whats the best Eb bass at the moment?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tuba1974, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. tuba1974

    tuba1974 Member

    besson sovreign,yamaha,courtois or the york,
    i think my sovreign is the best instrument iv had,i havnt had a blow on a york one yet,
    give me your comments on your faveourite Eb!
  2. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    A decent sovereign built in the eighties before they started making them out of re-cycled bean cans. Still the best instrument out there as there sell on depreciation figures show.
  3. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    wilsons are excellent.
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... and the Miraphones have had good reviews as well!
  5. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    My own Sovreign 982 Is the only one on the list I've Played. Mine is one built around 1992, sounds Great and is still in pretty good nick 9 I tend to look after it ). I have played on older tuba's Boosey and Co built in 1914 had a terrific sound, and I played on a Boosey and Hawkes Imperial ( the one with 19 inch Bell ) That also sounded Great. I think I might be Biased to Boosey & Hawkes ( Besson ).
    That said I would rather play on an old Boosey and co Imperial than the 700 series bought out by Besson a few years back.couldn't get lower notes in tune on one of those.
    Wouldn't mind trying a Wilson because of some of the reviews i have read on this site, but I,m not sure if they are available here in Aus
  6. JDH

    JDH Member

    I have not played the newer models, but have heard the York is good.

    I have recently played on a Mr.Tuba EEb and that was very good - and as they are made by Melton in Germany they are well made.
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I'm interested to see what the new Yamaha is like. I have an issue with my 632S bell being too thin and the new model is supposed to have a tapered thickness to compensate for this fragility and not lose response.
  8. jamieow

    jamieow Member

    early to mid / late 80's 981 model soveriegn is 'the one' to have in my v humble opinion (same one as Toby recommends) - like the one a certain John Fletcher played......though his sounded so good because he was the best......
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  9. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    I actually play a custom fitted Courtois model that I bought from Fodens when I left the band. For me there isn't another EEb out there that can take the volume of air I (try) to put through it without breaking up. The Courtois even coped with Toby........!

    That said I do have a mint c.1989 Sovereign 981 in BSP that's sat in its case most of the time that I can't bring myself to sell. I let Craig (TubaWolves) have a go on it last week at rehearsals and it sounded beautiful even with him playing it! ;-)
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - I seem to remember you mentioning something about this before. Was it the valve-block that was narrowed to fit?
  11. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I can't comment in great detail, but the general consensus seems to be that the older B&H Sovereigns are the ones to have. It seems a great shame that the newer ones can't live up to the reputation. I think that it's a lot to do with the quality of workmanship that goes into each one. The worst thing to happen to B&H/Besson was the huge orders from the lottery grants bands got. They started churning out instruments with little or no quality control and their reputation suffered as a result.

    It seems that the old 'round stamp' ones are really sought-after now, but a student of mine from a couple of years ago bought a new B&S Eb tuba and was delighted with it. I don't know too much about them apart from that they are from the old GDR.
  12. JDH

    JDH Member


    I imagine it is the 3181 they got? I used to have one - it blew well - better than the Besson 981 I also had at the time.
  13. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    The 291 shown on that page looks superb with the adjustable rotary 4th valve and the ADJUSTABLE leadpipe - it looks to have a very compact "wrap" too, but of course it is non-compensating, smaller bell and narrower bore so it's not in the same category. Pity some of the same adjustability hasn't come through in other models and with other manufacturers :-(

    Interesting too to see they don't do a "British-style" BB flat tuba either.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2007
  14. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    GRRRRRREAT blower as i recall Phil, filthy bottom end but its Achilles heal was them there valves, lucky I tried not to use them to much, I left that to you!!!!!!!!
  15. Phil Green

    Phil Green Supporting Member

    The valve block is a little further away from the branch than normal as I think it helps to keep me playing with fingertips rather than knuckles (a bad habit!). Also the 4th valve is at a slightly flatter angle and the lead pipe a little higher - it introduces a slight bend before going into the valve block.
  16. jcowensEb

    jcowensEb Member

    hi uncle ian,i agree your soverign is amazing:)
  17. tuba1974

    tuba1974 Member

    you a lucky lad playing on the great dennis hadfields Eb bass,
  18. jcowensEb

    jcowensEb Member

    v.lucky,and it plays so nice,been reading coments on yorkshire regionals and i notised the bass part too,cya soon
  19. Tuba Miriam

    Tuba Miriam Member

    I play on a Miraphone, which I've had for 3.5 years now. I haven't looked since, but at the time it certainly had a far, far larger bore than any other EEb on the market and subsequently has a lovely sound to it; also very robustly built (if a little heavy, on the odd occasion when you need to stand up with it).

    My only serious complaint with it is the valves: they're huge! They're about the size of Besson BBb valves, with the same travel time. To some extent this is just a case of getting used to, but I've also had problems with sticky valves - they require a fair amount of maintenance.

    Others that have blown it have commented on the intonation being very different to the old Sovereign, too.

    It has the potential to be a fantastic instrument if the valves were sorted out (maybe they are now?) - as it is, it just feels a little cumbersome. But the large bore size can produce a great sound.

    Would also be interested to hear what the new model Bessons, Yorks etc are like.
  20. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I Finb my Besson 982 needs a fair amount of attention to the Valves, will be getting a valve service at repairers soon and a decent chem clean. I find this tuba has needed regular Valve services because of build up on the valves. not noticed on the earlier Imperial models I played on in the late 80's and 90's.
    But I do like the sound from the Besson.

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