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I just picked up a second hand (but not very!) custom deluxe alto off of ebay. My main axe (Superba 1) needs an overhaul and I got the Kessler to use as a backup.

Mine has the brushed finish, and it really looks nice. The engravings are very well done, deep into the finish - much nicer than those cheesy Cannonball laser things! The horn appears to be very well built - I'm reallly amazed at the quality. Its a heavy horn - no cheap metal here. The case is also very nice with ample storage space, heavy zippers and looks like it will hold up pretty well.

It plays as nice as it looks. While I still like my superba 1 better, it will defintely get the job done. Keywork is very fast, no slop or extra play, and has a nice pro feel. Nice sweet tone (selmer-like), a good even scale. I am having one issue - high C has a bit of a strange overtone or something to it. Sounds similar (but not nearly as extreme) as the sound you get when you play under a ceiling fan - probably just an adjustment somewhere - no other note has this issue. (any ideas out there? a horn tech I'm not!)

I am also very impressed with the Kessler Custom NY mouthpiece that came with it. I normally play a Meyer G with my Superba 1 and it sounds really good. It didn't sound as good with the Kessler, (a little too tame) so I tried the Kessler mp. It really plays well - much, much better than what you normally get with a new sax!

In summary - based on my limited use to date, the Kessler Custom alto is a very well built, nice playing horn. In my opinion, it should work great for the beginner/student/weekend warrior, and is more than adequate as a backup horn for just about anybody else. Really a great value and makes you wonder why anybody would pay more (in some cases, a lot more) for other brand beginner/intermediate level horns.
 

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coufplayer said:
I am having one issue - high C has a bit of a strange overtone or something to it. Sounds similar (but not nearly as extreme) as the sound you get when you play under a ceiling fan - probably just an adjustment somewhere - no other note has this issue. (any ideas out there? a horn tech I'm not!)
I think it may have a slight leak in one of the palm keys. That's where i would start anyway.
 

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High C Warble

One of my sax students had a silver-plated 5-digit Selmer Mark VI, and he had the same "warbling" on high C. We had his horn checked thoroughly, and I played it with my mouthpiece, but it still warbled on high C (and only on high C).

I finally came to the conclusion that this phenomenon was caused by a vibration node between the length and shape of the neck and the octave key tone hole placement in relationship to the C tone hole. My early 6-digit Mark VI did not have this phenomenon, even when the student played it with his mouthpiece.

Anyway, perhaps the Kessler sax is a copy of the 5-digit Mark VI that my student had. Oriental manufacturers have a penchant for copying (what they perceive to be) the best, and that may be the issue here.

This is not criticism of Kessler or his products, just my reporting a similar experience.

Sax Magic
 

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Sax Magic said:
One of my sax students had a silver-plated 5-digit Selmer Mark VI, and he had the same "warbling" on high C. We had his horn checked thoroughly, and I played it with my mouthpiece, but it still warbled on high C (and only on high C).

I finally came to the conclusion that this phenomenon was caused by a vibration node between the length and shape of the neck and the octave key tone hole placement in relationship to the C tone hole. My early 6-digit Mark VI did not have this phenomenon, even when the student played it with his mouthpiece.

Anyway, perhaps the Kessler sax is a copy of the 5-digit Mark VI that my student had. Oriental manufacturers have a penchant for copying (what they perceive to be) the best, and that may be the issue here.

This is not criticism of Kessler or his products, just my reporting a similar experience.

Sax Magic

I think it's actually a Selmer SA80 Serie II copy, which is known to have this issue.
 

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That could be a number of things, but the most vexing is an acoustic flaw in the neck design. Try putting the neck on another horn (if possible) and see if you have the same problem.
 
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