Has anyone had experience with the Keilwerth ST series, also designated ST1100?
Superficially, it appears to be an ST90, where they have dropped the 90. 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.
Becasue of Keilwerth's 1100 designation, 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 Keilwerth is keyed to high-F#, which is generally an advantage in my book, especially in a less expensive horn. The Jupiters and the Keilwerth are not identical in any way that I can tell.
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 ST for sale online in Spain, I think, and IF the prices are correct, the Keilwerth is selling for a few hundred dollar less than the price of the Jupiters. If those prices are correct, the Keilwerth may be a good buy if the build and sound quality are up to snuff. It may also indicate that Keilwerth may not be using KHS to manufacture the ST.
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 ST only with a one-piece sax.
As much as I would like to consider any SX90 series for my next soprano, as an amateur, in all likelihood, I am going to have to go with a student horn, like the ST, or perhaps an older, used instrument.