Soprano recommendations?


Hi all,

A friend will be in the market for a new Soprano cornet fairly soon. Has anyone any recommendations about good models, or what models are to be avoided?



Active Member
Schilke or Cortouis (excuse my spooling), if you can afford them. Stay clear of Yamahas though (I've yet to find a good one). Sovereigns aren't too bad (with some judicous use of the trigger) though watch the valves (they tend to get a bit sticky after a few years).


Our Sop player has a Smith-Watkins SOP and he reckons it is better than the Schilke he used to play. They are expensive but may be worth a look.


New Member
Smith-Watkins sops tend not to have the intonation difficulties you would have with a Shilke. They also have a similar quality brightness to the tone. They are a bit more expensive, but if you're going to spend £1800 on a Shilke you may as well go the whole way and go for the SW.

UNISON Kinneil


Regards buying a new soprano the best advise I could give would be to spend as much as you can,ie buy a Schilke. The one I bought was dropping in bits and had no plating left on it. I paid £450 for it then spent £350 having totally overhauled and replated. After it as done up I could have easily sold it for £1200 or £1300 and made a fair profit,so looking for a second hand Schilke to spend some money on would be a pretty good investment for ank one.

Mark Wears Pennine Brass.



Not being a Sop player I can't recomend a particular instrument but to relieve the frustrations of tuning I would recomend one with a tuning slide rather than a shank - and this would go for flugels as well.
Slides are much easier to adjust and not prone to slippage as the tightening screw gets older - also no repair cost if the screw losses it's thread.

Courtois (don't know about other manufacturers) can also arrange tral periods before buying.

Happy hunting.

Tuba Girl

I am not a sop player myself but in the last couple of years the sop players I have know reackon that sovereigns are the worst and that yamaha and courtois are good!!!! :D :D :D


I use a Schilke (it's not mine unfortunately, the band lend it to me :( ) and that is great. The problem is they are very expensive and hard to get hold of. Other than that, I've heard that the Soverignes are good. I have a Soverige (how do you spell it!!!) Bb, and if the Eb is of a similar quality, you'd be fine with one of them.
Just to re-iterate what sparky said; I play a smith watkins sop for Ellington Band.

It is absolutely amazing! Much better than the shilke.

it blows very freely and has a great tone.

Very Highly Recomended.

If you call Richard Smith up he will send you a pack about his products and a price list.

Superb Service too.

Soprano/Webmaster Ellington Colliery :!:


I play a schilke. Really like the instrument, but I haven't tried anything else.

One downside to be aware of: you don't get a case with it.

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