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I've been playing tenor for about 3-4 years and just the same for bari sax, and i was looking at the forums for the cb's and mostly praised them. I asked around and my buds reccomended the Yamaha YTS-875EX custom. I also went into my local music store and they recommended the the cb T5-L and the Raven. I just want a nice smooth sound that blends well in jazz band and in concert band, I'm also looking for something cheep but if necessary ill pay what it costs.
 

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The best thing to do is to go to a music store and try them out. Of the modern tenors I recently tried, I found the Cannonball to be pretty good, however I liked the Yamaha Z, Yanagisawa 991, and Selmer Series III better. Though when all was said and done, I liked what I had better.
 

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Play as many horns as you can and deside for yourself. One person's "great" horn would be another person's "ok" horn, so if your planning on buying something make sure it is your "great" horn and don't buy it just because a bunch of other people love it.

But yes, the popular opinion is that modern Cannonball's are really good horns and one should avoid the older Cannonball horns.

Both the Yamaha and C-Ball that you mentioned are good, solid instruments, so go play them both and pick what you want, not what everyone else wants.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
AmSaxPlayer: What type of sax do you own?

Any body where can i find the Yamaha Z, Yanagasawa 991, and the Selmer Series III?
 

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Let us know what state/area you are located and we may be able to point you towards some music stores with a good stock of tenor saxophones.
 
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Check out Keilwerth while your at it as well. Cannonball is usually
available at a lesser price than the other horns mentioned. If you're
value minded or restricted to a budget, you could do a lot worse than Cannonball.
 

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I recently tested out a CB tenor with the wild stone pearls, and came away highly unimpressed. Student/Intermediate at best, in my opinion. Thing is, the CB people know about this site and as soon as you say something bad about their horns, a pro will appear to tell you how great they are. I do have a bias for vintage horns, however; so let me make that known.
 

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CB tenors and Baris are some of there best work the altos and sopranos are still very good but dont play as well as the tenor or bari. But always try a few horns out before you buy one to see which one sounds best to you.
 

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I've played a few and think they are fine for the price. However, I much prefer the top models from Selmer, Yamaha, JK, and Yani.

When you start looking at intermediate level horns from the "big 4" the C.Balls become more attractive.
 

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Milano's Music in downtown Mesa on Main Street carries Cannonball, Selmer, Yamaha and Yanagisawa as well. Good luck.
 

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TenTenTooter said:
Play as many horns as you can and deside for yourself. One person's "great" horn would be another person's "ok" horn, so if your planning on buying something make sure it is your "great" horn and don't buy it just because a bunch of other people love it.

But yes, the popular opinion is that modern Cannonball's are really good horns and one should avoid the older Cannonball horns.

Both the Yamaha and C-Ball that you mentioned are good, solid instruments, so go play them both and pick what you want, not what everyone else wants.
Absolutely dead on advice... I couldn't agree more.

Up Front Disclaimer: I endorse these horns, so I am biased towards liking them.

That being said:

The current Stone Series horns are light years beyond the '98 or Big Bell Global series horns in both workmanship and playability. The difference in just a few years shows the degree of commitment Cannonball has to designing and manufacturing a truly excellent instrument.

For the money, I think they are the best new series of saxophone on the market, with a couple of caveats:

1st - the factory setup is almost always too open for the key heights. While this allows for a sound "wow factor," it is seriously detrimental to the overall scale or pitch of the horn. This causes serious intonation issues between the registers with the bottom being relatively flat and the top progressively rising sharper and sharper in pitch. This can be remedied relatively easily by an experienced tech.

2nd - I have also noticed widely varying spring tensions within each hand, making the horns feel very unbalanced within themselves. I find this very uncomfortable. This can be remedied relatively easily also.

To truly get an idea of how excellent these horns CAN play, it is necessary to try out one - or a whole bunch - that have been set up, regulated and adjusted correctly. This is unfortunately very difficult to do, as most music retailers have neither the desire, the budget, nor the expertise to properly regulate a saxophone to professional level specs. I can say from personal experience though, if set up properly, the CB's can rival any new horn I've tried.

I can also state, for me, these horns respond and sound much more like a Conn or King than a Selmer. A little freer blowing and "bigger" - in feel, not necessarily sound - with slighly less resistance. Of all the newer horns, the CB's seem to be the only horn you can push and still maintain a core and focus to the sound, much like a classic Selmer. I find the Yamaha Customs and Z's, and the Selmer Series III's and Reference series to all be very diffuse with little core to the sound. They just seem to spread and dissipate.

Set up correctly, with a good mouthpiece and reed combination, these horns are well worth the money. They are an absolute steal on the used market as well.

Play as many different horns as you can, but remember that SETUP IS KEY to ANY horn playing well. Good luck in finding a tenor...

Peace,
John
 

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Grumps said:
What I tell ya...
Right on.

I compared the big bell tenor against my Buffet from the 70's about 3-4 years ago.

Buffet is more resonant, big sounding and richer.
I don't know what cannon balls are compared against so I can't judge them against anything but my experience.

I know that every one LOVES there own horn and listening to Cannonball owners rave about themselves is like listen to a 17 year old talk about his first truck as if it was the be all and end all of technology.

I have a Taiwan Bari that as far as Taiwan bari's goes is OK. But my Buescher is richer, the Martin I had was lusher and compared to a Monique it is better.

Wisdom would dictate that you take personal opinion with a grain of salt and use your ear and intelligence to set your own likes and dislike about a horn. Ego inflation by association to a particular brand should be discounted as false evidence of its playability to you.

Here is my rule of thumb, spend money searching for the best mouthpiece that you can express every sound you can imagine on with control and ease. Find a horn that works for the money you have available as any horn can be made to work with a good mp and control, where as a great horn can sound like a garbage can on steroids with a junk mp and an even worse musician behind it.

Horns to start on are the vintage proven classics!

Once you mature and your ear develops you will find a horn worth paying for and you may be surprised it won't be the ones being hyped.
 

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Grumps said:
I recently tested out a CB tenor with the wild stone pearls, and came away highly unimpressed. Student/Intermediate at best, in my opinion. I do have a bias for vintage horns, however; so let me make that known.
Ok Grumps. Your bias against Cannonball saxes has been well established in your recent posts. Would you mind telling us the "vintage" tenor(s) you prefer the sound, response, and intonation of over the Cannonball Stone Series tenor. Also the mouthpiece and reed setup you use so that the rest of us with access to these horns can test your "Cannonball Sucks" hypothesis for ourselves.

In the interest of full disclosure: Yes I do sax repairs in a store that sells and rents Cannonball saxes. Yes I have played every model since they started making instruments. No I don't get any commission when one is sold. Yes I think they are a good value for the money and yes I have always liked pretty polished rocks whether they are on saxophone keys and necks or not. Yes I know Tevis and Sheryl Laukat personally, and no they did not ask me to post a defense of their instrument.
 

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jisley said:
To truly get an idea of how excellent these horns CAN play, it is necessary to try out one - or a whole bunch - that have been set up, regulated and adjusted correctly. This is unfortunately very difficult to do, as most music retailers have neither the desire, the budget, nor the expertise to properly regulate a saxophone to professional level specs. I can say from personal experience though, if set up properly, the CB's can rival any new horn I've tried.
According to their advertising, isn't that what the Lukat's are supposed to be doing in Salt Lake City?
 

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I hate the fact that they dont let the stores advertise their prices. Therefore no internet selling.

I tried a Gerald Allbright sig stone series alto before I got my Yamaha. It was in my local store. It sounded and played well, but I had never heard of them before. I looked on here and was put off by the negative Taiwan stuff, and about the reliabilty of the older horns.

The store told me the price £1700 (thats $3400) The yamaha list price was £1500. I actually preffered the Canonball. I could have afforded either.

I looked on line and found the Yamaha on offer at various places for £1350. I rang my local store, and they happily matched the price and I picked up the Yamaha next day. IF i could have found a few prices out for the canonball, I might of plumped for it. But I couldn't, and £1700 for a taiwanese horn with a bad (previous) record was not that tempting.

I like to support my local store, and they like my business, and will happily match a big-store price if they can. I buy reeds, music and repairs from them.

Canonball will argue that the no price disclosure policy helps out the smaller stores. Except in my case it didn't. I would have had the horn for £1500. As far as I am concerned, no "comparison shopping" = no purchase. All their policy did was put money in Yamaha's back pocket. No one likes to feel they are being ripped off. Everyone likes to go away from a purchase with a smile on their face. We both did. If I had got the canonball at £1700, there would have been this nagging voice.........."how much is it really worth"
 

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Morry said:
According to their advertising, isn't that what the Lukat's are supposed to be doing in Salt Lake City?

That is exactly their own boast, that they set these horns up and regulate them here in America, according to jbt they aren't very good at it.

sounds more like a crap shoot by his explanation.

The one I played wasn't set up bad it just was kind of dead sounding compared to the Buffet. I used a Morgan, a Hite and a Rousseau and the Buffet sounded better in every aspect with each mp.

The Cannonball was a serious contender when I was looking to GAS it up a bit until I tried one. I am with Grumps on this one. I really haven't got time to try a dozen of the same model horns to find the one that plays OK on the odd chance it was actually set up like they claim.

I have a Buffet and a Conn Chu now. Thanks to Cannonball I shopped vintage because of them.

I'd certainly give them another chance in the future if I am ever in the market for another horn, but P Mauriat may be in my line of sight first.
 
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