Modern Bb straight soprano and Bb curved soprano saxophones- they are essentially identical in design except for the curved tube..
The tonal difference seems slight to a listener, but the player hears more reflected sound when playing a curved instrument. The older Conn and Buescher curved sopranos can be wonderful instruments as well, with a warm, sweet tone that is quite a bit less reedy than the modern sopranos. These horns can be professional quality instruments if they are adjusted properly and have a large-chambered mouthpiece.
sound samples (Lunde "Alpine" Sonata excerpt):
mp3 demo Bb Soprano sax 1.5MB
Thanks to Rod Westerling for the loan of the curved soprano!
All material © Jay Easton 2001-2006 unless otherwise noted