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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was checking my local pawn shops today and one of the owners pulled this out from behind the desk for me.
The horn has turned mostly black from tarnish but silver-plate looks to be great in spots where it was recently cleaned.
First impression was not very good visually. The mechanics appear cheap to me when compared to high end Taiwanese sopranos and even my old Amati Deluxe. The build looks somewhat dated and the horn was very resistant and required a huge push to make it play. That said, it could be out of whack so I'll let that slide. There were only rivets not resonators so it was strange to me.
The tone with my trusty Selmer Soloist F was not what I would call warm. It was more bright and big sounding and easily filled the room.
I don't know much about Italian instruments but at $4000+ for a new R1 I don't see the reason for such a high cost.

If anybody can tell me their experience with this model and why I might be having an issue with Eb,E,F, F# coming out clearly. Sounds pinched and tiny.

Its a very odd duck for where I live and the price is great for a pro horn but is it really a professional saxophone?
 

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I mean, it sounds like the one you have needs some serious work. I recently asked about these here and the overwhelming opinion was that these are world class instruments.
My R1 tenor is phenomenal as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I mean, it sounds like the one you have needs some serious work. I recently asked about these here and the overwhelming opinion was that these are world class instruments.
My R1 tenor is phenomenal as well.
It is at least 10 years old and it is probably needing a rebuild to perform well. It seemed like a huge bore soprano to me. Is that your impression?
 

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These horns, like most horns, need a proper set up (or overhaul) to be properly judged. I like R$C sopranos/saxello, but I would recommend a large chamber mouthpiece for it. The Selmer mouthpiece may not be the best fit, but it may work for some. I’d try an Otto Link Tone Edge or some version of that kind of piece.
 

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Also, if you decide to part with it, I’d guess you would more than recover your money, even in need of an overhaul.
 

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If the cost of the horn +an overhaul is still below market value, I’d probably go for it since I know I could get my money back. But that’s me. I’ve always wanted to try an R1 in ANY voice. Very interesting horns.
 

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It is at least 10 years old and it is probably needing a rebuild to perform well. It seemed like a huge bore soprano to me. Is that your impression?
I would assume it is big bore yes. I just ordered a Saxello and will have it in a week or two. I can update then. But read around here a bit you’ll see that they are well-regarded.
 

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I owned one for a while, but never played it much. When I received it, I had some issues playing it that I assumed where due to my inexperience on soprano. After a while, I took it to Ernie Sola, who took it apart and reseated literally every pad plus performed various other work. It played great after that, even for a novice. Ernie Sola liked it too, but thought it was one of the worst factory setups, he had ever seen. I have heard the same from others. Nothing inherently wrong with the design but sorely lacking the finishing touches, not unlike Borgani. From what I understand, the R1 Jazz horns are supposed to have a bigger bore than most other modern instruments, but I sold the horn long ago and never measured anything.
 

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I was checking my local pawn shops today and one of the owners pulled this out from behind the desk for me.
The horn has turned mostly black from tarnish but silver-plate looks to be great in spots where it was recently cleaned.
First impression was not very good visually. The mechanics appear cheap to me when compared to high end Taiwanese sopranos and even my old Amati Deluxe. The build looks somewhat dated and the horn was very resistant and required a huge push to make it play. That said, it could be out of whack so I'll let that slide. There were only rivets not resonators so it was strange to me.
The tone with my trusty Selmer Soloist F was not what I would call warm. It was more bright and big sounding and easily filled the room.
I don't know much about Italian instruments but at $4000+ for a new R1 I don't see the reason for such a high cost.
That sounds like an older build - it would be interesting to learn the date of manufacture, or whether it suffered from a poor repad.

I have little recent experience with R&C, but I know that Borgani Jubilee horns of the last 20 years are much improved over earlier horns.
 

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I tried an new R1 soprano a couple of years ago and thought it was great. It was set up well and the ergos were great, as was the sound. Kind of a warm sound with character and richness. Liked it a lot. Build quality seemed on a par with other pro horns. I have been playing a Series III since I started playing soprano about 5 years ago. The best horn I have tried was the Yani SS-993 (I think) solid silver, but I already had the Series III. Have always wanted to try the R&C saxello. It sounds from the lack of resonators that the R1 you are looking at might be different than the one I tried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm going to buy it but first it will go to be completely overhauled and to clean up the silver plate. I can then determine whether it's a keeper or a seller.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for that insight. Research shows the one I am looking at is an early version of the R1 but it has the same design.
 

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Thanks for that insight. Research shows the one I am looking at is an early version of the R1 but it has the same design.
Same design but different execution - not so different than the Selmers and their copies.

That horn may take a lot of work to get into fettle similar to a more recent build - pivots, post alignment, etc. Pads with appropriate resos are in order, too.
 
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It is at least 10 years old and it is probably needing a rebuild to perform well. It seemed like a huge bore soprano to me. Is that your impression?
Have you accurately dated the instrument? Ten years old would place it at 2011. I know - you wrote "at least".

I had an R-1 R&C tipped-bell model (incorrectly called a "Saxello") that I bought new around 2002 (I have photos of it dated 2003). It sure was built well - there are other recent threads about those models. I can only assume that the shape of the bell is insignificant and that a comparable straight R-1 of that era would be in the same league.

As far as bore-size, I think that all Bb sopranos are close enough in bore-size as to make "large bore" a meaningless myth unless one wants to put some meaning into a few hundredths-of-an-inch differences. I say that based on eyeballing soprano bores and by once measuring all of my sopranos, vintage and modern.

I'm just thinking that either your horn is a LOT older than 10 years OR the condition belies the underlying value once your horn is cleaned up and overhauled. DAVE
 

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As far as bore-size, I think that all Bb sopranos are close enough in bore-size as to make "large bore" a meaningless myth unless one wants to put some meaning into a few hundredths-of-an-inch differences. I say that based on eyeballing soprano bores and by once measuring all of my sopranos, vintage and modern.
The term "large bore" as generally used is indeed meaningless, but it's because the term is usually applied in ignorance of the actual measurements, based on the false premise that bore width is the main factor controlling tone and response, which leads people to apply the term based on their estimation of tone and response rather than on measurements.

As long as one doesn't inflate the relevance, a few hundredths of an inch can be meaningful. For instance it can mean an over 5% difference in the size of the opening at the mouthpiece end. Bore width differences correlate to differences of length, and different bore designs do sound and respond differently as well as having different mouthpiece compatibility.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Have you accurately dated the instrument? Ten years old would place it at 2011. I know - you wrote "at least".

I had an R-1 R&C tipped-bell model (incorrectly called a "Saxello") that I bought new around 2002 (I have photos of it dated 2003). It sure was built well - there are other recent threads about those models. I can only assume that the shape of the bell is insignificant and that a comparable straight R-1 of that era would be in the same league.

As far as bore-size, I think that all Bb sopranos are close enough in bore-size as to make "large bore" a meaningless myth unless one wants to put some meaning into a few hundredths-of-an-inch differences. I say that based on eyeballing soprano bores and by once measuring all of my sopranos, vintage and modern.

I'm just thinking that either your horn is a LOT older than 10 years OR the condition belies the underlying value once your horn is cleaned up and overhauled. DAVE
It is by no meaning an old horn even with the build looking crude compared to high B&S or High end Taiwanese but I imagine that it came from the beginning of this model. The horn also looks VERY badly taken care of. Pads looks okay but silver plate being almost completely black and inability to play very well makes me think older model with not much maintenance over those years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Same design but different execution - not so different than the Selmers and their copies.

That horn may take a lot of work to get into fettle similar to a more recent build - pivots, post alignment, etc. Pads with appropriate resos are in order, too.
My tech rebuilds my antique saxes and does everything possible to make them play perfectly including bent posts, soldering, tone hole leveling etc....

I'm going to take a chance and have it rebuilt.
 
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