PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes
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Thread: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

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    Default PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    Well, the new horn arrived Friday morning, and I restrained myself from anything more than opening the case for a peek until I got my work done outside, and we were out last night, so today was my first blow on the honey gold vintage tenor.
    http://www.philbarone.com/store/saxo...quered-vintage
    I just finished playing the PB for 90 minutes or so, getting used to the feel of it compared to the 43 year old Borgani I've been playing since February.

    First Impressions:
    It arrived immaculate, in its hard case, which is smaller than my Kaces bag, but has 4 lockable latches, and a compartment under the horn for strap and mouthpiece etc.. I was hoping the case might have copied the PM case, which has a velcro strap to secure the neck in its channel. No room in this case for all of the stuff in the other case- tuner and reeds and full-length swab and misc- like the Kaces zippered soft case, which has 3 external pockets that will even allow music books to fit in. I can see buying an additional shoulder bag for music and mpcs and the Hercules stand. I tried interchanging both horns in each case, and each fit well.
    But this case is strong. And lockable. And there is no zipper at the margins to scratch the horn if you lay it down in the open case with the neck in place.

    It took a while to remove the 9 cork blocks securing the keys closed. I greased the cork, and fitted the Ponzol mpc and reed I have been using. I haven't weighed the PB, but it seems heavier than the Borgani.

    After warming up I played some scales and tunes, and one problem kept coming up: the high G would be a wolf tone sometimes. I tried alternating from low G to high G, no tonguing. Wolf tone every time, but it didn't do it on F's or A's or B's.
    A leakage somewhere, or just me getting used to the horn??? Someone had told me before that it is a common embouchure error- Any opinions?

    Phil had shipped a hard rubber vintage #7 mpc with the horn, so I switched over to it from the Ponzol, and the G wolf tone was less, but still occurred when playing.

    Intonation was much different than my old horn. The notes that required embouchure adjustments (mid D and E, especially) needed none on the PB. I got out the Korg: when mid C was in tune, both high and low C's were spot on. From top to bottom the needle stayed close to centre. I know it'll be even better when I get used to it.

    Top to bottom all notes were playable without effort. Unlike the near-new PM 66UL I rented in January, on the PB horn I couldn't just breathe into a low B or Bb, but that horn was broken in.
    Actually, I wonder which requires the most breaking in, the horn, or the player's adjustment?

    Springs are firm as expected on a new horn. No sticking keys. The palm keys produce clear notes easily. A different layout on the left pinky keys requires getting used to- Bb feels awkward to my hand.
    I haven't played with the adjustable thumb hook. The left thumb rest is wide and comfortable. I assume this horn will play a high F# (special order to NOT have it, a.t. the website), but I don't know the fingering for it anyhow. On the Borgani, I seldom used the high F, but that horn hasn't been tweaked while I've owned it, and F was strained. (Or maybe it was me straining!)

    If the Barone neck fits the Borgani, I'll try it there, and of course the Barone mpc, to see what difference(s) might result.

    Playing long sustained tones, it was easier to keep the tone focussed and centred. The #7 mpc blows easier than the Ponzol 110 tip- I'm looking forward to getting comfortable with it.
    (Later Comment: Phil included the standard mpc that comes with the horn, I guess from the factory, as I had told him the PM mpc I had tried had been very easy to play. However, this morning I tried it again, and then the PB vintage 7. It was as if the standard mpc was stuffed with cotton batting, compared to Phil's! The PB was easily twice as loud with half the effort, and the sound much much bigger and fuller. Of course, it should be- that's Phil's forte. )

    Overall the PB sound is brighter than the Borgani. As Mr. PeeBee recommended a couple days ago, I want to try a Link piece, on both horns. On ebay today there are 522 Links listed for sale- how the heck would a beginner know where to start?
    Guess I should start saving for a metal PB piece!
    I'll record a couple tunes and post in the B&I forum, for comparison, in a couple days.

    Other than the wolfish G, the horn is everything I had hoped for. The fit and finish are excellent- indeed, I have the urge to play with white gloves to preserve that mint, blemish-free lacquer. The horn blows easily with the PB Vintage mpc. I'll try my older pieces on it too- an ARB and a Rico B5- for comparisons. I'll be very interested to see if the members in the B&I forum can hear any significant differences from the PB tenor.

    My final question would be: if I play the horn every day for 2 -3 hours, how long to 'break it in'? ( I haven't had a 'new' horn since high school's 1963 Conn Director)

    To Phil: A real pleasure doing business with you! You gave excellent customer service, and were most accommodating in every way. Knowledgeable. Professional. Helpful.
    Thank you.


    David
    Last edited by DeeJay; 06-25-2013 at 02:10 AM.

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    Default Re: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    Sorry- somehow my edit/addition became a duplicate post.
    Don't know how to delete this.
    Last edited by DeeJay; 06-23-2013 at 05:00 PM. Reason: oops

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    Default Re: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    how is the horn after a month or so?

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    Default Re: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    Shortly after getting the new horn, my wife became very ill.
    I have had few opportunities to play it, likely less than ten hours to date. It was just starting to feel good, and Phil provided me with some solid info on practising and embouchure.
    I will get back to it, but my focus is on my wife's health now.
    I'll post a followup evaluation later.
    David

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    Default Re: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    Sorry to hear about your wife's health.
    Family is the most important by far.
    Best Wishes and prayers...

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    Default Re: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    A lot of water under the bridge since my last post here 4 years ago.

    I still have my Barone tenor. I play it every day. It takes very close inspection to see that it isn't brand new.
    Fit and finish are excellent.
    Any tech I take it to makes the same observations:

    1. "First time I have seen one of these."
    2. Wow, what a solid build!
    3. This is a really great sounding, great playing horn. Easily as good or better than a pro level Yamaha costing $1500+ more
    (That comment from a life long pro-player who does my tech stuff)

    I play it with a metal 60's style Van Doren V16 #7, and sometimes with Phil's supplied #7, HR.
    I don't think I will ever sell it.
    Intonation is very good, and it is built like a tank.
    A friend tried it out, and I tried out his new high-end Yamaha...he said he couldn't feel or hear a difference between them other than the tightness of his being only a few weeks old. I'm happy to have spent half of what he paid.

    In several posts I made about this horn, I commented on the occasional problem I had with a wolf tone on the upper G. I had contacted Phil about it, as mentioned in other posts.
    With 4 years under my belt with this horn, I have to accept that it is an embouchure problem. I still CAN get the wolf tone, but it seems to be more when I don't keep my embouchure relaxed.
    However, I never get that problem with any of my other horns, (2 sopranos, an alto, two tenors, a C Melody).

    Last year I bought a mint 1940 10M.....spent a lot of money on it, and I love it. But it doesn't have the great ergonomics of the Classic's layout.
    Perhaps because it is such a nice closet horn, I don't take it out much. The PB tenor is my go-to horn.

    I have 7 horns now....will sell a couple. The only horn I am considering buying, as my final final horn, is a pro level soprano, and I'm seriously considering a PB instead of a Yamaha....just have never tried one, or even seen one here in Ontario.

    I would be happy to read any comments about the Barone soprano line.

    David

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    Default Re: PB Vintage Tenor: First Impressions after 90 Minutes

    I've had my Barone tenor for 9 years now and it's been a great horn. Mine predates the Classic/Vintage designations that Phil now uses but it mostly resembles the current Classic. I've played a couple thousand hours on mine as well as 200+ gigs and it's held up well. The finish, clear lacquer over gold plate, is still near perfect except for the touch points where I've worn through the gold down to the silver or nickle below.

    Like you I have a nice vintage horn as well that I take out occasionally to scratch that itch. Mine is a 1950 Buescher Aristocrat tenor which has a great sound but not the best ergos for me.

    If you aren't too picky about the finish you might just want to keep an eye on the marketplace sub-forum here at SOTW. Barone sopranos come up for sale a few times a year often for good prices. I suspect Phil sells a fair number of these to doublers who want a decent soprano with solid build quality, sound, and intonation but don't want to pay the big $$$ for a Selmer, Yamaha, or Yani.

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