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Tommy Igoe: Getting Started - Groove Essentials (DVD 2-Pack)
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Besson BE967 Sovereign Series Lacquer Compensating EuphoniumThe Besson BE-967-1-0 Professional Euphonium gives you excellent projection from the 12" bell. Single-brace connection between receiver and bell allows for free vibration and enhanced tone. Spring damper set creates quieter valve action.Besson International brass instruments have long been popular with brass bands. In fact, much modern brass band repertoire has been written with the International sound in mind. Such quality construction features as super-high-quality brass, stainless steel pistons for corrosion-free smooth action, synthetic rubber water key seals, computerized bell spinning for tonal consistency, and hydraulically bent tubes for perfectly smooth bores have earned Besson a sterling reputation.
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This horn has a slightly stuffy sound. This should not discourage young players from considering this horn as one of thier first pro model horn. While I personally enjoy the larger sounds of the older Besson horns the pression of this euphonium is above average. This is a decent horn with many qualities as well as faults.
The sovereign is a wonderful horn. It can be mastered, but never totally. Although it is still performed on by many professional euphonium performers, not many of them prefer the upper register, particularly Eflat and above. In this register, where a good deal of repertoire centers, the performer constantly fights with sharp pitch and this can only be remedied utilizing the fourth valve. This solution is not quite practical in faster tempi.
This horn has an amazing sound, especially if you utilize the size of it by using an equally (in proportion) sized mouthpiece. There will be some tuning issues, but nothing is disgustingly bad, there are just notes you have to keep your ear on. Try it out to make sure it responds alright for you though. I tried it with a few others and it was without a question my favorite.
I've used one of these for almost 6 years, and I keep coming back to it. I agree with the other reviews... parts of the upper register tend to get pitchy. I've most successfully tuned F#4 with all four valves down; it's a little strange up there, but the tone quality is wonderful.
This horn also helps develop a killer low range... an octave beneath the bass clef is more than possible. Not that a lot of the rep is written in that range, but covering tuba parts can get much, much easier.
I've also noticed some discoloration around the bracing, which I understand happens to several of the Besson horns produced around the time I got mine (2005/6).
This horn is a stand-by in the business because it feels and sounds great. In my opinion, it's a big mistake for the euphonium shopper to not seriously consider this horn.
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