Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?
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    Threeleggedyoyo's Avatar
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    Default Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    Barone gets compared to Mariaut and Cannonball a lot.

    I've played both a Cannonball Stone Series bari (three of them) and a Le Bravo Mariaut bari (which I'm told are just like the pro models except for the type of metal used).

    There were lots of notable differences. Most obvious, though was the keywork.

    The Cannonball bari's keywork was very comfortable and effortless to me. The Le Bravo, while preferable in some other areas (a subject for another time), had obviously different keywork. I found the left hand pinky tray to be in an awkward position... my pinky palm area kept hitting it accidentally, which is a problem I've never had before. And the left hand palm keys were too high. Also, the keys felt much straighter along the body... I felt like I had to stick my elbows out to get my fingers in the right position.

    Now, none of this is meant to be a knock on Mariaut. What didn't fit my hands very well might be perfect for someone else. But it made me wonder what the Barone keywork feels like.

    Can anyone compare it to either of those models, or any other model? I've felt comfortable on the Selmer ans Yanis I've tried, too (though the Cannonball in particular had great ergos). The Mariaut in particular was different.

    What about the Barone?

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    of course you realize that Phil Barone has sourced his horns from several makers in Taiwan over the years and they all have their own individual feel.
    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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    KeithL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    I haven't had any of those issues with the keywork on my Barone bari but mine is a Low Bb horn cira 2008-2009 and there may have been changes made since then as milandro suggests. I like the way the horn feels a lot though I'll admit the keywork on my Yani B992 is better.

    The keywork on my Barone tenor (also circa 2008) was almost identical to the Mauriat Sys-76 Series 1 horns from about the same time and even Tim at Sax Alley admitted it likely came out of the same factory as the Mauriat.

    In the end I don't know that it matters all that much. If you know you like the way the Cannonball feels than look to find a way to get one of those. I'm a big believer in just going with stuff that you know works for you and not complicating things too much. The fact that the Barone keywork works great for me or what it's patterned after (my guess is a rough copy of a Selmer Series II ) is of little use to you. A good deal on a horn that feels awkward in your hands every time you pick it up isn't a good deal.

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    Threeleggedyoyo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    I haven't had any of those issues with the keywork on my Barone bari but mine is a Low Bb horn cira 2008-2009 and there may have been changes made since then as milandro suggests. I like the way the horn feels a lot though I'll admit the keywork on my Yani B992 is better.

    The keywork on my Barone tenor (also circa 2008) was almost identical to the Mauriat Sys-76 Series 1 horns from about the same time and even Tim at Sax Alley admitted it likely came out of the same factory as the Mauriat.

    In the end I don't know that it matters all that much. If you know you like the way the Cannonball feels than look to find a way to get one of those. I'm a big believer in just going with stuff that you know works for you and not complicating things too much. The fact that the Barone keywork works great for me or what it's patterned after (my guess is a rough copy of a Selmer Series II ) is of little use to you. A good deal on a horn that feels awkward in your hands every time you pick it up isn't a good deal.
    Thank you. Useful info and all very good points. I wish I could get my hands on more of the Taiwanese models. The Le Bravo had a lot of really good things going for it (best intonation of any horn I'd ever tried, period). It was mouthpiece-friendly and responsive, too. The sound didn't strike me as unusual or distinct in any particular way I'd point out but it did what I asked it to.

    The three Cannonballs I played had the best ergonomics of any bari I've ever played period, and I liked the sound I was getting out of them a lot. Those things made me really happy trying them. However I was having some issues with intonation on those horns that I've never had with any other bari. That's a discussion for another time (you can look up a thread I made about it). I may still go that direction but only if I can become confident that that issue can be solved. Since it was there on all 3 of the horns I tried and not with any other brands or models I've tried, I wasn't sure what to make of it.

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    Really There is no substitute for the hands on approach because ( and I’ve worked for a a Taiwanese company for some time) even the same maker makes adjustments and changes, let alone a trading company like Phil Barone’s.

    One very good point in support of Phil Barone’s baritones is the fact that Phil is a baritone player himself.

    The Le Bravo, by the way, are the cheap line.
    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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    Default Re: Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    I don't read the Cannonball sub-forum very often because I don't own one and don't know much about them. The few Cannonball branded horns I've played I haven't been very impressed with and I figure if I can't add much to the conversation and little of what I could add is positive- there isn't much point in participating. Those discussions
    are best left to folks who are more familiar with that brand than I.

    It appears you are doing the right thing by being patient and trying as many horns as you can, even playing some on a couple of different occasions. If you don't have a standing gig that requires bari there's no reason to rush into buying something that you may not be happy with.

    If you haven't already, I'd strongly suggest you try horns from Yamaha, Yanagisawa, Selmer, and Keilwerth if you can find them. It would even be worth a short road trip to do so. You haven't said much (at least on this thread) about what your budget is or whether you are looking at just new horns or would consider used instruments as well. If you settle on a Cannonball or Mauriat I'd be looking for a lightly used one, demo/show model or some other deal or discount myself. IMO the standard retail on these instruments in the US is presently too high and they often sell used for just slightly more than 50% of retail price.

    IMO, the best deal out there in a new bari once you get over the $3k price point is a Yani B901 (the Yamaha baris are also reasonably priced) from Matthew's Music in the Netherlands. At $4650 plus shipping you'll save about $2k over what you'd pay from a US dealer and you'd have very little trouble selling it used for close to that purchase price if you decide bari is not for you. It's still a lot of $$$ but less financial risk than dropping the same amount or more for a Mauriat or Cannonball.

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barone Baritone Keywork: Feels like a...?

    Matthew’s is very good at getting the best Yamaha and Yanagisawa prices.

    David Crane has some very good contacts. Years ago he got his Yanagisawa from France, maybe he still does.

    Indeed he almost beats the secondhand price of Kessler’s!

    So, yes, indeed buying a B901 from Matthew’s is almost a bargain!
    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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