First thoughts on the B&S 3017 Flugelhorn after 2 weeks of ownership.
I bought the B&S Flugelhorn in spite of already owning two rotary valve Flugelhorns, one a very old Christian Ulm instrument, the other a very cheap Chinese one, both of which had shortcomings that I thought, buying a new 'named' instrument would overcome. I have not been disappointed!!! The Christian Ulm instrument suffered pitching and tonal problems along with age related problems in the valves. The Chinese instrument while pitching was OK, the tone is quite hard, and it is very stiff in the valve department suggesting the springs are over-tensioned and therefore liable to early failure. The B&S instrument on the other hand has proved to be extremely playable, straight out of the box, and is a very handsome instrument to look at, as well. The flexibility in sound from below low C to above the stave is brilliant, the tone remains constant throughout the range. I have found that pitching low D brings slight pitching problems, as I have experienced when playing trumpet and cornet, but, and despite having small hands, I have found the third valve trigger easy to operate and removes this low D pitching problem. Both my Christian Ulm and Chinese Flugelhorns have problems when pitching low C, not so the B&S, it's spot on. So far I have used the B&S at rehearsal with a band in Weeze, Germany, and, on parade and in a very small concert, with another in Overhetfeld, Germany. The Weeze band plays the type of music similar to that played by town bands around Europe (the only sphere of my experience), music from films, popular music etc. The Overhetfeld band's music is very much in a traditional south German style. In both bands the tone of the B&S fitted in excellently :) The instrument drew admiring glances from the members of both of these German bands and I am expecting the same from my English colleagues when I return to playing with them next week :) I have used the instrument with the 6C mouthpiece as supplied and a variety of others, including trumpet mouthpieces, and found that it still produces a rich, warm Flugel sound, always associated with Flugelhorns. So, after a very short but intense week or so of owning this instrument I am more than pleased with it, in terms of playability, sound, it's feel in my hands, and, just to look at :) Would I recommend this instrument to others? If they want to smile every time after playing it, as I do, YES!
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