Saxophone Forum


by apoc7k
(20 posts)
9 years ago

I need some experienced advice here...

Well... I've been looking at buying a new horn for quite a long time, and I decided I'm really just a Selmer kinda guy. The problem is that I've really had some conflicts deciding between a few horns. What I cant figure out is if I should get a Mark VI, a Super Balanced Action, a Series III, or a Reference 54. I know they are all great horns but I really need advice about (on average) what horn would rank what (1 of 4) over each other. I would really appreciate feedback here.

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  1. by apoc7k
    (20 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: I need some experienced advice here...

    I guess vitos sound pretty interesting... but I've never even heard a yani bari before. I've recently been looking at cannonballs, and what could you guys tell me about them. I guess newer cannonballs are supposed to be good horns, so i guess i may be interested.

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  2. by apoc7k
    (20 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: I need some experienced advice here...

    Okay... about the alto I'm breaking what i originally said by saying that im also interested in the keilwerth shadow. Apparently they are wonderful horns (although nobody said if for classical or jazz or both) and I would like to know if anyone has any knowledge about their viability for jazz and how they compare to lets say a Selmer SBA... thanks!

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  3. by apoc7k
    (20 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: I need some experienced advice here...

    Hi guys, it just me again. After looking at altos I've re-done the list of horns that i would be interested in and the list goes like this 1) Selmer Mark VI 2) Selmer Super Balanced Action 3) Cannonball Raven 4) Keilwerth Shadow So basically I've been looking at these horns for a while and they are the ones I am most interested in. Could anyone tell me a little about the sound quality of the Keilwerth and the Cannonball? And also how do they measure as Jazz horns? Thanks alot guys!

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    1. by Spike
      (248 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: I need some experienced advice here...

      i'm gonna do my not reading thing and just list my preference on those 1)Balance 2)SX90R 3)Mark VI 4... no, 40,000) cannonball

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    2. by golferguy675
      (600 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: I need some experienced advice here...

      For your situation, here's how I would list them in order of how well I think they would work for you. 1. Super Balanced Action 2.Mark VI 3. Keilwerth Shadow 4.YAS-875 EX 1,000,000,000. Cannonball. My god, look at those 4 monster horns.....and then a Cannonball!!! How is a Cannonball even comparable in that league?

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  4. by golferguy675
    (600 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: I need some experienced advice here...

    It definetly depends on what you're looking for, because all of these are very unique different horns. I can guarentee you that 3/4 of the people here will tell you the Mark VI right off the bat, but it depends. How attached are you to the idea of having the high F# key? If you play much classical, it's going to be hard to go to the Front F keys everytime. The Mark VI has no F#(except for the last two years, which are impossible to find). The Super Balanced Action is like a less expensive Mark VI in a way, but I think it has a sweeter sound, it just can't scream as much. There is no SBA with the high F#. I would only recommend the Series III to a classical player. There'll be people after me that will say that's wrong, and it's a jazzy horn...but no. If you want something less expensive that the ref with the high F#, that works for jazz and legit, get the earlier Series II. I have a Reference, but I would never pay 3700 dollars for that horn. I got two of them for less than 3 grand at the NAM conference, and that's the only reason I have one (sold the other). It's a decent horn, but it's less than what I expected it. It will say though that is has the easiest response in the low notes than any Selmer. The tone is ok too, and the projection is decent. Good Luck ; )

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  5. by apoc7k
    (20 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: I need some experienced advice here...

    Well, the thing is that I'm in the process of making a jazz band and I guess I want a horn that will get the job done. I do play in concert band, but I guess I'm already set there. My beginner horn (of all things) actually sounds very nice in the band. The main thing is that I'm rather going to keep the numbers and have a combo (which I hesitant about), or just make the big band which i would love. The thing is that we are going to play alot of different tunes, ranging from swing and blues charts, to latin music, to rock charts, and then an occasional chart like amber waves (we are going to be performing on the 4th of july). Basically I'm just looking for a horn that is versatile enough for those tunes, yet it can still get the job done. If we could figure that out I would be overjoyed. And about the high F# key, I guess its not that important to me. I'm actually getting pretty good with altissimo and I don't NEED it. Although I can say i would find it useful at times. I guess that I'm looking for something that will really get the lead out. Of course I'm not looking for a horn that will make me Liberachi since there is no such horn that will make you good without practicing. i'll probably get a Meyer 5M, Claude Lakey 5*3. But I've also been looking at the metal mouthpieces and I'm starting to think about the Claude Lakey Brass #5, and the Meyer 5J. With this I'm just looking at mouthpieces that I've heard good things about. If a lead player should be using something else, just reply with your words of wisdom towards this matter. Anyways thanks alot!

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    1. by Goldref18
      (145 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: I need some experienced advice here...

      I would reccomend a Mark VI right off the bat because i don't think you will ever achieve a higher level of uforia then playing a six but the SBA can really hold their own in ANY Jazzband. The Series III horns can play both Jazz and Classical they are actually very fairly balanced but if you are playing Jazz stay away from the Serie II (NOT SERIE III) because the Serie II were introduced as, and still are, almost purely classical horns. The References are very nice looking, very resemblant of an early SBA but i personally feel that they are sort of a disappoinment from what people say of them. I think this might open up a can of worms but you should try out some cannonball horns. They are really affordable and play really nicely, however if moeny is not ur first issue definately go for a Mark VI or an SBA because either of those will never give you a single problem in a jazz band.

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      1. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: I need some experienced advice here...

        Ah, again with this nonsense! THE SERIES II IS BETTER FOR JAZZ THAN THE SERIES III Have you played both of these side by side? Because if you have, and you still think that, you are tonedef. Sorry, that's the only way to put it. The Series II is twice as freeblowing, and is a lot brighter, I don't know where people are getting this impression from. Back to the subject....Since you aren't too big on having the high F# key, and you want a leader that's versatile, I would also recommend the Mark VI. If you don't have the cash to get one in good condition, you could find a great SBA for half of the price, and they can definetly scream.

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        1. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: I need some experienced advice here...

          Idk i just talked to some all-state legit sax players who told me that based on their all-state playing the Serie II is marketed as and should be played as classically oriented. But you could get a really good player to play good Jazz on a Serie II or a Serie III i played both and to me they both had a tone that was just so bright i was nauseated. I prefer dark tones and i think for that reason i will either go with a classic horn or a dark plated cannonball or even maybe a keilworth.

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        2. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: I need some experienced advice here...

          To clarify i mostly play tenor and my main horn is a near mint VI Tenor. But i know a lot of people who do play the Serie II and III.

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        3. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: I need some experienced advice here...

          You are nausseated by an overly bright tone, and you're buying a dark plate cannonball????? The plate especially has nothing to do with anything on those, because it's fake. It's some POJ fake nickel plate that they've gotten to look black-ish. I guess I know not to take your opinions of tone on different horns to seriously now ; )

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      2. by apoc7k
        (20 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: I need some experienced advice here...

        Okay... I know that for an alto I'm more that likely going to buy an SBA. But now that I have that figured out... what the heck am I supposed to do about other horns. Basically with me I get forced into positions where i have to play different saxes... mainly bari, and i would like to get my own so im not always looking for one when it comes to the day of performance. With a bari though i have no idea what i would get. Basically the same rules would apply, that im looking for a versatile horn, that isnt going to cost an arm and a leg, but even if it does just list the expensive horns and the less ones that are still really kick-butt. I guess i dont know what to look for, a keilwerth? a non-bronze yani? i guess i have no idea on what to look for.

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        1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: I need some experienced advice here...

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I guess i dont know what to look for, a keilwerth? a non-bronze yani? i guess i have no idea on what to look for. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't play bari and am actually "in the market" for one myself. In my research, the name VITO kept being thrown around. Apparently Modern Vito Low-A baritones are actually stenciled Yanagisawa B901s and are identical down to every detail save the engraving and the fact that they usually sell for $1000 less brand new.

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          1. by Goldref18
            (145 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: I need some experienced advice here...

            Any time you get a no-name like Vito be ultra careful. From my research i have understood that they are just cheap Asian horns that are "stenciled" illegitely and usually fall apart quickly. Baris are a whole different animal however because a really good alto make and model usually isn't necessarily great in bari form. Just be careful what u buy cuz bari's are ultra succeptible to problems.

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            1. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              What research would this be? The stencil is totally legit. I don't know if they still do, but last time I checked, Yani still owned Vito. Also, why would they advertise the stencils out on the net openly, if it was illegitemate?

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            2. by Goldref18
              (145 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              Idk may have been legit but still u shouldn't go for stencil horns anyway. They just basically mean downgrade and cheaper workmanship than the original. Also there are so many better horns out there.

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            3. by mintyfreshjam
              (48 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              Before the bashing of the horns gets any farther, a word of advice. EVERYONE has a different opinion about a horn. Whether it's a Cannonball, a Selmer, a Yamaha, or whatever other horn you want to talk about. Just play test the horn. EVERYONE has a different past experience with different horns. I've had great experiences with the horns I've used. But that doesn't mean that you will. EVERY horn is made different. If it rolls off a factory line or if it's hand crafted, it's different from the one that's next in the serial number. So just play test the horns and decide for yourself. You shouldn't be buying a horn without play testing it anyways to make sure you want to spend the money on it.

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            4. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              Minty, I'm not sure you actually get the point of this board. The purpose is to share those opinions with others and ask other's opinions. People get on here to hear all of the different views, and different opinions, they don't get on to get told to go try the horn out yourself. The answers are here, you just have to be able to sort out the bull and the good stuff. So humor us, and play along ; )

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            5. by Goldref18
              (145 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              I didn't bash any horns there Jethro i just said stencils in general are inferior to the main horn they're based off of.

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            6. by sax_maniac
              (984 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              I own an older Vito/Yani soprano and a Yani unbranded bari ("omega" emblem on the brace only - sort of in "limbo" as to whether it is a stencil or not). Both are Japanese made. Having played these instruments for a while and having had other very experienced players try both of them, I'd put my life on the line with either of them without thinking twice about it. The soprano has incredibly warm tone for a straight - just as warm as the Yani curved which I now use as my main sop - and it's intonation is dead on. The bari is rock solid, too. Nothing cheap or sacrificed on either except engraving. There is a reputation that stencil horns are not as good as their engraved/branded "authentic" equivalent, but that is more applicable to vintage American horns. I'll boldy state that Yani's stencil horns are every bit as good as the "real" Yanis - they're just more affordable!

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            7. by johnsonfromwisconsin
              (767 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              by reputation, many of the stenciled vintage french and german horns are not only the equal of their original-brand counterparts, but can have even fancier features. By all reports, stenciled Yanis are mechanically, compositionally, and by design the same as their own instruments, save for cosmetics only.

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            8. by Goldref18
              (145 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              What are your favorite Yani Stencils? Some of the old Selmer stencils i tried were really bad. I guess for modern stuff it's different since they're all being made now.

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            9. by sax_maniac
              (984 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              I've only played the two I own (sop/bari) and was totally sold on them as soon as I tried them out. (Bought them both in person). I will have the fortunate opportunity to try a Martin Galaxy in a few weeks - might be for sale soon after I try it.

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            10. by Goldref18
              (145 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              Hmm Sop stencil sounds cool. Any info on where to buy them? i Have a really nice one so this wouldn't be for me. But i am interested.

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            11. by tenor562
              (297 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: I need some experienced advice here...

              Yes, I need to find a really cheap soprano, hopefully a curved one. That's going to be my next sax bought, hopefully in the next couple years. A curved Yani 991 is awesome, do they stencil that?

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            12. by Goldref18
              (145 posts)

              9 years ago

              Curved Sopranos?

              I like the look but like i have only played on straight ones since my main (and incidentally my only) horn is an incredible vintage buescher straight one. Will i ever be able to make the switch to a curved? Is it possible to play on a curved soprano without a nextrap like i do on my beloved straight one? Do they sound different? Also what's the deal with Sopranino saxes?

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            13. by sax_maniac
              (984 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: Curved Sopranos?

              I went from straight to curved and it took a little getting used to, but it can surely be done. I recommend using a neckstrap if only to save the horn if you lose grip. On a curved, it doesn't run into your fingers like when playing a straight. I tried a friend's old Martin soprano and it had a large thumb loop so you don't need a neckstrap, yet there's some sense that you've got a fair grip on the horn. The center of gravity on the curved is higher and more in front of you, so it does tend to pull forward whereas the straights tend to pull down, so a neckstrap gives a better feel in that circumstance. Anyhow, the sound from a curved sop is literally in your face, so you have to be aware that you might be underplaying in terms of volume as you might back off. You just have to get used to how you blend a little differently. The net sound from curved vs. straight is basically the same. Sounds different to you (indirect vs. direct sound), but to others at a distance, there's no major difference. I feel more "connected" with my sound on a curved as subtleties can be picked up more easily, though that might also make you more neurotic when you play. Pros and cons in that regard. If you are hearing yourself as others hear you, theoretically, that would help you blend better. It's easier to mic a curved (one mic as opposed to 2). The deal with nino's? Some genius thought Bb wasn't high enough, I guess. I've not played one but heard them, and I think ninos sound toy-like due to their scale and architecture. Personally, I think sopranos are at the threshold of "toy-like" as it is. I'm not sure that ninos are filling any significant void that would exist without them. They are limited in their application as the voice is better covered by flute or piccolo trumpets, for example. But as long as yokels are willing to shell out for them on occasion, they will be made. They are "collector" pieces, in my opinion. Never heard of any groups seeking out a killer nino player for an upcoming gig.

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