Saxophone Forum


by doubled
(7 posts)
13 years ago

HELP! Somebody, please tell me...

That there is NOT a big difference between rolled tone holes and straight hole saxes. I'm about to make a purchase for one or the other and it can make a $900 difference.

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  1. by saxismyaxe
    (575 posts)

    13 years ago

    Re: HELP! Somebody, please tell me...

    The consensus among most is that the only major advantage that the rolled tone hole provides is a more secure seat for the pad/tone hole rim relationship( and extends the pad's life), and some will go further and suggest that it can effect the tone and response of the horn as well. In reality, IMHO any difference is negligible. Most manufacturers did not adopt the process, whether it was due to cost, patent infringement, lack of interest etc. is debatable. Suffice to say, no one is using this on their horns any more (I don't count the Keilwerth "rolled tone holes" as these are actually an applied ring, not a true rolled tone hole, although the purpose is the same). Additionally, some of the best horns ever made never had them. If you are wondering whether to get the Conn 6m/10m/ horns with or without RTH: those that have them are valued as such because of their collectors worth as much as anything else. These were the Golden age "Ladyface/Nakedlady" horns of Jazz legend. In practical terms, those horns made after this time without them were every bit as good a player, and sometimes better. In the case of the Keilwerth, although some may disagree, I think that the added cost of the RTH is better spent elsewhere, and would go with the plain SX90 horn. Be aware that there are some other minor differnces between the two horns too, such as palmkeys etc, but nothing major. My two cents.

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    1. by doubled
      (7 posts)

      13 years ago

      Re: HELP! Somebody, please tell me...

      Hmm... the SX90R and SX90 is exactly what I'm considering. The Palmkeys are different with these two? I didn't know that. If you would be so kind and share other minor differences I would appreciate it. I just thought that there was a MAJOR defference since they are almost a grand more than the SX90's.

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      1. by saxismyaxe
        (575 posts)

        13 years ago

        Re: HELP! Somebody, please tell me...

        Hi Doubled, If you are going with brand new horns, I wouldn't worry about it. The only differences that existed between the two models have been changed of late. On some older SX90 horns, the palm keys were fixed (not adjustable), and the bell bore dimensions, lacquer quality, engraving, minor keywork and bell braces have changed somewhat over the last few years on both the SX90 and SX90R. Many seem to think that the SX90 is slightly brighter than the SX90R, although I feel this is only apparent to the player, and not the audience. Keilwerths are great, German quality built horns ( I also like the B & S horns). However, like most other modern horns, the setup quality varies. I would recommend that you playtest as many examples as you can before you buy, if at all possible.

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