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Discussion Starter #1
I know it was a black Couf.
Was it a Superba I or II ?

How much does it cost nowadays?
 

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Seems like this conversation has come 'round a few times before.

Have you tried using the search function?

Cost: $800 - $2000. Finding them is the challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah...I tried the Search but couldn't seem to find the answer.
The black ones are hard to come by.
Were these made by Keilwerth in Germany? Or in Elkhart?
I remember seeing 'Elkhart Indiana' on the bell of one....
 

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Yeah...I tried the Search but couldn't seem to find the answer.
The black ones are hard to come by.
Were these made by Keilwerth in Germany? Or in Elkhart?
I remember seeing 'Elkhart Indiana' on the bell of one....
I recall seeing "Made in W. Germany".
 

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Mine has engraved..."MADE IN WEST GERMANY EXCLUSIVELY FOR H. COUF BY JULIUS KEILWERTH MUSICAL INSTRUMENT FACTORY"..on the front of the bell it says, H. Couf, Elkhart, Ind.
the only difference between the Superba I and II are cosmetic, otherwise they're identical.
It wouldn't matter what you paid for one as they are doubtless the best soprano made.< I bought mine new in 1976 and it still pleases me. Get one if you can, nobody has enough money to get mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nah. It's all personal.

Don't jack up the price.
I haven't got mine. :)
 

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I recently picked up a gold lacquered Superba 1 and was amazed at the sound, response and feel.
It's in the shop now, too many leaks from a very bad recent re-pad.

The jury (me) is still out on it. So far the top end seems recalcitrant, but it could easily be the pad job/leaks. At least, that's what I am hoping.

The horn is a real player, though. All the pearls are fully worn in the same way, so this one has lived and been played a lot. You can feel it when you pick it up.

I'm expecting to keep it but..... we'll see.
 

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I just got my "new" Couf Superba 1 soprano back from the shop, where a few pads were replaced and a few reseated.
This is a fabulous horn with a great sound.
It needs to have some palm key risers made for it but it feels great in the hands and it just flat out plays.

My tech says there are some rather strange mechanics at work on this model, but that stuff I leave to the pros.
I just go by the sound and feel.
 

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I just got my "new" Couf Superba 1 soprano back from the shop, where a few pads were replaced and a few reseated.
This is a fabulous horn with a great sound.
It needs to have some palm key risers made for it but it feels great in the hands and it just flat out plays.

My tech says there are some rather strange mechanics at work on this model, but that stuff I leave to the pros.
I just go by the sound and feel.
Glad to hear your "new" Superba I may be working out for you. You may remember recently (about 3 weeks ago) I was the one who ended up purchasing the "pristine" Superba II from off of eBay....there was a bit of discussion about these fine sopranos on that thread in the For Sale section.

Just got my Superba II back from my tech, a few pads were replaced and it was set up nicely. It is in fact 'pristine', not a scratch, most of the pads look absolutely new. I can't imagine the horn had been played more than a couple hundred hours, if that. What a beautiful sound it has, and very free blowing compared to my 'curvies'....Yani SC-902, and Buescher TT. So far, my Drake 'Son of Slant' .065, w/ Rigotti 2.5 M, seems to work quite well. Am wondering what mouthpiece, Joe, may be working best for you so far.....your "Missing Link" or "Open Sky", perhaps?

My biggest challenge now is whether I will be able to adapt to a straight bodied soprano, as I have arthritic issues, right hand and thumb. This is why I've only been playing on curved sops to this point. Will be a real shame if I'm unable to accomodate to a straight, as I just love the tonal possibilities with the Couf.

Interestingly, because the purchase of my Couf Superba II looked like it might fall through, I placed a back-up bid on another Couf, a Superba I, at the same time. Was surprised to learn I had won that auction also. Decided to go through with both purchases and see which I might prefer. The Superba I has seen substantial more playing time, more pads will need replacing, though mechanically the action appears tight and sound. Quite a lot of lacquer wear on this one.....well played like yours, Joe, but I kind of like the rather vintage looking patina, very warm looking, initially thought it might even be gold plate.

Since I have Superba I and II models side by side, am able to make a first hand comparison of differences. They do appear to be identical, except for the absence of high F# and of an older style of left hand palm key mechanisms on the Superba II. Less important, there are a couple of minor aesthetic differences, the Superba II has a black plastic key touch on the G#, while the Superba I has white plastic (perhaps this may have more to do with differences in serial #'s, my Superba II is an earlier 78,XXX, while the Superba I is 83,XXX). Also, the etching design is quite different, both are simple but nice.

Because I certainly don't need to retain 2 Superbas, am trying to decide whether I will even have the Superba I tweaked by my tech, or perhaps just pass it on to someone here on SOTW at the low price I purchased it for. Haven't decided yet. Actually would be quite happy to keep and play either horn. First order of business......need to determine whether I can play a straight horn with reasonable comfort. If not, I'll be happy to continue to play my Yani curvy as my main soprano. Not too much downside in that. Wish me luck though.

I do now understand though why these Coufs have developed a nice cult following.

Janusz
'museman'
 

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Hi Janusz

I am playing it with both a Missing Link and also my early Babbitt (Lacyesque) piece. The EB is .088 and the ML is .076 tips, using # 2 Marca reeds on the EB and # 2 1/2 on the ML.

The Couf jumps, the tone is really pretty (actually, it IS the Grover sound, amazingly). That's what I like about it. As I said to my wife, I wouldn't take this Couf out to play the avant/modern stuff I do, but I'd take it to play tunes in a minute. It's that pretty a sound and feel.

The Missing Link fits it very well in terms of warmth and expression. My EB is a bit harsher.
 

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Hi Janusz

I am playing it with both a Missing Link and also my early Babbitt (Lacyesque) piece. The EB is .088 and the ML is .076 tips, using # 2 Marca reeds on the EB and # 2 1/2 on the ML.

The Couf jumps, the tone is really pretty (actually, it IS the Grover sound, amazingly). That's what I like about it. As I said to my wife, I wouldn't take this Couf out to play the avant/modern stuff I do, but I'd take it to play tunes in a minute. It's that pretty a sound and feel.

The Missing Link fits it very well in terms of warmth and expression. My EB is a bit harsher.

Update on my recent soprano additions, Superba I and II. To Joe: Not too surprised your 'Missing Link' may be the piece working well with your Superba. I'd like to have an opportunity to try out one of those sometime. I suspect it's in the ballpark with the the Drake 'SOS' I've found seems to work pretty well so far for me. I have both a 5 (.055) and a 7 (.065), and after putting some hours in with the larger tip piece, have backed down to using the .055 for now. Still sorting through my other pieces and various reeds, but 'oh my'......impression so far, what a fabulous sound these horns have.

Am not an experienced player, really a 'late bloomer', and haven't had an opportunity even to try many of the other well thought of horns people use, but do have a couple other good ones in my Yani SC902 and Buescher TT, and also believe I have a very good ear, and play a fair amount on soprano, so my impressions should be considered in that light. I think Joe's above comment about the Superba's 'tunefulness' ("I'd take it to play tunes in a minute. It's that pretty a sound and feel.") really captures the sense I have. There's a resonance to the tone, with lots of harmonics, and is very responsive....it just wants to sing. Have been playing a lot of Monk and Ellington tunes, and some of my favorite Trane pieces for soprano, 'The Promise', 'Impressions', 'Naima', 'Spiritual', etc.

Had a chance to put some hours in on both horns over the last week, having got back the Superba II from the shop. It's well set up now. The Superba I on the other hand is 'leaky' throughout, missing some corks, and other issues, but with some 'home fixes' am able to play through most of this, at least to be able to get a sense of its tonal qualities....impossible to play upper palm keys though, because of the leaks. Both horns have this same resonant, harmonically rich quality, but appears my Superba I may be a bit darker, bluesier, and the Sup. II a little warmer/brighter (descriptive terms, ugh!). Though, with the current poor state of the pads, etc., on the Superba I, can't really make a true comparison.

That's the good news. Now, for the not so good. The ergos are killing me. The general concerns I had about playing a straight soprano haven't really materialized all that much. Expected bigger problems with my arthritic thumb, and a bit also in my wrist, just holding the weight of the horn out in front. Surprised, seeming so far to adjust, and appear able to tolerate this. The problem for me is with the Eb and C spatula. My right hand just seems not able to tolerate the position these keys put it in. I've placed a post on another thread here ("Couf Superba Ergonomics") about the specific nature of the problem, and invite anyone with similar experience or suggestions to please offer them. As things stand now, honestly don't think I may be able to play these wonderful instruments without significant pain, and possibly doing damage (carpal tunnel syndrome, anyone?). This is an emotionally painful conclusion I came to last night, after putting in 3 to 4 hours yesterday. I so want to be able to proceed with playing a Superba. Help please, anyone......

Janusz
'museman'
 
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