Which tenor Horn

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by davidwalton, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    Now Besson are no more, and their rebirth is likely to bring some build issues, what Tenor horn is considered the best?

    "Looking around the Internet", the Yamaha appears to be OK, but has possible sounding problems at the top end. The Courtois has tuning issues (tuned very sharp), and there is no pricing or comments on the Willson that I could find.

    The advise I could find was to buy second-hand Besson of some years ago, which appears to be better than what is made today?
  2. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I would have to say value for money the Virtuosi Professional Model

    My daughter plays the intermediate model and it plays as well as the sovereign if not better and only a third of the price of the sovereign

    I have had a blow on the pro model and it is free blowing and has good intonation throughout the range

    Just an Idea
  3. Goldie Horn

    Goldie Horn Member

    Or, if you have a bit more cash to spare how about this one...the 'Royal' by London Musical Instruments.


    It certainly looks nice (actually looks identical to a Sovereign) ...has anyone played it?!?
  4. Goldie Horn

    Goldie Horn Member

    But I bought a second hand Sovereign c.1983 and it's ace. :clap:
  5. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I reaaaaaaaaaaaaly didn't like my Yamaha!! Tuning was awful, top notes were very hard to get cleanly (several people I know who play on Yams all have problems with top As). The only plus is the fact that the tuning slide is in a decent place...
  6. Goldie Horn

    Goldie Horn Member

    My Yamaha wasn't great either. Didn't realise until I played other horns. It had a buzz on it and not much volume. But it was cheap!!

    Or maybe that was my playing...:oops:
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - mmmmm! I have never known about this one until you posted the link! Healthy price with it as well ... £2,499.

    - manufacturer's site here.
  8. carlwoodman

    carlwoodman Member

    London Musical Instruments have been set up by former Besson and Bossey & Hawkes employees and are based just north of London in Harpenden.
    I picked up the tenor horn which was on the Band Supplies trade stand and immediately noticed the weight and finish of the instrument which was greater and better than the Sovereigns of recent vintage.
  9. llewellynd

    llewellynd Member

    Id agree with GingerMaestro, the Virtusoi is great value for money, its a very close copy of the last B&H Sovs. Very nearly bought one a couple of months ago but they had a 1983 re-con B&H Sov in a the time for more money :oops: that was too tempting. Good service as well.
  10. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    Well, so far, it appears that there is nothing new to match the older Besson horn.

    Manufacturers should be ashamed!!!!

    No matter how good a Virtusoi is, it is still a copy, and made in India.
  11. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    4barsrest did a review on Horns a little while ago. The Sovereign still came out on top. I wouldn't want to play any other. Mind you I wouldn't mind a go on a Wilson and that Royal by LMI might be worth a look.
  12. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    I love my besson Sov, wouldn't ever buy any other horn. I've tried yamahas, and the courtois and I really don't like them. They just seem harder to blow, and don't make as nice sound as the sovs.

    If you can find a 2nd hand good quality sov, why don't you buy one of them and get it done up a little? Older instruments are meant to be better. And I actually agree with that. I'm borrowing a REALLY old trumpet at the moment, and the valves on it run better than my horn ones do. ( my horns about 5 yrs old)

    If not, and you want a new one, I tried out one of the Pro Virtuosi instruments a few weeks ago, and it isn't that much different to the sov, the sound quality is nearly the same, and the valves work nicely and it's easy to blow. :)
  13. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    Have you tried a Virtuosi instrument, because they are nothing like the cheap rubbish copies from China or India that you see advertised on Ebay. They are much better manufactured and the base metals are of a far better and harder quality

    Yes they are a copy of a Besson but in my opinion they play as well if not better than their more expensive competitors
  14. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    This doesn't say much for the so called leading Manufacturers.

    I was trying to find out from TMPers experience which Tenor Horn was best. I have difficulty understanding that this is either an old instrument or one made in India, ie. a copy of the same old instrument.

    Yes, with an older instrument the valves are worn in. However, with a "well made" instrument, the valves should be at least good from day one.

    It is a pity nobody seems to know about the Willson? No pricing or comments anywhere that I could find on the Internet.
  15. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Hoorah! it's not just me then. Top As are a real pain in the fundament and tuning at the top end is abysmal. I do like my Yam, but I've not had it a year and I'm already considering sending it to a little man I know for a bit of an overhaul.
    Bits of it seem to have come loose, esp. the 3rd valve slide and third valve.
  16. ballyhorn

    ballyhorn Member

    I play a Courtois and I think it's miles better for tuning than any other horn I've played on....I tried the original ones and really didn't like them,the bell was nearly the same size as a barking iron but the new ones are great and they don't half take some ripping!!!!!
  17. westburykid

    westburykid Member

    We replaced all our horns with Sovs a couple of years ago. Took a couple of months to get used to but they are much more mature sounding than the Yams we had before.

    Finish on the Sovs is dissapointing, the lacquer is coming off in places and the valves are a bit troublesome at times.

    The Yams were 10+ years old but were starting to fade fast, the last thing we did on them was the area (Tristan Encounters) and they were ready for the skip after that!
    They were constantly getting "buzzes" where the solder was breaking at joins. Mine was more blue tack that brass when we finshed.
    Always felt that the Yams were aimed at kids, easy to make a row on but as subtle as a hammer.

    Best horn I ever had was a old silver Boosey Sov in a blue wooden case probably 20 years old at the time. Proper metal, heavy, felt made and not manufactured.

    Bout time we had some 4 valve large bore horns....... discuss............
  18. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    That royal one is beautiful and lovely and I want one! Yay I have something to obsess over again :D
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - are you back on tenor horn again? (and you haven't been posting a lot in recent months too ... and oh, no sign of the Kelly mouthpiece for you yet! :mad: )
  20. Redhorn

    Redhorn New Member

    Interesting article in this weeks BB in which it talks about the new Xeno horn. Looks very good (although no pictures or any clues as to what 'extras' it might have on it)... has been designed with lots of help by Sheona White (yes, her who was supposed to be designing the prestige! hee hee) and comes complete with a Sheona White mouthpiece. Coming out in December, evidently. Worth a look, id say!

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