Cannonball Raven Alto Sax

CANNONBALL-RAVEN-ALTO-SAXThis handsome alto comes from Cannonball’s Big Bell Stone Series and the black lacquering really is the business. The Raven has a solid feel and is a well built saxophone with very ergonomic keywork – everything is pretty much where you’d want it. Uniquely it comes supplied with two crooks. One is a Fat Neck underslung very much in the Conn mould while the other is a more standard Selmerstyle affair. Our sample had a very positive and free key action – especially at the bottom end, with twin arms to the lower keys and standard leather pads. Sadly my big hands didn’t sit over the palm keys as I would have wanted, but the key positions would have undoubtedly been perfect for most people. Both the intonation and articulation were spot on. From the first note it was clear that the Raven is a saxophone that’s just asking to be played, it feels as though its Big Bell has been matched to a large bore. This instrument has a very centred and a very wide range of sounds. You can play softly and it will produce a smooth, sensual sound – or you can blow the house down and it will respond with volume, depth and a case full of character. I preferred the Fat Neck crook, as it seemed to give me an effortless top range. It also offered more power and less edge to the sound. Coming in the now standard plush-lined, preformed, zippered nylon denier case, the Raven gets my seal of approval and is without doubt the most satisfying and sublime saxophone that has passed through this office in a very long time.

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