Which Cornet is the best

Hi All

I am a brass band conductor and most of my playing career has been on Euphonium.

I have a very good player that plays a Wilson Cornet but possibly looking to change.

Any good cornet players please let me know there thoughts on the latest models and which they think is the Best and reasons why!

I am thinking Yamaha Xeno Brass Laquered but I may well be wrong!

I would love to herar your thoughts (please no sales pitches from suppliers)

Thanks
 

GordonH

Active Member
This depends on a number of factors and you can only tell by playing on an instrument for a week or so. Any immediate improvement might vanish over the first few days.

I recently went on a search for a new cornet with no price limit. I ended up with a Besson Prestige. What I found was that the Yamaha Xeno responded better on smaller, tighter mouthpieces. The Besson was better with the larger, more open, mouthpieces that I prefer. If you were a Wick 4 player then probably either would be fine, but anything either direction of that would probably require a choice between the two.

The Besson's tone in low dynamics and in the low register is much better than the sovereign in my experience, although the sovereign is a good instrument and well worth considering. You have the option to buy any of these second hand too. I can't comment on the Wilson as I have never played one, but it has a reasonable reputation. It is a rare instrument so you won't find people raving about them because few have tried them.
 
This depends on a number of factors and you can only tell by playing on an instrument for a week or so. Any immediate improvement might vanish over the first few days.

I recently went on a search for a new cornet with no price limit. I ended up with a Besson Prestige. What I found was that the Yamaha Xeno responded better on smaller, tighter mouthpieces. The Besson was better with the larger, more open, mouthpieces that I prefer. If you were a Wick 4 player then probably either would be fine, but anything either direction of that would probably require a choice between the two.

The Besson's tone in low dynamics and in the low register is much better than the sovereign in my experience, although the sovereign is a good instrument and well worth considering. You have the option to buy any of these second hand too. I can't comment on the Wilson as I have never played one, but it has a reasonable reputation. It is a rare instrument so you won't find people raving about them because few have tried them.
Thanks she will be trying them out but seeking a little guidance from others
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
For me, Eclipse all day long.

I don't play much Bb (much prefer sop) but the Eclipse Bb is the one cornet that'd make me sell my smith-watkins.

The Yamaha's play great but for me the sound is missing a little something, perhaps it's me being a little too individualistic but they leave me a little cold.
Never been a fan of Bessons - I'd agree that the prestige is better than the sovereign, but that clunky and pointless mainslide trigger annoys me and at any rate Besson valves have never been a favourite. They're good instruments but not for me.


You really do have to try them, it's very much personal taste.
 

GordonH

Active Member
The current prestige has centre sprung B&S valves. Different. Not necessarily better or worse.
 

Vegasbound

Active Member
The that works best for him/her as a well known NY freelancer always says.. 'try everything, use what works for you!'
 

TrumpetNick

Member
I have a customised Besson Sovereign with a Spada mp receiver and the back sprin trigger that moves the tuning slide. It is a but annoying to have to deal with all of this screws on the tuning slide, but unless your intonation wobbles too much, is a good thing to have. There was some cornet brand that was supposed to make shorter action valves, I think it was made by Dennis Wedgewood. Anybody here tried it?
 

DocFox

Well-Known Member
A view from a Yank. Before my car accident that nearly killed me, I owned an online high-end brass store.
I usually have two answers to the best instrument question, (1) the one that I have, or (2) the one that is £500 over the budget
The above is often the right answer. It is tough to suggest any instrument without considering a budget.

I have had the privilege of going to shows for retailers where you can play all kinds of instruments. I always took advantage of that to play trumpets, cornets, euphs, baris, and bones.

Somebody asked about the Wedgewood. I found it a bit on the stiff side. Good players are very used to lipping notes up or down. When Steven Mead played a concert in my little part of the world, I went to talk to him. He sure is a nice guy and loves to talk about playing. He had a spring-loaded trigger on his main tuning slide. I asked him about it and asked if that was enough. His comment was to the point "good players can make any instrument sound great, and only a few rare notes need some help." That has stuck with me for years. The Wedgewood, in my opinion, was too stiff to lip when you need too.

Of course, the opposite problem happens with cheap instruments. The intonation is all over the place.

You cannot go wrong with brands such as:

Eclipse
Yamaha
Besson
Willson
B&S always surprises people

Some lesser known names include:

Kanstul
Wild Thing

Others with good "names" you might try, but I didn't like to put them on the top of the list include:

Bach
Getzen (although the Getzen/Edwards trombones are terrific)

If you want something less expensive or used, you will have to play them for yourself. For example, a Bach made before 1980 might be fantastic. So might a 2016 Bach as they get their act together.

Now having said the above, I will hedge things a bit. You can find great playing Getzens and a not-so-good Kanstul. But those are exceptions. I do say if you live in the UK anywhere near Eclipse and are looking for a trumpet or cornet, you should visit them. They are custom made in the UK, so if you want one, be sure to bring a fat wallet!
 

TrumpetNick

Member
On the side of fat-wallet custom made cornets, a Taylor could be considered, probably even more expensive than an Eclipse.
 
Thanks Guys, all points noted, of course I have told the player to try some out allways the best way.
I will see how she gets on!
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
I do say if you live in the UK anywhere near Eclipse and are looking for a trumpet or cornet, you should visit them. They are custom made in the UK, so if you want one, be sure to bring a fat wallet!
I quite agree, if you're anywhere near Eclipse you should make it a priority to get down there and test one - the only disagreement I have with the above is that the pricing isn't actually any higher than most of the other top end cornets (around what you'd pay for a Prestige, for example).
 

DocFox

Well-Known Member
A very good friend of mine who plays in the local brass band (River Brass Band) plays a Stomvi and loves it. He is very particular, especially when it comes to valves. It cannot be a bad choice at all.
 
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