New cornet - advice?

picju96

Member
I'm looking into getting a new cornet. I'm currently playing on a Besson 700 but feel I need a larger bore cornet. Looking at the Prestige, how different is it to the Soverign, is it worth it, and what's the tuning slide trigger like? Sounds odd to me! I'd like a besson cornet, as I don't really get on with Yamaha cornets (although the trumpets are fine!)

Ta

Julia
 

TuTuKu

Active Member
Just another question re the tuning slide trigger.... if the cornet is not in tune when the slide is in fully, like most cornets, does that mean that the player always has to play with the trigger slightly pressed to be in tune?

Sorry i can't answer any of your questions as i have always played on a sov so have got nothing to compare it to, i'm looking at buying my own before sept next year!
 

Sparky

Member
Have a look at Smith Watkins. Cracking cornet IMHO and you get an instrument with a bore and mouthpipe combination that suits you. Not bad prices either, I think they compare favourably with Prestige cornets.
 

WorldofBrass.com

Active Member
TuTuKu said:
Just another question re the tuning slide trigger.... if the cornet is not in tune when the slide is in fully, like most cornets, does that mean that the player always has to play with the trigger slightly pressed to be in tune?
There's a screw thing that you can adjust to keep the tuning slide slightly drawn all the time.
 

andyp

Active Member
One big thing to consider - what do the rest of your section use? Different makes of cornet have different tuning issues, these aren't so noticeable if all the cornet section are using the same, but if they're using different makes there will be real problems. Most top bands buy 10 the same for this reason. (There are also issues with certain cornets and certain makes of mouthpiece, but that's a whole new topic in itself!).
Leaving that aside, large bore of any make is definitely the one to get, the difference in sound, especially on higher registers, is noticeable. (I find thin bore ones get screechy on top A and above)
You may also want to consider buying a good secondhand one and having it reconditioned if necessary, our band has done this and (as long as it's a quality job) the results really are good as new, and for less money.
Personally I've used a Sovereign of some sort nearly all my playing life, and although I liked the Cortouis my previous band used I think they're only for bands who have all cornets the same, if you mix them and Sovereigns they don't get on tuning-wise. I've never played a Yamaha for any length of time, but the Maestro seemed well made.
For the last 8 years I've used a Sovereign 928GS that's about 12-13 years old, and it's the best cornet I've ever had, the valves in particular are excellent, and it just feels heavy and well made, all it's ever had replaced is new valve felts (too many semis :) ) and a trigger spring or two.
Most music shops will let you trial an instrument for a bit, after all, they want you to buy it!
 
andyp said:
although I liked the Cortouis my previous band used I think they're only for bands who have all cornets the same, if you mix them and Sovereigns they don't get on tuning-wise.
I'm a lone Courtois player in a sea of new besson sovereigns and I can't say I've really had that many problems keeping in tune with the rest of the section. Using my ears is half the battle rather than the instrument. Also helps not having to play too high too often (god bless back row parts).

Personally my courtois is for me the best cornet I've used, but it's not everyone's cup of tea - I think there's a thread about non sov. cornets kicking about somewhere which was quite recent.
 

TuTuKu

Active Member
WorldofBrass.com said:
TuTuKu said:
Just another question re the tuning slide trigger.... if the cornet is not in tune when the slide is in fully, like most cornets, does that mean that the player always has to play with the trigger slightly pressed to be in tune?
There's a screw thing that you can adjust to keep the tuning slide slightly drawn all the time.
That would make sense! thanks for clarifying that for me!
 

impycornet

Member
Smith-Watkins win for me hands down against the current competition. Particularly the way that you have large choice of leadpipes and the service from Richard Smith is 1st Class.
 

pug_101

Member
Prestige cornets along with sovereign and maestro cornet are seen as the best. However, it is personal opinion on much of these instruments, best way of finding out is going to local dealer and trying these cornets out.
 

CRat63

Member
Sad sad little man.
I do know what you mean though - I could tell you 101 things about a fridge now.

CrAt
 
Well I have to go with the smith-watkins, had mine around 5 years now and its brill, although if had the choice again I would probably go for the silver plate rather than the laquer, due to the longevity of the finish.

Like others have said the personal service you get form Richard Smith (the main man himself) is second to none, in fact the relationship continues well into after sales service with any problem dealt with direct and with precision. In fact he is currently on with servicing mine and stripping the laquer to apply a silver plate!!! Cant wait to see the old girl looking like new!

Other instruments I have tried havent really made an impression, the coutois had intonnation problems, the Maestro kept falling apart and had valves troubles (went back no fewer than 4 times). Not tried the prestige though!!

4barsrest have a review of a number of cornets, have a peek!!!!
 
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