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· Registered
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I finally took the plunge and purchased a straight sop from TaiShan via topeseller on eBay.

I had it custom made to the finish I want, and I must say I was pleased with the communication and speed they got that done it. It does look pretty awesome! (Satin nickel plated with mat gold keys and abalone pearls if anyone is wondering. They usually only make this in Saxello with gold inner bell.)

Arrived in Australia 8 days after they sent it, and it was well packed.

My evaluation so far

-Ergonomically, the left hand pinky table is the nicest sax I've played. I HATED the intermediate Yamaha I played in store - it was too far off to the left for me, so I was nervous of this one, but it's good. Action is a bit high but that's expected for factory set up and easily fixed. Rollers work well, right hand pinky rollers and in a natural position and overall everything is pretty cruisy except D palm key (see below.)

-Case is excellent - lots of storage room, multiple strap options, stands on end or flat - really good.

-Tone is lovely - not too thin but not trumpety like my curved sop.

-Pads appear to be high quality and are well seated.

-I put a leak light down it and there is only one very tiny leak on Aux F which looks like a seating issue, and I will have adjusted. Doesn't seem to affect playing. I saw the same leak in the same spot on a brand new curved yani that had been professionally set up, so I know this happens.

-Engraving is really nicely done, and finish is very good.

-Neck joint is solid as a rock - both curved and straight necks are the firmest joins I've ever seen (have only played 2nd hand saxes previously - but lots of them!). Definitely no leaks getting out of those babies.

-Low notes are quite easy to reach, and I'm impressed with how easily I can jump to the high G and other top notes without having to work too hard.

-Intonation is quite good once you hit the right mouthpiece location. I find that there is about a 5c difference between middle and high C, which can easily be lipped down. It could be better, but I've also seen far worse.

-They included a proper suede pull through, not one of those awful fluffy push in things.

Not so good points:
- The ligature doesn't work. Like not at all! It won't go around a reed on a mouthpiece - it has no bend in it. Had to remove screws to open it wide enough to accept a reed, which bent it. Bent it back and now it barely goes over a reed. Very bizarre.
-Mouthpiece is I think a good design, but not well made - the tip isn't smooth - various lumps and bumps in it easily visible when you attach a reed. Thankfully I said I didn't need a mpc or lig so I wasn't counting on these at all.

-D palm key is perilously close to the webbing on my thumb when I play and I keep slightly bumping it. It's also sprung very loosely so that slight touch from my thumb is opening the key a little and all of a sudden I get no sound. Will take some getting used to and I will tighten up the spring to make it harder to accidentally open.

-Sadly they haven't used proper point screws. Previous post about a factory tour said they do, but not on this sax. Pseudo points it is. (Anyone have any opinions on whether I should get these replaced now before there is any wear in the key barrels??)

The bizarre:
-The octave pip is on the right hand side of the instrument, not on the back, so you position the mouthpiece almost 90 degrees to the right of the octave pad on the neck. This is no problem on the straight neck, but on the curved neck, your mouthpiece will not be straight up and down but will curve over to the right. Very weird and really not suitable!

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· Registered
295 Posts
several months ago I acquired a Taishan ts670 UL, after a trip to the tech it plays very nicely, it seems to be very well built, the tech said it is a solid horn and he liked it, but it did need a trip to the tech to get it playable, this horn gets played a lot I use for anything I have to do outside of if we happen to be in a bar setting

· Distinguished SOTW Member
9,426 Posts
You are using incorrect terms which make it difficult to decipher. I think I figured out that what you call the 'octave pip' is actually the octave key actuating rod. You'll notice that the octave rocker has a very wide feature for connecting with the rod, which means that you have a wide range of rotation possible on the neck, which combined with infinite rotation of the mouthpiece will get you comfortable with the curved neck at some point. This is typical of the sopranos with curved necks, especially the 'tipped-bell' models because you naturally want the neck curve to line up with the curved bell, which typically means the neck is turned almost to the end of its contact with the actuating rod. You also have to be aware that the amount of free play between the rod and the key will change with rotation so you need to be sure it doesn't actually open the octave key when you get it like you like it.
BTW, the 'octave pip' is the octave vent on the neck.

· Registered
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
oh yes, sorry, I mean the actuating rod. Unfortunately even with the curved neck pulled to the extremity of the rocker it's still not quite straight, and at that point, there's not enough pressure on the actuating rod to close the neck octave pip when you press the G key so it's useless. (Tech confirmed.)

But it's all moot anyway because:
Update: after a couple of brief trips to the tech because it was going up the octave after a few days (due to a cork loosening, an easy fix) I've now been able to have a proper play, and between tech and I we're both convinced the intonation is not good enough for what I paid for it. I thought it was only about a 5c difference across an octave after my initial very brief play (while I had a migraine no less - wasn't paying enough attention) but now I've done a proper investigation up and down it's up to 20c out on different notes from one octave to the next. Too much to lip down in the top and if I tune to the top and try to lip up the bottom, it's constricting the sound down to basically nothing before it's in tune.

The clincher is I compared it to my old curved artemis that I was hoping to replace with this and it's decidedly worse. Sad. So back it's going.
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