornet... people are selling them off cheap since they no longer exist.
  20. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    my advice is to just go and try them. Research on the internet, find a few brands (for what it's worth, Besson, Yamaha, Getzen, Eclipse, Geneva, Smith-Watkins (the few I've seen of those have been cack, mind) and Bach would be the main ones) and go along with a friend who you trust knows something about cornets and sounds etc and find the one that suits you best.

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