Tutorials

Saxophones SMS curved soprano

AlanU

Member
Messages
624
Location
Enfield, North London
Hello; does anyone have any experience of these instruments?

The www.shwoodwind.co.uk site, which I highly respect, mentions SMS as a good brand of cheap Chinese saxophones in this country. It sells for £199 at www.studentmusicsupplies.com

It does look excellent for the money, and I'm probably worrying needlessly.
It's just that I'm only ever going to use it at home and in the park for fun, but will still have to buy a decent mouthpiece, ligature etc.

So, I'd be very grateful for any feedback on this model or any other brand of curved soprano in this price range.

Thanks
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
I've got an Academy from SMS and an identical one (badged Carmichael) from Karacha - both Alto BTW. I say they're identical, but the Carmichael is better quality although I suspect that's down to luck as to what one you get. If you bought one of each you might find the SMS is OK and the Karacha one not. I don't think quality control is too hot.

The build quality is OK, but there are silly things like strap hole alignment being out of line, which puts the instrument at the wrong angle to get your left pinky on the G# easily. The octave mech is pretty poor on both of them, but far worse on the SMS.

I've only got them to lend (short term) to new students so they can have a go on a sax

I'm sure Rico (Il Padrino?) sold an SMS sop a while ago in the Yard Sale, at the time I think he said it was very good - might it have gone to Pauline?

Phil
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,352
The Venus curved Soprano's which are on ebay for £180.00 i think are great for the cash,i had the blacknickel plated with silver key's and Nachoman here on the BR has one,it's the Yani copy sax and tuning ,tone and ergo's were great and it looked cool in black and silver,
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,238
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
I can add that after speaking to my good buddy Stephen Howard when I saw him at rankfurt, he mentioned that the earlier Academy saxophones were not good, but recently are OK.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,416
Location
brighton by the sea
I can add that after speaking to my good buddy Stephen Howard when I saw him at rankfurt, he mentioned that the earlier Academy saxophones were not good, but recently are OK.
I'm sorry to do this but i can't resist it- "Rankfurt", a notably smelly German town...:)))
 

Pauline

Senior Member
Subscriber
Messages
467
Location
Hull, UK City of Culture 2017
I'm sure Rico (Il Padrino?) sold an SMS sop a while ago in the Yard Sale, at the time I think he said it was very good - might it have gone to Pauline?

Phil
Yes, I bought an Academy straight sop from Il Padrino a while back.
I've no complaints at all - sound and ergonomics seem fine to me (it's just the player that's the problem!) ;}
 
OP
A

AlanU

Member
Messages
624
Location
Enfield, North London
Thanks to you all for your replies. Most helpful, and re-assuring, I think?

Pauline, what mouthpiece suits you on this saxophone?
In my limited experience with sopranos the mouthpiece makes more difference than with any other horn. I've only tried rubber Link and Meyer, and neither worked for me.

Perhaps it's just a faddish desire to play soprano. After all, it took me two cycles of selling altos to buy tenors before conceding I can't get on with the tenor.
It's probably the same as the constant turmoil most people are in over the quest for the 'right' mouthpiece.

Thanks
 
OP
A

AlanU

Member
Messages
624
Location
Enfield, North London
Thank you all for your input, much appreciated.

After much research on the net I decided on the Venus curved soprano, which arrived at my workplace this afternoon.
The feel is very solid and the finish is really good. There is no slack in the mechanism and no secondary action. Pretty good case too.

I had anticipated having to tweak the spring tension, but it feels just fine.
It blows comfortably all the way down, so no leaks anywhere, then.

Using the nasty plastic mouthpiece and reed provided it spoke readily straight out of the case. What a surprise!

And how sweetly it spoke.
I was expecting a lot of problems with intonation and possibly with tone, such as sounding shrill, honking or boxy. I found none of that.
What I found was an instrument that was eager to sing out, and it sang in tune.

This evening I played it for two hours straight and didn't want to put it down.
I can't get above top D, but hopefully that will be overcome with a better mouthpiece and a new improved soprano embouchure.

It is also very, very cute.


Anyone here with a decent mouthpiece they're not using, that they want to sell?

Thanks, Alan
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
Location
Sweden
Congratulation to your soprano. I'm sure you'll get your soprano to sing well. I think the mouthpiece is more important on the smaller saxes (sopranino, C-soprano and soprano). Selmer, Vandoren and Yanagisawa mpc's works well on most sopranos and in most situations. Good and "safe" buy. The Bari hardrubber is also a good mouthpiece. Of couse, as always Rico Royal Graftonite is a good buy for less money. The B5 (medium chamber and .060" tip opening) fits most players and sopranosaxes.

I have a Selmer D (round and straight chamber with .051" opening) classic metal sliverplated mouthpiece that I don't use. I thinks it gives you a round and more mellow tone comparing to a mpc with shaped chamber and baffle. I annoused it on the Yard Sale at the old Breakfastroom. Drop me an E-mail if you're interested.

I don't play soprano that much but my soprano weapon is a rebuilt Conn -25 with a Dukoff D6 mouthpiece. >:)

Thomas
 
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