Viking instruments [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Average Rating:
Manufacturer: Viking instruments
Model: Legend Series M58

Login to Rate RATINGS and REVIEWS

By: Viking Instruments  See all of this user's reviews  on Feb 11, 2012

Re: Viking Instruments The Viking "Legend Series" M58 Tenor Saxophone

I recently bought a cognac Viking M8 tenor from Rich Maraday, and just wanted to share my impressions.

I’m not a professional, just a late bloomer who has owned a lot of horns. I started playing about 12 years ago but had to put the sax down for a few years because of some carpal tunnel symptoms. The carpal tunnel finally went away and I started looking for a new tenor a last year.

In the past I’ve owned a lot of nice vintage horns including Martins, Conn’s, Buffets, Kings, Bueschers, Dolnet’s, and SML’s. I’ve played a few Mark VI’s and modern Selmer's several years ago but never owned one.

This last year, I briefly owned a Mauriat 66R and 76, and currently have an RS Berkeley Virtuoso, “The Martin” tenor, and the Viking M58 .

Although the Mauriat’s have a good core and vintage vibe to their sound, the thing that I didn’t like about the Mauriat’s was that to me, they seemed have this rigidity in their sound. The best I can describe it, is a kind of blattiness or harshness, that to my ears sounds unmusical. I don’t hear any of that blattiness in the Viking. It has a nice colorful, and refined core without sounding imposing or harsh. The Viking sounds lush in comparison. To to my ears, it has more depth and flexibility than the Mauriats. In terms of response, it is probably the most balanced feeling tenor that I have ever played. Palm keys are thick, the low end is fat and smooth and the middle register is lyrical and warm. Intonation is as good as it gets.

The whole horn just sings with a response that reminds me of good Conn. It has that kind of dynamic feeling that has something to do with the just right amount of pressure inside the horn. You just don’t hear the sound coming out of the end of the horn, you also feel it. This type of response is hard to describe. It reminds me of a Chu Berry that I once owned and also the Rev D. It almost like you can feel pressure being released as the keys open which makes the horn feel alive. The Viking has a similar kind of response that you can feel and provides feedback that lends itself to expression and gives the sensation of depth. Its free blowing with just enough resistance to shape.

In comparison, the RS Berkley is nice and seems to do a lot very well, but to my ers Viking has more color, and depth. The Viking’s bottom end is bigger and smoother, the palm keys are little fuller, and the response is more intimate.

My Martin is great and has a lot of character and fun to pay. It is bold and assertive with that signature edge when pushed. It seems to really want to be an extrovert and does so with swagger and class. However, the Martin seems a little one dimensional compared to the Viking. The Viking feels more flexible and dynamic. It is just as powerful as the Martin but it is also at home with the subtle and nuanced stuff.

I’ve had the Viking for about three weeks now, and every day I still have a hard time putting it down. Rich has really put out a great horn with the M58… And, If you haven’t dealt with Rich, you won’t find a nicer, more down to earth guy to buy a horn from.

Best of luck with Viking Rich!

By: Viking Instruments  See all of this user's reviews  on Jan 26, 2012


Viking M58 Tenor -- Two Thumbs Up!

I have had a Viking M58 tenor for a little over a week now. After a recent experience where, due to a confluence of circumstances, I was without my tenor for a month, I decided that I needed to get a good but relatively inexpensive back up horn. I got interested in the M58 after reading several positive reviews on it that seemed to emphasize what I was looking for. Particularly, I was intrigued by the vintage Selmer inspiration behind these horns. The few Taiwanese saxophones I had played were heavy, tank-like, and produced a big, boomy, spread sound. I know that’s what a lot of people are looking for, but it’s not my thing.

I knew as I blew the first note on this M58 that it was good, and after about an hour on it, I knew it was great! I know I’m still in the “honeymoon stage” with this horn, but it just seems to be getting better and better the more I get used to it. At first, I thought, "Man, this is just like my Mark VI" (I play a 210xxx VI). The M58 definitely has the "Selmer core" to it. But then I started to "get to know" the M58 better, and it definitely has its own thing going on. It's hard to explain, but it's both centered and fat at the same time. Now, after playing it for several days, it seems distinctly different than my late VI, but in a really good way. It probably really is closer to a late SBA (as advertised). The more I play it, the more I’m able to bring out the fatness in its tone, but it still never loses its centered focus. And there is no “thinning out” anywhere in the register. If this doesn’t make sense, I apologize. But that’s the best I can do in describing the M58’s tone: centered and fat at the same time.

There are a few things I still have to get used to. The neck angle is a bit more upright than my VI, the palm keys are different than what I'm used to, and the left hand spatula keys are placed a bit differently. But I used to play a Keilwerth, so I know I can get used to anything. The horn was set up very well. I can't feel any leaks. The key work is snappy and tight. It’s lightning fast and responsive. The only "issues" are a slightly stiff palm key (D) and the C# key (pinky) seems to not move as smoothly as I’d like. I don't know if it's just a matter of getting used to it, but I'll have my tech take a look at it.

The weight of the horn is perfect – just like my Mark VI. Everything feels solid -- it's obviously a very well-built horn. It hangs well from my neck and feels great in my hands. I love the feeling of the new key touches (my VI's are a bit worn). In fact, the whole tactile dimension is exceptional – it vibrates like crazy under my fingers, just like my Mark VI. The intonation is spot on perfect, but it has a lot of flexibility and character to it, also. It seems to be extremely versatile, which is exactly what I want in a saxophone. I'm so used to my Mark VI that it just seems to do what I want without me even consciously thinking about it. I think the M58 could become the same in that regard. It seems to have it all. It’s also just flat out fun to play, too. And least important but worth mentioning, the dark lacquer and engraving on this horn are absolutely beautiful!

The reviews on the M58 have all been overwhelmingly positive thus far, and my own experience now tells me that they have all been extremely accurate. My M58 confirms everything that I’ve read about how great these horns are. As far as I’m concerned, Rich Maraday really knocked this thing out of the park. Now I want to know what the M40 and M85 are like. I got the M58 because I thought it would be a good back up horn, but I think I may have gotten a hell of a lot more than that -- this is just a great horn, period.

If you want a vintage Selmer, then save up and buy a vintage Selmer. But the M58 has a lot of the same qualities as a great vintage Selmer. And I’m discovering that it has a lot of great qualities of its own. I’m not getting rid of my Mark VI, but if I had never owned it in the first place, I’m not so sure I would feel the need to go out and buy one now that I have the M58. If you want to buy an M58, you’ll have to get your own – I’m definitely keeping mine!




A Thank You to Rich Maraday

I'd like to state that I am the PROUD OWNER of a Rich Maraday Legend Series M58 Tenor Sax.I'm not a sax reviewer or critic. I am a player of 55 yrs. From the onset of talking to Rich on the phone,making my purchase and recieving this sax Rich Maraday has been OVER-THE-TOP PROFESSONAL.I'ts not every day you'll get a businessman to talk on the phone for an hour or two about his product. I will definitly be doing business with him again in the near future. As far as the M58 well all I can say is that it"s a KEEPER. It looks,plays and sounds fantastic.Like I told Rich,I am a diehard Selmer man or WAS.As far as the fellow that wants his money back,well I'm sure Rich will make right by him. The only loser here will be the guy that cancelled his order. So all you saxplayers that have done or will do business with Rich, send him an email and congradulate him on a design job WELL DONE. Sometime things need to be said to keep a Great SAX ALIVE.This one is destined to be a LEGEND along with other great saxes that have been produced through out the years.Rich Maraday,Keep up the great work. Jerry G.




Add A Thumbnail