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Willson Euphonium

$7,650.00 $9,795.00

Item Details

This is a group of professional compensating euphoniums hand made by Willson in Switzerland.  These are considered some of the premier euphoniums in the world, alongside Besson, Hirsbrunner and Adams.  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 small 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 staff plays a Willson 2900 and wouldn't change instruments for anything.

2900 Specifications

  • 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.

2950 Specifications

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

  • L - Clear lacquer finish
  • S - Silver plate finish
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.
  • C - Willson hard case
We include a Willson hard case, but instruments can be had without case or with a different case as you prefer.  Please contact us for a quote.
  • BT - bass trombone shank mouthpiece receiver

The 2900 can also be had with a bass trombone shank receiver as desired.  This is the stock version we order.

 

Decoding the options from the drop down menu, a 2900BTS-C would have a large shank receiver, silver plate finish, and a hard case.

 

Willson Model 2960 Celebration

This is a variation of the 2950 called the Celebration Model.  I'm not exactly clear on the differences between the 2950 and 2960 (something is lost in translation), but it looks like small differences in the bell rim and the nickel bow guards.  Update June 2016:  The bell throat is larger and the bell rim has a heavier wire in it.  This one was the hit of ITEC 2016, and we have that one in stock.

 

Willson Model 2975

The 2975 is a rare compensating euphonium with four front action pistons.  This is the design used in many modern tubas, but nearly all euphoniums made today have kept the traditional British style top action pistons.  Front action pistons may be more ergonomic for some players, they hark back to the traditional American style euphonium design, and at last, the bell finally points the proper direction.  We believe this instrument has a bass trombone shank receiver for ease of mouthpiece choice.  The bell is yellow brass 3150,  290mm / 11.41", the same as the model 2900.  One water key is standard.  Weight is slightly lighter than the other Willson models, at 4.0kg / 8.8 lbs.  The stock finish is silver plate, but lacquer can be had by special order.

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