Antigua Pro Alto Pro 1 Saxophones
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Antigua Winds (as they used to be known) have been making quality ‘intermediate’ level saxes for many years and this move up to the pro market has been eagerly anticipated by both players and pundits alike, but there’s some heavyweight competition from the likes of Mauriat and Conn at this price point.
Solidly built, the Pro 1 has the Antigua stamp of quality craftsmanship written all over it, from the Pisoni pads and the Peter Ponzol designed neck to the ‘hybrid’ rolled tone holes, which provide better contact on the lowest five bell keys. There are also a couple of interesting design details. The G sharp mechanism has a substantial ‘anti-flutter’ spring/ bar configuration similar to that of the Keilwerth SX90 and the side keys are set in a higher position that reflects the design of the Selmer Super 80 (not to every player’s taste!).
Setting up with a Rousseau JDX7 mouthpiece the Pro 1 had excellent intonation and a good dynamic range with an action that all but allowed the instrument to play itself. Much is made of the Vintage Reserve Alloy body material which is said to replicate the metallurgy and grain structure of the post war French saxophones – i.e. Selmer. The Pro 1 certainly has a warm, full, centered and well focussed sound and when required can deliver quite a bright tone with a defined edge. But it’s not exactly that rich, distinctive sound with the projection of a late-1940s/ early-50s Super Balanced Action.
Packed into a stylish semi-rigid, padded, shaped case covered in the highest quality 600 denier ballistic nylon with one small and one large outside pocket, hideaway back pack straps and a padded back cushion, it will be interesting to see if the Antigua Pro range proves to be as popular as it’s immediate competitors – or for that matter – its cheaper ‘intermediate’ stablemates. For more go to www.bandm.co.uk