Posted on January 24, 2012
Kohlert Winnenden Tenor
I recently overhauled a 1954 Kohlert “Winnenden” tenor saxophone and was impressed with its tone, ergonomics, intonation, and construction- which features rolled toneholes and relatively modern ergonomics. The tone is dark, woody, and full- and tons of fun to play with a really dig-deep cupboard-rattling capability.
Repair-wise, the design of the horn presented no special challenges- if you can repair a Leblanc or a Conn well (which is unfortunately not as common as it should be), you are fully capable of overhauling one of these. If you only do modern horns and Selmers, be prepared to spend a little extra time figuring out what the builders of this instrument meant for you to do! Construction is single post, rolled toneholes, large and very slightly concave pearls. Front F, non-automatic G# (G# is not activated by the rest of the pinky table), left hand bell keys. The original pads (see pictures below) seem to have been very similar to a Conn Res-O-Pad, except with a large rivet in the center instead of a flat washer resonator/rivet combination. I overhauled this with regular pads and flat metal resonators and I am very pleased with the results.
“Winnenden” is what these models are commonly called due to the engraving; however Winnenden was simply the town in West Germany (these are Kohlert’s first post-WWII horns) where Kohlert had fled from Czechoslovakia to rebuild after being “nationalized” and forced to work for Amati.
The story is that Kohlert at this time had a converted military barracks and several home workshops spread out throughout the town, and different portions of the work would be done in different locations.
For more information on Kohlert history, see here: http://www.saxpics.com/?v=man&manID=11
and here: http://www.saxpics.com/?v=mod&modID=91