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Brief review of the Eastman and Shires Euphoniums

The Eastman compensating and Shires Q30 were on display for testing at IET this week. I had a chance to play both, here are some impressions:

*disclaimer - I spent 5 minutes max with each in a smaller room and just tested some very basic scales, got an initial sense of pitch, tone , and response, so these are truly just initial impressions.


Eastman:

It’s been a while since I’ve played an Eastman, and I was impressed. Everything about this instrument feels solid and on par with the more expensive pro horns. The response was very good with a full, resonant tone. I’d like to test it with a tuner in a quiet room to get a better sense of pitch, but it felt great. A huge improvement since I last played one of their instruments.


Shires:

-I can only speak for the one display model there, but this horn left a bad impression. The instrument feels very light (I’m used to a heavier Adams E2, so factor that in). However, when holding the instrument there was a distinct feeling that it lacked solidity. Nothing was loose or out of place, but for lack of a better word it felt very “uncentered”. This feeling carried over into the response, which was very inconsistent through different valve combinations. When it sings, it really sings, but the response seemed to change noticeably between pitches. There were beautiful resonating pitches, incredibly stuffy pitches, and everything in between throughout the range. The instrument is very comfortable in the hands, but has a very “in line” setup, meaning that the angle of the bell is very forward rather than angled. This isn’t good or bad, but would take some getting used to. Judging by many of the positive comments I’ve seen written about this horn and given Shires’ reputation for quality, I’m almost inclined to think that this particular display instrument was just a bad apple. I’d like to play a few other ones before making an overall judgement.

Martin


This post first appeared on Euphonium-Tuba And General Music Forums - Recent B, please read the originial post: here

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Brief review of the Eastman and Shires Euphoniums

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