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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

as I went to rent a tenor today (YTS-275) I saw a barely used Barone Vintage Tenor, after reading so much about Barone sax I was quite excited at the chance to try one!

I'm just a beginner mind you, coming back after many years off. I had to wait for a room to become free and had the opportunity to listen to a pro play testing adjustement to his Keilwerth SX-90R, a tenor also. I was VERY impressed by his sound by the way, he was playing a SR Tech (didn't tell me the model though).

Off I go to try the Barone and wow the tone was very smooth and BIG, much bigger anyway than my tone with the YTS-275. I used a JJ HR 7* with Jazz 3 reed.

After enjoying myself some I came back to see the pro was still there chatting. I mentionned how impressed I was with the Barone and he become curious and gave it a try. Let's just say that with him on it the sound was HUGE, the Keilwerth had more spread but still the Vintage impressed me a lot. Dumbfounded the tech passed him a MK VI they had for sale to AB the tone. The core was very intense, too intense. Mind you he was playing the same mouthpiece than he use on his Keilwerth.

Given the rarity of Barone up here I was in heaven to have a chance to try one. To hear a pro making a Mk VI, a SX-90R and the Vintage side by side was very informative.

I may not know WHEN I'll have the dough but after today I discovered 2 things:
First, my next sax will be a Vintage Tenor without ANY second thoughts; I much prefer a big tone than a big name ;)
Second, I may have played an alto all my life but I felt something really special playing the tenor, it felt like it was easier to "open up". Feeling those note vibrate inside drove me nuts.

Kuddo to you Mr Barone, that instrument was more than impressive, the keywork, the finition but more importantly the tone was incredible.

P.S. The finish was Vintage Laquer and it was stunning.
P.P.S. I have gas!
 

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Thats cool that you got to try some great saxes.

Phil does have great saxophones and mouthpieces.
 

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Being that sotw seems to be Barone country be aware that there are other brands available from Taiwan that are worth trying.

B
 

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Being that sotw seems to be Barone country be aware that there are other brands available from Taiwan that are worth trying.

B
This is true, they can all offer some great horns. Walstein, P. Mauriat and T.K. Melody in particular have excellent sounds, each one very distinct. However, I cannot think of a better deal than the Barone, what with him including a professional mouthpiece.
It's good to have choices though :)
 

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I own and enjoy using my Barone Vintage tenor a lot. But I am keen on checking out the TK Melody range as well, they seem to have a very good rep
 

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I own and enjoy using my Barone Vintage tenor a lot. But I am keen on checking out the TK Melody range as well, they seem to have a very good rep
:tsk:I will start with the obligatory disclaimer. I DO NOT GET KICKBACKS NOR DID I GET DISCOUNTS ON MY T.K. MELODY HORNS. :tsk:

That said, In 2009 I extensively played alot of Taiwanese horns including: P. Mauriat, Cannonball, P. Barone, Jupiter, Antigua, Stephanhouser and T.K. Melody, Maxtone (Taiwan), Chateau (Vietnam).

All of these were good to excellent horns. Some had ergos that I liked and some had other features that I thought were worse, but ALL of them had a different sound palette.

The one thing that stood out on the brand that I chose to use as my professional tool box was all of the things I was looking for was in one horn. Flexible sound, finish (crazy over the top hand engraving), mouthpiece friendly, ergos and most of all the price which at the time was around $1800.

T.K. Melody is not just "another" Taiwanese brand it is THE Taiwanese brand that is truly unique in that it is not a re-branded horn. It is the house brand of the factory that for many years has made parts for many other manufacturers that included Antigua and B+S.

Don't stop at one Taiwanese brand and say they are all the same. Try as many as you can and find a horn that does for you what you want, even if its a Selmer or Keilwerth.

B
 

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After enjoying myself some I came back to see the pro was still there chatting. I mentionned how impressed I was with the Barone and he become curious and gave it a try. Let's just say that with him on it the sound was HUGE, the Keilwerth had more spread but still the Vintage impressed me a lot. Dumbfounded the tech passed him a MK VI they had for sale to AB the tone. The core was very intense, too intense. Mind you he was playing the same mouthpiece than he use on his Keilwerth.
What did the pro think about his playing comparison of the three horns? Was he ready to make a switch?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What did the pro think about his playing comparison of the three horns? Was he ready to make a switch?
The pro had a superb Keilwerth SX-90R so I doubt he would dump it ;)
I inquired of his appreciation of the keyworks and the horn in general and he said it was quite nice and appeared positively surprised by the Barone!

How can the core be too intense? Thats like saying there is too much good in the world. We all know it ain't so.
English is not my main language so maybe I missused the "too" here. By too much core I really meant too focus, not spread enough. Mind you I am still looking for my tonal concept and learning the "proper" vocabulary to describe it :)

I thought core & spread where opposite ends of a scale?
 

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Those terms are pretty unclear so its not your English. I think (think is the operative) that most people consider focus and spread as two opposites. Core should be found in both. A spread sound with no core to me is like a big noise from nowhere lacking definition. You can have focus as well without a good core but it is less common. Its kind of like a thin laser beam with no body, particularly lacking midtones. Thats my take on it. There may be different or better ways of explaining it.
 

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By too much core I really meant too focus, not spread enough.
Having owned both a Keilwerth and a Mark VI, I think I know exactly what you mean. I prefer the "focus" of the Mark VI, but I can see how others might prefer the booming "spread" of the Keilwerth (and, it sounds like, the Barone Vintage).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Those terms are pretty unclear so its not your English. I think (think is the operative) that most people consider focus and spread as two opposites. Core should be found in both. A spread sound with no core to me is like a big noise from nowhere lacking definition. You can have focus as well without a good core but it is less common. Its kind of like a thin laser beam with no body, particularly lacking midtones. Thats my take on it. There may be different or better ways of explaining it.
Thank you this is very informative!

Having owned both a Keilwerth and a Mark VI, I think I know exactly what you mean. I prefer the "focus" of the Mark VI, but I can see how others might prefer the booming "spread" of the Keilwerth (and, it sounds like, the Barone Vintage).
Actually, to my ears I'd put the Vintage somewhere between those two.
 

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I imagine it is in between. From Phil's overall focus and philosophy I have a hard time seeing him sell a horn with a severely spread sound. I cant speak for him but I imagine he would play it, put it down, and walk away.
 

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A
Those terms are pretty unclear so its not your English. I think (think is the operative) that most people consider focus and spread as two opposites. Core should be found in both. A spread sound with no core to me is like a big noise from nowhere lacking definition. You can have focus as well without a good core but it is less common. Its kind of like a thin laser beam with no body, particularly lacking midtones. Thats my take on it. There may be different or better ways of explaining it.
I appreciate the discussion about focus, spread, and core. I've been reading about these ways of describing a sax sound on SOTW for a long time and I'm still not sure I know what they mean. What would be really useful would be examples of recordings or links to utube vids that people consider a spread sound vs. a focused sound so we could establish some objective definition of these terms. Also, I wonder how much is determined by the player and the mouthpiece and not by the horn. Do some players sound focused no matter what horn they play on and some others sound spread? How would you describe the sound of some famous players? Who are some name brand players with a focused sound and who are some players with a spread sound?
 

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Disclaimer: I my knowledge of recording techniques is severely limited.

That being said I think that the perception of focus vs spread is experienced much more in the presence of the horn than in recordings. Im sure they have different tonal characteristics when recorded but I dont think the directional difference and the way a spread horn fills the space is translated into data. I would say the same is true for a focused horn. These horns were designed around the notion of perception in the way music is naturally made...Live. Electronic mediums change everything. Im not saying that is a bad thing. Just something that needs to be part of the equation.

Also, a lot can be determined by the player and the setup. A player who knows how to focus a setup will get more core and depth out of a spread horn but it will still have a different characteristic than a player on a focused horn. A player who does not play focused will not sound AS focused on a focused horn but he will sound much more focused than he would on a spread horn.
 

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I think Phil has it right. You need to be in the room to really here the difference between a focussed tone and a spread one. I think it doesn't translate well through a mic and on recordings what you mostly hear is bright/dark (I don't think the "size" of the sound translates through a mic either).
 

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I dont think the directional difference and the way a spread horn fills the space is translated into data. I would say the same is true for a focused horn.
You need to be in the room to really here the difference between a focussed tone and a spread one.
I still don't know what a spread vs. focused sound sounds like. I would argue that if this difference can't be detected in recordings, only by being in the room, then it's really only a difference in perception, not an actual difference that can be measured objectively. It may be a real experience that the player has, but if you can't hear the difference in a recording, is it really there?
 

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Well, if you are playing a Martin (which you do) and you stand in the center of the room and play you will notice that the sound really fills the space. If you were to play a VI standing in that same spot you would not get that feeling of "largeness". However if you were standing in front of the Selmer you would experience (and Im being loose in my description) a sort of laser beam focus coming from the bell. By laser beam I do not mean bright. Its almost as though something is coming at you in a solid way (though sonic). You feel like you can almost reach out and wrap your hands around the notes coming from the bell. That is how I define and experience a tightly focused core of a focused horn.

When I stand in front of a spread saxophone I do not feel this. It is not a value judgement, just a certain quality that is not there in the same way. The cool thing about the spread sound is it is so large that it wraps around you as a listener.

Neither is better, they are just different. I hope this loose visual metaphor helps.

Focused vs Spread is not as much what it sounds like as it is what it "Feels" like. It is not about the tone as much as it is in the shape of the package in which the tone is delivered.

If I am off or any one can draw a better picture jump in.
 
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