Which euphonium?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by andyp, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Our band has decided to replace our two euphoniums, as they are the best part of 20 years old. Although they're both Sovereigns they are beginning to show their age. Question is, do we get 2 more Sovereigns, or perhaps look at Yamahas, or even something else. I think we should get Sovs, mainly because every other instrument in the band with the exception of the troms and Bb basses is a Sovereign, but I don't play euph, so I don't think I can say!
    Having spoken to a few people from other bands I've been given differing views (surprise!). Has anyone purchased a new euph recently, and if so, how have you found it compared to your old one, does it fit in well with your band, etc?
    (This is a serious dilemma, as my wife is solo euph, and if we don't get a good'un she won't be happy.......)
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    We purchased two Yahama professional model euphs about three years ago. At first, I was skeptical, as I had been playing a Sovereign for about twenty years. But the Yamaha won me over quickly. It's lighter, but well-constructed (the last couple of Sovereigns we bought had problems with weld joints coming apart, especially where the leadpipe is joined to the body). And the Yamaha has much, much less resistance when playing. I haven't played on a Prestige or equivalent from other manufacturers, but I'd recommend the Yamaha to anyone who asks.

    Just to be fair, there are a couple of issues with the Yamaha. The valves are very, very sensitive, particularly when the instrument is new. The tolerances are so close that sticking could be a problem. If they're kept clean and well-oiled, this is less of a problem. After some use, they loosen just enough to be really good.

    Also, the finish is not necessarily the best (we have silver-plate models). Some of the finish, particularly on the bell, seems to be quite thin and easily damaged. This doesn't alter the playing characteristics, as the underlying brass seems to be quite good quality.
  3. jonford

    jonford Member

    It really does seem to be personal opinion and what you are used to. Before I got my new euphonium I asked lots of people which make, Yamaha or Besson? and it really was 50/50. After trying several out in a shop I went for a sovereign and am very happy with it. I think the quality varied when lots of bands were getting lottery grants and so lots of instruments were being made as quickly as possible. But I don't think this is the case now.

    Have a look at some shops and some Im sure let you loan instruments for a week. Maybe this would be worth a try.
  4. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    I recently bought a Yamaha Maestro which I have found to be excellent. It is said to be similar to the Sov but cheaper and perhaps better lasting. The valves are fine (particularly good with Yamaha own-brand valve oil.) However I don't have any personal experience of a Sov and seeing as your band is mostly Sovreign it could be the better option. But try a Yamaha and Besson with the band if poss and see which you prefer. I love my Yammy!!
  5. Highams

    Highams Member

    Make a point of trying out the 2 Willson models, the 2900 & 2950 in stock at Rosehill. There is also a brand new Miraphone coming in the next few days!

  6. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Personally I'd suggest you stay well clear of Yamaha's, i'm not too keen on them anyway but once you being to blow above about forte the sound starts to go really tinny. Sov's are the best euph's i've played but the older model as a lot of the newer ones were mass produced when everyone started getting lottery grants years ago and in my opinion they aren't as good. Prestige's are just sovs with triggers more or less (to my knowledge). But i've always fancied trying Wilson euphs as they are supposed to be quite good.

    But if you going for the well known ones just get sovs, much better than yamahas and courtios (in my opinion)
  7. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    I can second that. Having played both Sov's and Yamaha's, I found that the Yamaha's played like small bore baritones. That might just be me, but I found it really hard to control what I was playing to start with.
  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    There are two varieties of Yamahas - the "regular" models and the professional models. The professional models made in the last couple of years are vastly superior to anything they produced before - easily surpassing my 20-year-old Sovereign in almost every way.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2004
  9. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Thanks everyone for your advice - I think we'll be getting one of each for a try shortly, which'll probably give our treasurer a heart attack, last time we did that it was for a new flugel, we tried 4 and the best by some way was also the most expensive! (a Vincent Bach).

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