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CX90 Alto: Has Anybody Played One?

5084 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  J.Max
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I play mostly classical and gospel music (the mellow tone should be right up my alley), and have big hands (glove size 2XL), so I have a hard time with the Yani's palm keys. I like the idea of the adjustable palm keys (I have an SX90R tenor and like the keywork layout). I found a deal on for $2379 and I just ordered it. It was a restocked horn with a 45 day return option. I assume someone else tried it and didn't like it and sent it back. They also have a Silverstar with the sterling neck for 500 more, but I thought the copper body was right up my alley. Joe Jazz, I was tempted to put another bid on your horn on the Bay, but chickened out at the last moment. Thanks for the replies all.
I got the sax yesterday, and I have to say I like my Yani better. It came well packed and was in perfect condition. I stuck my leak light down it and every key was in perfect adjustment. Very good setup. Not sure whether or not they adjust them before they send them out. Although the adjustable palm keys are nice, the RH ergos are strange. The low end sounds really good (really nice, full sound), but the high front F key is poorly located and causes problems with my index finger bumping it. High palm key notes above D come out a lot easier on the Yani, and overall the Yani is easier to play. This may be because I am used to the Yani, so I will play the Keilwerth 1 week before I decide for sure whether to send it back (I probably will, as I don't see any considerable advantage of the Keilwerth). The copper horn sure is pretty, though.
I got the horn from I heard too much bad about Prowinds to order from them. I assume, Music123, Musiciansfriend and WWBW are one of the same. They had the same used horns advertised anyway.
I promised I would share information about this sax, so long story short, I sent it back. The high notes above palm key D would not come out unless I slurred them. The high front F key was located where I could easily bump it. The RH keys felt strange, making my hand feel cramped. On the plus side, the tone, esp in the low end was really full and "dark", so I liked that. The LH pinky cluster was nice and well positioned. The adjustable palm keys are good for big hands. I decided to keep the Yanagisawa because I felt it was the better overall horn. I've had it for 3 years now, so maybe it's more like I'm used to it more than anything.
It really just comes down to personal preference. I've found that with my mouthpiece/reed combo all the high end horns sound very similar anyway (the best being an old Conn Chu Berry, though I just couldn't get used to the keywork). I'm sure I could have adjusted to the Keilwerth, and there were a lot of things I liked about it. Definitely worth considering, though. I suspect the problem I was having with the high notes (the main reason I sent it back) could have been corrected by my tech.

This looks like the same horn as the CX-90, although it was almost 4 years ago when I played the Keilwerth version. Big price difference, though.
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