Soprano Cornet Purchase Advice

rutribal

Member
As someone said earlier, it's all about personal preference. I currently play on a 30-odd year old Schilke, having rejected the Xeno! I found the Xeno's tuning to be shocking, in fact worse than a Schilke and they have caused me endless problems with G#/Ab for years - even to the extent that I used to have to play it on 3rd with the trigger right out - I hated that note! I really was quite disappointed with the Xeno, it didn't blow as nicely as I was lead to believe, the tuning obviously and it sounded more trumpet like to me. After a few weeks I raided the band room for anything else and found this old schilke - it's not in the best condition but it plays really nicely, no contest really.

Try as many as you can and go for the one that feels the best for you.
 

Griffin

Active Member
tuning seems to be an issue when choosing a sop
i play a yamaha
dont have many tuning issues
guess i can just tune it using my ears.. i dunno
probs not the most experienced player to elucidate on this

everyone is different
i guess finding a niche is the key
 

trumpetmike

Well-Known Member
Something else to remember - the tuning issues are going to vary between each player and each mouthpiece choice. It is all going to be down to personal choice and the only way of being certain what works for you is to try it yourself.
You are getting a lot of personal opinions on here (which is what you asked for), but people can only speak from what works for them - we have no idea what will work for you.
 

popmills

New Member
Speaking as a sop player with impaired hearing (ex tank comander) and no one in the band wants the sop position. I started on a sovereign (tuning terable) moved to top of range Yamaha (pre Zeno) and on to a schilke which I plan to stick with. Each change has been an improvement but I still struggle with some notes. I started on a Denis Wick S mouthpiece and moved via 2 Shilke M/P (8A4 & 11AX) and am now on a Neil Sanders Contour 17S. This llatest has the best tone (for me) but is difficult to use in the high register, this is improving with practice and is appreciated by our MD. A long winded way of saying mouthpiece selection is almost as important as the make of instrument.
 
Hi there,
I played an a Shilke for about 6 years and it was superb. Great valves, good intonation, although I'm sure some of my collegues might have disagreed!
Fine in upper register, good brass band sound when played with right mouthpiece.

I've got a mate, Andy Jennings, who swears by his Smith-Watkins, and he does play it very well!

Tried a Yamaha Zeno in a shop once, liked it but again, not as nice the shilke, but you can argue that was because I was not used to it! Yamaha always have great build quality and are very consitent.

I doubt you can go wrong as long as you pick from one of the top 3 or 4, (Shilke, Yamaha, Courtois and Smith-Watkins) after that it will be down to personal player opinion.

Best of luck and enjoy.
Jimmy
 

bonodog

New Member
Thank you to all for the various opinions.

All four options (Both Schilkes, Xeno and Courtois) have been tried side by side for a week and the winner is......................


Berylium Bell Schilke.


The Courtois was quickly dropped (not literally!). Nice instrument, good build quality, very good price but not quite there (and very uncomfortable to hold).

It was a straight toss between the Schilke and the Xeno. The Xeno was very nice. Excellent build quality, very easy blowing, comfortable hand position, sweet tone. The price is superb for the instrument.

However the Schilke, in the opinion of the 3 of us blowing, is still a step up, particularly in fullness of tone in mid to upper range, although only a slight step up.

If money had been tighter then I suspect that the Xeno would have won hands down, particularly in the VFM stakes. We are lucky that the cost was less of an issue (due to the large overall order we were placing and relationships built with suppliers). The low depreciation of a Schilke was also a consideration.

So, after all this testing, in our eyes the Schilke still came out on top but the Xeno is a cracking instrument and if I was spending my money I would not hesitate to get it.

Ian.
 

andyfake

Member
Good choice!

I've been given various alternatives by bands in the past and usually fell out with the band pretty quickly, because my playing definitely suffered.
In the end, I bought my own BB Schilke and haven't looked back!
Compared to anything else, I reckon the Schilke virtually plays itself - which is just as well for me!!!

Enjoy it

Andy
 

thedoctorr

New Member
Sop

I'm presently playing on a schilke,the instrument has a nice warm sound as i play on a vincent 10 and a half A.The shilke is a lovely instrument to play but i have large paws and it feels a wee bit cramped for me.Tuning is pretty much spot on except for middle E which has to played 1-2. I've been lucky to get a shot off a xeno sop from another band at present as my schilke is in for repair,tuning key screw broke a common fault.Well the xeno is superb,its a tad brighter than the shilke but the range of the instrument is stunning.You can hit top D's in tune and to be honest i prefer it over the shillke.I have tried a courtious in the past and didnt like it but the case was nice:D.I also owned a sterling years ago and loved it.
The proof in the pudding is really down to what suits your sop player best.


regards

neil wallace
fife
scotland
 

brownrob

Member
I just managed to get me a Sovereign 926 (the dual reciever one) on ebay for £500, I think I did well, hopefully it will be here at the start of the week.
I currently play a Besson International. I was listening to myself on a video of the band (incidentally we were playing the Villager :D ) but my sound was really like a Bb Cornet, i.e. my sound didnt really cut through the band, but then again, do I want the sound to cut through the band!!!

Ive heard the saying (and it sounds very wise), that you shouldnt notice a soprano player when he plays in the first half of a concert, but you miss him if he isnt present in the second half

Anyway, Im straying! I got a really warm sound on my International so Im thinking of moving to a shallower moutpiece to cut through the band a little more, but I dont really want to squeak. Curerently playing on an unbranded 7C though was thinking a VB 17C would do the trick, or the Schilke 14a4x. Sorry for straying!!!

Though Im not happy with the international, hence why I just bought a sovereign as it looked a good bargain at 500 at 6 months old and in VGC
 

towse1972

Active Member
With the price difference between the Xeno and the schilke and the rave reviews i have heard about the xeno?.. Gotta be the xeno for a trial at least!. Give Morgan Griffiths at band supplies a call. We trialed one at Milnrow for a few week and bought it. Incidentally, the sop player is a much better player now he has a better tool!! (In my humble opinion)
 

thedoctorr

New Member
Just recieved my new xeno sop on monday,my band traded our old shilke in to get it.Well having already tried the xeno from another band i couldnt wait to give it a go.Straight out the box it sounded like a Bb Cornet with a nice warm sound,it is very easy to blow more so like a Bb cornet than a soprano cornet so if you have been used to having to blow hard previously on your old sop your gonna have to ease off the gas on the new xeno as its unforgiving if you blow it really hard.The finish on the instrument is top notch (we got the laquered model to go with the rest of the xeno cornets we got a few weeks back) and the valves are silky smooth.
I personally think the xeno is a better instrument than the shilke and a damn site cheaper too.The case itself is a piece off work,it has a divider so you can get 2 instruments in.
 

Fieldy

New Member
Schilke For President!!

Hi . I know this sort of thing has been covered many times on this forum under the likes of ' Which Sop ? ' etc but if you have a budget of £2000 , there is only one contender really and that would be the Shilke with a Berrilium Bell , ( In my honest opinion )

There are other decent options on offer, but the amount of top players using Shilkes over the last 20 odd years or so speaks for its self .

It will also hold its value well when you want to replace it in a few years .

Must be nice to have money burning a hole in your pocket mate !

Cheers Mark

Agreed......Schilke with Berilium bell - it's the must have instrument!

Having said that, they are all capable. You should just try them and see what suits you. At the end of the day if you cant tell the difference, pick the one thats bets value.
 

WhatSharp?

Active Member
... And that's a good thing, for a sop ... ?

Yeh I wondered about that too. Doesn't it sort of defeat the object? I always felt that it needs to be brighter ( you don't need to work as hard for one! ).... just my opinion though. (Hey what do I know I'm playing Bass these days :( ).
 

thedoctorr

New Member
... And that's a good thing, for a sop ... ?



Theres nothing wrong with having a nice sweet warm sound on a sop as long as you can still cut through the band and put the icing on the cake:Dtheres nothing worse for me hearing a sop player in a band sounding overlay bright but thats only my own personal opinion.
 

dabhand

New Member
Best Eb

Ladies/Gents,

Our band has recently obtained some grant money with a view to purchasing replacement instruments. A Soprano cornet is on the list. I know this has been discussed in past years but I was hoping to use the knowledge of the board to create a short shortlist to try side by side.
We are looking for a professional grade instrument giving excellent value for money. Excellent intonation/tuning is a must. (I know the player plays the major part but you know what I mean.) It must be relatively easily obtainable to try in the UK. (Sorry trumpetmike - for ruling out the Blackburn!)

My own list currently stands at the Schilke, Courtois 107 and Yamaha Xeno. I would welcome any comments and comparisons, good or bad, about the virtues of these instruments and, if suggesting any others, their merits or otherwise. If suggesting others please let me know where they may be easily/conveniently obtained in the UK. We are based in East Kent. (Closer to the Belgium border than the M25!)

Thanks in advance.

Ian.
If you are passionate about the sound, then do what I have done and visit Andy Taylor in Norwich.
He has made me the perfect Eb which covers my playing the Soprano Cornet chair in the Canterbury Brass Band, and the Pop Rock Reggae Jazz Ballads and Standards in The InterSeptors Function Band.
It is based on his Chicago 2 Standard and plays Louder and Softer than my Sovereign Band Issue Soprano Cornet, and in tune right through the register !
I have tried all the X...s Sh...lkes Co..t..s
It also looks better than a Mo...n..t.
Good Hunting
DAB
 
I used to play Schielke for many years and have always see this instrument as the "limosine" in Eb cornets... But 1½ month ago a friend of mine came to me with a Yamaha Prof. Sop. cornet (not the Xeno, but the model before).. I tried it out and I must say that my ideas of Schielke being the best was blown away... The cornet was for sale (new price around 1600 £) I bought it for 500 £ and I will never go back...

The difference is mainly the sound... Schielke has a thinner sound then the Yamaha.. Because of the bore and the curves of the pipes. And in the middle register it blends better with the Bb cornets in the band. And you maintain a "big sound" in the top register. I find it more easy to blow - both the intonation in the middle register and the flow (the pipes are not as curned as the Schielke)... Let me now what you decide :)

I was you I would check out the Xeno Sop. before you decide to buy Schileks...

JVL
 
Last edited:

bonodog

New Member
If you are passionate about the sound, then do what I have done and visit Andy Taylor in Norwich.
He has made me the perfect Eb which covers my playing the Soprano Cornet chair in the Canterbury Brass Band, and the Pop Rock Reggae Jazz Ballads and Standards in The InterSeptors Function Band.
It is based on his Chicago 2 Standard and plays Louder and Softer than my Sovereign Band Issue Soprano Cornet, and in tune right through the register !
I have tried all the X...s Sh...lkes Co..t..s
It also looks better than a Mo...n..t.
Good Hunting
DAB

Dave,

I know you like your Taylor Eb - you let me play it a few weeks back:D .

I love it when posters don't realise the person behind the pseudonym - it can lead to all sorts of mischief.;)

Dave,

I was the lead trumpet in the group you were playing guitar with on Wed at the Astor in Deal. Ring any bells?

Take care.

Ian.
 

gaz

New Member
Ladies/Gents,

Our band has recently obtained some grant money with a view to purchasing replacement instruments. A Soprano cornet is on the list. I know this has been discussed in past years but I was hoping to use the knowledge of the board to create a short shortlist to try side by side.
We are looking for a professional grade instrument giving excellent value for money. Excellent intonation/tuning is a must. (I know the player plays the major part but you know what I mean.) It must be relatively easily obtainable to try in the UK. (Sorry trumpetmike - for ruling out the Blackburn!)

My own list currently stands at the Schilke, Courtois 107 and Yamaha Xeno. I would welcome any comments and comparisons, good or bad, about the virtues of these instruments and, if suggesting any others, their merits or otherwise. If suggesting others please let me know where they may be easily/conveniently obtained in the UK. We are based in East Kent. (Closer to the Belgium border than the M25!)

Thanks in advance.

Ian.
The money on a new courtois will be money well spent.
 

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