Luthier Eppelsheim builds unique wind instruments including contrabass clarinets

contrabass clarinet
Tubax made by luthier Benedikt Eppelsheim
Bass saxophone
The Munich based luthier Benedikt Eppelsheim not only builds unique instruments belonging to the familiy of saxophones, in 2006 a contrabass clarinet was introduced. Playable prototypes of the piccolo saxophone The Soprillo and contrabass saxophone The Tubax were launched in 1999 at Musikmesse Frankfurt. Since the first launch of these instruments Eppelsheim has developed more models such as the bass saxophone.
Eppelsheim's latest development is the Bb contrabass clarinet. The instrument's Boehm system features three automatic register keys and Bb mechanism. Tonal range is from C 3 - E 6, sounding Bb0 - D 4. Large toneholes provide a free response and a large dynamic range while hydraulically formed neck and bows guarantee exact intonation. The instrument's overall height overall height is 119 cm (47 inches). Fingering positions are the same as on modern bass clarinets. Optionally, the contrabass clarinet is availabe with German system.
Soprillo, the world's smallest saxophone ranges one octave above soprano and half an octave above sopranino. The tonal range is from low-Bb to high-eb, the instrument is equipped with complete keys to play within this range. The upper octave key had to be placed in the mouthpiece. Due to the small size no existing parts could be used. The body with the tone hole network, the keys and the mouthpiece had to be completely new designed.
The Tubax is an Eb contrabass saxophone curved four times which results in an overall height of only 114 cm. The scale of the instrument is narrower than the regular contrabass saxophone scale. Tubax takes baritone mouthpieces and features the complete keys of a modern saxophone. The mechanical connections feature ball bearings for easy action.
Eppelsheim also builds a Tubax Bb subcontrabass saxophone and, teaming up with Guntram Wolf, a contrabassoon: Kontraforte.
The Bb bass saxophone's range is one octave below a tenor sax providing a written range from Bb 3-F#6 (sounding Ab1-E 4). The additional altissimo register valve allows for written D 7( sounding C 5). The instrument's wide bore supports a warm, voluminous tone. Large toneholes provide a free response and a large dynamic range while precisely shaped bore taper gives exact intonation. A newly designed neck design reduces resistance and the same fingering positions as on any modern saxophone makes it easy for players.
The instruments will be on show at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2011, Hall 1.1 A21
Soprillo Saxophon
For more information and sound samples go to:
Bb Tubax
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