Antigua Wind’s PowerBell series is one of the brand’s most popular instruments, and not only does it provide the player with superior feel and sound, it also comes in a variety of beautiful finishes that cater to each person’s aesthetic and performance needs. The original lacquered (LQ) finish is a classic look and feel that resembles many old and new horns alike. The red brass finish (RLQ) offers a darker, slightly auburn look that comes from the red brass body and bell. A slightly more regal finish, the splendid lacquer (SFL) has a unique crystal-like pattern which is an absolute marvel to look at. Combining the splendid lacquer finish with the red brass (RSFL) gives the player the combined look and feel of the splendid finish with the red brass material. If the player is looking for a more rustic look, the Vintage copper (VC) finish offers the look of an antique instrument while providing a modern sound. Along the same lines as the vintage copper, the classic brass finish (CB) has the same rustic look as the vintage copper but with a more uniform hue. On another note, the antique finish (AQ) really gives the feel of a vintage instrument with a tinge of burgundy around the edges. As a contrast to the reddish and bronze options there is the classic nickel-plated finish (CN) which exhibits a matte silver texture that is a modest contrast to the others. Finally, the finish that will certainly turn heads is the black gold lacquer (BG) whose black body and bell is complemented with the gold lacquered keys and guards. Whatever the needs of the player are, Antigua’s PowerBell offers an array of finishes that will most certainly satisfy players of all types.
LQ – RLQ
The PowerBell’s RLQ lacquered red brass body offers a contrast to the traditional yellow brass used to make most saxophones. When playing, the player might notice more resistance in the high and low end and has a slight difference in feel and response in comparison to the original LQ. The timbre is a bit darker in the high register where the LQ is brighter, and produces a softer tone overall.
The SFL PowerBell has a beautiful crystal-like finish that gives the saxophone a distinct otherworldly look. It’s unique finish not only looks beautiful but has a noticeable pronounced tone response between notes, which didn’t blend together as much as the LQ. The tone is also slightly brighter and malleable than the LQ and the lower register is more resonant.
RLQ – RSFL
The unique finish of the RSFL and the red brass body seems to give it a clearer response and allows for more precision. The low register is a bit clearer than the RLQ and has a more even feel to it, but the RLQ is still slightly more responsive. The red brass gives both the RSFL and RLQ a darker sound quality as well as smoother tone and blend, but the RSFL is still a bit clearer than the RLQ. The tone is slightly brighter on the RLQ, but is also softer, where the RSFL allows the player to manipulate the tone a little bit easier making the RSFL a great horn for many different playing styles.
SFL – RSFL
The PowerBell’s SFL and RSFL are both elegant and pleasing to the eye. The traditional yellow brass of the SFL creates a clearer and “punchier” sound when playing with a more even low end while the RSFL has a more even response overall. The SFL’s tone can be a bit brighter and more resonant than the SFL depending on the player’s playing style. It’s tone is also very even throughout the entire range. The RSFL also has a nice even tone quality and offers a darker sound than the traditional LQ Power Bells.
Antigua’s Vintage Copper (VC) is a beautiful dark copper finish that complements the PowerBell and sets it apart from other horns. The VC has a slightly quicker response in the low end than the original LQ and tends to be a bit more even with response throughout the entire range. It’s timbre is a bit brighter than on the LQ, but tends to have a rounder and more even tone quality.
Compared to the RLQ and RSFL the Vintage Copper finish PowerBell has quicker response and feel throughout the entire range. The sound is brighter, and at the same time clear and poignant. The tone quality of the VC is a bit darker than the RLQ and RSFL and also with an even and clear sound.
The BG finish is a striking contrast to the other PowerBell finishes and certainly stands out in the crowd. Despite its distinctive appearance it has a more subtle response than the original LQ. The tone in the higher register is a bit more spread, but lower notes and subtone really come out easily when played. The CN finish on the PowerBell tends to blend more between notes than the BG, but overall has a similar response and evenness. Both horns have darker tone qualities than the original LQ finish. However, the CN is slightly more resonant in the upper register and down in the subtone range. The BG also has a darker tone but is warmer in the upper register.
The AQ finish PowerBell has a wonderful aesthetic that sets it apart from the others. The AQ has a spectacular feel to it and has slightly more response than the original LQ. However, it is a bit more resistant and the feel varies more in terms of response than the CB, which has a slightly more even tone than the others. The CB has a nice, even tone and a balanced full sound, but is a little bit darker than the LQ. The AQ is softer than the CB and slightly less resonant.
From sound to style, Antigua’s Powerbell offers a look to match every player’s need. Whether on the stage or in the practice room, professional or student, the PowerBell will always look and feel excellent.
※Mouthpiece: The TM42 hard rubber mouthpiece
※Note: The comparison aims to provide some ideas of the sound and tone for different finishes, but sound could be subjective depending on personal feelings; therefore, we would strongly recommend you try out the horn by yourself.