Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took my tenor Couf Superba 1 (Conn DJH modified 110M) in for some repairs to some old bad pads in the uppper palm stack and who knows where else....and lo and behold the tech appeared to be a Cannonball distributor as we get to talking.

My Conn DJH was manufactured in 1982-84 sometime and designed to mimic somewhat the Conn 10M of past eras, big bore, big sound. I ordered the Couf Superba 1, and this is what they sent me in the mail. Looks exactly like one.

I had my Dukoff D8 and reed handy in my left pocket (you never know) and so I tried a couple of these new horns out - I played one with the antique faded look, and then I tried the beautiful black/silver Raven.

Here are my impressions:
1. Beautiful looking horns indeed!
2. These felt very nice in my hands immediately, felt almost like my Couf.
3. The TONE was definitely different and I can't describe it very well. Less open maybe? Not as free or wide as I am used to? I could be wrong. Maybe more centered?
4. Ergonomically I was completely surprised at how close to my horn these felt - like it felt almost like my keywork.
5. Upper register - ok, very nice - yes I need upper register stack work done LOL. But still...it was full and clear.
6. Altissimo - BANG! Freaking easy - popped and G and A like it was nothing - I can't even play an A on my horn! (yet). I guessed at the fingering but I could easily nail the A and then a Bflat. No fighting the horn here.
7. Middle register from G to G seemed a tad less full and rich than what my horn blows.
8. The black Raven to ME - to ME...seemed to have a brighter more projecting type of sound to it than the antique finish.

Overall - Impressive instruments I think. I am more about the sound. I have played a Mark VII and VI, and what can I say, never liked they way they played although other play them and sound fantastic, LOL. I ALWAYS loved Yamahas playability and those were student to intermediate.

And did I say the Raven is so beatiful it's dumb? :mrgreen:

Anyone else have or play a lot on one of the big 4, and play the Cannonballs? And how would you describe the differences?

PS. I was in front of others - in a tiny shop, and I never opened up and put some REAL machissmo through the horn - just too shy I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
The real question is: WOuld you dump your Superba for one of them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LOL - no, that was never a question whatsoever. I wouldn't dump this horn for a VI or anything else. That is my first pro horn, plays like beast, and is my baby.

The actual REAL stated question in my post was this:

Anyone else have or play a lot on one of the big 4, and play the Cannonballs? And how would you describe the differences?

Biggest difference to me now in retrospect was the middle register on the CB didn't seem to have the clarity I have in my Conn. But to be completely objective, I used a dry reed with my Dukoff D8 - and also, I need to see what my horn plays like AFTER I get the leak work completed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts
mouthpiece is a key factor...and f.e. you dont get the best play test of a Mark 6 with a D8
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,862 Posts
Fun!

Sounds like that shop is smart enough to make sure the demo horns are well-set up!

That said..and at the risk of a slight hijack...your story reminds me of how tough it is to do conventional retail these days. Let's say you did decide you needed a Raven. You could then go and order one from the internet and the shop would get zero profit from having done all the work of selling the horn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
I played a hotspur tenor against my old Custom Z, my Mark VI, a Ref 54, a Serie II and II. I liked the Cannonball's tone better than the Ref 54, Serie II and III, but it didn't really stack up to the Mark VI or the Custom Z. The keywork on the Cannonball felt cheap to me, and the horn didn't look as well built as the others. I actually tried it out for two weeks and took it to several gigs. It had some strange intonation quirks that bothered me, even after two weeks of shedding on it every day. Also, during a gig, the stone on the neck fell off which revealed that it is only held on with a small dab of glue. Just not very good craftsmanship IMO. I ended up passing on it and that's when I got my Mark VI.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,753 Posts
The actual REAL stated question in my post was this:

Anyone else have or play a lot on one of the big 4, and play the Cannonballs? And how would you describe the differences?
For reference, my preferred tenors of the last 30 years were Selmer Balanced Action, Selmer Serie III, Ref 36, Borgani Jubilee (silver pearl), and (now) Borgani Jubilee (silver plate).

I was first put off by the mechanism and then the tone. I found the response dull.

I told my students with the Cannonball tenors that they were gigable but not a horn that I would choose for my own.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
27,265 Posts
I didn't like a variety of Cannonball tenors that I tried out with a high baffled mouthpiece. They responded much better with a lower baffled mouthpiece however; but still not my cup of tea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses so far. My son plays guitar and I WISH we saxophone players could try out different combo's as easily as these guitarists do at Guitar Center! 10 reeds, 10 mouthpices, and six horns, one hour to burn and seriously, just how much FUN would that be?

I have been out of action so long too, I don't even remember where a Dukoff D8 baffle is relative to other brands.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,446 Posts
I'm not sure one can buy a new Cannonball over the Internet, at lease legitimately. Doesn't CB restrict sales to authorized dealers? DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So this isn't a Cannonball question - but this topic bring it to my mind -

Do you guys really think different model pro saxes sound that much different to another person listening to us? When I played that anitque and then black nickel raven, I could hear a difference, but I swear, I don't think another person could if I just played one or the other. My DJH for that matter too.

I think a lot of the subjectivity comes down to what you like to feel of resistance wise - how it vibrates in your physical person, and obviously, the ergonomic responses we feel.

I can just picture Stan Getz on a Yamaha, Selmer, Cannonball and then a student model Buecher Aristocrat (300.00). I'll bet he would sound almost the same on all three if we didn't hear them played back to back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not sure one can buy a new Cannonball over the Internet, at lease legitimately. Doesn't CB restrict sales to authorized dealers? DAVE
As a business person, I wouldn't buy that horn online after the guy was nice enough to get to know me, bring out his horns and work with me. I would suck it up and support his business.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,862 Posts
I'm not sure one can buy a new Cannonball over the Internet, at lease legitimately. Doesn't CB restrict sales to authorized dealers? DAVE
Good point Dave...I wasn't thinking about CBs in particular, just horns in general.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,753 Posts
I can just picture Stan Getz on a Yamaha, Selmer, Cannonball and then a student model Buecher Aristocrat (300.00)...
I can't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Do you guys really think different model pro saxes sound that much different to another person listening to us? When I played that anitque and then black nickel raven, I could hear a difference, but I swear, I don't think another person could if I just played one or the other.
I play nothing but Cannonballs. I purchased my new Raven Tenor in January after play testing the other Cannonball tenors a number of times over a few months. There is, in my opinion, a definite difference in the tone. The Raven sounds distinctly more bright and edgy.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,446 Posts
I agree that deliberately taking a local retailer's time to test and discuss, etc., then to walk out and buy the same product online is not an honorable thing to do. Plus, just because the horn purchased online is the same as the model tested in the store ignores the fact that saxophones tend to vary, even among examples of the same models. But with CB's, I recall reading that a person cannot buy a new CB online and must buy it through an authorized CB dealer. 'Nuff said about that.

As far as how the public perceives our sound, I agree that the public (probably 99% of them) couldn't tell the difference among most of the best playing instruments. What matters to the public is the way the player does it - and that requires most players to have confidence in their particular set-ups. So, if you go through a ton of brands and models and settle on, for instance, the CB because YOU like it, your appreciation for the instrument will most likely come through in your playing. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A good player is going to make a decent horn sound good no question. And the converse is true. Ok, so with that thought in mind, I can't resist putting this up for a quick show of a great great classic sax with a questionable player---it goes both ways, enjoy and sorry if you guys have seen this before...never heard a guy make a Selmer sound this bad before, it's almost funny. He obviously knows some blues scales and pentatonics, but the sound, ouch.

1958 Selmer VI demo...

I 'ain't no big pro or anything, but I would love a crack at that VI for a few minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update -

A big thanks to Grumps on the high baffle/Canonball not being the best match. I took my the new lower rollover baffled Runyon back and tried it with the CB's and oh boy, what a very different experience that was. I can attest you can take a crap mouthpiece, and make a very nice horn sound bad with it.

The CB's had a more energetic lively, and ringing tone this time compared to my Couf. And the new thing, with the ergo's and ease of playing made my old horn seem very, well....old.

For those folks that have had issues blowing sharp in the upper registers on some CB's - I noticed I immediately did this when I first started playing the CB's. After about 15 minutes, I started adjusting, and relaxing my throat and embessure and the horns played with much better intonation. I was trying to adjust like I do on my old horn I guess - didn't realize I was doing it. The hardest part of playing these newer CB's was NOT fighting and not trying to work too hard. Once I started really getting it, and relaxing, they started to really play so nice and evenly bottom to top.

And the neck thing was quite amazing to me as well. I am thinking if a person find ANY pro horn they fit well with, that matching the mouthpiece and reeds and neck to the horn will get them their dream sound and response. Ergos...well that's another story. The new horns feel really good.
 

·
Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
I tried a Cannonball alto a few weeks ago .... stone series I think as all the keypads were black. Horn was black Nice horn big bore and rich sound action felt pretty good. Left hand pinky table was way out of position for my hand. Had to **** my wrist about 30 degrees to be able to play it. Might well have had a serious look at it except for that.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top