I REALLY want an SBA... :crybaby:
I played some of these TM Custom and they are completely different beasts than Mauriat's and other Tai offerings. They respond really, really well and have a nice core sound. The great thing with getting a horn from Randy is that if you know what you want, he can probably make it happen within the limits of those Taiwanese "blanks" What I mean by this is, no matter what he'll do - and he will do some very extensive customization for you if you need him too - these horns won't ever feel or sound like an SBA. The weight of the horn, the neck angle, the vibration, how the keys are laid out are some of the limits he has to work with, as well as the obvious : shape of the bodytube and tonehole placement.
Would I spend $1,500+ more than I did for my MKVII on a TM Custom horn? No.
Would I spend $4,000 more for a great relacquered SBA? Hell yeah!
Would I rather buy a TM Custom horn or a Mauriat (they're almost the same price)? There's no doubt for me : the TM Custom horns BLOW AWAY similarly priced Mauriats and Cannonballs.
Considering how much Randy can do to the necks of these horns, give me one of these with less key mechanism and thinner body tube, with a tonehole and key placement similar to an SBA and I'll reconsider.
Oh, and yeah the F# key does make a difference. I clearly wouldn't want one.