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pretty pictures of a gold-plated Couf Superba I

With my up end Conn gold-plated alto, the original appearance was horrible, a gummy, yellow-brown mess of an instrument that I only bought because of the unusual engraving. When I took it to the shop that does my instrument recovery, I asked the woodwind guy (Marvin) if all of the dents would come out cleanly. We walked over to Bill, the brass guy, in his smelly domain and asked the same question again.

Bill said that all of the dents would come out cleanly, and then, innocently, asked if I wanted to keep the gold plating. A light buffing of the damaged plating on the back of the instrument revealed the bare brass, the underlying silver plate, and the "top coat" of the lustrous gold plating.

I was tempted to go to the original finish, but the extra cost wasn't in the budget, so I opted for silver (which looks almost as spectacular).
My old Superba II had a better sound than my old Mark VI - at least for the kind of music I play (pop/rock/blues). I loved that horn.

And that is one beeeeeaaaaauuuuuutiful Superba I in the picture.

Notes ♫
FYI, per Anderson's website they do 24k plating

my Couf Superba 1 tenor isn't too shabby looking either. Got it from G-

sounds as good as it looks too
Thanks Steve. Somehow I couldn't justify keeping a third set of alto/tenor twins. With Suzy and me both having a set of Selmer Ref's. It just doesn't make sense. I am however saving Kessler alto/tenor for the grandkids.
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I just bought a very lovely Toneking stencil (Jubilee) circa 1957, serial 29XXX. I bought it from the original owner who babied it, but did make a couple of minor changes that I will get my tech to undo. Unfortunately the Lucite angel wing had to be replaced at one time, but the Plexiglas one that the owner made is very good looking. I am going to get a Keilwerth metal guard however, from Germany.

I know everyone says these horns are dark, and I expected it to be, but this horn is not. My Max Keilwerth--Hohner President--now that's a dark horn, but this guy... This is not a dark horn. It has quite rich in overtones and has a particular something in its sound that none of my other tenors, including a kick ass Mark VI, and a killer Zephyr that replaced my VI as my main axe, don't have. Once I get the JK tweaked by my tech, and the metal guard installed, I plan to use this as my main horn.

It projects extremely well, and the sound guys love the way it comes through easily. I have no problem cutting through the "noise" of the electric instruments on stage. Not sure exactly why. I love the overtones, and the ease with which the altissimo notes speak.

I had a chance to play Gandalfe's Couf a couple of years ago, and really quite liked it. Steve, you beat me to it though... :emoji_rage: This Toneking however, is a very different animal. This JK is unlike any I've played before. I've not played any from this particular serial range before, so I don't know if it's a one of, or if they all tend to sound this way. In any event, it's the sound I've heard in my head, that this horn allows me to produce.
What I really like about my new horn is that is so extremely versatile, and can produce that smokey jazz sound when I want it to. Then it just kicks over with ease into something totally different. Like I say, it a very different animal to anything I've ever played before.

I've had the horn for just over a month now, and I've now figured out most of its nuances. I don't think I've ever played a horn as versatile. My only complaint: the placement of the high F# key. It is just outright weird. I'm not used to using one, so I still play without it anyway, but I sometimes accidentally hit it when I don't want to, because it is so high next to the high E key.
I really like older Keilwerths. My alto is a 1930s New King I. I own a New King II alto (soldered and beveled toneholes! what gives!) but have not put it together yet. From what little I have heard, the series II is supposed to be an excellent horn. Yours is a New King III tenor, which is different from the Couf (New King IV).

Helen, that replacement keyguard is the best-looking home/shop job I've seen. Usually those horns seem to fall afoul of someone with excess rebar they need to use, or perhaps a carpenter's square.
The previous owner made the replacement Plexiglas angel wing himself. He is a very crafty guy.

Since it's been a little over 2 years since I played Gandalfe's former--Steve's new--Couf, I can't remember the nuances of it exactly. I do however, remember it being much darker (less overtones present) and in general "smokier" overall than this Series III Toneking.

I do use a bright set-up: a vintage Dukoff S7, Legere Signature Series 2 1/4 reeds, with a Rovner lig fastened with pressure towards the reed tip for maximum brightness. (I also think "bright" when I play. ;-) )

I have been tempted to take the sax to Sarge to get it restored completely. I know he is a Keilwerth fan, so there is a chance he has a Series III in his personal collection. I would be curious to compare mine to another Series III to see how different it is.
BTW, here's the patent for the Keilwerth "angel wing" keyguard.

My opinion about Keilwerth is, essentially, that they're extremely well made and are more than a match for other pro horns of the same time period.

I've more-or-less argued that pre-WWII Keilwerths are a variation on Kohlert's horns and Kohlerts were a variation on a Conn design (remember that Kohlert had an F alto, too, before you argue against this). Post-WWII, there was the brief experiment with variations on Martin designs, complete with beveled toneholes. After that, it's back to perfecting a Conn design. Hey, I took a look over Keilwerth's patents. There ain't much and nothing at all until 1955. Not that there's anything wrong with trying to improve on a good design.
And if Sarge is too busy, you could ship it to NC :)

If you were closer, I wouldn't hesitate taking my horn to you Matt. Sarge is less than a 2 hour drive down the I5 though... You can't beat that. I don't know what I'm going to do if/when he ever retires. :confused:

BTW, here's the patent for the Keilwerth "angel wing" keyguard.

What a great find Pete.

I love the way you have all the European patent sites bookmarked. I can never find them, and when I do find them, I can never find anything in them. Yes, despite being able to read German. Sad, huh. Most of them appear to be in French...:tongue:
One of the really fun things about the patents that Keilwerth submitted in Germany is that they look to be written on Keilwerth stationery. That's kinda kewl, right there.

You're welcome, re: patents. There might be some measurements in that patent: I can't read German.

Speaking of patents, I found the Espace patent website several years ago. It's great because it's worldwide. Mind you, some of the patent databases it interacts with aren't really old -- for example, you're not going to find Adolphe Sax patents -- but, IIRC, their US database goes back to the 1780s.
When I did my patent search for my pro se patent back in the day, the search was entirely manual. You had the early computerized database that would give you the numbers of patents that had referenced the previous patents, and that were in your sub classification, but from there you had to manually look up each of those to research it and determine if yours was based upon the "prior art".

I had patents in my area that dated back to the earliest days of the republic, and in order to find a specific patent number, had to scan past thousands of others. While normally I only looked at the number, occasionally a first page index drawing would catch my eye and we (my then girl friend, now wife) would look one over in depth.

Among others that we noticed, there were two "improved" saddles for cavalry and artillery, submitted by George McClelland and Samuel Ringgold (a Mexican War hero who literally got his fool head blown off), the design for a sword frog (carrying sling) for cavalry swords filed by J.E.B. Stuart, patents by Edison's patent laboratory, and a ton of design patents (which only cover appearance, not the novelty of a thing) too numerous to mention. (As examples here, there was the Lowry design for the Pennsylvania Railroad's massive GG-1 electric locomotive and a GM design for a 1950's Buick.)

Reading through the patent mass is an education in and of itself. And now, with the patents available online, anyone can do it for free from the comforts of home.
There are no measurements in the patent Pete. What you see there with regards to the numbers (2 or 3), are references to the number of wire or metal key guards that this 1 "Plexiglas, or other artificial material", (their words translated) replaces. I didn't see any other numbers of significance. Where are you thinking Pete?

Sections of it are so blurry, that it's very hard to read. It might make an interesting blog post though. Interestingly enough, the patent office allows use of these docs, so they can be posted and translated, as long as credit to their office is given... And the link doesn't open up in a frame. Who uses frames anymore? I think this speaks to when they first wrote their legal blurb. ;-)
There are no measurements in the patent Pete. What you see there with regards to the numbers (2 or 3), are references to the number of wire or metal key guards that this 1 "Plexiglas, or other artificial material", (their words translated) replaces. I didn't see any other numbers of significance. Where are you thinking Pete?
Because I can't read German, I also can't count in German -- except for NINE. They seem to have this fixation with that number. I bet ... wait. What? It doesn't mean the number nine? But it sounds like .... Nevermind!

Anyhow, I think I've seen one or two patents that have specific measurements, but I've looked at mainly French and American patents. Couple of Japanese ones, which I can't make out very well (I can recognize written Japanese numbers up to 13, I think, and I can understand some Japanese written in Romanji. I also can speak a few words and understand some). Maybe one or two other German patents. Every country seems to have a "style" regarding how patents are made. It would be extremely nice if the patent did have exact measurements. However, I was watching Top Gear the other night and heard an offhand comment regarding "plastic"-bodied cars: the dimensions were ordered a bit bigger because the "plastic" would shrink during the assembly process. While I'm relatively sure that "plastic" was being used for "fiberglass," you never can be sure.
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