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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WOW!!!

Based on what Pete Thomas and Stephen Howard have had to say about them, last Wednesday I ordered a Bauhaus-Walstein soprano from woodwindandbrass.co.uk in England. It was delivered by UPS to my house in New England in the USA yesterday in a fully intact box. Phew, what a relief, and what a speedy delivery! Thank you Martin.

When I opened it, I could see that it was very well packed. The horn is made in mainland China, but there were no white gloves in the case. I thought that was a good sign. The case is better than what I expected. Instead of being a hard case, it is like a ProTec case with a shoulder strap which is what I prefer to use to carry my horns around in anyway.

When I took the horn out, I was amazed that it felt about as solid as a Yanagisawa S901 that I owned until about a year ago. Nothing seemed flimsy on it at all, and the rods all seemed pretty solid, unlike an Antigua Wind I once owned. The sop comes with two necks and I tested the fitting of both of them. They both fit easily but snuggly into the receiver, and the metal didn't bend in permanently at the crack in the neck receiver like on an Antigua Wind I owned.

The next test was for intonation. In correspondence with Pete Thomas, he had recommended a Selmer mpc with the straight B-W. Fortunately I had ordered a SuperSession and a Meyer from wwbw.com and they happened to come yesterday too. The sop had a mpc that came with it but I wasn't getting a solid tone with it, so I took out the SuperSession and hooked the sop up to my tuner.

After a little experimentation with mpc placement I got even intonation throughout the horn. Impressive, especially since I haven't played a sop in about a year, tenor being what I usually play. I then proceeded to practice for two and a half hours. What a joy, and to get such a playable horn after being shipped from GB to the USA.

The tone on it is excellent. I thought it sounded a bit muffled with the curved neck, but the straight neck was great. I tried playing throughout the range of the horn and even the upper half of the second register didn't seem as shrill as on a Yana S901. I would attribute that to the body on the B-W being bronze rather than brass like on an S901.

I hate to sound like an ad, but if you are considering a soprano, or any other sax for that matter, I highly recommend you check out the
Bauhaus - Walsteins and other horns at woodwindandbrass.co.uk. I must admit that for me it felt like a risky purchase, buying a horn from a foreign country meant that it would be shipped that much further and a return would be that much more difficult, but I am certainly glad I did it. The B-W horns are a completely different animal than the low quality ones you see being sold on Ebay and elsewhere.

Regarding the name, in the past this horn would have been known as a Walstein, but due to a change in intellectual property laws in England regarding phoenetic similarities in names, the brand is now known as Bauhaus-Walstein.
 

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Great!
And now we want some sound! :razz:
 

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I had a B-W Curved Soprano for my 50th birthday and it is quite immaculate - they seem to most observers to be a copy of the Yani 992 bronze, but for about 1/5th the price - get them before the price rises (anticipated 20% increase due soon).

Joy to the World!
BB;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, let's hear it!!
Maybe clips comparing it to the Yanagisawa also?
Hmmm, it may take me some time to get something together. Both www.petethomas.co.uk and www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk have clips of the B-W though. I will not be able to give you a comparison to the Yanagisawas I have owned as I have sold them both.

Of course I did play the B-W again yesterday, and can tell you that nothing has changed from my original review above. I thought of another comparison though, and that is to a 1927 Buescher True Tone soprano I once owned. Again my preference is for the B-W, most notably for its ability to sound less bright especially on the upper half of it's second octave, that and a solid tone and feeling in your hands.
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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H I thought of another comparison though, and that is to a 1927 Buescher True Tone soprano I once owned. Again my preference is for the B-W, most notably for its ability to sound less bright especially on the upper half of it's second octave, that and a solid tone and feeling in your hands.
I'll second that. I used to have a Truetone, and received compliments on a sound that was more like Wayne Shorter than various other players with a brighter/nasal sound. I was very flattered.

I sold that soprano (I wish I hadn't). I've tried many since then and they all seemed to be too oboeish and thin sounding for my likes. This one is much more reminiscent of the Truetone (but without the vintage intonation issues around B - C - C#)
 

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I'm really intrigued now. Recently sold my Yani sop (and wish I hadnt). Hmmm.

Probably not the right place to ask, but I wonder if the alto is as good....??
 

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I have recently purchased the alto and tenor of these. Some of the detail isn't perfect (cork pieces not securely glued, octave mechanism on the tenor needs tweaking, i think etc). But they sound pretty good. I prefer the alto to the tenor (believe the alto is based on Yani/a (;)) design - not sure what the tenor is based on). I wanted 2 good, cheapish horns with modern keywork. I think I got them (so far).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'm really intrigued now. Recently sold my Yani sop (and wish I hadnt). Hmmm.
I would say in that case that a B-W would be the ticket. I sold all my sops and mpcs and thought I would just focus on tenor, but then lately have realized that some of the tunes I've been practicing I really like better on sop than tenor, and that is why I bought the B-W.

It has enabled me to get back into a sop without a big cash outlay, and I don't feel like I'm missing a thing not having a more costly horn. My wife who is much less tolerant of my practicing a sop than a tenor even commented last night that I am sounding really nice, and better than ever on the sop, and that is after I was practicing a couple tunes on the B-W.

By the way, for some background information for anyone interested this is a snip from an email I received from Martin at www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk:

Start
Walstein (is) a combination of the surnames instrumental in creating the product - Walker and Grunstein.
End

I thought "Walstein" was an unusual Chinese name.

Of course I was not thinking that, as with other products, a name does not necessarily indicate the country of manufacture.
 

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I am about to order a curved sop, probably this bronze B-W. (P. Mauriat vintage lacquer is the competitor also).
Let's say I am convinced for its intonation and sound quality. What is also very important to me is how often it will need to be fixed. (I had bad experience with a B&S silver plated tenor, but now I am ok with my Selmer; it has almost no need for maintenance).
Please, tell me your experiences
Recommendations for a mpc-reed setup for dark but flexible sound will be welcomed too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Personally I would go for the B-W. I think that a sop in bronze is nicer than brass too, and you can't beat the price. I'm not at all concerned about repairs, my B-W feels like its solid as a tank and certainly as solid feeling as the Yani i once owned. Maybe if I was in the habit of playing it while standing up on the seat of a motorcycle in motion I would be more concerned about repairs.

Re mpcs, it's a very personal thing and everyone it different, but what I have found to be best is a Selmer SuperSession. I think I use an F, some people like them more open, but I tried more open and an F is best for me. Smaller than that was too closed.

The SuperSession with a bronze body horn gives the horn an unbeatable sound in a sop. I couldn't be more pleased.

Sorry not to have responded to you sooner. It's a hectic time of year for me.
 

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Just to chip in a bit, I have had a Walstein bari also in bronze for around 16months now and its been faultless. Slight prob with octave mech on delivery but quickly sorted in first week. As good now as ever.

Col.
 

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As I was definitely convinced by your kind responses and was updating my paypal account for the purchase, I received an email from the dealer telling me that the last B-W curvy in UK (and probably in EU) had been just sold! Now I have to wait for the next shipment in about two months.

Until then, I let my tenor sing that being alone, life is yor own...
 

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I love my Bronze BW Alto and staight Bronze BW Soprano,outstanding for the money.
 

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I'm pleased for you all with your choices, but doesn't it seem at all absurd to ship a saxophone from China to England, and then to America?
There must be a better way.
 

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I looked these over on-line and can not believe the prices. :shock:

I recently a Taiwanese brand that I really like but they do not make a Sopranino so I am going to look into purchasing one soon.

Has anybody tried the 'Nino?

How do I find out what the V.A.T. charges would cost?

B:cool:
 

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I purchased my B.W. soprano on the basis that if it was good enough for Pete Thomas it sure was good enough for me and I can't believe how well it is built. A pleasure to play - only downside being it's a shame that the low cost of PRC goods is killing manufacturing in the west.
 
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