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Martin "The Martin" bari versus Keilwerth New King bari

6408 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  milandro
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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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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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!
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)
(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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