Old Euph Gets New Voice

When Dan Ryan brought his Conn double-bell euphonium in for repair, it needed more than the usual TLC. Somewhere in the far distant past, before Dan had acquired it about thirty years ago, this euph had lost its second bell.

Dan ryan and Osmun Repair Tech Jim Becker examine Mr. Ryan's 1923 Conn Double Bell Euphonium

Dan Ryan and Osmun Repair Tech Jim Becker examine Mr. Ryan’s 1923 Conn Double Bell Euphonium

Double bell euphoniums enjoyed a vogue during the early years of the last century (this one was made in 1923). In addition to the regular large bell a smaller, trombone sized bell, controlled by a piston valve, made it possible for a skilled soloist to make it sound like he was playing duets with himself.

Jim Becker did a major restoration of this instrument to return it to good cosmetic and playing condition and was able to locate, in our vast collection of spare parts, a Conn alto horn bell of the appropriate size and about the same age, as evidenced by the engraving,  as the missing one. The original bell faced forward and this one is bell up so the sound was not as directional, but we felt that this was acceptable. It would have been possible to construct a 70 degree elbow to match the original direction but it would have been, we felt, a very expensive solution to a minor problem.

Jim cleaned up the bell, tested it and trimmed it to length, and made a new tenon ring to attach it to the body of the instrument. Play testing confirmed it’s pitch and sound quality and now it’s ready for the next hundred years.

Nickel-free Option for Schmid Horns

Engelbert Schmid is offering a new option, nickel-free components.  For people with allergies to nickel, playing the horn can present problems, form rashes to blisters to illness. Now you can order your Schmid with nickel-free levers, hand guards, and mouthpipe parts (guard, ferrule). This is usually enough to prevent nickel allergies. If that doesn’t do it, Schmid also has the capacity to build a completely nickel-free instrument. Here’s a link to a page about Schmid’s nickel-free horn.