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Sorry, guys, I missed this thread.

I have played the Antigua A558-LQ Curved (in lac) for about 3 years now, and it is quite good. Intonation, tone, all of it. The keywork is light and fast. I had to open the low C, B and Bb keys a little, just trimmed the bumpers, but I had to to the same to most of my other saxes, including my Mk VI when it was new.

I have had the Antigua Winds A590-LQ (the top model with high G and two necks) for almost a year now. It is absolutely outstanding, and I have playe most of the newer sopranos around now, in all price ranges. I played it side by side with the similar Yanagisawa 991, and I could not tell a difference.

I also test played, over a period of several days, and several different times, several A590's, 586's and 582's. I just could NOT tell a difference in tone, response, or intonation. They all played identically.

The fit and finish are the same on all three models. They differ only in the features... necks and high F# or high G range. So, it is like asking, is a Camaro with a sunroof a better car than a Camaro without? No, it is jut different. Same quality, just another feature added. Same with these three models.

Also check Bill08690's post. Yes, I wrote that to him.

If anyone wants pictures, there are pics available on the kesslermusic.com site, and I can send some closeup details if you write me and tell me exactly what view you want. [email protected] But look at Dave Kessler's site first.

Yes, I think the A582 is a real bargain. The lack of a high G key is not really a disadvantage. BUT, the lack of fork or front F and high F# on the older (Mk VI, etc) sopranos IS a disadvantage, especially when it comes to playing high F#, G, and going on up to altissimo G# and A. Using the regular palm key F# and G fingerings puts the hands out of position to go higher. Using the modifed fork F fingerings for F# and G fixes this, and only a high F# key is needed for the "Fork high F#" and "Fork high G".

The keywork is great.

I just cannot describe how well these saxes play. And if you want something that is a step up from the bargain basement sopranos, but really can't afford something from the "Big Four", you really can't do any better than any one of these three Antiguas.

Negatives, one person mentioned throw away the mouthpiece. In reality, the mouthpiece that comes with these is a far sight better than the Rico Graftonite that used to come with many imported saxes. It plays well, good intonation, good tone. Do try it. Yes, there are better mouthpieces to be had than the mouthpiece that comes in the case, but that can be said of most any instrument. This one will work, and work well. Try it first.

I twisted their arms at Antigua, and talked them into trading DOWN on the case. The A590 case is a leather covered wood case, very nice, elegant looking. I traded for the nice gray plastic case from the A586. Flush latches, aluminum bezel, good handles and hinges, and rugged construction. I felt it would hold up better to tossing in the back of the van with 12 or more saxes, music stands, chairs, etc, when traveling with my sax ensemble.

The classy engraving is the same on all three models. You don't get a naked, stripped down looking soprano if you buy the 582.

Seriously, I really could not tell the difference. So, why did I get the A590? I could care less about a curved neck, or even having it removable. I don't need a high G key, the high F# lets me play fluently (well, as fluently as I can) up to high A. But when I first played the prototype, the only one of this new series was the A590. And right then I told the people at Antigua, I WANT ONE ASAP! The first shipment that came in was A590-LQ's. So that was it, I was not waiting any longer.

Then, as soon as I got mine, I called my sister, a very fine saxophonist/flutist, and said, "Sell your soprano now... you're getting a new one!" I talked her into getting one, and she did, just on Big Bro's say so. And she LOVES her new A590-SPL (silver plated).

Sounds like a sales pitch? You bet! But I have no financial interest in this. I don't sell new instruments, but occasionally I may sell a personal instrument, a very rare event, usually to finance another, better sax. I am just very enthusiastic about a fine instrument I really enjoy playing, and it is quite affordable to most players.

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Hey, Mike, jgill2000 asked me what I was playing (and most of my friends) and recommeded. What can I say? Mikey LIKES it!

Thanks jgill2000!
 

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Their previous bari sax was OK, nothing special. Their new model bari sax is outstanding. I saw it test played by young students and seasoned pros, and everyone who played it liked it. This is really a company that in in constant improvement, they listen to their customers and dealers.

Dave, I don't know, I am sure that would be a decision of cost, ability to manufacture, etc. I know they have done copper plating in the past, and the black nickel.
 

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Coufman: The 582 differs in that it lacks high G, and lacks the two removable necks. As far as quality of construction, fit and finish, it is just as good. Dave Kessler says it has a few more intonation quirks than the 586 and 590, but I have not found them in my test playing. I have a 590, myself.

Entry level, not so much as just different features. I think you will be very impressed with any of these three models. Probably the "best buy" of the three is the A586.
 

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The one offered in that ebay add is not the A590, but the older A580, which is not nearly as good a soprano as this new series.

Again, the three new models, 582, 586,590 differ in features, but not quality of constuction, or fit and finish. Most of the keywork is interchangable, but for the octave mechanism (due to the fixed neck on the 582) and the high G key and mechanism of the 590.
 

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And some guys thought I was kidding about these new Antigua sopranos! They are EXCELLENT!
 

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Sorry, I was away for a while, earning my wife's paycheck (hah!).

The email problem Brad has had with me is due to a service my ISP subscribes to. They have VERY aggressive spam and virus/trojan/bot protection which bans some ISPs from contacting me. Perhaps yours was listed as hosting a lot of spammers? I don't know.

I do know that it is seldom that I actually have a virus come in, and that is caught by my computer's virus protection. I also get 20-30 emails a day which have had "malicious content" (viruses, worms, etc) removed by my ISP before they even get to me. All this, plus my firewall, and my computers have remained healthy for the last several years. I have a HUGE mailing list, and the last thing I need is for some virus or worm to be sent out to all of my friends, and their friends, and their friends.

So, Brad if you will contact me at [email protected] I would be glad to speak with you. I am sorry for the email problems.

As far as "off center" keys... this is necessary at some spots on instruments due to how close together the keys are. Or for example, a tone hole may be resized or repositioned in later models, but the keywork not altered. I have seen this on many makes and models of instruments. I am not speaking of keys that are bent.

HOWEVER, looking at my own A590 I do not see any such problems. All of the pads look fairly well centered on the tone hole.

Mouthpieces... while I liked the Custom on my earlier A580, and still use the Custom for Dixieland, where I really need to project, I find myself using the Metal Quantum more often on the A590 now. Many have spoken highly of the Morgan mouthpiece that Dave Kessler recommends for this model. The new 582/586/590 series sopranos do not seem to be as picky on mouthpieces as the older A580 model.
 

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If the resonator is not hitting the edge of the tone hole, and the pad is sealing, I would not worry about it. If the pad is to be changed in the future, point it out to your tech, who will probably check it anyway. As long as the horn is playing well, no need to worry about it.

There is one pad on the upper end of early 20's Buescher bass saxophones that is quite offcenter, and it is not a matter of bending the key arm. The misalignment goes in the other direction. To fix it, the arm would have to be shortened. No way am I going to do that. Also, the pad cup, and thus the size of the pad, is much larger than that size tone hole requires. So, any prefitted resonator is too large for the hole. You must substitute a pad with rivet only in order to fit that particular pad. What I think happened is, the design was change, repositioning and resizing the tone hole, and the keywork was not altered.

I have seen some vintage sopranos (Buescher C soprano?) where one pad, I think RH3 D pad, the pad just barely covers the large tone hole. But there is no room to make the pad cup larger as it would then interfere with the E pad just above it.

There are reasons this happens at times, and I have seen it on a wide variety of saxes, even the very top quality instruments from Selmer, Yamaha, and others. As long as the pad seals correctly, and there are no adjustment issues caused by it, I would not be overly concerned unless the key is obviously bent.

And you said, "The tone was very rich and complex and played very easily through out the range of the horn. The key action was smooth and very easy to play." And "As I said, I had no problem with any of the notes..."

All I can say is, If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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Yanagisawa and Yamaha are brands that are easily found in Australia. The products of these two companies are top notch! The Yamaha YSS-475 is their entry level model, and is quite good.

I don't know if Kessler Music can ship an Antigua to you there, but it would not hurt to check with them to see. www.kesslermusic.com and contact Dave can be reached at [email protected]
 

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Many times a "low register leak" (or what seems to be) with straight soprano saxophones is the way the player is holding the instrument. The soprano saxophone mouthpiece should enter the mouth at about the same angle as the alto sax mouthpiece. The bell needs to be held well up and out to obtain the correct angle.

Many times I have had players complain of a warble on low notes, and while they play, I hook my finger in the bell, and lift... suddenly, the tone clears up, becomes warm and rich. The player looks at me with wide eyes. Wow!

This is one of the main causes of sopranos going back to the store for adjustments and leaks... which the repairman cannot seem to fix.

I have some articles here on SOTW that may be helpful to you:

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Coats/tone_production.html

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Coats/SopranoIntonation.html
 

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Yes, Dave, I forgot about that. Thanks. That happens quite often, too, just putting on the mouthpiece, and not tuning it. I see this with guys just casually trying the instrument in stores or at trade shows. At one time Antigua was even marking the neck corks (the only company I have seen do so) with the approximately correct position for the mouthpiece to play in tune.
 

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The weak high notes may be due to your reed/mouthpiece combination, or, it may be your oral cavity.

When we were kids in school bands, the band directors always told to to keep the mouth and throat open, as if saying awwww, to get a full, resonant tone. That is true to an extent, but it does not work for playing the high notes.

On the soprano, as for the high E and F, and altissimo notes on the alto saxophone, the oral cavity is altered beginning around high A (A2, upper register A). The tongue must be raised slightly, as if saying ehhh or errr. This raises the middle of the tongue somewhat. As you play higher, the tongue is raised even more, as if saying eee. The embouchure pressure is not increased. Biting does not help produce the high notes.
 

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