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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at hopefully purchasing a new tenor sax phone probably this summer. At the moment I have a Yamaha YTS 23 which is a good beginner horn and I definitely got many of years out of it. I'm just looking for a next step up, and ideally I would like some thing in a black finish to match my black lacquered Selmer Super action 80 series two and black Soprano. At the moment I'm really keen on a black nickel finish similar to what Keilwerth has on their Shadow series. If only it was $4,000 less I will be all over it LOL. I know Nigel who runs the YouTube channel McGill Sax School has the Guardala that I am very much interested in. However he has recently done several videos comparing newer tenors as he says he wants to upgrade as there's a few issues that he doesn't feel he benefits from with his current Guardala. He hasn't, at least to my knowledge, ever mentioned what those issues were that has made him unhappy with it. Nor has he decided on which Tenor he is going to end up purchasing, if anyone knows the answer to either of these questions please chime in and be very interested to hear. Likewise if anyone has any experience either owning or testing a Guardala tenor I'd be very much intrigued to hear your thoughts and opinions on this beautiful tenor saxophone.
I look forward to hearing from the community. Feel free to chime in with any news even if it doesn't necessarily involve a Guardala.

Cheers 馃嵒
Sean
 

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These were made by B&S in Germany. There is a lot of info about the Guardala Saxes, B&S 2001/Medusa, and Chicago Jazz Series horns under the B&S area.
B&S even stenciled the original Allora horns for Woodwind and Brasswind. They were great well built horns but B&S decided to get out of the sax making business years ago. I never played or saw a Guardala sax in person but I play a B&S 2001 Black Nickel Tenor with Gold keys and played a B&S made Allora Tenor before that for many years. Great solid well built horns.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great info. I appreciate your help and insight. Would u mind posting up a picture of your black B&S for me?
 

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Here's mine...
103707
 

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Likewise if anyone has any experience either owning or testing a Guardala tenor I'd be very much intrigued to hear your thoughts and opinions on this beautiful tenor saxophone.
I tried one of these tenors with the New York skyline at USA Horn in Jersey almost twenty years ago. There I got to play it alongside just about every new Selmer horn out there at the time, as well as a handful of vintage VI tenors. It felt cheap and inferior in direct comparison, and I absolutely hated it. I know many here really dig B&S horns and their stencils. A Medusa tenor I tried about ten years ago was a much nicer horn and built more solidly than the Guardala. As a point of interest, Guardala's ex-business partner claimed on an old message board that the Guardala horns were conceived as a student/intermediate model... though of course he felt they turned out better than that. I beg to differ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Damn you Grumps..... why is it that you're always the one to spoil the mood around these parts 馃. Lol. I kid obviously. I guess I just wanted it to perform really well because I love the way it looks.
however now seeing the picture that Robbie put up Of his sexy looking horn, I just might have to consider taking a good hard look at that particular model. The finish would match my other two horns to perfection. Which is always a plus, granted it's also not the most important thing in the world, but definitely a plus indeed. Anyone else have any other ideas in terms of good playing; either upper intermediate or professional tiered black tenors. Im Totally bummed that Yanigasawa no longer produces there black lacquered T991. if money wasn't an issue, aside from the shadow which I already mentioned, I think I would most definitely go for the Yamaha Black custom Z. I recently just tried one out at a local shop and I loved everything about the horn with the exception of one thing. Obviously that being the price. At $5400, that's about three grand more than I wanna spend if I'm being completely honest. I might be able to sneak my budget up to 3 grand but anymore and I'm sure there will be a missing person report of myself If you know what I mean.

please keep the suggestions coming. I'm sure there's some black tenors out there that I haven't ever even heard of. Keep The ideas flowing ladies and gents. There's no such thing as a stupid suggestion.
 

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Hey Robbie do you mind if I ask how much you paid for your horn?
I'll be honest, I don't remember 100%. I think I paid around $2,000-$2,250 several years ago.
 

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The Medusa I tried was silver plated. Did they make them in black lacquer? That would be the B&S I'd go for. Definitely over a Guardala branded one. Just because some famous people played his mouthpieces doesn't mean his stenciled horn was any good. I never tried an Allora however.
 

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The Medusa I tried was silver plated. Did they make them in black lacquer? That would be the B&S I'd go for. Definitely over a Guardala branded one. Just because some famous people played his mouthpieces doesn't mean his stenciled horn was any good. I never tried an Allora however.
If I remember they came in a number of finishes. Black Nickel with Silver or Gold Keys, Silver, Sandblasted, and Gold Lacquer. There might have been more. Though finding all those finishes out there might be a bit more tricky.
 

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The Medusa I tried was silver plated. Did they make them in black lacquer? That would be the B&S I'd go for. Definitely over a Guardala branded one. Just because some famous people played his mouthpieces doesn't mean his stenciled horn was any good. I never tried an Allora however.
No black lacquer, but they had an extremely dark black nickel plating. See it here:

 

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I have guardalla tenor and alto great horns. B&S made world class horns and their better models are great. I also have Kielwerths sx horns and tend to like the German horns a lot. I have owned selmers and never really bonded with them. I have in tenors a Martin Dick Stabil, conn 10m, Kielwerth sx, Guardalla, and a B&S. Tend to like dark sounding horns alot. Get the horn you want or you will just keep looking.If I could only have one it would be the Kielwerth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Evryone of you who have contributed thus far has been SUCH A GREAT HELP and I say that because I don't want your hard work to go unnoticed. It's a shame these days how people only like to comment negatively, almost as if their time is too valuable to step up and give appreciation were appreciation is gravely due. I personally think this is something that must be worked on and hopefully with due diligence sooner than later this self entitled attitude that many people exhibit these days will one day change. And a good start for this change to hopefully take place, is to simply say thank You to those involved In any thread That was started by "yourself"
whether they responded politely or if it was a bit harsh, whatever The case may be, they did contribute to your thread. Whether or not you think their opinion or advice is worth while is essentially irrelevant. That's why you will never see a thread that I am involved in where I don't do my very best to thank every single person for contributing whether it's in a positive or a negative way. For me, that's pretty much irrelevant, opinions are always going to be scattered across the spectrum. But the simple fact that they took time out of their own probably very busy day to try their best to answer someone's questions like mine at the moment I I am a firm believer that whether the answer they provided you with was what you were looking for or not, I think we should all start to learn to say thank you more often to one another.

OK, enough with the BS lol. let's get back to the topic at hand. this question is again for Robbie. Seeing that you now are currently using your very sexy black B&S, would I be correct in assuming that you prefer your current B&S tenor better than your other previous model which you said essentially was a B&S made Allora?
 

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OK, enough with the BS lol. let's get back to the topic at hand. this question is again for Robbie. Seeing that you now are currently using your very sexy black B&S, would I be correct in assuming that you prefer your current B&S tenor better than your other previous model which you said essentially was a B&S made Allora?
My Allora was gold lacquer. I got it fairly inexpensively on the used market when I got back into playing sax (I sold all my saxes and took a break from sax a number of years when I went touring with a band playing Bass Guitar). It played great and worked fine for me. Fast forward, I knew the Allora/B&S relationship and I stumbled upon theBlack Nickel B&S 2001 for what I thought was a fairly good deal and ended up purchasing that. They both played fairly similar, but I kept the B&S mainly because I liked the Black Nickel look over the bright Gold Lacquer, plus it was the B&S branded not the Allora stencil. I ended up selling the Allora for about $500 more than I paid for it, so it worked out.
 
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Having owned multiple B&S made horns, I can tell you from the second generation model 2001 (with non-stick G# mechanism) through the Medusa the tenors are all the same. I鈥檝e owned a Medusa gold brass tenor, a sand finish Allora tenor and a 2001 lacquered tenor and all played with the same with a big core tone and effortless sub toning down to a whisper. All horns were well set up and leak free. You can find a nice example in the $1500-$2500 range. There is a black Medusa right now on eBay with a stupidly high asking price of $6699! The horn is being sold on consignment and according to the seller, the owner is insisting on the listing price. Horn in this condition is worth maybe $3000 to the right buyer. You might want to make an offer and give the owner a reality check!
 

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Having owned multiple B&S made horns, I can tell you from the second generation model 2001 (with non-stick G# mechanism) through the Medusa the tenors are all the same. I鈥檝e owned a Medusa gold brass tenor, a sand finish Allora tenor and a 2001 lacquered tenor and all played with the same with a big core tone and effortless sub toning down to a whisper. All horns were well set up and leak free. You can find a nice example in the $1500-$2500 range. There is a black Medusa right now on eBay with a stupidly high asking price of $6699! The horn is being sold on consignment and according to the seller, the owner is insisting on the listing price. Horn in this condition is worth maybe $3000 to the right buyer. You might want to make an offer and give the owner a reality check!
This is true. If I remember correctly there was a lot more changes to the Alto than the Tenor when they went from the 2001 to the Medusa. As for high prices, it is true there are some fairly high prices out there. I saw someone selling a Guardala for $7500.
 
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