Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Question about the New York Guardala alto with the higher copper content added for resonance. Anyone play those? I heard it's like a Keilwerth on alto? Id like some thoughts about it.
Thanks
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,844 Posts
I think the copper content has little effect on the resonance. B&S called this "Gold Brass". I have three Guardala tenors and one of them has "Gold Brass". I also have two chicago Jazz and two 2001 series tenors. I can't speak to the Guardala playing like a Keilwerth in the alto. However in the tenor that would not be true. I have an SX90. I think of the B&S horns as a good copy of a Mkvi, but with a little more umph. I would say my Gold Brass Guardala is less bright than the others. Slightly.

I do have a Medusa alto and it is a good Mkvi like horn. I can only assume that the earlier Guardala altos would be similar. I really have never played a modern Keilwerth alto. However as you can see my experience with B&S is extensive.

The horns marked Gold Brass seem to have more engraving. I believe I know which horn you are looking at. The best response is from a horn with no leaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I recently played a Guardala alto that was approx 10-11 years old. I didn't get the serial number or particular model number but it was black laquer and in very good condition. The first thing I noticed was how much it resembled a Mark VI in looks and in response. I would buy one of these horns as readily as any Selmer but I understand Guardala has made some bad decisions in his business. Can anyone speak to this? What happened to Dave and does he still have a hand in saxophone manufacturing? I've always been a Selmer player, not that I haven't tried other horns but for me, the feel and response of a good Mark VI or Balanced Action is the gold standard. Finding a horn like this Guardala alto blew my mind. I even swapped my Mark VI neck back and forth with the Guardala and they fit perfectly. Also, I couldn't really tell a difference tone wise between the two. I was pretty impressed. Anyone care to inform me of the fate of Guardala?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
7,129 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
Hes been out of prison for a while (unless he went back in since 2011 for something else?) but AFAIK hes not reentered the Sax world, or if he has he is not fronting the operation!

I dont know why his dodgy sax scam would influence anyones decision to buy a fine playing horn with his name on it, but I guess there are similar (but IMO not the same) ethical issues with WW2 era horns with swastika engravings.


Independent of all that I'm a bit concerned that the horn mentioned above is described as 10 or 11 years old, which would place it as made around 2008/9, several years AFTER B&S were out of the sax making business, so if true this is either an Amati or far eastern "wwbw" Guardalla, which while fine enough horns, are generally not considered to be the same top drawer horn as the "made in germany" ones. If its stamped MADE IN GERMANY under the thumb rest, then its almost certainly on original horn, but older than thought.

The B&S 2001 and all its bretheren were widely reported to be based on MkVI dimensions, but then again, what recent horn hasnt been:) Many people have expressed the opinion that these B&S horns share the same sonic ground as Selmer, but the VI is pretty inconsistent from era to era and even horn to horn so Im not entirely sure what that means. I do know I like my B&S horns though, solidly made, reliable, great tone,. decent intonation. Massive bang for the buck at current prices.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top