What's the best cornet to buy?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Posh, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Posh

    Posh Member

    My husband and I are currently looking into buying a brand new cornet. We are both cornet/flugel players and play on Besson Sovereign cornets and a Yamaha flugel. Our (band owned) cornets are quite different. Mine is one of the 'Lottery' produced sovereigns, whilst he plays on one that was produced before the lottery grants/mass production came into effect and is a much better instrument. I almost bought a Prestige cornet a few years ago but I ended up on flugel so didn't bother!

    I'd like to know what others think is the best cornet currently out there.
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I think you need to go to a shop and try them all for your self. There are of the shelf makers, Sovereigns etc. and custom cornets like Eclipse, Taylor.

    I like Smith Watkins personally, but it's what you like that matters.

    Good luck with your quest.
  3. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    It depends on you and what you want.
    What works for one person probably doesn't work for everybody.
    A purely personal opinion is that I think the Eclipse cornet is the most beautiful cornet I have ever played (all the playability and tone of the original Sovereign but it also has incredible intonation). There aren't a huge number of Eclipse cornets out there, but those people who have them tend to LOVE them. If I played cornet on a regular basis I would own an Eclipse.

    Of the "regular" makes/models out there I would probably head down the Prestige route - I have played a number of these (the new ones, not the English-made disasters that were one of the causes of the Besson collapse) and they are excellent instruments.

    As it is, I hardly play cornet very often so don't feel the need for updating my Xeno - the intonation is pretty good and the tone is totally acceptable.
  4. Nickcolch

    Nickcolch New Member

    I have just bought an LMI cornet. Handmade to perfection. Sounds great and looks stunning. Takes a while for them to build one for you but the finished article is great.
  5. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    A few years ago the main options were Besson Sov and Xeno
    Even more years ago the only option was Sov

    I settled for a Smith Watkins (Dr. Smith the designer of the original 80's sov)
    With a Sparx mouthpiece. Its more sweet and silvery than the darker sounding Sov (Dark in a nice way)
    Intonation is amazing by comparison. I have always wanted to try an Eclipse though ...
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    The Schilke XA1 is a very fine instrument (albeit expensive) in terms of build quality, intonation and response; however it doesn't always blend easily with a section using more traditional makes.

    Although I managed to improve the blend (to my ears, anyway :oops: ) by using a mouthpiece with a more open backbore, and with the addition of a heavy bottom valve cap to the 3rd valve ...
  7. The Xeno is great; very free blowing in all ranges and good intonation. It also produces a mellow sound that blends well.
    I agree that you should try as many as possible as everyone has their own tastes/strengths/weaknesses.
  8. 007ish

    007ish Member

  9. Posh

    Posh Member

    Thanks for the replies. We are planning on trying as many as possible, but it'll probably take us (him!) quite a while. It's been over twenty years since I last had a 'test-drive' on a cornet and he's never done it, he just accepted the one I chose for him. As kids I had a Besson 600 and he a Besson 700, so when the band decided to buy two new cornets as teenagers we automatically went for Sovereigns. There are some mentioned on this thread that I've never even heard of, so once again thanks. We've both been googling them all!
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  10. SalvationArmyBM

    SalvationArmyBM New Member

    Geneva Symphony! Less expensive than others mentioned here but a professional with superb build quality and backed up with a lifetime guarantee and free annual service. www.genevainstruments.com
  11. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Just my tuppence worth...

    FWIW, if I had money to spend on my musical hobby, I'm certain I'd get far better value for money buying lessons or tutor books rather than a new brass instrument.
  12. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

  13. Posh

    Posh Member

    I agree completely, and we both do. As does our eight year old daughter. :p
  14. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    That may be true, but you need an instrument that won't frustrate you. For most people the Sovereign is going to be fine as its neither extreme in bore or blow. if you want to go further then choose an instrument that helps you sound like you. In other words decide what kind of sound you have and support that rather than trying to sound like someone else. Work to your strengths.