Kessler Custom “Handmade One” Soprano Sax – Dark Lacquer
True One Piece Body | High G | Professional
Handmade One Soprano Sax Features
The Kessler Custom “Handmade One” soprano sax is just as the name implies, a completely handmade professional soprano sax. Built by a only 4 skilled artisan technicians, countless more hours are spent on each saxophone ensuring the best build quality with the lowest amount of stress in the construction. The techniques employed on the Handmade One models’ construction produce an instrument that has better vibration, response and tonal performance.
The “Handmade One” models feature a straight taper rather than a stepped bore used in most one piece models. Straight taper bores will usually feature a broader, more open tone. The downside is that if the bore is not designed right, this can also lead to an instrument with less pitch stability. Our One Piece body has been designed to offer the broader more open and keep stable intonation throughout.
Kessler Custom Handmade One Soprano Sax
Kessler Custom Handmade Soprano – One Piece vs. Dual Neck
The benefit of the one piece body used on our Handmade One resides in its straight taper bore. This provides a broader, more open tone that is a little darker than a dual neck model model will. Dual necks models do offer more ergonomic flexibility due to its ability to use a curved neck as they allow the player to hold the instrument closer to their body while still maintaining proper mouthpiece angle in to their mouth.
The downside to a dual neck model on our bore design is that they can tend to play tighter in the left hand and upper range of the soprano with a tone that is also a little brighter. So while we used to offer the Handmade in a Dual Neck, the response from players was overwhelming that the One Piece bore simply played with a bigger and richer tone. As a result, we decided to only continue production in the Handmade design with our One Piece bore as the Handmade Series is designed to maximize performance above all else.
Handmade Series Models/Finishes
The Kessler Custom Handmade Pro Soprano Saxophones are available in the following configurations:
Pisoni Pro Pads
Kessler Custom Handmade One soprano saxophones utilize the Pisoni Pro pads. These pads are the best leather pad available on the market today and are the same pads you will find on the Selmer Paris horns new. These pads are a firmer pad than typically found on most saxophones. In order to use these pads, a saxophone has to be manufactured to a much higher level of build with more precise toneholes. Once installed, these pads offer 2 major benefits:
When combined with the better tonehole manufacturing necessary to use the Pisoni Pro pad, these pads are more stable and less likely to develop little leaks. They also provide a much firmer feel to the mechanism of the sax.
Pads are made from leather and felt which serve as an acoustic dampener which is why saxophone pads use resonator discs. However, even with a resonator, your air column still comes in to contact with the leather and felt of the pad. With the firmer Pisoni Pro pad, you will have less acoustical dampening from the pad which yields better projection, response and power.
Typically, saxophones are made out of the alloy called “cartridge brass” (also known as “yellow brass”). While the exact formulation of brass can vary from vendors and suppliers, the typical formula is a brass that consists of 70% copper and 30% zinc. Our Handmade One Soprano Sax is made from “Red Brass” which consists of 85% copper and 15% zinc.
The extra 15% copper adds a little more mass to the alloy helping to produce a darker core tone. When combined with our professional bore and enhanced resonance from the Handmade construction, this alloy produces a wonderfully complex tone while maintaining excellent response and projection.
Is this the Right Soprano for You?
Soprano Saxophones are very misunderstood instruments. They are commonly considered more difficult to play than an alto or tenor saxophone.
In reality, the problem with soprano saxophone has more to do with how they are played rather than the soprano sax itself. Plainly put, you cannot play a soprano sax the same way you would an alto sax as they are not the same instrument! Dave Kessler wrote an article about this very issue and details:
- Why is soprano harder to play?
- How to choose a soprano
- How best to approach playing soprano
Take a moment and read the article here: Dave Kessler’s Music Blog – Choosing a Soprano Sax
Every soprano sax that we send out includes a copy of our “Soprano Sax Playing Tips Guide” that will help players achieve the best performance out of their soprano sax. You can also download a PDF copy of that guide by clicking here.
Every horn we send out to a customer is not released from us unless it has been completely setup in our shop first. This is because the setup on the horn is of the utmost importance! Sometimes, a saxophone (regardless of who the manufacturer or the price point is) comes in needing 20 minutes of adjustments and then the very next one can require 2 hours! So if you were to get 5 of the same model right out of the box, they will all play different which leads people to believe that they are “good” or “bad” saxes… but the reality is that the one that was the best out of the 5 was likely the one that needed the least amount of work and on the flip side, the “bad” sax was the one that needed 2 hours worth of adjustments!
Once the same 5 saxophones are properly regulated and adjusted to perfection, they become near identical saxophones that even the pickiest of players would be challenged to pick a true “favorite” horn. However, since most stores do not or even can not perform this setup, the player never knows this and is simply relying on the luck of the draw. This is why we perform our setup (in our www.SaxophoneRepairs.com ProShop) on them before delivering your new sax to you. You trust us with your purchase and we want to make sure that you are rewarded by giving you your ideal saxophone setup flawlessly!
|Bore||Professional French Style – One Piece Straight Tapered Bore|
|Body Material||Red Brass (85% copper), Vintage Dark Lacquer|
|Body Construction||Handmade, Hybrid Ribbed Body Construction|
|Pads||Pisoni Pro with Metal Domed Resonators|
|Range||Low Bb to High G|
|Finger Touches||Black Pearls|
|Mouthpiece||Kessler Custom Rubber (upgrades available)|
|Ligature||Rico H-Ligature in Gold Plate|
|Case||Kessler Custom Handmade Series Case|