Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Buffet Archive / 2002 Prestige alto

mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Oct 12th 4:16 PM
I've just gotten my new Buffet Prestige. Can't post a lot of details of this one's sound yet, but my first impresion is that it's as sweet as the demo I played a few months ago. I will flesh that out as soon as I've had some playing time with it.

It's NOT a JK "stencil," as many have supposed, but the two have similarities. The bodies share the wide bow, though the Buffet bell appears a bit smaller. The Prestige is Copper, with a visible seam in the bell. Some would hate that, but I like it. The body is shorter by about a half inch; the high F# tone hole is on the neck tenon, which is lacquered brass, as are the keys.

The Buffet body is marked "Made in France," and it really is still made by Buffet in Paris.

The Buffet's LH pinky table is based on the S1, with the articulated C#-Bb, but the RH is standard JK. The rest of the keys are pretty much JK, but the stack keys have smaller pearls with more sloping surfaces that feel more natural in the hands than a JK does at first. The keys guards are JK. The palm keys are adjustable like an SX90.

The overall initial effect is an alto that feels more natural than a JK, and is very much like earler Buffets, especially the S1. The sound of the sample I played before was phenomenal, unbeatable for classical. The 442 tuning should be, I think, pretty much a non-issue.

More later. This horn has to be played.
MBushaw
User ID: 1487914
Oct 12th 7:25 PM
MAG- Let us know about the tuning!
Take some pictures and send them to pete@saxpics.com so we all can see them.
digifish
User ID: 9342693
Oct 13th 1:31 PM
Exciting, mostly alto guy.

My son would like to know more, too. Are the neck, bore, bow and bell silver-plated? How soft or delicate is this copper horn, do you believe, compared to its bronze version?

Also, when you said "brand new" do you mean new for you or new from the factory? I thought the S3 series was discontinued. Where did you get it?
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Oct 13th 1:51 PM
No silver plating at all. The neck, body tube, bow, and bell are copper. All the fittings, keys, etc. are lacquered brass.

I imagine the copper is no softer than brass, maybe harder. The horn is immensely good looking. I have to say. I will get some pictures as MBushaw requested above.

It is brand new. I visited the factory where they're assembled in June, played their deo for hours, and ordered one then and there. I just got it yesterday. That's the Keilwerth factory in Nauheim, but the seller/agent is Stephan Boesken.

You hear what people say about copper necks, so imagine the sweetness of a copper horn! Esp with a Buffet bore and JK hardware. Very nice indeed, and I can report that the tuning seems a non-issue. And it's quite mouthpiece friendly as well.

I'm having a ball, but I have to leave it for five days. I can't stand to go.
stevew
User ID: 8868883
Oct 14th 10:20 AM
It sounds to me like they are doing a bit of 'mixing and matching' from the parts bin. The S3s which they used to show on the Buffet website were more similar to the S1 than the one you have. Still, evolution like this, and using what they have available has always been the way and there's nothing wrong with that.

Digifish, I believe silver plating is an option, I haven't heard of bronze, I thought that was a Yanagisawa speciality.

Oh, and of course all the Buffet stuff, and most Vandoren mouthpieces, are 442 anyway and we mostly play them blissfully unware of any issue, because there isn't one :-)

Hope you enjoy it - I was tempted by a S3 alto on eBay a year or so ago, but it was much more like a copper-bodied S1 than what you have there.
MBushaw
User ID: 1425064
Oct 14th 10:50 AM
I believe the S3 is/was standard silver plate, and the S3 Prestige is copper.
MBushaw
User ID: 1669454
Oct 14th 4:19 PM
MAG, dare we ask for a general, ballpark idea of the cost of a Prestige?
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Oct 18th 12:45 PM
To get one from Stephan, and thereby knowing it's the best of the run, will cost you about the same as an SX90R. Is that ballpark enough?

Another note--I was in Madrid all week, and in one of the shops I visited there was a brand new brass Buffet S3 alto. I have no idea how long it's been in their stock, but there it was, between a Yani 991 and a cheesy Taiwanese thing. Nice horn, very JK except for the LH pinky table, which was pure S1. The engraving in the horn was a big disappointment, looked very amateurish, but very hand-done. I didn't play it--too many Buffets already--but it would have filled a sort of gap in my growing collection.
MBushaw
User ID: 0665994
Oct 18th 5:56 PM
MAG- Thanks, that was the right ballpark.
Now, about those pictures...
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Oct 30th 12:30 PM
Been real busy here--have pics taken but not sent to saxpics yet--maybe this weekend. Then it's a matter of him finding time to get them on the site.
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Nov 30th 12:59 PM
Guys, Pete has had pics for a few weeks now, but nothing on the site yet. Maybe he needs some encouragement (or maybe the photos were just too awful).

You there, Pete?
saxpics
Moderator
User ID: 8645673
Nov 30th 1:41 PM
MAG, yes I am. I seem to remember someone sending me some new Prestige pics :)

I'm very, very busy. I'm currently at work and I'm singing this weekend, after work. Same on Sunday -- and then I get to go to the inlaws! My days off are Sunday and Tuesday -- and I've got a ton o' stuff on Tuesday.

I'll do my best to post the pics whenever I can.

My work schedule has changed again, too: 9:30a to 6:30p. Hour drive, each way :(

Applications for website assistant being accepted. No pay! saxpics@hotmail.com!

I'm still dabbling in getting a grant for my website. If you've got loads of cash, send me some so I can quit my day job. I'm getting info on 501(c) and 503(c).
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Nov 30th 1:49 PM
It's no biggie, Pete. I was just reviewing some old threads to see if they warranted dredging up. Sometimes a good thread dies prematurely.

If I were truly wealthy, I'd sponsor your site. It's the BEST. I don't have lots of time either, but what are you seeking in an assistant?
saxpics
Moderator
User ID: 8645673
Nov 30th 2:40 PM
Ohh. My wish list. This is serious:

* Someone that has a some proficiency on the computer, especially using MS Word, MS Excel, MS Access (or equivalents, like StarOffice), and Macromedia Dreamweaver, MS Frontpage or Netscape Composer. Volunteer must have these apps, too!

* Volunteer must have some sax experience at some level. You don't need to be an international recording star, but you should know that "Conn" is spelled "Conn", not "Khan".

* I'd also love the volunteer to have a scanner and/or access to a university music library.

* Someone who doesn't mind doing some grunt work: data entry, research, updating web pages, etc.

If I do get 501/503(c) status and get a grant, it'd be a paid position.

Remember, folks: it's just been me working on my website for the past 5 years. A staff would be great.
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Nov 30th 11:47 PM
Hmm. Sounds like fun. Something to think about, for sure.

mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Dec 24th 12:18 AM
digifish, if you're out there, did you and your son follow up on the S3?

Just curious.
Son Of Zorn
User ID: 0046004
Dec 24th 12:56 AM
MAG, i want to hear more about this horn. I am seriously considering one for my classical situations. I am concerned about the pitch issue (A442) though. I would love to talk to you in detail if you care!
sonofzorn@cox.net
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Dec 24th 1:45 AM
Son of Zorn, see my recent post under "Best years for S1" in this section.

The current S3 (aka Prestige) is a great classical horn, the sweetest, most "French" saxophone currently being made. Nobody else is making a professional level horn in all copper.

A=442Hz? In theory, that's where they pitched the Prestige. But in playing it, you'd never know.

I've sent you an email--ask anything you like. I can talk about Buffet saxes all day long.

Merry Christmas.
Son Of Zorn
User ID: 0694274
Dec 28th 4:01 PM
Oh my....i'm in trouble now....i have been emailing Stephan....oh my.....i can't wait....precious....precious will be all mine....mine.
Son Of Zorn
User ID: 0694274
Jan 1st 12:43 PM
I am so excited...i can't wait for the holiday to be over so Stephan can pick out an alto for me and set it up.

I wonder if Buffet makes/made a prestige tenor (copper)?

Anyone ever try to old Keilwerth copper boddied tenor?