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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I have a curved cecilio soprano (one of the ones set up by bruce bailey)
I love it and it's suprisingly in tune and I've even played it in public before a few times. The thing is, it's not the most free blowing instrument, and the tone is not as good as some other sopranos I've played (big surprise it cost me about 300)

I really prefer curved sopranos for the portability and novelty factor and it's easier to mic

I know that Palo Tung and Kessler both have curvies for just over 900
I saw a really nice Bauhaus Walstein on ebay for under 1000 but it was straight :(
Are there any horns worth buying at this price? Used preferred?

Oh yeah and anyone wanna buy a beginner curved soprano? :bluewink2:
 

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Curvies are tough, because you have two choices if you want a "good" one: Yanagisawa, which on the low end (like an SC800) is going to be close to ~1500 (although I've seen them go for less) or vintage Bueschers or *****, where there will be a lot more variables and they'll be more expensive if they've been overhauled. There are a lot less Asian options on curved soprano, and if you got that one from Bruce, I'm not sure that you'll see a ton of difference between what he sells and, say, a Kessler.

You might be able to find a vintage Borgani or Beaugnier one, and they are relatively inexpensive, but hard to find.
 

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You may already have the right horn. What piece are you using and what reeds?

But you should keep an eye out for a Stephanhouser curvy. They are GREAT horns and pretty inexpensive. The company is, I believe, defunct, but the horns show up on the second-hand market on occasion.
 

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Right now I have a curved cecilio soprano (one of the ones set up by bruce bailey)
I love it and it's suprisingly in tune and I've even played it in public before a few times. The thing is, it's not the most free blowing instrument, and the tone is not as good as some other sopranos I've played.
1) Make sure that there are no leaks.

2) +1 to Joe's comments regarding matching the correct mouthpiece to the horn.

3) Spend some quality time on it. You can't just pick up the sop, blow it as you would any other horn (alto, tenor, etc.), and gain a full sound from it.
 

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You might be able to find a Buescher curved True Tone within your price range, but only if it's one of the older models with the limited keyed range up to Eb3. I've had one for around 35 years and they're great horns and getting the notes above high Eb isn't the toughest thing to do.
 

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1) Make sure that there are no leaks.
Great point...and........ I find it interesting that we all know that a leak will make a horn seem "stuffy". That just shows me in another way that the issue of free-blowing is an acoustical issue, not a issue of restrictive air capacity of a given horn.

There are certainly subtle variations on how different sopranos take air but the really extreme issues are almost always acoustical ones and they can be remedied, as is the case with a leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've played on it for 1 year with a yamaha 4c mouthpiece
I've also played a straight yamaha soprano and it played very well in tune. I played a solo on it last year for the state wide band festival and we got straight 1s
Not to brag because I still think I suck but just to let you know that it's not ALL my fault.
The cecilio is 20 cents flat on all notes C and below and I cannot adjust it any higher. This was not a problem on the yamaha it's just my horn :(
My mouthpiece is pushed in nearly all the way
It's in a spot where everything is in tune except for low C (right hand pinky key) and below. Weird.
 

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I've played on it for 1 year with a yamaha 4c mouthpiece
I've also played a straight yamaha soprano and it played very well in tune. I played a solo on it last year for the state wide band festival and we got straight 1s
Not to brag because I still think I suck but just to let you know that it's not ALL my fault.
The cecilio is 20 cents flat on all notes C and below and I cannot adjust it any higher. This was not a problem on the yamaha it's just my horn :(
My mouthpiece is pushed in nearly all the way
It's in a spot where everything is in tune except for low C (right hand pinky key) and below. Weird.
I know there's a lot of love for the Yamaha 4C. But what the OP is describing here is quite likely an impedance issue. The 4C may not be allowing the low notes to speak properly. I have noticed that most inexpensive sopranos tend to want a little more air than a Selmer or Yamaha or Yanagisawa. The 4C is so constrained in the chamber that it takes a lot of player-effort to get the low notes to really speak properly and in tune. Flat is the way they go.

I haven't played a Cecilio in about 4 years, but I remember them as being just a bit more "open" as described above. Not much, but enough, perhaps, to throw that 4C a curve.

It may be the horn, but I have rarely (can't remember the last) come across bad scales in recent years.

Oh yes, I remember . It was a "very vintage" (old) Borgani that was all over the map. The horn was from the 50s or early 60s, if I recall.
 

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You may already have the right horn. What piece are you using and what reeds?

But you should keep an eye out for a Stephanhouser curvy. They are GREAT horns and pretty inexpensive. The company is, I believe, defunct, but the horns show up on the second-hand market on occasion.
Stephanhousers are weird. The altos, tenors, and baris have poor intonation but the sopranos are fine. It's the craziest thing. And the company is defunct, but I think the instruments are still being produced with a different name…

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
 

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Stephanhousers are weird. The altos, tenors, and baris have poor intonation but the sopranos are fine. It's the craziest thing. And the company is defunct, but I think the instruments are still being produced with a different name…

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
Thanks for the tip about the Stephanhouser a/t/b horns. I so much like the sopranos (I have a curvy and a straight 2 piece) that I was wondering about the others. Your clear, emphatic statement has me forewarned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow I had no idea that it could be the mouthpiece. I figured since it played in tune everywhere else that the sax was built wrong or something.
I really don't want to spend more on a mouthpiece than this sax is worth though
Would a more open yamaha work? Or does it need something with a different design altogether?
 

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Thanks for the tip about the Stephanhouser a/t/b horns. I so much like the sopranos (I have a curvy and a straight 2 piece) that I was wondering about the others. Your clear, emphatic statement has me forewarned.
I call 'em like I see 'em.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
 

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The cecilio is 20 cents flat on all notes C and below and I cannot adjust it any higher. This was not a problem on the yamaha it's just my horn...
no you're not crazy. I've had the same intonation on every chinese curvy I've played. You'd be better off buying a straight soprano. Or save up your money for a yanigisawa.
 

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Wow I had no idea that it could be the mouthpiece. I figured since it played in tune everywhere else that the sax was built wrong or something.
The horn you're talking about is pretty much at the bottom end of the barrel. What can you really expect from such a thing? I wouldn't waste time chasing mouthpieces for it.
 

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There are probably two issues to consider if you think your mouthpiece is on as far as it will go.

1) The mouthpiece is being inhibited from going on further because either the neck cork is too thick or something on the saxophone is stopping it (like a rib on the upper octave vent OR the upper octave vent itself (probably rare).

2) the interior of the mouthpiece's barrel is too short, thus the neck is up against the top of the interior of the barrel.

There are fixes for that . . . I've had several soprano mouthpieces shortened (cutting off a 1/4 or so of an inch from the bottom of the barrel) so they'd shove on further - they were being stopped by the ribbing on the upper octave vent. For a too-thick neck cork, sand it down.

For a short interior, no fix, buy a mouthpiece with a longer interior. I've had that problem, too.

I agree with the comments about the quality of those horns, even though I have little experience with inexpensive sopranos. The ones I've owned and played were not good. Doesn't mean there are no decent inexpensive sopranos - obviously there are based on the many posts here on SOTW about it. But in the long run, a player will be much better off by buying a good horn (new or vintage) to begin with. DAVE
 

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The horn you're talking about is pretty much at the bottom end of the barrel. What can you really expect from such a thing?
The OP said he LOVED the horn. To me, that counts for a lot.

As Marty (Ernest Borgnine) famously said in the movie of the same name:

"You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog. And I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna get down on my knees. I'm gonna beg that girl to marry me. If we make a party on New Year's, I got a date for that party. You don't like her? That's too bad … Hello, Clara?"

Love counts for a lot, including horns.:cheers:
 

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Nicely stated Joe. And what a great film to quote from! One for my Baby (And One for the Road)
 

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The OP said he LOVED the horn. To me, that counts for a lot.
An entirely flat low end is where the love would end for me. To be fair though, he should rule out the pad heights being too low over the bell/bow tone holes. A new mouthpiece isn't going to solve this.

As Marty (Ernest Borgnine) famously said in the movie of the same name...
Watch "Marty" again. Today he would be deemed a date rapist. Seriously. Watch it again. Marty, the date raping butcher.
 
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