A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

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    floobydust's Avatar
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    Default A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Because my saxophone playing son has been accepted to several music programs for Jazz Studies and Music Education (and now trying to decide between the options), my wife and I decided to finally invest in a pro tenor saxophone for my son. After having my son try out a bunch of horns (most new but a couple used/overhauled too) in a couple of area stores as well as researching reviews on various brands, we ended up buying a Viking M58S tenor sax (in cognac gold) from Rich Maraday.

    Rich was a pleasure to deal with in the order, being very patient with my numerous questions. Clearly, he is a man who is passionate about the saxophones that he sells. He also gave me what I feel is very good advice. Since the horn was already on sale, he recommended that the tenor sax should be sent directly to Ken Beason to do his benchmark pro setup.

    Ken Beason was also great to interact with via phone calls and text messaging. Another truly enthusiastic and passionate man on the subject of saxophones. We just received the horn from Ken a couple of days ago and my son’s response was simply “WOW.”

    I’m not the sax player, my son is so this isn’t a review of the horn. This is just a shoutout to two gentlemen who helped my wife and I get my son a great tenor sax that will serve him well moving forward.

    -floobydust

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    Distinguished SOTW Member. Tryptykon's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Quote Originally Posted by floobydust View Post
    Because my saxophone playing son has been accepted to several music programs for Jazz Studies and Music Education (and now trying to decide between the options), my wife and I decided to finally invest in a pro tenor saxophone for my son. After having my son try out a bunch of horns (most new but a couple used/overhauled too) in a couple of area stores as well as researching reviews on various brands, we ended up buying a Viking M58S tenor sax (in cognac gold) from Rich Maraday.

    Rich was a pleasure to deal with in the order, being very patient with my numerous questions. Clearly, he is a man who is passionate about the saxophones that he sells. He also gave me what I feel is very good advice. Since the horn was already on sale, he recommended that the tenor sax should be sent directly to Ken Beason to do his benchmark pro setup.

    Ken Beason was also great to interact with via phone calls and text messaging. Another truly enthusiastic and passionate man on the subject of saxophones. We just received the horn from Ken a couple of days ago and my son’s response was simply “WOW.”

    I’m not the sax player, my son is so this isn’t a review of the horn. This is just a shoutout to two gentleman who helped my wife and I get my son a great tenor sax that will serve him well moving forward.

    -floobydust
    Ken and Rich are certainly two of the best guys in the saxophone business - not at all surprised you had a great experience dealing with them !
    .. and best of luck to your son in his future musical endeavors .

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    You're preachin' to the choir, bruh. My M60 will be my horn until Gabriel blows his.
    My YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ghawk78/videos
    Tenor-Viking M60 Valkyrie w/Black Widow 8:Alto-Yamaha YAS-23 w/Beechler Diamond Inlay S8S
    Soprano-Antigua Winds 590BLQ w/Bari HR .066

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    Forum Sponsor Rich Maraday's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Thank you for the shout out! For the record Kens set up is what I call a full service setup. The name "Benchmark set up" is a term that another company has coined and is copyrighted by them. Thanks again for your patience and trust! Ken does great work and I think he is one of the top techs in the USA. Thanks again! Good luck to your son with his new Viking m58s tenor!
    Quote Originally Posted by floobydust View Post
    Because my saxophone playing son has been accepted to several music programs for Jazz Studies and Music Education (and now trying to decide between the options), my wife and I decided to finally invest in a pro tenor saxophone for my son. After having my son try out a bunch of horns (most new but a couple used/overhauled too) in a couple of area stores as well as researching reviews on various brands, we ended up buying a Viking M58S tenor sax (in cognac gold) from Rich Maraday.

    Rich was a pleasure to deal with in the order, being very patient with my numerous questions. Clearly, he is a man who is passionate about the saxophones that he sells. He also gave me what I feel is very good advice. Since the horn was already on sale, he recommended that the tenor sax should be sent directly to Ken Beason to do his benchmark pro setup.

    Ken Beason was also great to interact with via phone calls and text messaging. Another truly enthusiastic and passionate man on the subject of saxophones. We just received the horn from Ken a couple of days ago and my son’s response was simply “WOW.”

    I’m not the sax player, my son is so this isn’t a review of the horn. This is just a shoutout to two gentleman who helped my wife and I get my son a great tenor sax that will serve him well moving forward.

    -floobydust
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2014/11/viking-m58-and-m60-valkyrie-cognac-tenor-saxophone-review/

    http://www.viking-instruments.com

    845-361-9353

    Current production mod

    M58s New York model
    M60 Valkyrie

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    Huesax's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    floobydust,

    I'm a proud M58S owner, and you have made an absolutely great choice. The build quality, sound and the man standing behind the product are all first class. Wishing great success to your son in his musical studies.
    Viking M58S NY Tenor w/RTH
    Viking M58S Soprano, Barone HR 7 and Yanagisawa metal 7

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Rich and Ken---two of the absolute best guys I know, and both offer so much good to the saxophone world.
    Both are good friends and great people.

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    floobydust's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    I heard that a good setup is essential for any new horn. My wife was annoyed initially when I told her that I spent extra money to get the new tenor expertly setup by Ken Beason. She thought that "it's new, why do you have to fix it already?" And "A big brand name instrument is maybe better?" I tried to convince her that all new horns, no matter their pedigree needs to be setup. Well, I think she is convinced now. Money well spent.

    -floobydust

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Nice all around. The kid got one very serious tenor saxophone.
    "We sax players need to stick together and save the world." Sonny Rollins, 1993 after a show.

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    My Selmer Series II had to be set up when I got it in 1988. My Viking played lights out - out of the box. Any more set up and the balance in the universe would be thrown off. One serious machine, indeed.
    My YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ghawk78/videos
    Tenor-Viking M60 Valkyrie w/Black Widow 8:Alto-Yamaha YAS-23 w/Beechler Diamond Inlay S8S
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    floobydust's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Thanks all for congrats and good wishes for my son. He's only been on tenor for about 2 years, being on alto before that but tenor is his horn and sound. When he wanted to switch, we considered whether to invest in a pro horn then and there. Instead, we got him a decent intermediate tenor with the idea that he had to figure out what his tone will be. Looking back, we are glad we waited as over the past couple of years as he improved he gained a better understanding of what type of sound and tenor sax would meet his ideals. So, shopping for horns this time, he had a much better idea of exactly what he was looking for. And his old tenor, it's now his backup (gives him some options, like playing outdoors or in a situation that he would prefer not to use his best tenor).

    Quote Originally Posted by GHawk View Post
    My Selmer Series II had to be set up when I got it in 1988. My Viking played lights out - out of the box. Any more set up and the balance in the universe would be thrown off. One serious machine, indeed.
    GHawk,

    Because I mentioned to Rich Maraday that my son will be going to music school, he strongly advised me to send the new sax to Ken Beason to get the horn in tip top shape. Not that the sax would have been absolutely fine right out the box (and with the usual setup that he does) but he suggested Ken Beason would optimize everything and get it ready for an expected pounding in the future. I'm glad that we did this. Among the things that Ken did:

    Completely took the sax apart and checked the body (will adjust/fix if necessary). He apparently has mandrels that are spec'd to several brands of saxes so he can check this. But this horn was perfectly straight and at factory specs.

    Checked all the tone holes, leveling/correcting them if neccessary.

    Checked all keys to make sure that the pads are centered over the tone holes. Apparently, a pet peeve of his are if the pads are properly center. In fact one wasn't and rather than just bend the key, he took off the post, resoldered it in to realign that key.

    Replaced all the cork in the action with a combo of neoprene/leather. He says this material is not compressible like the cork and will be much more durable (it'll take a pounding and still stay in adjustment)

    Reassembled/rebuilt the horn by one key at a time. Fix any leaks, then adjusted the action to be even and light.

    Matched/adjusted the neck to the body. Improve intonation and evenness of tone if necessary. He also can adjust the tone somewhat (darker or brighter as desired). We asked for as flexible a horn as possible so just leave the tone in the middle (kinda Goldilocks...not too bright, not too dark...just right).

    I'm sure there is more that he did but this is some of it. The horn now defies the laws of physics and will rip a hole in the time-space continuum. That's my story and I'll stick with it. I do hope that my son uses it for good and not evil...(well, he does play Jazz, the Devil's music though).

    -floobydust

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    Forum Sponsor Rich Maraday's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Quote Originally Posted by floobydust View Post
    Thanks all for congrats and good wishes for my son. He's only been on tenor for about 2 years, being on alto before that but tenor is his horn and sound. When he wanted to switch, we considered whether to invest in a pro horn then and there. Instead, we got him a decent intermediate tenor with the idea that he had to figure out what his tone will be. Looking back, we are glad we waited as over the past couple of years as he improved he gained a better understanding of what type of sound and tenor sax would meet his ideals. So, shopping for horns this time, he had a much better idea of exactly what he was looking for. And his old tenor, it's now his backup (gives him some options, like playing outdoors or in a situation that he would prefer not to use his best tenor).



    GHawk,

    Because I mentioned to Rich Maraday that my son will be going to music school, he strongly advised me to send the new sax to Ken Beason to get the horn in tip top shape. Not that the sax would have been absolutely fine right out the box (and with the usual setup that he does) but he suggested Ken Beason would optimize everything and get it ready for an expected pounding in the future. I'm glad that we did this. Among the things that Ken did:

    Completely took the sax apart and checked the body (will adjust/fix if necessary). He apparently has mandrels that are spec'd to several brands of saxes so he can check this. But this horn was perfectly straight and at factory specs.

    Checked all the tone holes, leveling/correcting them if neccessary.

    Checked all keys to make sure that the pads are centered over the tone holes. Apparently, a pet peeve of his are if the pads are properly center. In fact one wasn't and rather than just bend the key, he took off the post, resoldered it in to realign that key.

    Replaced all the cork in the action with a combo of neoprene/leather. He says this material is not compressible like the cork and will be much more durable (it'll take a pounding and still stay in adjustment)

    Reassembled/rebuilt the horn by one key at a time. Fix any leaks, then adjusted the action to be even and light.

    Matched/adjusted the neck to the body. Improve intonation and evenness of tone if necessary. He also can adjust the tone somewhat (darker or brighter as desired). We asked for as flexible a horn as possible so just leave the tone in the middle (kinda Goldilocks...not too bright, not too dark...just right).

    I'm sure there is more that he did but this is some of it. The horn now defies the laws of physics and will rip a hole in the time-space continuum. That's my story and I'll stick with it. I do hope that my son uses it for good and not evil...(well, he does play Jazz, the Devil's music though).

    -floobydust
    This is what it is all about!! This makes it all worth while ! A young person enjoying a new instrument that is a no excuses horn at a reasonable price plus with a set up by the master tech who I respect!! !! I work from my home and for no other reason then to be a good dad and support my kids and build a business on doing the right thing.. I realize building trust and respect takes time. This feed back means a great deal to me and I'm sure for Ken as well..
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2014/11/viking-m58-and-m60-valkyrie-cognac-tenor-saxophone-review/

    http://www.viking-instruments.com

    845-361-9353

    Current production mod

    M58s New York model
    M60 Valkyrie

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Hey Rich,
    I'm sure that floobydust's son will absolutely love his horn. I can't imagine having a supercharged Viking! I've really enjoyed working with you in picking out my horn and I'll tell anybody who'll listen. The M60 is absolutely perfect for me.
    My YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ghawk78/videos
    Tenor-Viking M60 Valkyrie w/Black Widow 8:Alto-Yamaha YAS-23 w/Beechler Diamond Inlay S8S
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    I think the real description would be "USA assembled" for Kens services.
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2014/11/viking-m58-and-m60-valkyrie-cognac-tenor-saxophone-review/

    http://www.viking-instruments.com

    845-361-9353

    Current production mod

    M58s New York model
    M60 Valkyrie

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Thanks G HAWK!!
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2014/11/viking-m58-and-m60-valkyrie-cognac-tenor-saxophone-review/

    http://www.viking-instruments.com

    845-361-9353

    Current production mod

    M58s New York model
    M60 Valkyrie

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Ken is a saxophone alchemist! I would highly recommend sending a horn to him for a setup, intonation fix, whatever!

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    floobydust's Avatar
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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    When we first started shopping for a new pro tenor sax for my son, it was clear that he is drawn to that vintage/Selmer-ish vibe. That was the tone that he was striving for. Of course vintage SBA/MK Vi tenors are justifiably great instruments but also VERY pricey. Being on a tight budget (we have triplets, including my sax playing son, who are all going to be in college next year), I did worry that the pro horn that we would eventually get for him would a compromise of sorts ("Sorry son but this is the best we can do for now.").

    Interestingly, my son did try a very nice Mk VI (and at a bargain $7000 price) and certainly understands why people love them even if the intonation is a bit wonky. He loved the tone/sound and if that is all that is available that has that character then you just put up with the quirks in tuning for these vintage horns. But when he tried a Viking tenor, he realized that here is a horn that retains that "vibe" and have all the benefits of modern keywork plus great intonation. The fact that it is also considerably less than a good condition Mk VI is almost beside the point ("almost" because for me, this is a very attractive added benefit).

    We are just grateful that Rich has brought on the market a modern pro horn with that character AND at a price point that makes it manageable for people like us. My son truly feels that he has a "no apologies, no excuses" horn.

    -floobydust

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    I have very recently purchased a Viking M60 tenor, & can't wait to play it! Rich Maraday and Ken Beason are two of the best people I have made a transaction with in my 50 years on planet earth! Wish everyone in the world treated others with that much respect. Their attention to the smallest details makes me confident I made the correct choice.
    DHPSAX
    Viking M60 Valkyrie tenor, Phil-Tone custom dark Equinox & tenor Rift, Fibracell 3 1/2
    Selmer AS-240 LaVie alto, Phil-Tone Meridian, Fibracell 3

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Quote Originally Posted by DHPSAX View Post
    I have very recently purchased a Viking M60 tenor, & can't wait to play it! Rich Maraday and Ken Beason are two of the best people I have made a transaction with in my 50 years on planet earth! Wish everyone in the world treated others with that much respect. Their attention to the smallest details makes me confident I made the correct choice.
    Thanks for the kind words! Your m60 Valkyrie tenor should be done by tomorrow and shipped from what I'm told. I hope you love it!
    http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2014/11/viking-m58-and-m60-valkyrie-cognac-tenor-saxophone-review/

    http://www.viking-instruments.com

    845-361-9353

    Current production mod

    M58s New York model
    M60 Valkyrie

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    My Viking M60 Valkyrie tenor arrived Saturday! The whole process was top notch! From Rich Maraday matching me up with the horn to recommending me to Ken Beason for his masterful set-up to the awesome way the sax was packed for shipping (the free Beason clamps to hold the adjustment was just icing on the cake!). Ken had this thing fitting my hands like he visited my home and measured me--UNBELIEVABLE! The Valkyrie takes all I can give her & has room for more. Got me a keeper, for sure!
    DHPSAX
    Viking M60 Valkyrie tenor, Phil-Tone custom dark Equinox & tenor Rift, Fibracell 3 1/2
    Selmer AS-240 LaVie alto, Phil-Tone Meridian, Fibracell 3

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    Default Re: A shoutout to Rich Maraday of Viking Saxophones and Master Tech Ken Beason!

    Can't stop laughing a ghawk' post!.....I haven't bought a soprano yet but, as soon as my funds get a little better I know just who to call.......

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