Andy Sheppard Autograph Tenor Saxophone: Cape Town
"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 keywork 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 good 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 a shaped fiberglass, fitted and plush-lined Eastman case with four latch locks, a shoulder strap and 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 recognisable 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 completefreedom 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. Every finished saxophone will be play tested by Andy Sheppard to ensure each instrument meets his exacting performance standards. This final quality control process is accompanied by an audio recording of Andy testing the saxophone over at his Bristol studio along with a signed CD.
- 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.
- Signed Andy Sheppard CD
- Mouthpiece Not Included
Free Professional Setup
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.co.uk we know that when you buy a sax, our pro set up is absolutley essential to ensure the instrument you're purchasing is playing to it's optimum peformance.
In addition, all new saxophones purchased from us can be returned within a year for a FREE checkover to make sure your saxophone continues to perform its best.
Our 12-Step Checkover:
• All transit packing and corks from the manufacturer are removed.
• Thorough visual check for any imperfections in the finish, includes unlacquered saxophones.
• All pads checked for quality.
• All pad seatings checked using leak lights and traditional feeler paper methods.
• Regulation checked and adjusted.
• All key corks and felts checked, adjusted to set vent heights.
• All spring tensions checked and adjusted to create an even feel across the instrument.
• Neck fitting checked.
• Crook cork checked for cork quality and provided mouthpiece fits.
• Thorough playtest from top to bottom, including alternate fingerings.
• Case inspected for quality, instrument fit and accessories.
• Instrument cleaned and carefully repacked.
- Free 1st Class Delivery on all orders over £100 to UK MAINLAND
- Free Next Working day Delivery on all Saxophones to UK MAINLAND (excluding hire saxophones)
- Competitive International Shipping Rates
We deliver your order right away. Orders received before 2pm are normally shipped the same day. International orders are generally received in under 7 days.
We have a massive selection of goods, although If your item is not in stock, we will back order it for you. You will always be emailed with the option to choose an alternative or cancel your order if you would rather not wait.
Postage Prices Outside of the UK
Simply add your desired products to the shopping cart, choose your shipping destination and the website will automatically assign your postage to the shopping cart.
UK Shipping Guide
Listed below is a guide to our UK Mainland shipping charges.
|Category||Royal Mail 1st Class||Special Next Day||Special Next Day (by 12pm)|
Postage Within The UK
Royal Mail First Class (Default Shipping)
First Class Delivery aims to deliver within 1 to 3 days of postage but do bear in mind larger items are likely to need hand delivery (sax stands don't fit through letter boxes).Royal Mail Special Delivery (Next Day)
If your order is placed before 2pm and is in stock we promise to deliver next day. If an Item is not in stock we will refund your additional postage costs and deliver as soon as the goods are available. Over 2kg we use a mixture of regular post (low value items such as bags and heavier stands) & various couriers (usually DPD or UPS) depending on location and value.
Postage Within The EU
Anything under 2kg ships with Royal Mail. Orders amounting to over about £50 ship using a signed for and, if necessary, insured postal service. Orders over 2kg ship with various courier services- again, usually UPS or Fedex.
Rest Of The World
Any order under 2kg ships in the regular mail (unless otherwise requested at time of ordering). Higher value shipments are sent using a signed for and, if necessary, insured postal service. Heavier items ship by courier - again, we tend to use UPS or Fedex. Please note that, should you want smaller orders by courier (an advisable security measure in some countries) please specify clearly when ordering. This will often incur a higher shipping price which we may have to cover by sending a paypal invoice.
For any order which has shipped with tracking: the full tracking information can be checked using the "my orders" section on our website (a link is on your initial order confirmation).
If you're based overseas and would like more information on shipping including customs duty, please read our Based Overseas guide located here.
If you wish to return products purchased on our website please follow the guidance below.
Goods purchased online from www.sax.co.uk can be returned within 14 days of receipt. This does not apply to products where hygiene is concerned and product seals have been broken (Reeds, mouthpieces etc). Goods purchased through our website cannot be returned to our retail stores.
Please print and complete returns document found here: Return Document and include it inside your package.
- You must obtain a receipt with tracking information from the Post Office or chosen courier service. This can be used to track the item(s) that you are returning. We cannot accept liability for returned goods that we don’t receive or for those that get damaged in transit on their return.
- In all cases, (except where an item is faulty) the item(s) returned must be in its original and saleable condition. This includes all original packaging that must be undamaged and intact.
- All goods will be inspected on return. Where we have to make reductions in price to facilitate re-sale, you will be notified and the cost will be deducted from your refund.
- Goods are your responsibility until they reach our warehouse, so please ensure you package them up well to prevent any damage or loss during shipping.
- The initial postage and packaging charge is non refundable.
We aim process refunds 24 hours of receipt. If you do not see your original payment method credited within ten days please contact us.
Please send all returns to the following address:
SAX.CO.UK RETURNS DEPARTMENT
If you have any difficulty or have any other queries regarding our returns policy, our customer services will be able to assist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01892662533.