Celeste and Eclipse comparison.
The New "Eclipse" model keyed to high F#
Note there is a small price rise for some to cover increased cost of precius metals used in plating.
Celeste ii. Available in satin silver, gold lacquer, bare brass and nickel silver
Eclipse C soprano Now fielding Black with nickel silver, Black with gold, gold lacquer and satin silver with gold keys.
2010 we now have hard rubber mpcs with short shanks with two different baffle arrangements tho both small rail baffles.
I bought a Buescher curved Bb soprano some years ago, mostly as a travel companion. I got a Rico B5 plastic mouthpiece with it. The mpc didn’t seem to have that sparkle I was looking for and having limited funds, I bought a Yamaha 4C to try and improve it.
The 4C did little to the tone but threw the intonation out. Flattened open C# enough to make it unplayable with a piano.
When I recently bought a Wurlitzer (Buescher stencil) C soprano without a mouthpiece, I had this experience and those mouthpieces to try on it as well as the new Aquilasax mpcs, one plastic and one metal.
The Rico doesn’t fit the C sop. It’s too long! The Aquilasax plastic is also too big!The Yamaha 4C seems to work well on the C sop except for middle C (bell) which is sharp but the rest are good.
Then I tried the Aquilasax soprano Metalpro C # 5. Perfect!
Not an appreciable difference in all the notes and the tone is what I was looking for in the old Bb.
2010 we now have hard rubber mpcs with short shanks with two different baffle arrangements tho both small rail baffles.https://aquilasax.3dcartstores.com/Soprano-mouthpieces_c_18.html
Some of the larger chambered short Bb soprano mpcs have proven too big for C sopranos and we are currently getting specialized C soprano mpcs made. The new C+ and CO+ Metalpros are smaller chambered and better suited to C sopranos. May not play well on Bb sops.
C sopranos have gained an unearned reputation over the years of being inherently out of tune. There are several factors working against them. Smaller saxophones are more sensitive to changes in embouchure and mouthpiece and reed etc. Sopraninos are very scary!
If you buy a new or a vintage C soprano, check the instrument is set up with correct clearances on the tone holes and venting. Some younger techs may not know how to do this correctly.
Its not likely that it will play out of tune because of poor manufacturing.
Then check the mpc and your mouth for the rest!
Bb mouthpieces have larger chamber volume than C sopranos require and so don't work well.
Our "C" mouthpiece range are Bb mouthpeices with shorter shanks. This enables them to be pushed further on without fowling the octave key. Pushing further on reduces length and volume enough to play in tune .
We now have new C+ and CO+ mpcs dedicated to C sopranos.
We have also begun to stock Runyon soprano mpcs which have been used successfully on C sopranos.
New C soprano Aquilasax "Celeste" model in bare brass with hard rubber
Aquilasax Co mouthpiece and reed.
Playing a jazz doodle by Paul M.
Classical style sound sample
Folk style sound sample
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I have already try it a lot and I can say that it's a really good sax.
I love particularly the sound that is warm and soft.
The quality is really good and finitions too.
I will save money and after I would like to buy a bass sax. Hope I can do that as soon as possible.
Thank you very much.
I got the C-soprano in my hand Sunday afternoon
I give you a revue of my first impressions after 2 days of playing and testing.
1. The little sax is very good in all the metalwork also in small details The black finnish is wonderful !"
2. After adjustments, I found the sax with open sound in all the registers and a powerful sound too!
3. The metal mouthpiece Too big no. 7 tip....should be not more 5 to 6, but the major problem is the intonation with that
mouthpiece. The notes C and C# in the middle is too low ! I use a Selmer S90
no. 190 or a SBV from Taiwan no. 5 which gives a much better intontion. Can be compensated when you know about it during playing.
4. What is very important: The mouthpiece should be placed very near the small octave-key at the top.
Otherwise the intonation will be worse. That is valid for all saxes when the cork is new and you need a lot of power to get mouthpiece in the right position. If not in position, intonation will spoil the saxophone, and customer thinks something is wrong with the sax.
I want to try to play the sax replacing an oboe sometime. The sound is not very far from an oboe.
Conclusion: A funny little sax with a brilliant sound to surprise some of my fellow musicians !
I thankyou again Steve, for giving me such a nice price, and organizing the delivery to Sweden.
Best Regards from Goran in Stockholm.
Just to let you know that my C-Soprano has now arrived.
Looked like it had a bit of a rough journey. The outer packaging was undamaged and intact but most of the polystyrene foam packing inside was pretty knocked about with bits everywhere. On opening the inner box and removing the saxophone case, the first thing I noticed was a case foot lying in the bottom of the box.
On opening the case the sax was totally intact and undamaged but on a first trial play, the Bb bis key wasn't closing properly when using alternative fingering. A simple adjustment of the regulation screw immediately sorted that. A second test play showed up a problem with the octave mechanism.
That took considerably longer to find. Everything above top G just wasn't working properly as both vent keys were opening (or more accurately, half opening) at the same time. After a great deal of head-scratching I eventually discovered, where the upper octave vent mechanism slides against its operating pin, the pin's plastic sleeve was just a little bit sticky, causing it to bind. Passing a piece of pad paper between the two effected an immediate cure. I suspect that over time the problem may possibly re-occur but at least I'll know exactly what to look for.
The instrument now plays perfectly.
My initial impression, having sorted those minor teething problems, is that it both sounds and plays every bit as well as my Bb soprano. A really excellent instrument. Many thanks.
I have an associate who is also considering a C-Soprano. I would have no hesitation in recommending he go ahead.
PS I agree wholeheartedly with the comment on your web page regarding sopraninos being scary, mine frightens me to death, and the little Eb clarinet is equally scary.
thank you soooo much!
Got the runyon mpcs and it works perfect! Really the sound is great and soft, only I´ve to work on the ligature, cause when you really play its not working. (loose)
But the mouthpiece is ecxellent!!!!!!!
Thank you for your time, patience, trust and service :-)
The music video that I promised will follow!
All the best,
sorry that I´m wiritng so late, but I was on holidays, and my new sax came right before I travelled :-)
It was incredible that it only lastet 16 days that my instrument reached Austria. And I´m really happy with my choice.
The instrument ist in a really good shape and the mechanic is working very well. The only point that I´m still fighting with is the Mouthpiece.
With your Mouthpieces the sound is very very sharp and nasal and hard to control, specially the low tones. And at first I thought that thats the sound of the sax. But a friend of mine is building saxes by himself and he testplayed it with some special mouthpieces and the sound then is totally different.
So now I´m searching for the right mouthpiece, so that the sound gets softer :-)
But I promise, as soon as I have the right one I´m going to write my experiences to you and send a video playing some austrian music :-). I´ve already some great tips (from mike blue and others) what mouthpieces I should try out!
Thank you a lot for your god service and the fast sending of my instrument! I hope to visit you someday....and we´ll see how many of my freinds are also going to order your instruments :-)
All the best from Austria,
I'm delighted to finally have a C soprano with modern ergonomics! Thankyou Steve and all your team for making this a reality. I love C instruments… after all i'd rather SEE than BE FLAT any day… and it's a credit to Aquilasax that you are the only modern sax maker that has Ceen the light!!
Now, to my Celeste ii. My initial experience of the look, feel and tone of the instrument was good for me, but I had some tone issues that needed working out. Middle C and C# was flat; low Bb, B and C played sharp and upper E and G didn't play too well. I realised that the little top pad was sticking down. Blotting paper and some talc powder solved this - making middle C# in tune. A very tight embouchure has brought middle C to in tune and mostly solved upper E and G problems, and a loose embouchure on the low notes has flattened them sufficiently. I bought the new Metalpro CO MP and #2 reeds (as I'm going for a quiet sound to not overpower my accoustic singer/guitarist wife) It seems like a good mouthpiece, but I am surprised that it sits 12mm above the bottom of the cork for the best overall tuning position. I've needed to add some tape to make the MP fit tight. I'm curious to see how other MPs and reeds perform with it in the future. (I've noticed the other reviews in this regard)
Overall, I'm looking forward to mastering this little instrument. I think it's going to be a well used and loved part of my musical life.
Do you sell a gig bag for it?
Anyway, feel free to publish the best from here, and a 4 star rating.
i have been playing the c-soprano everyday and it plays wonderfully. i am using a regular b-flat soprano mouthpiece and it is a great fit. i am using a b-flat mouthpiece made by bill street out of gorham ,maine. it a 7-jazz opening. i also tried a selmer b-flat soprano mouthpiece which also worked well. the horn plays in tune very well and was also played well right out of the box. this is a very good quality instrument for a reasonable price. i would recommend aquilasax to a friend without reservation. i will be letting my friends know that you are a quality company to do business with.
The C Saxophone came in good time and perfect working order, I play a C.G Conn 1923 vintage in C, Now I am playing my new Sax it sounds and play perfect, The sound is so sweet and you feel like you are playing in the twenties with the music from that era, The action is so smooth and precise, the intonation is also very good through the lower register, up the octave is also good, Have not mastered above the bridge yet but in time I am sure it will play just as good. Thank you so much for putting the soprano C back on the market and I will definitely purchase the new improved C soprano when it comes out.
C-Soprano has arrived. Thank you so much. I managed to get it through the customs somehow (tax was calculated by comparing to similar instruments). As you might have seen I’ve already done a vid with the C-Sop. Its a fine instrument and I noticed no tuning issues. Its rather more in tune than most Bb-Sops I played through the years. I think I will get accustomed to it very soon.
I received the c soprano sax. yesterday. I am happy with it performance. I've got settled with the rubber mouthpiece that came with it and Lazarro reeds. It plays in tune with my set up but I have to work with it to get it's maximum performance. It has a beautiful sweet sound using Lazarro reeds # 3.5. Your reeds I haven't worked with yet. I am a clarinet player but have played some Bb sop. sax before.
The metal mouthpiece works great with the same reeds. I'm taking it to church with us in the morning as I have been playing the oboe part on a c clarinet for a couple of years now. The sop.sax sounds more like an oboe than a c clarinet does.
Our music director is a symphonic orchestras type person who would rather not have saxes so for me to be playing the sop sax for the oboe part you could almost call a privilege.
I'm happy with the sop sax as it plays in tune and the price was good.
The Celeste ii arrived yesterday. After some experiments with mouthpieces I got it playing really well. For me, the Vandoren S35 seems best all round, especially for intonation at the top of the lower register. Nice tone too, which surprised me as this m/p always sounds rather dull on my old Buescher Trutone.
Many thanks for prompt delivery of such an interesting addition to my collection of instruments.
Has anyone expressed interest in a C baritone/bass instrument? Seems to me that C sop(s), tenor(s) and bass would make for a great trio/quartet/choir, especially for beginners. And the bass wouldn't be quite so unwieldy as the existing Bb instruments.