Yes. I gave it a quick blow the last time I was at Scimonettis. It was okay . . . nothing that tripped my trigger, but it was . . . okay. Jim showed me some trick build-issues like - the rods didn't have screws in them. Instead, one applies pressure to the ends with a paper-clip (or similar SMALL pointy object) to release the tension on the rods - and they come out.
I was not in the market for an alto, so my conclusions may have been biased. Admittedly, I have come across some new horns that, when a dealer showed them to me, I was impressed, but this one - ?
I'm sure some one will like it. I'm NOT bad-mouthing it, just telling you how I reacted. DAVE
I know that Gemeinhardt (or maybe they are calling themselves Gemstone these days?) is selling them, that they are Taiwanese, and that like Dave said they have a few new mechanisms on the horn, and that they are also pretty heavy. Haven't had one in for repair to really get into it yet though.
Not too sure about playing though, I assume they would be much like the horns they are competing with at around the same price point, the P. Mauriats, Cannonballs, etc.
Shawn Wallace..the sax professor at OSU plays one. He really praised the horn and said it was great. At a music conference I was playing at, Stephanhouser had a booth with 4 horns. Two examples each of their intermediate and professional horns. I didn't even both with the intermediate and went straight to professional.
I gave it a blow and...uhm. Maybe it wasn't set up well but after about 5 minutes I could tell I could not get along with this horn. I have played a few different P. Mauriat alto's at junkdude and LOVED the sound on them and their ease of playing. I hated the way they look and thought they felt cheap.
I know a Gemeinhardt rep and he asked me to play a couple of these horns.
The alto played alright. The action was nice and light, but felt very cheap nonetheless. The tone was lacking. It played very well in tune, but there were a couple of issues that I don't recall offhand. The finish wasn't too impressive to me but i'm not a fan of "vintage"/matte finishes.
I also played a silver plated tenor. The action was very stiff. Might be better once it broke in, I don't know. This one played about the same as the alto. Good dynamic range on this horn, might have been more well setup. Neither horn had pearls or abalone key touches, which put me off.
All in all, not too impressive considering some of the other Taiwanese offerings.
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