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SAXOPHONE REVIEW
PMXT 101 STRAIGHT (nearly straight!) TENOR
By Roger Manins 4.7.2011




OK. So here we have it. A review of the P Mauriat 101. I was very curious (as I am sure a lot of you are) to try this horn, and on my recent trip to Taiwan, it was one of my top priorities.
I was not disappointed. As always P Mauriat build quality and functionality are excellent, and this horn is no exception. It is totally functional and very comfortable to play, with a smooth, mellow, broad sound. I will put some more videos up on You tube when I get a chance—In one video I test this horn against a Mark 6, King super 20, Martin, and all the P Mauriat range—so you will really get the idea there, but for now, would say that the horn does not cut through like a Mark 6 or Mauriat 66,76. It does not have the ‘zap’ and or these horns, but what it does have in place is this lovely warmth and spread to it. It really has good evenness over the whole horn too; a good scale and excellent intonation. Theoretically, (and you got to be careful not to be to theoretical!), I should like the other horns better , but In all honesty I can not say that at all. The whole playing experience on the 101 is just so different than a mark 6, 76, Conn etc. For starters, the sound is coming out way down by your feet. Now I actually loved this feeling. It was like “wow” I have never played a horn and the sound is so far away! Its really cool—but you don’t hear as much of yourself as you would with a normal shaped tenor. This did not bother me. The bottom line is that I just loved playing this horn so much, that I performed on it at a concert in Teipei.
The next day, I asked many people who were at the concert for their comments on the 101. I asked the questions “ What did it sound like, how did it make you feel, and what was the listening experience” The comments I got back were
Man ---“ Big, Warm, Rich” –
Koh (Mr Sax Man)-- “ SuperTenor!” ‘ It made me look around to see,
big sound, fat and warm, and unique with the sound from a different place’
Ning—“A new experience—big envelopment”
Adam M--- “Visually striking, but not the projection of a normal shaped tenor, better when lifted in the air, and no lack or limiting in regard of technical facility. It sounded just like a tenor- really great good but not with the usual projection!
Karendra D “I was surprised it had such a full big sound for low bell, reminiscent of full bodied sound of the 40’s. I was totally surprised by the incredible sound”
Action—This horn feels a LOT like my old Yamaha 61 tenor-- a lot more like the Yamaha feel than any of the other P Mauriat models I have tried. It has great action—very smooth and close feel, and I kept on playing fast runs as it just felt so good to play. It also felt amazingly comfortable with the bell being way down my knees, and here is a very interesting point; The bell can comfortable rest on your thigh, and this took all the pressure off my right hand thumb. So, If you have problems with repetitive strain, or similar problems, I would recommend you try this horn. The only technical downside is I think the D side key is too high, and the combination of the LH stack being rather flat made some leaps a little problematic
( i.e the D key got in my way at times and I had to arch my left hand to accommodate this)This is very easily fixed however by lowering the D palm key.

Improvements? I would like to hear this horn made with Phosphor Bronze, (or similar material) like the 86—I think this would give it a bit more projection, richness and depth to the sound. I did not try the P Mauriat magnum neck with this horn—but I think this would improve projection too, and suite the horn very much. As mentioned above, I believe it is necessary to Lower the Palm D key, and have a more angled LH stack.

Functionality –Not the horn to be playing in a horn section, big band or orchestra
(unless you have a clip on mike, very high music stand and like to stand up!)—But apart from that, the horn functions very well and is totally useable with a unique, warm sound. Excellent for Jazz gigs, or where you want to have a warm mellow sound, and any gig where visually you want to create some interest—because I am telling you now – this horn looks really really COOL!!

Comfort and ease of playing– Very comfortable to play. A unique and very enjoyable playing experience

Recommendation and Conclusion
Unique horn with a lovely broad, enveloping sound. People will come to your gigs just to see the horn! I love playing it, and would recommend it as a 2nd horn, but this is definitely not just a collection piece. It really plays!!

You Tube. I have now uploaded a comparison of the 101 with a Selmer Mark 6—Just so you have an idea how this horn sounds against a famous horn we all know about. There will be more comparisons to follow, and I will be reviewing the 87 Tenor soon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDYu2a1sBCM

Kind Regards
Roger Manins 4.7. 2011
www.rogermanins.com
 

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Hi Roger,

You sound great on the straight tenor (but then, you'd sound great on a garden hose!) and it looks/sounds like heaps of fun to play, thanks for posting the video.

I'm pleased you met Karendra D., he's a former student of mine from South Africa, I'm very happy he's 'on board' with P. Mauriat.

I look forward to hearing about your trip to Taipei, I'm trying to work it into my schedule later this year, if possible.

Thanks again for uploading he video, another really interesting horn to try!

best, DC
 

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Hi Roger,

Sounds really nice !

I particularly like the fact that it is a left-handed model in the video as well as being straight ! And how did you find a left-handed MkVI to compare ?

Rhys
 

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That is so darn cool! Thanks for that review.

B
 

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2 mics of same type: i.e. 2 SM57s w/ one aimed at the keys & one at the bell.

Not so hard to bring: 2 mics, 1 boom stand, 1 "shorty" boom stand, & 2 xlr cables.

Could be worse. We could be the drummer.
 

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2 mics of same type: i.e. 2 SM57s w/ one aimed at the keys & one at the bell.

Not so hard to bring: 2 mics, 1 boom stand, 1 "shorty" boom stand, & 2 xlr cables.

Could be worse. We could be the drummer.
You can also use one boom stand with an additional boom attachment...very slick.

When I have a gig on congas and sax I use a single boom stand for vocals/ speaking with 2 (occasionally 3) attachments for congas, and an attachment for sax. This set up has become known as the "Franken-stand."
 

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thanks for the review roger!..i cant see this being a big sellar!,the sounds fine, but its a tenor"interesting though fair play to mauriat!!..they feel there could be a market!, some how i just dont see the sense?, when you already have the 66,etc, which to me tone wise is far superior.
A novelty and for me thats as far as this will go.
 

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Hi
This is not a left handed sax. It is because I use photo booth on my Mac to record-- which is not great, and it inverts every clip--Very annoying, but better than nothing!
 

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( thanks for that!)--I can get it to auto flip photos but not videos believe ne I have tried many times, and done help too
 

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Touring with this horn could be a problem though... Must have a huge case too. A nightmare sneeking it onboard a flight. It does sound beautiful though and I could see the possibilities of it in more 'chamber' like jazz ensembles... maybe.
 

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When will people be able to purchase them?
 

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Now there are a few brands of Straight Tenors and ALtos available:

Keilwerth
LA Sax (not made anymore)
Sax Dakota (essentially re-badged updated LA Sax)
P. Muariat
King
Buescher (again, not made anymore, but very vintage! I know King & Buescher made a straight Alto, but did they ever make a straight Tenor?)

I have even heard of Straight Bari saxes! now there's a cumbersome beast!

http://www.jayeaston.com/sound files/WirthStBari-JCE.mp3
http://www.jayeaston.com/galleries/sax_family/unusual_saxes_page/sax_php_unusual.html
 

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Definitely an interesting beast. Id have to hear it recorded better to compare. The straight obviously has a bigger and more expansive sound but it nearly blows away the range of the recorder in terms of really getting a handle on how it sounds. Regardless, I think it is going to be a hard sell to the saxophone community that is oddly quite conservative. Nevertheless, thanks for the post. It is an interesting development to say the least.
 
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