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The best "all around" flugelhorn



 
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:41 pm    Post subject: The best "all around" flugelhorn Reply with quote

There seems to be a rather broad pallet of acceptable flugelhorn sounds out there. Perhaps, trumpet is the same but the range of acceptable trumpet specifications seems to be narrower than that of the flugelhorn.

What would you consider to be the best all around flugelhorn available? And what do you use your flugelhorn for?
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Rapier232
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very subjective. People have varying tastes. I’ve played some that people say are fantastic and yet I thought they were awful. My two favourites are the Kanstul 1525 and the Eclipse. I use my flugel in brass bands and in pit shows. Although for use in theatre shows I have a cheap JP flugel, so I don’t have to worry if it gets dinged a little.
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good comment by Rapier about preferences - I don’t like the Kanstul 1525. I also played the Adams F1 recently - does not sound much like a true flugelhorn to me. My favorites are the smaller French style horns. Top favorite at the moment is the B&S FBX flugel. Dark sound, easy to play, a compact and focused tone quality that is very different from a trumpet.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that it depends on what you're using it for. I enjoy using my Flugel in pit work, brass quintet, brass band, church, and of course when called for in jazz band.

Over the last few years I've been on a Flugle safari of sorts.. I had a Yamaha 631 Rose Brass bell Flugel for years, a really fine Flugel - most notabley, these are easy to switch to. They play much like a trumpet, blow wise, which make the easy to pick up and go.. However, there was something in the tone that I didn't love..

As a Bach endorsing artist I thought it would be fun to add a Bach Flugel to my collection. I had not heard many good things about Bach Flugels. I found one that wasn't too pricey. I love the tone, but tuning was a noticable challenge.
I then took it to Osmun Music for them to work some magic - and I had them shorten the 1st a 3rd valve slides just a bit..
It now plays much better and the only real issue I have with it is the pitch of the low A, Ab, G - quite flat in relation to the horn.

The point of all this is tone. I too like the small bore design. It just not quite as user friendly - I have to stay "familiar" with it to really play it well.

Many of the Flugels I've tested (Kanstul, Jupiter, Yamaha, ACB, and others) lack something to my ear - and not in the practice room but in "the room" or ensemble. One high school that I teach lessons at has a set of Couesnon Flugel. They're a bit beat up but have a very traditional, lovely sound and don't play badly at all. - I have yet borrowed one for a gig or two to compare.

I will mention that at the top of my list for Flugels, ones that I really like in the show rooom/ITG conference, and would love to test them in my world:

Van Laar (I forget the model I prefered)
Adams 1
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Favorites:

Wild Thing (if you can wrench one out of someone's hands)
Flip Oakes Fusion Champ (newly available, no track record, but solid horn)
Kanstul 1025 (but with a 925 French taper tuning bit - good luck with that)
Adams (don't know the model I played)
Yamaha Shew (? - similar to the Kanstul 1025)
Inderbinen Wood (if you REALLY want to spend your money)
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian, I agree on the Shew. It was a close second to the B&S. Excellent horn as well. Adams really don't do it for me but I wonder if the american sound model is different from a european ideal? Maybe its just me but I always thought those big horns sound like less aggressive trumpets rather than real flugels.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bad mouthpiece can make any flugelhorn sound bad. They are much more mouthpiece- sensitive than a trumpet.
With my mouthpiece (Curry 3FL.) I've liked Couesenon, Yamaha's newest (8315?) Kanstuls of various types and my favorite - Courtois/LeBlanc.
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couesnon’s are notorious and becoming increasingly rare, yes? Does anyone reliably “blueprint” them?

I’ve seen some old Benge and Olds flugels as well that could be a good value but older horns are always a gamble.

The typical trade off is character for playability. Some flugels seem to always have that fluffy sound that doesn’t cut it for legit or show work. Or it’s got a clear sound that plays well without much else to offer.

Van Laar offers so many different horns. Is there one that covers all the bases?
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a word about expectations of the Adams flugelhorn.

My experience leading bands in Germany was that most of the flugelhorns had a different sound than flugelhorns from other countries. The flugelhorn I'm referring to seemed to be closer to a trumpet sound than, say, a tone coming from a Couesnon.

And maybe there is just an expectation of what the sound should be, influence notwithstanding from a neighboring powerhouse.
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Liberty Lips
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevin_soda wrote:
Couesnon’s are notorious and becoming increasingly rare, yes? Does anyone reliably “blueprint” them?

You can buy Couesnon flugelhorns new. I've heard that they're really good, but I've never played one or even seen one in the flesh:

https://instruments-musique.pgm-couesnon.fr/fabrication-percussions-instruments-musique-famille-Bugles-Sib-----Bb-Flugelhorns--fr-6-1.html

I don't think they produce a lot of horns, so there might be a waiting period if you order one.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a comment about flugelhorns in general. Some you are locked into a sound and it's difficult to pry them loose from that. I'm thinking of the Adams F4. The Adams F1 can be bright if you want it. I couldn't get the F4 there. But the F1 can be as dark as I want it to. So that's what I chose. I don't like the sound of an oft favorite here. We are all so subjective that you really need to just go out and try everything there is.
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couesnon.
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had an Olds (ca.1973), Blessing, 2 Quesnons, a Wild Thing, and currently a Yamaha 631G which I am very happy with. I loved my Olds for many years, loved the Quesnons, hated the Blessing (ca 1986), was meh about the Wild Thing character-wise and am really enjoying the Yamaha. FWIW
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevin_soda wrote:
Couesnon’s are notorious and becoming increasingly rare, yes? Does anyone reliably “blueprint” them?

I’ve seen some old Benge and Olds flugels as well that could be a good value but older horns are always a gamble.

The typical trade off is character for playability. Some flugels seem to always have that fluffy sound that doesn’t cut it for legit or show work. Or it’s got a clear sound that plays well without much else to offer.

Van Laar offers so many different horns. Is there one that covers all the bases?


It's the design that's important. If you have to "cut through" for a show w/o adequate miking, you're doomed anyway. A good flugelhorn sound doesn't "cut."
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Tim80
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yamaha flugels are nice. I have a Yamaha 635T that I like. It was cheap and sounds well.
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Turkle
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the Yamaha 8310z "Bobby Shew" flugel specifically because it has that classic, light and fluffy, "French" sound that will fit in any situation. It's a magnificent instrument. I use my flugel 100% for small group jazz combo work.

The Adams A1 is another that gives you that "all-around" sound, to my ears. Classic, light, almost "transparent," but it will articulate a bit and will be relatively mouthpiece sensitive.

I think that some of the more modern-style big-bell flugels have a seriously thick, rich, solid, dark sound, with an opaque core. (Kanstul 1525, Yamaha 8315G, Interbinden "Wood," etc.) Now, that's great if that's the sound you're looking for! But the classic "French" flugel sound is just different, and if I were looking for a flugel that could go anywhere, I personally would avoid those modern, super-dark flugels.

Just one player's opinion. Good luck!
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Yamaha 6310Z flugel that I love. With the supplied Shew flugel mouthpiece the sound is light and French. I briefly used a Curry flugel piece that darkened the sound up a lot.
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austincustombrass
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's our vote (since three of us at the shop play one!)


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