To call Rampone and Cazzani Saxophones "up and coming" needs a little explanation. Rampone and Cazzani or R & C Saxophones are not new comers to the Saxophone world but they are relatively 'unknown' by most Sax Players and that is changing.
Rampone and Cazzani Saxophones
I don't know where these Sax's have been since first starting production over a hundred years ago. I have read articles that claimed older Rampone Cazzani's played pretty lame and the name was new to me. All I know is I started hearing good things about an Italian Sax 2-3 years ago and I got to play them in January, '05.
These new Rampone and Cazzani Sax's are amazing. R & C has a full line of Saxophones from Sopranino to Baritone Sax. Although the product line is full, there specialty seems to be the little ones with more offerings in the Soprano and Sopranino lines than everybody else with the possible exception of maybe Yanagisawa.
Rampone and Cazzani is the only new Saxophone Manufacturer that has taken the old Saxello Soprano design seriously.
Rampone and Cazzani SaxelloWhat is a Saxello? A Soprano Sax that has a bent neck and the bell bends slightly forward instead of pointing straight down as is common on the Straight Soprano Sax. A Saxellolooks like a straight Soprano with a bend at the top and bottom. I'll get some pics up to see soon but, to be honest, I had so much fun playing these Soprano's that I totally forgot to take pictures and regret not playing the other Sax's they had available.
I don't think anybody is even making a modern Saxello with the exception of Rampone Cazzani. This little Soprano Sax, known as a Saxello, plays like a dream. The tone is beautiful, the pitch is as near perfect as anyone could hope for and the experience is sheer pleasure.
After nearly an hour, I was in love with the Rampone and Cazzani Saxello R1 in thick Gold Plate. No new Soprano on the market can touch this Sax with the exception of R & C's other Soprano offerings.
I have not played any new Soprano that played as well for me as my Yamaha YSS-62R. (The Yamaha is a 1 piece Soprano with a bend where they give you the neck options now - bent at the mouthpiece toward the player.)
Rampone Cazzani is the only new, one piece, Professional Soprano Saxophone available. I love the fact that all the R & C Soprano's are a one piece design with NO Necks. The Soprano neck is an oxymoron, designed for marketing purpose and not musical benefits at all. The neck options allow a manufacturer to save money on multiple versions of a similar Sax design that could be lots of Sax's in a Soprano Sax line if that company also offered choices in plating and different base metal options. Rampone Cazzani took to the task and has tons of variations on a theme, available for purchase.
The fact that some people love a straight neck and some like the curved design is true, but no one switches back and forth between the 2. Designing a Soprano Sax with necks allows the Sax Player to choose which design feels more comfortable to hold and experiment with the tonal variations available between the 2 designs. Since the Sax Player can make this choice at purchase, and few ever use both necks once a choice has been made between the 2; the 2 neck design is useless once that decision is made. All it does is allow the manufacturer to appear to give you more Saxophone for the money and adds flexibility to the instrument that might make resale easier at a later date.
In actuality, the neck on Soprano creates unnecessary issues with octave key design and adjustment, leak possibilities at the neck and an unneeded pile of extra metal right at the top of the Saxophone. Even if a 2 neck design was very helpful to Sax Players, it makes no sense to me when looking at curved Soprano Sax's but that's just me.
The difference between straight and curved necks does affect the sound just like straight and fully curved Soprano's will sound different. The curved neck seems to take a little bit of the buz out of the sound and sweetens the tone. The Yamaha 62, straight, was more nasal sounding than the 62R. When Yamaha released the Rousseau design (62R) in a 1 piece, with that curve at the top of the Sax, the sound seemed fuller, sweeter and less harsh. When Yamaha later released the new Custom 875 Soprano with interchangeable necks, the sound was not nearly as extreme from bent and straight models. The curved neck model felt more comfortable to me, but the sound had more resistance and less of that 'sweet thing' that sold me on the Yamaha Soprano in the first place. The Rampone and Cazzani Soprano's have that 1 piece design and all the sweetness and complexity one could ever want.
With Yamaha discontinuing production of the YSS-62R and no longer making a 1 piece bent Soprano, or any other new Soprano with that kind of resistance and tone; the problem of ever finding a good replacement Soprano began to haunt me. 21 Years later I have an answer. Sure, there are a few great playing Soprano's on the market, but the Rampone Cazzani has won my vote.
I listened to a number of people play the Saxello and Soprano's and really liked everyone that played them. I also had a student that I have heard play for a few years now and she sounded great on them too. Full, clear, dynamic, in tune and beautiful; What are the trying to do? Mess us all up with this stuff?
RC Saxello and RC Soprano's
No other Sax Maker has this many options! No other Manufacturer has this many great sounding Soprano's.
The straight models with the bent or straight top sounds great too. They did not have the magic for me that the Saxello did, but they are great Sax's in Gold or Silver Plates.
The Curved Soprano's really killed me. Since I own one of the best Soprano's ever made, I was not looking to replace my beloved Yamaha 62R yet, but did find a strong case for adding to my Saxophone arsenal with, what a Curved Soprano had to add to the mix.
When I played the Straight and Saxello models, I preferred the Gold Plate to the Silver. When I got the Curved Soprano's in my hands, it was a Silver love. Both platings sounded great, but I did have favorites.
You cant go wrong here. Check out the RC Soprano before making any other purchase.
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