Andy Sheppard Autograph Tenor Saxophone
- Free 42-Point Professional Set-up
- Fast Worldwide Delivery
- Award Winning After Sales Service
- Free One Year Checkover
"This is quite simply the most playable, sweet sounding sax that has ever landed on the Jazzwise test bench" - Jazzwise Magazine 2013
No holds (or should that be 'holes'?) barred, this is quite simply the most playable, sweet-sounding sax that has ever landed on the Jazzwise test bench. Each instrument is named after a location where Sheppard has performed and each one is tested by the man himself, before going onto the market.
The first thing that you notice about this tenor is the raw brass, or as I would term it, brushed brass finish, although a lacquer coating has been applied to the inside of the bell, presumably to give the instrument a brighter sound. Interestingly, the neck has been 'relaxed' - it's more turned up, which makes the whole instrument feel very comfortable in the playing position. The overall keyword is very positive and we particularly liked the 'stopper' behind the octave key, The palm keys are perfectly positioned and the top table is nicely laid out, while the double barring on the bottom C and C-sharp keys gives better support and contact, and helps the player to 'get there. Reflectors are of the metal-domed variety with calf pads.
Locating our metal Brancher mouthpiece with a 3 Rico Jazz Select reed, the Autograph is a very easy blower and to our ear, sounds as though it's perfectly in tune. The intonation is spot on, the harmonics are smooth and easy to achieve and there is a well centered tone. The top end is very positive, while the bottom end is really rich and warm - and there's plenty in there if you really want to give it some. The Autograph also has an extraordinary dynamic range - this sax feels like it wants to be played. A quality instrument deserves a quality case and the Autograph series comes in shaped fiberglass, fitted and plush-lined Eastman case with four latch locks, a shoulder strap, and a back harness. Classy.
OK, coming in at just under £5,000 isn't going to be a 'spur of the moment' purchase. But lets face it, you'll probably never want another tenor.
The initial concept came over a coffee in Bristol, between international sax artist Andy Sheppard and saxophonist/product specialist Andy Brush. The conversation turned to Andy’s desire for a sax that was as close to “the perfect horn” as possible. With so many great horns on the market, this “perfect” sax would therefore have to be something very special indeed.
Andy Brush approached award winning saxophone manufacturers Worldwind Music with the concept in 2010. Worldwind were understandably excited about the project and arranged for a three way meeting between Andy Sheppard, Andy Brush and Worldwind Music’s technical manager Dave Farley, the designer and builder of the professional Trevor James Signature Custom RAW saxophones. With everybody wanting to drive the project quickly forward, it was a matter of only 8 weeks later that the first prototype instrument was ready.
Andy play tested and recorded on the prototype for a few weeks, making notes about the positive performance areas as well as the areas for improvement. Six weeks later a second promising prototype was built, however analysing a soundcheck at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, Andy felt that the sax wasn’t “quite speaking enough”. Reviewing the recordings, it was agreed that the neck and bell would be the next areas for modification and a process of experimentation with different neck angles and gauge material began. Two months later, prototype three was now in Andy’s hands and being put through a rigorous recording studio test. The “perfect” sax was nearing perfection. A closer inspection of the ergonomics of the sax led to various keys being repositioned to give even more comfort and playability along with further modifications to the interior of the neck and placement of the octave lever to facilitate more resonance and response. In Andy’s own words, the third version of this horn was “98% there”. It was six weeks later when the fourth prototype was driven down to Andy’s recording studio for approval. Upon arrival in Bristol, Andy took the sax out of it’s case, played it for 10 minutes and simply looked up and smiled. “We’ve got it” were the only words needed!
Anyone familiar with Andy Sheppard will know of his reputation for playing uniquely refined and beautiful music with an instantly recognizable sound. In creating a saxophone bearing his name, the bottom line from the outset was to dispense with the modern different finishes options and gimmicky mechanism additions in favour of keeping the instrument totally focused on it’s sound, the highest quality tubing, pins, rods, screws and build quality. This instrument has returned the saxophone back to its roots and gives Andy complete freedom of expression and performance. Andy puts his signature on the bell of this incredible saxophone as a seal of approval that the Andy Sheppard Autograph Series tenor is of the highest quality craftsmanship. All are hand built and finished in Lenham, Kent by Dave Farley of Worldwind Music. Only 100 of these tenor saxophones will be built and each will be individually numbered and engraved with a different favourite World city where Andy has performed.
- Made In: UK
- Material: Unlacquered Brushed Brass
- Case: Shaped fiberglass fitted and plush-lined Eastman case with four latch locks, shoulder strap and back harness.
- Mouthpiece Not Included
Delivery & Returns
FAST & FULLY INSURED SHIPPING TO USA. PAY THE FINAL LANDED COST AT CHECKOUT!
If you're based overseas and would like more information, please read our overseas guide located here
Goods purchased online can be returned within 14 days of receipt. This does not apply to custom ordered goods, products where hygiene is concerned and product seals have been broken (reeds, mouthpieces etc), digital download codes or software licences. Goods purchased through our website cannot be returned to our retail stores.
FREE 42-POINT PRO SAXOPHONE SET-UP INCLUDED
All of our instruments are fully checked and set-up by our experienced technicians. Regardless of size or price - all saxophones go through the same process. Here at SAX, we know that when you buy an instrument, our pro set up is absolutely essential to ensure the instrument you're purchasing is playing to it's optimum performance.
Furthermore, we offer an exclusive benefit to our customers. Any new saxophone purchased from us can be returned within a year for a FREE checkover to make sure your saxophone continues to perform its best.