Price: $1500 OBO.
The Couesnon brand is best known for their legendary flugelhorns, which are among the best ever made. But their saxophones, though rare, demonstrate the same attention to quality and detail. This particular horn was purchased from the original owner, who had purchased it new in 1954. The original lacquer is in excellent shape, with some crazing.
I have owned it for about 8 years now, and had it overhauled a few years back by the excellent Bill Renfro, who worked out of East Texas but is now retired. Bill put Valentino pads and Tenor Madness brass resos in the horn. The pads are sealing very well.
This saxophone is tailor-made for classical playing. Marcel Mule collaborated with Couesnon on this instrument, before going on to work with Selmer on the Mk VI. This Couesnon is without a doubt the most instantaneously responsive saxophone I have played. This would be the perfect instrument with which to play Bonneau's “Caprice en forme de valse”, or any such virtuosic piece. It is also ideal if you want to achieve a Desmond-like alto sound. Use this with an MC Gregory mpc and you are in business.
The sound is extremely full and present, without a trace of stuffiness, but is not loud like a 140K Selmer. On the other hand, it is much more maneuverable and flexible than a Selmer. The sound is very beautiful and French in style, with quite a bit of what the French call grain, or graininess of sound, without being unpleasantly buzzy. The intonation is easy to control.
The action is also extremely lively and crisp. The key placement is probably suited to players with medium to small hands.
A special bonus is that the instrument comes with all of its original accessories: with original case, end cap, mouthpiece, mouthpiece cap, and ligature. The same art deco style that animates the saxophone itself is also present in the accessories. That's an attention to detail that you rarely see. The mouthpiece is made of excellent hard rubber and plays extremely well on the horn.
These instruments are so rare, that it's hard to speak of a market price for them, so I am forced to list it at a price that is completely incommensurate with the quality of the instrument that it is. This was a competitor with Selmer, Buffet and SML, and is built accordingly.
Shipping costs = $45
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