Re: difference between Keilwerth SX 90 & EX 90
The Ex is a student-intermediate model horn that I believe is made in Taiwan though I'm not exactly sure. They're not a BAD horn, but not a GOOD horn either, The SX-90's are GREAT horns. As for the issue with the pads sticking, I haven't really experienced any problems myself, but I have heard of this problem before, The pads that Keilwerth uses on the SX horns are very good pads. They are treated to be moisture resistant, and apparently they have a tendancy to be a little sticky when new. It's nothing that a little Charlie's Gig Dust won't fix. and once the horn has been played a little, it shouldn't be a problem at all. Those pads will last a LONG time.
As for the SX-90 vs. the SX-90R, BOTH are great horns. The SX-90R has a warmer, more vintage tone than the SX-90 due to the soldered on tone ring that mimic the vintage rolled tone holes found on the old Conn saxophones. They're not a true rolled tone hole. There were a few problems with the earlier SX-90R's with warped tone holes partly due to the soldering process. It is my feeling that the flaws in the SX-90R were not nearly as common or as severe as they were made out to be in a couple articles that I have read. I have seen several horns and ALL of them played very well. Those I have checked have all been within specifications. I recommend playing any horn before buying, but I don't think that the SX-90R's are bad horns. For the difference in price, I bought the SX-90. The price difference is close to $1000 between the two. I have been very well satisfied with my horn and the people at Keilwerth are great!