Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've been playing on Cannonball stone series saxes (Raven soprano, alto, and tenor) for the past six years and really loving it but like many horn players I'm in the mood to get another horn. I'm looking at the Keilwerth 90R or Keilwerth 90R shadow (primarily) alto. I've heard good reviews about the keilwerth and wanted to try one out but don't have a Keilwerth dealer in the neighborhood. I was eyeing a keilwerth shadow on ebay but I am nervous to take the risk and be disappointed. Maybe you guys can help. What are your thoughts on getting a Keilwerth pro horn versus sticking with the Cannonball? (I know Cannonball is not one the big four, non-taiwanese horns).
 

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've played both. I think you will find that the Keilwerth is a fine horn. My experience has been that the Cannonball (which I also like very much) will be quite a bit brighter than the 90R.
Actually in a couple of my performances during soundcheck, I had a bandmember tell me that my sound was very bright and intense. Some of that had to do with room we were in but when I listened to myself in the monitor it was bright. I want a bright tone and I know that my mpc setup (beechler arb) enhances that brightness. I wonder how different ergonimics of the keys are?
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-17
Joined
·
831 Posts
The ergos on the Keilwerth are more spread out. If you have big hands, you'll like the Keilwerth. For me, I haven't found a better horn yet, as the palm keys are adjustable.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,288 Posts
I'm guessing that you'd forget about one horn's key locations in about 10 to 30 seconds after switching - and just play the thing. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The ergos on the Keilwerth are more spread out. If you have big hands, you'll like the Keilwerth. For me, I haven't found a better horn yet, as the palm keys are adjustable.
Well actually I do have big hands but that is not a real issue on the Cannonball for me. I've heard a lot about ergos but sounds is the target for me. Resale value is not a question for me.
 

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm guessing that you'd forget about one horn's key locations in about 10 to 30 seconds after switching - and just play the thing. DAVE
LOL. exactly. I am going to need to find one to give it a test run. :)
 

·
Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
I'm guessing that you'd forget about one horn's key locations in about 10 to 30 seconds after switching - and just play the thing. DAVE
Not if you have my hands ... The JK is one of the few horns I can play without getting sore wrist tendons. The Longest I have gone on my Sadow is about 4 hours with no problems.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,288 Posts
I'm also guessing that for 99% of the players out there, that ergo-problems are only in their mind based on all the palaver heard in music stores and read on web-sites. When they actually play several different saxophones at one setting, the location of all the touches is easily mastered in a VERY short time and then the test goes to tone, response, and intonation. DAVE
 

·
Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
Well I guess I am one of the 1% then. My yas23 is fine to play and it only takes a few minutes to change over key positions as you said Dave. Whilst I love the different voice of my sml gm1, my right wrist starts to bother me after about an hour or so....enough that I know I should stop.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-17
Joined
·
831 Posts
I had a Conn Chu Berry (1925) and couldn't get used to it. I've played a YTS 23 and it feels cramped to me. Ergos are the most important thing to me, as any decent horn will sound good and play in tune.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
Well I guess I am one of the 1% then. My yas23 is fine to play and it only takes a few minutes to change over key positions as you said Dave. Whilst I love the different voice of my sml gm1, my right wrist starts to bother me after about an hour or so....enough that I know I should stop.
I'm in there too. It's wrist position that gets me every time. Left hand though. I have small hands, and my Shadow (tenor) is fatiguing on long sets for me. I just finished 10 shows in 10 days and I was gone by the end. There are 2 spots on my hands with calluses from the horn. All that said, it's worth dealing with for the sound. But my VI I can play endlessly without fatigue.

As far as comparison to the Raven, they are just different. In the "to each their own" category, my experience is the opposite of Woosax's. I found the Raven to be more muted in the highs and also more resistant. Resistance can make things brighter I guess for some. I don't think I'd buy anything site unseen or unplayed. You can't go on someone else's opinion. I fell in love with the Shadow, but it's not everyone's sup of tea.
 

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm in there too. It's wrist position that gets me every time. Left hand though. I have small hands, and my Shadow (tenor) is fatiguing on long sets for me. I just finished 10 shows in 10 days and I was gone by the end. There are 2 spots on my hands with calluses from the horn. All that said, it's worth dealing with for the sound. But my VI I can play endlessly without fatigue.

As far as comparison to the Raven, they are just different. In the "to each their own" category, my experience is the opposite of Woosax's. I found the Raven to be more muted in the highs and also more resistant. Resistance can make things brighter I guess for some. I don't think I'd buy anything site unseen or unplayed. You can't go on someone else's opinion. I fell in love with the Shadow, but it's not everyone's sup of tea.

I have an appreciation for not going on other opinions. I definitely am trying to find a place that already has a keilwerth in store. The last place I called could get one but they didn't want to be stuck with the horn in the store if I didn't like it. On the other hand I'm not trying to purchase a brand new horn of that level for $5000 to $6000 of cash that I don't have. I want a high end horn but used is the direction that I'm going.

As far as ergs, I play a curved Cannonball Raven soprano which I love, but the G# pad is set a little too forward and up for my big mits. Crazy enough I have a Cannonball Raven Tenor and a Raven Alto; scaling for proportions the G# pad alto and tenor are fine but the soprano setting is just a bit off. I guess I could get an adjustment from the right tech.
 

·
The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
Joined
·
27,650 Posts
DewtimeMusic, first a caveat: I have a SX90R alto (black&gold) that I will be selling, but have just been too lackadaisical to post yet. Hopefully those used to my posts can confirm that I'm relatively (gotta give myself some wiggle room) objective in cases like this when I post an opinion. That is, even though I have a terrific, almost virgin JK I could sell you, my following comments are as objective and ethical as I can make them and are not intended to influence you towards any given purchase. However, if you are interested in discussing my horn, PM me.

I have played the Cannonball and have owned both the lacquered and black&gold-finished JK SX90R altos. For me the Cannonball had an individual sound to it, one that I didn't care for. It had power and presence but the core sound just seemed to me to have a bit of a tinny quality. In all fairness, I did not spend a lot of time looking for another mpc to match it with in order to see if I could get a more substantial sound out of it. The mpc I used was a Ponzol HR. Otherwise, the horn was responsive and with good intonation.

The JK, OTOH, has a more substantial sound. IMO the black&gold has a more substantial, if not a bit darker, core sound to it than the Cannonball and, perhaps even than the lacquered JK. (My tenor is also a JK b&g, so I must have an affinity to that sound.) I think that with another mpc, this horn could come up to the brightness the OP is seeking. I don't usually seek brightness in my sax sounds, so I won't exhibit that unless I intentionally counteract my equipment and/or attitude when I play. I have no doubt that if the JK were matched up with a mpc that is brighter, like my Ponzol SS alto, or more smaller chamber and/or high-baffle mpcs, what you would have is not just a brighter sound but (and this is important to me) a brighter sound built up from a more substantial and deeper core sound than from many other saxes' sounds.
 

·
Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
I havent spent a lot of time with a Cannonball alto but I my thoughts would be similar to Gary. Stonevseries I played was a good horn but the LH pinky table didnt work for me and I prefer the sound of the Shadow.
 

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Gary and Jazzaferri. Thanks for the feedback. I know that sounds are based on preference and what you are aiming for. I am for a brighter more modern sound which I think I do get with my current setup. I was just thinking I may get a richer overall sound with the JK 90R shadow while still getting that bright sound. I am going to make it my business to test a Keilwerth as soon as I see one. That's my best bet. I have to do this for myself before I truly make a purchase. You all have been a great help. Too bad it all doesn't come with a test play of the horn I'm checking out.
 

·
Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
You want bright and power, play the Shadow with a good powerhouse bright mpce.....blow your sox off it will.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I've played on both the Keilwerth SX90R and Cannonball Stone Series Raven and Hotspur. They are both very wonderful horns; very expressive and powerful. They are also both very good horns for travel in that they will stay in regulation and not need to be adjusted after a long flight.

They are both heavy horns; the Keilwerth a little more so due to its extra wide bow. With my set-up iuse a Runyon Quantum on soprano and vintage Brilhart Levelairs on alto and tenor; im looking at getting ARB's for my alto and tenor soon. Tone wise the Keilwerth SX90R has a more aggressive sound that has more bite. The Cannonball Stone Series has a more expressive sound that is more mellow and has more warmth.

Tone is subjective, what I or someone else experiences someone else may have a different experience. But for the price, I would say stay with the Cannonball Stone Series. You get just as good of a horn with very immaculate appointments. It's like getting a King Super 20 and Keilwerth SX90R in one spectacular package!
 

·
Registered
Rampone Cazzani R1 Jazz Gold Plated Alto
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
So I bit the bullet and purchase the Keilwerth Shadow alto. I'm waiting for it to reach me so that I can test it out. I wish I had a dealer nearby so that I could test it out but I guess that is not the case. Oh well. So I tried the P. Mauriat 500Bx alto per someone suggestion. It played like a Yamaha 82Z, which I don't particularly like as much as my Cannonball (personal preference). The ergos were fairly ok but the key was too tight for my liking. I would probably loosen overtime. I guess I'm biased and stuck on my Cannonball. I know I will like the Keilwerth just based on testimonials from you guys here and my teacher. I'll make my own assessment when I play it and I'll let you know my impressions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Congrats!! It's a marvelous instrument. Re: the Shadow, the ergo intent was to be smaller in the hands than the regular SX90R's. I have sets of both and have found that to be precisely the case. The RH pearls are even angled to facilitate touch and feel.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top