Which baritone?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by euphfanhan, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    I'm going to buy a baritone in the next few weeks, but I'm a bit confused as to what I should buy, can anyone help me?
    I used to play a Besson sovereign, which I loved, before I moved to euphonium, and tried Yamahas on a couple of occassions, but I didn't particularly like them. Now the new York baritones are out, I was wondering if anyone has tried them and what they thought?
    Obviously there's also the 3 valve versus 4 valve debate...so far I have yet to hear a positive comment on the 4 valve models, other than the abililty to play lower which most baritone players aren't required to do anyway. Plus a few people I've asked have said that the 4 valve baritones sounds more 'euphoniumy'...I don't want a baritone that sounds like a euphonium! Any comments?
  2. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    I have a sovereign that's just a year old and it's the best baritone I've ever played, it's quality. My advice is to source a couple to try at your local music shop, I tried three makes/models before choosing the sov I have now and I knew as soon as I blew it, it was the one I wanted.

    I prefer three valves, I can lip up or down as required and have only found one piece where a fourth valve would have aided me. I learnt to play three valves and have been told by friends who play bass and euph that learning to use a fourth valve is a knack in itself, also prefer the sound from a three valved, but that's my choice.

    Hope you find a baritone that you like.
  3. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    I have one of the Brand New Sovereigns from Besson (955 3 Valve Silver Plate) - arrived in March and it is superb. Even better than my 1992ish Besson Sovereign that i used to have. The new one's valves are amazing, the quality of finish is impecable and sounds brilliant.

    The others i tried that I was not so keen on were the LMI, the new York and Yamaha ones.If it were not the Sovereign it would be the LMI, then the York. Yamaha was not even close, felt like an outsize horn. I had previoulsy tried the Cortois, but found the tuning a bit wobbly.

    The Sovereign is the best IMO, but everyone will have a different view - try to get to play a few and make your decision from that.
  4. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    I agree with your views on the 4 valve, a player in our band who used to work for Besson as was said that it was a flawed design from day 1, and sounds stuffy - there is just too much tubing squeezed into too tight a shape (in his opinion.)
  5. bonodog

    bonodog New Member

    If you can get hold of a York it is well worth a try. We've just purchased one to replace an older Sovereign (gone to the junior band). The York was far superior than the Courtois (agreed tuning problems) and a nice step up from the older Sovereign. Admittedly, we didn't try the LMI or new Sovereign but after trying the York didn't see the need.

    The 4 valve was never an option. Couldn't see any point really!

  6. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    I agree the York is a lovely instrument, that and the new sovereign are very similar. Different valves tops, but cosmetically that is about it. I just preferred the action and sound of the Besson.

    Try before you buy and make up your mind. But the three you should be looking to try are:

    Besson, York and LMI.

    BTW: Though all the instruments have an RRP of about 2800 - in reality the Besson and York are a lot cheaper than the LMI, as almost all dealers have them priced at around 2000 pounds, whereas there is very little margin for reduction in the LMI list price as far as i could gather.

    Enjoy! :-D
  7. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    There's also the Willson baritone to consider. Our 1st Bari at Egham plays one, and it seems very good. 'Highams' on this forum would know more about them, as he is a Willson Artist, I believe.
  8. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    as a euph player who has played a 4valve baritone, i thought it was fine, and managed to produce a quality sound.

    also, if you're used to a 4th valve (ie - euph) it prevents you from trying to press something that isnt there!!

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