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I started on a Collegiate tenor years ago. Played it for maybe 2-3 years. I was playing a Selmer scrollshank metal C* on it at the time. Friendly, intonation was really good too. Sound? It's been a long time but I found some recordings I made back then. The tone I was getting was pretty darned dark and rich leaning towards Henderson. I remember liking my sound and other players being surprised when I'd tell them I've been playing for 3 years on a "student" horn. When I switched to another brand I do remember the keywork on the Holton felt a little cheesy to me, but not bad by any means. Also my first repairman was this old fellow who spoke very favorably about it. He said you don't see many of these but they were good horns. I don't think I could have started on a better horn and frankly, my tone then was pretty colorful. I wound up giving it to a friend who still plays it. BB
 

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Also, when I was shopping for a Baritone I had the choice between my Conn New Wonder and a Rudy Wiedoft Bari. The Conn won, but not by a huge margin. The Holton had really comfortable keywork and felt really stout. Well built! I liked the sound, it was sweeter than the Conn but brighter and less refined than my friends Aristocrat. It really fell right in between the 2. Intonation wasn't bad, a little better than my Conn around middle F actually. I chose the Conn only cause I felt it cut better and I like how spread it is sonically. But the Holton definitely didn't leave me wanting. If I had to choose between the Crat and the Holton, I'd be playing the Holton now!
 
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