Today, I am reviewing the Viking M58 and M60 tenor saxophones. This is another great saxophone that is manufactured in Taiwan. I had been hearing about the Viking tenor saxophones for a few years now and have been very curious to try them out. Rich Maraday is the owner of Viking instruments and he was happy to send me a M58 and M60 for this review. Rich is a great guy to talk to on the phone and is very sincere and passionate about saxophones and the music business.
Viking M58 (Left) and M60 Valkyrie (Right) Cognac Tenor Saxophones
Rich Maraday told me that his main goal in starting Viking instruments was to provide a great quality saxophone that is affordable and in a comfortable price range for working musicians. (I liked the sound of that……..) Here are some descriptions of the M58 and M60 from the Viking website:
“The M58s tenor was developed in the spirit of the Vintage SBA & Mark VI tenor . We added a under slung octave key to the new generation and are presenting a more custom aesthetic to this model.
These horns provide exceptional intonation, response, and dynamic range. The Viking M58s can cover any musical genre, and is considered a very versatile horn. If you are playing everything from a show pit to a rock and roll band, this horn might be your top choice.We invite you to the Vintage French sound spectrum, where you can experience the vintage French sonic quality without the huge price tag. Try the Viking Legend Series M58 s tenors for yourself! ”
“We believe the Viking M60 Valkyrie is that saxophone. This horn uses a different bore and geometry than our other models, and perfectly combines that Selmer focus and structure with the warm, resonant spread of the Conn school. This creates a unique playing experience unlike anything available on the market today.
“The M60 Valkyrie features a medium focus, while remaining incredibly warm, resonant, and is more spread than our other models. This may sound confusing but it is slightly focused while still remaining fat sounding. The resonance has structure, core, and an incredible deep richness that we feel surpasses almost any saxophone made today. Intonation is outstanding up and down the range of the horn.
“This horn features Pisoni pro pads installed with shellac (not pad glue) for a better feel to the action, has a two-point body brace similar to vintage Selmers, a wire BA-style neck octave mechanism, and absolutely gorgeous “portrait style” engraving. Our Cognac lacquer M60 has the engraving cut through the lacquer and the contrast is simply stunning. It is also available in an un lacquered model with silver accents.”
Viking M58 (Left) and M60 Valkyrie (Right) Cognac Tenor Saxophones
Both Viking tenor saxophones came well packed in cardboard boxes with padding all around the cases inside the box. Inside the saxophone case the saxophones had key clamps on them with a sheet of plastic around them and more bubble wrap. It’s good to see that Rich knows how to pack these instruments so they won’t get damaged in shipping. The cases have ample room to store your mouthpiece, neck and other saxophone accessories.
Viking Tenor Saxophone Case
The Viking saxophones I am reviewing are both a gorgeous cognac lacquer as you can see from the pictures. I thought the engraving was beautiful personally. I’ve tried a few other Taiwanese horns over the years but I don’t remember the engraving being as intricate or as detailed as these Viking horns. The engraving reminds me of the great job Selmer use to do on their SBA and Mark VI tenors. It really stands out!
The M58 saxophone came with two necks in the case. A neck with an underslung octave key and another neck with the LOR attachment on it. (Rich wanted me to try the horn with both necks to see what I thought)
Here’s a picture of both necks:
Viking Underslung Neck and Neck with LOR
The M58 saxophone felt great to me ergonomically. I don’t believe it is very different than my Selmer SBA tenor when it comes to key placement. I felt like I could get around the horn well and I felt very comfortable on it. I do have a history of tendonitis so I prefer a pretty light spring tension on my saxophones. The spring tension on the M58 saxophone felt pretty good to me. Usually, I take a new horn immediately to my repair person so he can tweak the spring tensions to what I prefer but I don’t think I would need to with this horn.
The build quality of the M58 saxophone looks very good to me also. As I set the horn up and took the key clamps off I was looking at the keys and inspecting them. I didn’t notice any weak or shoddy mechanisms, nor any play or movement in the keys. The keys felt sturdy and firm to me. In the past, I have had some student come in for lessons with saxophones they got off ebay. The metal was so weak and flimsy that just the act of playing and pushing the keys would bend the metal. They were horrible. This is not the case with these Viking horns. They seem like quality parts and manufacturing to me.
They also seemed very well set up. I didn’t notice any leaks and could play down to low Bb with no problems the first time I played it. I appreciate Rich sending me a horn that is in good regulation and using the key clamps and padding to make sure shipping didn’t knock it out of whack.
I tried the horn first with the underslung neck and found the tone to have a nice core to it but with a full sound. The intonation was quite good. I would say better than my SBA for sure. Notes that I expected to be sharp and would adjust for on my SBA were actually perfect and I didn’t need to adjust. I must say that this horn and all the other Taiwanese horns I have reviewed on this site have all had excellent intonation in my opinion.
The M58 saxophone has domed metal resonators. (Just like my Selmer SBA). The low register was lush and fat sounding and the altissimo was easy to reach and in tune. I have included a sound clip of the M58 with the underslung neck below.
Next, I was eager to try the neck with the LOR attached. I have no idea what LOR stands for but I joked with Rich on Facebook about it being related to “Lord of the Rings” (thinking I was being funny) and he said the inventor really loved those movies so maybe that is what it stands for………….
Now the LOR neck did feel and play differently for me. It’s hard to say if it was the difference in neck or if it was all attributed to the LOR device. I can’t say. I know the neck with the LOR device felt more powerful and centered to me. I didn’t find it more freeblowing for me but it had a resistance that I felt I could blow harder against or something. I really liked playing that neck…….I put a sound clip below of the M58 with the LOR neck also. You can listen and tell me if you hear a difference and or what differences you hear…………
Sound Clips: In the sound clips below and the one at the bottom of the page, I am using a much brighter mouthpiece than I usually use for sound clips on this site. This is a metal Otto Link that Jon Van Wie put a baffle in and refaced. This is my go to mouthpiece for loud gigs……funk, rock, pop etc…….. It has a brighter, louder, more cutting sound than most other mouthpieces. It can sound pretty bright and even harsh at times but with some reverb on the gig it just kills………..I say all this because I don’t want you to think these are just bright rock & roll horns. Trust me, I also tried the horns with darker mouthpieces and they were beautiful sounding. Dark , lush and round sounding. I know in a perfect world I would have recorded clips on 5 different mouthpieces but I only have so much time in a day……………
One thing to notice in the clips is that even though these are new horns to me, I could get around the horn pretty well and the intonation is very good on these recordings and I’m not even used to the horns yet………….
Viking M58 (Underslung Octave Key Neck) Sound Clip with JVW Baffled Metal Otto Link
Viking M58 (LOR Neck) Sound Clip with JVW Baffled Metal Otto Link
(Can you notice a difference between the LOR neck and the underslung octave key neck? (Feel free to make a comment below………)
In the end, I felt the M58 was a very good horn! Rich’s pricing probably changes over time like most commercial products but at the time of this review I see that these tenors are listed for 2350.00 on the Viking website. In my opinion, that is a great price for a tenor of this caliber and I would have no problem recommending it to a student or another player. I still love my SBA and am not ready to trade that in but to be honest, I have played many new Selmer, Yamaha, Cannonball, Keilwerth and other tenor saxophones over the years that I have not cared for at all. (Bad tones, stuffy, bad set-ups, bad intonation……..) Most of those were at a higher price point also! These Viking tenors are great in my opinion and worth checking out if you are in the market for a tenor sax.
Viking M58 (Left) and M60 Valkyrie (Right) Cognac Tenor Saxophones
M60 Valykrie Review
The M60 Valykrie was an identical experience to the M58 as far as opening the case and unwrapping it. Rich protected it exactly the same with the key clamps and all the bubble wrap. The M60 sax felt a little heavier to me than the M58 saxophone. If you read the description above from the Viking website, it says the bore is larger than the M58 and gives a tone and sound similar to a cross between a Selmer and Conn. This was very interesting to me as I have loved my Selmer SBA for as long as I have had it but………I had one infidelity where I strayed to a Conn 10M for about 3 months. (my SBA is still mad about that…..) I was curious what this sax would play and sound like………..
The first thing I noticed were that the ergonomics were different than on the M58. Things felt like they were in a different place compared to my SBA that I’m used to. The spatula low Bb flat keys felt closer to my hand than I’m used to and the side Bb and side palm keys seemed to be in slightly different places than the M58 sax. It wasn’t bad at all but I would have to get used to it more. Also, the spring tensions were also a bit firmer than on the M58 but like I said earlier that is something I would get adjusted on any horn that I would buy. (and I did indeed even do it on my SBA when I got it almost brand new in 1996) The cool thing to take into consideration if you buy one of these horns is that Rich has priced them low enough that even if you decide to bring it to a tech to get tweaked the total price would still be lower than some of the other Taiwanese horns out there.
Viking M60 Valykrie Cognac Tenor Saxophone
The engraving on the M60 was incredible. Rich says that the engraving is cut right through the lacquer. I’m not sure what that means but I know that it looks really nice as you can see in the pictures. (Especially the one below)
How did the horn play, in my opinion it did seem to have a fatter more spread sound than the M58 or even my SBA. (listen to the sound clip below) It did kinda of remind me of a cross between a Selmer and a Conn. It also reminded me a lot of an H-Couf Superba tenor that I use to have. Like the Superba 1 this horns had a fatter meatier quality to the sound. On horns with this fatter tone quality I love to play higher baffle mouthpieces. I feel like the fatness of the tone combines with the brighter tone to give a nice balanced bright sound that is still fat and killer in funk and rock situations.
The intonation was great just like the M58 saxophone. The altissimo notes came out easily but I did notice that some of the notes above altissimo A needed a different fingering than I use on my SBA to be in tune. This is no big deal really as once you find the fingerings that work best on any horn…..those are the ones you use. I’m assuming the difference could be attributed to the bigger bore of this horn and me not being used to it. I did find fingerings within a few seconds that gave me the altissimo B,C,C# and D with no trouble though.
In the end, like the M58 sax this is another great option and choice for tenor players. Which is better, the M58 or the M60…….I honestly can’t say. I would need more time to figure that out for myself. I only played them for a few days and I enjoyed both. To be honest, if something happened to my SBA, I would probably drive down to Rich’s place and try out each of the tenors in different lacquers and materials to see which tenor I liked the best over countless hours (driving Rich insane in the process………..I can be a bit obsessive though………).
The M60 is priced at 2750.00 as of today on the Viking website. Again, this is a reasonable price for a horn of this construction and quality in my opinion. If you are looking for a new tenor sax with some of the properties of that Conn, Couf, Keilwerth fatter kind of sound this is a good tenor to consider. It gives you that fatter tone while still keeping a solid core to the sound and is priced reasonably.
This recording is a great example to me of how you can hear a difference in horns with the same mouthpiece. Above, I wrote about how I like to use high baffle pieces on horns like the Viking M60 saxophone because the fatness of the horn’s tone balances with the brights of the high baffle mouthpiece. I’m using the same JVW baffled link, but to me, the tone sound fat and round. It sounds fuller and fatter than how the JVW sounds on my SBA tenor. Of course, with my JVW and SBA the sound man on a live gig usually adds a little reverb to the sax sound to fatten it up but with this M60 sax, I feel the fullness is added naturally with the larger bore…………Honestly, when listening to clip I forget it’s a high baffle mouthpiece I’m playing………….
Viking M60 Sound Clip with JVW Baffled Metal Otto Link
Viking M60 Valykrie Cognac Tenor Saxophone (check out that engraving)
If you are interested in a Viking M58 or M60 tenor saxophone you can click on Viking Instruments . Rich Maraday is a great guy and will answer any questions that you might have. In my opinion, he has priced these beautiful tenor saxophones at a lower price point so musicians can afford them but he has kept the quality at a high level which is huge. Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you get a Viking tenor sax be sure to stop back here to share your opinions with us. Thanks, Steve
Bill s says
i own both now, and can say they are awesome horns. I needed a backup but now find them a viable alternative for my vi. Great depth, core and feel. The necks also fit on my vi with a tiny wedge of paper, and give it a different ring than the vi necks I have. I’m convinced that many of these new Taiwanese horns are virtually the same out of the box, even some of the same factories. But Rich’s prices are much more affordable- smart move
Which neck do you have? The underslung, LOR or regular neck with the octave key on top?
Bill s says
I have both necks! Like you said, they have different vibes about them. Also, they go on my vi, so now I feel like I have 6 horns! Clips sound great Steve!
About me: I’ve been playing a few years but consider myself to be a beginner. I say this so that no one mistakes me for those sax players on SOTW who have a great wealth of knowledge and experience.
Jazz standards are my area of interest: Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, etc. I have a couple of Yamaha YTS-61s, a YTS-23, and a YTS-875 Custom. So, in my humble and not-so-experienced opinion, I like the sound of both the M58 and the M60. But the M60 has a really fat, full sound to my 65 year-old ears. It’s the kind of sound I’m shooting for. And well-priced for sure. I paid over $2700 CAN this past June (it was pretty much the same as US dollars at that time) for a used Yamaha YTS-875 Custom at Long & McQuade here in Canada. So, I could have had a new M60 for the same price. I have followed most and maybe all of the comments and sound clips on the Vikings here on SOTW so I have some familiarity with the brand and the dealer. Just my 2 cents worth…
Kevin Groody says
A very useful review. I have been interested in one of these horns for a long time but due to the market I live in, nobody sells them around here. But your review makes me feel a lot better about these horns. I can’t believe how much fatter the M60 sounds, WOW! I better both of these would really scream with that Dexter Gordon piece from Berkeley that you tried. Can you put up a sound bite with that piece or the 10Mfan Robusto? I have the Robusto, nice piece. Thanks again Steve. Great review…..
Greg D. says
I have a 58S tenor. The review is spot-on. You cannot go wrong with these horns. You never lose the core sound even with more open, low baffle mouthpieces. The low register is not boomy, just warm and wonderful. I had an early Mark VI – a great horn. I needed to sell it because kids needed braces, cars needed tires etc. I went to a Taiwanese horn that claimed “vintage personified”, “Go for the sound”, blah, blah etc. etc. The more I played it, the more I felt like I had to put up with the horn – didn’t love it, just put up with it AND the keywork was soft. I had been following the Viking buzz for quite a while and finally decided to give one a try. I called Rich and he sent it out the next day. I no longer feel like I’m settling on an average horn – I love the thing. It is all it’s cracked up to be. Needless to say, I sold the other Taiwanese tenor. Trumpet players that I work with are always first to notice the sound and look of the horn. Anyone who is looking for a new horn and is on the fence about trying these – just do it. Selmer can’t even recreate what Selmer used to do but Rich did and for a fraction of the cost of a good condition 5 digit Mark VI or SBA.
Dan C. says
I thought I would like the sound of the M60 more than the M58 but it didn’t work out that way. The M58 had such a nice rip to it’s sound.
Proffessor Silvio Martin Klasmer says
Is a very interesant saxophone I think, but can I test it in my country, Argentina? I am a performer and teacher of saxophone from 45 years ago, and always use my MVI, but my students can´t buy a Selmer here, because of its high prices. Also, for some gigs I think in a more cheap sax to don´t put in danger my Selmer. I test some Taiwanese saxes of some of my students and honesty are horrible, in ergonomics and sound, and I send you this e-mail, to ask the possibility to thest your sax, and some of my advanced students too. I wait to your answer, kindly. Professor Silvio Martin Klasmer, Music Department Chief. firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like more info on the Viking saxophones you can contact Rich Maraday through the Viking website. (The link is on the review) Steve
Marc Vanden Eynden says
Nice review,as usual.
I just received a M60 tenor. This is a great great tenor in my opinion. As powerful as my best conn 10M but with more focus and perfect ergonomics. I see what you mean when you enjoy a high baffle piece on the M60. I am currently using a Sakshama MB1 and it is the perfect set-up for funk.
Another great review Steve! I have a SBA tenor as well and was looking for a second neck for it. Do you think the LOR will be a good alternative? Sounds like the LOR has more power but wanted to see if it had that same SBA vibe.
It’s hard to say. The LOR I had didn’t fit my SBA that I remember. I don’t remember specifically trying it on the SBA but that isn’t something I would have done so I’m guessing it didn’t fit. Steve
Mr. Peabody says
Great review! Made me want to seek out a store that has these horns. I need to upgrade my son to a pro horn, so he had an opportunity to play several pro horns at a sax store, including several older Vikings.
*RS Berkeley Virtuoso (in several finishes)
*Viking M58 (had no F# key, so I think it is an older model)
*Viking Swing Sonic
*Eastman unlacquered pro horn
For a comparison, he also tried a couple of vintage horns that we can’t afford:
*A vintage Selmer SBA
*A vintage Mark VI
Of the ones that he tried, he liked the Eastman the best, just a tad more than the Viking M58 (it was close), but the Eastman was nearly $1200 more than the Viking M58 at the store. And to him, it was not $1200 better. Really, we would have bought the Viking horn on the spot at the store EXCEPT that it had no high F# key and he is really used to having an F# key. Interestingly, he also preferred the Viking M58 and Eastman over the Two vintage horns mostly because of better intonation. The Mark VI was number 3 to him. These modern horns are a great option for those of us that have to be price conscious.
So, we bought a newer generation Viking M58S tenor like the one you reviewed. Turns out this generation comes with the F# key AND the “Lord of the Ring” neck is now standard for all M58S.
Great Review Steve,
My teenage Daughter has been playing Sax since grade school. Started out on Alto and now plays Tenor, Bari and Soprano with her focus on Tenor. I purchased her a Taiwanese Manufactured Alto and Tenor to move her into a better playing experience from her Yamaha YTS23 school horn. (We will forgo the manufacturers to protect the innocent.) Unfortunately, I noticed she played these horns less and less. I then bought another Taiwan Manufactured Tenor and experienced the same results. These manufacturers made attractive claims on performance, but seemed to fall short of their descriptions. My Daughter even complained that these horns were not as easy to play as her YTS23…not what I wanted to hear!
I had been watching the Viking Saxophones and kept seeing more positive buzz which drove me to call Rich. I expressed to him the experiences I had to this point and he gave me the confidence to try one of his horns. I purchased his Euge Groove Tenor Model and received it in fantastic condition as you described above. I showed it to my Daughter and told her I bought it for myself. Of course, she thought it was beautiful and I offered her an opportunity to play it. I could not believe my ears…was this my Daughter killin’ it like I’ve never heard before or what? Within five minutes she asked if I would consider trading for her yet to be named horn. She could not believe how easy the horn was to play and we all loved the sound. At one point she even said the horn plays effortlessly and almost plays itself!
Of course, I agreed to do the deal with her and I have no regrets. This horn has allowed her to compete at Solo & Ensemble locally and at the State Level being nothing less than one of the top two competitors at these events. She has even been selected for some special Multi-State events this year. I attribute this to her Viking Tenor Saxophone. It allows her to express herself at a level the other horns were not capable of…
As a parent supporting my Daughter’s musical addiction, I could not recommend more highly the Viking Horns. I learned my lesson and wasted a fair amount of money on the first three horns I purchased. If your kids won’t play the horns it is money wasted. I wished I had connected with Rich far sooner. Don’t be like me…call Rich first!
His horns are so affordable that you parents out there owe it to your wallet and your sanity to investigate the Viking Saxophones. Now that she is becoming a more seasoned saxophonist,we have played other horns at our available music stores and have not found one that my Daughter would be willing to give up her Viking for. That parents is music to my ears!
These horns play great out of the box and are so cost effective that one could have them professionally gone through to ensure you are getting every ounce of performance from them and still be far more affordable than other more recognizable brands. Our first Viking Tenor is being played out of the box and is the horn my Daughter competes with. We now have multiple Viking Saxophones and we have had The Horn Doctor, Ken Beason @ 828-551-8518, go through them from day one to ensure we have a competitive advantage and to get every ounce of playability out of them. Again, It is not necessary to do this as we are competing with our first Viking Tenor Sax as shipped from Rich. I just like the peace of mind knowing that The Horn Doctor will bring out the peak performance of each individual horn and still keep the overall investment affordable. Talk to the Horn Doctor to see if his services are right for you.
With all that being said, If you can’t tell I have found Saxophone Nirvana as a parent then you need to read this again. We now have five Viking Saxophones in Alto-Bari and I look forward to the day I find a better value because I have spent thousands of dollars on other saxophones in that quest and it has all brought me to Viking Saxophones and Rich Maraday !!!
As I wrote earlier – Don’t be like me…Call Rich First!
Thank You Rich for bringing such an affordable and performance oriented Saxophone to the market! Your value driven proposition has afforded me the opportunity to expand my Daughter’s musical experience beyond anything I had imagined before. I’m pretty sure she is quite grateful as well!
I have been playing a P Mauriat system 76 UL for while and I’m still not totally happy with this horn, I find the high notes stuffy especially the high F#, it seems like the horn holds a lot of resistance, I play Navarro pieces and 10M fan and even with high buffle pieces it seems very hard to get the Altissimo to pop and I used get it just fine on my previous Mark VI, have you tried these horns in the past and what would be your choice if you had the PM and the viking?
Best regards and great review
I’m not sure what you are asking? I haven’t tried the PM yet so I don’t know anything about those horns. I’m surprised the high notes would be stuffy. Have you had the horn looked over by a tech to make sure there are no leaks? That could cause some problems up there. Steve
Greg D says
I was in your shoes as far as the previous Mark VI and the P Mauriat System 76. Scroll down and read my first post. I assume you have a Second Edition 76. I had a First Edition 76 and that was much better than the second. I found the second to be stuffy all over. These horns, both first and second editions are terribly resistant above middle G. Messing with the octave pips helps some as does a little neck work. Also, I could not get the right hand to be comfortable even after modding the thumb rest to go higher on the horn. I sold my System 76 after trying the M58S. It took minutes for that decision after trying the Viking. I, like you , was not happy with the crap you have to put up with on the System 76. My advice is to not mess with the P Mauriat, sell it on ebay and get a Viking. I have not tried the M60 but the M58S is so much like my previous Mark VI as far as keywork and sound that it just makes me happy every time I play the horn.
Mr. T. says
Really appreciate your informative reviews! I’m not ready to sell my VI or Chu Berry tenors, but I’m actually looking for a better tenor on which to play (contemporary) classical music. I don’t know if you teach much “legit” tenor but any thoughts on which of the following horns would be better suited for that? Between the Viking horns, Eastman and Berkeley? Obviously intonation is important but they all seem to be better than my two current tenors, and evenness of tone from top to bottom would be important too.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Rich Maraday says
I received glowing a report from a classical sax professor at the University of Texas Albuquerque. He purchased the m60 tenor in cognac. His grad students were equally impressed with the tone ,evenness up and down thee scale and the tuning. BTW he is a Selmer clinician and he chose purchased the M60.
SILVIO MARTIN KLASMER says
Dear Mr. Rich Maraday. I’m sax proffesor here in Argentine Republic and in the last year I wrote that I want to test your tenor sax. But noone of the shops here have your products. How can I do in my case? I write that I want a instrument more cheap to play instead of my MVI in some ocasions, etc. that is dangerous to keep out. Waiting your answer since ends of 2014. Best wishes. Professor Silvio Martin Klasmer.
Silvio, I emailed your request to Rich.
thank you for the advice, I will definitely buy a 58S for sure, I even ordered a Gloger neck for the Mauriat horn, the sound improved by a lot but I`m still not happy with the system 76 SE,
I loved Steve reviews on the Vikings, both sounded fantastic but I`m inclining towards the M58S
William Bua says
I played an early model and it was a great horn except for the neck. I hated the stock neck. I put my TM custom neck on it and it was much better. I like the sound of the LOR neck. It really opens up the sound of the horn. It gives brightness without being hollow or brittle. It looks like Rich addressed the problem. Great playing Greg!
I could hear a difference in the stock neck and the LOR. I preferred the M60 sound. That had a thick sound. I have one of the Swing Sonics. Its a great horn. The engravings on the latest Vikings are spectacular.
Greg D says
Since the core M58S is no longer made, you should review the M58S New York model.
I must say that I, two or three years ago, bought, in Rome, Italy, a tenor sax Taiwanese of another brand that, despite having a good sound, I bought the model with a darker sound, with more copper, like Mark VI, aesthetically does not reach even half of these Viking: after a few days from the purchase, cleaning it against the light, I found some, not real deep dents but, in any case, “dents”, “depressions”; however it is something that annoys you who will buy a new sax. Then, since it was described as unlacquered but …. (I do not remember the term used) was all “spotted” irregularly and, after a few hours you played, you found the fingertips and the palm of the hand colored in a green-grey material that it was very difficult to send away, even with a lot of soap … And the skin absorbed it …
I found it, compared to my Yamaha 62 “purple logo” buyed in ’87, heavier and less ergonomic, especially for the castle keys, D, D sharp (diesis), E, F and F sharp. It seems made for long hands and fingers, the keys are very far apart and, sometimes, by making some notes, the fingers get stuck “under” the keys!
The sound is good and also the pitch, but I can not know if better or less of the Viking: to know this, I should also feel it tested by Steve.
Honestly, you remain a little ‘disappointed, indeed a lot, in finding small dents on a new sax. If I had to go back I would not buy it and probably buy the Viking that, as a sound, in Steve’s sound clips, I prefer 60 but, as a description of ergonomics, I prefer 58.
There is another problem with my Taiwanese sax (another brand, NOT Viking) of which to my other previous comment: I have the impression (it’s just an impression I have not disassembled) that, from the two bands that connect the bell to the stem of the sax, if I play a lot of time and very hard, the saliva of the condensate come out of these, as if they had not been siliconed well before tightening them.
A girl, friend of mine,with whom I played in the laboratory orchestra, who bought a alto sax of the same brand, but another model, at a store, two mother- of-pearl of the keys broke off, and although the sax in general sounds really good and seems to have a good and robust mechanics, sometimes on the high notes (maybe B or C) of the octave, something happens as if the sound did not come out: you can not understand what it depends on, the teacher also tried, graduated from the conservatory, noting the problem, since everything seems normal.
the strings to reach the Viking instruments website lead to something else; probably in the meantime something has changed or today they do not produce the Viking 58 and 60 anymore? I did a search on the Internet but I can not find anything. Listening to your audio clips, then, I changed my mind and, now, I prefer that of the 58 with the Underslung Octave Key Neck.
However, the choice is difficult: they all sound good!
Thanks Steve; if I had known him before, I would have bought it instead of mine.
Yes, The Viking brand is no longer being made at this time. Steve
Giuseppe C. says
As a vegetarian, I’m always a little upset and feel guilty when I think my sax pads are made of leather.
Couldn’t a good sax company plan to build some “for vegetarians” saxophone models with synthetic pads?
This is my request to builders!
Also, normal saxes, already in use by owners, if vegetarians, could be restored with these synthetic pads.
Also, I know that now, thanks to nanotechnologies and related new ultra heat and moisture resistant materials, different applications of these materials are being tested for many different uses.
Wouldn’t it be possible to apply these materials to build indeformable pads of unlimited duration that do not force you to feel the anxiety of restoration to change the usurated pads?
I hope the repairmen aren’t mad at me!
I had non-leather pads put on my alto sax in the early 90’s, late 80’s I think. I don’t even know what the material was but they were white and not made of leather. The repairman raved about them so I had him do the overhaul with them. Haven’t seen them since then so I guess they didn’t catch on but they worked fine for me…….
Giuseppe C. says
Great; if the sound is good and they last a long time it would be good to use them more often …
Could the problem be that they last too long, for those who sell materials?
Giuseppe C. says
Could you review the Lupifaro Platinum tenor saxophones, both in terms of sound and manufacture?
I see some very goodAmerican saxophonists playing it, like Chad Lefkovitz Brown and Lou Mariani …
I don’t review saxophones at this time. I just found it to be too time consuming and a total pain to ship them back and forth. Sorry.
Giuseppe C. says
“… a total pain to ship them back and forth. Sorry…”.
On this thing I can only agree with you! It is tiring and time-consuming for me to even ship just a box of reeds!
I hate shipping!
Giuseppe C. says
Hi Steve, I hope to do something useful by posting, if permitted, this link taken from the Internet which compares the sound of two Selmer, an SBA and a Mark VI.
Also if all the registration in in a Coltranian sound, at 0:47 I particularly perceive a great nasal sound in the Coltrane sound style!