Xeno or Smith-Watkins?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by davel1975, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. davel1975

    davel1975 New Member

    Hi, should I stick with my Xeno 8335G which is a very fine instrument and more than good enough for my capabilities or change it for a Smith-Watkins Professional?
  2. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    just try them, if you like them (and have the money) then change, if not then don't.
  3. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    I had the Xeno and Boy Wonder had the Smith-Watkins (after re-mortgaging the house to pay for them...). Both are quite bright-sounding cornets, though other than that can't fault either of them. That said Iwent back to my trusty old Besson which I love for it's darker tone, and he's on a York now. He wants to change to the new Besson which dad has, but I'll have to win the pools first! :D
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    And if you are thinking of spending that amount on a new instrument - TRY EVERYTHING

    Personally, of those two - I wouldn't think of changing, I have yet to play a Smith-Watkins that I would choose to play.
    If I was looking for a top level cornet (in other words - if I was playing cornet full time) I would be playing an Eclipse cornet - they are simply the finest I have played, BUT that is with me on the end, using my mouthpiece, with my style of playing.

    Play what works for you, with you on the end
  5. davel1975

    davel1975 New Member

    Cheers guys, the Eclipse was the other one I would possibly consider. Think I will leave it for a bit and try some out where possible.
  6. JRH

    JRH Member

    I'm trying out a S-W Artist model atm, and although I have quite a few other cornets, I have a sneaky suspicion I'll be ordering one of these very soon. The major decision will which (perhaps several) of many leadpipe options to go with.
  7. andy;-)

    andy;-) Member

    Go and spend an afternoon with Richard Smith in his workshop and try all the different lead pipes - it makes a surprising difference to how the instrument plays, from free blowing to a bit of resistance depending on your preference. Also a word of advice if you do go for a S-W pay the little extra for the full flight case as it is considerably lighter and saves the back!
  8. TommySop

    TommySop New Member

    Xeno or SW?

    Save your money. Or! Sell your Xeno and buy an old Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign. !980's pre 928. They were the best. For some reason Boosey/Besson changed them. Why if the new one is not as good? Probably the reason why Boosey/Besson are no more.
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Were being the important word. Times have moved on. New developers have moved into the market and taken older designs and improved on them. All the top brands are worth a try, including SW and pick the best that suits.
  10. catto09

    catto09 Member

    As well as times moving on, the sound of a brass band has changed considerably. Listen to the old Dyke in comparison to the new dyke. In my opinion, the sound is a much clearer and bigger sound. Some of that will be acredited to the recordings, however the new sounds are definately a better sound.

    Not to mention the absolutely disgusting intonation on the 80's sovereigns. Boosey/Besson London are no more simply because of the Lottery grant, and every band out there rushing to get in as many instruments as possible. They couldn't keep up, and therefore produced shoddy workmanship. If something didn't fit, the engineers were told "well make it fit"...

    Whereas now, Besson, under the Buffet-Crampton name, have changed their policy. If something doesn't fit - it gets chucked in a pile to be melted down and re-moulded, and a new one is moulded to fit that particular instrument.

    The current Bessons are far supirior to anything else i've ever tried, in terms of build quality, intonation, and sound. Will admit that the sound is no-where near as dark, but you've now got many many hundreds of different mouthpieces to assist with that factor which you just didn't have in those days
  11. westoe_horn

    westoe_horn Member

  12. Euphemistic

    Euphemistic New Member

    From their profile - I guess he/she meant the Euphs (Top F/G)
  13. TommySop

    TommySop New Member

    I bought my lad a 1984 Sov. some years ago. He went to play with a band which had a full set of Xenos. He brought one home, thought it was the bis. He was back on his Sov in about three weeks. I tried the Xeno. It was a bit brittle up top. The Sov could take more before turning harsh. (Trust me I can tonk it.) He played his Sov at the Open and BIC etc..... That band are now swapping their Xenos for Old Sovs or at least not Xenos.
    Play on a Weril from Brazil if you want I don't care. I'm only telling you what I know.
  14. Mr. Stomvi

    Mr. Stomvi Member

    Just something to think about. I had a chance to compare a SW "Professional" model with a K2 leadpipe next to the "Soloist" model with a K2 leadpipe at a show a few years ago. Even though you would expect them to be pretty much the same they were quite different. The "Soloist" model was MUCH more responsive and just a better horn overall IMHO. Based on that direct comparison I ordered my "Soloist" model that very day and couldn't be happier. I'd do it again in a minute. The feature of being able to custom tailor your horn both before and after the purchase because of the interchangable leadpipes is well worth the difference in price between the models. I ended up buying the K2 and a T4 leadpipes and use a Wick Heritage 4 mpc.
  15. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Horses for courses and all that. We have several old sov's on the shelf in tha band room. Only a couple of the cornets use Sov's. Some have Smith's and some Xenos. It's surely down to the individual player? I have recently ditched my old Sov T/horn for the new Yamaha Neo, just as I ditched my old Sov for a Smith Watkins a while back.

    There is no 'right' choice that suits everyone. Otherwise everyone would play the same instrument and use the same mouthpiece. ;)
  16. TommySop

    TommySop New Member

    We're talking cornets here, not girls instruments!
  17. JRH

    JRH Member

    Was that actually intended to convey meaningful information?
  18. catto09

    catto09 Member

    Nah - cornets were quite bad as well...Blue case ones were anyway. Probably more likely to be 70s. You can very easily lip the euphs in, and they're fantastic to play

    And it's he btw...;)
  19. subtlevib

    subtlevib Member

    I bought my SW a couple of years ago. Lined up a Prestige, Xeno and SW side by side and gave them a go!
    Totally expected to walk out with the Prestige, but for me it was fluffy and unresponsive. The Xeno was quite a bit brighter, but not significantly different from my 928 of 22 years!! The SW certainly was different for me. No gimmicks, no pretty bits, just a good, solid, responsive instrument and it suited me down to the ground. Haven't looked back.
  20. catto09

    catto09 Member

    I bet you if you tried another prestige you would have had a different experience

    EVERY instrument made, will play completely differently to the other. It's the aesthetics of the instrument that change the sound/intonation etc. you want to concentrate on :)