Depends if you have opted for the professional or Soloist Model !!brassneck said:erm,... what happens when a player leaves? Does the cornet get modified to suit his/her replacement? (they are custom made after all )
I've been following this thread quite closely since I decided to buy a new cornet earlier this year, and recently had a Smith-Watkins and a Besson Prestige out at the same time on approval. From everything that I'd read, I was convinced that the Smith-Watkins would be the instrument for me, but I wanted to make sure by also trying a Prestige.
I was surprised to find that I preferred the Prestige. It was easier for me (as a back row player) to produce a good sound that it was on the Smith-Watkins. I also found the Smith-Watkins physically smaller than the Prestige and difficult to hold comfortably.
I don't doubt that the Smith-Watkins is a superior instrument, it was just that I am not a good enough player to be able to master it. One of the things I noticed was that it was easy to 'lip' it up and down, which in my case resulted in being accidentally out of tune most of the time :-( The Smith-Watkins was also noticeably 'brighter' than the 928 Sovs the rest of our cornet section uses.
Consequently, I bought the Prestige, mainly because I felt that I could produce my best on that instrument in the short term, whilst it would take me a couple of years to "grow-into" the Smith-Watkins and in the meantime I would not be happy with my sound.
If you are finding the DW3b "a bit of a chore" as a Repiano mouthpiece then I think you will have a harder time with a Sparx DV. I have used a Sparx 4 DV in a Smith Watkins Cornet and it was a nice mouthpiece cornet combination but hard work above the stave.