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Discussion Starter #1
I've been playing a MK VI soprano for 17 years, and now's the time for a curved horn.

Deliberating between the bronze Yanagisawa (992) and the italian horns.

Any tips before I go try 'em all out?
 

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Cannot comment on the Italian horns, but I played a mk6 soprano for about 15 years and recently got a bronze yanagisawa SC992. It is a fantastic horn. Very nice size for travelling :) Intonation is good (but so is the mk6, I think). Keyboard is extremely tight and nice. A bit more resistance in the keys too (tighter springs perhaps?) compared to the selmer. The side-key for middle F# feels a little akward in the beginning but nice once you get used to it. All in all the keyboard feels excellent. Soundwise I think it is really top. It is difficult from a players perspective to compare curved versus straight due to the upward reflection of the sound, so it is difficult to say which actually sounds better from the audience, but I've been told it sounds "warm" for a soprano. From the player perspective I feel the sound is fresher from the SC992, but it may be the straigh vs curved issue. Soundwise, I think the SC992 may be a bit more "focused" in the sence, stronger fundamentals as compared to the harmonics. But, once you blow harder there is a really nice sparkling feeling to the sound. Somehow, this is a bit similar to my experience with a yanagisawa tenor T992, I wonder if it is the bronze thing or if it is the yanagisawa kind of construction of the horn that does this. Definitely great instruments, though.
 

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I agree with bjorn's post. My VI did not have the best intonation, though.

All I have to offer is that you may want to take an experienced "listener" along with you to give you an objective assessment from in front of the horn. Curved sopranos will sound a lot different to you than a straight soprano and that may be deceiving to you.

Also, the differences between bronze and lacquered brass are subtle at best. You may save a few bucks be getting the lacquered brass SC991. I have two bronze Yanagisawa sopranos (SC902 and S992) and once owned an SC901 before I got the SC902. I was able to play them side-by-side. Yes, there was a difference, but neither was better than the other. And the differences seemed well within the normal range of differences one hears from every saxophone.

Please let us know about your search. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks: what about the rampone

thank you both.

Dave, I know you had a Rampone at some point. Can you compare it to the Yanagisawa? Sound, resistance, action?
 

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I had the tipped-bell Rampone soprano (and sopranino . . . and an alto). The Rampones were all nice saxophones.

However, I like the Yanagisawas better. The Rampone tipped-bell was good, but the high end was a tad weak and the tipped bell made it very difficult to put down on stage to play another instrument. I think there are more adaptable stands now on the market. There wasn't when I had mine.

But the issue here is the curved Rampone and I have no experience with them. I realize they come highly regarded by other posters here who have owned/played them.

Picking blindly, I will almost always go for Yanagisawas. I've owned Yanagisawa curved sops (still have the SC902) and every other curvy I've owned or tried pales compared to my SC902. Yes, if I did not have this particular SC902, I suppose I could do well with some other brand (like a recently tested CB Black Raven Stone Series that was VERY nice), but I'm prone to Yanagisawas. I would of course be pleased to try a Rampone if I came across one. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks, and horn for sale?

Thanks to those who responded. I'm tending towards the silver R1 Jazz: will let you know how it plays when I get it...

In the meanwhile, to fund this little adventure, I'm thinking of letting go of my Mark VI tenor. Amazing horn, 63,xxxx, orignial neck and lacquer: this is the horn David Liebman plays when he comes to visit Israel... Need I say more?

My offer is at $7,500 plus shipping: I will be in NYC in a couple of weeks, and could deliver it there if the buyer is in the area.

Let me know if you're interested.

Leon
 

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Did you try a straight or curved Yanagisawa? If I remember correctly, the curved definitely plays with more resistance than the straight.
 

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BTW, I remember having read somewhere that Garbarek uses a curved Borgani soprano. IMHO he has a fantastic sound on the soprano (and on the tenor of course...), but I am sure he would have souned fantastic on a chinese Dong Xing soprano as well.

Bjørn
 

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Discussion Starter #9
curved sop

I just got the impression that the Rampone has a warmer sound than the curved Yanagisawa: have not tried either, yet, will fly to NYC to check 'em out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Plus, the Borgani's are outrageously expensive: > $4,000 for the low-end.
 

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segaleon-

Please excuse my 'jumping' your thread, but I am going to have to part with my beloved curved Rampone & Cazzani R1 Jazz soprano in gold with custom factory engraving and additional custom engraving by Jason Dumars. I am 'between' jobs and just found out that baby #2 is on the way.

Please send me a private message if you are interested, or e-mail me at the address in my profile, which you can find by clicking on my forum name.

Either way, best of luck to you, I think the R&C's have the most beautiful soprano sound available (but, obviously I am biased :D ), and you will enjoy yours to the fullest!
 

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Patseguin -

I think you are right about the resistance from curvies. I recently got a PMauriat black-nickel curvy, and while it sounds great (a bit on the bright side) from top to bottom (I can whisper a low Bb on the spot) I feel some resistance vis-a-vis my Yami 475, straight one.
 

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SaxyAcoustician -

I am not taking sides here, but who says bright is better? You see, sound preferences are like beauty; it is all personal, and thus, relative. (One man's ceiling is another floor).
 
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