Orpheo Pro Model 301-BB Series Tenor
If anyone has been reading the comments in the Whatever happened to April ..?? post will have noticed that I recently purchased an Orpheo Pro Model 301-BB Series Tenor Sax from Noteworthy Music - listed at a BIN of $699, but I had my slightly cheeky offer of $500 accepted literally within minutes.
I was a little concerned to see that they then seemed to stop selling them, despite having shown “more than ten available” on the original eBay listing. However I feel even happier about it now, as the eBay listing has just reappeared with a higher BIN of $799 !
The only other misgivings I had about Noteworthy - apart from the sax being so cheap - was some bad comments/feedback about not being very quick to answer emails, and some confusion because their default checkout system (Kyozou) doesn’t seem to recognise non-USA buyers, necessitating a request for a manual PayPal invoice. When Kyozou started chasing me up for a payment that had already gone thro’ PayPal, I took the sensible route and made a quick telephone call to their Customer Service in San Antonio, Texas, where I instantly got thro’ to a very helpful lady called Gloria Carrasco.
I was quite impressed that Gloria recognised my name, and told me that she’d just processed my order, and that the sax would be shipped out today – even supplied the CP…US number from the Customs Form so that I could track it. So, I formally declare this saxophone topic now “open”, and will wait with eager anticipation until it arrives. You can follow the trials and tribulations here. Only downside is, Noteworthy being a business, I couldn’t really ask the normal ‘$50/gift’ question – but I’d like it to have a real valuation in case of problems – and I don’t mind paying the odd bit of duty/VAT, it’s not often I get stung. Over the years I seem to have been quite lucky… :) And, with the just-increased BIN of $799, my offer seems to have saved me $299, instead of my original $199 – it gets better by the day !
So I’ve been putting in a little time on my old Martin stencil tenor, and checking out which mouthpieces might suit it best. Probably a bit premature, as the old (30′s) Martin tenor still has mostly rivet pads, and the Orpheo (that’s “Or-fay-ohh“…) will probably naturally come up quite a bit brighter with modern reflectors. Annoying thing is that my old Couf J10*S – plus the usual Rico Royal #3 – now lets me hit altissimo G3 right on the button, solid as a rock, with the front-F + side-Bb fingering – do you think the old tenor senses something and has stopped playing ‘hard to get’ ? Or maybe grappling with C’s has made Bb tenor playing a doddle ? Whatever, the Coufs still seems to be giving my three Lawton’s a good run for their money – but let’s see how they all respond with the new sax, if and when… I have to say, feels good with a Bb tenor under my fingers again ! Keeping those fingers crossed, this is the bit I hate, the shipping time