soprano cornet


is there anyone out there who has experienced a wide range of different manufacturers of soprano cornets?? i currently play on a shilke but was wondering if there are any "better" instruments than that for a sop????

Dave Payn

Active Member
Although I've played sop in my time, I would only consider myself average at the very best. Nevertheless, Schilkes have a problem. Although the note in question isn't used that often, I've found (it could be a technical failing on my part) that the G# in the stave is flat, (and with no alternate fingering, it's a 'lip up' job) and I've experienced that with 3 different Schilke sops.

The best 'all round' sop I've played is a Yamaha (can't remember what the model name is... show's how experienced I really am!) Easy blowing, and intonation throughout the range is the best I've experienced. However, a personal preference from an inexperienced 'sopper', nothing more.


thankyou!!! :lol: i think ill have to try one then, ill buy one in a couple of weeks :) ive heard there is a yamaha mouthpiece aswel wich i expect comes with it, should i stick to that or get a different one? At the moment i play on a wick but it lacks in register anything above a top A is a struggle

James McFadyen

New Member
Totally depends on you, but Buckhaven Band bought me a new mouthpiece, a shallower one.

ur probably better off with a shallow one - in terms of your tone thinning out this all depends on your player. But in my experience playing sop a shallow mouthpiece will help you get high notes without knackering yourself too much, it will give you better endurance and flexability and more volume.

Everyone's different, though :wink:


will a shallow mouthpice not give a harsh or thin sound rather than a full warm sound?? I have only been playing over a year on the same old shilke with a wick and dont know any different you see :cry:


I must admit I was suprised to read people saying they thaught Yamaha sopranos were better than Shilkes!! (Of course I do respect their opinions).
I won a Yamaha sop at Brighouse march contest about three and a half years ago and didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the Shilke I already had, even though it was falling in bits. I since have had it reconditioned and I dont think any other instrument can come close to it, although I haven't tried all the other makes available.
Regards the Denis Wick sop mouthpiece, I do think its quite a large mouthpiece for someone who has only been on sop for a year.
My humble advise would be to try more mouthpieces rather than different sopranos and stick with the Shilke.
After all if you look at the top Soprano players in the country, with the exception of Alan Wycherley (who plays a Courtois) I think everyone of them plays a Shilke.
Having said that I do agree about the G sharp being flat, but its not the end of the world seeing its mid to low range of the instrument.


I love my Shilke and wouldn't part with it for the world, however I did play a yamaha sop once and that was great too!!!!


One thing I've always wondered about the Beryllium belled Schilke Soprano everyone seems to rave about:

From Schilke site:
"Beryllium-Bronze Bells. The characteristics of better projection, improved response and full control were best realized by an extrememly light-weight, thin construction. Unfortunately, this means Beryllium-Bronze Bells are more vulnerable to damage from careless handling........some structural strength has been necessarily sacrificed."

Have players found they are easily damaged?


Active Member
Soprano Cornets

I play on the band's stirling sop which was bought new last year. It's quite a nice instrument and I don't have many tuning problems. I hardly have to use the slides in the higher register, the only bad note I find is the low E which tends to be a bit flat. I use a Bach 1.5c and I can usually play right up to top D comfortably (depending on the state of my lip at the time)

I've been playing sop on and off for about 12 years (more on than off), I started in my youth band on a Getzen Eterna. Over the years I've used Yamaha, Sovereign, Courtois and shilke Sops.


Active Member
The flatness (G and D on stave) seems to go with the territory on sops, like the tendency to sharpness on upper G.

I used to have a brilliant Bach Strad Eb trumpet - superb to play and the most fantastic sound - but intonation from hell - when I started thinking of alternative fingerings in my dreams I had to sell it...


Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
The 2 brass abnds I've played with have both used (at various stages) Yamaha sops, and both have complained. They may be freeflowing, but intonation problems are no laughing matter.

I would have put the first one (Gladstone's) down to it being a student model, played by an amateur. But when in Cap Silver, three sop players said the same thing. Cap silver is now using the schilke (don't know any model details) and they are happy. Gladstone is still using the Yamaha, but only because i can't yet afford to replace it. The current player appears to be handling it better, but he admits he has to fight the instrument a lot to get that sound.

I've been told countless times to avoid the Bessons. It's a shame, as I feel Besson usually makes nice cornets. Courtois appear to have a nice reputation in bigger banding centres of Australia, so maybe they're worth investigating??????

I'm not a sop player, remember....


Active Member
I started off about 17 years ago on an Imperial, which was quite nice, then had a Yamaha for a couple of years which was awful!, then an old style sovereign which is quite nice (still have it as my reserve instrument), then had a Sovereign 927 for about 12 years which was great until the valves went, finally got myself a Schilke about 2 years ago and its the bees knees!.

Haven't tried the Cortuois (or however you spell it) but thats supposed to be really good.


Well-Known Member
My soprano is a Schilke with lightweight ("Beryllium" - although they're not really beryllium at all) bell. I currently use a Schilke 12B4 mouthpiece, but I'm starting to think about switching to something a bit bigger. I also use a Schilke Bb cornet.

I've never experienced any real problems with it being more easily damaged; you can damage any instrument bell fairly easily if you're careless. I have Schilke Bb & C trumpets with standard and lightweight tuning-bells, and I think the potential for damage is a little greater there, because of the reduced bracing. The real problem is when you switch to the lightweight bell on the Bb, it's usually for the purpose of Bigband or show playing, ramming lots of mutes in quickly!

I've never had a problem on my soprano with the G# that has been mentioned (although that note is a bit flat on the 'C' trumpet); the bigger problem for me has always been the low F (bottom space) being flat. The band has a Yamaha which is much worse on that note.

I've only played a Courtois very briefly; my immediate impression was that it seemed to "close down" a bit from top 'A' upwards; the Schilke always feels more "open" up there. For me, the main advantage of the lightweight bell is that the instrument "speaks" more easily at low volumes, so high/quiet bits are less "nervy". The lightweight bell also helps get that "laser beam" screaming sound that rips right through the band, but of course musical soprano players wouldn't consider that important! :wink:

However, as has been previously mentioned, it's all down to personal preference, and what works for you. I don't believe there is a "better" soprano than the Schilke, but, as you can probably tell from my instrument collection, I might be a bit biased!




Active Member
I've only got limited experience on Sop (4 months, one Area contest), but I found the Schilke by far the easiest instrument to play in every way, range, sound etc. I tried a Yamaha and it was nearly as good, but seemed less easy (and hence more tiring) to play. Couldn't get on with the Sovereign one at all, though. I was using a Yamaha trumpet mouthpiece which was fairly big (for a sop, anyway), whether that had anything to do with it I wasn't really on sop for long enough to find out. After nearly passing out on the last note of 'Pines of Rome' for about the third time I decided it wasn't my instrument!


For three years I played on a Yamaha with my old band, simply because it was the best that they could afford. What struck me was how big it was compared with Schilke. When I left and joined my present band, I have used a Schilke. This took me around six months to get used too, and to feel comfortable with everything eg, tuning, range and initially the amount of resistance compared with the bigger Yamaha.

The Courtois is one to look into, I've tried a few and found they are on a par with the Schilke. Very nice instruments. On the whole though, I'd have to agree with Markyboy, Schilke is the one. It's tried and tested, and in the end, if its good enough for Pete Roberts, its good enough for me!



i do find the bell of my schilke to damage VERY easily!! for instance simply having to use a bell liar that clamps onto the bell put a great big dint in the end!! and the bell is warped sometimes!! :roll:
i suppose im only young yet but need to start aiming high.. is there any good sop player who knows any way to drastically improve stamina?????


my bell lyre is ok on my shilke just makes the whole thing bell heavy on a march and kills my wrists!!!! Don't know about price of those mouthpieces!!! last one i bought was about £25 and that was a 7c for my bach strad trumpet!!!!


Active Member
I started 4 years ago on a Old Besson sop Lets say no more on that! then went onto a Yamaha sop with the mouthpiece you get with it, god only knows what it was but it had a nice round sound with a sop twang!,
My Yamaha was the best thing i could start on because of the work it took to place a decent sound into it! Yet my range wasnt great, sounded tinny and worn (maybe that was just me?).

THEN!!!!, i got my shilke i love it to bits, i did spend time moving from a sop mouthpiece to a cornet mouthpiece for about 12months for my sins but i have got a very broad sound for sop, you cant get anything better than your instrument that you know in and out!
I play on a shilke mouthpiece 4a13b, very small my range is incredable and my sound isnt effected since i always practise with a cornet practise mute! i dont know if its just me but the shilke mouthpieces are top quality but you need to find a mouthpiece that suits you, do a service where you can test your mouthpieces out by post to on a trial period, and thats what ive done! Goodluck and welcome skweeky!

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