Which tenor Horn

worzel

Member
I would hold out for a second hand sovereign. You can still find them for reasonable prices if you keep looking, I picked up a globe stamp for less than £500 and I wouldn't swap it for anything!!
Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. Apart from e-bay, and the classified ads here, is there anywhere else I should look?
 

westoe_horn

Member
Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. Apart from e-bay, and the classified ads here, is there anywhere else I should look?
Yeah I would keep you're eye on ebay, as they crop up from time to time. But as with anything have your maximum price and stick to it. You can still pick up a bargain. However I think your best bet is to put a wanted advert in tMP classified section. I'm sure you'll get a few responses.
 

Aidan

Active Member
That does have a very good review. Seems a bit too good to be true given the price. Do you know if there's anywhere in London where I might be able to try one out?
Review is sound, they are as good as they seem :)
Tried one and ended up buying a set for my youthband.
 

Aidan

Active Member
its the newest one, 272 i think it is.. not sure what the bore is on it, but it blows nicely, has a fantastic mid register, C above stave upwards is a bit thin but then again, it's designed as a student instrument so not much of that going on!! Intonation excellent through all registers.
 
I have never heard of the Packer brand. I used the link to look at them, and saw that they also manufacture euphoniums. Does anyone know where they are made?
 
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Andrew Norman

Active Member
I have never heard of the Packer brand. I used the link to look at them, and saw that they also manufacture euphoniums. Does anyone know where they are made?
Like most instruments these days they are Chinese but from the other ones I've seen (I've not seen the horns) the build quality is exceptional for the price.
Virtuosi also have excellent value Chinese made instruments.
 

Horn boy

New Member
Horn review

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try the following horns:

York – no triggers
York – Main tuning slide trigger
Willson – Third valve trigger
Prestige – Main tuning slide trigger

York - very similar playing characteristics to the 1996 Sovereign I currently play, but cleaner intonation in higher register, especially “A”. As a personal preference, the position of the main tuning slide trigger beyond the third valve casing did not suit the way I hold the horn.

Willson – feels more like a baritone to hold, in terms of the instrument being further away from your body and a longer lead pipe, but you soon forget this. The horn takes more effort to fill that the York, but has a much warmer sound and the intonation throughout the range, valves and finish of the horn are great. The version I tried was a few months old and the 2nd valve tuning slide extended away from your body and made holding the horn uncomfortable for people used to holding the horn around the valve casing with their left hand. I understand on the new models this has been moved to the other side of the valve casing and by October versions with a main tuning slide trigger will be available to try.

Prestige – lovely instrument to hold, really feels like they have opened up the horn in terms of the design and have really given this some serious thought and reengineering. Very free blowing and the trigger mechanism movement works like a dream and is located in front of the 1st valve casing which was much better suited to how I hold the horn. The finish of the instrument was a major improvement over Bessons of recent years and the gold bling looked the part! However, unfortunately for Besson, I am not tone deaf, otherwise I may have considered buying a Prestige. The horn I tried had just been returned from the factory with an extended tuning slide, with the tuning slide extended as far as the trigger mechanism would allow (without pressing the trigger), it was still just over a quarter tone sharp! In fact an electronic tuner recognised a middle C as being closer to a C# than a C. For reference on my current Sovereign I have the main tuning slide out by about 1 cm and no such problems were noted on the York or Willson. The new extended tuning slide on the Prestige is about 1 cm longer than a standard tuning slide. However, the arm mechanism on the trigger has not been lengthened which means that when you press the trigger there is very little scope for extension as the trigger is partially extended just to cope with the longer tuning slide. What a balls up of a design! What a sad state of affairs, so much effort in improving the instrument in so many ways, but has fallen on the most important factor – tuning and intonation. Has any other manufacturer ever had to resort to producing revised tuning slides on a professional level instrument due to such basic flaws?

Personal viewpoint – The York is an advance from my current sovereign, but not quite what I’m holding out for in terms of being a significant step forward to warrant spending my cash and trading in my old sovereign. I’ll wait until the main tuning slide version of the Willson is available and will give that a go. The Prestige, whilst initially promising so much is unnecessarily such a disappointment.

Are any top bands using Prestige horns without such problems? I’m also slightly bemused as to how the 4barsrest review of the Prestige did not have any issues with tuning, based on what has been written throughout this thread and the manufacturer accepting new tuning slides are required. Surely tuning does not vary that much between players or between instruments from the same factory.

Now, when is the Xeno available for trial……………………………

Cheers

Steven
 

catto09

Member
[However, unfortunately for Besson, I am not tone deaf, otherwise I may have considered buying a Prestige. The horn I tried had just been returned from the factory with an extended tuning slide, with the tuning slide extended as far as the trigger mechanism would allow (without pressing the trigger), it was still just over a quarter tone sharp! In fact an electronic tuner recognised a middle C as being closer to a C# than a C.
I noted this once moving to a larger Bore Euphonium. Are you sure it's not because you're not used to the size of the horn?! Once you get used to it it'll get better!!
 
I've recently been sent a Smith Watkins horn to try out, and I must admit this instrument is outstanding. The 5 inter-changable lead pipes however I feel give me too much choice, and I'm forever changing my mind as to which I prefer.

In terms of sound, valve action and ease of blowing, this is a quality instrument, and I urge anyone with the opportunity to give one a go.

What I particularly like is the straightened lead pipe like that of a trumpet's, as the air seems to travel more directly into the instrument (sounds obvious really!), which really helps above top C. However, this does mean that you have to play with a perfect posture to get the most out of it. The valves are absolutely fantastic, and the sound is warm, dark and sonorous throughout the register.

This is not a sales pitch by the way, its just I've not seen or heard many people talk about these instruments as of yet. Whether or not a trigger is really necessary on a tenor horn I'm yet to conclude, but overall, a quality instrument well built and great to see a new instrument company moving the development of the instrument forwards.
 
I'm currently playing on a Besson Sovreign which I bought when I was 14! As it's laquered I couldn't use it while I was at Dyke, so I was given a silver one. Then I was on a York for a while, and now I'm back on my gold sov.

The instrument isn't that great, as it was made during the 'lottery grant' years where production volume must have meant more than quality. And over the years its accumulated quite a few aero-dynamic dents and has its fair share of bleeding rings. So I suppose any instrument would be an improvement over my current one! The rest of the grimey section use old style sovs with the round stamps, but there isnt one for me :(
 

Rapier

Supporting Member
Thanks. What was wrong with the York?


And you're the Solo Horn, just tell the girl next to you to give you hers. :)
 
Nothing wrong with the York as such, the instrument was the band's, so when I left I couldn't take it with me. However, having said that, the York would not be an immediate choice, but this is for no other reason than personal preference. It just didnt suit me, or rather I didnt suit it. It just didnt feel right, or any other cliche you can think of:)
 

Sueflugel

New Member
I've had a Yamaha Maestro and have also had the old B&H Sovereign and the more up to date Besson Sovereign. Didn't get on with the Yamaha, found it cheap and nasty. The original prototype I tried was okay, but when my horn arrived (during the height of lottery fever), it was a real disappointment. I now have a York Preference with a tuning slide trigger. They are available with the option of a 3rd slide trigger, or no trigger at all. The reason for choosing the tuning slide trigger was that I nearly always have the main tuning slide out, and the trigger will hold the tuning slide in place. The only other horn I am aware of with a trigger is the Willson, which are more expensive than the York, unless you get some sort of a deal. I havent played the horn a great deal since purchase so it isn't entirely tried and tested yet, but from my experience so far, I am not disappointed, and I know someone else who plays one of these instruments and speaks highly of it.
 
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