Flugel: Courtois vs. Conn Vintage One vs. Yamaha Bobby Shew

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Cklint, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Cklint

    Cklint New Friend

    Nov 3, 2010
    I'm looking to get a new flugel and was recommended the Courtois 154, Conn Vintage One, and Yamaha Bobby Shew model. I was wondering what some of the pros and cons of each are. I was leaning toward the Conn Vintage One but only after reading a few reviews, plus I think that is the most aesthetically pleasing.

    I'm most interested in tone and mid range playing for a flugel. I currently play a Bach Strad trumpet with a 3C.

    If anyone can recommend a good flugel mouthpiece to start on aside from what it comes with, I'd also appreciate it. I'm assuming flugels are similar to trumpets where everyone starts on a 7C then moves on to something else (I prefer the deeper cup for broader darker sound)

    I plan on heading to WWBW to play all three before I decide, but I'd like to know what to expect from each before I try it.

    Final question, I have always preferred a silver instrument solely for the looks, do other finishes really make a difference in tone? - and if so, what produces the "best" tone.

    Thanks for the help,
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I have played all three and I owned two of the Courtois models.

    I would highly recommend the Courtois over the other two you have listed, and that .413 bore is great!

    You might REALLY consider the NYTC Broadway model flugelhorn, is is a great flugel and it has a really good price.

    Here is a thread on that horn with video clips from Nick D and me.

  3. Cklint

    Cklint New Friend

    Nov 3, 2010
    Thanks, I'll definitely look into that NYTC Broadway model flugelhorn as well;

    Did anything in particular make the Courtois stand out? Also, I was looking into the 154 model, would you recommend one of their other models instead?
  4. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have also played all three, and though the Courtois was nice, I preferred the Vintage One. I prefer large bore flugels, and the Conn was the least restrictive and best sounding of those smaller bores for me. The Shew has to be the worst flugel I've ever played - it feels like a plastic toy trumpet! We have a bunch of them in the Navy program, and most of us fight over the older Yamaha model with the rose-brass bell rather than play the Shew. Of course, my personal favorite is the Marcinkiewicz, but it's an investment, and a large bore! My advice would be to try as many as you can before you make your decision. Your best bet for a mouthpiece is a flugel piece with the same diameter as your trumpet mouthpiece, but with a deep flugel cup. Just make sure you get the correct taper for the horn you end up with.
    Good luck with your search - let us know how it goes!
  5. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Piano User

    Nov 22, 2003
    Gainesville, Florida
    My orchestra/quintet partner has the large bell (rose brass) Courtois Flugelhorn. Best sounding flugel I have ever come across. I would not worry about the bore size in looking for a new flugel. Just play it and be sure it suits you.

    If I ever change from my Cuesnon flugel, I will go for the Courtois.

    Bill Dishman
    Gainesville, Florida
  6. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Antalya, Turkey
    Either the V1 or the courtois are top end and very nice flugels, the shew is less my cup of tea.
  7. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
    From the flugels you listed, I have only tried the Courtois
    and Conn V1, and the Conn won..The Courtois didn't suit me well.
    Very versatile horn which I have used in Brass band settings and soloing.
    Mouthpieces: I have used both Denis Wick 4F and 4BFL with good results
    but lately after I received the Taylor Phat Boy, I have used Taylor ML and L on both.

    Good luck in your serach. Try whatever you can get your hands on at Dillons.
    You might be surprised....
  8. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    I know this was not on your list, but I really like the tone color (warm/mellow) of my Jupiter 846RS. It's a .433 bore, easy to play, and does not cost a lot of $$$. I would say it has a very classic flugelhorn character. The mp in use is a Blessing FL 3C. IMO, it is one of the best values around.
  9. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    About the mouthpiece--it's a good idea to stick to a certain diameter, but a deep cup Bach-type 3 works pretty well (I use it for cornet).
  10. Cklint

    Cklint New Friend

    Nov 3, 2010
    Thanks your help everyone! I'm heading to WWBW this weekend to try a few out, I'll let you know what I end up with.

Share This Page