Posted by Mike Ross on January 25, 2001 at 15:00:25:
In Reply to: Yamaha Compensating BBb vs Besson 992/3 posted by Big Dog on January 25, 2001 at 13:07:43:
Can't speak to the BBb models, but I currently own a Yamaha YEB631 and have played a number of older Boosey & Hawkes Imperials (the fore-runner to the Besson) in Eb. I find the fit and finish quality of the Yamaha to be excellent and I find it to be an easy playing horn with an air requirement that fits my capacity (I think this is related to bore size). Transitions from three valve playing to playing with the forth valve activated require some embouchure adjustments which can make fast, low passages tricky (I understand that this is a common characteristic of all compensated horns).
I am VERY happy with the Yamaha for the type of playing I do (small and medium size community bands and a brass quintet - it blends especially well in the small band and the quintet).
On the other hand, as a pure description of my preference in sound from a tuba - the Boosey products would win hands down. I find that they have more bass component in their sound, possibly "more fundamental" which I like. I can only describe this in the terms of a continuum between "Bass Sound", to "Bass Brass" to "Brass Bass" sound. The Boosey is far to the "Bass Sound" end of this, while the Yamaha is more of a "Bass Brass" sound.
Also, the three valve compensated B&H that sits beside me in the medium size band can just about blow me off my chair in loud sections (the Eb Yammie just can't keep up).
Having said all that, I'm sure you'll be happy with the product of either company.
If I had to do it all over again buying a new horn (mine was used), I'd probably try the Besson first hoping that it plays as good as it sounds, then probably end up buying the Yamaha because its playability characteristics suit me so well.
Suddenly, I'm sure that this is no help at all.