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Discussion Starter #1
I've been playing on a Couf Superba 1 for a few months now and really have grown to love it, the maturity of sound, the way it can go soft and sweet in a way that I could get on my 1928 Conn but could never get on my Yamaha, and then get nice and aggressive the next moment. The troubles I had with the high notes are mostly gone (I started the "New to the Couf" thread), and with the exception of the middle C# the tuning is great. I've been experimenting with a lot of different horns and feel like this is the direction that I want to take.

So, I want to buy another one as a backup. However, these saxes are not so easy to come by. I'm thinking that I should get a Keilwerth. I tried an SX90 laquer a few months ago and it really was not as close to my Couf as I thought it should be. It didn't really project like mine. So my question is, which Keilwerth is actually close to a Couf? Also, are the two really that much different?

Thanks, people.
 

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The Couf Superba I is more similar to the Newking and Toneking models (which are generally available at bargain prices). The Superba II (no RTH) is more similar to the King Tempo (I have an alto and bari of these). The horns saw some change of keywork to get to the Buffet and Conn DJH models which feature pivoting LH table and modern octave mechanism, but then there was a major body change to the Modell Ponzol which was the forerunner of the SX90 and SX90R. I had a Modell Ponzol tenor and it was quite different (both measured and playing impressions) than my Conn DJH (which I still have). If you go to Sarge's site (worldwidesax.com) and scroll down on the left side you will find a long list of stencils, most of which are equivalent to the Couf, and are killer bargains in saxophones. I buy the cheap ones occasionally and they find their way back to SOTW or to some deserving local student on a budget looking for a pro horn, after the requisite overhaul and a few months of "play testing".
 

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WindMachine said:
. I tried an SX90 laquer a few months ago and it really was not as close to my Couf as I thought it should be. It didn't really project like mine. So my question is, which Keilwerth is actually close to a Couf? Also, are the two really that much different?
Thanks, people.
I just bought an SX-90 lacquer alto an I'm really digging it, so much I played it all day yesterday and much of today. Maybe the one you tried isn't setup right or your mouthpiece wasn't a match? Once you get a JK (new or vintage) dialed in you got yourself a great sounding, great projecting, sweet sounding horn. I love my vintage DJH Bari just the same. My Nickel Silver Tenor is probably the loudest of the three though. Hard to say which one I like the most. I'm having a blast with all three of them. You should have no problems being satisfied with a new JK, play as many as you can to get the best fit for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I know about Sarges website and check it out every now and then for something that I might want. Are his rebuilds really that good? Buying a freshly rebuilt horn sounds like such a smart thing to do if I didn't live in Japan and didn't worry about shipping. Which comes back to why I'm asking about Keiilwerths.

Stores here don't carry them much. I've seen some EX's, and a few SX's (one which I tried out next to a Buffet S1 and really could not decide which I liked better, but then after getting the Couf found that I didn't want either of them). This leaves eBay or internet stores as my main line of aquisition. However, when bidding on eBay I'm always outbid. Always. I think there must be a bit of a lag. The purchases I've made were always Buy It Now, which often come up but usually not for the ones I'm interested in. I felt really lucky when I got the Couf that way.

So, based on my limited experience and on what other people here write, am I to understand that the SX90s and Coufs are really different beasts?

Peace
 

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WindMachine said:
So, based on my limited experience and on what other people here write, am I to understand that the SX90s and Coufs are really different beasts? /QUOTE]

I'm not sure there are a lot of differences with the sound, but the new JK's have the more modern ergonomics and several finishes to choose from. There are people that will tell you the Couf is a better sounding horn, probably due to the fact that they now qualify as a vintage horn. Too bad you don't have better resources to try out as many as you can. Good luck!
 

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WindMachine said:
Thanks guys. I know about Sarges website and check it out every now and then for something that I might want. Are his rebuilds really that good?
YES, they are that good. Some of the best playing horns in my collection were done by Sarge.
 

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SAXISMYAXE said:
YES, they are that good. Some of the best playing horns in my collection were done by Sarge.
Also I understand that the Sarge has no problems with international shipping.
 

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I forgot to add that, thanks Saxismyaxe for correcting me. I just had a thought for Windmachine. Look up Randall or Bighunk on this forum. They live in Japan and I think Randall is a JK nut. He could probably direct you to some JK products somewhere closer to home.
 

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Keep your eyes open for the Keilwerth made Bundy Specials, too. Mine is outstanding!
 

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the bundy special is also sold as a boosey& hawks edegware . i have the bari sax version
 

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I'm a somewhat longstanding Couf player .. since the 1980s. Though, realistically I play Selmer 99% of the time nowadays due to ergonomics.

I have a nice Couf Alto S1 which I playtested against a buddies of mine older SX90R a while back - both in new condition and setup really well. They were both very equivalent to each other, the minor tonal quality difference I related to the type of resonators (mine plastic resos, the SX metal resos) .. and not much else. Though we were in a more or less compact room like 10 x 20 and not a large room.

I haven't tried a Ponzol to compare
The Pre-Couf horns definitely sound quite different - more lush, etc.
 

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I'll weigh in~ yes I am a JK nut, among others;)

I had the Ponzol tenor, a Superba II bass, a Jk Bundy bari and alto, and tenor. I have to say that they were all outstanding and when played against a modern JK SX90.
I currently own a JK SX90 II soprano, SX90 straight alto, and SX90R bari.

I would say they all had essentially the same tonal character and intonation tendencies, with the exception of the Ponzol tenor.
Tha Ponzol was a bit more complex tonally than the the other horns and to be honest, my least favorite of the JK tenors I have owned or played. It didn't have the guts and body I have come to expect from JK horns. YRMV...:)
 

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I think that it was the neck on the Ponzol...I tried a Superba neck on that horn and made quite a difference. I traded my Ponzol tenor for my Yamaha 82ZS tenor and happy with that decision...i kept my older JKs:
Conn DJH 108M alto
King Tempo alto
Conn DJH 110M tenor
Couf Superba I bari

jeff
 

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Windmachine. I PM'd you on a Bundy Special I will sell if you are interested. Let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I just tried an SX90II soprano. Wasn't too impressed by it. Although I have to say it wasn't properly set up so I'm sure it would play better after some regulation, but I didn't feel that it has possibilities like when I first got my Conn soprano.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I finally got a chance to try out some different horns, with some suprising results.

I've tried two tenors, just for fun. I'm not really thinking about buying a Keilwerth tenor, I love my Super 20, but I had an opportunity so...

I tried a Shadow and a Nickle plated. Both sounded really good, loud, or soft if I wanted, good response, and the keywork didn't really feel uncomfortable. Those horns are definitely winners. I love that full bodied sound that they produce. I love the way the Shadow looks but I have to say that I felt the Nickle sounded just a tad better to me, responded better to me pushing it, felt like it was doing exactly what I wanted it to do.

Not so with the sopranos I tried. Does anyone really like these things? Actually the keywork wasn't bad, the sound was good, but the upper register just did not respond. I really had a lot of trouble getting anything above a high D#. I can understand that maybe the horns had not been tweaked (the store owner said they work on every horn after purchase so that the buyer has a balanced horn when they go home) but I don't think that would affect the upper register much. And I had a Beechler for crying out loud.

I then grabbed a Yanagisawa 991 and was completely floored. The keywork was funny but the upper register and intonation were just, just...perfect. I had never experienced that kind of response in a soprano. The sound was not really wuite what I'm looking for. It seemed very - polite. I could dirty it up but it really had an English gentleman feel to it. There was really no comparison between the two - the Yani was there for me, the Keil wasn't. However, tonewise, neither of them compare with my Conn. I don't know what it is but Conn made some wonderful stuff 80 years ago. If only I could find a mouthpiece that plays in tune. Or a modern sax that sounds like my Conn.

So I've gotta ask, who here is having a good time with their Keil? All the ones I tried were of the two-neck variety. Is the single neck better?

I also tried a Cannonball, I think it was called a Raven. NOT the horn for me. Why would anyone make such a heavy soprano knowing that a lot of players like to hold them straight out. There's no way I would be able to play that thing live for more than ten minutes, and I lift weights, have good shoulder muscles, etc. Bad, bad, bad.


Peace, people.
 

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I have had the same experience trying JK sopranos...and I agree on the Yani...best sopranos out there, bar none!! (full disclosure: I own an S991 and a Cannonbell Big Bell curvy, and have in the past owned Selmer VI and SA80 and Buescher Tru-tone). Even if you forget about the cost, the case for Yani sopranos is awesome, but if you're on a budget, the 901's can be had used for <$1K, and if you want something fancy, you can get a solid silver one with excessive engraving. Playability-wise, the only thing that comes close is the Yamaha.
 

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I had the same experience with a modern JK soprano. Then I picked up a Yani and it was so easy to play the full range I knew it wasn't me or my mouthpiece. The Yamaha Custom soprano was almost as good as the Yani in response, but the tone is different.
 
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