of the Sax Dakota SDT-XR-92 Tenor Saxophone
- Originally Posted
Mickel on http://sax.mymusictalk.com/
LaPlaca and his staff at Sax Dakota have been producing excellent instruments
for some time now and this is quite apparent with the new SDT-XR-92 tenor
saxophone. I was made aware of Sax Dakota by Melvin Llord atwww.mysaxtalk.com.
He put me in contact with Pete who, after hearing me play, asked me if I would
be interested in trying out a Sax Dakota horn and possibly endorsing them. I
tried the horn and I was really happy with it. So, I purchased my SDT-XG-606
and I have been playing it ever since, that was in May of
SDT-XR-92 is Sax Dakota’s newest addition to their already excellent line of
professional saxophones; it is unlike any of their previous models. The
standard for Sax Dakota has been plated brass horns. However, this new model
is comprised of a completely unlacquered bronze brass alloy. The hand
engraving and the unlacquered bronze brass of the SDT-XR-92 give it an
attractive “vintage” look. It is a really cool looking horn. I
received the SDT-XR-92 on trial from Pete in order to spend some time playing
it, and to give my thoughts on the horn. After playing it, I can say that this
new model is an excellent instrument. I spent time on longtones, overtones,
scales, technique exercises, tunes, improvisation, transcribed solos,
everything I could think of in order to put the horn through the paces so to
speak. I really wanted to see what it could do.
Response & Intonation
of all, I found it to be very free blowing (a trait I prefer) which made it
very comfortable to play. The intonation is very good throughout the range of
the horn from low B - flat through the altissimo register and the tone was
consistant as well. One of the best chararacteristics I have noticed with Sax
Dakota horns is that the sound is very focused and centered and this horn was
no exception. Another
great aspect of this horn is the response. As I played it, I found that it did
exactly what I wanted when I wanted it to happen. I did not have to make
drastic adjustments or “fight” with the horn in order to get everything to
sound clearly. In addition, I was able to play very soft subtones all the way
down to low B - flat. Everything spoke very well.
is the case with everything Sax Dakota makes, the keywork and action are
excellent. For starters, the key work is very ergonomic. This provides for
comfortable hand placment and efficency of motion which makes it easier for
the player reduce tension. Furthermore, the action is amazing. There is no
play or wasted motion in the mechanism.
with Other Professional Model Horns
spent some time recording myself playing it side by side with my Sax Dakota
SDT-XG-606, my Selmer Mark VI, my Keilwerth SX90-R, and my friend’s Selmer
Reference 54. To keep things consistant, I used the set up I always use: a #9
facing Drake Tenor Contemporary I mouthpiece with Rigotti Gold #3
After comparing these horns I can say that they are all excellent horns and,
for the most part, the differences in tone were quite subtle. The brightest
and most focused was the Sax Dakota SDT-XG-606 while the Reference 54 was the
darkest and most spread. I did notice that there was quite a large amount of
resistance with the Reference
54; all of the other horns were very free blowing. The SDT-XR-92 was very
similar to the Mark VI and the Keilwerth. All three of them had a very
balanced and well rounded tone.
I can say without a doubt that Sax Dakota’s new SDT-XR-92 model tenor saxophone is an excellent horn. It has every characteristic the professional player is looking for: the tone is great, the response in impeccable, the action is excellent, and overall it is very comfortable to play. In addition to all of that, the hand engraving and raw bronze brass give it a unique look. This is a high quality professional horn that can easily hold its own with any horn on the market.
This horn is an exemplary example of the very high level of quality and craftsmanship Pete and his staff at Sax Dakota put into all of their horns which are why I not only recommend them without hesitation but I also play and endorse them.
Christopher D. Mickel, D.M.A.
Sax Dakota performing artist
Teacher and Senior Forum Moderator as www.mysaxtalk.com