P. Mauriat 66R Tenor, which was a very positive learning experience. The horn has a large number of strong points, and only a couple of weak points. This particular saxophone is on my list of favorite modern horns, which is a very very short list.
One of the 66R's strongest points is the fact that blowing through the horn feels extremely similar to a vintage horn. There is only a very light back pressure to the horn similar to a Mark VI or SBA. The amount of sound out for effort in is well balanced. Basically, its easy to scream or play at a whisper, and the horn is very easy to inflect and achieve your personal sound on.
The keywork of the horn feels great. I played this horn for a week, and by the time I was done I preferred the keywork and setup over my SBA and it felt weird going back. I played 4 different P. Mauriat tenors, and of the 4 only 1 had the spring pressure set up uncomfortably heavy. The 66R that I spent the week playing felt near perfect in terms of the keywork and setup.
The intonation of the horn is also very good. The palm keys require less work that I'm accustomed to keep in tune, and there were a number of other notes and registers on the horn that felt like it took less work to keep in tune. At the same time, the horn does have potential problems with intonation for different reasons, which I'll explain shortly.
The sound of the tenor is sweet, warm, vibrant, and big. The horn definitely projects as well. All of this should add up to a near perfect horn, however there is an Achilles' heel. The sound of the horn is SO warm that it doesn't quite have enough punch or edge to keep the player behind the horn completely informed of the sound. This interprets into having some difficulty hearing yourself clearly when playing very fast. There is also potential danger of intonation problems in result of this sound attribute. Finally, it also means that you have a kind of fixed warmth to your sound, which some players will dig and others won't. Every saxophone has its particular characteristic sound, and it's something you'll either love or won't.
Here are two clips from a live performance on this horn live at Twins Jazz in D.C.
Conclusion: This is a fantastic modern horn that blows like a vintage horn. It has great keywork and good intonation. The sound is sweet and vibrant, however it will be too warm for some players.