EUPHONIUM TIPS FOR PLAYERS & STUDENTS - From NorlanBewley.com
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"What is A Good Euphonium for a Student?"
It can be confusing trying to choose your first euphonium as a student. There are established brands which are popular and have been for many years. There are more and more unknown brands which are extremely low in price and of equally low quality. If a brand new euphonium costs 1/10th the price of an established brand, how good do you really think it is? Would you buy a new computer, cell phone, or car that cost 1/10th the price of a regular model and expect it to be just as good? Probably not. Junk at a bargain price is still junk.
My euphonium students play a variety of euphonium brands, either by their own choice, by the recommendation of their school music program, or by my recommendation. The euphonium brands listed here are not in any particular order, as "best" is really a matter of taste. All are good choices. I will say that I tend to recommend the Holton Collegiate B490RS the most as it plays more like a pro level euphonium, in my opinion, and is also very affordable. It is always better to get a 4 valve euphonium if you can. It adds more range and tuning options
4 Valve Euphoniums
Holton Collegiate B490RS
Getzen Capri 571
3 Valve Euphoniums
Holton Collegiate B480R
Getzen Capri 570
Holton Collegiate B470R
The names "euphonium" and "baritone" are basically interchangeable at the student instrument level. A euphonium is a larger instrument than a baritone when you get into pro level instruments.
Jupiter is a popular brand, but there have been many problems with their valves. This may have been improved by now, but I haven't seen it yet so I won't list them here. Holton, Weril, and Getzen have a half-size baritone for beginners if you need something for younger students of a smaller size.
The Yamaha 321 plays so well that it is often used by many pros. I used it myself for many years, but now prefer the Holton Collegiate B490RS. It takes a large shank mouthpiece, allowing for the use of a wider selection of larger size mouthpieces. It has a fuller tone, better projection, and more even intonation, in my opinion.
You should be able to find all of these brands at your local music store, any of the big online music stores, or on Ebay®. If you use Ebay, make sure the valves and slides are described as working well. Look closely at the photos and email the seller if you have any questions, no matter how minor.
Ebay is where you will find many of the unknown brands at unbelievably low prices. These are mostly junk in my experience. When in doubt, always ask the music director of your school program. These cheap instruments typically play poorly, break easily, and are hard to repair. Many local music stores can't or won't repair them for you because they are so low in quality
The established brands may cost more, but you get what you pay for, as they say. For mouthpiece information, see What Is A Good Mouthpiece Size For A Euphonium Student?
Copyright Norlan Bewley 2007