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Thread: What's The Best Euphonium?

  1. #1
    tMP Friend in Training Dafydd_Jones's Avatar
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    What's The Best Euphonium?

    I am looking to buy a second hand Euphonium, but am not sure about which type to go for. Which is the best kind?

    For my budget I guess I am looking at used/second hand specimens of the following:

    Courtois - 167, 267, 167II, lac/silver/red brass?
    Imperial - cheaper and older, but some models can play as well besson 968's I'm told
    Meinl-Weston - seen adverts for these about, especially the 451. Any Good?
    Melton - tried one many years ago - lovely sound, but what about the other aspects?
    Miraphone - tried one of these, but didn't seem to have a focussed sound....
    Sovereign - the standard, but should it be? 968 or 967? lac or silver?
    Sterling - had one of these years ago, but mine had poor intonation... or was it me?
    Wilson - good for wind bands so I hear, but don't fit in a trad brass band sound?

    Any other options? What do you all think out there? help!

  2. #2
    tMP Friend in Training Dianamite's Avatar
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    Yamaha euphs

    I really like the Yamaha euphoniums- I played on a 4-valve YEP 321 all through uni, and it's a great student model. I now have a 641 (not quite top of the line- 642s are much better), silver, compensating, and it works fine.
    Diana Herak
    Columbus, Ohio USA
    Brass Band of Columbus

  3. #3
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    i love my besson sovereign. god knows what model it is, but it was gold, n now its silver with a hole cover (bit of silver over the hole)

    But it's really good for me, but i always play sharp. but thats just meee


  4. #4
    tMP Prime Friend Okiedokie of Oz's Avatar
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    Not a big fan of imperials and yamahas but only because most of the ones I've played have been smaller bores. A REAL eupho is a large bore instrument!!
    Chris Allen
    Resigning Musical Director, Gladstone Municipal Band (D Grade)
    Principal Trombone, Capricornia Silver Band (A Grade)
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  5. #5
    tMP Posting Freak!!! DublinBass's Avatar
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    Not sure which euphonium you think is REAL euphonium, but the Yamahas certainly have a comparable bore size.
    The Yamaha professional(s) 642/842 has a graduate bore size of .591"-.661"
    comparable to a Wilson 2900S standard bore size .591"
    while the Besson professional model(s) 2051/2 prestige only has a bore size of .580" - .650"
    Eb Bass
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  6. #6
    tMP Master Friend MattB's Avatar
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    I played on a Maestro for a couple of years and found it to be a pain in the bum to keep in tune at high register (or maybe that's just me!).

    Call me old fashioned, but now I've stopped playing full time, I've been keeping my lip in on one of the bands Imperials. It's a 1970's model but plays like a dream, and is the only instrument I've ever been able to get clean super D's, E's out of.

    They do say the old ones are the best ones!!!
    MD, Denton Brass.
    www.dentonbrass.co.uk

  7. #7
    tMP Friend in Training
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    Get a Melton!!!!!


    I know i'm only a bass trom player, but I spent a year playing euph, on a melton ( which I still have and am looking to sell!!!) and I found it to be a fantastic instrument, I nice round sound out of a fantatsic inctrument!!!!!
    If the whole worlds the stage, and there's no where for the audience to sit......where the hell did they put the bar?!?!?!?!?!

  8. #8
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    I'd say the best Euph is the one that suits you best... Someone in uni was lent a fantastic instrument but she didn't get on with it...

    I'm sure the pros can point you in the right direction

  9. #9
    Super Moderator brasscrest's Avatar
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    ^ what she said.

    If you've already got a euph, you may want to stick with something similar. Different makes have quite different tuning and range issues, so switching isn't necessarily easy.

    I switched from an older Sovereign to a Yamaha 642 three years ago. The Yamaha is so much easier to put air through, and I have much better dynamic control. Tuning is comparable to the Sov (but completely different - took me awhile to get my adjustments right). Yamahas tend to have valve issues - be prepared to replace nylon valve guides on a regular basis, as they seem to wear excessively.
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  10. #10
    tMP Friend in Training Dafydd_Jones's Avatar
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    looking to sell? how much? did you use it for any brass banding - what si the higher register like?

  11. #11
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    Naruco is right, stick with the instrument that suits you best.
    I have always played on a Sovereign but have had a try on a Yamaha and an Imperial.
    The Yamaha I couldn't get on with at all but was impressed by the Imperial even though people tend to turn their noses up at them these days as they are not "flash" enough.
    I have also known people who have gone from a sovereign to a Presteige and have sounded terrible.
    A couple of things to consider:
    1) Are you happy with and get on well with the instrument that you have? If so I would go for the same make.
    2) What size person are you? If you are not big built then my advice is not to go for one of the big instruments as you may find trouble in filling it. On the other hand if you are big built then don't go for one of the smaller instruments as you could find that on your louder playing you are over filling the instrument and your sound will become very hard.
    At the end of the day it is all down to personal preference, but don't go for the biggest and flashest that you can buy because it looks good, go for what will suit you and what you feel comfortable with.
    Retailers will want to sell the best instrument that they can (obviously this makes good business sense), but decide on what you want and stick to your guns otherwise you could end up with something that in six months time you hate and can't get on with.
    Kevin Ackford
    (Composer/Arranger/Conductor/Tutor)
    Web site: http://www.kevinackford.co.uk

  12. #12
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    I am in the process of buying and selling a euphonium. What I am selling is a Courtois 167r, which I love dearly but as this is my last year of single life, I am really looking to change. I have tried the new Courtois, Yamaha Custom and Besson Prestige. I have decided on the Prestige. My only dilemma is the large bell version or not. Could anyone help me with advice as to which is best? I think the smaller bell is a sweet sound and am wondering what the advantages are of the bigger bell version.

  13. #13
    tMP Friend for Life KMJ Recordings's Avatar
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    Something else to consider is how you'll fit in the tuning profile of your section / band. Several years ago, we trialled a Yamaha in a section of otherwise Sovereign instruments. The result was a fair number of intonation and tuning issues, so false fingering and lots of lip flexibility was called for....which is not ideal.

    See if you can find a shop that'll let you trial each model for a week or so - the cost of the cans new is enough to justify (some of) the bigger dealers doing things like this. Remember to try it at band and not just at home, so just prior to a big contest is probably out.

    Edit: Just reread your original post, and realised you want a 2nd jobbie - but the shops don't need to know this
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