Saxophone Forum


by traveler1375
(2 posts)
10 years ago

Cannonball Horns

Hey, Just wondering how everybody feels about Cannonball saxophones. I have been thinking of selling my Balanced Action Alto and getting a CB tenor. I have played on a bunch of modern horns, and with the exception of the Reference tenor, I thought the cannonball, I think it was a big bell, was the best one. I can't really speak for it in comparison to vintage tenors, but I would like to hear other opinions.

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  1. by Kitch22
    (98 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Cannonball Horns

    Bottom line: they suck and definitely don't play like "pro" grade saxes. From my experience, all they are is a crappy Vito with a high F# key slapped on it and a fancy paint job. You'll be dissappointed if you choose a Cannonball - no doubt.

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  2. by ozzywiz
    (2 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Cannonball Horns

    I have a Cannonball raven tenor, and I love it. I chose it over any of the other horns that I tried, including a fairly desant mark 6 and a ref 54. It plays as well as any other professional forn and with the right mouthpiece it makes a beautiful, free tone and has a full range of dynamics (including fffff, because of it's wide bore). The bands love it's sound and the audiences cretainly love it's look. And if it's so crap why are such good artist playing with them (ie. Gerald Albright, Jamey Aebersold etc.)?

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    1. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Cannonball Horns

      Gerald Albright, Jamey Aebersold ....never heard of them.....they play Cannonballs? That's too bad. Maybe if they sell enough records, they can afford to by Keilwerths. Cannonballs are a Jupiter quality horn with a Selmer sales pitch! If they were 1/2 the horn they SAY they are, I would have 26 cannonballs in my closet instead of 20 Conns, 3 Selmers, a Buescher and a Keilwerth!

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  3. by TANGO SIX ONE
    (255 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Cannonball Horns

    The knights templar and their counterparts the Teutonic knights founded 1190AD incidently, have read all the comments with much enthusiastic interest. The Order is willing to trade and supply any amount of these Cannonball horns ,astraight swap for selmer mk6s king super 20s.The order is very happy to do this.O yes the Cannonball horns are fantsastic, sublime in fact every one should have one.No seriously, take it from the pros, these horns are fine, but if you sre looking to play and expand your range of colour tones it isnt going to happen.Its all to do with hardness of material.Thats what makes a great horn.Every one plays different.our opinion is currently they are a good student instrument and thats where it ends,

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  4. by golferguy675
    (600 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Cannonball Horns

    Selling an old Balanced Action for a Cannonball horn would be the biggest mistake you ever made in your life. Just browse past pages if you want to hear all of he horror stories about those things.

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  5. by lemonhead
    (23 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Cannonball Horns

    It really depends on what you are looking for in a horn. I have a Cannonball and I love it. Truthfully though it isn't a pro-horn for me. I got mine because I liked it and it was cheaper than the usual horn so I could afford it. But I think there will be some people out their that will find it to be one of there favorite horns.

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    1. by SelmerParisPassion
      (59 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Cannonball Horns

      That's like selling your rolex to get a pink power puff girls watch at walmart.... I played a cannonball alto a few times.... ugh... Like a bad halfbreed between a yamaha and a helmke.... Except with shiny colors. *pukes* But then again, to each their own. Christie J

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      1. by phathorn
        (165 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Cannonball Horns

        It depends, if it's a GOOD Balanced Action, then by all means keep it. If not, explore your options. A good balanced Action will blow away most horns ever made.

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      2. by The_MarkVI
        (80 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Cannonball Horns

        ok listen. cannonballs are great instruments for the first year and a half. then thats where the repairs start coming in. if u can fix your own saxophone, i would do it.

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    2. by barisaxplayer
      (3 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Cannonball Horns

      People on these boards are biased against CB horns- I have heard a lot of them and have heard nothing wrong with them. They sound and play great. However, I would recommend keeping your BA. Just save up and get the cannonball, they are inexpensive compared to other horns.

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    3. by jazaddict
      (41 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Cannonball Horns

      I certainly understand the desire of moving from a vintage horn to newer horn. I sold my VI for Ref 54 (tenor) and am very happy. If'n I was you I'd consider making a move from the BA to a higher end pro model....Selmer, Keilwerth, etc. but not to a "mid" level pro model in which I rate CB. Definetly play as many as you can before you leap. If possible, record yourself on both for out-of-body comparison.

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    4. by simonknight
      (11 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Cannonball Horns

      The cannonball is a cheaper horn because the construction is inferior - every penny they put into flashy finishes, engraving and the extra neck takes away from the underlying quality of the materials and construction - it's basic economics. Some of these types of horns play well when new, but they will not continue to as the keys wear and distort.

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      1. by definition
        (963 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Cannonball Horns

        Those of you that bash canonballs, I want to know how many of you have actually tried one? They are actually very good horns, and they are done by hand almost entirely. That being said, The baris cost about $3200 USD new. I could get 2 playing Conn 12Ms for that easy, but I have the cannonball

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Cannonball Horns

          The only way to get any projection out of a Cannonball is to put lots of gunpowder behind it! They sound better going through the side of a ship than they do played in a band. If you think of Saxophones like Motorcycles, there's your vintage Conns, Martins, Bueschers and Kings which would be like the classic Harley Davisons and Indians. There's your Yamahas....need I compare this one, your Keilwerths which are like the BMW's, your Selmer, which is more like a gay French scooter than a motorcycle actually, and then there's your Cannonball, which is more like a bicycle with training wheels, a banana seat, streamers hanging from the handle bars and a clicker made from an empty butter tub clicking against the spokes!

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          1. by definition
            (963 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Cannonball Horns

            Hey! those ORIGIONAL bannana seaters made by Schwinn (With the sissy bar, car like shifter, small front wheel for easier wheelies... you know what I'm talkin about!) fetch top dollar. If any of you are into bikes like those(I am, in addition to music) those bikes will run as high as 16 GRAND dependng on condition

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          2. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Cannonball Horns

            I like the MGX 21 speed mountain bike I bought a couple years ago at Walmart for like $129.99! It has front and rear shocks and pedals super easy! It's blue and silver and looks pretty spiffy too! when I was about 8, my dad brought home some lime green Ross bicycle with a yellow banana seat, huge handlebars and steamers and I looked at him and said "You've got to be kidding!" He bought it at a garage sale for like $10. I think I hurt his feelings because I told him it was the dumbest looking bike I had ever seen and that if I rode it, the other kids in the neighborhood would make fun of me. We decided to go bike shopping a week later and I picked out a Huffy Thunder with a mono-shock! What a cool bike! Then I was the envy of every kid in the neighborhood! OK, back to saxophones... I play a lot of funk, blues, swing, jazz, bebop, and oldies. The jazz/bebop group I play with is very much like TANGO's knights. These guys are older; 50's-70's, and very set in their ways. They have their own ideas about music and you're not going to change their way of thinking, so don't waste your breath! I just sit back and listen, and toot a few notes when they let me. These guys are some of the finest musicians you could ever have the privilage of working with! Showing up with a Cannonball at one of their gigs would be like showing up at a Harley Davison biker rally with the lime-green bicycle I mentioned above! They would laugh me right off the God damn stage!!!

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          3. by Tully
            (49 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: Cannonball Horns

            I've spent a couple hours on a couple different Cannonballs, and there's no way I would ever give up a BA for one. Although they are mechanically decent, they really lacked a distinctive sound, plus I recall the intonation being poor, at best. Perhaps worst of all, they depreciate very quickly, so if you ended up disliking it (which is pretty likely), you'll lose a good deal of your money. If I were you, I would only give up a BA for another Selmer Paris model, a Keilwerth, or maybe one of those sterling silver Yanagisawas (I've heard great things about them, but I've never played one).

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        2. by TANGO SIX ONE
          (255 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Cannonball Horns

          In reply to Conn sax manJim about Cannonball horns an excellent piece of writing. The order really like it. Jim has is bang on,Thats the sort of writing that should be published.Nice one

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