Sept. 2021: It's difficult to get Willsons in the US these days. Nobody has 'em. ETA is 5-6 months for new orders. I have these on order now:
- 2900BTST-C - Sept - reserved
- 2900BTST-C - Sept - tentative reservation
- 2950ST-C - Feb '22 - tentative reservation
- 2950ST-C - Feb '22 - available
These are compensating euphoniums hand made by Willson in Switzerland. Willson are considered some of the premier euphoniums in the world. Several models and options are available, as shown in the drop down menu above. Read on for specs, descriptions, and options.
Willson Model 2900
The 2900 is the most popular of all Willson euphoniums. The slightly smaller bell diameter allows some extra ease of travel and case choices, and lets more of the high frequencies of your tone ring out into the room, adding clarity and crispness of tone. The mouthpiece receiver size is fairly rare for a modern instrument. It's not small shank trombone, it's not large shank trombone. It's right in the middle. We call it the Besson/Willson/Euro size. Stock mouthpieces are available from Denis Wick, Schilke and Faxx. Other sizes may be ordered from Josef Klier and other makers. You will face limited size choices whenever you seek such a mouthpiece. Why is this instrument the most popular of the Willsons? Somehow this receiver size resulted in a perfect fit, the best pitch, and an easy response. One of our former staff plays a Willson 2900 and wouldn't change instruments for anything.
- Pitch: Bb
- Valves: 4 valves, compensating
- Bore: 15.0 / 16.8mm (0.590" / 0.661")
- Bell: Seamless yellow brass 3150, 290mm / 11.41"
- Weight: 4.5kg / 9.9 lbs
- Stainless steel pistons are non-corrosive
- Rubber silencers and nylon valve guides for noise-free action
- 4 stainless steel valves with valve springs underneath
- Innovative water key rubber to reduce interruption of air flow
- 3 water keys
- Convenient hand rest
- Water catcher
- Medium size traditional European mouthpiece receiver
Willson Model 2950
The larger bell diameter of this model reflects more of the highs of your tone back into the horn, so it should lean towards a slightly darker and broader sound. In addition, the large shank receiver allows many more options for mouthpiece sizes without resorting to a custom mouthpiece.
The 2950 is identical to the 2900 except for:
- Bell diameter: 310mm / 12.20"
- Large shank bass trombone mouthpiece receiver as standard
Available Options on 2900 and 2950 Euphoniums
Silver plate is by far the most popular finish for Willson. Lacquer is also available. Benefits of silver plate include more clarity of response, and style of course, but regular hand polishing is required. Benefits of lacquer include a slightly warmer tone, and no maintenance other than a basic wiping of the instrument. We use lemon furniture polish spray to help protect lacquer finishes. These polishes neutralize oils and acids from your skin, and add a coat of wax for protection of the finish.
- T - Main slide tuning trigger
Many players in our area like a main tuning slide trigger on their euphonium or tuba. This allows you to tune any note, no matter the fingering combination. While we trust these Swiss instruments to be very well in tune, every horn may have certain minor pitch issues here and there. The open F can be a bit high, the open D can be a bit low, that sort of thing. Most players can bend any note right into pitch, but if you prefer to use a small hand movement and let your embouchure relax a bit, a trigger might be for you. Euphonium extraordinaire Demondrae Thurman, who endorses the Miraphone M5050 euphonium, has a tuning trigger on his own instrument, but he admits that the horn plays so well in tune, that any trigger is just for vanity anyway.
Includes Willson/MTS hard case.
- BT - bass trombone shank mouthpiece receiver
The 2900 can also be had with a bass trombone shank receiver as desired. This is the version we usually order. It allows many more choices of mouthpieces. The 2950 includes bass trombone receiver as standard.