After looking for one of these for years, finally, I got a Superba 1 soprano in stock. And this one has nice original lacquer. These fine professional horns were made by Julius Keilwerth for Herb Couf, who was a saxophone teacher and music entrpreneur in Detroit, MI through the middle of the 20th century. Couf Superba 1 saxophones are outstanding instruments, made to the highest standards and possessing a uniquely rich, powerful tone that is at once (roughly speaking) similar to both a vintage Selmer and to a vintage Conn. This Superba 1 soprano is keyed to high F#, which is uncommon in any vintage soprano, and it also has extremely comfortable keywork and ergonomics. You can see that the palm keys are built up a bit for added comfort, and this was a good move in my opinion. The intonation on this horn is also very good, with low, middle and high ranges staying very consistent with not much adjustment needed.
This horn has just received a well-done fresh overhaul, done by Dan Hansen in Texas. Dan’s detail-oriented, snappy-feeling pad work gives this horn just what it needs to play its best for many years to come. It has moderately domed metal resonators, and it sounds great.
The tone on these horns was made famous by Grover Washington Jr, who famously played Superba 1 saxophones on his earlier albums. The fat, rich core tone works great for any kind of music, but with a mouthpiece with a bit of baffle, you get a fat, dark core with a bright, crisp edge, and that is the tone that lots of people go for for jazz soprano. It works well too, with a classical mouthpiece, giving you a round, dark, warm, centered soprano sound. There are not many of these Superba 1 sopranos around, and this is a beautiful example that also has a fresh, well-done overhaul. It is an easy, turn-key purchase that should make somebody really happy!