Saxophone Forum


by cody
(2 posts)
10 years ago

couf inquiry

I recently purchased a couf superba I alto serial # 82xxx. I understand it was made for Armstrong by Keilworth. Does anyone know the year for this serial number and who was H. Couf? A reply to a recent question referred to the "unique" sound of the superba. Being unfamiliar with this model, I wonder what that refers to and in general how these instruments are thought of in terms of quality. I assume there are some differences in tone compared to a contemporary Keilworth. Thanks for your help.

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  1. by The Insomniac Saxman
    (141 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: couf inquiry

    Was happy to see this post resurface . . . I bought a Superba 1 tenor (54,xxx) off a buddy back in October 2006 as a backup for my Mark VI . . . love the horn! Was originally just going to use it for outdoor gigs, but I've found that the sound works great for commercial playing. At any rate, the buddy from whom I bought the horn had it in a gig bag for years, primarily because he could never find a flight case that could fit the bell . . . it doesn't fit in my Walt Johnson case . . . Does anyone have any suggestions on a flight case that will fit it?

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    1. by 101sunshines
      (2 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: couf inquiry

      I have a H Couf Superba 1 tenor (77,xxx), made in the early 70s, that I just posted on e-bay for sale today. The case that it was purchased in was not the original case, but it fits perfectly in it: Henri Selmer Paris (Flight Serie). Hope this helps? I am probably doing it a disservice by selling it for $1400.00 I've seen alot of postings for $1700-2200 range, but I need to let it go, so if any of you need a back-up tenor vintage sax...or want to try a a tenor...check it out on e-bay...I think another guy has one posted too?

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  2. by Keith Crandal
    (3 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: couf inquiry

    Late 60's-Early 70's. Made by Keilwerth. It has rolled tone holes like the old Conns. Well designed (by Herb Couf). It is a pro horn.

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    1. by cody
      (2 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: couf inquiry

      Keith, Thanks for your comments. I've since learned that Coufs were made between 1965 and 1986 ('88?). Herb Couf was president of Armstrong. My sax was made in 1980 and the Superba I were stenciled Keilworth Toneking Specials. - Cody

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  3. by mramon
    (2 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: couf inquiry

    I was wodering how much did you pay for your H. COuf?

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  4. by couflinks@comcast.net
    (1 post)

    7 years ago

    Re: couf inquiry

    I know its been years since you wrote -- however -- I just learned about this site and my dad's "prominence" so to speak on the web. He would be so flattered to hear that there is so much "chatter" about him and his beloved H. Couf saxophones. I will forward this inquiry to him. He is doing quite well -- he is a retired Detroit Symphony Orchestra Musician --- he was principal clarinetist under Paul Paray in the 50's. He opened up the best music store (we're biased) in the Detroit area -- which he owned and operated for 35 years --known as Royal Music Center in Royal Oak. He sold it several years ago -- and it is still in operation. More to come later. Thanks again karen Couf COhen

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    1. by rainbirdmuse
      (1 post)

      7 years ago

      Re: couf inquiry

      A big thank you to your father for sheperding the Coufs to market! I just wanted to add my two cents worth. My Mid 1970s Superba 1 baritone is one of the best baritones I have ever played. Smooth mechanism combined with that "roar" that the old Conns were known for. Mid 1970s Coufs were better than the Selmers of that era, even the late Mark VIs. Dave Kiffer Ketchikan, Alaska

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    2. by Saxyboy
      (52 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: couf inquiry

      Thanks for the input Karen. You'll notice that the Couf Superba I made a list here recently of the best vintage saxes. I've heard these were well made pro-line saxophones. Tell your Dad hello and thanks for the music!

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      1. by swingstreet
        (315 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: couf inquiry

        In the late 70's I had tried a number of H. Couf saxophones, and in my opinion they were the only new horns of that time that could rival Selmer. In fact, it was my opinion then that they were better than the Selmers of that time.

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    3. by ronzwerld
      (1 post)

      7 years ago

      Re: couf inquiry

      Hey Karen Let me add my thanks to your Dad for the Superba 1 Tenor. I have played one for 20 years and never once been tempted to change instruments. I am just about to buy a Superba 1 Alto 82xxx. It is built in Elkhart Ind. My tenor was made in Germany. Was there ever a S1 Alto made in Germany too. Ron

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      1. by ray de jesus
        (4 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: couf inquiry

        Ronzerld - I have a great playing and sounding Supurba II Tenor. Wondering if your palm keys are/were flat in pitch and if you did anything to the horn to help if needed.

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        1. by fraell
          (2 posts)

          7 years ago

          Re: couf inquiry

          Ray: I have a late 60s or early 70s Superba II Teno that my dad bought for me at Royal Music. I love the horn. It has a magnificant sound. I had not played it in many years, got it fixed by a good technician and have been playing every day for the last few months including jamming with a rock band. I have never really played another horn for any significant period of time so I cannot really compare. Initially, I found that the middle D tended to be a bit muffled and there were intonation problems at the high end including the palm keys. These problems have for the most part disappeared when I changed my embochure by pulling my chin back a bit. Hope this helps.

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        2. by Greggae
          (1 post)

          6 years ago

          Re: couf inquiry

          What kind of mouthpiece do you use for the superba II tenor?

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        3. by jivers
          (1 post)

          5 years ago

          Re: couf inquiry

          I've got a mid-'70s Couf Superba I tenor, and it's a great complement to my Mark VI alto (1967 production). On my alto I play a Couf 4*s mouthpiece, and it has a beautiful brassy sound. My 4* (non-S) tenor mpc lacks the edge of the 4*S. Anyone know where I might find/buy a 4*S for tenor?

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