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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.

---

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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Paul,

Maybe you can help me convince Georgia into trying to do a solid bronze model as well? I sent her an e-mail about it over the weekend and plan to call her about it.

Just a thought!

And the "Mikey likes it" comment.... baaaaadddddd. :roll:
 

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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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PaulC is right about the stock mouthpiece with the 590. I was a bit harsh - it's not bad. Yes - it's MUCH better than the Rico mpc that came with the Unison sop that I was renting. (Man, was that thing BAD). Btt I've got a Yamaha 5CM that I really enjoy (can anyone out there reface it for me? It needs openeing up a bit) plus a couple of Runyons that I'm adjusting to, so the stock mpc with my Antigua won't get any use.

After having the 590 for a couple of weeks now, I'm still totally happy with my decision. Yeah, if I wanted to save another $300 or so, the 582-LQ would have been just as good. (Maybe I should have done that - I could have bought more mouthpieces!) But the black nickel finish sure is pretty. I just love the tonal quality and the intonation of this thing.

Here's a suggestion for Antigua - modify the case so that there's a higher divider inside between where the reeds and stuff are stored and the saxophone itself. If the stuff in the storage bin is loose, it will fall 'out' and land on the saxophone. I use the polishing cloth to keep everything in there now.

Oh, and the stock ligature is REALLY soft. I've accidentally squashed mine a couple of times already. It won't last much longer.

Yup - that's all I can criticize. Paul & Dave - thanks again!!
 

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jgill2000 said:
(can anyone out there reface it for me? It needs openeing up a bit)
I do have a really good mouthpiece guy here. He is the one who did my prototype designs for our Kessler Alto & (upcoming) Tenor mouthpeices.

He does all the mouthpiece refacing work for all the locals. He grew up about 5 minutes from Ralph Morgan and learned from him.
 

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Well, this thread "talked" me into ordering an Antigua soprano from Dave Kessler. After several email exchanges, and a few phone calls I decided on the 586-LQ. I ordered it on Monday and it arrived, at my door in New Jersey, today (Wednesday). Dave made choosing and buying easy and pleasant.

My expectations were high, based on the reviews (on this SOTW and the old SOTW), and I can easily say my expectations were exceeded with all aspects of the Antigua soprano.

I don't want to repeat what's already been written about its quality, but I'll add some small points. I really like the look and feel of the "pearls" (not real of course). It comes with a comfortable neck strap. The plastic case is very well made. It has a removable insert, so it can hold the horn with the neck installed.

The mouthpiece is okay, i.e., at least as good or better than my Yamaha 4C. It plays best with the Conn Eagle mouthpiece I use with my curved Buescher TT. I didn't expect this vintage Conn mouthpiece to work with it, and I'm very pleased that it does. My Morgan 4J plays well with it too.

This is my first straight soprano experience, except for a brief trial of a Yamaha YSS475. I was suprised at how balanced it is, i.e., easy to hold even with the straight neck.

Bill
 

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Antigua Soprano Ligature

Ligature Report:

The comment was made about the thinness of the metal ligature that comes with the Antigua soprano. I read this to be a negative, until I thought about it and tried the ligature.

I think it is an excellent ligature, and it may be the best of the four metal ligatures I own. The thinness may be a plus, depending on the timber you want. Also, unlike my rigid Bonade, it easily "assumes" the shape of the mouthpiece and reed. Without a doubt, its thumb screws are the best of all. They are large, and easy to grasp and turn.

Measurements of thickness:
Antigua: 0.42 mm
Bonade:0.48 mm
Vintage (no name): 0.52 mm
inexpensive wwbw (no name): 0.44 mm

Bill08690 said:
Where are you in NJ?
Oceanport

Bill
 

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SuiZen-

Do you ever get over to Harrys Road House in Asbury, Rooneys in Long Branch? There are several blues bands that play in that area?
 

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Bill08690 said:
Do you ever get over to Harrys Road House in Asbury, Rooneys in Long Branch? There are several blues bands that play in that area?
No, I don't :(

I've had the 586-LQ for one week. I've been playing it quite a bit, and really enjoy it. I used the curved neck for the first day or so, but now I'm hooked on the straight neck.

Bill
 

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Just a friendly reminder:

The Antigua Winds soprano saxes are Not Affiliated or Endorsed by Yanagisawa or G. LeBlanc (North American Distributor of Yanagisawa).

I was asked to clarify this standpoint by Leon Pascucci, President, CEO of G. Leblanc Corporation.
 

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I got my 586 soprano in today and it's awesome. I had no idea it could be so easy to play in tune without much effort. The curved neck is just a hair less in tune on a note or two compared to the straight but it's hardly noticeable. Effortless response, I can play up to F# easily and maybe could go further but I haven't looked up the fingerings.
The tone is nice with the stock mpc and a #3 reed, my Selmer SS is on loan to a friend so I couldn't try it. I'll get it back tomorrow.
The Yani must really be awesome if it is better than this.
I'm glad with my choice though, I'll use the money I saved to get some other horn later that I "need".
My friend has a silver Jupiter on order from WWBW, so I'll report how the side by side testing goes.
Dave was great to work with and was very helpful.
If you're in the market for a soprano, make sure you check these out.
 

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Yes, I played the Antigua and the Jupiter side by side.
As far as intonation goes, the Antigua is better. The Jupiter was good but not as spot on as most of my notes are.
In regard to tone, I think the Antigua may be a little more focused.The Jupiter sounded very nice as well, I like the way a silver sax sounds.Depending on the setup, both sounded very rich with my Runyon plastic Quantum.I had no preference over one in the sound department.
Both were nicely set up and had a nice action.Both seemed solidly built.
The Antigua I got was around $ 850.00 and the Jupiter cost my friend
$ 1300.00 I would choose the Antigua again without a doubt.
 
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