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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In reply to my enquiry about a Power Bell Tenor in black lacquer, Junkdude replied that one of his customers who bought one of those thinks it plays very much like his Buescher 400. That sounds pretty much encouraging!

Does anybody here play one of those "Power bell"?
Really little info using the "search" function...
 

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Power Bell

I'm about to buy one I think. Played one last week. Already own a powerbell alto. These horns remind me more of Aristocrats than 400's. The sound is brighter and more compact than the regular model. The intonation is excellent and the tone is well balanced throughout the range. When I tried alto's the powerbell was better in tune than anything else I played. (reg Antigua, Yani) I gave up some darkness of tone, but the intonation makes the horn sound Sweet. The tenor was brighter too. Tonight I'm trying a Yani 992 bronze tenor. It's a demo on a special deal that I can/can't afford. Today at the store, I saw a powerbell tenor silver with gold keys. I have a feeling, that's what I'm going to end up with. Hope this helps. I'll keep you posted, as I plan to play the (3) Antigua tenors this week. Peaceout, T-dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So Talldog, did you go for the Power Bell Antigua?
 

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Trippin'

Well, the Yani was extremely cool. They're asking $2995. It has a bright sound too, though not as bright as the Antigua. The ergonomics are excellent as is the intonation. My tech, who has the Antigua, can get me a B&S Medusa for $3000. The Medusa is darker and sounds more like a jazz horn, where the Yani sounds more classical to me. I play jazz almost exclusively. The fact that B&S no longer makes saxes makes me not want one. I'm now trippin' hard over whether to hold out for a dark sound, or go for the Yani which is brighter, but sounds and plays like butter. Any suggestions? Peaceout T-dog
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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Talldog - Antiguas black chrome must darken the horn considerable becouse my power bell alto is anything but bright. In fact it's so dark it seems tenorish in sound.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
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Talldog said:
The fact that B&S no longer makes saxes makes me not want one.
Dont let that stop you! Look at all the horns at the top of many peoples wish lists, Conn 10Ms, Super 20s, Zephyrs, MkVIs, Coufs, SMLs etc....none of them still made today.

The reason B&S possibly went under is that there is away more craftmanship gone into the horns than you are paying for. No point play testing all those horns if you arent going to trust your ears and your heart.
 

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The dealer with the yani is now offering a new ref 36 for $4,000. I haven't played it yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll be darker than the Yani. Also, I've seen new Medusas on this site for 2,250. So seem to be leaning toward the Selmer for 4,000 vs the Medusa for 3,000. Thanks Canadiain for the "trusting the ears and heart" comment. You're right of course but as of now .... I'm sooooo confused. Peaceout, T-Dog
 

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take your time in choosing a horn. And if you have the cash (or time to save up) to go for exactly what you want then by all means do it. There's plenty ppl who try and find that "tone" that they want in a cheaper horn and never really find it and end up going through plenty of horns trying to find it. I've been seduced by low priced horns (Cannonball, Antigua PB, Yamaha 875 .....) and end up with a Selmer Paris and have loved it ever since. No more tenors for me.
 

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Almost Home

Well, the Ref 36 was the bomb for me. Reminds me of my TH&C. Huge, dark, testicular tone, but warmer and rounder than the Buescher. Excellent intonation and the tone isn't so focused, providing a variety of possible colors. Play testing it, I ran as many styles as I could muster (R&R, hard bop, Desafinado ala Getz) and the horn was right there everytime. There's alot of fundamental in the tone, the low end is big and beautiful, there's a really sweet color available in the upper octave. and the harmonics are easy and in tune. I got to choose from two which was cool. Most importantly, it fits the character of my playing. We bonded almost immediately. I hadn't owned a selmer in years (lost a '65 Mk VI alto on the road in '96). and had forgotten. My playing jumped up a level, just playing this horn. Thanks for all the excellent advise, especially about waiting and trusting. I've still @$500 to go on the layaway plan, so don't have it in my hands yet. Thanks again to the sotw posse for having my back all the way. Peaceout T-dog. BTW I still have a power bell alto and an Antigua sop, both of which I dig.
 

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The Horn

I did the same thing as Steve. Couldn't pull the trigger on a Mark VI tenor when I first got back into playing. Cycled through a Cannonball, an SX-90, a brief flirtation with a Super 20. Eventually I found a beat up VI on ebay and had it overhauled. I would have saved money in the long run going straight there. Though I did learn a lot along the way.

Interestingly, I recently swapped another horn for an early SA 80 series one as a backup. Putting a different neck on that horn (either the VI neck or a Barone replacement neck) makes it play like a VI at a fraction of the cost.

Never played the reference horns, though I'm sure they are nice. Heck, they are all nice. I was sorry to let the SX-90 go. It was a very nice horn. But I sound better on the Selmers.

Scott
 

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In reply to my enquiry about a Power Bell Tenor in black lacquer, Junkdude replied that one of his customers who bought one of those thinks it plays very much like his Buescher 400. That sounds pretty much encouraging!

Does anybody here play one of those "Power bell"?
Really little info using the "search" function...
So!! Ten years later: did you ever buy or seriously try a powerbell?? Kelly
 

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Wanted to share my experience with Antigua: A while back I spoke with Dave at Kessler about Antigua (they carry them) and also Cannonball (they no longer carry them) and I got a positive impression of the Antigua. Soon after that I saw an Antigua Power Bell tenor (black lacquer finish) on Ebay at a very attractive price, so I took a chance. Honestly, the black lacquer finish is not really my thing, so I was assuming I'd have a little fun with it then sell it to one of the local high-schoolers...they love flashy instruments. Well that was six months ago, and I am still impressed every time I play this Antigua. It sounds great, has a very smooth action, the setup is great, it seems to be very well-built...really a pleasure to play. A friend of mine who has two Selmer and two Yanagisawa tenors played it and was also very impressed. I kept telling him it's not really a pro horn, but an intermediate horn that competes with the likes of Cannonball, but he insisted it was better than that. He and I have both owned several Cannonball Big Bell tenors in the past, and we both agree this Antigua beats any of them. So I have to get used to the flashy looks, because I can't part with this tenor right now!
 

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All of these Taiwan horns are remarkably similar. I am not knocking them. I have a few.
Which few do you have? Because I have a Cannonball but can't stand Mauriat. No way those two are similar.
 

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Which few do you have? Because I have a Cannonball but can't stand Mauriat. No way those two are similar.
Not similar at all. But. I liked my mad Meg BBSS tenor, I think the 66rul influence is by far the best. For me!! And my two sax mentors/teachers. But I wouldn't doubt the Mauriat was SO GREAT partly due to the Saxquest set up that they insist on doing when selling anything new.
 

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Cannonball is a little different. I had a Madmeg and a black nickel stone series. They have a larger bore than other Taiwan horns I have. I currently have a Viking, Allora Paris, Allora Chicago Jazz. Vento in tenor and CB soprano. So yes with the 6 Taiwan tenors I had at one time, I find them similar.
 

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Wanted to share my experience with Antigua: A while back I spoke with Dave at Kessler about Antigua (they carry them) and also Cannonball (they no longer carry them) and I got a positive impression of the Antigua. Soon after that I saw an Antigua Power Bell tenor (black lacquer finish) on Ebay at a very attractive price, so I took a chance. Honestly, the black lacquer finish is not really my thing, so I was assuming I'd have a little fun with it then sell it to one of the local high-schoolers...they love flashy instruments. Well that was six months ago, and I am still impressed every time I play this Antigua. It sounds great, has a very smooth action, the setup is great, it seems to be very well-built...really a pleasure to play. A friend of mine who has two Selmer and two Yanagisawa tenors played it and was also very impressed. I kept telling him it's not really a pro horn, but an intermediate horn that competes with the likes of Cannonball, but he insisted it was better than that. He and I have both owned several Cannonball Big Bell tenors in the past, and we both agree this Antigua beats any of them. So I have to get used to the flashy looks, because I can't part with this tenor right now!
Funny. I too called Dave asking about the powerbell. He put it in the intermediate class and directed me toward his nickel silver horn. I didn't get it but he was impressed with it decidedly over the Antiguas.
 

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Funny. I too called Dave asking about the powerbell. He put it in the intermediate class and directed me toward his nickel silver horn. I didn't get it but he was impressed with it decidedly over the Antiguas.
I didn't mean to give the impression Dave had steered me toward the Antigua over his other offerings. In fact, he steered me toward a new Yanagisawa TW01 (previously 901?) and I fully expect I would be much more impressed with the Yani than the Antigua...at a significantly higher price. I think it's safest to call the Antigua an intermediate class tenor, but in my experience it's a bit of an over-achiever. Saxcop mentioned the fact that the Cannonball Big Bell Global tenors have a larger bore than other Taiwanese tenors, and I think my experience with the Antigua bears that out: it seems to use air more efficiently than the Cannonballs I've had. And that's something I appreciate.
 
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