Wessex Baritone Horn - any opinions?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack E, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    It can be very strange the way that things turn out. Several of my posts have suggested the value of an older instrument and several of them have suggested the value of good student instruments, ones that match the player and are well made. I also posted about a young chap I know who got his grade eight on a Regent Cornet. The response towards me was less than positive yet here we are, in the end Jack's favoured Instrument is an old Regent and he will likely save a bundle of money compared to buying new. Good luck and enjoy, I suspect that we are both left smiling :) .

    And for what it’s worth if that was high F above the stave then I’m well impressed - I can’t see you ever needing it but it does much to secure slightly lower high notes that you might be called upon to play. I hope that you noted what mouthpiece came with that particular Regent and that you don’t expect one ‘just like it’ to play as well.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  2. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    In fairness to myself, I have never disputed the build quality of older instruments - I just pointed out the difficulty of finding one at a price I could afford.

    A good friend is still playing the Imperial trombone she's been playing for the best part of 40 years, and describes it as an excellent instrument. I certainly never expected to find something of the class of this Regent at a price within my budget, as even with its cosmetic faults, it still plays very nicely indeed. If I hadn't struck so lucky, I'm sure a Wessex would have served me well.

    As I said, I'm not certain now whether I reached the F or if it was only up to G - but, even if it was only the G, I was very pleased not to just to make it at all, but also that after a few tries to get myself in balance, the note was a clear one, and not a horrible raspy squeak! Just out of interest, I'll try it on my Besson New Standard this afternoon, and see how that compares.

    Just keeping my fingers crossed now that the committee of Claire's band are willing to sell it to me!

    With best regards,

  3. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Well, the Besson New Standard I'm playing at the moment is a band instrument - but we've had quite a number of new learners join over the last year, and I'm not sure if we have a single loan baritone left. As I'm in a position to buy my own instrument, it only seems fair to leave the loan instruments for those who can't afford to buy their own, especially parents who understandably feel reluctant to lay out a lot of money in case their child decides a few months later that they've lost interest.

    With best regards,

  4. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member


    I'll do my best not to honk, Dave - but I offer no guarantees!

    Re. the sound; I would assume that the sound from a Regent would be comparable with that of an Imperial of the same era, and from what I've heard, there are still plenty of Imps still on active service with good bands. Besides, I think a baritone should sound like a baritone, and not like an 'almost-euph' ;) - and when I discussed the possibilities with my MD last night, he raised no objections to my playing a Regent (and he certainly knows what they sound like). Of course, I'm sure he'll expect (insist) that I play with a rounder and richer sound where the piece calls for it, but I still want to have that bright ringing tone available when I can get away with it . . .

    One of my friends once accused me of having Victorian attitudes. I told her I bitterly resented that slur on my character, and that I was - at the very least - medieval! :cool:

    With best regards,

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  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    To be fair to you I don’t recall you disputing the build quality of older instruments, to be fair to me my post above mentions value not build quality. My earlier comments have been dismissed by a large group of people (as EuphoniumLite said, I think you’re out numbered. Entry #28). If it matters then MoominDave did comment on the availability of instruments and I think that my response to him is not unreasonable.

    I also note that you are happy with a non-compensating Instrument and many people seemed to believe compensating was necessary for you - unless I’m mistaken and the photos on the web are incorrect the Regent is non-compensating.

    If your high G was two octaves above the one within the stave then I’m still impressed, if it’s not then just be glad when you can get high C above the stave.

    Good luck with the purchase, but should it fall through then a couple of dealers have already been mentioned on this thread, and val473 on eBay night be worth contacting too - he’s Midlands based so that might be a help.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  6. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    Really interesting development...

    I've said before that you shouldn't argue with results - if you simply play better on it then that's difficult to argue with.

    That said, even if they want to sell its worth bearing in mind that it wouldn't have been that expensive new even, so a fair price isn't going to be that high.

    It's rare but you will occasionally find players using different grades of instruments even up to championship section - chap that's sat next to me quite a bit plays a Yamaha 4335 (intermediate) cornet, I think mostly because he dislikes triggers but it works... But it's still very much the exception to find players not on professional grade instruments, but it does happen sometimes.
    Jack E likes this.
  7. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    I didn't realise it was a non-compensating instrument.

    The F that I reached was the one on the top line of the stave - i.e., one octave above the F in the lowest space in the stave. Therefore, if I did reach the G above it, that would have been one octave above the G within the stave, not two.

    How about this;

    (i) I haven't the faintest idea what I'm talking about;
    (ii) I'm a complete idiot;
    (iii) I should send you £800, because that is a lot of money to you but - obviously - not to me;
    (iv) I'm throwing my money away on a second rate instrument.

    Happy now?
    4th Cornet likes this.
  8. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    The BH student instruments of that era were built for students not just cheaply built.
    The Regent will be non-compensating and lighter than the Imperial. The weight may be why it feels more free-blowing.
    If it works for you then go for it.. but beware as other examples may not play as well.
    2nd tenor and Jack E like this.
  9. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Andrew - I really appreciate your constructive and helpful reply.

    With best regards,

  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The non-compensating point's potentially a good one, and one I hadn't spotted re the Regent... Are low D and C# close enough to in tune to satisfy your banding needs? The natural tendency of non-compensated instruments is for notes with combinations of long valves to tend a long way sharp - I have an online spreadsheet that calculates this if anyone's curious about how much. One could get D (and low G) on 1+3 close enough to satisfy on an 'ideal' instrument with some judicious flattening of the 3rd valve, but C# and F# end up a whole 1/3 of a semitone sharp under any tuning scheme that leaves the rest close, which tends to be a problem when these notes are asked for. The compensating system brings everything into close to exact true, bar the C# and F# on 1+2+3, which are close enough to satisfy (13 cents sharp rather than 34).

    Jack - if it wasn't obvious if it was compensating, do you know what to look for to spot it? The 3rd valve loop feeds back through the other valves, and there are extra tubing loops on the two 'compensating' valves (1 and 2), on the side or round the back. Compare the two images below - the first of a Regent baritone, the second of an Imperial. Evidently the superior Imperial tuning was at least part of what made it the pro line.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    To my mind this hits the ‘nail on the head’ and gets to the core of the message that I’ve been trying to get across.
  12. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I’m saddened that you interpret my posts in that way but have to accept that how something is read and interpreted sometimes is different from the way that it’s posted.

    Internet arguements are, IMHO, completely pointless and I just do not engage in them. In contrast internet debates and the sharing of information is very worthwhile. There is a grey area between arguement and debate which I try to keep out of, but the boundaries are unclear and different for different people.

    It costs me time and effort to post. Forums like this are to an extent places of sharing in which we offer experiences and learn from those of others too. These days I offer much more than I gain here and supporting this thread has been a total loss to me, worse in fact as some of my comments have been met with hostility from some posters.

    Hostility towards other posters is not something that is good for the forum; we loose valid comment and valuable members of the forum that way and so later are not able to benefit from contributions from them. Amongst many examples at one point a Black Dyke member posted here and got abused and as another a very well respected repairer posted and was poorly treated, neither of them contribute here now which is, IMHO, a great loss. Of course there are those that have and do come on here to have a laugh and take pleasure from winding other people up, IMHO such folk deserve what they eventually get and I believe that there are now no active members who have such a mindset.

    So, where offence is taken at my comments please be assured that it’s just not my intent to give it.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  13. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the pictures, Dave - that makes the differences between comp. and uncomp. very clear.

    I know it's possible to vary the pitch of a note by altering your embouchure, but I've no idea if it's possible to flatten the pitch by as much as a third of a semi-tone - let alone if I'm capable of doing so.

    But I've also had a look at various B & H Imperial baritones from the same period (early 70s); Brassy Babe sold one on E-bay a couple of years ago, described as in good condition bar a few very minor knocks; it went for £510. If that's a realistic value for an Imp in that condition, that would be within my budget - and the compensating system would eliminate (or at least greatly mitigate) tuning issues.

    I'll be seeing my MD this evening, and will discuss the various options and possibilities with him before clinching the deal on the Regent.

    With best regards,

  14. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    It's not just whether it's possible, it's what knock-on effects it has.

    Lipping any note a significant amount will result in a thinner tone (loss of resonance) and you lose that consistent tone that's ideal.

    Besides, the more consistent the scale is (is: the fewer notes are out of line) the easier it is to play.

    In an ideal world, you want the intonation as close to perfect as possible (anything wrong there is a significant handicap with all the knock-on effects that come into play) and the blow resistance to feel comfortable/balanced for you.

    If you had to choose one or the other, I'd take intonation first and adapt to blow with mouthpiece choice and practice.
    MoominDave and Jack E like this.
  15. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    My tutors have told me that one of my strong points, from the start, has been the work I've put into creating a pleasant musical tone - and not just hitting the right pitch - and that my playing is good in that respect, so I'd hate to throw that away, and thanks for the caution.

    That's very helpful, Tom. Claire's band also have an old Imperial (which is compensated) - I would guess about the same age as the Regent - and I'll try and arrange to go over and take a second and longer look at it.

    With best regards,
    Tom-King likes this.
  16. cb1_flug

    cb1_flug New Member

    Jack E likes this.
  17. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Hi Claire,
    thanks again for taking so much trouble to arrange for me to try out those instruments; it was really helpful - and good to meet you, too!

    I'm a bit stumped on one point, though - and maybe one of the mods could offer some advice?

    When I try and open the pictures, I get an error message come up, saying "You do not have permission to view media within this album." I'm not sure whether it's a problem on the forum, or that the pictures are in a private album at your end. What I did to post this picture was to open it in Paint, 'Select All', 'Copy', and then paste into the reply as if it was a piece of text.


    (in case you're wondering, the bird is a Great Northern Diver - or, as our American cousins term it, a Common Loon!)

    With best regards,

  18. cb1_flug

    cb1_flug New Member

    Probably my user error Jack!

    How's this?
  19. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Sorry - still get the same error message! Will PM you,

  20. cb1_flug

    cb1_flug New Member

    Sorry Jack, I'll email them across – probably easier!!

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