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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I could use some help on ideas of what horns to test play. There are so many choices, I need to narrow it down. :)

I'm looking for a horn that tends to have a dark, spread tone. I also want a horn that is free-blowing as I prefer less resistance to more resistance.

I'm open to modern and vintage horns. I'd prefer to spend less than $6,000, but I would be willing bump up my budget by selling one of my other horns.

I currently play a P. Mauriat System 76. Even though I own two Mark VI's, I play the Mauriat because I feel more like me when I play it. It's darker than my VI's to my ears. My VI's were made between 1964-1966.

What should be on my short list of horns to try?

Thanks for your help!
 

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I may be biased, but I would suggest a nice Super 20. Or even a terrible looking one like mine. These days they sadly seem to be dropping in price at the moment. Come to the Dark Side! I have also played a couple Keilwerths which were downright spooky, they were so dark.
 

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You might want to try Conn 10m, Martin Committee 2 or 3 and Buescher 400. All three in decent condition won't cost you 6 grand.

Borgani and Keilwerth in modern horns.
 

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I'll second JK especially the vintage New King and Shadow. There is a partially repadded Dorfler-Jorka being sold on here for less than $500 and being an older JK it is going to be very dark especially with the right mouthpiece.
 

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I'm looking for a horn that tends to have a dark, spread tone. I also want a horn that is free-blowing as I prefer less resistance to more resistance.
A Buescher 156 Aristocrat definitely fits the category of a 'free-blowing' horn with a spread (big!) tone. It can play dark or bright depending partly on how you play it and a lot on the mpc. In fact when it comes to dark vs bright I'd say look to the mpc more than the horn.

I also agree with StuartSax's suggestions.

As to your VIs, I have a '65 MkVI and again depending on the mpc, I consider it to be pretty dark. But it's more focused and resistant than the Buescher.
 

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I have a Buescher TH&C (1950) in fantastic condition (purchased from and set up by Gail Fredenburgh) with a lush, dark tone that I'd consider selling if you're interested.

Re. the suggestion above of a Super 20: My experience is different. I owned a 1953 full pearls Super 20 that was a great-playing horn, but it was brighter than any of my other tenors (Buescher, Conn NW II, Borgani) - admittedly it's the only Super 20 I've played.

The Borgani is another good suggestion.
 

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I have a Buescher TH&C (1950) in fantastic condition (purchased from and set up by Gail Fredenburgh) with a lush, dark tone that I'd consider selling if you're interested.
Yeah, that's a great horn, especially if Gail set it up. She's a great tech and real Buescher expert! A TH&C would fit the OP's description to a "T."
 

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I’m selling a SML revision C and the Pierret “Artiste Competition”.
These are ALL about the tone .. and have nice French ergonomics as well
 

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+1 for Buescher TH&C and Borgani Jubilee.

I’ve had ‘em both, gigged ‘em too. If ergos are included in the mix, then Borgani gets the nod in all categories.

(And no, I’m not selling any tenors.)
 

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You should really look at the Keilwerth and their stencils like Couf, new or old. It'll be well under your budget so you can always get some nice toys to go with it!
 

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Keilwerth stencil would be an inexpensive entry into darkness to see if it is for you.
 

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Before you go out and spend $6,000 on a new horn, please consider digging up an old unbaffled mouthpiece.....it’ll be a lot cheaper, and you already have some incredibly nice horns. I found an vintage Gregory 20M-5 for my Conn Shooting Star Tenor, and the beast sounds like a cello in the low range now....I know there are people out there laughing, but, I’m dead serious. Challenge is that it is very hard to find an unbaffled mouthpiece nowadays....for me it took a few hours of going through inventory at pmwoodwind in Chicago......plus the 3 hour drive each way. The Gregory is quite freeblowing, but not great above that F you play from your palm keys......so if you love altissimo, unbaffled is probably not the way to go.

....Was it 10MFan that just bought some old Gregory molds? They might be a great place to contact.
 

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It is hard to say. At the beginning, I think it is not as free blowing as my Buescher Super 400 and Yanagisawa TWO2. Then some people suggested that it may caused by some leaks. Then I took it to another music store and they replace 15 pads. Now, it is much more “free blowing”. So, now, I am not really sure if there is such a thing as “free blowing”.

Also, the difference in tone in the saxophone itself is pretty small. I doubt any listener will notice. If you don’t like the tone you are getting now, you will get more significant result by trying different mouthpiece and reed. And it is more economical as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You might want to try Conn 10m, Martin Committee 2 or 3 and Buescher 400. All three in decent condition won't cost you 6 grand.

Borgani and Keilwerth in modern horns.
I was not familiar with Borgani, but after listening to a few of these horns on YouTube, I'm really interested in playing one of these. Thanks for the recommendations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Before you go out and spend $6,000 on a new horn, please consider digging up an old unbaffled mouthpiece.....it’ll be a lot cheaper, and you already have some incredibly nice horns. I found an vintage Gregory 20M-5 for my Conn Shooting Star Tenor, and the beast sounds like a cello in the low range now....I know there are people out there laughing, but, I’m dead serious. Challenge is that it is very hard to find an unbaffled mouthpiece nowadays....for me it took a few hours of going through inventory at pmwoodwind in Chicago......plus the 3 hour drive each way. The Gregory is quite freeblowing, but not great above that F you play from your palm keys......so if you love altissimo, unbaffled is probably not the way to go.

....Was it 10MFan that just bought some old Gregory molds? They might be a great place to contact.
Thanks for the suggestion! I went down the mouthpiece rabbit hole earlier this year and ended up with a Navarro Maestra. That was after me playing an Otto Link "New Vintage" Series hard rubber piece since at least 2009, if not earlier. I tried 10mfans, Drakes, Aizen, Marmaduke, and may others that I'm forgetting at the moment. I did not try a Gregory, though....
 
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