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I’ve had several silver plate, B&S Blue Label tenors. I’m a big fan. I’ve read several knowledgeable guys say that the one horn they wish they had back was a B&S 2001. So I look out for them. HOWVEVER, I have read here that the earlier ones - early ‘90’s - were not as good as the later ones. Since there is one on eBay now at the lowest price I’ve seen, but it IS an early one. So I’m looking for experiences of anyone who has or has had these and can speak to how good these are and whether or not the early ones are still great tenors. I’m talking sound - I don’t care about improvements in ergos. The last discussion I read about this has been a while and anybody who plays these and wants to chime in, I’d be grateful.
 

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I'm not a B&S expert, so someone more knowledgeable could correct me on this if I'm wrong. From what I understand the Tenor had little change from the entire run. I believe that adjustable palm keys and the anti-stick G# key were the main things.

The Altos got a major bore redesign though.

I have a B&S made Allora, but I believe it is a later 2001 stencil not earlier as it has the Anti-stick G#, so I can't comment on the earlier 2001s in regards to sound specifically.
 

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SOTW member mephipps knows about these. See if you can ask him.

I think they were still excellent tenors. The main difference being the non-stick G#. Maybe some of the keywork was a bit different, but basically, it is the same instrument as the later ones.
 

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I have owned a black and silver Dave Guardala tenor that I purchased new in the late 90's. It has an early serial number. I own two other Guardala tenors. I currently own a late serial, B&S 2001 tenor, and a Medusa alto. (5 B&S horns) . I believe the only difference is the non stick G# as already stated. I have only played the one alto. I have never played the blue or gold label older ones.

These horns are my main players. I think they are very good. To put that in perspective: I compared them to virtually every other tenor made, most of which I own as well.
 

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comparing the Guardala 8xxx, 2001 series 6xx and the newer 2001 with G# no stick. The all sound the same. The early 2001 is a little more punchy than the later 2001. The early one does not have an extra spring they put on the low C# mechanism. It also does not have a pearl on the side high F# key.
 

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Back in 1998, I walked into the TINIEST music store I've ever been in somewhere in downtown San Jose, CA. They had a silver plated B&S 2001. I happened to have my Martin Dick Stabile tenor with me. Over the next hour I switched between the 2 tenors. The silver 2001 is the closest tone-wise to my old Martin I have ever tried. It had a somewhat dark, smoky sound that sparkled when pushed. It sub-toned as good as I've ever tried and could be be pushed beyond loud. I decided to think about it overnight. $1500 out the door. I went back the next day to buy it. Some one bought it 30 minutes before me. To this day I have never seen another silver model 2001 tenor, and I have never had another B&S tenor sound like the one I tried that day. I have tried every B&S tenor I come across. Oh well.....I have kick *** sand-blast LA Sax Chicago Jazz Series that I am holding onto. This one sounds like a German version of a 5 digit Selmer MK VI.

later

Joel
 

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I don't think the silver plating added anything to the sound. In fact, it might have subtracted something from the sound. My thinking is that the less crap on the brass body of a saxophone - the better. Jeff Coffin is a Yamaha sponsored player, and plays with the Dave Matthews band, playing stadium-level gigs, so he could get whatever Yamaha horn he wanted, and what does he play? - an unlacquered 82 tenor.
 

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empressdiver,

I hear what your saying about finish. I actually prefer unlacquered horns. It was that particular early model 2001 that I blew me away with it's sound. I don't remember the serial number, but I it had been in the store a while.

later

Joel
 

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What do you think about position (placement) of sling ring (tenor B&S 2001, but also in Blue Label and Medusa)?
Balance between the strap hook and sling ring is more on the right side in my opinion (comfortable for some, not necessarily preferred by others), comparing for example to the Trevor James Custom (where the ring is more on the left side).
Do not you think that the sling ring should be more on the left side?
 

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Ive honestly never given it any thought, so I guess it must be more or less in the right place. I have often thought that the (BG?) Neck Strap that came with these horns was a pretty decent bit of kit.
 

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Ive honestly never given it any thought, so I guess it must be more or less in the right place. I have often thought that the (BG?) Neck Strap that came with these horns was a pretty decent bit of kit.
Same here and not an issue on Blue Label, 2001 or Medusa.
 

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I actually like the position of the neck strap ring. On my Grassi tenor, it's more to the left, and I wish it was more like my B&S.

later

Joel
 

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I had a 2001 back in 1993, mine was engraved SML.Great sounding horn. Stephen Howard does a good article on them on his website. SML owned the company at the time I think.
 

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I have the own impression that the position of sling ring on all (Blue Label, 2001, Medusa) causes a tendency to twist sax body, which requires stronger support of the fingers when playing (maybe not in every fingers combination).
It's not a problem, I even didn't notice it before I've tried Trevor James, for sure that was the moment I first noticed the difference. All B&S as above were fantastic build with super accurate intonation and tone.
 

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Stephen Howard does a good article on them on his website. …
Howard only reviewed the earliest iteration of the 2001 tenor. I enjoy Howard's site and bought his book, which is excellent. But I often disagree with his opinions on tone and sound.
 

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Soybean, I agree with you, I bought Stephen Howard sax book too, a lot of knowledge for me, but ...
a lot more about B&S were told here on SOTW, thanks for all owners.
Hmm, as about the sling ring, it's interesting and nice to hear that it was not the issue for other players.
It looks like the factory B&S never changed the conception of sling ring placement in tenor, I believe they had an idea - but what?
Maybe it's better for standing or sitting position? Or am I more twisted :) then B&S conception typical player? But why Trevor James put this ring position in other place (which I feel not twisted body-to-mouth line)? The other conception (and other feeling)?
 

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I have the own impression that the position of sling ring on all (Blue Label, 2001, Medusa) causes a tendency to twist sax body...
I haven’t noticed that JetPi. Which way is it making the sax body twist? To the right or the left?
 

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I can't say I've noticed this twist at all either. I find my Allora branded B&S Stencil to be more comfortable for me to play than my Yamaha 62. Maybe I like whatever this twist is.
 

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I believe the placement of sling ring (3 "wholes" in older series) could be comfortable.
Soybean, It makes the sax body twist to the right (in the vertical axis).
I like all B&S a lot of, however some time ago when I played TJ Custom first time and felt the difference (as for ME, maybe it was ONLY my very own notion), I felt the need to change, improve it in B&S. So I did use special "balancing set", mounting it into the ring to have new "sling ring" more on the left side with the possibility of adjusting it's angle and distance from the sax body (it twist sax a little to the left).
This provided me with a comfortable fit and balance along the longitudinal and transverse axis, which added ergonomics and happiness to my hands and mouth.
 
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