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A review of the RAW XS alto by Stephen Howard...author of the Haynes Saxophone Manual
Some quick snippets:
"....Tonewise I feel the RAW achieves a remarkable balance between the lyrical qualities of the vintage era and the soulful edge of the contemporary, yet it does so with grace, poise and just the right amount of grit. It's also got that 'moreishness' thing going on that I found in the tenor - the sense that every time you pick it up, it has more to give"
"....In mechanical terms the killer feature of this horn is that it's fitted with proper point screws. Not silly pseudo points that only do half the job, or pointless (literally) parallel screws that do little more than hold the keys on - but proper, honest-to-goodness, no nonsense point screws.
What this means for me is that when the time comes to service the horn it'll be a great deal easier to take up the inevitable wear in the keys that pivot on these screws - and what that means for you, the player, is that the action feels more solid, slicker and responsive for longer, there'll be fewer wear-related leaks from the pads...and best of all, it'll cost you a lot less to have the action adjusted down the years. Proper point screws - everybody wins."
"....On the specs alone it's an impressive horn. The build quality, the setup and the whole package adds up to a very credible pro-quality instrument - and when you factor in the feel, the tone and the response I think it's fair to say that the RAW XS raises the standard for the 21st century alto."
Read the full review:http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Alto/tj_raw_alto.htm
The UK Music Industry Awards 2012
Nomination for Best Wind Instrument 2012
The Trevor James Signature Custom RAW saxophone
Please help by adding your vote to the growing support we are receiving by clicking http://tinyurl.com/ck9s8nl and visiting the Classic FM radio website page - The Signature Custom RAW saxophone is 7th down on the nomination list!
Many thanks to all or suportive saxophone players and teachers around the world who have already emailed us to to say they have voted for the Signature Custom and have wished us luck at the awards!.
Saxophone Upgrade Scheme (UK only)
It doesn’t matter what condition your saxophone is in or even if it’s actually playable, you can take your sax (any brand) in to one of the participating music shops listed below and use it to upgrade to a new Trevor James SR or Signature Custom RAW sax. In return for your instrument, you will receive £250 credit to be offset against a brand new SR or a SC saxophone.
Participating UK music shops
Sax.co.uk - Crowborough T: 01892 662533
Sax.co.uk – London T: 0207 8367172
Windstruments - Bingley T: 01274 510050
Windblowers - Nottingham T: 0115 941 0543
Windband - Shrewsbury T: 01743 367482
Richard Behrend - Liverpool T: 0151 733 2213
Crowthers - Canterbury T: 01227 763965
Allegro Music – Chelmsford T: 01245 283527
Allegro Music - West Cliff On Sea T: 01702 348476
Allegro Music - Colchester T: 01206 – 579886
A & C Hamilton - Preston T: 01772 722516
Forsyths - Manchester T: 0161 834 3281
Howarths - London T: 0207 935 2407
Woodwind & Reed - Cambridge T: 01223 500442
Brittens - Tunbridge Wells T: 01892 540611
Brittens - New Haw, Surrey T: 01932 351165
Windsection - Edinburgh T: 0131 556 6504
Minim Music - Kirbymoorside, York T: 017514 30707
Blue Note - Sheffield T: 0114 2303400
Curly Woodwind - Liverpool T: 0151 709 8383
Ken Stevens - Cambridge T: 01223 367758
Studio Saxes - Abergavenny T: 0187 3859966
Brittens Music - New Haw, Surrey T: 01932 351165
Brittens Music - Tunbridge Wells T: 01892 526659
ABC Music - Market Harborough T: 01858 463114
Woodwind Direct - Dereham, Norfolk T: 01362 688908
Fox UK Music - Grantham (Lincs) T: 01476 570700
John Packer - Taunton. T: 01823 282386
Hayes Music - Southampton. T: 02380-860889
Cy Music - T: 01962-820344
Music Room / Banks - York. T: 01904 658836
Wessex Music - Sherbourne (Dorset). T:01935 816960
East Coast Wind - Hornchurch (Essex). T: 01708 446644
Jonathan Myall Music - Croydon T: 0208 662 8400
With saxophonist Andy Brush, who will be on hand for demos and to offer advice on choosing your next upgrade saxophone.
**Featuring the exciting and much talked about Signature Custom 'RAW' saxophone
"a monster sax" .....Andy Shepard
"its' not just a good horn, it's a great horn - and for the price, you'd have to be insane not to try one before buying anything else!" ....Stephen Howard - Author of the Haynes Saxophone Manual
Upgrade Day Schedule for April and May 2012
21st April Howarth’s of London T: 0207 935 2407
4th May Windblowers of Nottngham T: 0115 941 0543
5th May Curly Music - Liverpool T: 0151 709 8383
25th May Jonathan Myall - CroydonT: 0208 662 8400
7th June JG Windows - Newcastle T: 0191 232 1356
Why the need for the Alphasax™?
As one of the World’s leading woodwind designers and distributors, Trevor James have over the years been consistently receiving comments from shops, parents and teachers about the problems facing a new and younger generation of players wanting to learn the saxophone. On further investigation they found that the major issues preventing the smaller and younger player from starting the instrument was the weight implications of (a) the instrument (b) outfit in carry case along with key positioning for the smaller hands.
I don’t really get where the Alphasax™ and the standard design alto saxophone fit?
Pretty simple really, if you are too small to begin to learn on the standard alto saxophone then the Alphasax™ is for you! The Alphasax™ is not designed to take the place of the normal alto instrument, but is solely designed to enable the younger player who really wants to learn, to play now rather than have to wait until they grow!
O.K so what happens when I grow?
As the Alphasax™ has a full two octave chromatic facility using established saxophone finger positioning; you will already have had a ‘heads up’ advantage by starting to play the saxophone at a much earlier age than usual sax players. When your teacher feels that you are able to carry the full weight of the standard alto saxophone, or you require an instrument that can play below Low C or higher than D in the second octave, then you will make the natural move over to a standard design alto saxophone.
How long will I need to be on the Alphasax™?
Well again it depends on you and your teacher. The instrument has been designed to take you up to AB Grade 3 so unless you grow really quickly, you will be fine with the Alphasax™ for a couple of years in which time you will be able to then transfer easily to a standard alto saxophone.
Will the transition from the Alphasax™ to a traditional alto later on prove difficult – something else to learn?
The finger positions on the Alphasax™ are more compact to reflect smaller hands. As hands grow larger, the ergonomics of the standard alto saxophone will enable a smooth transition.
Will my teacher be able to teach me using standard tutor books and will I be able to learn alongside somebody playing a traditional alto sax?
The Alphasax™ is in the key of Eb which is the same as the traditional alto sax. The innovative new mechanism has enabled us to maintain the finger positioning of a traditional alto saxophone, so you will be able to use the standard tutor books and happily learn alongside others.
Why has the D Key / palm key been left on the Alphasax™?
The original instrument prototypes were designed without a D key/palm key which gave the saxophone a two octave chromatic range. Teachers and Music Education Authorities in the UK asked for the key to be reintroduced it as it enables the younger player to progress to AB Grade 3 standard. Without the key they would be able to reach AB Grade 2 only.
How is the Design of the Alphasax Different?
The new Alphasax™ is based around the original body tube of the multi Award winning Trevor James Horn alto saxophone with redesigned mechanism and tone hole positioning. This ensures that we meet the weight and finger positioning issues of the younger player whilst maintaining the excellent tonal characteristics contained within a Trevor James saxophone body.
Key and Mechanism Detail – the differences with a standard alto sax?
· The left hand palm keys for top D#, E and F have been removed.
· The top D key has been adjusted to fit small hands.
· The low B & Bb keys have been removed.
· Redesigned G# and low C# keys are now easier to reach.
· The right hand side F# keys and side C key have been removed.
· Redesigned low D# and C keys are now easier to reach.
· The Alphasax™ retains a fully chromatic range from low C to high D.
· Bb bis and side Bb keys are retained
Do you suggest I use a harness instead of a neckstrap?
Both have their benefits. The answer should be based on your teacher recommendation as it is important that you have correct weight distribution when playing. If you are using a neck strap then it is important that the length is correct and not too long or short. If you are unsure then take advice from your saxophone teacher or your specialist saxophone retailer.
The tone hole at the back of the bell - I presume that this is for tuning / venting?
As the instrument plays down to low C and not to Bb the full bell is not strictly required. In order to keep the shape and integrity of the sax, the bell has been kept intact but vented in low C through the specifically shaped tone hole.
How much does the instrument weigh?At only 1.86kg in weight the revolutionary Alphasax ™ saxophone is 33% lighter than the traditional alto saxophone.
I presume that the case is also light?
A new lightweight (1.48kg) moulded case with backpack straps is included along with a padded neck strap, mouthpiece, cap and single screw ligature. A Vandoren reed completes the package.
The Alphasax™ weighs only 3.34kg in its carry case - a stunning 46% lighter than the standard alto saxophone!!