Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Distinguished Member and Bass Sax Extraordinaire
Joined
·
958 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a bit of a Christmas present for any of you Couf lovers out there. After more than a month of researching, writing, and putting it all together in one very heavily illustrated page, I published the first of my H. Couf pages on my website today.

The goal when I undertook this was to compile all the information I could find about the H. Couf brand into one place so that owners, or would-be owners, could easily and quickly find everything they needed to know about their horns.

As I mentioned this is the first of a couple of pages. The other page (maybe 2 or 3 pages) will focus on the models themselves, and illustrate clearly the differences between the Superba I, II, and the Royalist.

I have already started working on that page(s), but it too will be a lot of work, and won't be done until likely towards the end of January. In the meantime, I expect that there is enough on this first page to keep you busy for a while.

Given that there have only been little snippets about the brand scattered all over the Net, and that many of them are not substantiated, my new Couf page will provide Couf lovers with some heavily researched, and referenced reading material that they can thoroughly enjoy.

Happy holidays all. And happy reading...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
Very well done. Hopefully you will be able to carry this through to the modern JK horns?

We should make this a sticky, either way as it is a great resource for the history of the JK and H. Couf brands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,795 Posts
Thanks Helen. As a proud Armstrong player, I'm interested in anything Couf, and will look forward to reading your new pages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Just sent an email about my H Couf Superba I Clarinet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
My superba 1 and I thank you!
 

·
Distinguished Member and Bass Sax Extraordinaire
Joined
·
958 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Great read !!!!!!
Glad you liked it Jaye.

Very well done. Hopefully you will be able to carry this through to the modern JK horns?

We should make this a sticky, either way as it is a great resource for the history of the JK and H. Couf brands.
I could do this for the modern JKs. I just figure that there is a fair amount of info available on them already. I tend to choose brands to research and write about where there is little to no concrete info available, and/or where the info that people quote is so full of misinformation, that it needs to be corrected. (EG: my page on B&S Weltklang baris.)

Thanks Helen. As a proud Armstrong player, I'm interested in anything Couf, and will look forward to reading your new pages.
Ah Armstrong, that's yet another brand where mysteries and rumours abound. Some were made by entirely Armstrong in the US, some were assembled in the US using JK parts, some may have been assembled in Germany, and I'm still trying to figure out if some were made by Amati. It really is a bit of a cluster. I do have a really interesting price chart from JK for the German market for the Armstrong horns that they distributed ATT. I will include it the up-coming Armstrong page.

Excellent work Helen!
Thank you.

Just sent an email about my H Couf Superba I Clarinet!
Replied, and thank you.

My superba 1 and I thank you!
You're most welcome. I hope your Superba I approves. :bluewink:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
I've had a few Armstrong saxes in for refurb over the years--bought them really cheap. Now whether the tubes were German or USA made, sonically, there is little to no difference. I've found these horns to be very under rated..they are strong players with good pitch and stable intonation. Keywork is 'very JK/D&J ' and falls easily under the fingers.Great buys for anyone on a budget and relatively easy to work on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I have a bit of a Christmas present for any of you Couf lovers out there. After more than a month of researching, writing, and putting it all together in one very heavily illustrated page, I published the first of my H. Couf pages on my website today.

The goal when I undertook this was to compile all the information I could find about the H. Couf brand into one place so that owners, or would-be owners, could easily and quickly find everything they needed to know about their horns.

As I mentioned this is the first of a couple of pages. The other page (maybe 2 or 3 pages) will focus on the models themselves, and illustrate clearly the differences between the Superba I, II, and the Royalist.

I have already started working on that page(s), but it too will be a lot of work, and won't be done until likely towards the end of January. In the meantime, I expect that there is enough on this first page to keep you busy for a while.

Given that there have only been little snippets about the brand scattered all over the Net, and that many of them are not substantiated, my new Couf page will provide Couf lovers with some heavily researched, and referenced reading material that they can thoroughly enjoy.

Happy holidays all. And happy reading...
In 1976 I was looking for a new tenor. I tried a Selmer MarkVI, A Selmer MarkVI (new at the time) and a Couf SuperbaI. The Couf won out as it was the easiest to blow. I have never regretted my decision.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,844 Posts
Excellent information Helen. Over the years I have used your information many time. I recently picked up a Keilwerth Conn stencil. Huge sound.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Helen,

Great article. I always assumed that the Couf mouthpieces were domestic (Babbitt?), not Zinner. Just because the sax was German doesn't mean that Couf would need to pay the import tariff on the mouthpieces. Both the Couf cases and the mouthpiece could have been sourced in the U.S. and saved Couf the 15-20% import duty then charged on those items. Couf also sold the mps independent of saxophones, so finding a domestic supplier could make item sales more profitable (as Germany isn't known as a cut-rate supplier of anything). I don't think that Couf mouthpieces have a country of origin designation, which isn't required if produced in the U.S. (although there are ways around the requirement).

I don't know if anybody has had any success asking Babbitt what and for whom they produced back in the day.

Mark
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,983 Posts
I do have a really interesting price chart from JK for the German market for the Armstrong horns that they distributed ATT. I will include it the up-coming Armstrong page.
Interesting. JK disributed Armstrongs in Europe ? Very interesting .
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
7,212 Posts
Wondering why Conn DJH Modified saxophones (Keilwerth made of course) were not included in your resource?
 

·
Distinguished Member and Bass Sax Extraordinaire
Joined
·
958 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
In 1976 I was looking for a new tenor. I tried a Selmer MarkVI, A Selmer MarkVI (new at the time) and a Couf SuperbaI. The Couf won out as it was the easiest to blow. I have never regretted my decision.
I'm not surprised. When I was getting horns to go to university with in the early 80s--only Mark VIs were accepted at the time where I was going--I bought my alto and soprano from a music store in Vancouver. They were part of a set (SATB) that belonged to the same player who traded them in--these horns were then, and my 2 still are, pretty darn minty--on a set of H. Coufs. I'm guessing this Mark VI player must have tried the Couf play-test, and then was no longer satisfied with his 4 horns. They were all late-model Mark VIs, that were all immaculately kept. :yikes!:

Excellent information Helen. Over the years I have used your information many time. I recently picked up a Keilwerth Conn stencil. Huge sound.
Thanks. Glad to know my info is helpful. :mrgreen: The stencil you're talking about, is it a DJH?

Helen,

Great article. I always assumed that the Couf mouthpieces were domestic (Babbitt?), not Zinner. Just because the sax was German doesn't mean that Couf would need to pay the import tariff on the mouthpieces. Both the Couf cases and the mouthpiece could have been sourced in the U.S. and saved Couf the 15-20% import duty then charged on those items. Couf also sold the mps independent of saxophones, so finding a domestic supplier could make item sales more profitable (as Germany isn't known as a cut-rate supplier of anything). I don't think that Couf mouthpieces have a country of origin designation, which isn't required if produced in the U.S. (although there are ways around the requirement).

I don't know if anybody has had any success asking Babbitt what and for whom they produced back in the day.

Mark
What you're saying makes sense. We know that Runyon did supply that slim-line soprano piece for awhile. Not sure where that Zinner thing exactly came from. The Couf piece I have is a great tenor piece, and I have a number of alto pieces as well. That said, I think the connection to Zinner came from the fact that JK's MPs were Zinner pieces for the most part. Therefore it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that Couf got his pieces there, since he would know that they played well on his horns.

That said, I would love to find out with 100% certainty where these MPs originated. If we could get confirmation from a company here in North America saying: Yes, we made the Artist Series, then I'd be good with that.

Interestingly enough, I'm not convinced Couf only had 1 supplier. My tenor piece is HR, while I got another tenor piece in a horn case that is some kind of black plastic, and looks nothing like it. Then there are my alto pieces. They more closely resemble my original tenor piece that I bought in a music store in Vancouver.

I will try and get my light box set up, and take some photos of my Couf pieces. I have about 6 of them. Like I said, I'm not at all convinced they were all made by the same company.

Wondering why Conn DJH Modified saxophones (Keilwerth made of course) were not included in your resource?
Those horns are great. My focus was simply on Couf. Period. There was a lot of confusion about the Couf horns, and what they are and aren't.

To do justice to the DJH Modified, those, like the Couf, would need to be researched separately, and would need a dedicated page(s) on my website.

op, do you take donations?
Yup, all donations are gladly and gratefully accepted. VPS space is way more expensive (about $1,000/year), and I so far resisted putting ads on my site. There is a donate tab at the top of my site, and it will take you to a PayPal link.

Great job! Those pics make me miss my Couf Superba I alto and tenor sax I had in college. Shouldn't have sold those...... The Superba I tenor is a killin' tenor for R&B work!
Yah, I'm finding that my bari is really great for R&B and rock. I have to really reign it in the big band. It doesn't take much to overplay when it's not appropriate to do so. But when I need the volume, this bari has no problem being heard through 4 trumpets and 4 trombones, not to mention a 4-piece rhythm section.

Thank you. Yup, that's it.

Interesting. JK disributed Armstrongs in Europe ? Very interesting .
Yup. JK and Armstrong had an interesting relationship. JK actually used Armstrong necks on their horns for a while:

At the time when Armstrong was the distributor for Keilwerth in the US, and Keilwerth for Armstrong in Germany, all the necks for J.K. horns were produced by Armstrong, because they were superior to what Keilwerth was making. The Armstrong necks were cut from brass, soldered, and then corrected through hydraulic inflation, to be within a 1/10 mm range. This ensured that all the necks were identical. Only when the partnership with Armstrong ended, did J.K. start producing its own saxophone necks again.
From my JK page

I've had a few Armstrong saxes in for refurb over the years--bought them really cheap. Now whether the tubes were German or USA made, sonically, there is little to no difference. I've found these horns to be very under rated..they are strong players with good pitch and stable intonation. Keywork is 'very JK/D&J ' and falls easily under the fingers.Great buys for anyone on a budget and relatively easy to work on.
Kind of like a old VW. :bluewink:

Great page, I love it!
Thanks!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
7,212 Posts
Thank you for your response,Helen.
Not much info on the DJH series either, especially the 94m tenor, which I own- often compared to a superba 2
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top