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I'm a keilwerth fan and has been for many years now.
IMHO it's been one of the most underrated horns you can find. It's a lot of horn for the money!

More people seems to find their love for keilwerths.

I recently followed an ebay auction with a keilwerth that may have fetched a record price (for a keilwerth in need of an overhaul).
The saxophone in question has a few cracks in the key guard, which is more common than not. It's otherwise in perfect physical condition but it most likely needs at least new pads, cork and felt. It would probably benefit from a complete overhaul. Just my guesstimate.

It fetched $1560 USD!
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-TH...m43663.l44720&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true

This put's it more in line with the price of some of the top makers with the best reputation. And this is where Keilwerth deserves to be!
 

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... IMHO it's been one of the most underrated horns you can find. It's a lot of horn for the money! ... the top makers with the best reputation. And this is where Keilwerth deserves to be!
For what its worth, I'm a relative newbie on Sax (just a year or so) but when I first started doing my research, everything I read referred to "The Big 4" of Saxophone brands:

Selmer Paris
Yamaha
Yanagisawa

and Keilwerth

Based on that research, I thought it was (already!) accepted fact that Keilwerth horns were among the best. They're far above my ability right now but I assumed they were great horns!
 

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That auction was crazy. It's an outlier (or perhaps it isn't in Germany ?. Here in US it is an outlier).

Dunno why it went that high. A New King of any type as a project Tenor has a market value of around $500-700. You see 'em go for around that on auction.

The end price on this one is a price one would see a completely overhauled one, with a fully intact reproduction keyguard, go for.

Interesting. I was looking to see if there was some sought-after mouthpiece lurking in the corner of the auction, but alas...none.

I love JK's. The vintage ones give you a lot of horn for the $. Some of the contemporary ones are just beautifully engineered machines, still retaining that classic tone.

For what its worth, I'm a relative newbie on Sax (just a year or so) but when I first started doing my research, everything I read referred to "The Big 4" of Saxophone brands:

Selmer Paris
Yamaha
Yanagisawa

and Keilwerth

Based on that research, I thought it was (already!) accepted fact that Keilwerth horns were among the best. They're far above my ability right now but I assumed they were great horns!
Yeah that is still how things are considered.

BUT with that said, contemporary JK's are usually a distant 4th place in people's consideration of buying a new or newish horn. Yama, Yani, Selmer France will automatically be on folks' radar. Notsomuch JK.

Just as likely Cannonball or Mauriat or one of the plethora of boutique brands, self-proclaimed 'pro' models - will be considered before a newer JK.

Which is silly, IMHO, because I think they surpass those easily....and also surpass some of the better examples of the other big three....

So, there's a validity in stating that they don't get their due.

NOW, one issue to consider is, the company was sold a few years ago. I have not heard feedback from anyone who has compared a brand-spanking-new JK to one of, say 8 or 9 years old.
 

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I should never have sold my JK SX90R tenor. I had one for 15 years. I love my Yamaha, but that horn was special.


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wow, good timing on this thread

I just realized that my gut points me to my Couf Superba I over my 119k VI more and more lately. I can just hear myself sort of naturally on my JK/Couf.....just great!
 

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I bought a new Armstrong Heritage tenor in 1982, my 1st tenor.
Played it exclusively until 2000.
Got a Buescher 156 and slowly transitioned from the Heritage.
Still love it but somehow the Buescher just does it a little better.
Would never sell the Couf.
 

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Got a Buescher 156 and slowly transitioned from the Heritage.
I've walked a similar path. About a year and a half ago, I bought my first tenor locally, an Armstrong 3055T It's a descendant of your Couf Heritage, and probably the last American-made horn with rolled tone holes. Then last year, I tried a '40s TH&C at Howarth's of London, and just had to have a Buescher. I considered a 156 and nearly bought a 157, but ended up with a 400 B12.

The B12 is my main axe now, but I still jam with the Armstrong. It's not nearly as well made, but plays easily, and has a very dark, loud and raunchy tone. The B12 can be equally loud and raw when pushed, but also a lot more refined and sweet when necessary, and is overall more versatile and dependable.
 

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That auction was crazy. It's an outlier (or perhaps it isn't in Germany ?. Here in US it is an outlier).

Dunno why it went that high...
Possible shill bidder.
 

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Hmm ... Keilwerth was always popular, at least here.

But a bit of a love or hate thing really, it seems.
 

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Back in the mid to late '90s, when I was looking for my first professional horn; and when Keilwerth was owned and operated by Boosey and Hawkes, manufactured in Neuheim; I would say that they qualified as #3 out of the big four, with Yanagisawa being #4. But they were making a ton more instruments back then. And they had some pretty prominent brand name players playing their horns in those days: Branford Marsalis, Grover Washington, Ron Holloway, James Moody, etc... And Frankly, they got a HUGE marketing boost from Branford playing his black SX90R Tenor every night on the Tonight Show. That's probably where I first heard about Keilwerth. And then soon after I realized that one of my favorite saxophone players ever, Ron Holloway, also played on Keilwerth horns.

The years of lower production output during the break up into The Music Group and then independent ownership with Schreiber, and then the year in receivership, coupled with the manufacturing move to Markneurichen were some rough years. And back in 2007 they didn't even have a US distributor. A lot of dealers dropped Keilwerth from their sales line up until Buffet bought them in 2010. And rumor is they had to lay off some of their workers and not not everyone made the move from Neuhiem. It took them awhile to get the quality and production flow back up to par. And even now, I think they have a lower output than they did in the 90s and early 2000s. I mean, they only build 2 or 3 sopranos per month, worldwide. Used to be you could find at least one or two of each model except the baris in the music stores that stocked them. Now they are basally a special order item. Maybe they will have a single SX90R and a single MKX of either alto or tenor. And fat chance trying to find a soprano to try. :whistle:

And the subsequent price increases haven't helped the situation (but all the other brands are feeling that same pressure). When I bought my alto in summer of 1999, it cost me $3,535.00 including shipping. My tenor, I bought in Fall of 2005, was $3,695.00. Both of those horns today (or their closest cousins) are nearly $7,000. Even the soprano that have on order will be close to $6,000 after tax. Which is why Keilwerth developed the MKX line in 2013. The intention was to have a line that had the same quality, with more French style ergonomics but the big Keilwerth sound, but with more automation in the production to help lower the costs. Not a student or even intermediate line by any means. But an entry level pro line with ergonomics for people who have smaller, daintier hands and fingers. (Also maybe a nod to try to make more inroads into the classical saxophone market place).

But, all indications are that the quality has come back up to par, and all reports are that their sopranos are better than ever now a days. Some have said that the current Keilwerth soprano is the best soprano currently in production of any brand. (Even though I'd like to see a split neck option and a high g key).

But, those years hurt the brand. Some players (alot probably) think that Keilwerth went out of business. And many moved on to other horns. And some of those players have passed on by now.
 

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I think that they never quite made inroads with classical players either, which is a huge market. (Think of all of the schools and band departments). I can think of exactly one classical player that I know of who is actively using a Keilwerth.

Fortunately, they are remedying that by co-producing the Senzo line with Buffet. I don’t know anyone who has tried a Senzo that hasn’t fallen in love with it.


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Are they actually co-producing the Buffet Senzo?

My saxophone teacher in college played a Buffet Crampon Prestige all copper alto.

I never really understood why Buffet would continue to produce their own saxophone, rather than just shift all production to Keilwerth. Fortunately, they didn't just buy the Keilwerth name and then shift production to France :-(
 

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Buffet has long had a co-operation with Keilwerth and Schreiber even before the buy out. There were Buffet models made by Keilwerth. So, the co-operation is a very real thing. One of the reasons to keep working with Keilwerth was also that the German government tried to protect at least half of the company’s jobs in Germany. After having bought Keilwerth and Schreiber there were other acquisitions then the Buffet group itself was bought by fondations capitals an investment group.
 

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What is a "400 B12"? I know of the Buescher 400 (nice bari!),,,,is that a variant?
It's a TH&C from the late '50s. Not many seem to have been made, and I don't know if Buescher ever made a full line of B12s. Matt Stohrer has said it's identical to a B11; others have suggested it was an improved prototype, and even the pinnacle of TH&C production. The two tenors that I've seen have different patent stamps.

But instead of highjacking a JK thread, we can always continue the convo over here:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?216852-Buescher-Top-Hat-amp-Cane-b12
 
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