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Cannonball Stone Series Baritone Sax

Last modified 09/12/08

 

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Cannonball has not compromised their commitment to making the best looking saxophones on the market with the Stone Series Baritone.† Sporting a beautiful finish and inlaid semi precious stones, this horn is the best looking Bari sax on the market today.† Itís also available in other finishes ó see them all at†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 Construction, look & feel

The horn is much lighter than I expected it to be ó certainly lighter than my Yamaha.† The action is good with the exception of the low A mechanism.† These are always a challenge for Bari manufacturers because there are so many big heavy pads to move with one key.† Even so, the Yamaha YBS-62ís low A key has a little better action.† The neck joint is very solid and has a nice metal plug to keep it true.† A unique feature on this horn is the keyguard on the top

of the horn to protect the high F & F# keys.† I have not seen this before and I think itís a good idea considering the beating that a Bari sax takes in the hands of a student.† The sax has good quality pads with nickel resonators on every key.† The key layout suits my hands well ó certainly better than the ergonomic layout on the Hollywood Winds S80-L, but a lot of players may prefer the feel of the S80-L.

 Sound

This sax gets a nice fat Bari sound.† Not as big as my Yamaha, but bigger than the Hollywood Winds S80-L.† I found no appreciable difference between the two necks provided, which is a switch from my experiences with the Cannonball Stone Series Alto and the Stone Series Tenor.† Hereís a soundbyte of me playing this horn (my setup is a Berg Larsen 120/0 with a Rico Royal 3.5 reed)

Listen to the Cannonball Stone Series Bari

Hereís the same lick played on my Yamaha YS-62 Bari (same mouthpiece & reed setup)

Listen to SaxophoneManís Yamaha YS-62 Bari

Itís easy to hear the slightly brassier sound and smoother transition between pitches produced by the Yamaha.

 Intonation

Intonation is a little weak because of the flat pitch on the high palm keys (D, E flat, E, F and F sharp ó especially the E).† This was disappointing especially since intonation on the rest of the horn is good.† Some of the altissimo fingerings that Iím used to on my Yamaha Ys-62 Bari donít work on this horn, but there are alternate fingerings that work fine.

 Price

At just under $5K the Cannonball is priced considerably lower than a Yamaha YBS-62 but more than the Hollywood Winds S80-L.† The extra price is good for the sound, but that weak intonation in the palm key notes is hard to ignore.† If I was not worried about the money then I would go all the way and get the YBS-62 ó Iím a sound guy first and foremost.

For the typical consumer, the appeal of this hornís great looks are sure to have an impact.† Inlaid semi-precious stones like Tiger Eye (pictured at left) make for an excellent first impression effect.† The sound is good and an experienced player can work around the intonation issues.† Overall a good sax ó one that will be the choice of many professionals and aspiring players.

Text Box: SaxophoneManís ratings:
(5 is best, 1 is worst)
Overall is not an average
Text Box: Sound
Touch/Feel
Action
Price
Intonation

Overall
Text Box:  3.7
 3.7
 3.7
 3.4
 3.4
 
 3.7

Cannonball Stone Series Baritone Sax

Like all Cannonball saxes the Bari is shipped with two necks

Most keys on the stone series saxes are adorned with semi-precious stones (Tiger Eye pictured here)

A nice feature on this horn is the key guard for the high F and F# keys

The Stone series Bari has good nickel resonators on all pads

Cannonball's Web Site