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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm a relatively new player (6 years) and am moving onto playing in college this coming fall. Since I'm going onto college, I've been searching for months for information about a good soprano to replace my chinese-made one from eBay. I'm a longtime SotW lurker, but never needed to post until now.

A little background information: My current setup is a CE Winds "Ice Storm" A2 Tenor with a powertone neck and a Jumbo Java T45 mpc. I got this last December after researching to replace my Yamaha. I've known about CE Winds for a while, and decided to give it a try due to the tempting price and good reviews. I have been since EXTREMELY pleased with the horn, not only due to the affordability, but the response, tone, and ease of playing is just perfect for me. Not to mention it is gorgeous and well made. I definitely plan on upgrading to one of their pro horns, should the time come when I need to and have the means.

That said, when it came down to buying a soprano, I am torn between getting a CE Winds soprano, or a Kessler Custom. I have heard only good things about Kessler, but I have firsthand experience with CE Winds. Additionally, there are no CE Winds sopranos currently available, so I am debating waiting for one in their new series to come out (even still, it would cost more than a Kessler)... Note, I am on a college-student budget, and would PREFER to spend only $800 or less :cry: . Under $1000 definitely. What do you guys think I should do? I am open to other brands, as well, but I am pretty confident these two would give me the best bang for my buck.

Thank you for any help you can offer! :mrgreen:



P.S. -- I just sold my crappy spare alto Bundy and got one of those plastic VibratoSaxes.... But that's another story.

P.P.S. -- If anyone has saxello suggestions, I would want to get one instead of a straight soprano!
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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P.S. -- I just sold my crappy spare alto Bundy and got one of those plastic VibratoSaxes.... But that's another story.
Ummmm... ok. I'd be interested in the story.
 

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P.S. -- I just sold my crappy spare alto Bundy and got one of those plastic VibratoSaxes.... But that's another story.
We'll try not to hold it against you, really. We'll try really, really hard.


Man it's getting hard not to hold it against you! :bluewink:

Good luck.

[SUP][SUB](I'm a Kessleronian btw.)[/SUB][/SUP]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ummmm... ok. I'd be interested in the story.
Well.... For the sake of trying to get an answer for my soprano dilemma, I'll get to the point..
I met the dealer in SF, who turned out to be a friend of the manufacturer, who was asked to deal the VibratoSaxes for the US. I was able to haggle for it for $450, and took it home with me back to Seattle. I played it at practice, and it has an odd sound. Really warm, really dark, and can project. But it's very temperamental with different mouthpieces. It only works with my Rousseau, and not a Meyer or other stock pieces. Really weird keyworking, but neat. Ultra light, I can carry it with my pinky. During practice, the upper octave (G onward) played an entire half step flat all practice..... Played it for a gig the next night, and it played beautifully and in tune. Note: I haven't played alto for monthsss, so my predicament is not knowing if it's me or the horn. We'll see.

But I digress.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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For an under $1k horn either of these should serve you well.

For a few hundred more, you could have a vintage Buescher sop, which is going to sound a whole lot better (at least in my estimation).
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Yeah, I mean it doesn't sound like much of a dilemma...you have some years under your belt...you like what you like....and you have a short list.

For under $1000 you want a contemporary horn...now, you might be able to nail a used Yanagisawa stencil online somewhere, which would highly likely be better than either of those....but other than that, given your tastes and what you have described....I see no dilemma....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I sort of am just wondering mainly if the Kessler would be better than CE Winds, or if I should wait an indefinite amount of time to spend slightly more on a horn... Or if I should just go ahead and purchase a Kessler if it'd be comparable and recommended. (Or if there was one that would beat both for the price).
 

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Ok.....
My opinion is as follows. You most likely will not need to bring a soprano to college. That is something you can save up to get later. If you are doing music performance, the university will most likely have a decent/good soprano that you can rent for super cheap or borrow if you need it in an ensemble.
Otherwise, it sounds like you just want a soprano, for the sake of having a soprano.
Besides, in big band setting, which you will most likely be doing in a performance degree, the first alto usually doubles on soprano. The tenor does not as often. So you most likely have no reason to get a soprano.
*by the way, I am assuming that you are doing jazz judging by your setup.

Finally, if you really need to get a soprano, wait until you meet with your professor to give you further advice. You would not want to get something and then be told you need to get something else.

pm me if you need to.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Ok.....
My opinion is as follows. You most likely will not need to bring a soprano to college. That is something you can save up to get later. If you are doing music performance, the university will most likely have a decent/good soprano that you can rent for super cheap or borrow if you need it in an ensemble.
Otherwise, it sounds like you just want a soprano, for the sake of having a soprano.
Besides, in big band setting, which you will most likely be doing in a performance degree, the first alto usually doubles on soprano. The tenor does not as often. So you most likely have no reason to get a soprano.
*by the way, I am assuming that you are doing jazz judging by your setup.

Finally, if you really need to get a soprano, wait until you meet with your professor to give you further advice. You would not want to get something and then be told you need to get something else.

pm me if you need to.
Completely agree with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alright, thanks for the advice. I'll probably do that, then.

The only reason I've been looking to getting a soprano since the beginning of summer was because (believe it or not) it's my choice instrument to practice on, and play gigs on. I just couldn't do that effectively anymore with the Conductor I had. And I'm in something of a tough situation, ignoring the soprano, with college since I am headed off to a smaller private university, with an even smaller neglected music program. As such, they have very few rentals. I played alto classically throughout high school, but that was when I was able to borrow one from my school. I now have to play tenor for both concert band and jazz due to the fact that they don't have any altos left to loan me when I get there. I asked about sopranos, so that I can practice on one or play it, and my conductor said they had none, but would love if I played when I got there.

I got the tenor I have now back in December in anticipation of this situation, as well. But yes, I am getting a soprano just to get one, so I can enjoy playing one in projects and by myself. I sold my guitar, violin, and old soprano so I can get something below $800, otherwise I can't afford to get anything else. I'll just hope my professor knows what Kessler or CE Winds are, and can direct me to one hahah.
 

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I certainly like the idea of trying for an old Buescher. I own one and it is the all-around best of the ones I own. And I've owned other Bueschers (and many other vintage brands as well) and every Buescher I've played has been worthy of ownership.

But if you want new (and I definitely understand the difference between want and need) on that budget, the beauty of dealing with Kessler is that they are straight shooters AND they make sure the horn they send is properly set up and adjusted before the sale.

Many distributors have their own house-brands, I'm guessing CE is among those. I don't know the CE brand other than what I've read about on SOTW but regardless, you buy a house-brand and it is likely to be similar to all the other house-brands, maybe even using the same parts and tubes. It all depends on what kind of a deal a distributor makes with whatever factory assembles the contracted lot. I trust Kessler to do the right thing in his contracting and distribution of his house-branded saxophones. DAVE
 

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If you're headed off the college (and here I'm assuming you are a music major) and tenor is what you want to concentrate on I think you will serve yourself better by saving some money and finding a quality tenor before thinking about a soprano.
 

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I'd go for the pro level CE Winds (Taiwan) over the Kessler Custom (China or Indonesia). I have a pro curved soprano from CE and have no complaints with it at all. In fact I am going to gig on it tonight for a dance at the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo, MD. I am sure the Kessler is fine too, I just have a bit of a prejudice and preference (for reasons of retail value) for certain countries of manufacturer and Taiwan is higher on my list. ;-)
 

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We have had two of the CE Winds curved sopranos in our household, an Alpha I and an Alpha II. Both were pretty good copies of a Yanagisawa SC-991 and played decently. I found CE Winds easy to deal with.

I do not know the Kessler soprano, but I have done business with them as well and it was a good experience.

I suspect your results will be good either way.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Another thing to think about. If sop is your thing, this is only the next one you will buy, not the last.
 
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