triggers on euphoniums

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by pocket euphonium90, May 21, 2006.

  1. Hi everyone! I play a sterling virtuoso euph, and am thinking of having a trigger fitted on it. Can anyone tell me how successful they are on this instrument, or if not, how successful they are on euphs in general. Has anyone heard any good/bad reports. I don't want to spend money if it's going to be wasted!:confused:
    Any advice would be welcomed :p
  2. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    They are a great piece of kit, as long as you know how to use them. Obviously anything that gives you extra control over intonation is an advantage but dont expect having one fitted to resolve all your intonation problems. It is a tool and not a cure.

    Also, where are you intending on getting the trigger from?

    I have no knowledge of them on sterlings and have never tried the sterling, this is more a general thought on triggers on other euphs.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  4. im probably gonna get the trigger from the manufactorer who made my euph, Hes spent a while working on developing one that works but i was just interested to know any experiences people have had with them
  5. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Steve Mead started off with a prototype from Japan, and as your probably well aware has now been fitted to be standard with the Prestige range of instruments. As Steve (tMP) said, triggers are a great tool for helping with intonation, but it'd be hard in band situations if you trigger a note, whilst the other Euph (who doesn't have a trigger!) suddenly sticks out like a sore thumb! As a soloist of course it's great, and i'd rather have one than not- it's there for when your soloing, but i've definately found it has it's pro's and con's in a band situation.
    They take a lot of patience, learning to listen when to use it etc, the same old notes will of course have problems, but you can't just randomly use it like a new toy!
    As for attaching a trigger to your Euph... what standard are you, age etc, and why do seemingly want one so badly?
    Just be wary of one that you purchase separately, i've found (and friends I know) that on many instrument models the triggers have been loose and have snapped easily!
  6. zak

    zak Member

    Gotta say I personally disagree, triggers are most certainly NOT just for soloists!! You will tend to find that it is not uncommon for a lot of bands to have 2 euphs with triggers(certainly at the top section level) nowadays and even with one "triggered" euph in a band the player should tune to the "non trigger" player anyway so tuning should not be a problem(I speak from experience).

    On a side note I have Just had one fitted to my non-standard personal euphonium by a "private" instrument technician and what a great job the guy did!!!!! I would say if anything that some of the standard Prestige triggers are more "dodgy" certainly from what I have seen and experienced!! Mass production does not and rarely produce quality!!!

    By the way I sat next to Michael Dodd for 6 years who is the clinician for the Sterling euph and from what I saw during my time sat there the manufacturer did a great job!!!!

    Yes triggers can cause problems with lesser experienced players who perhaps dont know how to use them effectively but how can they possibly be a bad thing if ultimately they add to aids available to improve intonation.

    My advice would be to get a trigger fitted by the instrument manufacturer(Sterling)!!

  7. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Of course at top level banding it's more probable that you'd find two players with triggers, but this is more to do with the fact that most players who play in them want to/ do play at a professional level. Say for a lower section band where there are players who just enjoy their banding without the need for the "mod-con" instruments with triggers, your bound to find problems.

    I never said that triggers are just for soloists-

    I never said they were bad- I think they are a great piece of kit, and agree, invaluable in helping intonation problems- I use mine all the time (not literally :rolleyes:), in my practice at home but within ensemble playing I find that some problems will occur on occasion! :-? E.g...
    Rehearsing before the area, your all sat in the bandroom- MD tunes the whole band up, and you start working on the test piece. The Euph's are playing along and reach an F...
    Player 1- who has a trigger knows that he plays this note sharp, and uses his trigger to correct his tuning, but meanwhile...
    Player 2- who doesn't, also knows his tuning on the note is sharp, but without a trigger can only rely on "lipping it down" to correct him/herself. Unfortunately he cannot lip it down sufficiently to correct himself leading to an immediate intonation problem...!
    This situation will undoubtedly crop up a lot- especially as it's not just F's that are usually the problem, but how can it be rectified-
    i. the trigger isn't used so both players play sharp- if they both try to lip it down they'll still have problems,
    ii. one player leaves all the F's out of the piece- ... probs won't have much to play!

    What would happen if the non trigger player was less capable than the triggered player, this would lead to intonation problems within the band as a whole? (as it would also if it was vice versa)

    Of course, your far more experienced than I am, but they still have their cons in my eyes... :-?
  8. Thanks for your advice. Until recently i havn't thought about getting a trigger. But recently my conductor has been asking about whether i have one. This has been down to tuning problems. (obviously!) and i am enquiring as to there pros and cons. I have also encountered tuning problems whilst playing solos. I play in a 1st section band so obviously i don't want to be out of tune. (well nobody ever does) but am just wondering whether a trigger would help my situation.
  9. zak

    zak Member

    Still don't agree with your thoughts and arguements/scenarios so we will have to agree to disagree on this one I'm afraid. I merely speak from 30 years playing experience thats all, the last 10 at a top level ;)

    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  10. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    A trigger will undoubtedly help, and i'd wholeheartedly say get one, but make sure you get one that is worth the amount your paying for it- some of the one's out there are a little bit fragile!!! ;)
    Last edited: May 22, 2006
  11. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Either way, you've gotta make sure you dont let the slide get dirty (which happens rapidly) at any cost. I got a bit lax with my Prestige and now i'm having to clean it every week so that it doesnt jam.(maybe thats normal tho:oops:) You'll end up pinching slide glide from the trom section lol! It also limits how flat you can tune your instrument before the linkage starts to flex when you press the trigger- on the prestige anyway. Although you might not have that with the sterling.
  12. Thanks for the advice i had that problem once with a dirty besson that i didnt own. It took me god knows how long to get it clean and it got me so annoyed doing it. Once again thanks for all your advice it's been really useful.
  13. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    IMO, the trigger is moreso used for whole band playing as when you have all different makes and models of instruments intonation is extra difficult. I just feel you've got more difficulty in using the trigger (depending on model) when performing solos. I endorse Courtois and I hardly ever use trigger for solos (apart from the usual F problem) just because of the phyicality of getting to use it. The main tuning slide moves OK if your seated but your (well my) stomach rests against the main slide and prevents it from moving. There are contraptions available to stop this but with solo playing you have remember the notes, to play them musically, balanced, with a nice sound etc etc. Using the trigger just might CAUSE problems. For example, I kept pressing the 4th valve down instead of the trigger (only used to doing one thing with my left hand!)
    As long as you know which notes are sharp, then it is of use. But don't overuse.
  14. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Interesting statement. I recently saw an article written by Denis Wedgewood, the trumpet maker, about the recent demise of B&H/Besson. In his opinion, main reason for sticking triggers is that the workmanship on them was fairly ropey to start with, so as soon as they start to wear in, it exposes alignment problems.

    Most of my euphonium playing is orchestral, so I cannot assume to be an expert on Brass Band euph playing, but I really cannot see the necessity of fitting triggers. The Prestige was fitted with a trigger to correct tuning problems common in that design. Sadly, instead of changing the design to correct the problem, they gave us a fancy gold-plated trigger. The result: a badly made euphonium with even more things that can wrong with it. And Besson wonders why it went somewhere without a paddle.

    My own medium-bore Yamaha has never needed any tuning correction devices other that a few lip adjustments from the bloke sitting behind it. It's 13 years old, has never been cleaned and my slides/valves have never stuck. Makes you think....

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