Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 183 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, at long last the much anticipated new Aqulia sax C-melody arrived!

The following are my initial impressions:

First, the case is nice. While some would call it a semi-hard case, it is indeed hard and has a nice full length pocket , ruck sack straps and velcro closure to hold both handles together. It has ample space inside, a neck slot and mp slot.

MP is the metal #7 (not stock with the horn). Also well made silver plated and has a nice cap and lig, all silver plated. Seems to be open enough for me on the first few toots.
I will probably move to rovner lig as I don't like two screw type ligs. Nothing wrong with the original though!

And now the horn!
First I took it out of the cloth bag and fully inspected it for blemishes. It is really a very handsome horn and the engraving is very tastefully done. Not overblown, like I usually get done on my horns ;) . I looked top to bottom, and it is flawless. The horn is black nickle plated with silver plated keys. I could find no rough edges or bad milling on the keys or posts, and all the keys seemed to seal well on first inspection.
Pearls are the fake paste ones, but still look quite nice. The thumb rest is indeed very comfortable, as Steve advertised, and is made of beautiful paua shell. I am going to replace all the pearls with paua shell eventually.

I filed on one of the Aquila sax reeds that I purchased and made it ready to play. To get the horn to play in tune I had to push the mp pretty far in, but when I got it in tune (pretty much), it had a very nice, full dark tone. It was totally unlike my Martin C mel in every way.The staff C seemed a little hard to get in tune, but I am attributing that to adjustment and MP right now.
It seems easy to play so far, but I must add that I haven't had the horn inspected for leaks yet and I am sure it is leaking a little somewhere. So off to the repair shop tomorrow to get it tuned up and banging on all 8 cylinders.
The highs and lows were a little hard to get out today, but once it is in perfect adjustment I expect it will be much easier to play. I will then give a detailed account of the playing characteristics.

Ergos are great, although I must say I think the straight neck (which I am waiting to receive) will be more confortable and easier to play.

I must say though, that my opinion of Chinese saxes has drastically changed after seeing this horn! It is WELL made. Steve has delivered what I think initially, is a very good product. If I can go by this horn, then I wouldn't hesitate to order another Aquila sax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Randall said:
I must say though, that my opinion of Chinese saxes has drastically changed after seeing this horn! It is WELL made. Steve has delivered what I think initially, is a very good product. If I can go by this horn, then I wouldn't hesitate to order another Aquila sax.
I felt the same about my recently purchased Aquilasax Bb tenor.

This is very good news.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,862 Posts
Randall said:
it had a very nice, full dark tone. It was totally unlike my Martin C mel in every way.

Huh? What does your Martin sound like?

Rory
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It has a brighter, less full sound, comparatively.
The Martin is my pick of all vintage C-mels.

Ya gotta play one!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Me
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Randall said:
It has a brighter, less full sound, comparatively.
The Martin is my pick of all vintage C-mels.

Ya gotta play one!

Randall - my Martin has the biggest/fullest sound of them all (and I have a house full), second only to King - and can be even brighter or darker by using different mouthpiece setups - I've played almost every 20's manufacturers offerings .... Are you saying your Martin is brighter and less full than the Aquilasax ?

Did you try the mouthpiece (what is it ?) that you normally use with your Martin, on the Aquilasax ? Or was the comparison between your Martin setup, and the Aquilasax + Metalpro.

If so, you should try the Metalpro on your Martin, and vice versa. This sounds very interesting. Like Rory, I'm a little bemused.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Guys, don't be bemused...these are my INITIAL impressions. I too have owned and played numerous examples of all the various makes of C melody (except the Vito!) and the Martin was my pick of all of them.

I felt that the unadjusted Aquila sax was just as I said when compared to the Martin. AS I SAID, these are initial impressions.

You all should know that every horn is different.... ;)

Also on the mp situation I have several different pieces although I didn't try them on the UNADJUSTED Aquila Sax.I only tried the Aqulia Sax piece, as it was in the case.
When it is in adjustment, I will give my impressions that are not INITIAL. :)

I an looking forward to trying out your suggestions when it is in adjustment!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Me
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Randall - look forward to that, my "bemusement" was just that as Steve's 20's C is a Conn, I'd expected the new one to be 'lighter and brighter' than Martin.

We can wait :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok...additional info....

I took it in to my tech and he looked over the horn. He was very very impressed with the overall quality and he too was surprised when I told him it was made in China. His experiences with Chinese horn repair have been pretty dismal; so his approval on that point was a good sign.

I told him that I wanted him to go over it and he said he would. I had him adjust the octave key on the spot, as it was slightly out of whack due to my mishandling the neck when I put it on. Then I put the mp on it and played it. First I tried the Aqulia sax mp and it played ok, but honestly I didn't think it was in tune. I put it on a tuner and it was quite flat...I pushed the mp all the way in and it came in tune pretty well, top to bottom. The middle C still was a little dodgy (nothing obscene, mind you), but I am sure that once I get used to the c mel piece it will be no problem.

I then tried a tenor mp on it. I used my Runyon Quantum Spoiler with a 2.5 reed. Talk about the shiznit! Wow! This horn sing sang sung!:shock: I was really really blown away by how nicely it played with my Runyon. I am so enamoured with it, I may use the tenor piece only.

I am still awaiting the final adjustment and that will be Tuesday when it is all done, but even if I use the tenor mp only, I am REALLY happy.

Every C-melody (even my beloved Martin) has that slighlty congested duck sound to it (even if I use a non-C melody mp). Not so with this horn. I felt that it played with the freeness and resonance of any great alto or tenor that I own. It has a very open feeling but still has a nice core sound that I am sure Selmer players will like.

This is great C, no doubt about it. More after the adjustment on Tuesday....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
That's quite an endorsement? Which Aquilasax mpc did you use? Since they were designed for the original c melody it's not altogether surprising that they don't work quite as well on this one.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Uk, I was playing the metal #7 Aquila sax mp. You may be right. I am also going to attempt sliding a Runyon spoiler inside the C mp to see what happens.

I am going to try my Yani alto piece on it too.

My tech recommended I try the alto piece before the tenor, but I didn't have it with me.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,875 Posts
Randall said:
....This is great C, no doubt about it. More after the adjustment on Tuesday....
We want soundclips! We want soundclips! We want soundclips!:D :D :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Yeah, great Randall, make me drull! :):):)

I had the customs information letter in the mail on Friday. Realy great timing, the customs office closes at noon! Got the letter in the afternoon. Now I'm sitting here the whole long weekend and probably tomorow too, since I wont have the time to drive down to customs. :(:(:(

So latest on Tuesday I'm gonna have my C-Mel here. Cannot wait, after I read your posts!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Me
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Mo - I'll be sure to come back here on Tuesday evening, that is, if you can stop playing to post.... ;)

Now, why did I ask Steve for a bare-brass one ? I was thinking that it'd be the easiest and quickest finish, and first out of the factory ! :(
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,715 Posts
Alan...I do agree with you about bare brass, it should be the least trouble. Just five minutes in the bead blasting cabinet and stick a stamp on it, as distinct from all that polishing and lacquering. In all probability it interferes with the production schedule: having to cater for the discerning (odd ball?) customer. :)
 
1 - 20 of 183 Posts
Top