Aquilasax – new stock of C Saxophones !

Just a quick ‘heads up’ in case anyone isn’t on Steve’s distribution list – this was received today (quote) –

“Dear Customer,

I am relieved to announce the arrival of new stock of New C saxes.  I was beginning to think the resurrection was a myth. Once again I will be working thru checking each one and will email customers when the finish option of their choice is ready to ship.

We also have new stock of Flutes (in the key of C) quality silver plated and Baritone sax reeds.  New C mel mouthpiece with large square chamber is still in the pipeline.

Happy honking!



P.S. I case some of you haven’t discovered it, the links above (and on the picture) take you to the ‘Aquilasax shopping cart / secure server’  – as opposed to Steve’s ‘original Aquilasax home page’.

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12 Responses to Aquilasax – new stock of C Saxophones !

  1. Lewis Pelham says:

    Delighted to hear it…Steve, in my experience is as good as his word. What did intrigue me was the evident development of the Plasticover reeds! I must try them. & report back…quality silver plated and Baritone sax reeds…

  2. Mal-2 says:

    Hooray! Just a little bit late, but far better than never, eh?

    I’m still glad I bought and refurbished (and personalized) the 1919 Buescher, but I’m eager to get my hands on one of these and see how they stand up head to head. If I get altissimo like I can produce out of my alto (maybe I need a tenor Lakey?), maybe I don’t need anything else — though the alto transposition just sits right in my ear. And hopefully I won’t have to use the same fingering for G and G#, lipping one way down and one somewhat up… I think the F# key will prove more useful for getting an in-tune G than for F# itself.

  3. alan says:

    Just thought I’d put up the link to my original Aquilasax page, some great pics !

  4. totalsuper says:

    As soon as Steve told me the new stock were officially available, I tendered my order. Steve is in China right now, play testing saxes and shipping them out. Mine is already on the way!

  5. totalsuper says:

    Well, the sax arrived. I’ve posted an initial impressions review at SOTW, in case anyone wants to read my inflammatory polemic. (Just kidding. I like the horn. 😆 )

  6. alan says:

    It does seem that first results from the new batch are quite acceptable, well done Steve !  🙂

  7. alan says:

    By the way – and for the record – there are two reasons why I don’t have a new Aquilasax C.

    a) my preferred finish – (brushed) bare brass, doesn’t seem to have ever appeared out of the factory, and,

    b) I’ve noticed from the pictures small things that confirm Steve’s comments on his website (quote) "The feel of any new sax takes getting used to as the key positions are slightly different. The most noticeable difference is the left hand palm keys which stand out more than the vintage saxes. The old C mels (and sopranos) seemed to have been designed for people with small hands the keys being very close to the body. If you have small hands, you may prefer a vintage C.  The first 20 new C saxes had the bell Bb key too far south and was no easier to reach than the old C mels so that has been remedied on the subsequent batches. The new pinky table has a smooth fluid action which takes getting used to for a vintage player….. 

    I have very small hands – way less that eight inches from thumb-tip to little-finger-tip at full stretch – and I note that Steve has big hands…   So our ideas on comfort may be slightly diverse, and I really don’t like the new-fangled floating pinkie table – I’m just an old Luddite I guess.  So, it’s very probable that I’ll pass on buying one, and stay with my vintage Martin and Kings – although I’d still love to try one !

  8. Mal-2 says:

    You probably would not care for my "gigging" Buescher at all then,  as it’s set up for my own comfort. My hand span from pinky tip to thumb tip is about 9 3/4", enough that I can do the 1-5-3 "open" chord voicing on piano, spanning a tenth between bottom and top notes. I had to bend the crap out of the palm keys, and have added epoxy or cork in places where that was not sufficient (which I then covered in metal tape so it’s totally invisible). Obviously there is no corresponding reverse method for epoxy, but bending goes both ways. Also, unless you are concerned with "authenticity" and/or resale value, chopping and brazing is always an option. Even with my spider hands, I find that the F palm key on a Yamaha YTS-21 is in entirely the wrong place — the key is much too long from axle to touchpiece, by almost an inch, causing it to sit under the ring finger knuckle rather than the middle finger. I can fix it with epoxy, and have done so in the past, but have opted for the chop-and-braze method as a permanent fix.

    To me, authenticity is overrated. There’s a reason I don’t play the mouthpiece the C-mel shipped with, even though it appears to be original. That reason is that IT SUCKS. Think a Stradivarius violin has been meticulously preserved to the current day? Far from it, they’ve almost all been reinforced and had the bass bar beefed up to accommodate the much higher modern string tensions. Done properly, this enhances the value of an instrument, rather than detracting from it. These aren’t multi-hundred-thousand dollar instruments either. Maybe Inderbinen makes a $100k sax, and Yanagisawa would probably be happy to make one out of pure gold if you were to ask, but as far as professional instruments go, saxophones are generally on the cheap end of the scale. Gripe about the $7k cost of a Selmer to a bassoonist and see how much sympathy you get.

    I bet if you sent an Aquilasax off to Stephen Howard’s workshop, he’d be able to turn it into your new favorite — for an appropriate fee, of course. I would certainly understand if you don’t want to pony up the cash, but that’s totally different from saying it can’t be done.

  9. totalsuper says:

    Ok, Alan. Mal-2’s got you there. I’ll be expecting your personal review of the Aquilasax now. :mrgreen:

  10. Mal-2 says:

    I didn’t mean to come across confrontationally, but I guess I ended up that way anyhow.

    Don’t worry Alan, I’ll buy one when given the opportunity, and report back. If it fits my hands with minimal adjustment, then you’re probably right in assuming it would not be a good fit. But if it still feels a bit toy-like in my hands, you may not have any trouble. I’m sure the metal will be considerably harder than that of the Buescher, so bending will be a more laborious and risky procedure (though any adjustments are more likely to stay put). I’m guessing it’s made to fit average size hands, with room for adjustment in both directions, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  11. alan says:

    Mal – I didn’t take any of it as confrontational at all – valid comments – I’ll bet I could send a 20’s C-Mel to Stephen Howard and also have it coming back playing like a dream… 😆

    I’m luck enough to have a 30’s Martin C-Mel, with a couple of good Kings (still) waiting to be fixed, and I’ve owned quite late Buescher C’s – they’ve all been excellent players, and I haven’t altered the ergonomics on any of them, just slightly adapted my fingering each time, but no more difficult than (e.g.) going from my unmodified 80’s Jupiter Soprano to my unmodified 20’s C-Soprano.  I seem to be able to store the muscle memory for finger positions quite well.

    Anyway (or Anyroad’up as they say in t’North) – I’ve emailed Steve (of Aquilasax) offering to evaluate his C – if he’d like me to – I still get emails about the Aquilasax alto evaluation I did…   I’d even take one of the original C’s – even one of the returns would be fine, I can tweak anything but major structural damage – I don’t think for a second that there won’t be a few minor intonation challenges, but they won’t be at all insurmountable.  I did seem to think that Steve was also pitching the new C at beginners, so my small hands (and stature)  will equate to younger players !

    I await Steve’s reply…

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