Having spent many years repairing some of the finest instruments out there, Friso Heidinga owner of Amsterdam Winds, found both positives and negatives to certain ways of sax design. Friso has always been very serious about sound. Around 2009 he strongly felt the urge to develop his own saxophone design that features a modern keyboard and action that can match only the very best vintage Selmers sound-wise. Being able to control everything from the grounds up would give him the opportunity to truly drill down to the essence of what it takes to make a remarkable saxophone.

So off he went, helped by a background in science, he began with numerous tests and research on every single piece possible. All kinds of experiments led to some ingenious construction methods to go with the highest quality brass. Built around the idea that artists should never be held back by limitations of the instrument, but instead should be able to play and explore freely, without any hassles in tuning or non-consistent intonation in different registers. The aim was to create an instrument that could contain the widest range of sound colours possible.

Taking sax to the max

Fast-forward a year later when Candy Dulfer tried the Free Wind prototype at a performance in Amsterdam. At first she invited Friso to her dressing room out of sheer politeness. This way she could play a few notes and hand back the horn immediately, she told Friso later. But, to her own surprise, she was so impressed by it she decided to play her third set on the Free Wind. Later on she asked Friso to make an instrument for her, one she could use as a backup. Heidinga set himself a personal challenge; to modify and tweak the prototype so it would be better than her first saxophone, a Selmer Mark VI. Candy had played that instrument for over 15 years and it’s known to be one of the best Mark VI altos ever heard. As you can imagine, the tone was set.

To reach his goal, Friso kept improving the prototype based on feedback from the world’s most talented saxophone players. Getting world-class input was of huge importance for both handling and sound. All the hard work finally accumulated to November 2011 when Candy tried the latest prototype while performing at her Album release. Right there and then she decided to play the Free Wind as her main instrument. Her Mark VI has been in its case ever since. The alto Candy plays became the Free Wind Alto as we know today. In her own words:

"A horn that plays like the future but
sounds like the past in a very soulful way”

A new chapter

Now, Friso has taken a further step with his new tenor. By demanding direct personal control over the fashioning of all the brass parts, the new tenor sax will be completely locally built in Northern Europe. It takes the acoustic qualities from the very best ‘classic’ tenors, while updating the scale and the ‘action’ (finger-board).  Like its younger sister, the tenor is finished by hand and is both sonically and aesthetically a ‘must have’!  This is an instrument for today and for the future.

Set yourself free

Free Wind enthusiasts and players are a tough audience to please. Being in the spotlights means you always have to perform at your very best. Only top-notch equipment can withstand a demanding stage life, ready to deliver refinement, reach and comfort, day in day out. Free Wind Saxophones will give you all you may need and then some. An outstanding design made to impress the most critical ears. Both horns are born to exceed expectations. So go ahead, ask yourself, what is it you are aiming for? One thing is for sure, if you decide to travel with a Free Wind, you’re guaranteed to be in excellent company. Numerous international artists vow for that.

"It's like Friso has built a new Stradivarius today,
that's quite an achievement. I'm flabbergasted. I love this sax"

Nice to know:

Free Wind Saxophones are our core product. Unlike many others who might run a saxophone shop, trading, selling and repairing all sorts of instruments in many different ranges while selling their own labeled line of instruments, our only goal is to deliver the best handmade saxophones possible.