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Primarily Tenor with occasional Alto
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I wanted to share my initial reaction/experience with my newly acquired Just Saxes Crescent Alto Saxophone. I will try to follow up a little later with the full blown deeply detailed ones you fellow SOTWer like.

First I should preface by saying there is some bias to my opinion here because I have known Palo Tung (owner of Just Saxes) for quite a few years. For me he stands alone in his level of excellence, knowledge, craftsmanship and integrity. He is my favorite saxophone tech/repair/rebuild, every bit the artist in what he does with the saxophone on the workbench as someone who aspires to play the instrument at the highest level of proficiency.

So my level of expectation with this new instrument might be unfairly high considering how much stock I put into Palo's work. Many times with these new horns coming from the Far East are described as "plays great for the money". With this horn....I take the word money out of the equation....regardless of price point for me this Just Saxes Crescent Alto Saxophone plays as well as I expected knowing that Palo had set it up. It is an exceptional great sounding, looking and playing horn.

Being primarily a tenor player I was looking for an alto that gave me a rich, warm, big yet sweet sound. I can now proclaim from my own personal experience what other players have been saying about some of the newer, higher quality instruments coming out of ROC (RS Berkley) that under proper quality control there are some great horns being built in China. People are scared off by the low price thinking that equates to low quality in production and materials. That is the case with lots of examples....NOT THIS ONE THOUGH!!

Back to what type of alto I wanted being a tenor player. I wanted an alto that complimented and matched the palette of what I get out of a tenor in that I wanted an alto that had "tenorish, tenoresqe" quality to it's character. I appreciate all types of players but love those alto players that to my ear personify an alto player, playing it like a tenor in attitude like Cannonball, Phil Woods, Sonny Stitt, Jeff Coffin and of course Bird.

That's the vibe I get when I play this horn, even though I'm not fully dialed into it yet. The horn is as pretty as it sounds being gold plated. Lots of details taken care of thanks to Palo with concern to the mechanics but I also like that to me the engraving is more of a no frills affair...more detail was put into the horn rather than onto the horn...great engraving looks wonderful but has never made a horn play better for me :c) There is a nice conservative amount of standard patterned type engraving on both the bell and bow of the horn, probably laser engraving also on the bell it has J S with a Fleur de Lis in between the J and S. It was also a pleasant surprise that the neck has the underslung octave key mechanism ala Yanagisawa, King Super 20....made me feel even more like Cannonball Adderley Dat Dere!

The horn feels great under my fingers and with exception of a few stiffer springs than I personally prefer the key action is smooth, fast, slick and good. Tonehole placement is excellent for this tenor player and the horn plays and sounds very good throughout all registers, altissimo plays with great ease with good full tone. Intonation is very good but doesn't have that "locked in" feeling of many modern horns. For me that's a plus, it allows the player to have a little more control in phrasing, allowing your personality to come through rather than being tempered by the instrument.

Also the case is nicer than I was expecting too compared to the standard plastic one that comes with most Asian horns these days. This one is standard rectangular shaped wood one with nice padded outer shell...probably vinyl but looks like leather. Looks exactly like they one that Yamaha 82Z's come in except different material covering.

All in all I just straight up love the horn. Again I expected a lot since I knew Palo Tung was putting his name on it. I was not disappointed this instrument is right in line and equals Palo's extremely high standards. The most important part is it is a great sounding instrument that is a joy to play. When I can afford to I plan to buy some type of recorder so I can post some sound clips...that's what matters the most is how the horn sounds to your ears. This one is heavenly....and that's coming from someone that isn't the stone cold alto lover...I am planning to get my alto on more now though.

Check it out at
http://justsaxes.com/cgi/newSaxophones-crescent-introduction.php

If you decide to order one, you can thank me later for pointing you in the right direction. :c)

In fact I am giving strong considerations to buy the tenor and bari models. The prices are very good but again the quality of the horn is superb regardless of price...the great price is the added bonus! Sorry if I seem like I'm hyping the horn in an "infomercially" way. I am sincerely digging the horn and I'm so pleased to have found a fine quality instrument in my quest for my own alto madness.:angel4:
 

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Primarily Tenor with occasional Alto
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1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Well in retrospect...guess the review wasn't that mini....oh well...
 

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Congrats on the new alto! Glad to know you like it.

I just ordered a Crescent Baritone from Palo. I had it special ordered in bare brass & should get it in a little over a month, and I can't wait! :toothy7:
 
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