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I just purchased and received from Germany a silver-plated Weltklang low-A bari. It wasn't cheap but I believe I got my money's worth and I'm very pleased with the purchase.

For those of you not familiar with this instrument, Weltklangs were made in then-East Germany, by folks with a long history of musical instrument manufacture. The company eventually became the present B&S concern after the reunification of Germany. Although Weltklang soprano, alto and tenor saxes have a mixed reputation, the baritones are sort of a different animal, as they are actually Keilwerth stencils (made by Keilwerth, that is, at least the body anyway, and branded with the Weltklang name and engraving). From what I've read, they all have rolled tone holes like mine and most (if not all) were silver-plated.

Mine was in playing condition as-received, though it wants and deserves and is getting a good overhaul as I write this. Before disassembling the instrument last night I gave it a quick test-play, and despite old and somewhat leaky pads (with pad heights mostly set too low) I could tell right away that the horn basically had a good sound, responded well in all registers and had excellent intonation. Taking it completely apart was trouble-free, and it was obvious that this is a well-constructed and well-designed instrument. I'm really looking forward to playing this beast once it's cleaned and polished and sporting new pads and corks --- I expect this is going to be the bari of my dreams. I'll report back after the overhaul is completed.
 

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Hope it turns out great for you, my experience with a weltklang bari (laquered brass finish) wasn't that good. It played OK but it was very clunky with a rather thinish kind of sound. Lets hope the one i tried was a different model
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dave dix,

I'm used to 'clunky' baris, so that shouldn't bother me much!
:D

Now a small sound is something I can't tolerate in a bari, and while the sound was not big during my five-minute test of the Weltklang prior to tearing it down, I have to account for some leaks from the old pads and the very low key heights, thus I'm hopeful that the sound will grow sufficiently after the overhaul/regulation.

Hopefully I can report back with the results early next week (I'm planning to work on it all weekend).
 

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FIRST PLAYING IMPRESSIONS: Finished the Weltklang bari overhaul last night, with a mixture of flat and domed metal resonator pads, and a fair amount of grinding/filing/key-bending done to raise the pad heights of all the stack and bell keys. It was worth the effort --- the horn plays great, with a big, big sound that is extremely focused in all registers (no hint of fuzziness or spread), very good intonation as far as I could tell from a short practice session with and without a tuner, and the easiest-blowing and most in-tune altisssimo of any bari I've tried. The mechanism is reasonably quiet and smooth (I put a lot of effort there too) and the key spacings were very comfortable for my average-sized hands after a few minutes of acclimatization. I'm very pleased with the results, and am looking forward to the public debut of the Mighty Silber Weltklang! I haven't recently played any modern top-line baris (e.g. Keilwerth, Selmer, Yamaha, Yanagisawa) so I can't compare the Weltklang to them, but I think the old beast will suit my needs for the forseeable future.
 

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Well... After a bunch of waiting, and a bunch of worries if an ebay seller had swindled me from my cash, my Weltklang bari arrived. I hadn't had much of a chance to play it (about an hour of playing) or a chance to really let 'er rip, but sheesh, this is one horn that I don't think will want to stop. I got it in decent playing condition, but similar to David's horn, mine wants and deserves an overhaul, but will probably be on the back burner for a while. The sound is quite nice with my Runyon Custom, I needed to take the spoiler out cause it was really getting some monster big sound (and I live in an apartment). I probably won't even try using the spoiler cause I'm pretty sure that my setup will allow me to cut in the big bands I play in (I'm sure I'll actualy have to back off a bit). Intonation is pretty much spot on throughout the range of the horn, and range to altissimo A really popped well on this horn.

Now... Some of the things that bother me...
1.) I noticed that the crook does not have a brace to the body to keep it from bending. I've actually needed to gently bend my crook back in to position. I think it was knocked around a bit during shipping. Anyone think it'd be worthwhile/expensive to get a brace added here?
2.) The key layout is a bit awkward. The low Bb is tiny, and I guess this is to facilitate the alternate low A key table key. Come to think of it, I think that the entire LH pinky table is tiny.
3.) The middle A (LH 1+2) is VERY warbly, but I think that either with a good repad/adjusting this can be easily helped. It may also just be a quirk of the horn that I'll learn to get used to. Anyone else have ideas of how to adjust this?
4.) The low C tone hole has the low C key guard soldered to it... This seems a bit odd to me. It also appears that at some point there was a repair done in this area where the roll of the tone hole doesn't seem quite "true".
5.) The action, as David had mentioned re: his, is really quite low on my horn. It sounds like David did his own adjustments (ie: filing and bending), so I just hope to go to a tech (most likely Volkwein's of Pittsburgh, and yes I know Jim Germann doesn't work there anymore) that would be able to open up this horn for me.
6.) Flat out, the stock case sucks, and I'll be CAREFULLY transporting until I can find one that scares me much less.

I'm not sure if since David's post he has been able to try other Baris or maybe even has traded up from his Weltklang. In the past year I've tried a few more modern Baris (with the same mp setup). A YBS-52 I tried was OK, but really didn't give me the body/core sound I wanted. I thought I'd want a YBS-61 (I mean look at my sig, wouldn't that make sense?), and really it had a decent tone, but slightly stuffy in the upper end (new info on this forum explains how this can be taken care of!), but another barrier was the price... It was well worth the cost being a perfect player and having 95+% lacquer intact, but I didn't have the cash at the time. In college (graduated about 2 years ago) I played an SA80II and an older Yanagisawa for a few years ... The Selmer had a good bit of power behind it, but I didn't dig the sounds that it made on bari. The Yana was quite a nice horn, despite its appearance. It had a super sound but not the projection of the Selmer... So what's this boil down to for me? The Weltklang has the sound and projection I'm looking for, a decent price for a low A bari. I think these horns can give you the most bang for your buck if you're looking for a low A. At this point I'd be interested in hearing about A/B comparisons with this and a *real* Keilwerth (JK) low A Bari (SX90R?), a Couf Bari of some sort, a B&S Bari, or whatever kind of Bari you can think of that may have came from the lineage of the Weltklang. We hear all this and that about where these came from or who made them, but I'd be much more interested in who these horns behave more like?

Besides the above 6 points, I'm pretty sure that this will be my first and final bari and I'll end up playing it till it falls apart. I don't care who made it, if it's already held up to 40 some odd years of playing, it must be able to hold up to the test of time, and I figure putting a few bucks into it will keep it going for a long time. I'll post back... eventually with little updates, and hopefully a big one after getting this horn serviced.
 

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yes, sorry I forgot to mention, it is a silver plated.
 

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Now... Some of the things that bother me...
1.) I noticed that the crook does not have a brace to the body to keep it from bending. I've actually needed to gently bend my crook back in to position. I think it was knocked around a bit during shipping. Anyone think it'd be worthwhile/expensive to get a brace added here?
Mine also had suffered there from shipping/transporting.
It HAS a brace just behind the spit valve. BTW Did you buy yours from a guy near Boston, I seem to remember that auction at the beginning of the year?

2.) The key layout is a bit awkward. The low Bb is tiny, and I guess this is to facilitate the alternate low A key table key. Come to think of it, I think that the entire LH pinky table is tiny.
You've got big hands man. What disturbs me most is that the G# is not articulated, I might end up asking my tech to solder a piece behind the G#. I had him make other modifs (moving and rotating the thumb hook)

3.) The middle A (LH 1+2) is VERY warbly, but I think that either with a good repad/adjusting this can be easily helped. It may also just be a quirk of the horn that I'll learn to get used to. Anyone else have ideas of how to adjust this?
Definitely an issue related to leaks I'd say.

4.) The low C tone hole has the low C key guard soldered to it... This seems a bit odd to me. It also appears that at some point there was a repair done in this area where the roll of the tone hole doesn't seem quite "true".
Yup that's the way the horn is made.... if the keyguard took a blow indeed it affected the tonehole... might be a pain to repair since they are RTH.

5.) The action, as David had mentioned re: his, is really quite low on my horn. It sounds like David did his own adjustments (ie: filing and bending), so I just hope to go to a tech (most likely Volkwein's of Pittsburgh, and yes I know Jim Germann doesn't work there anymore) that would be able to open up this horn for me.
Try to track Germann... maybe HUTMO knows.

6.) Flat out, the stock case sucks, and I'll be CAREFULLY transporting until I can find one that scares me much less.
Agree, that's a joke of a case. FYI I got an Antigua ABS square case w/wheels, it fits well in it. Other Taiwanese horns (LA SAx, Kessler, Cannonball) have this case. Maybe you can get one from someone who upgraded to a BAM? It fits well in a brown Yami coffin too (the one with 4 handles) but it weighs a ton.

We hear all this and that about where these came from or who made them, but I'd be much more interested in who these horns behave more like?
Definitely B&S made. What's your S/N? Do you have Weltklang engraved in big letters vertically or in a globe? Might not be 40 yrs old. Ask Alex "Silversax" in Kiev, he's very knowledgeable about this.

Keep us posted. Great big bore German horn with lots of projection, has it flaws (nobody's perfect) in particular.... metal pretty thin. Well worth an O/H if you like the tone and it plays well in tune for you (it should be, it's a B&S).
Enjoy!
 

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Well, my Weltklang has just been dropped off at Hollis & Germann (Jim Germann) who will be performing the work on this bari at a much more modest price than I had originally thought. We talked about the following:

1.) Opening up the key heights on the horn. He (as a baritone sax player himself) said that they key heights were much to low to allow the horn to breathe properly. He'll be properly setting the key heights on my horn.

2.) That stupid low C Key guard. He was pretty sure that at some point someone tried to repair that tone hole due to a blow at the guard... He'll do what he can to save the tone hole and not let it leak. After that, he'll hopefully be taking the key guard off and placing a new one on the horn that will attach to the BODY instead of the tone hole!

3.) He'll be replacing pads as needed, but upon a quick inspection only 2 or 3 pads actually seemed like they were in need of replacing.

4.) He was absolutely surprised at the opening of the neck. He compared it to an SBA bari neck, an H. Couf Bari Neck, and an SA80II Bari neck. All of the necks had a HUGE opening compared to my stock weltklang neck. He's going to evaluate a few potential pairings of necks and see if a neck with a larger bore would be beneficial. I'm figuring that of the necks he tries, at least one will be an oleg neck.

AhCheung... To answer some of your questions
1. I did get the horn from a gentleman in the Boston Area. Basically the date that I wrote my original post to this thread is about 2 weeks after the auction ended (and I got this horn in!). He also mentioned a parts horn somewhere in VT if anyone is in dire need.

2. I'm still looking for a case. don't have any serious bari gigs until may. Thanks for the tip on how to look for a case.

3. Mine is all silver (except for perhaps a neck in a few weeks!) and has a S/N of 36xx. "WELTKLANG" is engraved inside of a globe and that's the only ornamentational engraving.

4. Love the tone, and it seems pretty flexible. And as someone who has never played a B&S, I am 100% hooked on how easy it is to play in tune! I'll even go there and say it plays more effortlessly in tune than my Yami's (and I really really love my Yami's).

Hope to see other people that have positive experiences with these horns!
 
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dburlone! You must be the guy who got the one on Ebay Germany last week! You beat me to it!! Good luck.... I was gutted at the time! :( ;)
 

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One thing is certain... Jim Knows Bari Saxes. You will recieve a different horn once he has completed his work.

Let us know how it turns out.

HUTMO
 

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Well got my horn back from Jim and just like Hutmo said... It's quite a different horn! I really enjoy it much more than when I first got it. I'll go down my list that I wrote above...

1.) Having the key heights opened I think probably did the most for the horn (aside from small leaks)... The horn sound much bigger in the lower register. When I first play tested it, low Bb seemed to still be a bit stuffy, so now there is very little felt on the low A key guard to compensate.

2.) The low C key guard was recycled and he soldered a rib onto the body of the horn (rather than the tone hole) to get rid of this little "feature". I must say very nice work on this... He carefully leveled just that tone hole because he said someone botched it pretty good.

3.) About 8 pads ended up being replaced all the bell keys, 2 of the palm keys, and some misc. stack keys.

4.) The neck experiment was a bit interesting. First of all, like I said in my previous post, the opening of the neck is super tiny compared to say an SA80II bari neck... Well the tenon (where it joins the crook) is a bit larger that other saxes... Because he wasn't going to fit a neck to it just for an experiment, he bridged it with some tape so that it would mate... Findings: He used a large chamber mouthpiece with an SA80II neck and the original neck. With the original neck he wasn't unable to play in tune from high C up, it played a very sharp half step below the fingered note. On the SA80II neck it was a bit more spread sound but with much more precise intonation throughout the horn. When I tried it out using my Runyon custom that has a bit of a baffle in it (no spoiler) I was able to nail the upper register save high D which he fixed by just opening up the travel on the key a bit. When I tried the SA80II neck I got a much more spread sound (and I actually liked it), but for a horn that isn't my main axe (yet) I wasn't going to sink in the cash just right now, I can always go back he said if I change my mind. Also, it wasn't a night and day difference, more of a subtle one that you wouldn't notice in a big band (one of my intended uses for this horn).

It's definitely a player and I really can shake things up with it... I have a junk Conn Precision mouthpiece that I'll try on it sometimes and see if I can get a less agressive sound out of it for quartet playing. Otherwise I'm going to keep on looking for a more classically oriented piece that will play in tune... It might end up that I do end up getting a replacement neck just for that matter.

On a whole if you're in need of any kind of instrument repair, Hollis & Germann is a great shop and I'd recommend them to anyone without any reserves... If you need work and are in the Pittsburgh area, this is a great shop... He seems pretty busy with work, but if you can hold out, you won't be disappointed.
 
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dburlone, did you have the problem with the flat/unresponsive second-space A that others (including me) have reported? If so, did the work you have done resolve that? I've had mine in to the tech a few times to open the G height a little and that helped but hasn't resolved the problem yet. I'm thinking of taking it in and asking him to max it out on the G, because I'm really getting frustrated with that problem on a horn that I like in many other ways.
 

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We went back and forth about this as that was one of my original problems that I asked him to directly look at, and the best guess we could come up with was that it's a characteristic of the horn. We played around with opening up key heights on the 'G' (Mind you we didn't completely max it out), but it still didn't help too much. My 'A' plays in tune, but it takes a bit of concentration to attack it without getting the warbling in the tone. If anyone comes up with a good resolution to this, it would be great to hear back!
 

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My 'A' plays in tune, but it takes a bit of concentration to attack it without getting the warbling in the tone. If anyone comes up with a good resolution to this, it would be great to hear back!
Any progress on the warbling A problem? Has anyone tried to remove the G key altogether to see if the problem was then completely solved?
Cheers
Cris
 

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the first encounter with a A-G 2 warbling that I ever had was actually on a Weltklang solist tenor , but it could have been with other tenor saxophones too. I found out that it is a problem of air velocity. In other words if the air velocity drops (when playing softly) there are certain notes which tend to break of and the A-G 2 combination (it can happen to other notes too .... ).This is a specially critical combination in all saxophones because you go from one octave pip to the other (side to top). The solution is a combination of many things. Better breath support, higher air velocity (not necessarily achieved by blowing more air but sometimes achievable by pushing your tongue a little towards the opening of the piece hence reducing the internal volume of the oral cavity in that place and increasing air velocity) and a different mouthpiece choice (I can easily reproduce that effect on mostly HR mouthieces with low baffle and it is almost impossible to do this an my Ponzol with a step baffle). I found the Weltklang Solist to be a very good saxophone very conveniently priced and of a very decent quality.
 

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I've played a Weltklang for a few years, before i found a B901 cheap.
Mine was 86xx "Solist" and I've played a couple of horns in this SN range.
Mine did not have RTH and it played great with an Link HR 8*, a friend of mine owns exactely the same horn (only 4 numbers apart) and gets a great classical sound with an Selmer S80 D + Vandoren 3.5 or similar.

I regret, that I sold mine... :(
 
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