Aquilasax C Sax – details and pictures of finishes…

The new Aquilasax C Sax

If you click on this link it’ll take you to Steve’s new shopping cart “C Sax” pages

Don’t forget the $85 shipping charge. You saw it here first, but I suspect Steve doesn’t want to formally announce it to the world until the saxes are “ready to go” ? I have an interest in a “bare brass” one, but with a curved (tenor style) neck. Less ostentatious for an old recluse like me…

UPDATE – 15 September – Well, as Randall just broke the news on saxontheweb, I might as well add to it – has no-one noticed the first Aquilasax C- ‘Special’ on ebay ?

UPDATE – 18 September – The pic on the right is of one similar to the ebay sax, and with the addition of Steve’s Metalpro C mouthpiece – click here or on the pic for more…

I think it’s the first photograph to show the new C Sax with a curved neck – note the underslung octave mech – looks great !

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24 Responses to Aquilasax C Sax – details and pictures of finishes…

  1. Lewis Pelham says:

    Lovely looking horns…I am soooo tempted.
    Quite why the bare brass model, with fewer processes, should be the most expensive, I fail to understand. Possibly for the same reason that wholemeal bread is more expensive than white, which is made of expensively, and extensively, treated flour. Hey Ho.

  2. ukebert says:

    One of the mysteries of the universe I suppose.

    I think the silber with gold keys should do me.

  3. al says:

    Hope you all like the ‘wood-chip wallpaper’ background (and the other subtle blog changes) – maybe I’m getting my eyes accustomed to ‘a bit of rough’, possibly in anticipation of buying a bare-brass C from Aquilasax – or, as Steve explained, “The bare finish is kind of a satin/pearl look, a bit like the old satin silver but without the silver…..” Yes Steve, I think I follow that…….

    Hmmmm, the Martin is going to be a hard act to follow, especially the warmth and variety of tone – and I’m still feeling mildly seasick from the modern tilting pinkie table on the Aquilasax alto 😀

    I read on one of the forums that someone couldn’t play a modern (tilting pinkie) sax, and a vintage one (rock solid pinkie) on the same day ! I’m beginning to know how he feels. After decades of avoiding Selmers, I now find that the standard ‘Chinese’ action seems to have more than a touch of Selmer about it ! Grrr…

  4. Lewis Pelham says:

    Alan…I once rode four motorcycles on the same day; two with the gear change on the left and two on the right. One of the left handers was “up for up” and the other “up for down”. The two right handers also had opposite action. After that, a vintage and a modern horn hold no fears: one does not fly over the bars getting it wrong with a sax. 🙂

  5. al says:

    Lewis – good comment ! A friend of mine lived in Spain for a while and brought his mountain bike back with him. He has no fear of it being stolen, as the brake levers are on opposite sides of the handlebars, compared to UK bikes. So the first time a would-be thief slams on (what he thinks is) the back brake, he will (instead of sliding to a halt) go flying over the handlebars…

    Every time I used to borrow Dad’s little Fiat, I always put the wipers on instead of the indicators, and vice versa. The switches were on opposite sides of the steering column, by comparison to the “Dagenham (or Luton) dustbins” that I nromally drive ! I shouldn’t say that really, as my trusty diesel Ford Escort estate has behaved immaculately and reliably for the last seven years – such boring reliability is not to be sneered at.

    What side of the road do the Chinese drive on ? (lame attempt to get back on topic…)

  6. al says:

    Well, as Randall broke the news on saxontheweb, I might as well add to it – has no-one noticed the first Aquilasax C- ‘Special’ on ebay ?

    – in case the link doesn’t work, it’s item 200152899232 🙂

  7. Lewis Pelham says:

    Yes, I spotted that on the other forum. What is it all about? Is the seller Steve who, perhaps, is using it as a teaser campaign. How has anyone obtained their Aquilasax, with non standard finish, before the official launch and why put it straight on eBay. Perhaps it is a pricing exercise to test the market’s perceived value of the new horn…lots of questions.

  8. ukebert says:

    It is Steve, to promote his instrument and to raise awareness I believe.

    It’s all rather exciting 🙂

  9. al says:

    Hmmm – it’s a very ‘low-key’ awareness… I’ve mentioned to Steve that a couple of pics of the ‘fully assembled’ sax would be nice – as the body had to be lengthened to accomodate the high F# bits, I assume the neck is now proportionally shorter than the original, thus avoiding the (to me) ‘oversized neck’ look of 20’s C-mels…

  10. al says:

    I have to say, I thought that there’d be quite a reaction on the two forums to the selling of the first Aquilasax ‘C’ – but the reaction is a little subdued, maybe they’re all waiting to see what happens next ?

    You guys happy with the colours/layout, and the textured background ? Must keep my two contributors happy ! 😀 By the way, if you’ve been going into ‘Site Admin’ to see ‘Latest Activity’, I’ve put links under the three black ‘Martin Handcraft’ badges in the right-hand side menu – click on any of them to see ‘Latest Activity’….

  11. ukebert says:

    I don’t like the red borders on the hyperlinked pictures, everything else is fine 🙂 Still no bids on the special 😦

  12. ukebert says:

    Red borders are suddenly a lot better.

  13. al says:

    Owen – yes, “Red borders are suddenly a lot better” – I’ve changed the red from ‘bright’ to a mellower ‘firebrick’ and stopped them twitching when the mouse passes over (by already having a very pale border of the same size, cunning, huh ?)… Unfortunately there is a need to have something to indicate that there is a link under the pics, and the only way I’ve found to do that is with a frame/border that changes colour. In the process I’ve had a minor nervous breakdown trying to find code that works with all the browsers – Explorer, Firefox and Opera – not at all straightforward and a small compromise was necessary for my sanity – now to test it all…. May tweak more later, when confusion/frustration subsides, but (in small doses) it’s both fascinating and infuriating hacking the code with little support documentation. Apologies for the ‘techie’ stuff, Lewis.

    SO – Back on topic, Steve has posted on Wade’s forum – interesting, I thought he said he’d ordered a bare/matt-brass (like mine) ‘C’ for himself, not silver. However (and I must admit I’m starting to feel the same) he now seems to be going over to black nickel, via silver ! I think he’s just falling in love with all of them 😀

  14. ukebert says:

    Good for him I say 🙂

    The objection that I had to the border was the flickering, it’s all peachy now.

  15. Lewis Pelham says:

    Absolutely right…full marks to Steve…very courageous.
    Now, matte silver with gold keywork could be very tempting…I really wish that I needed one.
    I have often wondered how they engrave nickel, as it is so hard. On vintage horns the nickel versions tended to have less engraving, for, I suspect, this very reason. Steve’s black nickel seems well endowed with engraving…perhaps they use a spark eroder these days. 🙂

  16. al says:

    Hmmm – I do like the look of that black nickel one on ebay, especially with the coloured touches – steady Alan, steady…

    Owen – yes, I’ve applied the ‘red flickering fix’ to the website front page as well, beneficial knock-on effect !

  17. al says:

    I’ve added a new picture from Steve, and links to more, on the topic.

  18. Herb says:

    I would be interested to hear some sound samples. Any idea if they’re available?

  19. al says:

    Herb – I don’t know what Steve has planned (I’ll pass your comments on to him) but obviously as soon as I get mine I’ll give it a good workout and record a few samples. But that could be some weeks off – whenever the bare-brass is available, and allowing for shipping, Customs delays etc…

  20. ukebert says:

    Well, if nobody bids on the nickel one then I will… but I’d prefer a silver/gold one myself.

  21. al says:

    Owen – As you started the idea, then I will also admit that I will bid if no-one else does, so let me know (email is fine) about your seriousness and we won’t be competing, as I said earlier in this topic “I do like the look of that black nickel one on ebay, especially with the coloured touches – steady Alan !“. If you do bid and win, you may be in poll place to do a review well before me !

    I think it would look amazing in satin silver with smooth gold lacquer action, but that may be expensive because the body would need the ‘matt’ treatment that is making the bare/matt/satin/pearl-brass one the most expensive option – plus then the silver plating etc. on top.

    I’m hoping that the bare/matt/satin/pearl brass finish is therefore going to turn out looking quite like the Mauriat sax finish in the advert on saxontheweb ! How to preserve that look will then be another challenge – who knows, in ten years time it may look as funky as a 20’s horn ?

    By the way, as an aside, I just realised today that with the C-Mels that I have, I could photograph Martin, Buescher, King, Conn and Holton C-Mels standing together. And if I rebuild the Conn WII s/neck , I could have two generations of Conn C-Mels together in the pictures as well ! Six different C-Mels, and all with front-F, plus many more if I included the ‘stencil’ variations. Aaarrrrgh ! Brain Overflow. Think of that lot surrounding the Aquilasax ! Hmmmm.

  22. Lewis Pelham says:

    Alan. I do not think that your ideal finish would be any more expensive.
    Steve is having a soprano made for me in exactly that finish…matte silver with bright gold keywork; he simply asked “matte or bright silver”. To obtain the matte finish simply requires a few minutes in a bead blasting cabinet; no big deal. This finish is also offset by the polishing process required for bright silver…as you well know, the finish is determined by the substrate, not the plating.
    I have just noticed that Steve’s eBay sax is equipped with high F#…an absolute must. Once accustomed to this feature, nothing without it will suffice: you are hooked for life…rather like you having to cope without Aux F (which I only use for altissimo G and G#)

  23. ukebert says:

    Alan, it’s all yours 🙂 I’m just glad someone will bid…

    I’m going to go for the silver/gold, when I get an email saying that ones avaliable for me, or when I get paid, whichever is later.

  24. al says:

    Lewis – ‘the matte finish simply requires a few minutes in a bead blasting cabinet’ – yes, that’s why I’m confuzzled….
    And ‘the high F#’ – yes, Steve mentioned that the body tube had to be lengthened to accomodate the high F# mechanism. That led me to suspect that the neck would be shorter than on the original Conn (as the combined length has to be the same on both…). The ‘full length’ picture (above) seems to bear that out – as I always felt that the 20’s C-Mels had a dis-proportionally long neck, which left them looking a bit ‘neck-heavy’, something that the Aquilasax C doesn’t seem to be.

    Owen – well, someone’s got to bid for it, I hope it flies beyond my reach, and I’ll wait for t’other….

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