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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J HR & Otto Link STM NY 7.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read several threads concerning Cannonball here (some quite amusing) and wanted to simply share my experience with Cannonball.

I have played many tenor saxes since 1968, (Conn, Vito, Buescher) although when I was catching gigs I also played flute and clarinet. Family and life responsibilities prevented a lot band work. Dennis Bamber sold a Couf to me in 1979 when his store was just the Woodwind in South Bend, Indiana. At any rate, about 20 years ago I purchased a WWBW house tenor and have played it on worship teams. It is a nice student horn. Recently, I decided to get a professional sax. I had no idea who Cannonball is or that they existed. The local music store had Selmer, Yanagisawa, and Yamaha, so I headed out to play some horns. The Yani was beyond any serious consideration, so I played a Yamaha 62, 82Z and a Selmer Pro horn. None of them caught my attention. The clerk had me try the Cannonball Vintage Reborn. The horn was full and centered. It was easier to play than my own horn. I bought it. I had no knowledge of engraving or finishes. This one is their dark amber finish, which is kind of cool. In the case, a card lists my horn as #22 of 300 engraved with its pattern. I like the feel and cosmetics of the stones, but I doubt that I can "hear" them.

The greater challenge is the mouth piece. I have used a Otto Link STM NY 7* for 15 years. The Cannonball came with a Cannonball 5J mouth piece, so I tried it. I like the sound better than my OL, so I am using that with a BG Super Revelation ligature that I had. I am sounding like Paul Desmond on tenor instead of alto! I broke out some music, Brubeck's Time Out and Time Further Out, to practice. I am positively inspired.

I chose the horn for its sound and feel. Many of the idiosyncrasies of the Cannonball Company I have learned here in this forum. All the finishes and engravings and stones aside, I chose the horn for it sound and feel. The greater challenge is that this horn speaks very well. I have never been able to play altissimo, but this horn does. I also must alter some of my bad habits in order to have fun and play well.

I like Cannonball. They are OK.
 

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The "inside story" I was told was that company president Tevis Laukat owned and played on one of the best Mark VI Tenors ever made. The concept for the "Vintage Reborn" was to try to replicate the sound of that tenor as close as possible. The Vintage Reborn carried Pete Christlieb's name when they first came out before he and the company parted ways. Pete was quoted as saying the Cannonball came closer to his Selmer SBA that he has played for years than any other tenor he has played.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J HR & Otto Link STM NY 7.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why was the Yani beyond serious consideration? just curious.Cannonball VR are very good horns. CB stock mouthpieces are also very decent.
I did have a particular budget for the purchase, and Yani was simply out of the price range. I have heard good things about them, so it was not anything against their reputation. I cashed out a retirement account, Purchased a new car and "snuck in" the new sax!
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J HR & Otto Link STM NY 7.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used two different Morgan mouthpieces with a Cannonball VR. Excaliber and a Jazz Large chamber. Dug them both. I still play the Jazz L. I'm not a 'wailer' - prefer a Getz/Henderson vibe. Peace.
I also have a Vandoren Jazz T55 mouth piece, which is why I had the BG ligature. It just does not sound very good on the CB. If I am up for the hunt, I might try the Morgans.
 

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I've never owned a Cannonball tenor, but played a bunch over the years. I never liked them with a high baffled mouthpiece, but got a better vibe using a rollover type baffle. Anyone else share that preference, or are guys using pea shooters with them?
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J HR & Otto Link STM NY 7.
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I've never owned a Cannonball tenor, but played a bunch over the years. I never liked them with a high baffled mouthpiece, but got a better vibe using a rollover type baffle. Anyone else share that preference, or are guys using pea shooters with them?
My Vandoren is a high baffle, but the Cannonball is not. Perhaps you are on to something with that observation, although my OL is not a high baffle. I think my ombessure relaxes more with the Cannonball rather than the Link, as the Link is smaller in the mouth..
 

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Ryan Lillywhite who is most often heard playing tenor on the Cannonball Band videos plays on a Jody Jazz Jet 7. If you like his concept of sound that seems to be a good match for the Cannonball tenors. Upon his recommendation I bought one to use on my Conn 10M and I really like the versatility and range of tonal colors it provides.
 

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Have a VR alto and I've tried numerous mouthpieces. Always come back to the Cannonball mouthpiece. Just works better for me and sounds better to me.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J HR & Otto Link STM NY 7.
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Have a VR alto and I've tried numerous mouthpieces. Always come back to the Cannonball mouthpiece. Just works better for me and sounds better to me.
Well, I am totally re-examining my reed preference now. I have played all my mouthpieces again, and concluded that the Cannonball offers better sound. I have been playing the Jazz select/ D'Addario for years, 2H, but I only get 2 good reeds out of 5. I was going to a harder reed (for altissimo) but I really need to improve my embouchure. I need to try something different, perhaps Vandoren Java green 2.
 

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Well, I am totally re-examining my reed preference now. I have played all my mouthpieces again, and concluded that the Cannonball offers better sound. I have been playing the Jazz select/ D'Addario for years, 2H, but I only get 2 good reeds out of 5. I was going to a harder reed (for altissimo) but I really need to improve my embouchure. I need to try something different, perhaps Vandoren Java green 2.
I'm using both green and blue Vandoren 2 and get 5 good reeds darn near every time.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5J HR & Otto Link STM NY 7.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm using both green and blue Vandoren 2 and get 5 good reeds darn near every time.
Are you getting decent altissimo? I am really amazed that my horn is giving me what I want! I never had a horn that would play this well above the register. Of course, I am focusing on control.
 

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I've never owned a Cannonball tenor, but played a bunch over the years. I never liked them with a high baffled mouthpiece, but got a better vibe using a rollover type baffle. Anyone else share that preference, or are guys using pea shooters with them?
When I tried them, I was using a Rovner Deep V iirc. If not that then a Runyon Quantum, but I don't think I had that yet.
I didn't like the VR at all, but the BB beat out a great many other high-end horns for my taste. It ended up basically tied for second place with the Selmer R36, out of nearly every then-current pro horn on the market in 2013 and a few vintage horns. And of course, once I had prices the CB pulled a full length ahead....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a follow up on reeds, I did switch to the Vandoran Java green 2. I had concerns about altissimo on softer reeds but it all works. In fact, I am getting solid notes in the first octave altissimo, which I have never done before. I also found that my OL STM NY metal also plays with these reeds; it is darker than the Cannonball mp. Both sound full and have an edge if I want. Perhaps I am growing into the horn. I have lots of time to practice, which I needed!
 

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The "inside story" I was told was that company president Tevis Laukat owned and played on one of the best Mark VI Tenors ever made. The concept for the "Vintage Reborn" was to try to replicate the sound of that tenor as close as possible. The Vintage Reborn carried Pete Christlieb's name when they first came out before he and the company parted ways. Pete was quoted as saying the Cannonball came closer to his Selmer SBA that he has played for years than any other tenor he has played.
I didnt know he had parted ways with them. Do you know the reason? I THOUGHT I had seen him playing the Cannonball within the last year but I could easily have been wrong. 'Closest to an SBA' is a pretty great endorsement.
 

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The fact that Pete Christlieb played and performed on the Cannonball Vintage Reborn tenor for several years lends credibility to the idea that he was comfortable with that make and model of saxophone. I attended a BYU Synthesis concert that featured both Pete Christlieb and Don Menza playing Cannonball tenors. It was a memorable experience to say the least.
 
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