Besson Horns

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpetmasta, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Trumpetmasta

    Trumpetmasta Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2012
    I have seen very little about Besson horns around here. It truly disappoints me because my first (and only trumpet) is my Besson 1000.

    This is an intermediate horn and rented (for a little while) a Besson cornet mmmm it was one of the best sounding cornets EVER!! And (before Besson bought it out) I had a Boosey and Hawkes Eb Tuba that now belongs to my school.

    I was just wondering if I was just having luck or if Besson always is a reliable brand.
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    I have a Besson 10-10 which was made back in the 50s and that horn is a player. It is probably the most Benge like horn I have ever owned besides the many L.A. Benges I have owned. I have no idea about the current Besson trumpets and cornets but back in the 40s and 50s they were very well regarded.
  3. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Bessons a real sleeper and good value. Be sure to inspect the valves for wear. You will see plating wear on the pistons but if the wear appears even and there aren't any noticeable spots of wear the piston should have a nice bounce.

    I'm fond of the student model Besson 609 made by Kanstul it's a great trumpet for not too much money. I wouldn't feel bad paying 250--500$ for a midrange Besson depending on condition and valve wear. They sound nice. The bells really have lush overtones. Good luck. Early Bessons can get a premium.
  4. Boehm Train

    Boehm Train New Friend

    Mar 17, 2012
    North Dakota
    I have a Kanstul made Besson MEHA C trumpet that is great. I think it may just be my favorite horn. I know a few others who use them too, like my professor, and they are all impressed by them. I haven't played the old Bessons, but the current ones are good by me.
  5. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Thirty-odd years ago I was in Macon, GA, where my father had a friend that owned a French-made Besson trumpet. It was absolutely worn out, with a badly corroded bell that he was afraid to have anything done to because the horn was such a player. It played incredibly well. He finally broke down and had it restored (nice work, whoever did it) and was relieved to find the playing characteristics were still good. One of the top 10 horns I have played. I have not as yet played one by Kanstul, but I would expect that they are excellent horns given Mr. Kanstul's history.
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Reading from the Besson Loyalist website- it seems that we are really talking about many, many different instruments. Other than the originals made in France, some were made in England, and some in the US, and possibly other countries- with each being made by with a number of different makers.

    Those by Kanstul are fine horns, from everything I have read. It seems the English made were not top of the line. Under the Besson Loyalist, the 609, 709, 809, and 909 are listed from Kanstul-each apoparently a different horn. In addition, it seems I played one a few years ago at the shop that was listed as a Kanstul Besson -may have been one of these but don't remember seeing a number. My impression was it was a good horn, tight, some resistance, and not as broad a sound as the other Kanstuls I was trying (mainly Signature line-1500s), i.e., preferred the others. Also, it is my understanding that many of the horns of the past and today were attempting to copy the Besson -Bach Strads, Benge. For that matter look at the Kanstul Chicago 1000 (Kanstul's improvement on the Benge). Even has the reverse 2nd valve.

    So what is a Besson? I am confused (of course, that isn't uncommon. ;-) ).

    -Let me add one other comment. Why I am sure the originals were great players, the only one I have ever tried was one in a shop being repaired. I was not impressed -terrible playing horn. Think it was probably worn out. Would love to try one in good shape. For as many of the famous makers that have tried to copy them, they must have been something fabulous.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  7. Trumpetmasta

    Trumpetmasta Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2012
    when I first got my valves in mine, they stuck way too much but after playing it a lot (and a change in oil) the valves work beautifully. The tone of the horn has matured over time also which is incredible. I wish I could get my hands on a besson french horn (since I am still being forced against my will to play it would make the transition a wee bit easier;))
  8. mickvanflugel

    mickvanflugel Forte User

    Jul 1, 2011
    The Microbor valves of my Besson Stratford trumpet MADE IN ENGLAND are still flawless,
    ultra-fast and smooth with a very short stroke. A student trumpet of its time, it exceeds modern horns of that kind by far in my opinion, especially regarding intonation and tone.
    Whoa, this sounds pretty much like some talk about Olds Ambassador...:lol:

    I do not know anything about the Kanstul-made Besson horns though. The one thing I know for sure is
    that originally Besson used to build really fine instruments, with many variations for both the American and the European market.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Actually, Kanstul makes semiclones of a number of famous horns -like the Conn Connstellation and Chicago benge. While I have no information that such is true, I always thought that the Kanstul 609 was his version of the Olds Ambassador (he used to work at Olds). Anyone know if this might be true?
  10. duanemassey

    duanemassey Piano User

    Jul 14, 2009
    My 2nd horn (first trumpet) was a French Besson MEHA in 1967. Wonderful horn, not a good choice for classical purposes, but I didn't play classical music. Played that horn for 30 years, had it rebuilt twice (I'm pretty hard on instruments), and then it was stolen. Also had a Kanstul MEHA in the 80's, good horn but not quite the same as the French model. I now use a French Besson (Stamm model) and so far it is the perfect horn for me, as it is a slightly smaller bore than the French MEHA. If you play jazz, I strongly recommend the French Besson. They show up on ebay for $ 600 quite often.

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