All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Saxophones B&S saxophones

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
To that Lunnun yesterday to take up a Christmas present of a lunch cruise on the Thames and a trip on the London Eye. It is Mrs YC's birthday today, so we timed it well.

On the way back to Waterloo station there was a sax busker under one of the arches, improvising nicely on Careless Whispers. In proper Cafe Saxophone stye I made a contribution, but as he had stopped to thank a few people I asked him what sax he had. He was German and his sax was a slightly battered silver German B&S with a nice rounded tone. There's some mention of them on SOTW and elsewhere on the web. It's not clear whether they are still made or if the company just make brass instruments now. Anyway, I've not seen B&S referred to on here. Anyone had direct experience?
YC
ps London Eye hghly recommended, even on a slightly dull day. However, England half-term aside as lots of children, there were still lots of tourists, so I would suggest booking in advance to avoid long queues at peak time (which yesterday seemed to be from mid-morning to about 4pm) .
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
I've worked on and played quite a few - and to be honest I've never really thought that much of them.
Last one I had in was a 'blue badge' tenor. It was OK, but nothing that special really.
Worth a try if you see one knocking about - but I wouldn't put one near the top of my 'buy it sight unseen' list.

Regards,
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
I played a B&S (Blechblas und Signal instrumenten in Marknuekirchen/Klingenthal) "bluelabel" in the 70's. It was a std sax but it had high F#. I was a good sax but the shop that imported these saxes to Sweden removed pads, corks and felts and mounted better material on the sax. So better pads, corks and felts and a proper setup the B&S saxes was very good. And cheap as well. I got nearly four B&S tenors for the same price as one Selmer MkVII. The problem with saxes that were made behind the iron curtain was that t of the pads/leather, cork (compressed) ..... and quality controlle. Most of the material went to the military industry as well. Other wise they knew how to built saxes. I think that some of us are/were playing an Eastern Europe made sax without knowing it!?!?

I don't think B&S is producing saxes anymore.

Thomas
 

compound

Member
Messages
457
Hi YC,
I had a S.M.L. 2001 Tenor made by B&S, exactly the same as the B&S 2001, just different engraving.This was in the nineties and they were expensive for just a run of the mill horn. I got mine in 93 for £850 on special offer with a S.K.B. case thrown in. The normal price should have been £1850, so i think i did pretty well. I swopped it for a Roland VA7 keyboard ten year's later that was worth £800, so i did allright.
Rob.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
There's a history of B&S on saxwelt.de for those who read German. They're no longer with us, but are still well thought of here, especially the Medusa models.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Thanks chaps. I've no thoughts of changing my Mauriat for anything else at present, but I've learnt something about a brand I had not heard of before.
YC
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Just to add, I'd take Steve's opinion, before general local feelings. More than a little patriotism here.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
Just to add, I'd take Steve's opinion, before general local feelings. More than a little patriotism here.
Who's Steve?

I still think B&S saxes from the 70's were ok! It was something like what the BW saxes are today. A decent sax for less money. I think it was great that nearly everyone could buy a new and just play without struggling with leaks .... . You also got an ok metal B&S mouthpiece (Berg Larsen copy) along with your B&S.

Thomas
 

Rotkvica

New Member
Messages
5
I have one

Of old B&S Blue Label saxes. Made between 1971-1973. It plays very nice, but yes, all corks had to be replaced (it had rubber instead of cork originally. Very bad for silver-plated sax, all contact spots were black) but regarded pads, It had first set of pads for 15 years, and It`s first owner was professional musician (member of Yugoslav National Television Orchestra in seventies). I do not think that`s recommendable thing to do, but he recorded number of records with it and for all this years only two pads were replaced. As they had free of charge repair he could replace them any time if he felt necessary.
After that as he got retired, it seated at case for 20 years before I bought it, and it played through all range (of course, plays better now when I got pads replaced)

I like It`s tone a lot, very not modern. If this means anything. Very warm sounding but with focused sound, not spread as Conns for example.
I also had opportunity to compare it with one of new B&S models. It has very similar tone, but newer one had better action.
I had mentioned original metal mouthpiece with it, but I sold it, as I have Link from 1970, that plays great. This sax is not so rare in former Yugoslavia. and older players always mention it with respect.
 

singlereed

Member
Messages
124
They also made the Guardala horns. They seemed competent to me but a bit agricultural in construction, perhaps belying their DDR roots (a bit like Keilwerth!) - they weren't bad but I think the far eastern makers have been better at capturing the saxophone's mojo.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
They also made the Guardala horns. They seemed competent to me but a bit agricultural in construction, perhaps belying their DDR roots (a bit like Keilwerth!) - they weren't bad but I think the far eastern makers have been better at capturing the saxophone's mojo.
Richard Keilwerth was in Markneukirchen (former DDR) so I guess you can trace some relationship)! Julius Keiwerth - Nauheim and Max Keilwerth (Hohner) Tossingen former BRD!

I'm going to buy a nickelplated/silver bluelabel B&S with high F#. I found one here in Sweden for 1500 s e k in good shape. Of course needs new pads, corks ... . Lots of sax for less money.

Thomas
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Jules, it's a pity they're no longer made or you could have advertised them as "agricultural construction" and perhaps enticed some unwitting local farmers over your front doorstep!
YC
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Richard Keilwerth was in Markneukirchen (former DDR) so I guess you can trace some relationship)! Julius Keiwerth - Nauheim and Max Keilwerth (Hohner) Tossingen former BRD!

No, the Keilwerth's were in Kraslice/Graslitz (Czechoslovakia) until after the second world war. B&S grew out of some of the Markneukirchen instrument builders in East Germany, most notably Oscar Adler, while the Keilwerth's moved to West Germany. Richard was, afik, a clarinet maker. Julius moved to Nauheim, and Max went to Hohner after Keilwerth and Kohlert were nationalised to become (eventually) Amati, although they continued to use/sell under the Keilwerth & Kohlert names immediately after the war.

http://saxwelt.de/index.php/de/geschichte-mainmenu-36/baamps-mainmenu-143.html (in German)

and an overview of german/czech history (follow the links):
http://saxwelt.de/index.php/en/geschichte-mainmenu-36.html
 
Last edited:

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
No, the Keilwerth's were in Kraslice/Graslitz (Czechoslovakia) until after the second world war. B&S grew out of some of the Markneukirchen instrument builders in East Germany, most notably Oscar Adler, while the Keilwerth's moved to West Germany. Richard was, afik, a clarinet maker. Julius moved to Nauheim, and Max went to Hohner after Keilwerth and Kohlert were nationalised to become (eventually) Amati, although they continued to use/sell under the Keilwerth & Kohlert names immediately after the war.

http://saxwelt.de/index.php/de/geschichte-mainmenu-36/baamps-mainmenu-143.html (in German)

and an overview of german/czech history (follow the links):
http://saxwelt.de/index.php/en/geschichte-mainmenu-36.html
Maybe you're right ... but I found this info on Saxpics:

Richard Keilwerth left the Amati company for Markneukirchen, Germany and founded another large woodwind company – primarily concerned with clarinets. However, he also has stenciled a few horns for other companies, most notably the baritone saxophones for the Weltklang company (the former FX Hüller company and now called the B&S company -- a division of JA Musik).

Thomas
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Maybe you're right ... but I found this info on Saxpics:

Richard Keilwerth left the Amati company for Markneukirchen, Germany and founded another large woodwind company – primarily concerned with clarinets. However, he also has stenciled a few horns for other companies, most notably the baritone saxophones for the Weltklang company (the former FX Hüller company and now called the B&S company -- a division of JA Musik).

Thomas
Gets interesting, this is an interview with G J Keilwerth, over that article, but doesn't directly answer the question, but I'd read it that there were no saxes produced by Richard Keilwerth, who was a clarinet maker, not sax maker. Apart from the articles quoted, I've seen nothing to indicate that Richard K made saxes:

http://saxwelt.de/index.php/en/gj-keilwerth-mainmenu-139.html


Although there's a lot of good info on saxpics, what there is about Germany/Czechoslovakia is dodgy. A lot of the info on saxwelt.de comes from people involved in the German/Cz operations, or from their descendants/shops. Given a discrepancy, I'd take the saxwelt version each time. I'm sure Pete Hales did the best he could at the time, but he's not been involved there for quite some time, and the new owners seem to have done little since taking it over. At least the resource is still there, it'd be really sad to see it go.

But like all web resources, you need to cross check... And I'm relatively new to this, so take what I say with a big dose of scepticism as well.
 
Last edited:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Perhaps I should have added 'At that time' about R Keilwerth making saxes.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
And doing more digging I find posts on SOTW by guys with old saxes maked Richard Keilwerth. So what really happened? :confused:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
This page adds little, but discusses the interview, and includes a reply from Pete Hales, asserting that the B&S baris were R Keilwerth's...

Weltklang Baritone Sax For Sale In France (beware of the mistranslation of the interview with GJ Keilwerth by Kai).

Says here that Richard Keilwerth ran the Keilwerth company in Kraslice (Graslitz) after WWII until it was notionalised into Amati, and relocated to W Germany (Gelnhausen) where he made Saxophones, Flutes and Clarinets. Even a pic of the engraving... http://www.klaus-a-schneider.de/facharbeit/seiten/deutschland.htm

Which confirms that there's no fact in the assertion that the B&S saxes were Richard Keilwerths.... But also shows me to be wrong above.
 
Last edited:
Saxholder Pro

Staff online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom