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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a thread on ProOne sopranos. It seems that ProOne soprano owners are off playing their ProOnes, or there are not very many on SOTW. I could not find any in stock in the Atlanta area. Anyway, rather than broaden that discussion, I am starting a new thread.

The ProOne line is feature rich, no debate about that. I also really respect Peter Ponzol’s work. But frankly, I have never been an Antigua fan, and I am a little put off by their marketing, which doesn’t help. I thought they laid it on a little too thick. Then, they claim to have a professional level instrument, but they price it at the intermediate level. Did they blink?

Are these underpriced sleepers that hold their own against the Big Four and other pro horns, or are they just okay for the price, which has been my opinion of Antigua for a long time.

Additionally, let’s talk about individual features. Trident arms, do they work or do anything at all? Rimmed or ringed tone holes but just at the lower end, do they help the sound and does not having them keep that sound from spreading too much? Special brass, does it make a nice sturdy, great playing horn or are they just combating the proliferation of high copper, red brass with hype? and so on.

The no-stick G# key seems like it would be a home run, is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, they are very good for the price. Forget labels like intermediate and professional, they are meaningless.
Are they only "very good for the price" or are they "excellent at any price?"

I understand your point about labels, but I thought that "premium brands," "price leaders," "discounters" and other marketing jargon would be awkward. Perhaps that is what we on SOTW should do, that is, use marketing jargon to communicate more clearly about the products we buy.

There are many saxophones at that kind of price that (IMO) are way better than modern Selmers etc.
That is my hope. Sopranos are tricky though. They are often an afterthought for instrument designers and manufacturers. And rightly so, they are a much smaller market segment.

Look at the
Pete? Are you alright?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think with most manufacturers the soprano is an afterthought. We did this on the tenors and altos, so it must be best on the sopranos too, without regard for what actually would be optimal on the soprano.

Or, as LostConn proposed, We don’t dare leave these features off the soprano lest customers be put off. Like the non-stick G# key, I understand there was not room to install it on the soprano and too much room on the baritone.

I do not know that either of these scenarios were the case with the design of these horns. I am sure that Mr. Ponzol did his due diligence. One thing that impressed me was that they had one prototype with all ringed tone holed and one without. There was a big difference in sound. The core of the sax with the ringed tone holes was too spread for what they wanted. Through trial and error they figured out how many tone holes could be ringed and still get the sound they wanted. I'd like to have heard that they did this with each voice of sax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Actually, I do not, at least not that I can find, so I am going to have to remember get some candles at the store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
ROFL!!! I better get four candles then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Yes, the multiple arms *might* be able to provide more stability.

Breathing through the sax cannot cause a leak. Period.

Dsm
No one has said that air pushes open any pads.

If you read the Antigua ProOne literature and especially what Mr. Ponzol says, there is no mention of air causing leaks in the bell keys. Instead, the discussion centers on perfectly balancing the pads over the tone holes, so a technician can easily get a perfect seal. There is also mention that extra stability of the pad cups helps get rid of instability in the lower pitches.

What causes instability in the lower notes? Apparently, Mr. Ponzol had observed in his experience as an instrument designer that imperfect seals and the vibration of the horn causes micro-leaks that destabilize the low notes. This is the issue that double arms are designed to address, however double arms are notoriously difficult for techs to get perfect. Imperfectly balanced pad cups then tend to have imperfect seals, and you are back to square one. So, double arms have not solved this issue. The chicken feet or tridents as they are called is his solution.

It is hard for me to believe that someone as reputable as Peter Ponzol with his experience at Keilwerth and since, when asked to design this line of saxes from scratch would make up a solution to a problem that does not exist. As he says this was an opportunity to create a line of saxes that addressed all the problems with saxophones that he has seen over the years.

Seeking a better tone hole-pad seal and longer pad life, he also had rolled tone holes put on the whole horn. I call these rimmed or ringed tone holes because, strictly speaking, they are not actually rolled. In any case they also had saxes with normal tone holes. His observation was that sound was a lot more spread that the one without. This is coming from the guy who designed the bore of the SX90, one of the most spread sounding saxes around. He had them add the ringed tone holes onto their prototypes until they got the balance between a good solid core and with a little spread.

He also claims that the shape of the bore at the neck is specifically designed for better intonation, easier altissimo and more responsive octaves. He apparently believes that the tenon break and squeeze in the soprano is in just the wrong place, so a straight one-piece neck it is.

As I asked in the beginning, has anyone actually played one of these, especially the soprano? I can read the literature. i wanted to know if it live up to the hype. Pete said he like the tenors better than Selmers he had been testing. I have contacted all the music stores within a 3 hour drive, but no one has a soprano in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
That was in your first thread on the ProOne sop, and you learned that the answer is no. This thread was supposed to be for speculation about the features.

Look, someone has to be the trailblazer when a brand-new model appears. If you're really interested in this sax, just order one and try it out. It's not that expensive. You may love it. The worst that can happen is you won't like it, and will have to resell it. You'll take a loss, but it won't be gigantic.
My apologies, you are right. I did not realize to which thread I was responding.

The street price on the sopranos is at least $2750. That is a lot to me right now, and for that much, there a lot of options in used saxes in great condition.
 
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