Beginner Euphonium

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JLivi
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Beginner Euphonium

Post by JLivi » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:11 pm

Hi there,

My next door neighbor's child is going to start band this fall. They're looking to "rent to own" a Euphonium, but I told them that it might be easier to buy a used beginner horn. I know that 606's, and beginner Conn, Yamaha, and Bach's go for around $100-200. How much does a beginner Euphonium go for? Around the same price? A little higher because the horn is more intricate than a trombone?

Thanks!
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ghmerrill
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by ghmerrill » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:46 pm

Trombones -- especially student models -- tend to be a LOT less expensive than euphoniums. You might get lucky and pick up a 3-valve baritone in good shape for a few hundred bucks. But a "euphonium" (3-valve, 4-valve, compensating, non-compensating, ...) you're going to pay a lot more for unless you get really lucky or you settle for an older perhaps well used US baritone.

For used stuff, you should probably be looking on Tubenet (http://forums.chisham.com/index.php?sid ... 62b7cb3f6a) or, better for euphoniums, Dave Werden's forum ( http://www.dwerden.com/forum/forum.php#.Wxm-ykgvyUl). Posting something on one of these forums saying you're looking specifically for a beginning student horn and indicating your price limit could yield some good results. Often people have these sitting around, don't play them much, if at all, and would be willing to part with them. Worth a try. But also, look at the used instruments being advertised on those sites to give you an idea of what the market is like.

For a new lower cost (but good quality) euphonium nowadays, the recommendations are almost universally for Wessex or Mack Brass, and you're looking at $1,000. And those wouldn't be a particularly good choice for a "child" (if that implies middle school).

Often, school bands will have some low brass instruments to provide to students. Might be best to start that way if it's possible.

Otherwise -- and I hate to say this -- this is a case where renting for a while may be the best economic choice. If the kid sticks with it, then at that point the parent will have a better idea of what to look for, what to avoid, and reasonable cost. And he'll have time to hunt for a good choice. We faced a similar situation when my 7th grade son decided he wanted to join the band and play bassoon. He played a rented oboe for about 6 months, then the school's bassoon for a year, and then we got him one (used, from a local graduating performance major who was moving up to a Heckel!).
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
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1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
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JohnL
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by JohnL » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:01 pm

A lot depends on what sort of "euphonium" they will be expected to have. If an old-style "American baritone" will do the job, those can be picked up for a few hundred on eBay. The Conn 14I and King 625 are both good, solid beginner horns.
If, on the other hand, the band director expects an actual "euphonium", the picking up a decent used horn at a good price will be much tougher.
LarryPrestonRoberson
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by LarryPrestonRoberson » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:16 am

ghmerrill wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:46 pm
For used stuff, you should probably be looking on Tubenet (http://forums.chisham.com/index.php?sid ... 62b7cb3f6a) or, better for euphoniums, Dave Werden's forum ( http://www.dwerden.com/forum/forum.php#.Wxm-ykgvyUl). Posting something on one of these forums saying you're looking specifically for a beginning student horn and indicating your price limit could yield some good results...

For a new lower cost (but good quality) euphonium nowadays, the recommendations are almost universally for Wessex or Mack Brass, and you're looking at $1,000. And those wouldn't be a particularly good choice for a "child" (if that implies middle school)...

Often, school bands will have some low brass instruments to provide to students. Might be best to start that way if it's possible.

Otherwise -- and I hate to say this -- this is a case where renting for a while may be the best economic choice. If the kid sticks with it, then at that point the parent will have a better idea of what to look for, what to avoid, and reasonable cost...
Yes, yes, yes, & yes...all good advice.

Right now, I'm setting next to a young adult Euphonium player in a community ensemble. His parents decided top listen to the advice of a salesman, a decade or so ago when he was in middle school, and bought a student horn with the idea to upgrade later. Now he's 6' 2" and 200+ pounds and stuck with a Jupiter 3/4 size Baritone/Euphonium.

So, I would definitely recommend NOT buying a student/beginner instrument. Compare this to buying a single horn (french horn). It doesn't make sense in the long run, especially if the student shows real promise.

Here is my opinion of a possible scenario: If one found a nice used Yamaha YEP-321 euphonium for a reasonable price ($800-1200), it would be a worthwhile investment. It is a four-valve euphonium, but is built on the same frame as the YEP-201 (3-valve). Yamaha bills this as an intermediate model, but it was considered a pro horn in the company's early days of band instrument manufacturing. If the student progressed and stuck with it, it would be an an instrument that would carry her/him through high school into college. If it didn't work out, the parents could sell it and recoup most or all of the costs. It's even possible to make a small profit; this could also go towards an upgrade to professional model. These are everywhere; I would recommend checking the forums listed above. Even still, I would still wait until her/his 2nd year in band. Younger students are still developing and have a tendency to drop things.
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ghmerrill
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by ghmerrill » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:45 am

I guess (having been through this with three kids) that I would counsel caution in making any kind of substantial investment in anything at this point -- unless you would be happy owning and using that instrument yourself. I raised three kids who were involved in instrumental music from pretty early ages -- my daughter beginning at age 5 when she became determined to play flute! Our middle kid played clarinet for years and loved it. All three had lessons from professionals (UNC music faculty, NC symphony).

However, the oldest was a bit of a problem. His mother INSISTED on his starting piano lessons when he was (as I recall) about 8. (I told her this was not a good idea. :roll: ) And after a good attempt for almost a year, this otherwise great kid simply rebelled and refused. And it was such a bad experience for him that he swore that he'd never play a musical instrument. Then in the 6th grade he decided (entirely on his own) that he wanted to play bassoon. And he stuck with it for a number of years. We ended up, when he was in 8th grade, getting him a good (actually borderline professional Fox 220) used bassoon. And he knew how to take care of it and did that.

But all kids are different. Beware of too much too fast, and expectations that are a bit more than a younger student can support. And be cautious about committing a possibly significant amount of money before you have some confidence of the longer term scenario. That's just my view based on my experience. However piratical instrument rental sources are (and they are), that may still be a wise way to go for 6 months or a year -- until you have a better grip on the situation. If it were a trombone, I'd say "Buy a decent used one for a couple hundred bucks (or less), and go for it." But a euphonium or a tuba (or other more expensive instrument)? That takes more thought.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
Davidus1
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by Davidus1 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:18 pm

I purchased a Conn 15I Euphonium several years ago for a few hundred dollars. Its a very nice horn. There are deals to be found but there are dogs out there too. I would get some help unless you are familiar with horns. Ask the band director to help or the good advice from Gary on Dave Werden's site is good advice. Best wishes in your search!
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mrdeacon
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by mrdeacon » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:48 pm

Tell them to not rent or buy a Euphonium!!

Rent or borrow one directly from the school. Unless if they are in a really impoverished district the school will have horns. Renting a Euphonium from a music store or buying one is a huge investment and is a waste of money in the long run.

Euphs aren't like trombones. Buying a "student" horn and upgrading later is crazy expensive in comparison to trombones. There is literally no professional use for a student Baritone unless it is a Yamaha YEP321. There is a huge difference between a cheap $100-$300 American Baritone verses a true Euphonium like a Yamaha YEP321 which goes for over $800-$1500 used. American Baritones are not used in college or professional situations.

If the parents think they'll save money by picking up a horn with 3 valves that's no bueno either. Horns with 4 valves whether it be non compensating or compensating is the only way to go. Having a horn with 3 valves is just shooting yourself in the foot as a player and it makes the horn even harder to sell.

Trust me, just tell the parents to rent the horn directly from the school. This is coming from someone who was a Euphonium player throughout Middle School, High School and College. I didn't pick up trombone till I was in college.

Listen also to what LarryPrestonRoberson had to say he gave very good advice in his post.
Last edited by mrdeacon on Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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davebb
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by davebb » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:51 pm

LarryPrestonRoberson wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:16 am
Here is my opinion of a possible scenario: If one found a nice used Yamaha YEP-321 euphonium for a reasonable price ($800-1200), it would be a worthwhile investment. It is a four-valve euphonium, but is built on the same frame as the YEP-201 (3-valve). Yamaha bills this as an intermediate model, but it was considered a pro horn in the company's early days of band instrument manufacturing.
I got a used YEP-201 for my kid to learn on. It's solidly built and easy to play but the tuning is pretty awful on some notes. No-one notices in his school concert band, but you wouldn't want to play it in a high quality ensemble. Given that I know of a few pro players who play the YEP-321, I expect that the 321 is easily worth double the price for one in a similar age and condition.

Also, for a kid to learn on, an instrument which takes a small shank mouthpiece will be more suitable than large shank.

Dave
Schlitz
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by Schlitz » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:16 pm

mrdeacon wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:48 pm
Tell them to not rent or buy a Euphonium!!

Rent or borrow one directly from the school. Unless if they are in a really impoverished district the school will have horns. Renting a Euphonium from a music store or buying one is a huge investment and is a waste of money in the long run.

Euphs aren't like trombones. Buying a "student" horn and upgrading later is crazy expensive in comparison to trombones. There is literally no professional use for a student Baritone unless it is a Yamaha YEP321. There is a huge difference between a cheap $100-$300 American Baritone verses a true Euphonium like a Yamaha YEP321 which goes for over $800-$1500 used.

Trust me, just tell the parents to rent the horn directly from the school. This is coming from someone who was a Euphonium player throughout Middle School, High School and College. I didn't pick up trombone till I was in college.

Listen also to what LarryPrestonRoberson had to say he gave very good advice in his post.
Yep. I played for several years on a 321, before I bought my Hirsbrunner. 100% agreement with the above, use the school horn. Dee Stewart, google him, played on a modded 321 for years. I’m not going to entertain a compensating horn argument either. I did 8 years in the Navy Fleet Bands, the 321 is just fine. Have the kid learn to play the 4th valve with the left index. It’s a nice light horn. You can always do a large shank pipe change down the road, for more options.

But yes, use the school horn. If the child develops, get a 321.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by Doug Elliott » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:28 am

Baltimore Brass is a good place to check. Good players work there, they know what they have, they don't sell junk, and they price everything fairly. And they ship - you don't have to go there.
imsevimse
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by imsevimse » Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:07 am

I found a good British Boosey & Hawkes four valved compensating euphonium for about $700 on ebay. It is old and the bell is smaller than modern ones but this is the sound I want.

/Tom
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JohnL
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by JohnL » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:59 am

mrdeacon wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:48 pm
Trust me, just tell the parents to rent the horn directly from the school. This is coming from someone who was a Euphonium player throughout Middle School, High School and College. I didn't pick up trombone till I was in college.
That only works if the school has a rental program. Not all of them do (the ones in my local district don't). They do have horns that students can check out, but there aren't always enough, and some of them have a lot of miles on them (they've still got some Fullerton Olds and Reynolds horns in service).
Unless if they are in a really impoverished district the school will have horns.
Not necessarily the case, depending on where the OP lives. Because of the way school funding is managed here in California, the "wealthy" districts (i.e., those in higher-income areas) get less money than those in "impoverished" districts (i.e. those in lower-income areas). Of course, the higher-income areas can raise more money through booster organizations, but that requires a level of parental involvement that isn't always present. In some areas (Irvine, for example), there are private foundations that provide instrument rental services.

Obviously, if the kid has access to a decent school horn (either as a free loan or a low-cost rental), that's the way to go - but that simply may not be the case.
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Kingfan
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by Kingfan » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:21 am

I suggest checking local Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc. In my area I found what looks like a playable older American built 3-valve for $75, an upright bell Conn for under $300, and a few newer horns like a Jupiter in the $500 range. I used to play a King I picked up at a flea market, gorgeous tone, great player, ugly as sin, paid $50 and sold for $150 when I decided to thin the herd.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
mrdeacon
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Re: Beginner Euphonium

Post by mrdeacon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:55 pm

John L you're right. Sorry I sometimes forget how fortunate most school districts are out here in California.

I'll still keep my point though that if the student has access to any sort of the horn (even if it isn't in the greatest shape) from the school they should take advantage of it. If the student enjoys playing the instrument and expresses playing the instrument in High School AND College then the parents can looking into picking up something like a Yamaha 321 or better horn
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