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Discussion Starter #1
I went down to the CE Winds showroom today and picked up a Dark Vintage Tenor to try out for the weekend. I have spent the last 8 hours playing it non-stop along with my 141,XXX 1967 Mark VI. Here are my thoughts...

I spent the first 20 minutes or so just looking at the horn. I put it up on a stand side by side with my Mark VI to examine the keywork and build quality. The CE Winds DV is pretty much an exact copy of the Mark VI. All of the mechanisms, keywork, and even the key guards are exactly the same. The only differences being that the DV has metal thumb rests whereas the Mark VI has plastic. The spatula key cluster bracing is slightly different and the low Bb key on the DV is larger.

Next I played my Mark VI to establish a benchmark to compare the DV to. I put a new Vandoren Java 3 reed on my Jody Jazz DV 10. I played the two horns back and forth for a couple of hours to get the reed broken in and myself warmed up.

So, after about 7 hours of playing, I am amazed at how great the DV plays. On the CE Winds website, they claim that the DV is the model that is closest to the Mark VI, and I have to say that it really is almost an exact copy of my Mark VI. The DV does, however, seem to benefit from the application of modern technology. The intonation on the DV is slightly better in the palm keys and also plays more open with a slightly bigger sound in the palm keys. The low C - Bb notes also speak more easily on the DV. I don't even know if you can hear these small differences, I just can feel them when I play. I would like to add that the same tech that does the setups on the CE Winds horns also does all of my personal work as well, so these horns have both been setup by the same world-class tech (Craig Christman).

The CE Winds Dark Vintage Tenor is a phenomenal horn and is the closest thing I've ever played to my Mark VI. I have to say that it actually takes the lead over the VI thanks to the advancements in modern technology.

So, I posted some quick recordings to see if you guys can tell the difference. Take a guess as to which one is the CE Winds and which one is the Mark VI. I'll post the answers when you guys are tired of guessing.


View attachment 28517
View attachment 28516
 

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This is tough,.. both clips sound great and very similar to each other... So for the sake of guessing I am going to say that clip 1 is the DV and clip 2 is the VI.
 

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after listened the second time i could see i liked better the first one... The first time i listened i couldn't separate the sound from the articulation so it gave me some doubts. What is listened the second time is that one is a different great tone, but it liked better the articulation in demo 2.
You are a great player with big sound.
 

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The music in the clips was too fast for me to get my head around.

But there's something more focused that a like much better about clip number 1.
 

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Very nice review. Clips are very similar and I can not tell a difference.

However if the Mark 6 costs so much more wouldn't it be better? :twisted:

B
 

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Wow...They both sound like you. :bluewink:

You sound great in both clips. They sound too close to pick a clear "winner," and you sound very comfortable on both...I guess that must be indicative of how similar the key work is.

I don't like one better than the other, and won't be surprised by the outcome either way. If I were in the hunt for a horn like this: I would buy the cheaper one, no doubt! Since you asked for a guess, I'll say #2 was your Selmer.
 

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You sound great on both. My laptop and/or iMac did not portray to me a clear winner. They both sound excellent.

However, having said that, you do know that the Taiwanese made CE Winds will fall completely apart in about 5 - 50 years don't you? :twisted:
 

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For me, Clip 1 was the clear winner. Hands down. If Clip 1 is not the Mark VI, then -- based purely on sound alone -- I would take that particular CE Winds DV over that particular Mark VI. But I wouldn't ditch my own Mark VI for it. :bluewink:

If some people really can't hear a difference, then I would have to think it must be a speaker issue. It would be nice to hear them in person, or (better yet) play them for ourselves.

So when do we get the results? I'm actually kind of hoping for a true contender to emerge . . . The sound of Clip 1 scratched me right where I itch.

Great playing, by the way. That makes all the difference in comparisons like these.
 

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I say:

Clip 1: CE Winds DV
Clip 2: Mark VI
 

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I say:

Clip 1: CE Winds DV
Clip 2: Mark VI
If that's the case, the CE Winds DV would be one great bargain. Of course, it probably wouldn't play that way for me. :( ..... :mrgreen::mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I had a really hard time telling any difference between the two clips so I was very surprised that some of you said you heard a big difference. I wanted to find out if all the Mark VI hype really came through in the sound.

So, the results....

Sax demo 1 was the Mark VI, Sax demo 2 was the CE Winds DV.

After reading some of your descriptions about how the VI has a more focused, powerful core, I think I can hear it now. It could just be my ears playing tricks on me. You guys have some killer ears! None of my friends could tell a difference at all.

I still say the DV is a killer horn and I would be completely happy playing it on any gig. Add some compression and reverb and the differences fade even more. The Mark VI feels like home, but I have been playing it a while so that's to be expected I suppose.

Thanks again to all who replied. This was quite enlightening.
 
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