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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The saga continues......
Any opinions on these models that fall within my budget of +/- $2000.
I might be able to go higher, but here is what I have found so far, all with Low-A.
A big consideration would be the tables/keywork for small hands.

  • Amati Abs 31
  • Buescher 400
  • Conn 11M
  • Dolnet
  • (JustSaxes) Crescent
  • Kessler
  • Kielwerth
  • Kohlert
  • Noblet
  • Yani Stencil (B-6)

There is still a possibility of getting the YBS-52 repaired.
And finally, which you you rather have, a newer model YBS-52 or an older YBS-61?

Thanks again everybody for you input.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Of this list, I've played both the earlier and later Buescher 400's with a low A. Find one that still has the nickel silver key rods and you're good. I don't know exactly when they switched to common brass rod stock, but I really don't like them with the floppy key work the common brass rods cause.

Also played both Yamaha's on the list. I'd take a YBS-61 in dead lacquer over a YBS-52 any day -- assuming both are in similar playing condition. The earliest 61's had a recall regarding octave pip positioning for the lower stack, but even if it wasn't done, this is a class A horn.

Of course, I personally prefer leaving 6 lbs of extra brass I don't usually need in the case, so let me know if you want to start looking at low-Bb horns.

Also, have you considered an early Keilwerth with a low-A? Not on your list, but these are killer horns too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of this list, I've played both the earlier and later Buescher 400's with a low A. Find one that still has the nickel silver key rods and you're good. I don't know exactly when they switched to common brass rod stock, but I really don't like them with the floppy key work the common brass rods cause.

Also played both Yamaha's on the list. I'd take a YBS-61 in dead lacquer over a YBS-52 any day -- assuming both are in similar playing condition. The earliest 61's had a recall regarding octave pip positioning for the lower stack, but even if it wasn't done, this is a class A horn.

Of course, I personally prefer leaving 6 lbs of extra brass I don't usually need in the case, so let me know if you want to start looking at low-Bb horns.

Also, have you considered an early Keilwerth with a low-A? Not on your list, but these are killer horns too.
maddenma, thank you for your insight on the Bueschers.
I did think about the Keilwerth, in fact I was looking into a KW stencil when the CL listing expired. Since the limited emails went through CL I lost the contact info!! Have been checking CL since but it has not been relisted. :(

How would the Bueschers feel for small hands?
 

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How would the Bueschers feel for small hands?
I don't think the Bueschers are that "small hand friendly". At least not in my experience. I haven't really got small hands myself, but the keywork on the Buescher 400 I own is quite difficult to get around compared to the P. Mauriat 300DK I also own. The left hand pinky cluster on the Buescher is near impossible to use....however, that could just be MY sax's problem, not a Buescher problem in general.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GarciaPhreak, thank you for your input.

Oh, forgot to ask maddenma.......so of the 2 Bueschers, all things being equal, scratch off the BU-6?
 

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You have Kohlert on your list but not Keilwerth... how come?

I've never played a YBS-52 but I played regulary on a n YBS-61 for a couple of years and I didn't like it at all. It was a terrible horn. But it might have been because all of the dents... though keywork wasn't all the bad, but I like the SA 80 baris the best, especially the keywork!
Too bad I can't afford it :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You have Kohlert on your list but not Keilwerth... how come?

I've never played a YBS-52 but I played regulary on a n YBS-61 for a couple of years and I didn't like it at all. It was a terrible horn. But it might have been because all of the dents... though keywork wasn't all the bad, but I like the SA 80 baris the best, especially the keywork!
Too bad I can't afford it :(
bkenes, thanks for the input. Where the dents on the YBS-61 significant enough to change the sound? I presume that's what you meant when you say it was a terrible horn.
I added the Kielwerth, but i think I would have to look for a stencil as (I presume) Keilwerth branded Low-A baris would be over my $2000 budget.......maybe not?? :dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE.....

Just looked at Kielwerth & noticed it did not have a Low-A thumb trigger.
How important/convenient are these and does anyone know which of the makes listed have them & which do not?
The YBS-52 has them, and i would presume the 61 does too.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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GarciaPhreak, thank you for your input.

Oh, forgot to ask maddenma.......so of the 2 Bueschers, all things being equal, scratch off the BU-6?
Buescher baris, at least the real ones up to and including the '80's 400's that I'm not fond of, are not particularly friendly to small hands. Certainly not impossible, but the key touches are pretty spread and the low-Bb is a long-ish reach. On a low-A 400, it might feel like it's next door, rather than on the horn.

The BU-6 I haven't played -- it's of indeterminable Asian origin, likely Chinese. I'm guessing that it plays and feels like most of them, but no experience with which to base that on. They are fairly cheap. Almost picked one up off CL a few months back, but the wife had a different perspective on yet another big horn in the house.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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The left hand pinky cluster on the Buescher is near impossible to use....however, that could just be MY sax's problem, not a Buescher problem in general.
If that's a post-600xxx horn, it's probably not just "your" horn that's like that.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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You have Kohlert on your list but not Keilwerth... how come?

I've never played a YBS-52 but I played regulary on a n YBS-61 for a couple of years and I didn't like it at all. It was a terrible horn. But it might have been because all of the dents... though keywork wasn't all the bad, but I like the SA 80 baris the best, especially the keywork!
Too bad I can't afford it :(
Nothing you don't know, but a beaten to death battle axe in poor condition isn't going to be a good representation of the breed. The 61 is a very good horn, not just by my judgement, but in general reputation as well.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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UPDATE.....

Just looked at Kielwerth & noticed it did not have a Low-A thumb trigger.
How important/convenient are these and does anyone know which of the makes listed have them & which do not?
The YBS-52 has them, and i would presume the 61 does too.
Like any other alternate key, if it's there, you use it. If not, use the other one that is. I don't think there's a Martin bari on the planet with a key I'd consider essential (chromatic F#), but people still buy them.
 

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Well I do believe that the dent in the "pig-tail" curve did have impact on the sound. I don't want to missrepresent the YBS-61s whith my bad experience... They are probably great horns, a friend of mine plays a YAS-61 which is actually a really nice horn. I just think that the YBS-61 sounds too thin (in my experience, whith one sax, whith dents)...

Keilwerth stencils are cheaper yes. But I don't agree with you that they don't have a Low-A thumb trigger... Look here for instance:
http://www.saxpics.com/?v=img&img=/...r/72978-sq/72978CoufSuperbaIIBari6.jpg#imgTop

bkenes, thanks for the input. Where the dents on the YBS-61 significant enough to change the sound? I presume that's what you meant when you say it was a terrible horn.
I added the Kielwerth, but i think I would have to look for a stencil as (I presume) Keilwerth branded Low-A baris would be over my $2000 budget.......maybe not?? :dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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No Low-A thumb key because it's not a Low-A horn. ;)

I once owned a Dorfler & Jorka (Keilwerth-based) Low-A bari and it was a decent enough horn. The keywork on the various Yanis and the Yamahas I've played are/were much more comfortable and I presume would be for a player with small hands. My Yani 991 keywork isn't much more spread than a tenor. I also briefly owned a SX90 low-A bari and the keywork just wasn't comfortable for me. GREAT sound, but I need cash and had other options that were more than adequate. I would definitely try a Keilwerth if you get a chance, but they are kind of different beasts.

Good luck on the hunt!
 

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Oh, I also had a Low-Bb Keilwerth stencil (Bundy) that was probably the best Low-Bb bari I've owned. If you are open to Low-Bb horns, that Superba II would be a pretty damn good horn. It had such a thick, fat tone and massive low-end. They can also be had for great prices. Don't know why it tripped my switch so much when the Low-A's didn't, I don't think the keyword was that different between the two. I'm starting to realize I've owned way too many baris in my time....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
cynru97, thanks for the education......I don't know why I presumed that the Superba IIs were all Low-A horns.
Since the horn could see double duty as a college jazz & pit horn I would rather play it safe and get a Low-A.
 

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I have a '70's King Tempo low Bb which is also a Keilwerth stencil. It is a great sounding bari and I only have about $1K into it.
 

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Since the horn could see double duty as a college jazz & pit horn I would rather play it safe and get a Low-A.
Can't argue with that!

You will find that a good number of the Keilwerth stencil horns will be Low-Bb. A great many served in school inventories and they are certainly tanks. There are so many Keilwerth stencils out there: Bundy (some obviously), King Tempo, Armstrong Heritage, the Coufs, tons of smaller label names.... As much as I respect Keilwerth baris, I suggest Amanda handle one prior to purchase because they do have a different feel to the keywork.

I know he's a decent drive away from you, but I'd give Steve Gray a call and just chat with him about his inventory. He could probably offer some thoughts and suggestions and would probably keep his eyes peeled for a bari that suits Amanda's needs. Maybe even chat with him about the YBS-52 you have ( I presume you still have it?), he seems to really know Yamahas.
 

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Hehe I actually bought a superba II stencil two/three days ago... low Bb though. Got it for a good price and they are great players, from what I've heard. It hasn't arrived yet though so I can't tell from my own experience. But they are in your price range (even with low A) and are know to be terrific baris! Buy one ;) Or a yani stencil, like some vitos are!
 
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