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Hi,

if I get it correctly the main difference between the standard models and the "A.I." action improved ones is the use of shoulderless point screws instead of pseudo point screws.

Does it really make a difference worth about 75-110 EUR (£63 - £85)?

Kind regards,

Felix
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Does it really make a difference worth about 75-110 EUR (£63 - £85)?
I would have thought it makes a difference worth more than that. Which saxophones today have real shoulderless point screws, and how much do they cost? I would ask your tech if this is a worthwhile feature. It doesn't seem much money to me for a very superior build quality.

Of course it won't sound any better.
 

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I would have thought it makes a difference worth more than that. Which saxophones today have real shoulderless point screws, and how much do they cost? I would ask your tech if this is a worthwhile feature. It doesn't seem much money to me for a very superior build quality.
Thanks Pete!

I would have thought you could still replace a pseudo point screw by a shoulderless point screw when there's noticable wear. I guess this understanding of mine is wrong.

Nevertheless, trusting your comment I rest assured that I should go for the AI version.

Kind regards,

Felix
 

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I think that it is possible but I also think you also need to modify the part where you screw in the shoulderless screws when you do this , a thing that any tech could do, at a price
 

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if I get it correctly the main difference between the standard models and the "A.I." action improved ones is the use of shoulderless point screws instead of pseudo point screws.
If I remember correctly the AI model also has a better material for the screws, in addition to the different shape.

It doesn't seem much money to me for a very superior build quality.
Usually headless pivot screws are used for less expensive models e.g. Yamaha student models vs. the headed pivot screws on pro Yamahas. But a lot depends on how well it's built, so the headless pivot screws and the entire system might cost more because the material is better and it is made more accurately. I mean, either version costs so much less than a student Yamaha anyway.

I would have thought you could still replace a pseudo point screw by a shoulderless point screw when there's noticable wear. I guess this understanding of mine is wrong.
If the threads of the screws are the same, theoretically you could, but there a few issues. If the hinge rod holes for the pivot screws are not the same, you might need to change them a bit.

Assuming the posts are the same size and threads of the screws are the same, the non-AI posts would have a countersunk area for the screw head. This means less threads. The headless pivot screws especially need more threads or they can be a bit loose. Maybe the posts are made with more accurate hole/threads for the screws to fit better too, I don't know. The regular screws rely also on the strong tightening, which is impossible to the headless screws.

You just use the headless screws and hold them securely with loctite but there are some problems with that (alignment, disassembly-reassembly, etc.). Filling to add threads for the entire length of all posts might mean unsoldering some posts, risk of burning lacuqer (depending on filler), etc. and doubful to cost as little as the difference between AI and non-AI model.

I think if you are concerened about the regular screws just get the AI. It does have a more reliable system IMO. For some people the difference in price is more significant than the advantage of the AI.
 

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To accurately assess the difference yourself you'd have to try both models - and if you did you'd find that the AI model feels rather slicker under the fingers.
Perhaps the most noticeable benefit is that it makes the horn more 'transparent'.

The non AI model is decent enough, but the constantly adjustable point screws on the AI model make it even better.

Regards,
 

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To accurately assess the difference yourself you'd have to try both models - and if you did you'd find that the AI model feels rather slicker under the fingers.
Perhaps the most noticeable benefit is that it makes the horn more 'transparent'.

The non AI model is decent enough, but the constantly adjustable point screws on the AI model make it even better.

Regards,
I just received a curved bronze soprano, AI model. The setup was a bit sloppy but I usually expect this on new horns. The bis key spring needed replacement and the left hand mechanism needed adjustment. The low D and B pads had to be reseated.
Mechanically now the horn feels great under the fingers. No work had to be done to improve the intonation. It has no bad notes. It's a great Yanagisawa clone at much less than 1/2 the price.
I will probably get a bronze AI model alto based on the performance of this curved soprano and sell one of my more expensive
altos.
 

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I took delivery on a BW curved soprano today, an AI model and it is very nice. I have not put a light down it yet, but it plays great as is. I expect a couple of pads will need some treaking. The new Italian pads feel much better than the earlier models with the cheap pads that were colored like orange cheetos. The cork work is a bit funky, but that's easy to deal with. All in all, I think I have myself a winner. More to come after I get it on the bench.
 

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I got the horn on the bench and also did a side by side play test with a Yani-sc-992.
Here are the differences I found between the standard and the AI:
First off, the pad set is much better on the AI. The left palm key springs actually have the slotted seats now unlike the early model wher the springs rest directly on the body ribbing, which was funky. Mine came in well packaged and set up and had only 1 small leak which was fixed in under 1 minute. The case is better, but still not up to standards. I would be prepared to buy a case that fits the horn properly. On my curved soprano, the left pinky table key hits hard in the case. I think this horn will evolve further still and BW will address these small issues. I would rather pay 20 bucks more for a better case right up front. The horn itself is very good and a big shock when compared in side by side play tests with the Yani sc-992. This is "The" horn in the entry level price catagory. You will have to spend at least $800.00 more to equal the BW's performance. The AI is great, but I think they will get better, but more expensive too. It competes with cannonball, mauriat, and the other brands that cost twice as much.
 

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I just received a curved bronze soprano, AI model. The setup was a bit sloppy but I usually expect this on new horns. The bis key spring needed replacement and the left hand mechanism needed adjustment. The low D and B pads had to be reseated.
Mechanically now the horn feels great under the fingers. No work had to be done to improve the intonation. It has no bad notes. It's a great Yanagisawa clone at much less than 1/2 the price.
I will probably get a bronze AI model alto based on the performance of this curved soprano and sell one of my more expensive
altos.
One thing that can make a great overall difference on the BWs is the orientation of the low C and Eb, because even if you don't think about it that will influence how you orient your right hand. This is a quick adjustment thing if you have a tech you trust nearby. Re set-up, I have had some that were set-up post-manufacturer and some that were not.

Re the original question, to add to what Steve H said above, what I (as a dealer for BW) normally tell people who inquire about this is that if you have a tech that you trust nearby the "AI" design is a good choice. There is a gain in slickness of action with the shoulderless pivot that is noticeable but very subtle; if you don't have a tech that you trust nearby you might be better off with a self-locking pivot design. The pivots on the non-AI design are basically the same as the Mark VI pivot design on the newer non-"AI" examples.
 

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LOL. That means BW made an AI model but forgot to label it as such and I became the lucky recipient of this rare beast.

Loved your book btw.
That's probably exactly what happened - unless it's a new model or something.

Glad you like the sax manual, and thanks for the compliment.

Cheers,
 

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I thought I would solicit advice on this thread as I have a choice between

Bauhaus-WALSTEIN CSS-Y Curved Soprano Saxophone - Lacquer finish (pseudo screws)
Bauhaus-WALSTEIN DELUXE CSS-YD Curved Soprano Saxophone - Lacquer finish - Action Improved (shoulder-less point screws)

The price difference is about £170 and I cant quite stretch to that. Does anyone know if there are any other improvements on the deluxe/AI models other than the shoulder-less point screws?

Are the non Action Improved ones bad instruments? I've read that a lot of makers use pseudo screws. Do Yamaha use them for example?

I've been playing a tenor for a couple of years but not gigging, just at home. This will be my first Soprano

Any advice is appreciated
 

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No they are not bad instruments at all, the AI is only an extra, if in several years you want that you may retrofit the improvements too, but it will cost you more in the long run.

But a normal version won’t be bad at all!

Many modern companies use pseudo pointed screws.


http://www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk/acatalog/bauhaus_ai_new.html
 
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