The Big Bell®, created by Cannonball® in 2001, enhances the ability to create a broad range of dynamics for a depth of the sound color and lower partials. The increased size also lends to a big, warm sound.
Gerald selected multi-colored Picasso Jasper semi-precious stones to adorn the key touches, necks, and bell key guard of the Gerald Albright Series. No two sets of stones are exactly the same, making your horn unique in the fine details. These beautiful stones give the instrument a striking look, and are also patented for the way they change the instrument’s resonance.
In collaboration with Gerald Albright, we designed the elaborate hand engraving that adorns each saxophone with a strikingly elegant appearance. Looking at the engraving, you might spot Gerald’s hobby when he’s not making music. (Gerald is an avid golfer!) Each instrument is hand engraved at our facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. To preserve and promote this jeweler’s art, the masterful engravings turn each saxophone into a unique piece of art in itself.
Each Gerald Albright Series saxophone comes standard with two hand-customized necks. The second neck on alto and tenor models is the FAT Neck® which has the octave tube on the underside of the neck, creating less resistance of air-flow, resulting in a FAT sound with more lows, more mids, less highs.
The appearance and acoustic preferences were designed and fine tuned in collaboration with Gerald Albright.
The Big Bell® projects a bold, warm sound, yet allows you to play with the most subtle nuances, creating a contemporary version of the big-sounding American horns from the early to mid 1900's.
Each Cannonball® saxophone bell is formed from a single sheet of brass and hand hammered before being meticulously hand-smoothed and evened.
Each Gerald Albright Signature Series ALTO and TENOR Saxophone comes with two necks: an original neck in black nickel plate, and the Cannonball® patented FAT Neck® in silver plate.
Each Gerald Albright Signature Series SOPRANO comes with two hand-customized necks: one straight, and one curved on the straight soprano, two curved necks of different finishes come with the curved soprano.
Each neck is adjusted for superior projection, rich tone, and precise pitch. Our acoustical technicians meticulously adjust each neck to perform optimally on the specific saxophone.
In addition to their striking beauty, the semi-precious stones adorning Cannonball saxophones are patented for the tonal characteristics they add to the saxophone. Gerald chose multi-colored Picasso Jasper for the Gerald Albright Series.
Artisans in our Salt Lake City facility intricately hand-engrave the each Gerald Albright Signature Series saxophone. Gerald Albright is an avid golfer, so at his request we’ve hidden a pair of golf clubs in the striking engraving motif – see if you can find them!
The High F# and G keys extend the saxophone’s range and make high passages easier to play.
The bell and bow can be removed from the body by a qualified repair technician in the event of serious damage. This reduces repair costs as it allows repairs to be done quicker, easier, and more effectively. *N/A on Straight Soprano
The bell, bow, and necks go through an annealing process several times, heating and then cooling the brass to specific temperatures. This annealing process gives the horn a warmer, more even tone.
Cannonball’s hand-hammering process, which follows annealing, hardens the brass and gives our instruments superior ring and resonance.
Our Italian Pisoni water-resistant leather pads have been specifically chosen for long life, excellent sealing, and the superior feel they add to the key action.
Our pads have riveted nickel-plated brass resonators that are specifically chosen for optimum performance and sound.
Steel needle springs allow for the most precise, even key tension. The bluing process makes the steel resistant to rust and corrosion, which extend the life of the springs.
Forged brass has much greater strength and uniformity than molded brass, so our keys resist bending and hold their adjustment exceptionally well over time.
Upper and lower stack adjustment screws allow for easier and more precise regulation and adjustment. Under each stack adjustment screw we use synthetic cork, which (unlike natural cork) resists compression over time, so the fine adjustments on your saxophone will last.
Our sturdy brass thumb hook is adjustable so you can set it to the angle that best fits your own hands.
The “tilting spatula” rocking mechanism allows fast and fluid transitions between the low C-sharp and low B-flat keys. *N/A on Curved Soprano
The four left-hand table keys are susceptible to being knocked out of adjustment when their top post moves, so we have added an additional lateral brace to keep it in place, especially when the horn is hit or dropped. *N/A on Curved Soprano
Relief springs help lift open the G-sharp and C-sharp keys when they would otherwise “stick” and remain closed.
Instead of soldering the post that holds the neck tension and lyre screws, our receiver is machined out of a solid piece of brass. This adds great strength and durability to the neck receiver.
Double arms help keep the bell keys in regulation and resist movement due to bumps, or normal wear over time.
*TENOR ONLY* In addition to the front-to-back stabilization of the traditional “logo” brace, we added a side-to-side brace on our tenors and baritones to keep the bell section in place if the horn is hit or dropped.
The most important thing that sets Cannonball® apart is the acoustical customizing that we do to every instrument. Specially trained and talented acoustical adjusters work on each saxophone, adjusting the bore, air flow, and more until they are satisfied that each horn has an open altissimo, rich lows, even timbre, full-bodied sound, and in-line overtones. When you pick up a Cannonball® saxophone, we want you to enjoy it as much as our acoustical technicians do - we want you to say, "I can't put this horn down!"
"The Cannonball® Horns have accurately delivered every musical speech that I have given to my audiences around the world. " ~ Gerald AlbrightSEE ALL OF OUR ARTISTS