A local person has a Kohlert-Bixley horn for sale- s/n92xxx, believed to be a mid-50's horn, sounds like an alto (haven't seen it yet) says "made in Germany". Can anybody help me understand if this is a good horn? I now have a Mexiconn and am looking for a nice step-up horn.
Last edited by fred12; 11-01-2005 at 12:24 AM.
92K is a pretty late S/N. probably made in the late 60's. I have a 92K Tenor. Supposedly, Kohlert cut some corners at the end of production. I don't know if that's true or not, since I haven't played an earlier version (of the tenor anyway). Why don't you try it out head-to-head with your Conn, and see how it compares. I happen to believe there's a lot of variability between horns of the same make and vintage. I have played "student" horns that played and sounded as good or better than pro models.
Thanks for the reply - saw the horn today, it is complete & operational but the lower stack pads are all bad, only plays G thru F, rather stuffy but in view of the pads I can't really tell. The horn isn't dented, looks fine. Note - it is copper colored (with chrome or nickel cups and rods). Maybe it is a copper colored brass, really looks different. According to Saxpics the s/n makes it a 1972 But they also claim that Bixley production stopped in 1966! Go figure. It has rolled tone holes, I didn't think cheap horns had this feature. I'm no expert, can't tell the construction of a good horn, don't know how to evaluate this one.
Last edited by fred12; 11-03-2005 at 10:16 PM.
Sounds like the horn will need a repad. You could probably pick up a horn like the one you describe on ebay for $200 or less, so I wouldn't personally pay more than this. If you pay $300 for a repad, that's $500K - not sure how much you want to pay to acquire a horn you might not like. Kohlerts have a reputation as good Blues horns. If you've done some checking, you already know that the Kohlert '57 (designed by Keilworth) is considered the classic Kohlert to own, with both older and newer models going for less. I own two later models - an Alto (59K) and the tenor I mentioned in the earlier post. The sound is spread, like the Conn 6/10M horns they were patterned after, not focused like a Buescher. I enjoy playing them, and have never regretted putting money into either one. I can't tell you whether you should buy or not. It depends what you want. I will tell you this in closing - I also own a Conn 14M built in 1957 (an earlier US version of your current horn). I would sell that one before I'd sell the Kohlert, but I have to tell you, the difference is one of degrees, not night and day. I wouldn't hesitate to gig with either.