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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering getting a Baritone Sax, as a very part time addition to my Alto Sax playing.....but don't need or want to spend a huge amount for a Yamaha or a Yani...

I've been looking at the Taishan Baritones....and see the Kessler & Sons "Solist" Baritone....but the website doesn't provide much detail on this brand sax.

So I'm looking for more info about it....who makes it, how does it compare to a Taishan, or to a Yamaha YBS-52..??

Thanks !
 

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I second the idea of calling Dave directly. He’s very accessible and quite honest about the pros and cons of different saxophones.
 

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I've been thinking about getting one of these for years, and never quite pulled the trigger. But I can say I've read with interest all the comments people have made about these horns over a long period of time, and I can't remember anybody saying anything bad. Search the archives, you'll find lots of comments from people who own one.
 

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If you are considering one of these, do yourself a favor and reach out to member Brasscane who is selling a Bauhaus bari. I've had several transactions with him and can recommend him with utmost confidence! He's always happy to answer questions and is a stand-up dude.

I always recommend hunting down an old Yanagisawa B6 stencil for roughly the same money. That said, the pictures of the Bauhaus had me drooling.

Regardless, good luck on your decision. Bari is where it's at!
 

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You could try to contact directly SOTW member 1saxman who has frequently posted about his positive experiences with the Kessler "Solist" baritone.
 

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I have had a Solist bari for about two weeks. It is very well built, has excellent intonation, and plays easily from top to bottom. I had a bit of an issue with the setup, and Kessler's provided great service.
 

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Could you elaborate on that? Did you have to ship the horn back and forth?
Oh God! I started a thread about this experience elsewhere here that got way out of hand. The bell keys were not coming anywhere near the bumpers when open, and it looked as though the bumpers were improperly set up. I asked for opinions about this, and sure got them. I expressed my disappointment in the set up, given Kessler's reputation (this was my fourth purchase from them). However, it turned out that the bumpers were where Kessler had properly set them up. The problem was in the low A linkage, which was preventing the keys from fully opening. Adam Kessler talked me though a simple fix, and all is now great. I do, in fact, believe that the sax left the shop with this low A linkage problem, as I cannot logically see how a bump to the (upgraded and very sturdy) case could have caused this particular problem. So, while the set up issue was not the one I had first thought, there was an issue. But, things happen, and Kessler's was great about diagnosing the problem and supplying a quick fix. I am fully satisfied,

(I did not identify Kessler's until they had a chance to respond to the issue, in fairness to them.)

I am not so happy about the other thread. One member complained because I asked for opinions upon noticing the problem with the bell keys, but before I had a chance to take the sax from my office to home and play it. In my opinion, any faulty set up is an issue apart from how the sax plays, especially when Kessler's promotes its set up as a major marketing point. I am sure that Kessler's would agree that I should not have been satisfied with the condition of the sax, as indicated by their excellent efforts to address the issue.

Another took me to task for being concerned about this "meaningless" issue, and described how I should replace the bumpers. (If I had replaced the bumpers, I would have adjusted them so that they touched the keys as they were, which means that the keys would not be opening as far as they should!) This same person admitted that they had not read the entire thread, and were unaware that the problem had been resolved and that the bumpers were not the issue. Others refused to take my assessment of the local techs (I would not use them) and the fact that taking the sax to a reputable shop would be a burden, at face value. I was told that a "hack" tech could replace the bumpers, and I am sure that is correct. I am also confident that the hack tech would have done just that, and not noticed that the real problem was elsewhere.

Bottom line: Do not hesitate to purchase from Kessler's because the sax has to be shipped long distances, or because you cannot play-test the sax first. Nobody is perfect, but they will makes things right.
 

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Can't say much about the Kessler horns other than I've heard good things about them; we can't really get them down here in Australia.

I can however, recommend the Taishan. I bought one recently and I couldn't be happier. I'm playing Wizard of Oz on it at the moment, there are a ridiculous amount of low As in it and it's getting them all out no problem. I think this may be the specific seller I got it from, but it was pefectly set up and played out of the box, I couldn't believe it. I did get a 5C mouthpiece for it though, the included one was fine but a bit open for me. I have their soprano too, and had a similar experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SO....I made the decision and placed an order with Kessler for a Solist Baritone, rather then getting something off of eBay or reverb. Dave contacted me to discuss the mouthpiece choice decision. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the new toy.!

Edit to add info - Yes, I ordered the upgrade case also.
 

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SO....I made the decision and placed an order with Kessler for a Solist Baritone, rather then getting something off of eBay or reverb. Dave contacted me to discuss the mouthpiece choice decision. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the new toy.!
Excellent! I hope you'll post your impressions once you've gotten to know the horn.
 

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SO....I made the decision and placed an order with Kessler for a Solist Baritone, rather then getting something off of eBay or reverb. Dave contacted me to discuss the mouthpiece choice decision. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the new toy.!
Did you also order the case upgrade that Kessler promotes, or stick with the stock case? Would be interested in your evaluation here as well.
 

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SO....I made the decision and placed an order with Kessler for a Solist Baritone, rather then getting something off of eBay or reverb. Dave contacted me to discuss the mouthpiece choice decision. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the new toy.!

Edit to add info - Yes, I ordered the upgrade case also.
Curious as to your mouthpiece decision and why. I'm going to assume much was based on the style of music you'll primarily be playing?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Curious as to your mouthpiece decision and why. I'm going to assume much was based on the style of music you'll primarily be playing?
To be honest, I selected the Vandoren V16 Ebonite Bari Sax B7 Mouthpiece based on some other reviews and comments from others here. Dave asked what mouthpieces I currently use, I supplied him a list of what I use on Alto and Tenor, and he said this Vandoren should be a good fit. If not, there is a return policy for mouthpieces....As far as being based on the type of music ....its all over the place, I play in a 16 piece big-band, and a 5 piece jazz combo...which plays swing, smooth jazz, rock, country and western line dance, etc...
 

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I have had my Solist bari for about a month now. I have a Yanagisawa 5 hard rubber mouthpiece and a Selmer S80 D. Right now, with the reeds I have tried, the Yany is working better for me.

I am no tech, but I enjoy reading Stephen Howard’s reviews of saxes that he has in his shop (shwoodwind.co.uk), which include detailed descriptions of build quality, and have learned a bit about what to look for. My impression of the Solist is that it is very well built. There is no play in any of the keys, no gaps between rods and posts, the pads are centered on the toneholes, no lost movement in the mechanism. The neck fits the tenon very well, and the posts are soldered to the body using sizable bases. My only other bari was a Kessler Custom, purchased in 2005 and sold a couple of years later. I recall being amazed at how much the long rods on that sax flexed under any pressure. This is not an issue with the Solist.

The Solist plays easily from top to bottom. I am still working out mouthpiece/reed combos, so I don’t want to make definitive statements about tone (this should never be a rush-to-judgment reaction), but it sounds very good. Once I get the MP/reed setup finalized I expect great things.

I purchased the upgrade case, and I recommend it if you have the money. It is an excellent fit for the Solist, and provides solid protection.
 

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I've had my Solist for about 9 years with zero issues. Plays like it did out of the case 9 years ago. Upgraded the case (which was good enough) with a Pro-tec Pro-pac. Love the sax!
 
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