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Discussion Starter #1
Please help me decide :)

Today I played two bari saxophones side by side; a Martin "The Martin" bari (my current rental instrument) and a Keilwerth New King, with the plastic key guards.

The advantages of the Martin (1956):

- the Martin sound; full and dark
- the keywork; I think the Martin keywork is very comfortable, even if it's old fashioned

The advantages of the Keilwerth (1960):

- a low A
- far better lacquer condition (not relacquered)
- a bit more even intonation

Both instruments are in the same price range, and both feel and sound very good. The Keilwerth is a bit brighter, where the Martin has a very impressive low end. Intonation of the Keilwerth is a bit more even than the Martin (but not perfect). Both instruments are overhauled, and come with a 1 year warrantee.

I have the Keilwerth reserved for one week. Since the time I play that Martin, I have tested 7 other baris (vintage and new), and this Keilwerth is the only one which is really comparable. The Keilwerth sounds very different from the Martin, but it has a comparable power and richness of tone.

I'm very interested in hearing your opinions :)

Btw, I also played a modern Cannonball and a Jupiter Artist, but I wasn't really impressed with both of them. The Cannonball has a nice sound, but not better than the Keilwerth (definitely not worth the price difference for me), and the Jupiter was disappointing. It lacked bottom power and had a very thin upper range.
 

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That's a Tough Call. . .

Interesting. That's a tough call. I had a Martin bari that I bought and had overhauled. It was a great sounding horn. Big sound and great tone.

But I now play Keilwerth baris now (a Couf Low A and an SX-90 low Bb).

I loved the sound of the Martin. The drawbacks were: It seemed kind of mouthpiece picky. Mine didn't like baffled pieces, that's for sure. The ergonomics were fine except for one thing -- the left hand pinky table. It was just in a strange place for me. I could not get used to it. Kept missing the table entirely.

I have tried a bunch of different baris, including a Yamaha 62 and a Mark VI low Bb. To me the Keilwerths are top of the class. They have a depth of tone and a low end that is pretty hard to beat.

Until a few months ago I was happily playing a VI low Bb bari. One day I made the mistake of walking into a music store that had a brand new Low Bb Keilwerth SX-90. It had sort of gotten lost in there stock room. Long story short, I would up leaving the VI and walking out with the Keilwerth. I have not regretted it.

I don't really need a low A for the stuff I play. The Keilwerth Low Bb baris are smoking horns in my opinion. Some people don't like the keywork on the Keilwerth baris, but it's just right for my mitts.

Nice problem to have I guess, deciding between two fine baris.

For me its Selmer tenors, but I prefer Keilwerth baris. I don't like the left hand position of the SX-90 tenors and altos. But for some reason it does not bother me on the baris.

Good luck!

Scott
 

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Well Johan, If I were you I would look further than the Keilwerth, which I understand (since you privately told me where you went to try out) isn't even all that cheap. True, it is a low A but I don't know how much that is going to help you if you don't play in a big band (can't remember if you do....). Basically I would go to look for something else and especially somewhere else sice on the site of that shop there are many others more interesting saxophones which appear to be sold and what's left isn't all that inspiring.


Martins and many other vintage Baritones, I understand, seem to be very peculiar about their intonation and many benefit from an accurate mouthpiece choice (as I found out with my ancient Conn stencil Bruno which I later sold) but they have no doubt the best sound around! But then again, if you loook for a solo instrument or a section one, things can be rather different. Marktplaats has, at the moment, several interesting and cheaper baritone saxophones. One is a Martin and there is also a Buescher with low A (this, says the advert, has been worked upon by the legend of the Dutch technicians Nico Bodewes )......good luck!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
milandro said:
Marktplaats has, at the moment, several interesting and cheaper baritone saxophones. One is a Martin and there is also a Buescher with low A (this, says the advert, has been worked upon by the legend of the Dutch technicians Nico Bodewes )......good luck!;)
Hi, thanks for your advice!

I saw that Martin, and it is about the same price as the Martin I am playing right now (200 euros cheaper). I sent an email to both the seller of that Martin and the Buescher, and I'll try to call them tomorrow :)

I use the bari in a bigband mainly indeed. The Martin is great there, I think, even if I need to work around the lack of a low A in some pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
milandro said:
Marktplaats has, at the moment, several interesting and cheaper baritone saxophones. One is a Martin and there is also a Buescher with low A (this, says the advert, has been worked upon by the legend of the Dutch technicians Nico Bodewes )......good luck!;)
Thanks :)

That Buescher would cost just a bit more than the Martin that I play now. I tested it today.

The Buescher has P O W E R! It is the loudest bari that I have played so far. Mechanically it is very sound, and I had no problems with the intonation. As I said, it is much louder than the Martin, but I love the dark Martin sound very much. The Buescher is brighter and less subtle, in my opinion.

Coming weekend I am going to play a King Zephyr (unless they sell it this week). And I guess then it's about time to make up my mind :)
 

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Well Johan, I believe that that Buesher can be tweaked to be responding as you want him with a different choiche of mouthpiece and perhaps a Gloger neck too.....the King Zephyr is definitely a great choice!......and yes, you need to make up your mind!
Good Luck!
 

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Man, the zephyr is gonna be amazing, but its not gonna have that gorgeous, dark, powerful tone the Martin has

Man, my Martin bari has tone out the wazoo, and when its all said and done its got some left over to spare!

I have no desire to ever lose the Martin. Its just that great!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Martin Williams said:
Man, the zephyr is gonna be amazing, but its not gonna have that gorgeous, dark, powerful tone the Martin has

Man, my Martin bari has tone out the wazoo, and when its all said and done its got some left over to spare!

I have no desire to ever lose the Martin. Its just that great!
Easy choice after all :)

I played that King Zephyr, and the Keilwerth again, and none of them matches the full tone quality at the low end that my Martin has. The same was true for a modern Yanagisawa; great ergonomics and very even sound, but missing the "Martin low end".

So the only thing that bothers me a bit is the E2/F2 inconsistency of the Martin bari (both very sharp), but I need to work out a solution for that. I moved to a more open and flexible mouthpiece for a start :)
 

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Yeah, Ms. Martin is an old lady with a fat bottom! :)

Johan you could take your Martin horn to someone in Holland I know about (I've never met him but read about on his site) http://saxofoons.interactnetwork.nl/
(sorry for the others the site is only in Dutch!)
who is doing mechanical tweakings which improve both intonation and mechanichs.(open instrumenten menu and read the three chapters : Inleiding, Weltklang, fijnafstelling)

Then call Karsten Glogerfor his necks that could do something to cure some intonation problems.

A more open mouthpiece with a large barrel would also improve intonation.

But all this would cost more than finding the definitive horn off the shelf (Is there such a thing....I wonder) and it would take long time to have it done
 

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Go for the tone.

I have not played a Keilwerth bari, so I can't comment on that, but I own a Martin Committee, and it's a wonderful horn. I have no problem with mouthpieces on this horn; at present I use a Berg HR on it for jazz gigs and a Lawton 8* for gigs requiring volume. Eventually I'll get my bari RPC, and that will be that.

Every time you mention the Martin, you praise its tone. That, as far as I am concerned, is the holy grail. Look no farther.
 

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Someone on the Forum has suggested that Erik Greiffenhagen's double-chambered mouthpiece for baritone cures the D2-F2 sharpness on The Martin baritones. You might check here for more information.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MPL said:
Someone on the Forum has suggested that Erik Greiffenhagen's double-chambered mouthpiece for baritone cures the D2-F2 sharpness on The Martin baritones. You might check here for more information.
Today I tried a number of different mouthpieces, and I settled on a hard rubber Link Tone Edge. It made the sound much warmer (less neutral), and also did a lot for the intonation. The D2 - F2 sharpness is mostly gone, and easier to control anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Reedsplinter said:
Every time you mention the Martin, you praise its tone. That, as far as I am concerned, is the holy grail. Look no farther.
I actually bought it this week :D

 

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congratulations! :)
 
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