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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What a killer tenor that is!
I had it along with a Mark VI and a P.Mauriat some time ago, decided it was too similar to the VI sound and picked that one to be taken to my home in Italy where I spend quite some time each year. That home is not indeed blessed with good acoustics, so I kept on playing it without realizing how good it was.
I decided now to take it back with me in Canada and compared it for 2 days with my other modern tenors, a Selmer III and a Yani 901: :shock: I prefer it to both! Same great intonation and keywork (maybe the Yani it's a little better for me) but it's darker and smoother than the other 2. With the selmer III goldbrass neck gets an even more impressive, warm, sound.
I certainly improved as a player meanwhile and I did not realize before how good this tenor is. GAS was not worthless since only when you play and compare you can tell what it's the best axe for you but I think, if I have to keep just one modern tenor, this will be the one.
I now own a 10M and see how the tone of the B&S is a magnificent mix of Selmer and Conn (down low) sound. Warmer than most modern tenors, very free blowing, robust construction and no sticky pads.
I can't say I was as impressed by a CJS earthtone I had bought on closeout sale at wwbw one year ago: it felt stuffy and not as robust, plus had several sticky pads. They are said about the same model as the 2001 (and same as Medusa) but to me that unit felt very different.

I can't believe that now they hardly fetch 1400$ on the used market (I think some SOTW members had to settle even for considerably less).
This and my Martin Committee are definitely my favorite tenors in my collection.

p.s. I am not "pumping it up" in light of an imminent sale! Actually the serie III is the one going to be sold soon....
 

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Funny timing of your comments Rispoli.
I feel the same way about my B&S tenor....It is sublime.;)

I go between tenors quite a bit, but the B&S just keeps me coming back the most often.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I see that also Sarge (worldwidesax) seem to be of our opinion, Randall:

Quoting from http://www.worldwidesax.com/sarges_collection.htm

"Another really fantastic German sax is a B&S stencil, for Dave Guardala. I just bought this one, i have been searching for a early serial number Guardala model 500 for some time. The craftsmanship is awesome on these horns. Ergonomics are up there with Keilwerth and Selmer, the materials used are far above par. The sound is unique and falls somewhere in-between a Conn "Chu" Tenor and a Selmer MK VI. "
 

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If I hadn't (at the suggestion of my college saxophone teacher) sold my B&S alto to buy a Series III, I might still be an alto player. (and saved myself $5000)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
tjontheroad said:
Don't sell the SIII. That'll be just silly!!! Even if the B&S is getting to you these days ;)
You might be right Tim, the III is an excellent tenor too.
After the comparative test of yesterday I have no doubt I prefer the B&S tone. Similar but closer to the Ref. 36 without the resistance.

Anyways, I'll wait a bit, I might change my mind again (wouldn't be the first time...).
 

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worldwidesax says:

Another really fantastic German sax is a B&S stencil, for Dave Guardala. I just bought this one, i have been searching for a early serial number Guardala model 500 for some time. The craftsmanship is awesome on these horns. Ergonomics are up there with Keilwerth and Selmer, the materials used are far above par. The sound is unique and falls somewhere in-between a Conn "Chu" Tenor and a Selmer MK VI.

This professional level Bb Tenor saxophone is fabricated and hand made from 72% formulated Copper alloy yellow brass with full rib post construction and hand hammered bell. All rods are solid nickel silver with stainless steel screws, springs are tempered blue steel and authentic Mother of Pearl key buttons are used throughout. Custom hand made French pads, by Chanu, with metal resonators come standard along with hand engraving on the bell, high F#, plus extensive fine tuning key adjustment screws at all critical points. This horn has triple silver plating finish with meticulous fancy hand engraving on the bell. Upper and lower key stacks are ergonomically designed for smooth, accurate and positive digital feel.
The serial number is below 4000. This sax was manufactured before Guardala's association with LA Sax started, and compromises in the quality of the product began appearing.




just as said above i would describe my goldbrass/bn-Guardala 501.

well, that were compromises only for Allora- and LAsax-stencils (which were not sold here in europe).

all Guardalas and Medusas were made in best quality...


:)
 

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Hi guys,
I've lurked around SOTW a bit over the past couple of years reading up on different things but only joined up today. I bought a B&S Sandblast Tenor a couple of years back (only one in Australia I believe) from the Aussie distributor who only had one alto and tenor for shows (he'd already sold the Alto demo horn) I first saw a B&S at Dave Kessler's in Vegas when I did a gig over there in 2005 but unfortunately he had sold the horn by the time I came back a couple of days later to buy it.

A couple of months later I stumbled across the Aussie distributor who just happened to be willing to sell his only horn left as there just wasn't any interest in small-minded Australia!! There's not a huge market in Australia and players/students are generally only interested in the Big 4 and even then, really only vintage Selmers for pros and new Yamaha/Yanigisawa/Keilwerths for students. Very, very narrow-minded given the number of fantastic horns overseas.

I have to admit it's nice to finally find some other players who love the B&S!! I mainly play funk/fusion/rock with a Dukoff D7 piece using a BG Metal Jazz ligature and Fibracell Medium reeds - boy, what a huge sound!!

In any case, I'm curious about the average players' view on the B&S horns, esp. in the US. Are they viewed as relatively cheap and second-rate horns by the general sax community overseas? (i.e. Europe and the US) Or as great horns? In Australia, there's often a general consensus that anything other than the Big 4 must be cheap and/or nasty. Some feedback from the B&S lovers will be much appreciated.

Cheers
Gary
 

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B&S 2001 Saxes

In my sax quintet we have 4 B&S 2001 horns all sandblast. My 2 have been relegated to backup and outdoors, but it is such a great horn that after selling my first one and buying the Shadow I had second thoughts and picked up another for backup and aquired an alto as well.
 

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CJS and Allora compromises?

What are the compromises for the LA Sax CJS and the Allora?

I have the Medusa in alto and tenor as well as numerous CJS models (no Alloras) and can't tell the difference. They are all fantastic.

VicP
 

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There arewere no compromises on the CJS horns. I had a B&S Medusa and have a CJS BN and there was no perceptible difference in the workmanship between the horns. I doubt the Allora shows any difference either.
 

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Interestingly, my Allora 602 tenor has four separate posts and 2 separate rods for the low C and Eb keys. My CJS (gold laq) has a 2 post,shared rod axis in that area. The pinky keys are very,very slightly different. Every other physical aspect is identical. This after several detailed eyeballings. They play and sound virtually the same. Maybe a real tiny difference. Nebulous. I have the CJS stashed away for future speculation (Grumps,you out there?) or as a backup.

I also owned a black nickel CJS tenor for awhile. Oddly it had the 4 post setup down there like the Allora. Perhaps a running change. That horn was less powerful up high,perhaps due to key heights.

I think the Allora is all the sax I will ever need. The pads were sticky after I bought it but that has long since cleared up. It plays easy, sounds fabulous and has proven very durable surviving a few knocks without damage. I never had any special setup work on it. Got it from the big W and it was sealing perfectly with correct action from day one. Ditto the gold CJS although it has less than an hour on it. I made a few small tweaks during the break-in period, nothing much.

The black nickel CJS I got from Scimonnetti. It was a floor model and played perfectly. I wanted a traditional look but the blackie played the best that day and I figured the finish would grow on me. It didn't so it went on eBay and I called the 'dub when the B&S's were on fire sale closeout prices. Right before that I tried a Conn 10M which is a whole 'nother (sad) story. All this after 19 years on the same Selmer. A breif period episode of schizoid saxophrenia! I am well now. Well now .Well now.....



There's a pile of great saxes now days. Any number of models would work fine for me,I'm sure. But the B&S sure is a dandy horn. How often in life do you find a wonderful thing for a very modest price? And it's just kinda neat that it comes from Germany and a company with some lineage. Heck,anything not made in Asia is becoming more unusual. Assign value as perceived on that one beacause it's difficult to appraise objectively.

I have been getting a bit more into learning music. Hooked up with a pro for lessons 2-3 times a month. The guy is incredible! He blows an ancient SBA. He thought my Allora was some cheapo stencil until he checked it out one day and was very impressed with it. Validation not needed but nice just the same.
 

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VicP said:
What are the compromises for the LA Sax CJS and the Allora?

I have the Medusa in alto and tenor as well as numerous CJS models (no Alloras) and can't tell the difference. They are all fantastic.

VicP
for allora + LA sax:

the mother of perls are not authentic

there doesn´t exist a version: B/N + Goldbrass + 3x silverplated keys + mother of pearls for Allora + LA sax...

don´t ask me - you could call B+S...



:cool:
 

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rispoli said:
I can't say I was as impressed by a CJS earthtone I had bought on closeout sale at wwbw one year ago: it felt stuffy and not as robust, plus had several sticky pads.
Keep in mind that most of the WWBW closeout sale horns are returns and
have been picked through. Also, they have had a tough life traveling back
and forth between the vendor and customers.

I don't know why the CJS felt different from the B&S 2001 to you. I have played them both and they are the same horn mechanically. The CJSs are far more ornate that actually costs MORE to produce than the plain finish. :headbang:
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Pannonia said:
I don't know why the CJS felt different from the B&S 2001 to you. I have played them both and they are the same horn mechanically.
But that's exactly what surprised me. I am aware that the CJS, Allora and the Medusa are the very same instrument with at most different engravings. My 2001 is supposed to be essentially the same instrument as the Medusa except for the RH pinky table. But then when I got the CJS earthtone it felt just another sax.
You are certainly right that wwbw saxes have travelled quite a bit and probably the one I got was not an exception. But I had it checked for leaks and they did not find any. The pads were often sticky and some (the usual ones) really sticky. The sound was not nearly as brilliant/ringing as the 2001, actually was borderline stuffy.
I was not sure if it was the finish or not, quite possibly the CJS was a lemon, but the 2 felt in another league.

I am not ditching the whole CJS line (I also made a recommendation to buy one today....), I am only reporting what was my experience.

Pannonia, interesting what you report of the Springer rollover. I should try one, unfortunately Springer does not ship out of the US so I have to patroll the used market...
 

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My Medusa (under Courtois Brand) tenor is now with me since a little bit more than one year, and I'm more and more in love with it.....

I had compared it to SDA (resold since) and SML GM1 (I will resell it too...) I own, and to some SAII, SAIII and ref36 (at WWBW Paris) : it remains still my favorite for before the selmers. the sound of the SDA was quite close, but the ergonomic of the Medusa outperformed it (only the ref36 has -IMO - a better one)

The SML GM1 has a huge sound given by the big bore and horn (big sound and good projection), but the "feeling" was not there :(

my 2cts
 

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Nice to see some other B&S lovers. I've played on a 2001 series tenor for about 8 years now. I bought a Ref 36 about 6 years ago and really liked that too (I like the older sounding horns a little more than the more modern sound), but in terms of playing difference the only one I nited was that overtones/multiphonics popped better with the Ref 36. Unfortunately I wasn't really playing Tenor enough to justify keeping both, so I sold the Ref and kept the B&S (and used the money to get a Super 20 alto :)). I don't know why, but B&S horns seem to be extremely undervalued.
 

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They are undervalued most likely due to almost tragic marketing stupidity. B&S should have put all or most of their eggs in one basket. Instead they sold horns under at least 5 brand names and the prices were all over the map, some models undercutting other identical types.

The stencil scheme like Conn and many others did long ago seems out of place. Distinct brand names like Selmer or Yanagisawa seem more marketable nowadays. Cannonball and even P.Mauriat have done well by sticking to their own identities. Musta seemed like a good idea to someone. Maybe Selmer infiltrators were running the sales team:D The worst blunder was probably the association with L.A. Sax and their oft-berated Asian imports which further blurred the B&S image, if there ever was one.

Enough armchair proselytizing. Whaddo I know,I'm not in the saxophone selling business!The upside is a number of us got snazzy horns for cheap and we are quite happy with that. It's like a little club of people with these horns. We even welcome the detractors but we're not naming names. Especially Grumps.
 

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58, my thoughts exactly.:)
 
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