The BE966 Euphonium, what's it like?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by jingleram, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    I don't know whether anyone can help me, but I have become interested in buying a Besson Sovereign 966 euphonium, but I do not know much about it. The seller tells me it is a very good instrument, but is there anybody out there who has any experience of this instrument, good or bad, that could give me any guidance. For example pros and cons, what standard instrument etc. Any help greatly appreciated!
  2. animal77

    animal77 New Member

    I played one for the last two years in Birmingham. They are a medium-large bore (large mouthpeice shank with a small bell - 11") and i think were in the middle incarnations of sov, ie after the round stand and before the current oval stanp. Not sure how this relates to the lottery instruments and all the associated quality issues.

    I loved playing it, had nice focused sound and excellent top register. Have just started playing a 967 with the larger bell (from the same period) and have noticed that I'm missing notes, not something I've ever had a problem with before. Whether this is just not being used to it yet I don't know, but would say, and have heard the same from other people, that the larger bell is better for a bigger sound, but the smaller bell is more secure and easier to manage.

    I'd try and have a go on it and see how it feels.

  3. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Thanks Chris this has been helpful. What did you think of the valves? Were they fast and quiet or slow and clunky?

  4. animal77

    animal77 New Member

    They have metal valve guides, not the plastic ones as on new instruments, so can be a bit clunky, but only compared to new instruments. I think it depends what you are currently on, compared to my old new standard they were very good.

    I reckon that on an instrument of this age the valves should be very well worn in, but check to see if they move smoothly, ie not damaged/bent/or worn down in funny places. If ok, then getting them to move fast and light, is more an issue of springs and pads, which are all easy things to sort out. I think i've heard that you can get the plastic guides put on if necessary, but don't hold me to it.

    I never had a problem with them not going fast enough for me.

    Hope this helps

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