Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

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  1. #1
    twocircles's Avatar
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    Default Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    Has anyone had experience with the Keilwerth ST1100?

    http://www.julius-keilwerth.com/en/i...ents/sopranos/

    Superficially, it appears to be an ST90 with a new model number. I assume that they are still made for Keilwerth by KHS (Jupiter). While I've never really followed Jupiter's offerings, they seem to have simplified their soprano line to just two models the JSS1100 and the JSS1000.

    One might assume the Keilwerth ST1100 and the Jupiter JSS1100 were unabashedly the same model, however, the JSS1100 is keyed to high-G and has adjustable palm keys. The ST is more like the JSS1000, which does not have adjustable palm keys but is still keyed to high-G. The ST1100 is keyed to high-F#, which is generally an advantage in my book, especially in a less expensive horn. The Jupiters and the ST1100 are not identical.

    It seems like the competition has made the Taiwan-based manufacturers try to improve their offerings in recent years. I wonder if KHS has improved.

    I can only find the ST1100 for sale online in Spain, I think, and IF the prices are correct, the Keilwerth is selling for 1/2 to 2/3 the price of the Jupiters. If those prices are correct, the Keilwerth may be quite a bargain if the build and sound quality are up to snuff. It may also indicate that Keilwerth may not be using KHS to manufacture the ST1100. And if the prices are correct, that is some really aggressive pricing aimed at the student market.

    I wish that Keilwerth would release another model in the ST series, the ST1000 or something, even cheaper of course , that uses some of the same philosophy with the ST as they did with the soprano SX90 series, not the bore or customized key work necessarily. Leave the neck resonance chamber alone, fixed with no internal seams in the most important part the sax, and keyed to high-F# with a front upper octave key. It could be the same octave key mechanism as the ST1100 only with a one-piece sax.

    As much as I would like my next soprano to be from the SX90 series, as an amateur, in all likelihood, I am going to have to go with a student horn, like the ST1100, or perhaps an older professional instrument.
    Last edited by twocircles; 04-18-2017 at 03:39 AM.
    Soprano: New soprano coming soon; Alto: Noblet (Beaugnier);
    Vintage C-Mel Tenor: Evette-Schaeffer, Buffet-Crampon Clarinet: Yamaha

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    Often some models are only branded with a certain model number in certain countries. I suppose this is the case.

    As opposed to any new saxophone buying a secondhand one will yield way more and cost way less.

    I’ve sold recently a Toneking soprano and a SX90 III they were all way better than any ST could be.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some dont. Those who have the cherries arent likely to share them though.

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    Forum Contributor 2017 BrianMitchellBrody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    I owned the ST 90 and every time I performed with it the upper stack got bent out of shape.

    Better off with an Antigua or used JK.
    �We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.�
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    twocircles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    Thanks, Milandro, you know I wanted that Toneking.

    This is what i was talking about, but maybe your browser in Europe won't go here.

    http://www.julius-keilwerth.com/en/i...ents/sopranos/

    I started looking for a friend with a high-school aged son who was wanting a soprano when I ran into this. I think people expect to find something like a soprano version of the ubiquitous YAS-23, a decent student horn and consistent performer at a really low cost. There is just not one.
    Soprano: New soprano coming soon; Alto: Noblet (Beaugnier);
    Vintage C-Mel Tenor: Evette-Schaeffer, Buffet-Crampon Clarinet: Yamaha

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    Forum Contributor 2017 BrianMitchellBrody's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    You can pick up a one piece Antigua Winds for around 400. I have one from 1995 that is a great little soprano. A CNC copy of the Yani S 900. I paid $360.
    �We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.�
    ~Aristotle

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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMitchellBrody View Post
    I owned the ST 90 and every time I performed with it the upper stack got bent out of shape.

    Better off with an Antigua or used JK.
    I came here specifically to make the same comment.
    Current setups:
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    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Rousseau NC4, BG Tradition lig, Hemke 3.5
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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    In my opinion you should look for a Yamaha 475 or a Yanagisawa secondhand.

    Easily the best sopranos around. The 475 is a little cheaper. I have, incidentally a Yanagisawa S900.
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some dont. Those who have the cherries arent likely to share them though.

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    StuartSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    I'll stick up for Jupiter soprani. I've had an 847 w/sterling necks and now have a 747. I haven't experienced the bending problem. Both horns seem sturdy and play very well. I don't know about newer models but we have seen better quality coming out of Taiwan as time relentlessly grinds on.

    If you can swing a Yani or mid level Yamaha, I have no reason to doubt that Milandro is correct. I know we agree when it comes to buying recent Asian instruments. Buy 'em used or be prepared for the depreciation if you want to move it.

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    twocircles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMitchellBrody View Post
    I have one from 1995 that is a great little soprano. A CNC copy of the Yani S 900.
    I keep hearing that the Antigua is a CNC copy of Yanagisawa models. There’s one on eBay that uses the same term. Sorry, I am going to get a little technical. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, and by default, it refers to a CNC router that can mill an object in 3D from a block of material or a blank. This is used in the production of many things from car parts to saxophone mouthpieces and even clarinet bodies from blocks of grenadilla wood. I suppose one could technically apply CNC printing to 3D printing, although I have never heard it used this way.

    Saxophone bodies, however, are made from sheet metal. The keys are generally stamped, hardened and soldered together. I suppose there are CNC sheet metal cutters and presses, but even in the most automated factories, there is a lot of non-computerized work, and hence, a chance for variation in the construction of a saxophone. There would not be nearly the precision of a CNC router.

    I have no doubt that Antigua 3D scanned every part on a Yanagisawa and made digital blueprints for their saxes, but this is quite different than CNC production. It is also my understanding that Antigua uses a variety of subcontractors in several countries to manufacture their saxes. Generally, speaking those subcontractors would use their own equipment and manufacturing techniques to produce a product to Antigua’s designs and specifications.

    This is not a great post for a Keilwerth thread, but I appreciate the recommendation for potential student saxes.
    Soprano: New soprano coming soon; Alto: Noblet (Beaugnier);
    Vintage C-Mel Tenor: Evette-Schaeffer, Buffet-Crampon Clarinet: Yamaha

  10. #10
    twocircles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    I have been dismissive of Antiguas for a long time. My prejudices emerged from tales of somewhat lackluster quality. My conclusive prejudice came from consistent reports by owners who, while having no complaints about their Antiguas, switched to a different label, often Yanagisawa, saying that they had not realized how much the Antigua was holding them back.

    However, I have recommended that my friend look into Antigua sopranos as a student-level sax for his son. My prejudices somewhat fit the model of what a student horn needs to be. Antigua seems to be fairly consistent and affordable, playable and fairly reliable. I have noticed a number of reports of bent bodies and key work, but I can’t say they are more prone to this than other sopranos. There seems to be quite a few available at a variety of prices, not unlike student saxes in other voices. And, with a student-level instrument, one might expect the feeling of really stepping up to a higher quality instrument as one buys a more expensive sax. This might not be a bad alternative for those seeking a soprano under $900, when available.

    As for the recommendation for an older Yanagisawa or YSS475, these are on my own shortlist, and I will probably eventually follow this advice for myself. I have found a tech to repair my Asian off-brand saxes, I will see what the results are. If I do not keep them, I will do something else until I can get into an older professional quality sax. I also passed your recommendation on to my friend. However, he was not willing to pay $1500-$2200 or more range to satisfy his son’s whim. If his son is persistent, perhaps he will reconsider.

    I shared, at least, his son does not play bassoon, which my daughter does. My low-priority sax fund has been hit several times by repairs to her 1961 Puchner and other needs for school. Now, as she steps into life as a professional, she is looking at a new, $23,000, Moosman. She is on her own on this one.
    Soprano: New soprano coming soon; Alto: Noblet (Beaugnier);
    Vintage C-Mel Tenor: Evette-Schaeffer, Buffet-Crampon Clarinet: Yamaha

  11. #11
    twocircles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Keilwerth ST 1100 soprano

    Back to the topic of the Keilwerth 1100. None of us, so far, has claimed to have played one, so we really do not know by experience what the quality of this saxophone is. We only have experience with past ST series models and other KHS products. Those posting here have dismissed the current ST series out-of-hand, at least, the sopranos, based on those past experiences.

    One has to question the wisdom of offering a line of saxes of such dubious quality, even as a student line. The Big Four are the Big Four, after all, primarily because of reputation. While the intent of offering a low-cost student line has merit, it seems to me that Keilwerth on the whole damages their reputation by offering a line of reportedly poor quality even if it is at a low price.

    One also has to question if their relationship with KHS has yielded such poor results why they continue. Perhaps other makers charge too much to be competitive in the student market. Neither H. Selmer, Yamaha nor Yanagisawa offer true student sopranos and primarily have invested their resources in quality, professional saxes. This cannot be a huge market or income flow for Keilwerth. It seems they should give it up or do it well with a reputable product that drops the sullied ST label. IMO.
    Soprano: New soprano coming soon; Alto: Noblet (Beaugnier);
    Vintage C-Mel Tenor: Evette-Schaeffer, Buffet-Crampon Clarinet: Yamaha

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