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Comparison of the Maestro/Xeno/Neo to the Sovereign/Prestige


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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:44 am    Post subject: Comparison of the Maestro/Xeno/Neo to the Sovereign/Prestige Reply with quote

Hi

Quite simply, how do you feel that these cornets compare in terms of blow and playability?

Many Thanks

Lou
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etc-etc
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou,

It looks like you would be the most qualified person to do the comparison.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

etc-etc wrote:
Lou,

It looks like you would be the most qualified person to do the comparison.


Hi etc-etc

That is very kind of you, but I really am nothing special as a player, and apart from briefly in Phil Parkers, have never compared the Maestro/Xeno and Prestige/Sovereign back to back. I owned a Maestro in probably the late 90s early 2000s, so it is a long while since I spend any time on this cornet.

I would really appreciate the views of others.

Take Care

Lou
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Trumpets:
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- James R New Custom 3Cs
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p76
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lou,

I recently backed-to-back the Xeno with the Sovereign and Prestige when our Band was looking for new cornets.

In terms of blow, the Yamaha was noticeably more open and free blowing than the Sovereign and Prestige, with the Prestige being very slightly tighter feeling than the Sov.

I felt the Xeno was slightly more free blowing than what I would think of as a standard blow for a large-bore cornet, with the Sov about spot on, and the Prestige a fraction tighter.

In terms of playability, it was a lot closer. The Xeno is not as heavy a build as the Bessons, and thus felt more nimble. That, combined with it's more open feel, made it easier to play than the other two, but the sound was light.

The Bessons took slightly more work than the Yam to play, but the sound was more dense. I found the Prestige almost too dense and thick for lyrical passages, while I found the Sov a perfect balance.

As a player, I'm probably a semi-pro sort of level, and I felt that I wasn't a good enough player to get the best out of the Prestige, but felt very comfortable with the Sovereign and the Xeno.

My personal preference in the test was the Sovereign, due to it's tone quality. However, two factors led us to choose the Xeno.

1. The ease with which it could be played, which for our D grade band and the level of some of our players was a big consideration.

2. Price - the best price on the Xenos was getting close to 50% cheaper than the Sovereign.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Roger
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AJCarter
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Louise,

I'm sure this particular thing has come up before and I've tossed my two cents in, but I'm happy to do so again.

I've always liked the Sov better than Xenos. Not had much experience on the prestige, but I do know that the trigger that controls the main tuning slide was a hindrance for me when I tried it out. I would agree that the Xenos are nimble, but I felt they had SO many tuning issues in comparison to The Sovereign or even a good playing Bach cornet, like I think you have. I personally love the Eternas, but I think it's been said they are not readily available for the, "can't be beat" price over in UK. My vote is to stay with the Sov and leave the Xenos for us yanks who don't know what good cornetting really is.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys

Thank you very much for your views which are really appreciated.

I'm not feeing very talkative at the moment, so please accept my apologies for my brief response.

Thanks again

Lou
_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
Kanstul F Besson C
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
- Differing Kanstul Custom 3Cs
- Denis Wick 4B underpart/my 3C rim
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GordonH
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't tested these back to back, but the Sovereign is the best compromise instrument which is probably why it has remained popular.

The intonation is just about good enough.
The tone is just about right for most styles.
The build quality is just about right.
The blow is neither too tight or too open.

The Maestro is more nimble than the Sovereign 928, but it has less of a dynamic range.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks GordonH

Take Care

Lou
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Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
Kanstul F Besson C
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So is it fair to say that the current production Sovereign is the "favorite" british cornet amongst our British TH members now?

BTW, what is the difference between the 927 and 928 models?
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p76
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Randy,

Although I'm from Downunder, I'll presume to answer your question. Many of the top-flight players are using the Prestige, both in England and here. Many of the top English and Welsh bands are sponsored - Cory for example is sponsored by Besson, and so uses their instruments.

Despite there being quite a few boutique cornet manufacturers around, most bands head down the Besson or Yamaha route. Most of the better quality bands end up with Besson, certainly here in OZ, and I'm pretty sure in the Old Country as well.

The difference between 927 and 928 is the bore size - I think the 927 is the ML and the 928 the L bore from memory.

I stand to be corrected on all the above points!

Cheers,
Roger
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Bb - Selmer Radial, Yamaha YTR634, Kanstul 1001, Kanstul 700.
C - Yamaha 641.
Cornet - Olds Ambassador A6T, Besson 723, Getzen Capri.
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GordonH
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 927 was a smaller bore, but is no longer being made. In the 80's some people in band halls referred to it as "a ladies instrument". I felt it was brighter and lighter sounding than the 928, but I have never played one for any length of time.

I think I said elsewhere that in my band we have a pool of five solo cornet players (plus one contest principal from overseas who is a Besson sponsored artist and plays a prestige). So of the five pool of local players we have two on Sovereigns (one 928 and one 921), one on a Geneva, one on a Xeno and me on a Maestro. Mouthpiece wise I think its a 3, 3B, 4, Bach 11C (!), and me on the Sparx 2.

So much for uniformity of equipment.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GordonH wrote:
Bach 11C (!)...



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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Since I started this thread, I thought that I ought to contribute.

I used to own a Yamaha Maestro, and really liked it. I however felt that the sound was on the thin side, at least with me and my mouthpiece, and that I had a better tone on my Bach 184ML. Also, since the rest of the section of the Brass Band I was playing in at the time were also on Bach 184MLs, it made sense to sell the Yamaha and keep the Bach.

What I particularly liked about the Maestro was its flexibility, open blow and ease of production in all registers.

When I bought my new Sovereign recently, I again really liked the Yamaha Xeno, but just felt that the Sovereign had a richer tone. The new Yamaha Neo is supposed to have a richer tone than the Xeno, and it is a real shame that it wasn't available to try when I was looking for a new cornet.

I have spend a long while adjusting the blow of my Sovereign by sleeving my mouthpiece to increase the insertion amount, as it plays horribly stuffy with the standard insertion amount/shank dimensions of a Bach mouthpiece.

It now plays very well, and has a nice free blowing upper register, and my endurance is very good on it. There is still however something I just don't like about the blow, a feeling of resistance somewhere that I just can't figure out. Increase the insertion amount a fraction more, and it feels too open and the A at the top of the stave becomes harder to centre. Forum member Mike Prestage, who has been sleeving my mouthpieces for me, reckoned that it could be acoustic impedance.

Personally, I think that it is a mismatch between the Bach 10 backbore of my mouthpiece and the leadpipe of the Sovereign.

Some time, I'll experiment with my Curry mouthpieces.

I found the Prestige to be very similar in blow to the Sovereign, but maybe a little tighter (I didn't have a chance to try the Sovereign and Prestige at the same time). I tried two different ones and one blew tighter than the other. I didn't care for the main tuning slide trigger.

Take Care

Lou
_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
Kanstul F Besson C
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
- Differing Kanstul Custom 3Cs
- Denis Wick 4B underpart/my 3C rim
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p76
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou,

I think you might be right about the mpc. impeding the blow on your Sov. My Bach mpc doesn't work well with my 723 - you'll find a Wick or a Curry work better - I find the Wick rim uncomfortable, so the Curry might be a good move for you - their BBC range is close to the Wick in terms of sound, but with a nicer rounded rim.

Agree with you that the Prestige is a tighter blow than the Sov - I too prefer the Sov.

Haven't played a Neo yet, but have heard someone else (current junior Aust. cornet champ) play on it live, and it sounded pretty good, but I still think a little brighter than the Besson products?

Cheers,
Roger
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Bb - Selmer Radial, Yamaha YTR634, Kanstul 1001, Kanstul 700.
C - Yamaha 641.
Cornet - Olds Ambassador A6T, Besson 723, Getzen Capri.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

p76 wrote:
Lou,

I think you might be right about the mpc. impeding the blow on your Sov.

Hi Roger

Thanks. I honesty think that this is the case. The Sovereign was as far as I'm aware designed with the idea that you would play it with a mouthpiece such as the Denis Wick mouthpieces, so it is not at all surprising that the blow is tight with the Bach 10 backbore and 27 throat.


My Bach mpc doesn't work well with my 723

It is interesting that you find this too.

- you'll find a Wick or a Curry work better

I own both, and you are right.

- I find the Wick rim uncomfortable,

So do I.

so the Curry might be a good move for you - their BBC range is close to the Wick in terms of sound, but with a nicer rounded rim.

Thanks very much for this suggestion. I have a Curry 3BBC and 3DC, which I plan to try after our band concert in November.

Agree with you that the Prestige is a tighter blow than the Sov - I too prefer the Sov.

It is interesting that you found the same.

Haven't played a Neo yet, but have heard someone else (current junior Aust. cornet champ) play on it live, and it sounded pretty good, but I still think a little brighter than the Besson products?

I reckon that you heard the same clip as me. That lad made a very nice sound on the Neo, and very Brass Band like in my opinion, but of course, I have no idea how his sound would compare on a Besson, or what mouthpiece he was using on the Neo. I am not implying at all that a mouthpiece is giving him his lovely Brass Band cornet tone, of course that is his ability as a player, only that it would be easier to judge the inherent tone of the Neo, if we knew whether he was using something like a Denis Wick no letter cup, or something like a Denis Wick B cup.

Cheers,
Roger

Take Care

Lou

_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
Kanstul F Besson C
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
- Differing Kanstul Custom 3Cs
- Denis Wick 4B underpart/my 3C rim
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qcm
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louise Finch wrote:
I found the Prestige to be very similar in blow to the Sovereign, but maybe a little tighter (I didn't have a chance to try the Sovereign and Prestige at the same time). I tried two different ones and one blew tighter than the other. I didn't care for the main tuning slide trigger.


Lou,

I absolutely hated that main tuning slide trigger on the Prestige. It was one reason, but not the only one, as to why I did not buy the Prestige.

Regarding Wick cornet mouthpieces, although I'm personally a fan of the Curry line, the Wick BW rim is much more comfortable for me the the standard Wick rim, although I don't believe the BW is offered for all the Wick models

Just a few thoughts. Hope everyone's well at your end of the pond.

-Dave
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RandyTX
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to wonder what a curry rim on a Wick underpart would be like. Then again, I'm very happy with my BBC.
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GordonH
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The older Wick mouthpieces have rounder rims. Myself and a colleague both have early 1980's Wick 2's and the rim is close to a 1.5C Bach. The current ones feel bigger and have flatter rims with more defined shoulders. I think changes were made when they moved to a different machining process, and then again when they moved to CNC.

The 4W is getting quite popular in my circles. A few people have switched from the 4 to that.
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Pic - Weril
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roynj
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou
I've played both the Xeno and the new Sovereign in a brass band situation. Both had excellent build quality (given that the Sov in question was of the newer Courtois build). I felt that the Xeno's tone was excellent, although a bit more compact. Rich, but not quite as luscious as the Sovereign. I liked the hand feel (and superb trigger action) of the Xeno a little better than the Sovereign. But sound quality trumps hand feel for me, so the nod goes to the new Sovereign. Roy
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qcm wrote:
Louise Finch wrote:
I found the Prestige to be very similar in blow to the Sovereign, but maybe a little tighter (I didn't have a chance to try the Sovereign and Prestige at the same time). I tried two different ones and one blew tighter than the other. I didn't care for the main tuning slide trigger.


Lou,

I absolutely hated that main tuning slide trigger on the Prestige. It was one reason, but not the only one, as to why I did not buy the Prestige.

Hi Dave

I totally agree. However, the guy next to me in my Brass Band has one of the first Besson Prestiges, and having owned it for quite some time, is naturally very adept at using the main tuning slide trigger.


Regarding Wick cornet mouthpieces, although I'm personally a fan of the Curry line, the Wick BW rim is much more comfortable for me the the standard Wick rim, although I don't believe the BW is offered for all the Wick models

Thank you. That it is interesting. I haven't personally tried the wider rim.

Just a few thoughts.

Thank you. They are really appreciated.


Hope everyone's well at your end of the pond.

-Dave

We're all good, thanks. I really hope that you and your family are well.

Take Care

Lou

_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
Kanstul F Besson C
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
- Differing Kanstul Custom 3Cs
- Denis Wick 4B underpart/my 3C rim
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