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Saxophones B&S sonora tenor

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,722
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Around 30 years old. I know it's a much asked question but are they any good?

Any info appreciated, what faults to look for etc
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,736
Locality
Betelgeuse
I've got one at the moment. They're a bit clunky, solidly made and have a good, robust tone. The pads as fitted originally are odd - they're synthetic, and as tough as old boots, but apparently not liked by repairers. The one on eBay sold for about the right sort of money for an eBay sale. You'd obviously pay a fair bit more for one from a shop. I quite like them, I think they're quite characterful and I like the way it's easy to get a raucous rock tone from them.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,405
Locality
Sweden
Is the e-bay sax B&S stamped? I thought B&S started with the blue label. You learn new stuff all the time./Thomas
 

C_Claudemonster

Formerly saxgirl22
Messages
399
Locality
England, UK
I've got a Weltklang solist silver tenor. These aren't B&S but they are exactly the same build. That typical German built sax with the bell brace and keyguards, the same as B&M Champion, Trafford, Meister and the Weltklang. My weltklang tenor is wonderfully built, has a great sound but is a bit of a clunky thing to play but I'm used to it. It also had quite a few of those pads on and my tech did complain that they were not satisfactory - infact they are inside the leather compressed paper, so not good quality at all but probably quite tough for a while. I got mine for £140 off eBay and I was lucky! Perhaps people call them a student horn but the sound they make in my opinion is great & I rate them very high. Mine is teamed up with a Lawton metal m/p and I think this really does it justice (not sure about me tho!!) :)
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,349
Locality
leicester
there's some info on B&S saxes here - http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?4221-B-amp-S-saxophones

If you're thinking of buying a Sonora, just check the usual things like intonation/tuning, damage and wear and tear and if the pads seal properly - the problem with these East German saxes is that the cost of a full repad and overhaul is more than the instrument's worth. It's only the professional 2000 series B&S saxes and the blue label ones that are worth any money, the cheaper student horns like Weltklang, Sonora, Musica, Berg Larsen, Trafford etc are fairly common and aren't highly regarded in the UK - although in the USA there are some dealers charging higher prices for these instruments based on the reputation of B&S's pro instruments.
The keywork is clunky and basic on these things and they're heavy and solid, with a tone to match.
Several years ago my friend brought round his expensive Keilwerth tenor. After admiring the beauty and sound of it, I jokingly got out my Trafford tenor to compare. When I blew it, it sounded similar to the Keilwerth, although that's the only similarity - the Keilwerth is a far superior instrument.
No doubt some american sax dealer will start selling Weltklangs as "poor man's Keilwerths" in the same way that Bundy's are being sold as "poor man's Bueschers"

Trafford saxes were imported from East Germany in the 1970's by Barratt's, a music shop that used to be on Oxford Road, Manchester. A lot of them were shipped over in bits and assembled in a workshop in Trafford, hence the name.
If anybody wants a Trafford tenor, let me know, I never play mine.
 

ARDESH1914

New Member
Messages
1
Locality
Uk
I was bought a Sonora tenor saxophone when I was 18 I’m 55 now.
personally I think they are great yes a little heave but a magic lower range with a top range it is possible to get into.
i was very lucky to get this saxophone.
 

Lox

New Member
Messages
3
Locality
Oxford
I was bought a Sonora tenor saxophone when I was 18 I’m 55 now.
personally I think they are great yes a little heave but a magic lower range with a top range it is possible to get into.
i was very lucky to get this saxophone.
I found a B & S sonora Alto for sale for £180 serial number 71754. I am a new learner so know nothing about it, the sax looks in decent condition but then again I would have little idea if it wasn't. Do you know whether that is a fair price to pay?
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,736
Locality
Betelgeuse
I found a B & S sonora Alto for sale for £180 serial number 71754. I am a new learner so know nothing about it, the sax looks in decent condition but then again I would have little idea if it wasn't. Do you know whether that is a fair price to pay?
Under normal circumstances I'd say no. I'd give £100 for a Sonora alto. However, we're not in normal times, and the market for all leisure items, including saxophones, has gone up. However, for around the £200 you can probably do better. As I said on thir thread nine years ago, they're a bit clunky. I think someone learning would do better with a decent modern Taiwanese or Chinese sax. Need to shop about, but I recently saw a Sakkusu balck pearl model alto for £200. That would, if in decent order, be vastly better than a Sonora.
 

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