CE Winds Tenor:
Purchasing: Excellent service. Brian is a very reasonable salesperson and a great guy to talk with as well.
Packaging: Very well packed, bubble wrapped around case and inside of case, in a well fit box. All of the keys wedged down with a cork-like material.
Hard Rubber Blank Mouthpiece
Basic 2 Screw Lig
One Vandoren Trad 2.5
One Rico Orange 2.5
CE Winds Brushed Gold Tenor
Brushed Gold Neck
CE Winds Case with Backpack straps
All in great condition and look superb. I was only expecting two necks, and the copper neck really surprised me! The finish on the horn is really stunning. I was blown away by it when I first looked at it. The keys all moved fine and easily, with great action.
Here are pictures:
Playing The Beauty!
First Day: (Played with Brushed Gold Neck and Phil Barone 7* Gold plated no name model and Vandoren Java 3)
WOW, this horn just sang. I have only played 2 other tenors in my life, one was a conn shooting star model that badly needed an overhaul, and the other was my Evette and Schaeffer that also needed an overhaul. This thing just blew me away. Really easy to play, and I could easily play the entire register of the horn on the first time up and down!
Really a nice tone that I love! Its just a fantastic horn to play! I played on this setup for about 1 hour straight. It just rang well with me!
Setup Change (Silver Neck, Phil Barone 7* and Vandoren Java 3)
Very similar to the other neck, however I did find that this neck seemed to be slightly less spread (more focused) of a sound, and also made it easier to control my dynamic range. Probably just myself making things up in my brain, but ppp was really really easy with this neck! It also looks phenomenal on the horn.
Setup Change (Silver Neck, Hard Rubber Mouthpiece, 2 Screw Lig, and Vandoren trad 2.5)
The sound changed quite a lot without Phil's mouthpiece. It got a lot colder sounding, and more resistant as well. Phil's piece is sure a lot easier to play! I also found that the ligature was tough to get to fit properly, but I think I've fixed that. I don't think this piece will be used very much at all however. Its a lot more closed, and definitely not the sound I'm looking for.
Setup Change (Copper Neck, Phil Barone 7*, Vandoren Java 3)
Back to the sound of the first neck in almost every way. It had a big round fullness to the sound, and I just loved playing it. I couldn't really determine a difference in the feel of these two necks, but I sure like the look of the copper on it as well.
I'm amazed at the ease of play of this instrument, as well as how great it is to be able to control without very much experience with the instrument. The mouthpiece I'm using seems to be a great combination, and I am in love with it right now! I don't think I'll be able to put it down on a less busy day.
I tried some altissimo, but I only know alto fingerings, so It didn't work out for me. However I did find that I can play the range of this horn with more ease than my P. Mauriat. I struggle with the palm keys on alto, but I can just make these ones sing with ease.
However, I didn't do any tests that involved tuning, or much involvement with altissimo and overtones on this day. However, when I was playing a song, I did find that in the high register, I was struggling with keeping some of the notes in tune, which I would attribute to a biting problem. I can make the notes come in tune, but I'll have to work at it. I believe tenor will make my bite more noticeable!
Played Brushed Gold Neck, Phil Barone 7*, and Vandoren Java 3.
Still loving the tone I am getting with this beast. I played through so many songs and I found it easier to do a lot of things, like growling and such. I hope to be able to work a lot on my tone and get it to where I want to be.
I found it a little harder to hit the low register today. Starting at low Eb and down sometimes takes me multiple times to hit without approaching it, by descending from notes above. I believe this will work out with more practice on the instrument, but I already have a pretty good control. I have found that I'm more likely to be able to get Low Bb than low B, C, C#, D and Eb out though, which I find a little strange.
Intonation: I played chromatically, starting at Middle C, and played down to low Bb, and then up to High F#. I found that I had to adjust a bit. The mouthpiece doesn't go on very far at all, less than 1/4 of the way down the cork, to be in tune. My intonation goes pretty flat in the low notes, but it stayed really well in the top register today. I think any problems with intonation at this point are things attributed to my embouchure, especially with the low note problems I'm having. I think the horn will be spot on!
Overtones and Altissimo: The overtones on this are a little trickier than with my Mauriat alto. On that, I can get out the first 4 overtones of low Bb, but I can only get 2 overtones above Low Bb to come out on tenor. I didn't work at it very hard though. I will put more time into it later. I didn't get out an altissimo fingering chart, so I couldn't get things to work very well as I've only played alto altissimo, and am not very good at it. I couldn't get G, G# or A to sound at all, it just kept jumping about a sixth or so higher, but I could get Bb to sound pretty well. I'll give more time into this in the future as well.
This horn is all I could have asked for and more. It is simply stunning how great the response is, and how easy it is to control! I am very impressed with the quality of the saxophone, and the quality of their set up on the saxophone. I will be shedding on this for a long time to come I feel.
Here is my assessment wrapped up:
Excellent Sound that fits my sound concept
Great setup from the dealer
A great package deal with lots of things included
Ease of Response and quickness in action are superb
Unbeatable Low Price and Plans from CE Winds
Neck Strap a little hard on my neck. I prefer padded straps.
Not their Professional Model, which scares me to think that it can only get much better!
New Cases of GAS!!! I already have the want of a new neckstrap, another sax stand for this tenor, and seeing these great mouthpiece deals in the marketplace is killing me!
Overtones/Altissimo problems, but I think that its just me, and I didn't put much time into it.
This horn is great, couldn't ask for more. I'm very happy with my purchase, and I wish I had done so in the first place when I was tenor shopping! CE Winds is A+ in my book, and I recommend them to anyone who needs a sax at a great price with top notch playability and dealings! I will post more in a few weeks or a month or so as I try through the embouchure issues, as well as overtones and altissimo issues I didn't mess with enough.