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Gear4Music SS-100G soprano saxophone

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano sax reviewOrigin: China
Guide price: £250
Weight: 1.35kg
Date of manufacture: 2021
Date reviewed: March 2021

Still cheap, still cheerful

It's been a while since I did a review of an Ultra-Cheap horn, and this one seemed like too good a chance to pass up.
A client had sent me a Yamaha alto to service and decided to kill two birds with one stone by having a Gear4Music soprano drop-shipped to me so that I could give it a few tweaks and have it ready for collection when the alto was ready.
I pretty much knew what to expect before I'd even clapped eyes on it - but in this instance I was rather more interested in seeing whether the build-quality standards had risen lately. Or indeed dropped. Part, or perhaps most, of the reason that Gear4Music are almost the only company still dealing in such horns (in the UK anyway) is that the lack of build consistency has driven every other retailer to despair - despite the very best efforts of some of them to engage with and provide technical support to the manufacturers. I personally know a few who put a tremendous amount of time and effort into sourcing instruments of respectable quality, but subsequently found that the manufacturers simply weren't interested in maintaining any standards from batch to batch. And yes, to be fair, in some cases they may well have been unable to do so because of the way things are with regard to workforce loyalty out there.
I also realised, from looking at my soprano reviews, that I hadn't actually reviewed an Ultra-Cheap model since 2005 - which was just about the year when such horns first appeared on the global market. Where does the time go?

Something else I was particularly interested in was how the horn would be packaged up for its trip down to me via a courier. At the time of writing this review we, here in the UK at least, are tentatively heading towards a way out of the Coronavirus lockdown (fingers crossed), courtesy of an impressive vaccination drive. Having continued to work flat out all the way through the last year or so I've had to take on a great deal more mail-order work than I generally like to (it's always a risky proposition, I feel), which means I've seen a large assortment of boxed-up horns. Some folks have ignored my advice and sent their horn in little more than a giant Jiffy bag - and some have been truly exceptional - such as the soprano that arrived encased in a handbuilt wooden box that made most flight cases look like picnic baskets.

What would the soprano packaging be like?
Like this. It's a bloody miracle the horn arrived intact. The box barely fits around the case, and gawd knows what use that piece of scrumpled-up paper was. I suspect they just bunged it in because the bin was full and they're knee-deep in brown paper. There wasn't even any padding inside the case - and nothing's guaranteed to knacker a horn more than it being allowed to rattle around inside one.
Gear4Music SS-100G soprano packagingI wondered why on earth they'd do such a thing - but I suppose it boils down to economics. If you accept that a certain percentage of your stock is going to get mangled in transit, you have to work out how much that costs and compare it with the cost of providing adequate packaging for such a vulnerable item. It's evidently cheaper to take the hit (quite literally) - and sod the inconvenience and disappointment to the customer.

Anyway, being suitably relieved that the horn's arrived in one piece, let's take a look at the specs:
It's has a semi-ribbed construction - which is to say that the stack pillars are on ribs and the remaining pillars are either standalone, on plates or on U-shaped cradles. The toneholes are all plain drawn save for those above the top B key which, as is common for sopranos these days, are silver soldered on.
There's a rather large adjustable brass thumb hook, a large flat plastic thumb rest and a decently-sized 15.5/10.5 sling ring. And being a soprano, that's about it for the body features - other than to mention that it's keyed up to top G.

You get two crooks with the sax - a straight one and a slightly curved one.
As is common on these budget horns, the tenon sleeves weren't masked when the lacquer was applied - so it's all over the sleeves. It's a good idea to remove this - makes for a smoother fitting joint - but it'll probably fall off in time anyway. The fit of the crooks was reasonable. Not the best I've seen, but by no means unworkable. I tightened them up anyway.

Gear4Music SS_100G soprano crook tenonsAnd here's a top-tech-tip for you. Stick your finger up the tenon sleeve and feel for a burr on the end of the tube. If you find one, take a small fine file to it or a piece of wet 'n dry paper to smooth it off. You can, if you're careful, cut the burr off with the tip of a Stanley knife blade...but watch your fingers.
This'll improve the airflow through the crook, and prevent snagging if you use a crook pullthrough.

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano palm key toneholesThe toneholes are the usual mixed bag. Most of the lower ones are reasonably level (with a couple bucking the trend), but as you go higher up the horn they get a bit worse.
It's disappointing, but it's pretty much par for the course at this price point. Fortunately (I suppose) the relative softness of the pads and the fact that they've been set with heavy compression means the horn still works - though it won't win any awards for lightness of finger pressure required, and it's certainly not going to get better over time.

The finish on the toneholes was mediocre too. Many had slight burrs, almost all of them had roughly filed rims and one or two were deformed; such as this this top E tonehole. They rounded out nicely with the application of a lightly-tapered mandrel and a couple of deft taps with a mallet.
Rather amusingly I noted that the blurb on the seller's site has this to say about the toneholes: "including precision drawn tone holes to allow maximum air passage without leakage or cutting of pads". Quite. In the end I levelled all the toneholes - including the body octave pip, which was quite some way off being flat. It wouldn't have been an issue for the squishy pad that had been fitted - but squishy pads tend to get sticky, and that's particularly bad news on an octave mech. In any event, a worthwhile upgrade is to fit a cork pad...and for that you really do need a flat surface on the pip.

I mentioned earlier that the top toneholes were soldered on (which is fine), but they haven't been that scrupulous when it comes to cleaning up after the process. If you take a peek down the bore you can see that each of the soldered toneholes has been left with incursions into the bore. I doubt this'll have much effect on how the horn plays but it's definitely something a pullthrough is likely to get snagged on - and a pullthrough that's stuck inside a soprano is not a fun thing.
Gear4Music SS-100G soprano boreCleaning up this mess isn't all that easy. It's tricky to get any tooling down the bore with any degree of accuracy, so the best way to tackle the excess tubing is to go in through the toneholes with a ball-shaped grinding stone - and thereafter its all about feeling your way around the base of the tonehole. It's a little bit 'seat of your pants'. I think I got about 90% of the way there before I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and called it a day.

Otherwise the general assembly is pretty good. A couple of scruffily-soldered pillars, but on the whole it all looks reasonably well assembled and - for the present, at least - nothing looked like it was about to fall off. I tested the crook receiver joint for leaks with cigarette lighter fluid and gave it a pass. Always worth testing this joint; it's a common point point of failure on Ultra-Cheap sopranos, and one that's not easy to spot.
There's a coat of clear lacquer on the body and keys. It's nothing to write home about, being quite thin and rather prone to marking.

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano regulation corksThe corkwork on the SS-100G is appalling - even by the usual standards - and ranged from scruffy right through to "You're havin' a larf, mate". I've often said that the biggest problem with Ultra Cheap horns is the lack of manufacturing consistency, but this sort of goes one step further. Whether you get a horn with reasonably neat corks or one like this is pretty much down to whoever assembled your horn. There's no sort of 'house style'. I've seen countless examples of such horns but I really do think this one's the worst I've seen.
The lower stack regulation buffers are at least in the right place but they're way too thick for the job. A quick check with a leaklight showed the Auxiliary F pad was already leaking, and as these thick corks compress with use it'll only get worse. Easy enough to fix though, whip them off and put either some thin tech (rubberised) cork on or a nice bit of felt. Either will do, though felt will be a bit quieter - and the Aux.F bar will need to be lowered slightly to accommodate the thinner buffers. With that said, bending the keys is often no mean feat - they're sometimes as tough as old boots.
Note that you don't get any regulation adjusters on the lower stack - but you do get a couple on the top stack, where they're more or less essential on a soprano.

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano corksAs for the rest of the key corks, well...just take a peek. I picked out four of the worst examples, but the rest really weren't that much better. Fortunately it's pretty easy to replace most of these - just slice them off, pop a smear of superglue gel on a suitable strip of cork, pop it in place, press down for a while then trim up to size. I'd advise cleaning the underside of the key feet with some cigarette lighter fluid beforehand though, because the glue the Chinese use seems to have a remarkably ability to slow down or even prevent superglue from curing.
Most of these corks can be replaced without having to take the keys off - and it really only gets a bit more complicated when you start replacing the corks on the main stack keys, as you'll have to adjust them to match the others across the key groups.
But to be honest, all of these corks work despite looking bloody awful. You could easily leave them as is, or even just trim them up a little if you're not confident about replacing them. Might be a moot point, though, as Chinese corks are notorious for falling off when the temperature rises. As such I decided to replace almost all the corks.

Speaking of corks - the crook corks were the usual overthick lumps of indifferently-fitted cheap stuff (lots of holes).
The thing about these cheap sops is that you usually have to push the mouthpiece almost all the way onto the cork in order to bring the instrument in to tune - but you often don't stand a chance of being able to do so, no matter how much grease you apply to the cork.
Gear4Music SS_100G soprano crook corksThe top one is the straight crook, and you can barely get a mouthpiece two thirds of the way on. The lower is the curved crook, and someone's had a jolly good go at getting the mouthpiece to the sweet spot (more about this near the end of the review). It didn't quite make it, and in so doing it's torn a split in the cork because the glue that's been used has too much give it in. It'll need a new cork (I replaced both of them) - but a bit of sanding on the other one and a molten candle wax rub (to seal up the holes) will get you going.

As expected, I found some play in the keywork. From the bottom up the horn was OK - in fact quite good in places - until you got to the G# cup key. Not so much just a wobble on this key as slightly short there was axial (end-to-end) play. Thereafter it got a bit worse. The side keys had a slight wobble, but not to the degree that I wouldn't give them a grudging pass - and the palm keys were really quite poor, though this was more to do with the holes in the pillars being too large rather than the key barrels. That being said, these keys are largely self-centring - so while it's not at all ideal you can still just about get away with it for the most part.

Gear4Music SS_100G soprano top stack playIt was on the top stack where the most points were lost; not only were the individual keys (moderately) wobbly, but the pillars had been reamed oversize - which meant that the entire stack could move laterally. You can see it quite clearly in this fancy animated gif. It's not so much that this kind of play affects the individual keys when you press them down (the force of the springs helps to take up some of the play) it's more that it throws any chance of achieving reliable and repeatable regulation between the keys completely out of the window. You see those two adjusting screws? They sit over the bar that comes off the Auxiliary B key. When you press either the A or the B key down, they bring down the Aux.B key automatically. Once the A or B keys are closed they can exert no more downward force on that bar, and the spring on the Aux.B key immediately pushes back again that force. If the action was nice and tight the Aux.B would have nowhere to go and would seal nicely - but with all the play in the stack the key can push back into it...which allows the key to open slightly and thus cause a leak. And a leak up at the top of the horn will affect any note 'down wind' of it. Which in this case is pretty much the entire horn.
If you adjust the screws to take up the free play the Aux. key will close, but when you come to play an A following a B (or vice versa) the adjustment screws will prevent the A and/or B keys from closing.

It can be fixed, but it's quite an involved job. The 'traditional' way is to crimp (or 'peen') the pillars to make the holes smaller - but for anything other than a very slight amount of play I tend to regard this method as being a bit bodgy, and not a great long-term solution. And it still leaves you with the play in the keys, which you'll have to swedge out. A far better bet is to ditch the existing rod screw, ream out the pillars and the keys oversize and then make a new rod screw to suit. Does the whole job in one go, it's faster, doesn't risk damaging the lacquer and you end up with a stack that's as tight as a drum - and one that stays that way for some considerable length of time. More often than not you don't even have to ream the pillars - it's simply a case of finding a rod size that's a snug fit and then reaming just the keys to fit.
Geeky note: 2.46mm or thereabouts is typically the fitted size of rod, 2.62mm is the usually the smallest diameter rod that will take up the play in the pillars, or 2.56mm if you're lucky. M2 x .4 or M2.5 x .45 are the most common thread sizes.

The thing is...
I can't for the life of me work out why the manufacturers keep doing this; they've been knocking these things out for decades now - you'd think that they'd have the simple process of drilling a hole to the right dimensions completely sussed. Oh, I know they can do it - I've seen it - so what accounts for horns like this?
I mean, it's no extra effort to drill a hole to the correct size than it is to drill it slightly oversize - so it has to be down to a tooling issue. Could it be (and run with me on this) that whoever assembles these things gets given a single 2.46mm drill at the start of their career and is expected to replace it out of their own pocket if they break or lose it...or when it goes blunt? Do they think 'sod that!', and just reach for the next size up when the drill breaks? And what happens when that drill breaks?

OK, I know these things aren't the most precisely made items, and sure - it may be advantageous in terms of fitting the keywork to have a bit of free play knocking about (it's why pseudo point screws are so popular), but do they really need as much as 0.16mm? They could use a 2.5mm drill and it would surely give them all the slop they might need, and at least leave the action only very slightly wobbly rather than flapping about in the breeze.
You might suppose that the alignment of the pillars had something to do with it - and that would be a reasonable assumption. Every repairer knows that if the pillars aren't lined up right, the key(s) can bind as you drive the rod screw home. You can fiddle about with the keys all you like but the problem won't go away until you line up the pillars (or, as we've seen, hack at the rod screw).
But you can also drill out the pillar until there's so much free play in it that the rod screw self-aligns...and to hell with what that means for the integrity of the action.
But here's the thing - whenever I've upgraded top stack rod screws on these things (as I did on this horn) it's been a straightforward 'ream the pillars, ream the keys' job. No pillar mangling required. As it turns out I also had to upgrade the G# key cup rod screw - and again, it was a straightforward ream and replace job.

Gear4Music SS_100G soprano bell key tableThe only other explanation I can think that they're doing it deliberately. Y'see, all the above makes no real sense at all. It's got to make things harder for the poor technician who has to pad and get these things going, and it probably results in complaints from their buyers (assuming they give a toss). I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm tempted to send them a load of 2.46mm drills just to make my life a bit easier.
But, if you were making a range of horns, with some more expensive than others, you wouldn't perhaps want your cheapest horn to be too good. Now there's a thought, eh?

If you're at all up on such things I would imagine that you've sussed out what the (ahem) inspiration for this horn was by now - but just in case you were hedging your bets I can tell you that it bears more than a passing resemblance to the rather excellent Yanagisawa 991. If nothing else, the layout of the tilting bell key table along with the characteristic 'bridge roller' between the C# and the B is a dead giveaway.
Of course, just because the keys look like they're from a 991 it doesn't mean the body will be too. However, at this point it wouldn't be unreasonable to take a sip of Madeira, light a bowl of King Arthur's Ready Rubbed and nonchalantly point out that if you're going to copy the keywork of an expensive horn, you might just as well go the whole hog and copy the body as well.
It's actually quite naughty really, but someone in the market for a bargain-basement soprano isn't likely to rush out and blow several grand on a Yanagisawa...and the more soprano players there are out there, the more chance there is that one day they'll want to treat themselves to something nicer. And when they go trying horns out, guess which one is likely to feel most familiar under the fingers?
Not much there to complain about - though some scallywags have been taking the proper piss and badging Ultra Cheap horns up as the real thing, then flogging them on places like eBay.

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano octave swivelThe octave key mech had an awful lot of free play in it. You could press the thumb key down and it would move a third of the way through its entire throw before much of anything happened. Most of this was down to the swivel pin/socket. They've provided the pin with a means of tightening the action up - namely a slot cut into the pin. You stick a screwdriver in the slot, give it a twist and splay the pin out. Sounds ideal, but it seldom works that well because it puts a taper on the pin...which really doesn't help that much.
Note the rather scuffed pad. That won't help much either.

I decided to sort the problem out with the aid of my non-patented collet-based pin shaver. I soldered a piece of brass in the slot (to make it a solid pin), then used to the tool to reduce the diameter of the pin and true it up. This allowed me to fit a Teflon sleeve of sufficient thickness to take up any play. Job done. Sort of.
Gear4Music SS-100G soprano octave mechHaving got the swivel bar sitting nice and snug on the pin I could now see that the hole through the bar had been drilled at an angle - so that the bar sat at the angle shown by the red line. That's why there was so much play in the pin. Chances are it was probably a reasonable fit on the pin when it was made, but when it came to assembling the mech they would have discovered the error - and rather than bin the part and fit another one, they just drilled the socket out until it was loose enough to allow the tips of the bar to sit in their respective holes.
OK, it wasn't difficult to correct; I just popped the bar on a tightly-fitting mandrel and tapped the arms into line. But it took a good 10-15 minutes of to-ing and fro-ing to get it all lined up, and that time costs money. Remember that point, 'cos we'll come back to it in the wash-up.

Speaking of free play...
The point screws are of the standard pseudo variety. Fit varies; in some places it's very good - in other places it's just about OK (about the same as the average Mauriat) and in some places it was bloody awful. I ended up replacing five point screws.

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano compound bell key pillarThere's a bit of a gotcha on the compound bell key pillar; the key barrels are recessed. If you remove the screws from the pillar in order to take the keys off, you might find yourself wondering why they won't come off. This'll be why. You have to remove the screws at the other end of the keys. Haven't worked out yet whether I think this is a good or a bad idea, but I wouldn't advise you worry about it unduly.

And I think that just about wraps up the technical stuff, other than to say that the key pearls are all plastic (well, what did you expect?) and the action's powered by blue steel springs...not all of which are particularly well fitted. You get the usual semi-soft zippered case - which actually isn't that bad. At least until the zip fails. And you get a cheap plastic mouthpiece - which can be improved by taking it out of the case and lobbing it into the nearest bin. Invest in a basic Yamaha piece, it'll be worth it.

In the hands the horn shows its 'copy' credentials. Everything's where you want it. OK, it's a soprano, so ergonomics aren't usually an issue (except on those models with the old-fashioned palm keys on a single pivot). It's nicely balanced in the hands - which is important if, like me, you prefer to wield these things without the aid of a sling.
It didn't feel too bad out of the box, but the time spent on tightening up the keywork really paid dividends - and turned it from being 'OK to play' into a horn that actually felt rather nice. I doubt it would be worth running to the expense of fitting better pads to it, but if you did so it would step the feel up yet again. No complaints at all.

I did two play tests to this horn. The first was when the horn arrived in the workshop. I did a few on-the-spot tweaks to correct some obvious issues, but other than that it was pretty much 'out of the box'.
It played quite well. Tonewise it has a nice, clean presentation - with a good balance between low, mid and high ranges. It's clearly a modern soprano, with bags of clarity at the top end and a nice bit of punch at the lower - and it doesn't get claggy or bloated inbetween...and there's a very pleasing uniformity of tone at whatever volume you choose to play at. In short, like many Ultra-Cheap horns, it plays way, way better than it has any right to for the price.
I play tested it again after the service and I'm happy to say that all of the above applies, except that the horn felt appreciably more sure-footed and responsive. You could merely 'dust' your fingers over the keys and the notes would speak clearly, with all the definition you could possibly want. There's also a sense of a slightly wider midrange, which is almost certainly down to taking out a number of small leaks. In short, I got more of everything - which pretty much describes the playability difference between a student horn and an entry-level professional one
Any difference between the two crooks? Yeah, but only just. The curved crook is a just a hint smoother at the top end, just a little bit creamier. Is that due to the curve? Nope, it's just down to slight differences in the bore dimensions - it could easily have been the other way around.
I'm not a big fan of the soprano - there's something about it that just doesn't float my boat - but if I had to dep on one, I'd be more than happy with this wee beastie. It's more than up to the job.
I was rambling on earlier about why these horns often have a suspiciously dodgy action - but when you play one of these things after it's been properly repaired it does kind of make you wonder if they're built to a 'standard' so as not to ruffle any feathers. It's a thought that's worthy of the very best tin-foil hat...

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano straight crookAs for the tuning, it's fine - as expected. In fact it's a little better than expected. Remember the crook corks, and that I said you usually have to push the mouthpiece all the way onto the cork to get the horn in tune?
Not this time. It comes into pitch at the usual position - around three quarters of the way on. That's nice.
I had to do some tweaking to the crook key springs. They'd been set super strong in order to overcome the lack of precision in the octave mech. With that all sorted out they just served to make the action feel unnecessarily heavy - and now that the throw of the mech had been altered I had to make some adjustments to the crook keys. Simple enough, but it still takes time.

OK, so what do I think?
I've been pretty hard on this poor soprano - but I think it's important to show you what you're likely to get for your (not very much) money. The fact that this horn even worked at all out of the box is perhaps a testament to exactly how forgiving an instrument the sax is. Armed with this information you have two choices; buy and play the thing as is, and hope it all works - or spend some time or money bringing it up to the next level.

Whether or not that's worth it depends on what else you can get for the money.
On the plus side it's a (loose) copy of a very decent horn, and as such it comes with a few advantages. The keywork is modern and comfortable - it's well laid out and can be tweaked to be really quite nimble. And it plays far, far better than the price would suggest - which, it has to be said, is its killer feature.
On the down side it's always going to something of a lottery with regard to the quality - but that's a risk that's heavily mitigated by a no-fuss returns policy. If you don't like the look of what turns up, send it back and get another one...or get a refund.
But if you think of this as 'needs work' project and stick another £40-£100 aside for fettling, you'll end up with a very serviceable soprano indeed.
However - there's quite a stark line between tweaking and/or fettling and bringing the horn up to proper spec. My brief on this horn was to do everything I considered needed doing. I knew straightaway that that probably wasn't going to be cost-effective - so I quoted £80 for an 'advanced tweak', and decided to go pretty much the full Monty on my own time...just to see what it would take. And the answer is - in excess of £250's worth of work...and I could still have done more.
Why bother? Several reasons. Despite these things being dirt cheap they're often very capable horns underneath the mediocre assembly, so I wanted to give it the very best chance of proving what it could do in the play test. I also wanted to demonstrate in detail exactly what level of work might be required to bring one up to scratch - and rather than just 'saying as much', I wanted to do the actual show exactly what it might entail and to document any problems here. And I wanted to do a no-holds-barred review.
The conclusion I can draw from all this is that it can be worth throwing some extra money at these things, but - and this is the critical point - it's very much dependent on what you have to start with. These things are not consistent in terms of their build quality, and that's where the difficulty lies - because the average punter isn't going to know whether the horn they've bought only needs some advanced tweaking or, like this one, requires rather a lot more. At least not until a repairer takes a look at it.

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano sax bellIt's also very clear that delving too deep into the mechanics can end up costing you more than you might have bargained for. Fix one thing, and it might mean something related will need fixing. It all adds to the bill, and very great deal depends on that cost, naturally - but it also depends on what your expectations are for such a cheap horn and the use you're likely to put it to...and for how long.
More often than not they play right out of the box. Spend a few quid on some minor tweaks and they'll feel and play a bit better...and will do so for that much longer. Spend a bit more and you can really put quite a shine on these horn. Chuck still more money at them and you potentially have a surprisingly versatile instrument that you won't be in any hurry to dispose of.

To be sure, economics is very much in play. You can find used Taiwanese sopranos on ebay for £350 upwards - and yes, they might be better built...but that doesn't always mean they'll feel particularly good nor play especially well. And they'll likely still need work doing to them. There's always going to be an element of risk at this price point.

And there's even another way to save a few bob. I mentioned that someone had trashed one of the crook corks by pushing a mouthpiece on too hard. You might be thinking that that's a pretty poor show for a brand new horn....but this isn't quite a brand new horn. It's a 'quality second'. That may mean it's either a horn that hasn't passed the retailer's inspection process (assuming they have one and/or cannot deal with minor technical faults), or it's a return. Someone bought it, probably couldn't get it to play in tune because of the mouthpiece corks and sent it back. When it arrived here it was working, so there wasn't anything disastrously wrong with it.
This is perhaps a slightly riskier proposition (though you can still return it for a refund) inasmuch as it may have been sent back because there are problems with it. But if you're happy to carry out your own tweaks or figure that you're going to pay someone to set the thing up anyway, it's a nifty way to score a bargain.
Though do bear in mind that if the box this horn arrived in is indicative of Gear4Music's packaging policy, what turns up might be little better than scrap brass.

As for the competition...well, there isn't any really. Realistically, any Ultra-Cheap soprano you see for sale at less than around £350 is going to be much the same as this one. Different name, different finish perhaps, different deal - but underneath it all it's going to be much the same in terms of build quality and plagued by the same inconsistencies. Thus the choice boils down to whether you want to pay the extra in the hope that someone's already tweaked it properly (fat chance) - or get one of these and have your own repairer do the work. Might end up costing a little bit more, but you're likely to get a better deal in the end.

So there it is, a £250 soprano. Pros and cons as usual. It's a shame that the build quality hasn't got much better over the years, but on the plus side at least it doesn't seem to have got any worse. Small mercies.
I think it's fair to say that you're still taking a bit of a punt with one of these - more so than with one of the larger horns - but if you're canny and at least a little bit clued up as to what faults to look out for, and you don't mind sending one or two horns back, it's still pretty hard to beat the sheer bang for bucks that these things can be.

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