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I'm thinking of buying a Kessler Custom Tenor. There's little else I can afford, and Kessler offers a magnificent 6-month financing plan for Kessler-made instruments (other brands sold by Kessler have a 90-day plan).
I'm wondering if it's worth it. Surely, for the price of $1,100, this saxophone is of good quality.
However, how does it sound? There's more to a sax than playability--otherwise we'd all play $250 Chinese 'Selmans' and just replace them every 3 months when they break.
Does the Custom Tenor have a 'dark' sound? A 'bright,' sound? 'fat,' or 'thin?'

Or maybe it's not a good horn to begin with?

cheers,
prezfan.
 

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There is one in the market place for $600, with the bonus its in Edmonton so you can skip paying taxes to import it too.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=65720

There has been a lot of positive comment on these horns in this subforum if you care to go back and read it.

I am unconnected with the sale in any way. If I had $1100 I would save up a bit more and try and find a B&S I think. If I only had $500 I would buy my Antigua..you never did reply to my email regarding that:)
 

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I've had a Kessler Custom Deluxe tenor since January and imo, it is a very well built sax but then I don't throw it around to see just how well built it is and how much punishment it can take, then either. :) Feels solid in my hands. Doesn't feel thin or cheaply made. At the ~$1K price point, for a brand new sax, it'd be hard to beat. You won't be short changed if you decide to get one. It comes with a Kessler 50 OL7 mouthpiece, 0.100" tip opening. Nice mouthpiece upgrade. I believe the horn is modeled after the Selmer Series III but I may be mistaken.
How does it sound? That's a way subjective and loaded question. Two people will have different perceptions of the same horn with the same set up. I'm of the persuasion that outside of the player, the mouthpiece and reed have the greatest impact on the "color" of the sound the horn produces. I've used Rico Orange boxes, Rico Royales, Vandoren Blue Box, Hemke, and a Fibracell, and each have a produced a different flavor to the horn. The Fibracell provides a bit more buzz or edge and allows a bit more jazz, R&R, and "fatter" type sound. It's my favorite reed. My second favorite is the Rico Royale. Slightly mellower sound allows my to play a bit softer and blend easier with a group I play with. (The Rico Orange box is a bit stuffy. The #2 Vandorens and Hemkes may be to soft for this mouthpiece. They tend to chirp unless I really pay attention to maintain a very loose embouchure.) This all on the Kessler mouthpiece. I haven't had enough GAS to think about another mouthpiece. I have no illusions that a new mouthpiece will magically provide the sound that I hear in my head. I've got other things I'm focused on first. With this horn, my deficiencies are all with the player. The equipment is not holding me back and won't for the foreseeable future.
Good luck in your shopping. Do a search and you'll find most if not all of the feedback on the Kessler horns is pretty positive.
Just noticed that Canadian mentioned the Kessler Custom in the Marketplace. That would be a good price for basically a $1K horn! You should post these questions to the seller in that thread.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the reply... Actually, I never received an email from you. Was it sent to my inbox, or pm box on saxontheweb?
anyway, the problem with buying a slightly cheaper used one (even if only slightly used) is that the money is paid up front. I actually do not have $500 to buy a vintage sax. Kessler enables the buyer to pay after 6 whole months, which means I can have a brand-spanking-new horn in 10 days or so and not have to pay for it until the end of February 2008.
The problem is, however, that this financing plan applies only to Kessler-made instruments. I wish I could buy your antigua, especially from a fellow Canadian ;)
but it will be a long while before I'm able to buy something better than the wonderful 'Selman' crapsax model 6 off of ebay.

Back to the original question though, how would someone who plays a Kessler Custom describe its sound?


EDITED because the post above me didn't exist while I was writing this reply:

Thank you very much... that was really in-depth. So the reed shapes the sound too? I should definitely consider that, and I like the idea of the soft sound you get with Rico Royales, I want to have a subtone when I master the instrument.
I'll do a little more research into this horn.

thanks alot!
 

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PrezFan said:
thanks for the reply... Actually, I never received an email from you.
Probably got hidden away by the hotmail filters..it was sent to the hotmail address in your recent post...anyway, PM sent...it basically says I have a cheap reasonable horn, and you can see pictures here


Just a note of caution...as a Canadian resident I doubt very much that you will qualify for the kessler credit card based on your being outside the US, and if you do, you should be aware that when the horn arrives, you will have to find 14% sales tax of the $1000+ to even have it delivered, plus whatever customs handling charges apply for the chosen carrier.


Seriously, if you are that hard up I suggest you just save for a little longer and get the cheapest serviceable horn you can find.
 

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Canadiain said:
you should be aware that when the horn arrives, you will have to find 14% sales tax of the $1000+ to even have it delivered, plus whatever customs handling charges apply for the chosen carrier.
If shipped UPS you should expect about 100 CAD of brokerage fee for custom duties collection, a bit less with the others and just 8 CAD if you persuade Kessler to ship USPS. So check that option and ask at least to avoid the UPS-pest.

I am also sure the credit won't apply to non-US residents.
 

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Don't get in a hurry. Do your reseach. Ask questions. Be as specific a possible. The Kessler's are good horns but you may yet find a bargain in the Marketplace or on eBay. The Kessler's will be there waiting for you when you finish your research and settle on whether or not that's the horn for you. I realize you won't get a chance to personally test the horn so you really want to be sure it's worth the risk that you may not like it for whatever reason once you get it in your hands.

Wow, Canadian is on top of things. Good idea to look into the financing angle. Lots of questions to ask and you don't want to get caught by surprise. I'd hate to have you get your heart settled on the horn and then still not be able to afford it due to any unforeseen finance restrictions due to your proximity. Seems like I've read a post from Dave Kessler regarding shipping internationally and the financing issues. Seems like that was overseas, though my memory isn't crystal clear on the topic. You've got more research to do!
 

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Im in British Columbia and I purchased a Kessler Tenor direct from him in Las Vegas. Im a beginner so I cant really comment as to tone or anything, but I bought this as a replacement to the Bundy 2 id been renting from a tech. Its much, much, much nicer for me to play than the Bundy 2. All I can offer you is pictures (I got the antiqued finish, very nice), and some comments. First off, I believe Kessler shipped my horn via UPS. I dont know if you can request a different method, but they dinged me about $150 at the border. Then UPS added on their infamous brokerage fee, to the tune of $60. Its a beautiful horn though, my tech/teacher who is very wary of any Taiwanese horn looked it over and played it for a bit and said it was a good sax. For some reason mine had areas on it with a blackish buildup of stuff (it wasnt grease, it was on some of the pearls and the low C key), but it came off easily. Also, I dont know much about sax construction, but inside the body tube, about an inch down from where the neck socket is, there are a bunch of big drips of what seems to be green wax? Again easily cleaned up but Ive always wondered the purpose of that.
All in all im very happy with the sax, it sounds great (when my teacher plays it!), and looks top notch. Ill post a better review in 5 years when im not a total beginner though...
 

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I purchased a Kessler Tenor a couple of months ago. Being rather new, my comments about the tone are very subjective, but it sounds good to me. 'Well made instrument. I got a custom deluxe with brushed finished. BTW, it looks a lot better in person than it does on the website. The web site makes it look gaudy. It's a very attractive horn in real life.

Dave and Chuck are happy to take the time to answer your questions and help you feel comfortable with your purchase. They have even been known to steer you toward a different horn if they don't feel that one of theirs would be right for you.

For what it's worth with my limited experience, I give the Kesslers, and their horns, a big thumbs-up. :)
 
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