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Can We Get A C Sop Post?

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Until teachers actively encourage (e.g.) C trumpets or C clarinets it won't happen -
I am a teacher, and since my young students generally start saxophone because they are in school, I would never encourage them to do anything other than start on Eb or Bb horns, since C-pitched saxophones are not welcome in school bands.

With regards to my adult students, again, if they have plans to join community bands, which is in reality where most adult students will end up playing, if they play in a band at all, I would have to steer them towards an Eb or Bb instrument, because in those bands too, C-pitched saxophones are generally not welcomed.

Many adults do not plan, or cannot afford, to purchase more than 1 saxophone. So buying a C pitched horn to start, would not be something I would feel comfortable doing. I would be severely limiting my students' ability to play with others.

Now having said that, if one of those adult students said to me they wanted to learn sax in order to play with their church's worship band, that would be a different story. In that case, a C-pitched sax would be a natural option for them.

BTW, yes, I have some C-pitched horns. I have a mint-condition (I'm only the 2nd owner) straight neck Conn (love it), and a Martin Handcraft which needs a rebuild & is currently totally unplayable. (It is acting as "wall art" at moment.) I must admit, the Conn soprano Pete linked to that Junk Dude currently has for $1300 is very pretty and tempting, but the fact is, I don't use my Bb sops enough, or my C melody at all (never have), so I can't justify the expense for yet another horn that will sit around, and not earn its keep. (I already figure I'll have to gig with my bass until I'm 70 to justify it. ;-) )
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Also, to point out the rarest of the rare, Buescher showed a "tipped-bell" C soprano in their catalog in the 1920s, and rumor has it that a few "tipped bell" C soprano bells were found in the Buescher factory when it was acquired by Selmer. The Buescher "tipped bell" C soprano may be one of the rarest, most collectable saxes in history. My Buescher tipped bell Bb soprano is definitely the best playing 1920s soprano I have ever played. Since the tipped bell Bueschers arrived rather late in the 1920s and employed most of the improvements Buescher pioneered, including Buescher's excellent late 1920s octave mechanism, I would expect the Buescher "tipped bell" C soprano to be one of the best C sopranos ever made, and I'm willing to bet that one or more exists somewhere.
Ask and ye shall receive: here's the one that Saxquest sold. And here's my article I wrote for saxpics.com (a lot of the links from that page don't work; hopefully usahorn.com will eventually fix them).

cmelodysax said:
Pete - I still think it was quite unkind to say that the Aquilasax had "tons" of intonation issues - and to condemn the (possible/probable) new C-Sop to the same fate before it's even been born. You seem to be hinting that I've also confirmed "tons" ?
I'm sorry if you think that was unkind. Again, I substantiate my statement by what I mentioned before: if other players/techs are saying that pips need to be moved/redrilled/completely redesigned, that = "tons" to me.

The quote on your website was, "
The first batch, when they finally emerged from the factory, seemed to have a couple of teething problems. Some arrived damaged, possibly due to slightly optimistic packing ... and there were a few comments about the intonation." First, I work with people that do advertising. "Teething problems" means, "junk", generally. This is why you never should by version 1.0 of anything. Second, "a few comments" generally means "a lot of comments". Third, I know you want to promote these instruments hard and helped bring them to market, but what better promotion would there have been than to ship a really good product? Finally, I don't know of any manufacturer that sells one pitch of horn that has lots of issues and all their other horns are just fine. I also know that soprano instruments (and higher) have a lot more intonation problems than other pitches, due to overall length, tonehole size and placement. So, for example, if a tenor is substandard, I'd think their soprano would be worse. Hey, in most instances, a company will have a "decent" tenor and their sopranos will be "OK". Very few have both a tenor and soprano that are "excellent", like Yanagisawa.

Believe me: I'd like there to be an excellent "modern" C soprano and C melody. I've mentioned in a number of places that I like the C melody sound a lot more than Bb tenor for orchestral/ensemble use and I heartily agree with Groovekiller's comment about using a C instrument for vocal parts and in church. I just think it's unfortunate that Aquilasax isn't the make/model that'll satisfy that.

One thing that I can say is that the C soprano saxophone has gotten harder to find, recently, and it's possible that Aquilasax will have more of a market. However, if the horn is as bad as I anticipate, they may fade into obscurity really, really quickly.

If you want an opinion, the person to have approached for the C project would have been Benedikt Eppelsheim or Thomas Inderbinen. Both these gentlemen are known for specialty, high-end instruments that are insanely good. Yes, Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers are starting to get higher quality, but they're mainly known for "cheap".

Mike R. said:
It has to start somewhere, and someone has to be willing to foot the bill for the benefit of future generations of sax players.
I don't think that there'll be another C instrument craze, like the 1920's, but havening Aquilasax fall flat on their face because of low quality is going to make the next company that wants to try to make a C instrument think twice about doing it.

I'm willing to be wrong, though. Prove me wrong.
 
Pete - I don't know where you get your ideas - but (with reference to the Aquilasax C's) I didn't "help bring them to the market" - I merely published the info, that Steve passed to me, on my website for the benefit of other C Mel players - nor do I "promote these instruments hard", sure, C's are one of my interests, but equally so is my Martin Magna alto :emoji_smile: (in Eb)

Just love the way you casually toss out names like "Benedikt Eppelsheim or Thomas Inderbinen" - back in the real world, not many of us can afford to buy from those guys, so it's down to cheap vintage and/or oriental for most of us (me included). Think we'll have to agree to disagree.
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Pete - I don't know where you get your ideas - but (with reference to the Aquilasax C's) I didn't "help bring them to the market" - I merely published the info, that Steve passed to me, on my website for the benefit of other C Mel players - nor do I "promote these instruments hard", sure, C's are one of my interests, but equally so is my Martin Magna alto :emoji_smile: (in Eb)

Just love the way you casually toss out names like "Benedikt Eppelsheim or Thomas Inderbinen" - back in the real world, not many of us can afford to buy from those guys, so it's down to cheap vintage and/or oriental for most of us (me included). Think we'll have to agree to disagree.
We can definitely do that.

Again, my opinion is that a new C instrument would not be for a beginner, it'd be for a pro. A pro that'd pay for a quality instrument. In the case of Eppelsheim, he's pretty well known for basses (and lower). Would you pay the $11K or so for the IW bass or the $16K or so for the Eppie -- when you read a whole bunch about how the Eppie is considerably better that the IW?

Again, in the "real world", very, very few people want a C horn. Economics: good horn + low demand = high price. I don't want a junk C horn. I want a good one.

Bottom line is that Eppelsheim and Inderbinen are just two manufacturers I know off the top of my head that make custom horns and one makes horns in odd pitches. Hey, I could mention Peter Jessen, too, and he also makes horns in odd pitches (and I'll leave Jim Schmidt out of the conversation, as kis keywork system is ... different).

Anyhow, I had really thought you were the gentleman that was trying to get a list of folks together to get Aquilasax to build this thing. Please forgive me if I was mistaken. In any event, I didn't mean to imply that you were an endorsing artist or anything: just that your prose is rather purple regarding these horns and that fits the definition of "promoting".
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Tipped Bell C soprano

Pete,

That's a great Buescher C soprano. Full keywork, certainly rare, but not a "Tipped bell" so I'm still looking for evidence that one truly exists. I think it does.
 
....... Anyhow, I had really thought you were the gentleman that was trying to get a list of folks together to get Aquilasax to build this thing. Please forgive me if I was mistaken. In any event, I didn't mean to imply that you were an endorsing artist or anything: just that your prose is rather purple regarding these horns and that fits the definition of "promoting".
Pete - Ah, well, at least that's one thing you got right :emoji_smile: - I WAS NOT "the gentleman that was trying to get a list of folks together " - that was Steve Wedgwood of Aquilasax, checking to see if there was a potential market. Care to check to see what else you got wrong ?

As for "purple prose" ? I prefer to think of myself being upbeat about someone who is actually trying to bring something different to the marketplace, coincidentally a sax I enjoy playing despite some other peoples negative experiences - whereas you do seem poised, hammer ready, to nail the Aquilasax coffin lid shut. Yes, let's just disagree, and stop boring everyone else...

I just wish the real pro's who've played C saxes (Dave Pietro, Joe Lovano, John Dankworth, Scott Robinson etc.) would give us their slant on things. Mostly I talk to semi-pro and 'hobby' C players who definitely wouldn't/couldn't pay for the sort of quality C sax that you advocate - although maybe one of the 'great makers' could design a new C, and then the Chinese would have something amazing to copy, for us poor folks. :-D :-D :-D :-D Yes, I like that idea ! It's growing on me already... Heaven forbid, but we may even have found something to agree on ?
 
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Pete - I'm not the least bit interested in provening you wrong. :emoji_rolling_eyes:

I am interested to talk about saxophones with others who share my enthusiam for them.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Pete,

That's a great Buescher C soprano. Full keywork, certainly rare, but not a "Tipped bell" so I'm still looking for evidence that one truly exists. I think it does.
Eh?

<Checks pics.>

Yah. That doesn't look tipped.

I do remember Saxquest selling one and I glommed the pics ASAP. I guess that one got misfiled. I'll check my archive.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
OK, Randy, here's the interesting thing.

I have two sets of C sopranos: one the one you've seen and one from Paul Lindemeyer. Both have a bell that's "banded" on; it's two-piece. This is not the case for other straight Bb sopranos, but it is the case for some tipped bell Bb sopranos and altos.
 
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C soprano

I am working for a customer that may give me there old, working but old original semi rotted pad Conn with a Beuscher C mp that plays sweet and in tune throughout the register within reason. I'll need to repad it and polish it, but it works well.
I am going to store it in the bell of my Bass sax and pull it out at our next concert and call dogs with it.:-D
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
There is a new C soprano, designed by Benedikt Eppelsheim from the ground up. It's exactly what I was hoping for, so I ordered one. Not cheap, but it has full modern keywork and I trust Eppelsheim's acoustical knowledge.

I'm hoping to get it by next month.
 
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