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.

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This entry was posted in All Brass, Euphonium/Tuba, Repair and tagged , , , , by Bob Osmun. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bob Osmun

We run a small music shop specializing in brass instruments, especially horns. We sell Engelbert Schmid, Finke, Hoyer and Alexander horns and have a world famous repair shop staffed by three of the best technicians in the trade. We regularly perform valve rebuilds, screw bell conversions and manufacture our own line of trumpet and horn mouthpieces. Jim Becker, our trumpet specialist builds custom trumpets and does all sorts of trumpet modifications.

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