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Discussion Starter #1
If I would send the black nickel SX-90 tenor back to Kessler. I would look into a Rampone R1. Both are big bore tenors. Anyone play both????which is better???And why???Thoughts on tone comparisions please!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The rampones have such nice engraving. Keilwerths engraving looks generic-all Keilwerths etched the same. In fact engraving took a back seat on newer saxes. My super 80 series I baritone(1983-n334xxx)is heavily engraved.My USA alto and tenor(esarly to mid '80s)are etched nice too!!!!
 

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sycc you're not a JK fan, I'd just send the horn back and make due with what you had before you ordered the JK.

A rampone is a totally different animal. It's a nice horn, looks sharp, it does have a big bore, and the neck shape is of the low arch type so the response is tough on the high notes. It's also got a few intonation problems, but those can be over come.

Saxophones just aren't as elegant as they once were, nobody is doing the engraving like they did only a few years ago. Rampones are nice looking, they do have cool engraving, but you're going to have a time finding one to trial. Most of the guys selling them sell with a no return policy. Also remember saxophones aren't jewelery, they're tools.

Honestly if you want a great horn then why not get a Selmer Ref or if money is an issue then a nice Yani.

Don't hold yourself to the big bore instruments as the Rampone is going to be tougher to play the SX90 at least on the altissimo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I still may keep the JK as it is a dark sounding sax which is what I'm after. It's just the rampone is temping cause of the engraving. But thanks Heath for the advice on the high register of the rampone. I practice about 30 min a day;surely not enough to overcome pitch problems and reponse problems. Thank alot again Heath your're one of the good guys out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sax is a 40th b-day(early b-day not til nov) present to me. Thought of rampone cause we already have one keilwerth tenor in the house and w/ both kids playing it is nice to have differant saxes to try out between us. See public profile for equipment.
 

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sycc said:
The rampones have such nice engraving. Keilwerths engraving looks generic-all Keilwerths etched the same. In fact engraving took a back seat on newer saxes. My super 80 series I baritone(1983-n334xxx)is heavily engraved.My USA alto and tenor(esarly to mid '80s)are etched nice too!!!!
To be blunt, if you're after nice etching, buy some art work. If you don't like the sound of the JK, then send it back.
 

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I agree with Morry. If you don't like it send it back. When you do find one you like send it to somebody to do the engraving you like. (Though I've never heard anybody say "Boy, that engraving sounds sweet!")
 

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This is the second time this subject has come up today. But the truth is, love has a visual part as well as a functional part. I will admit that one of the reasons I play a 400 is because it looks so different than just about every one else's horn. To me, it's unique and beautiful. And that's the way I feel about it when I play it. That's has got to be a huge factor with the sweet tone that comes out the bell.

So looks do matter.
 

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I agree.... I saw a clip of a pro talking about taking-up sax, and thought "I wouldn't be seen dead buying/playing such a disgusting-looking sax!"

Of course when *he* played it it sounded terrific!

It's good, for me, to have 'tools' which you enjoy 'aesthetically' :)
 

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i have played both and i personally dont like either. Im not a huge fan of the keilwerth sound or hand positions, and i dont like the quality of the build of the rampones. The keywork feels incredibly spongy on the rampones and the one i played was terribly out of tune on the left hand
 

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jonathanbyrnes.
The modern R1 Rampone & Cazzani is a totally different animal to the horns they made in the past....I strongly suspect that your comments were based on an older model.
Your comments do not relate in any way to the R1...certainly not in my experience. Rampone now go out of their way to make a hand built saxophone exactly to the requirements of their perhaps, over fussy, customers.
I do agree that the crook is long and low, but, after a week or so, this becomes the norm. Everyone has their preferences in terms of sound but I adore the huge complex sound of the R&C.
Engraving is by definition, only decoration, but to gold plate the horn after the engraving has been done is surely very cool...you have to look hard to see the exquisite hand engraving....R1?...gorgeous horn!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I kept the Keilwerth as I liked it's easy to play low register and it's dark warm sound. Kessler was great addressing my concerns!!!!!!!!1
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I do wish,however, that Keilwerth would have etched into the brass so the flowers would have been yellow and really stuck out against the black nickel. Keilwerth did this w/ the straight black nickel altos. Do not know why the flowers are not etched deep into the nickel to the brass on SX-90 tenors. Maybe the heavy nickel plating makes this difficult!!!!
 

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The engraving on all the JK horns is pretty shallow when compared to the horns made 20 or more years ago.

Engraving is becoming a lost art and many factories are cutting cost anyway they can. Also no doubt it's tough to find artists of the caliber of say a Jason DuMars or if we go back in time the guys/gals that did the old Conn Naked Ladys .

Even Selmer used to have more elaborate engraving that was etched deep into the brass 20 years ago, today it's very shallow and becoming less and less coverage. Except if you want to spend the really big bucks and get the collector horns, but the engraving is still shallow even on these $6000 horns.

My advice play the horn and enjoy it. Don't worry about engraving, it means nothing. I recently bought a Matte Laq Ref 54 tenor....no engraving, a ugly horn by all accounts but it sounds great, nothing else really matters.
 

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Whereas heath is right to state that the sound is everything, there is, nevertheless an urge in most of us for decoration as a form of pride of ownership. This accounts for the sales of sexy coupes when a saloon will do the same job.
There are many in the jewellery fraternity who served an apprenticeship in hand engraving....the skill is not as rare as is supposed. I have had two saxophones exquisitely hand engraved by a local small town jeweller.
 

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sycc said:
I do wish,however, that Keilwerth would have etched into the brass so the flowers would have been yellow and really stuck out against the black nickel. Keilwerth did this w/ the straight black nickel altos. Do not know why the flowers are not etched deep into the nickel to the brass on SX-90 tenors. Maybe the heavy nickel plating makes this difficult!!!!
I have a nickel silver SX-90R tenor. I'd have to say that the engraving on my horn is deep and very sharp. Yes its the typical JK pattern but I would have to say as far as new horns go, the engraving is pretty generous. It even goes down to the bow. Call me easily amused, but I find myself staring in awe at my KW, I think its beautiful, as well as being an amazing player. But just like most folks here think, sound comes before looks.
 

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Absolutely...Is it immoral to have a saxophone which both looks good and sounds good? Certainly amongst the jazz fraternity where a battered old lacquerless Mk6 seems the norm, a good looking sax seems to be tacitly discouraged. Rather like the taste for a certain section of the public to favour split and torn jeans.
 

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Vanity... My favorite sin.

I feel blessed that I have the ability to find, own and play instruments that are not as visually pleasing as a diamond necklace or a chrome bumper. For that I have been rewarded with many excellent playing instruments at uncommonly low prices.
 

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We could all do that; and drive around in old bangers. I "feel blessed" that I have more taste, pride and disposible income. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Captain Beeflat said:
We could all do that; and drive around in old bangers. I "feel blessed" that I have more taste, pride and disposible income. :)
I am truly blessed. All my saxes play and look great. My pride and joy super action 80 series I baritone(n334xxx)circa '83 looks and plays great almost 25 years after it was born.
 
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