I just ordered a limited edition Vibrato. I figure either it will turn out to be a good instrument, and therefore retain its value; or, like the Graftonite of yore,quickly fall nto disfavor, and become a relatively scarce collector's horn. Either way, I decided I couldn't lose. My musician friends think I am nuts, but my repairman thinks I am dumb like a fox, so we shall see.
I had a go on one of these recently. It was amazingly light, felt toy like due to the lack of weight. Played OK, action not bad. I found the tuning went a bit awry at the top, but I was playing with an unfamilar mouthpiece/reed combo. Wish I'd taken my own. Sounded, well, like a saxophone.
I went down to Sax.co.uk on Saturday to have a play on a few horns including the clear plastic Limited Edition Vibratosax.
The first impression was "WOW ! look at that".
The second impression was "WOW ! this horn weighs almost nothing". Really, it feels like it would float away.
The third impression was, "it can really play."
Fourth impression, "Er, not very well."
For me the tuning was a bit all over the place and it felt like it had minor leaks. I think that was down to the innovative pads which are floppy and not supported in a key cup. I did try both of the Limited Edition models in the showroom and they played pretty much the same.
Mine arrived today. I took it over to a local music store, where they know me, and played it for them with my Brilhart 3* Tonalin mouthpiece, that I have been playing on since about 1964. They all said it was slightly edgier than my Selmer "cigar cutter", but thought it compared favorably in tone quality to modern saxes. I notice that, because of the way the pads are mounted, they tend to hit the back of the tone holes before the front, so require slightly more pressure to seal comfortably. The horn as delivered had no leaks; I was able to play a true subtone down to a low Bb with no strain at all. The scale seems pretty good, though I noticed the middle octave E seemed a little flat to my ear. There is too much lost motion in the upper register (neck) vent, and I am going to have to "tweak" that a bit, before the high E, F, and F# will speak freely. Otherwise, though, it does not feel or play too badly. I don't expect to replace my cigar cutter with it, but it is certainly an acceptable "backup" instrument for those occasions when my Selmer is in the shop. Because of it's light weight, it feels a little uncomfortable when playing the upper octave palm keys. I find it tends to push sideways more than a heavier brass saxophone, but that may be a result of poor technique on the part of the guy playing it.
It came with a clear plastic mouthpiece, and a one piece tapered ring to be used as a ligature. I looked at the tip opening ; it is pretty darned close to the same as the Brilhart 3*, but the lay is considerably longer, which probably makes it lots easier for beginnig players to produce a sound. The chamber is rounder than that of the Tonalin, but I didn't fill them with water to see if one is larger than the other. The baffle in the Vibrato moutpiece appears to be slightly higher, but that may be an optical delusion, because of the longer lay.
Nice little review there, one really gets an idea from your comments, sounds like with a few more improvements they could be serious contenders for some.
Though not everyone is a potential Charlie Parker.
I tried one a few months ago whilst in London for the weekend it was the A1S,look like a toy,felt like a toy and the sound didn't impress me which was a shame due to having a back problem this would have been ideal for practising on my bad days.
I was one of the first people to comment and support its inventor and to have one of these sent home. I even thought to become the Benelux distributor for this horn.
The higher one flies the harder one falls.
What an incredible let down it was!
To tell the truth they did improve on what I was sent BUT whatever improvement they might have put this thing through it wouldn’t convince me to buy one. In my immodest opinion this thing is not worth my money although anyone is free to waste his however they see fit.
The only thing that perhaps is a valid point is that this thing won’t be produced in the millions, as probably its inventor hopes, and it will acquire some value in time as an oddity. If you want a saxophone that is a bit iffy the way it plays and the way it closes or is mechanically operating, you can buy, for less, a multicoloured Chinese thing.
Maybe not a conversation piece of the same caliber as a white plastic saxophone weighing 1 Kg. but hey, at least is quite a bit cheaper.