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See an "Altello" at https://youtu.be/jZYjcjvpI30

I think Rampone's tipped-bell semi-curved "saxello" soprano design is gorgeous, and (from recordings) their sound seems to be as nice as their looks. They've carried over this to alto - Has anyone here had there hands on one?

There's a youtube video from 8 years ago, so this is obviously not new - just new to me

They've given the same treatment to a nino too - see https://youtu.be/jojXfJsoadE. They call that the "saxellino."
 

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Rob: I have not had my hands on the R&C tipped-bell alto, but I once owned a Keilwerth straight alto (similar in design-shape), an R&C tipped bell soprano, and an R&C sopranino. All were very nice pro-level saxophones but the ones I owned were not anything extraordinary.

I know some manufacturers call their tipped-bell sopranos "saxellos" but I defer to the real Saxellos by King (of which I owned an example a while back) which are quite a bit different from the modern tipped-bell (and early Buescher tipped-bell) sopranos.

The straight alto was no different than any of my other conventional altos, but 1) it was a great conversation piece; 2) it sounded different to me as the player, what with the bell coming out below my knees when I stood up (but no different to the audience or when I recorded with it); 3) it was difficult to rack during a performance where I needed to play a different instrument - I finally came up with a peculiar baritone sax stand where I hung the straight alto upside down from the bell; 4) the case was like a coffin and difficult to handle or travel commercially with it, so I had a gig-bag made for it by Donna Altieri in Colorado.

I quickly tired of the novelty and sold it.

As far as the R&C soprano with the tipped bell, it presented problems in putting it down during a performance just like I experienced with the alto. It didn't sound any different than other straight sopranos. Based on my experiences with those two saxophones, I wouldn't expect the tipped-bell R&C alto to sound any different than other altos. DAVE
 

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I tried one of these at the Sax Symposium last Saturday. Neat horn, but as Dave pointed out, it sounds weird to the player due to the placement of the bell. It feels like you're muted somehow, though of course your audience wouldn't hear it that way. I could never get used to it as I think it would be easy to miss certain nuances in your sound, and be less able to control same.
 

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I like the Asian 'tipped-bell' sopranos so some years ago I took a leap and bought a R&C gold-plated one-piece tipped-bell soprano, thinking it would be a great upgrade. Very nice horn, completely boring - had kind of a thinner sound, very polite and somewhat 'shrinking'. I think I played it on a gig or two then sold it, feeling relieved to have broken even. The Taiwan tipped-bell sopranos are the best. The Chinese ones are still a little 'flimsy' in comparison, in sound as well as construction. I venture to say the bigger R&C alto in that configuration will be the same, a completely competent instrument that you eventually don't want anymore. Not only that, it will be like carrying a trombone case around instead of a short sax case.
 

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I've had a different experience with my tipped Rampones. I also have a Rampone tipped bell gold plated soprano (as well as a fully curved Rampone). The tipped bell give me a wonderful dark and lyrical sound. Both Rampones offer the darkest/most lyrical sounds of any modern sopranos I have tried. I'm told it is due to the geometry (taper) of the bore that is closer to the vintage saxes than modern instruments. I also have a gold tipped bell sopranino. One of the best professional sopraninos I've played, rivaling my Mark VI in professional and tonal usability.
Paul Cohen
 

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I’m with Paul. My tipped bell R&C soprano is the warmest sounding soprano I’ve ever played. I’ve had it since 2004 and love it. It stands perfectly on the Hercules soprano peg, and it stores perfectly in the BAM soprano case. I’m not sure sure about the altello though... just because of its awkward size.
 

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If you haven't tried a tip belled alto, comparisons to tip belled sopranos aren't really relevant. Doing it to an alto, for all reasons previously set forth, just ain't a good idea.
 

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To be clear, I was not comparing the tipped bell alto to the tipped bell soprano, but just commenting on the tipped bell part of the thread. And I own and have performed on a Keilworth and Buescher straight alto. To be sure, it is a different playing experience. My Buescher straight alto has a unique and mesmerizing sound, different from any other alto I have played. Whether its due to the bore, shape, or floor surface it is played on, it is certainly worth the unfamiliarity and occasional hassle to bring this instrument and its sound to life.
Paul Cohen
 
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