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Thread: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2008
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    Default comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    Hi all,

    I have now owned two Kohlerts, a Winnenden (1954) and a '57, and find them to be vastly different horns. The Winnenden looks very much like the contemporary "The Martin" horns (LH bell keyguard, rounded soldered toneholes) and has the same great flexibility of sound and effortless sound production of the Martin horns. I had one of these a while back, and it was absolutely wonderful to play. The sound was big and dark, and in this respect, the sound was darker than my The Martin tenor. The overtone series spoke incredibly well, and altissimo, which on most Selmer horns seems to thin out, seemed just to get stronger. I loved this horn, but the palm keys went sharp on it, so, very reluctantly, I let her go.

    I then started looking for a '57, thinking that, since they have the rep of being the best Kohlerts (at least that's what saxpics said), the intonation issue I had with my Winnenden would be settled.

    I did find a very nice one, bought it from Fred Hemke Jr., and indeed, the intonation is very good on this horn. But I find the horns are entirely different animals. I find the '57 to be perhaps more like a pre-1947 10M in playing character. It's got this still dark, but very thick and dense core sound, and plays with considerably more resistance. At first, I played it with my Link, and it played too stuffy. But when I went to a more free blowing piece, a red Vandoren 77, I found the right amount of total resistance and it just plays beautifully. I really am serious about the density of this sound though. Amazing. The altissimo is also very good on this horn. From the mechanical point of view, I'm sure the rolled tone holes and inside bell keys make quite a difference.

    I still don't know if the '57 is my kind of horn. I prefer less resistant and more flexible horns, more Martin-style than Conn or Selmer style. But I am curious to see if other people see the two generations of horns as differently as I do.

    Do you think the Winnendens and the '57s are entirely different animals?

    Thanks, Jeff

  2. #2
    Insert cutesy caption du jour here TommyD69's Avatar
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    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    Hi Jeff, thanks for posting... If you have any pics of your new baby.... post a couple K?

    While I have zero personal experience with the Winnenden model, I would have to say IMHO that the two horns are completely different animals.

    There was some weirdness going on at Kohlert in the mid 50s... I believe there was re-tooling going on in 1955 and 1956.... I cant remember now, but Kohlert farmed out the making of their saxophones for one year (maybe 1956) and then The '57 came out... I also believe IMHO that the Selmer Mark VI had been out a couple of years, and that gave the Kohlert guys enough time to use the Mark VI as a model for their new '57 saxophones. There are many similarities between the two horns (Mark VI and The '57)... i.e. the bell keys went to the right side, and the keys were more ergo friendly..... That is MY story, and I'm sticking to it.

    But, again, short answer is YES... I believe the two Kohlert models are two completely different animals.

    PS Don't forget to join the Kohlert owner club STICKY at the top of the thread page.

    Thanx...... TD
    Musical Theory of Relativity: E=Fb

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2008
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    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    Hi TD,

    Sorry for the late reply. I was on vacation with family and didn't have easy access to email.

    You can check out the pix of my Kohlert here:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/11109847...073/Kohlert57#

    There is really only one blemish to speak of, and that's the dent in the bow. Doesn't hurt how it plays, but of course, you would rather it be perfect.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Insert cutesy caption du jour here TommyD69's Avatar
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    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    WOW...nice horn.... very pretty....

    Mine spent about 30 years in an attic.... so the finish (even though it is 99% original lacquer) is a little "crazed" for the lack of a better term...

    My altissimo is disappointing on mine also.... I live the dark smokey "dark chocolate" sound of the '57.... (an STM 7* is prefect), but the altissimo has left me wanting... I guess for the right price, I'd sell it.... but it is just so nice to play...

    I don't think anyone will notice your dent in the bottom... but I DO KNOW whatcha mean about being perfect....

    Keep playin and enjoyin!!!

    TD
    Musical Theory of Relativity: E=Fb

  5. #5
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    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    Hi again Tommy,

    I tried out a Vandoren 77 red mouthpiece on this horn and played it a lot last night. All I got to say is: DAYUM! That is the ballsiest horn I have ever played with that setup. None of my other mpcs, which are mostly Link based, work like this. Just amazing!

    Actually, I was saying the opposite about the altissimo on the Kohlerts: in my experience, the altissimo is fantastic on these. Try a different mpc and see what that does. The Vandoren is more free-blowing than the Links, and that helped. JT

  6. #6

    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    I own a Winnenden Tenor and a 57 alto as part of a collection of 5 Kohlerts. They're all really different is about all I can say about them. My Bixley Alto has the best altissimo, my '55 alto is probably narrowly my favorite of the 3 altos and the 57 perhaps is the best all around horn, but needs some attention. My feeling is if it was an European Kohlert it will be an amazing instrument, and I would say they're more consistent generally than my 5 Keilwerths, although my King Tempo Alto (Keilwerth serial number) is still the best sax I own.

  7. #7

    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    Hi There!! I have 2 Kohlerts. Both 57.an alto and tenor. The alto is quite good although it's a little sharp in the upper register. Both horns are incredible altissimo's! I lent my 57 tenor to pal for a while!!. (SBA/Mk6 Selmer guy) His remark was " Why buy an SBA when you could play a 57 Kohert!) I rest my case!!!! Regards!!!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: comparison Kohlert Winnenden/Kohlert '57

    Hi There!!!!!!

    I bought Jeff's Winnenden tenor with the Matt Stohrer rebuild. Re the difference between the Winnenden and the 57. The Winnenden is the perfect ballad horn! Chocolate sound. Makes you weep! Fast,sweet and delightful to play. The 57 is very like an SBA! More attack. More "ballsy" Gordon Bennet! I love them!!! BTW they both look good!!!! What's not to like!!

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