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Anyone blow one? I've read the saxpics article. Don't have access to the saxophone journal article by Dr. Paul Cohen cited, which appears to be a showdown between the SBA and VI. I spent many hours with a low A VI ages ago- beyond functional recollection. I currently play a VI tenor, have owned two VI altos, and I used to gig with an SBA tenor back in the hazy dayz (mostly beyond recollection).

Opinions?
Value?

Thanks!

-s
 

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I played on one many years ago. Remember it like it was yesterday. Man, that horn was sweet!
 

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You won't get to many responses to this since these are pretty rare. I've heard as few as 50 were made... That being said, I can probably help you out with this one... I have one (53,xxx) and a Mark VI (90,xxx). The SBA is a one of a kind horn.... The VI is more focused, a bit "better behaved", maybe better for section work. My SBA is more open, rawer sounding and very, very flexible. Great soloist horn. With that being said, you have to keep in mind every instrument is different, so take that with a grain of salt. I have had Randy Jones overhaul both horns for me, and he said the SBA was the best playing low A bari he has ever worked on... When I picked up the VI a couple of years ago, I thought it was slightly beefier sounding... until I recorded them back to back. The SBA can be brutal if you want it to. Also, for me, the altissimo is way more workable than on the VI.

As far as value goes... It all depends on what someone is willing to pay. One just sold on Ebay this week for $9305 and it was in average condition.

Here is a photo of the two I have so you can see a few of the differences:
 

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Yup. A fair amount of the plating has been worn off though (along the back mostly). Honestly, I would be pretty surprised if there were any others...
 

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mien gott!!! what a beauty adam. i have only seen i sba low a bari . it was in the attic at rayburns music
 

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You guys have probably seen this horn before... It was Hamiet Bluiett's before he switched to the Conn...
 

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Hey Adam,

What's with the Low C key on your VI?
 

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It's just an Oleg extension (it's held on with a couple of allen screws on the back)... I have one on the Bb as well.
 

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Adam said:
It's just an Oleg extension (it's held on with a couple of allen screws on the back)... I have one on the Bb as well.
Ahhh.. okay. I've got the palm key risers.
How's the front F thingy? do you prefer that or the custom-angled one on the SBA?
 

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I like it on the VI because otherwise the key is too far away to be used easily. I never messed with the key on the SBA, it's been like that since I got the horn in '97. After looking at some photos on Saxpics site, it looks like this was definitely bent into this shape though...
 

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Adam, I am curious about the neck angle of your SBA bari...does it angle up more than most necks you have seen on baris?

The neck on mine has a significant upward angle, which according to all techs who look at it, has not been bent upward. Furthermore, the thumb activated part of the octave key mechanism on mine is in a very different place than a later model SBA on Sarges site.
 

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The neck on mine definitely doesn't angle up, it feels like it's lower than my VI. However, this neck has had a bunch of work done on it (it used to have a triangular plate on the underside that was removed before I got it), so who knows what it was like beforehand. Also, aren't the Bb necks substantially longer?

Regarding the octave key, I'm not sure what to tell you. I can take a photo for you if that would help...
 

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Hi Adam,

Actually the neck on my SBA looks very short to me.
I can't help but think that the neck was bent upward (despite the techs opinions), as I have never seen a similar one. Of course, I have only seen maybe 2 other SBA low Bb baris.

On the octave key placement issue....on a late SBA the octave key goes straight- up to the linkage underneath the curl. However, when I tried to fit a later SBA octave key onto mine without moving any keyposts, I found the key had to be off-set to the left almost at a 30 degree angle and the screw barrel of the key had to be moved up higher on the key to match the post. My tech did this work (amazingly good work, I might add) and it looks original now.

Wondering if maybe my horn was heavily operated on before the overhaul, or if the older SBAs were different?

Pix would be appreciated!

Go to this URL and go about 3/4ths down the page and look at my SBA neck in the photos:

http://www.worldwidesax.com/new_page_1.htm

Then go to Sarges bari sax for sale page and you can see a significant difference between mine and his.
 

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Randall,
The pics of your horn are no longer on the server, so I can only see the small ones... It looks like it might be bent up a bit, but it's really hard to tell. The one he has for sale looks normal to me though... I'm surprised, but it looks like the same neck that is on the low "A" horn.

Regarding the octave key, initially I thought it was straight up as you mentioned, but after some more inspection, it does seem to have a slight bend. See if this helps:
 

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Thanks Adam,
My octave key goes to the left, quite dramatically! I will post pix when I get it back from the shop ( getting the case refurbished now)

Hit my myspace site and in the slide show you can see me playing it with my salsa band....the angle will be more visible.
 

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Whoa... With the mouthpiece on there it is really easy to see. That's pretty extreme (like a bass clarinet neck). That would drive me nuts... My VI has a slight upwards bend compared to the SBA (enough to feel) but is still more or less perpendicular to the rest of the horn.
 

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Actually at first, just looking at it made me a little crazy..then, after I stood and played it a while it wasn't all that bad; even a little comfortable. :shock:

The curl doesn't get in the way of your line of sight to a music stand.
 

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Another sax player at my college (U of Miami) had a SBA bari with the low A and it had the normal Bb bell with an extra extension between the bell and bow that was the B hole. It may have been a bit earlier than your horn. I lost touch with the guy in 1969 and I think he lived in MN and his name was Steve Qualm. If anyone knows him, let me know.
 
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