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Saxophones Thomann C- Melody

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Locality
Teignmouth, Devon
Just seen that Thomann do a C-melody sax' and wondered if anyone out there had any experience of this instrument, perhaps vis-a-vis the Sakkusu?
 

richardr

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,742
Just seen that Thomann do a C-melody sax' and wondered if anyone out there had any experience of this instrument, perhaps vis-a-vis the Sakkusu?

I can't help you, Paul, but you've prompted me to get my old C-Mel out of its case where it's been languishing for months and have blow. It's a branded "Wurlitzer, America". Anyway, I've rediscovered why I don't play it often - my right hand is still tingling from the effort of reaching keys in places to which I'm unaccustomed and the exaggerated curve of its crook means I have to hold it far higher than is comfortable - it would be better with an alto-shaped crook. But what a sound it makes! Blowing it makes me feel like Lester Young, light and agile. (I'll stick to my dream rather than bring myself down to earth by recording myself and listening to the result.)

If modern C-Mels sound like mine, they ought to be selling like hot cakes.

One curiosity in the C-Mel box is an empty reed packet branded, Stock & Chapman Limited, 93 Oxford Road, Manchester 1. Does anyone remember them?
 

richardr

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,742

This is brilliant, a snippet of Manchester musical history. How much of a part have shops such as Stock & Chapman played in the development of our music? Thank you, Altissimo.

I fear that musical instrument shops are a dying species, this remark being prompted by the closure of Kimbers in Fareham. The problem is the internet: conventional shops simply can't match internet prices. How many of us have been round the shops, played their instruments, made our choice then bought online? I haven't but that's not a measure of virtue, it's simply that I can't bring myself to pay online. I need proper shops even if no-one else does.

I don't suppose there's much we can do to overcome the attraction of low prices online but maybe Cafe Saxophone ought to take notice of the shops we have left. I have two wonderfully quirky shops in Manchester, Forsyths and Johnny Roadhouse's, in mind. I know less about Dawsons but they're there as well. However I've rambled too much and maybe I should depart this thread in order to leave proper space for Paul's original question which seems to be unanswered
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,349
Locality
leicester
back to the original point, I get the feeling that the Thomann and other chinese C Melodies are all copies of the Aquilasax - http://www.aquilasax.com/C-melody_Tenor.php
I don't see individual chinese companies each developing their own c melody saxes any more than they do with their other generic Yamaha/Yanagisawa type saxes. Far easier to copy an existing instrument that's already being made out there than do all the work of designing a new one. There may be some minor variation from the Aquilasax design, I don't know if anyone has compared the Aquila, Sakkusu, Thomann or other modern C melodies side by side to see what the differences are, if any.
At least with a company like Thomann if there are any serious problems with it, they should take it back and exchange it or refund. There are cheapo C Melodies to be had on those dodgy looking websites like Alibaba, but you've no idea whether you'd get a playable instrument and with shipping costs and import duty probably not much cheaper than the Thomann.

a quick stroll through the german reviews on Thomann's website via Google translate seems to indicate that the intonation is pretty good, 2 people report the G Sharp key sticks a bit, one person finds the thumb rest uncomfortable, another doesn't like the left hand pinky table, the supplied mouthpiece may not be brilliant, but it's got a pleasant and sonorous tone.
Of course for £550 you could get a vintage c mel and get it overhauled, but it depends how much you like old vs new keywork and I get the feeling that modern C Melodies are more mouthpiece friendly. There's a some stuff on the Sakkusu somewhere on this forum

If anyone's interested in a Conn C Melody that needs repadding, give me a shout and I'll stick it in the yardsale
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,935
Locality
brighton by the sea
I can say from experience that sakkusus are very different from aquilas... I'm wrangling my kids at the mo but can go into specifics later if anyone wants further info.
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Locality
Teignmouth, Devon
Fascinating stuff here, and really helpful. I've sent for the Thomman and will post a review (if I can find out how to).
I've gone for a modern one in the hope that it's action won't give my wrist centred rheumatoid arthritis too many problems. I've had some nice old instruments in the past, including a Conn 10M which Griff refurbished superbly for me, but I just couldn't deal with the keywork.
I also hope that playing with the folkies off the same sheet of music will help my brain as I'm getting too old to transpose comfortably on the hoof. That way I can maybe reinvent myself as a folkie now that the jazz is drying up (sadly…..too many funerals nowadays)!
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Locality
Teignmouth, Devon
The Thomman arrived very promptly and extremely well packed today (ordered late Monday). Surprisingly it played really well straight out of the box. Even more surprisingly the Zinner m/piece sold with it plays effortlessly and well with a medium La Voz reed, the reverse of what I had been lead to expect. I'm not sure quite how the micro tuner is supposed to work. Perhaps someone can give me some guidance?
I don't know what I was expecting, but I'm feeling quite pleased and positive right now. I shall work it hard over the next few days and then do a mini review.
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
1,049
Locality
SW of London Town
The Thomman arrived very promptly and extremely well packed today (ordered late Monday). Surprisingly it played really well straight out of the box. Even more surprisingly the Zinner m/piece sold with it plays effortlessly and well with a medium La Voz reed, the reverse of what I had been lead to expect. I'm not sure quite how the micro tuner is supposed to work. Perhaps someone can give me some guidance?
I don't know what I was expecting, but I'm feeling quite pleased and positive right now. I shall work it hard over the next few days and then do a mini review.
Looking forward to the review, I have to say that I have never tried one but after seeing Soweto Kinch on one it made me curious , never heard one played in that style! I won't be looking for one though as I have enough satb to keep me busy!
M.
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
1,049
Locality
SW of London Town
Btw the micro tuner does the same as pushing or pulling the mouthpiece on/off the neck cork, the idea is that you shouldn't have to mess with mouthpiece once it's on the neck. In practice, most people just keep it fully tight and adjust the mouthpiece in the usual way. On old Conn saxes I heard that they tended to leak, so a lot of players packed them with grease and did not use them.
M.
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Locality
Teignmouth, Devon
I ordered the Thomman very late on the Monday before last and it arrived by courier on the Friday morning. Now, I've looked very carefully at the Sakussu review elsewhere on the forum, and believe the Thomman to be identical in every way. Since I agree with pretty well everything in the review already posted, there seems no point in writing another, so I will confine myself to a brief report!
It arrived very well packed and, to my surprise since I was anticipating a set-up trip to Griff, it played beautifully straight out of the box- in tune from top to bottom. Moreover, the included Zinner m/piece, which I read somewhere wasn't so good, in fact performs really well with a La Voz medium tenor reed…..another bonus! All of my alto m/p's also work well but my favourite is, unsurprisingly for me, my Yanagisawa 7 ebonite. Above all, despite some comments elsewhere, it has a good 'modern' sound without a single trace of a 'moo'!
I really cannot fault this instrument. Thomman (very helpful people) warned me that those with small hands may have problems, and as mentioned in the review, the side keys are a little out of the anticipated position, but this is not unsolvable. It looks good, bears decent engraving right down onto the lower bow, seems very well made and set up, and, interestingly, is around £540 including a good ebonite m/p. I'm over the moon with it!
Work it out!
Go compare!
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Locality
Teignmouth, Devon
Thanks Vixen. Incidentally, I tried to indicate in the Yard Sale that I no longer need a C-Melody, but the post seems to have already gone (or am I getting as daft as I suspect?).
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
27,228
Locality
Cheshire UK
Thanks Vixen. Incidentally, I tried to indicate in the Yard Sale that I no longer need a C-Melody, but the post seems to have already gone (or am I getting as daft as I suspect?).

I saw your post no. 9 and moved it here as you were sorted :)

Jx
 

BUlldog

New Member
Messages
3
Locality
UK
Paul are you still happy with the Thomann C Melody, I ask as I'm very tempted myself :)
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Locality
Teignmouth, Devon
Still seems fine. I have played a lot of folk music on this since buying it and my opinion hasn't changed at all. I still find the keyword rather clunky, but useable. It's no Yamaha, but will give a good sound and can play remarkably well throughout the range.
I now mostly use the included Zinner mouthpiece, having dressed it to overcome some inaccuracies with the reed table and side rails, and it gives a good consistent sound. (I have discovered that most m/p's at the cheaper end require this, and benefit hugely from it!)
 

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