This is Steve's Bon Fils (that’s “Good Son” in French) student alto. This horn will retail to the end user for $950, and is designed with young students in mind. It is a VERY weather proof horn, using stainless steel springs, screws, and rods to prevent rusting, and fully water proofed pads. An important part of the design of this model is the HUGE dynamic range. It is potentially a very loud saxophone (although it plays beautifully at pianissimo) in order to give, for the very first time in saxophone history, a player the volume necessary to compete with the trumpets and trombones in a marching band.
This increase in projection and potential volume has been accomplished through several means: the resonator are very oversized stainless steel domes, the neck has a unique taper, and we include our famous Saxgourmet neck enhancer with each Bon Fils.
Player comfort was a prime consideration, especially for users of smaller stature. We include our three ring strap hook too allow the player significant variation in strap placement for maximum comfort and control. The right hand thumb rest is our well known Saxgourmet design, which supports the entire thumb, not just the second joint, for enhanced comfort and control. The chromatic F# and high F# key have been redesigned for easier execution, as have the key touches for the low Eb and low C. The left pinky table is fully articulated. The palm keys are of our latest asymmetrical design, and the front F key touch is teardrop shaped so the index finger does not have to be lifted to obtain this note.
The Bon Fils is specifically designed for the rough treatment often afforded saxophones by younger players. All rods are slightly oversized. The guard at the bottom of the bow has been significantly enlarged and strengthened to prevent damage. The size of the bell to body brace has been made significantly larger to maintain perfect bell alignment. The hinge mechanism for the palm and other auxiliary keys has been manufactured with right angles rather than sloping junctions to afford additional strength. Of course, all of the keywork is fully supported with ribs, which are significantly oversized for strength. The case provided is extremely durable, rectangular for easy stacking on instrument trucks, and well padded, with heavy duty cordura sides over a hard shell for long lasting beauty. Heavy duty zippers are used for closure rather than latches which often fail, and a shoulder strap mount is included, as well as the option for backpack style straps. The case also features a full sized exterior pocket which will accommodate full concert band music folders, and dedicated interior slots for the neck and mouthpiece, as well as a generous interior accessory compartment. Production examples will vary from the example pictured here in that they will have double arms for extra stability on the low C, B, and Bb. There will also be a guard added to protect the low C# key cup. We have incorporated an underslung octave key mechanism on the neck to allow younger players to grasp the neck itself while assembling the horn, rather than bending the octave key.
The mouthpiece used for this model is of a new design to facilitate easy blowing and even intonation and response throughout the range. We currently manufacture over 20 different saxophone mouthpiece models, and took our considerable experience in this field to design a student mouthpiece that is superior and like no other on the market. This design features a sloping beak which is not only more comfortable for younger players, but also increases projection. The baffle i long and straight, with a lightly concave contour, and no rollover. The side and tip rails are of moderate width in order to be more “forgiving”, and the chamber is horseshoe shaped with a round top and straight walls to increase projection. Unique among student mouthpieces, this model includes a metal band on the shank to prevent cracking and splitting.
We know that the visual impact of an instrument is important to students, and we have made a great effort in this area to provide students with an instrument they can show their friends with pride. The epoxy lacquer used is the most durable available, and is tinted a rich vintage gold color. The bell, bow, body tube, neck, and ALL KEY CUPS are elaborately hand engraved. We will be happy to make other finishes available to schools, along with the custom engraving of the schools logo on the bell, upon execution of a special minimum order.
Of course, robust construction and beautiful touches are all well and good, but in the end the final and ultimate test is how the saxophone plays. We know that students often have difficulty with intonation and low note response, and took these matters into mind in our design. The bore and tone hole placement are designed to make playing the saxophone easier, and to allow superior blending with the other instruments of the band.