Thomann CMS-600 S C- Melody Sax

Saxophone

  • Completely silver-plated
  • Neck with tuning screw for fine adjustments
  • High F# key, rocker, adjustable thumb rest made of metal
  • Pad with metal resonators
  • Zinner 62C Ebonite 4 C- Melody tenor saxophone mouthpiece tip nr. 4 (played with tenor saxophone reeds)
  • Incl. Saxophone strap and light case with backpack straps
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  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Traditional

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Pretty Remarkable Horn

14.02.2017
I've been playing in arty little dance and improvising bands for 40 years , mostly alto and tenor . Until recently it never occurred to me to consider a C-melody sax . I became interested in acquiring one primarily because I am so slow at transposition and a lot of music I want to learn is written for instruments in C . What does a C-melody sound and feel like? This CMS-600 S C-melody with the right mouthpiece has a very compelling and supple sound to my ear . It is also a beautiful and solidly built horn . Thomas provides a very good mouthpiece which I will use but I'm also enjoying playing with a Morgan C5 immensely . Before I bought this horn I acquired a newly manufactured unbranded C melody from China which has very good intonation and sound as well as quite decent playability BUT the clunkiest octave mechanism I've ever tried to work with . I immediately started searching for a more modern design . The CMS-600 S C-melody 's octave key works great !! My main " complaint " about this horn is that if you don't have large hands / long fingers you have to do some serious stretching and quick repositioning on many occasions ( playing high E , F and low B , B flat ) Though I wish it was designed more like my P. Mauriat alto and tenor , key layout wise , I am getting used to it and do love its significantly strong sound. Already my band is arranging and composing material to incorporate its distinct voice
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Thomann CMS-600 S C- Melody Sax - first impressions

Sgeir, 31.10.2018
I usually play Bb tenor or Eb alto with jazz musicians, but do occasionally enjoy playing with blues or rock musicians who tend to play in keys that suit the guitar, like E and A major. For alto players, the guitar key of E major has to be transposed into C# major with seven sharps, or, on tenor, F# major with six sharps

Now, playing seven sharps can be managed but it is a bit of a challenge particularly in fast tempi and improvised solos, hence the attraction of a C-melody sax.

C-melody saxes were very popular in the 1920s and can often be found for sale on eBay, particularly in the United States. There are some very good instruments available, but the downsides to buying one this way are that the instrument pitch may not be aligned with today?s 440 tunings, there will be increased shipping charges to Europe, and very little consumer protection if you?ve been unfortunate enough to buy a dud.

I looked at other modern various offerings mainly from China, but decided to go for the instrument retailed by Thomann because they have to maintain their reputation with good quality control and with European consumer protection.

The instrument came in a lightweight case with shoulder straps. I like the lightness of the case but it?s perhaps not very sturdy ? only time will tell. There is an outer panel on the case, but it is not terribly useful as it is too small to carry music scores or, say, a lightweight stand; a larger outer pocket would be useful. Inside the case is the saxophone, neck and Zinner 62C Ebonite 4C mouthpiece with ligature and guard, as well as two No2 Thomann also reeds, a neck strap, a pad saver (love them or hate them?), a cleaning cloth and a pair of white cotton gloves. Three of the lower keys came with removable plastic inserts to protect them during transit.

Once assembled, how does it sound? Well,I didn?t expect it to sound like a Selmer VI, but once I had swapped the Zinner mouthpiece for an alto metal No7 with strength 2.5 and 3 reeds, I found that I was getting a good free-flowing sound throughout the range except perhaps with top G which is a bit shrill. However, I?m pleased with the overall sound which (dependent upon the mouthpiece chosen) is suitable for everything from classical through jazz to blues.

Getting the best mouthpiece/reed combination is a matter of personal choice but I really did not like the Zinner which had an excessively warm (to the point of being muffled) sound in the middle range. I found it difficult above top D and impossible at the low B/Bb. I tried harder alto reeds which made little difference, as well as tenor reeds which did not fit at all well. The Zinner 4C with a #2 reed might suit some people but I?d strongly suggest that people try other combinations. Alto mouthpieces seem to fit the neck.

The neck has a tuning mechanism which I?ve not seen before. That seems to work well enough and I assume that it was designed to accommodate and fine tune (alto) mouthpieces with different characteristics. The corked end of the crook does feel slightly loose but that does not seem to affect the sound. From a health point of view, I expect that the tuning mechanism could be a breeding ground for germs and should be cleaned regularly.

How does it feel? I agree with comments in other reviews that the key layout and spacing is not ideal. For the left hand, location and layout of the keys for the little finger are awkward, particularly for the bottom Bb. With the right hand, the thumb rest seems rather low down compared with the side levers for Bb and C. Ideally all the side levers should be within easy reach.

In summary, yes, there are issues about key layout and getting a suitable mouthpiece, but it makes a decent sound and does what it says on the tin. I have no regrets about purchasing the Thomann CMS-600 S C- Melody Sax.

It also looks good.
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