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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking of upgrading my tenor saxophone. My current model is a Trevor James and I have been very pleased with it but am now looking for a step up. My question is, for someone with large (clumsy) hands, which make of saxophone would be best suited? I suppose I am talking about the layout of the keywork as much as anything else. For example I have read on SOTW that Yanagisawa saxes are generally considered quite 'cramped'.

Any suggestions which would be the best makes to try?
 

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In a word:KEILWERTH Big pearls(buttons) big spread for big hands!!!!
 

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I'll add a third nomination for Julius Keilwerth. I own one, and it's the only alto I've played that hasn't felt like a toy in my hands.
 

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I've got hands big enough to palm a basketball and I've played tenor and soprano Yanagisawas over extended periods. Their ergonomics are great, and in fact I liked them much better than SX-90II/SX-90R ergonomics. (I also played Keilwerths exclusively for a few years.) The Shadow's new right hand ergonomics are quite nice, though.

It's all about proper hand position. Really, I've played everything from vintage Bueschers and Mark VIIs to modern Yanis, Keilwerths, and Mark VII's, not to mention flute and clarinet, and though I have my preferences ergonomics are never a problem. With large hands it's especially necessary that you keep your fingers curved and in contact with the pearls. The right thumb rest should be making contact with the cuticle of your thumb, and your left thumb should be at about a 45 degree angle from the body tube.

With that said, the Mark VII easily has the most spread out keywork of any horn made in the past 30 years. Fred Hemke designed it, and he can palm one of those "core-strengthening" exercise balls. :shock:
 

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I third the Mark VII...though I still dont like the pinky table. If you have hands like that you can get a lot of horn for the cash since us mere mortals dont like the feel....its certainly worth a look.
 

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King Super 20!
 

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get a sax you like the sound of, you will always be disappointed with the sax if you dont like its sound. You can always get the keys built up with cork or other materials to match your hands. You can always make adjustments with your hand positions as well, i have a friend A.Smith, who has some of the biggest hands ive seen and he gets around his series III alto better than most people i have seen.
Go for the sax you really want dont compensate for something that you can alter.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses. I shall definitely try out some Keilwerths. How do P Mauriat and Cannonball rate in the size stakes?
 

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Mickyd -

The size of the body and bell of the Mauriat is slightly bigger than the 6, but their keyworks and designs are identical.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yellowhornblower,

Thanks for that information. I shall be trying out some P Mauriats as well.
 

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I tried a VII alto and it fit my hands like a glove. It played wonderfully too.

My 10m tenor fits my hands really well too.
 

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Strange, I always thought the 10M was better for people with smaller hands. All I know is that I bought a '37 about a year ago and promptly sold it because it didn't feel right in my larger than average hands (I don't know how large my hands are relative to others but I do have exceptionally long "artistic"? fingers. :D I thought the right-hand ergos on the Conn were especially cramped. In contrast, for vintage the King horns feel really good in my hands, with just the right amount of spread.
 

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Swingtone said:
I thought the right-hand ergos on the Conn were especially cramped. In contrast, for vintage the King horns feel really good in my hands, with just the right amount of spread.
I agree about the feel of the 10M RH and the spread on the Kings.

Got big hands? SML (tenor) seems to have enough spread and girth for everyone. Lower stack on Buffet SDA (tenor) is pretty good too.
 

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yeah The Buffet Dynaction and SDA are good for large hands, Lower stack spread as windmiller said, but in particular the p0lam keys are good, being noticeably larger and farther off the body than Selmer-types
 
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