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Hi All
Been playing a second series MarkVI for the past 20 or so years. While its a KILLER horn, I want to sell it and look for a Keilwerth Tenor. Was thinking about the Shadow. Anyone else play on a Mark VI and trade it or sell it for A Shadow? Differences? Similarities? What in your opinion is a better horn? Would it be best to keep this horn, or are Keilwerths really that superior of a horn? What Reputable dealers are around that have several of these in stock to try? In the midwest here, but would certainly consider shopping from anyplace that has what I am looking for.... If not a shadow what other Keilwerth might I consider? Really not to familiar with this line. Have only tried a few Keilwerths out, but liked my VI over the ones I played. Perhaps there are better ones out there? Thanks
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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I play a regular SX90 and it is easy to play from top to bottom..I love it. Just suggestion that you might like the regular lac sx90. I have let people play mine and noone has even had anything bad to say other than the tone is darker. And since thats the tone I am looking for thats a comliment as well.
 

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Hi!

I played and owned many tenors before I purchased the Shadow. Selmer Super action, Balanced Action, Mk6, Serie III, Yanagisawa 880, King S-20 Silversonic etc. I went to the Frankfurt Music Fair in 2005 and tested as many tenors as was possible. I liked the B&S Medusa, the Shadow and the new silver Keilwerth. After a year of fund raising (sold my 2 tenors the 880 and S-20) I ordered a Shadow without a high F# at Stephan Boesken because I liked the sound of the Shadow. On the end, I got a Shadow with high F#, because at the factory forgot about my order and made the whole series with F#. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I agreed. Stephan picked a Shadow for me. He also showed me that the pads that Keilwerth is using are not so good quality any more because of the new EU regulations (leather treating and coloring with different chemicals as before).
After a break in period I was a little disappointed with the intonation (D2 and E2 very sharp, G1 flat, palm keys sharp) and started to searching for other mouthpieces. Till that point I played a HR Berg Larsen 100. Tried the following mpc’s: Bob Ackermann Lost wax HR 105, refaced Link STM 7*, Lebayle metal jazz 105, Barone jazz, vandoren V16 till I found a refaced Ponzol M1 110. It was the best combination, but the stuffy and sharp d2 and e2 remained. I went to a guy in Germany who is making custom necks (www.schuchtsaxtechnology.com) and tested different necks. The problem remained, so I didn’t buy a neck. Then I went to a famous sax technician in Italy, Roberto Buttus (worked in Selmer in Paris) to set up my horn properly. He opened up the sax (raised the keys), the stuffiness was better, but the intonation was worse. Then I put some cork into the C hole. It was better, but still much worse then on the saxes of my friends.
From the beginning on, the pads were very sticky. I tried everything (powder paper, sanding the tone holes, opening the problematic keys a little bit during the sax is in the case) but nothing helped. In the meantime, the pads started to stick during the gigs no matter that I did the anti sticking treatment before the gig. Sometimes it was very disappointing. The altissimo register was also difficult. On the beginning I thought that is me not the sax. But as I’m not a beginner (15 years of playing sax, 25 years clarinet, got a master degree in jazz saxophone) and played and owned many saxes other brands, I think that all the problems I had it was not me but the saxophone. Off course, I managed to reduce the problems with practicing, but sometimes it was difficult to concentrate on the music having all that “do this-do that” in my head.
On the end, I sold the Shadow and bought a closet 129xxx mk6 from my friend, having no problems at all (pad stickiness, altissimo, stuffy middle d and e, intonation-I am still flat(!) on the palm keys on the mk6, because I am used to lower the intonation with my throat on the Shadow).
Not to forget the good things about the Keilwerth. For me, it has the best sound, its loud, the Shadow is focused but still spread sounding, has character, built very well etc.
I think that buying a good used SX90 and investing in a custom neck would give you the same or better result than buying the expensive Shadow or just stay with your mk6.
You can listen to some of my live recordings from a club in Zagreb, Croatia on my myspace page http://www.myspace.com/adamklemm

Adam
 
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