Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,611 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a Bauhaus Walstein AI bronze curvy and I had the chance to put it head to head with a SC-992. One of the techs at the shop I work in owns the SC-992. Both horns were regulated and checked up and down in order to create a level playing field. Let's start by the visual inspection:

First off, the Bauhaus is a direct copy of the Yani right down to key shape, heights, all adjustments screws, ect. Even the necks are interchangable. The Yani is set up a little better and does feel a bit more solid under the fingers. Both horns since they are essentially identical have great key work.

The case and the stock mouthpiece and other case candy favors the yani. The only complaint I have with the BW is that the case doesn't fit the horn well and the left pinky table hits hard and is not cradled. I had to add some well placed pads to remidy the problem. The Yani case is perfect.

Now, for the play test. I had my buddy start the side by side. He played his Yani first for about 5 minutes. Well, we already know how they play. Some consider the Yani sc-992 the best curvie on the planet and it sounds like it. He then played the BW and really took a double take. I can tell he was not expecting much, but he absolutely loved the horn. The Yani sounded a bit better in the above high C palm key notes. The BW sounded better in the low register which really blew him away.

I was next and I like the Yani's stability. It feels a bit better, but not much. I think the corks and pads are a bit less spongy on the Yani and that is not shocking. The BW sounded and felt a bit brighter than the Yani. The bottom end is great and the upper end while not quite as effortless as the Yani, is far better than anything else I have played. The Cannonball Stone series horns play about the same in the upper range, but the BW has the upgraded key work with the bell keys moved to the players right with the floating mechanism.

What struck both of us was the intonation on the BW curvie. It is very, very good. I think the BW needs more set up work to perfect the action. After Memorial day weekend, I will take all the keys off, hand fit the keys, replace the natural cork with techcork, replace the plastic pearls with real ones, and lighten the spring tension. I have a feeling I will have the better feel of the yani once I do the work.

Overall, The BW is a much better value considering that Yani costs over 3 times more than the BW. Some would argue that the additional set up costs to really go through the horn detracts from the BW. In my case, since I can do the work, it doesn't bother me a bit, but if you had to pay retail to do the work I plan to do, it would cost quite a bit. Out of the box, before the additional set up work, this BW is 95 percent as good as the yani and I think I can get it to 98 percent with the work. The yani is the benchmark and the folks at BW were very smart copying the 991 design. It is absolutely shocking how good the BW is and the fact that you have to pay 3 times more to get that last 5 percent.

Now that I have played the two of the side by side, I would reccomend the BW unless you have $2100.00 extra dollars just lying around. For the price of the SC-992, you could buy a BW curved soprano with a bronze BW alto and tenor thrown in for fun. I would say that for a late bloomer, this would make a great set of horns for the price of one. Students can also benefit here. I know some of the so called pros on this forum will say I am off my rocker for praising a Chinese made horn, but since I have played both, I have a good idea of what's what. The BW more than holds its own, it sparkles. I bought mine from Russ Becker and he did a great job setting up this horn and he also did a great packing job and was also 100 bucks cheaper than his competitors here in the states. If you prefer the Yani, I wouldn't balk at that one bit. It is the one!! But now there is a very close 2nd for $906.00 delivered!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,002 Posts
Thanks for the review which pretty much agrees with my experience. I played a prototype of the BW curved sop back-to-back against my favourite SC991 and was very impressed by the potential of the BW. If I didn't already have the Yanagisawa I would have bought a BW.

The necks on the two horns were interchangeable for fit and both saxes played great with either neck. But I did find the Yanagisawa neck more comfortable as it had a greater curve to it. I thought that the BW neck might well be the same as the curved neck from their straight soprano, whereas Yanagisawa have made a neck that bends through a bigger angle for their SC99x models. The BW was only a prototype at that stage and I did comment on it to the owners of the BW company, so I wonder whether they have changed things for the production model.

Rhys
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,782 Posts
exactly the NEW BW is the exact replica of the NEW Yanagisawa (wile the older one was like the older Yanagisawa when it came to the angle of the neck) and one of the reasons why I bought it it was the fact that the neck is considerably more curved than any other curved soprano brand (aside from the Yanagisawa ) this has a deep impact on the embouchure since many players tend to play the saxophone close to their bodies as opposed from away from their body as one should even with a " normally" curved soprano, curved neck (and even then, to achieve a proper embouchure , IMO, one should slightly lift the horn)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
Hey William,
Could you direct me to a place to purchase these horns on the West Coast. I think they may be an upgrade over my 475 and I love the idea of having a curved sop!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,782 Posts
that would actually be really weird but I have seen once someone doing it
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Not too weird . . . that's the way I play mine (an SC902). I have an after-market straight Yanagisawa solid-silver neck on it and for me it really opens up the sound. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,782 Posts
which means that if you want to have a correct embouchure (unless you want to play it as a clarinet) you need to hold a curved sax at a rather shallow angle in front of you projecting the sound towards you, on top and behind you but hardly in front of you. The opening up that you hear might very well be what you hear because you hear yourself better.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
True about how to hold the thing . . . not true about the perception. I drew my conclusions by switching necks (curved and straight, solid-silver and bronze) MANY times, at different playing angles and in different playing environments.

I normally hold the straight-neck curved sop out a bit which makes it kind of a tipped-bell straight soprano with an exaggerated bell. Sometimes, I will tilt my head down, thus lowering the horn but maintaining a saxophone embouchure-relationship. I don't use a neck strap for any soprano.

Based on comments from the audience and recordings I've made with the thing, there doesn't seem to be a difference in what goes out front, comparing my straight sopranos to the straight-neck curved sop. I use the straight neck whenever I play the SC902. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
Is the 93% Copper model the same as the bronze? Forgive me for my ignorance.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,782 Posts
True about how to hold the thing . . . not true about the perception. I drew my conclusions by switching necks (curved and straight, solid-silver and bronze) MANY times, at different playing angles and in different playing environments.

I normally hold the straight-neck curved sop out a bit which makes it kind of a tipped-bell straight soprano with an exaggerated bell. Sometimes, I will tilt my head down, thus lowering the horn but maintaining a saxophone embouchure-relationship. I don't use a neck strap for any soprano.

Based on comments from the audience and recordings I've made with the thing, there doesn't seem to be a difference in what goes out front, comparing my straight sopranos to the straight-neck curved sop. I use the straight neck whenever I play the SC902. DAVE
I would love to see a video of that.......
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Unfortunately, I don't have any video of it. I do have audio-clips. I've said this before, listening to audio clips, you wouldn't know which soprano I used.

The straight neck does generate some interest and comments, especially from those familiar with curved sopranos, but the end-result is what is important, and this configuration works - for me. This is not my first-choice instrument when I go out in public, I prefer straight sops for that. But on the occasions when I must travel (usually on airplanes) and want to bring a horn, the curved sop is first-choice. DAVE
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top