Finish can also significantly affects the value of a horn. The Fibracell and Plasticovers also work for me, just not the Alaxanders! Chances are that the one you are looking at isn't the one Bird used to play ". Collectibility has really made it hard to purchase some horns as a player. Finally, there are a number of other saxophone brands that you may see on the market. The low-end 5 th wheel brands you’ll want to avoid are a constant headache that deliver unexpected issues at the worst times. We will try to focus on the horns which we have had. Are there flowers in a pattern around the writing on the bell? One note of caution: if the owner says "this horn belonged to...", be skeptical, unless the owner has positive proof. Student models come up in the paper and on Craigslist fairly frequently, and are readily available through dozens of Internet sites. He made that thing sound like a pro horn too. Do you play it regularly, or has it been sitting for an extended period of time? All about saxophones. An advanced "trick" is to play the overtones of Bb, B, C and D and compare them to their fingered counterparts. In the following paragraphs, a brief description of some common and great brands of saxophones has been put forth. The metal that the horn is made of seems to make a much greater difference than the finish used. A common and sad misfortune to befall necks is the "pull-down." After this point, the horn started gaining some popularity and was sold in mass quantities. Here is a link the Buescher section in the online museum to help you better aquaint yourself with what a good vintage Buescher should look like. They should be soft, with no rips or tears, and should cover the hole completely. Conn-Selmer. Check the items they have sold or bought and make sure it relates to the item at hand. A lot of the marketing of new horns depends on the mystique of their older models. Aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents hear us out – we made you a list of the 10 most annoying and hated musical instruments in the world so that you can set … Often younger students have just decided that they want to play the saxophone, and parents are left not knowing much, if anything, about what they need. A year after my horns were stolen and all but one returned, I got a call from a guy who said he had a bari that he wanted to sell. Saxophones are beautiful instruments known for their soulful and melodic sounds. You should see silver around those areas. If it is a used horn, spend some time just examining the body for damage. This model underwent some changes but basically remained the same until about 1924-1925. Chances are, the horn has been repaired by someone who is not qualified. Another feedback-boosting tool some sellers use is buying or selling lots of inexpensive items specifically to receive good feedback. Also, have the person or store send you detailed photos of the saxophone first, either through the mail or e-mail. It's kinda gold looking. Never purchase a vintage Selmer just because it is a Selmer unless it is extremely inexpensive! For players, when you go to try a horn always pack the following essential items: For non-players, you should try and examine the horn as closely as possible. If you are a player yourself, it is easy to get caught in the moment and not try a horn out as thoroughly as possible. The hardest part of buying a used saxophone is knowing what it is worth and what kind of condition it is in. One potential problem when it comes to cheaper brands is that if it breaks it can be hard to find somebody who wants to fix it for you. A music store with a Mark VI sitting in the window is going to act as though the horn is made of solid gold. I would go into getting a new saxophone expecting to pay in around $1,500-$3,000 for a new, student line instrument. These materials do not just enhance its look, but also account for its strength and durability. Adolphe Sax developed several saxophones in various sizes throughout the 1840s and received a fifteen-year patent that included fourteen different versions of the instrument on June 28, 1846. Just this work alone is $250, but they include it with the sale of every brand new horn. There are LOTS of things to consider and after following the logical list of do's and don'ts the ultimate decision is a very personal one that relies as much as anything on your "gut" feeling about that particular instrument and how it responds to you. The reality about these saxophones is that they are getting older every year and restoration is not always feasible. Don't get us wrong, there are many fantastic vintage saxes out there and these should definitely be considered. Chances are that the one you are looking at isn't the one Bird used to play "Star Eyes" on the "Swedish Scnapps" album. Every used horn has been thoroughly gone through as well, and they are always playing in top condition. This is tough for us because we are very loyal Selmer enthusiasts. These horns featured a refined action (although not "balanced" like the Selmers), and some unusual keying features. Buying a saxophone is not too terribly different from buying a car. It just depends on the individual shop. Replacing rods on most models isn't a big deal, but there are some older horns out there that are much trickier. If the horn has no country of manufacture, be, Either fortunately, or unfortunately there are dozens of choices in the student model arena. After all, it's now yours! While I was in college, I bought and sold saxophones to help pay for tuition. It is with some reservation that I bring up a pawn shop as a place to buy a saxophone. It can never hurt to ask too many questions! Last but not least, is the craftsmanship. A classic example of this is the Couf. Also, there are only a few models which were actually gold plated. Student models generally use more rigorous materials, such as nickel-silver rods, stronger bell braces, side-rod configurations, and heavy-duty lacquer. Welcome to the Saxophone Buyer's Guide! Some small dents, called ping dents, are fine. Used horns are also easy to find. Used horns are not always going to be in perfect condition when you go to look at it. The newest model also has a front F, so altissimo (above the written range of the saxophone) is a lot easier. The best saxophones for beginners are ones that help you master the instrument - without requiring you to already be a pro. Read the section on models to learn how not to be deceived by bogus or exaggerated "professional" claims. In the past, curved sopranos took a bad rap for playing out of tune. These discs help reflect sound back into the horn to aid in projection and increase overall volume. : It says "Made by something...."  uh maybe Conn? The following is a sample dialogue of how I "interrogate" people over the phone who are selling horns that they know little about. When looking around the tone holes, be sure and look for solder. They support and facilitate all of the movement associated with playing the instrument. The bari had been mistreated badly while in the thief's possession. Here is a link the SML section in the online museum to help you better aquaint yourself with what a good vintage SML should look like. If the horn doesn't play, you don't know how it sounds, and the value should drop accordingly. Seller: No...  it just comes out to a piece of cork. If it gleams and looks well cared for, you can guess that it was rarely played or treated exceptionally well. Contents. The keys are made of abalone shell, giving it a variety of shades and colors to match with the vintage style. These horns look and sometimes feel like professional models, but are actually student models. As with a car, you want to "look under the hood" to see what kind of maintenance, repair, and care has been given to this horn. Dealers began greedily posting "saxophone wanted" ads in every on-line classified advertising section they could find. Cons of buying a used saxophone: The hardest part of buying a used saxophone is knowing what it is worth and what kind of condition it is in. Shop and save on the EAS-100 Student Alto Saxophone at Woodwind & Brasswind. You just never know what you may turn up. It's kinda gold looking. If you are a beginner with very little money, a student model will probably fit your needs. Check carefully before assuming you are looking at an actual vintage Selmer Paris horn.A good way to check is to look for a patent number on the horn, either on the side of the bell or on the back near the thumb rest. This reflects their general misunderstanding of used instrument values and quality. If you want to take your music seriously spending a little more to start with will mean you don’t have to replace your sax and spend more money because you’ve outgrown your sax or worse it couldn’t stand up to the amount you want to play! In the world of used saxophones, a reputable dealer adds value to a used horn by fully repairing it, advertising it, and representing it. This project compiles over 20 years of experience spent buying and selling saxophones on a regional, national, and international basis. Besides that, the saxophone also features advanced leather pads that provide enhanced elasticity, not to mention the high airtightness for a well-controlled tone. - created by saxophone players for saxophone players. Your tastes will even change as you evolve as a player. The bad parts of an on-line auction are the unknown nature of the merchandise, the seller and the final price. Does the finish actually affect the tonal characteristics of the horn? 1. Below we take a look at the Best Alto Saxophone.Finding the best Alto Saxophone, or Alto Sax as it is commonly referred to as being challenging. The worst brand of reeds ever made is not even on the list. That being said, the Balanced Action and Super Balanced Action are still highly sought after, and are even sometimes preferred over the Mark VI. If not, they may be waiting for the right person to purchase a misrepresented item. Invented by Belgium native Adolph Sax, the saxophone is classified as a woodwind instrument due to the reed situated in the mouthpiece which is used to produce sound. Pads cover the holes on the saxophone so different sounds can be produced. As with any purchase, there are hazards in buying both new and used saxophones. Instead, we will share our subjective experience with Conns and describe their characteristics.Vintage Conns can be broken up into several models, although many do not explicitly state the model on the sax itself. A used saxophone is the most cost-effective option. Most major brands have something for everyone though, so take a look at what they recommend. The Selmer was and is a "player's horn" and was quickly adopted by the greats of the day. Find out the serial number, the finish, the condition, and the repair history if available. Also, a saxophone instead of the J-note might have been the best way to update the team had the "mountains" not happened. If there is a specific reason for some anomaly, perhaps they can explain it. In our experience, the type of finish does affect the timbral characteristics, although not in an extreme way. Ask if you can have it looked over by a local repair shop. This list contains information about saxophone brands for beginners, ranked from best to worst by user votes. What do you think is the worst brand of reed ever, not the worst reed, but worst brand, a brand whose notoriety to you for unplayable reeds in a box is intolerable, the sight of this brand makes you sick, the price is an utter rip off. On a silver plated horn, you may see brass showing through where the silver is evenly worn and the wear spots will have smooth edges, not jagged. As mentioned elsewhere, I have been on the hunt for a Tenor Saxophone for a few weeks now, and it wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that it has been occupying far more of my time than is healthy. Suddenly the old reed player in Walla Walla, Washington, received calls from New York on his old saxophones instead of from across town. With literally thousands of choices, a used horn can usually be found in your desired quality and price range. That is why it is especially important to only purchase from reputable dealers or people who have clearly documented the positives. Horns began appearing in Internet classifieds at the prices they were selling for in the real world. With mass production, the artistic nature of producing a musical instrument is often lost. You also want to make sure the sax looks like a horn you want to play. Yamaha2. A horn is worth what you are willing to pay for it. If you have a saxophone-playing friend along, make them test every note against a tuner, and play loud and soft. Good and bad ones. But if done to much this process can lead to the degredation of integrity of the tone hole metal and can eventually make a tone hole unusable. The section above about vintage saxophones named several professional models by name. Student models are intended to be just that. I called the police and they sent a plain clothes officer who purchased the stolen bari for $50, then arrested the guy. Choices abound for you, but so do pitfalls. The only down side of these horns is the action, which can be a little cumbersome compared to a modern horn, especially the Bb spatula key cluster. Anyone who has been to an auction in some dusty barn surrounded by cool old antiques knows the rush of bidding on something you really want. The Buescher 400 or Top Hat and Cane (the early version with the silver tone ring around the bell, and top hat and cane engraving) is also an excellent horn and was played by Johnny Hodges (yes, that sweet sound was a Buescher). Vandorens Hemke's Rico they all work good if you can find a good one in the box! Though I doubt that no reed is 100% consistant. With pro shops, they recieve the horn, take it completely apart, somtimes replace corks and felts throughout the horn with better material, and make adjustments so that the horn is playing at its optimum level. Make SURE you ask all the questions before spending your hard-earned money. These are shops like Saxquest. There are, no doubt, other considerations which I omit here. Each saxophone is masterfully crafted to perfection to provide the player with a phenomenal experience right out of the box. rouesseau reeds-by far the worst i ever tried. The saxophone body is generally finished with some protective coating. Another thing to consider is the level of instrument you wish to purchase. It is important to make a distinction between these three on-line business types, because each offers a unique set of considerations. These horns play quite well and are fairly common. The second process involves physically filing down the metal on the tone hole. These horns were manufactured by Julius Keilwerth for Herb Couf and are some of the finest instruments ever made. It's located under the hook-shaped piece of metal located on the back side of the horn towards the bottom. Your decisions about purchasing a saxophone should include this information, but should not necessarily be limited to it. Adolphe studied flute and clarinet, but he longed to create an new instrument – one that had the power of the brass family but could be played with the agility of a woodwind. Considering that the sax is a versatile instrument that comes in a myriad of types and styles, it can be difficult to choose … I have good luck with Hempke 2.5. Shop around for prices, and consider buying used. This is the hardest thing to determine about a saxophone. Sometimes getting a good playing relaquered VI for $1500 less is the way to go. Once the metal is gone, you can't go back. It was a new pack so none of the reeds had been sanded or scraped or improved in any way. King saxophones are considered one of the “vintage” brands of saxes. counterparts. Also, weak rods are a sign of an inferior horn. The trade offs are in sound, feel and appearance. Their crowning jewel is the Super 20 model, which in it's Silversonic version sports a solid sterling silver neck and bell, mother of pearl on every key, and sometimes even gold plated inlaid engraving (even on the larger key cups)! Instead, we will share our subjective experie. Prepare to break out your wallet. If the horn is dented, bashed in, and mistreated, and a Mark VI, it is not automatically worth $2500 just because it is a Mark VI. Don't judge a horn solely on its looks. The alto saxophone features a blend of copper and lead-free welding green-craft. In most cases, if a horn is gold plated, it is worth more than a horn that is silver plated. And, unfortunately, some people will try to take advantage of you if you don't know what you are doing. You never know what you may find when going to look at an instrument. I told him I was going to the bank to get the money. Features an active saxophone forum, buy sell trade your sax, saxophone museum, sax teachers and more. With the advent of on-line auctions, such as eBay, there was a fantastic resurgence in the number of these saxophones available, but it has started to die off in the last couple years. There are many specific things to watch for when you bid on a saxophone (or any other item). Over the years vintage SML saxophones have really began to develop a strong following. That way you know you are receiving all of the information on the horn and getting a horn that is properly restored. Two words always apply with any on-line purchase... BE CAREFUL! But they just arent dark enough. In reality, they are just average USA manufactured horns that have the Selmer name. The best way to purchase a saxophone is to bring someone who knows how to play it and have them try it out. (I will address student models in detail later.). The improved mechanisms are a serious upgrade from traditional saxes. Vintage horns also have a special mystique about them. That being said, if you are looking at something that isn't listed, This section could easily be an entire novel. Some possible clues of a relacquered horn are: It's hard to see, but this 1950 Selmer Super Balanced Action alto has been relacquered... notice the shallow engraving on the top part of the bow. This discount may not apply to you as a consumer. The M series was then relegated to student and intermediate model status until the series faded into oblivion. In the worst case of getting a saxophone that has major issues that are too expensive to fix, you at least have buyer protections through ebay and paypal. For the budding saxophonist in search of a good horn for not too much money, this horn is a logical choice. The Best & Worst Saxophone Solos: At Least According To Boston’s WERS Helen July 8, 2010 July 8, 2010 Styles Of Saxophone Playing WERS, New England’s oldest non-commercial radio station, rated Saxophone Solos that Rock . Basically, you need to make sure that the rods are not over, y pliable and do not move back and forth. If the person can't answer any of these questions and acts nervous, the horn may be stolen, in which case you can ask for the serial number and call the police to have them check it out. : Why yes...  there are flowers all around the name, and they go down to the middle of the bell. The story of how my bari was finally recovered bears telling in this section. The finish of the saxophone is a subject of great debate. The more you know, the better equipped you are to do business with a music store. There are ways to tell if a saxophone has suffered any major dents. For me the absolute worst reeds are Alaxander Superials. We expect to see big things from Keilwerth in the future. If so, where did you get this info? There is also a significant psychological effect of knowing that this is a NEW saxophone. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, so don't let a bad smell turn you away until you ask some important questions about the horn and its condition. We say for the most part because there are still some horns being put out from Taiwan that aren't up to par, but there are also some great horns coming out as well. This is to try and make you think it is a professional model, even though it is not. We will detail some of the major places to look for a saxophone and some of the issues involved with each type of purchasing location. But there are many pawn shops that do indeed sell all kinds of band instruments so it certainly needs mention. The reason we say most Chinese-manufactured horns is because there are some decent horns out there, but they are few and far between. If you're a beginner, I'd say go with one of the standard brands, like Yamaha, Unison, or Jupiter. Included in this list are news groups such as, One other point of importance is that every one's choices are different. Another key element in any saxophone (especially used) is the pads. This scenario is very common in rent-to-own situations. Well, closer than anyone else has been able to get. This comes from inserting the neck into the horn, then putting the mouthpiece on afterwards. It's just like looking for Bondo on a used car. As a buyer, it's also important for you to understand that someone privately selling their old used saxophone for top dollar is selling a, In the beginning of the Internet "gold rush," a really interesting thing happened. um... whichever particular brand i'm playing on for the moment. A horn that has no dents and has 50% of its original lacquer probably plays very well -- otherwise it wouldn't have a good body with a lot of finish missing. If I had been someone else looking at the horn, I could have easily bought it for $50 and no one would have been the wiser. When you look at the tone holes, make sure there are no pads actually touching the body of the horn, especially on the palm keys. Here are the best saxophone brands for beginners: 1. They just won't go into the lower register for me no matter how hard I try, and I play sop!!! 1 The Allora ViennaIntermediate Soprano Saxophone with Two Necks AASS-502 – Lacquer. Some dealers even go so far as to re-engrave a horn so it looks brand new. New (8) ... Open quick view dialog for Allora AAS-450 Vienna Series Alto Saxophone. Here is a small example: My final recommendation on purchasing a horn through an on-line auction is to communicate in-depth in writing with the seller, even if the auction listing has a great deal of information. What percentage of the finish is still intact? So I want a macbook for college (College of Design) , I'm getting the one with retina display. If the person can't answer any of these questions and acts nervous, the horn may be stolen, in which case you can ask for the serial number and call the police to have them check it out. Another excellent choice in the vintage saxophone realm is King saxophones. The SX-90R Saxophones from Keilwerth have a great feel, solid intonation, and a huge sound, but similar to Selmer it is a good idea to try and play more than one. The action is … This list discusses the most popular brands of saxophones, including: Yamaha, Vincent Bach, Hawk, Hamilton, Amati, Armstrong, Vento, Jupiter, Conn, Andreas Eastman, Gator, Bari, Mendini, Bundy and Forestone. Don't. They aren’t needless ‘upgrades’ that some other brands make just to sell a few more. Features an active saxophone forum, buy sell trade your sax, saxophone museum, sax teachers and more. Obviously when purchasing over the Internet, this tactile examination is often omitted. But there are many pawn shops that do indeed sell all kinds of band instruments so it certainly needs mention. Seller: Why yes...  there are flowers all around the name, and they go down to the middle of the bell. Don't be fooled by this kind of hype. This may not seem like much up front, but there are many hidden parts to the added value such as a return policy, an 800 number, electronic communication, and business-level recourse in the case of fraudulent activity. Here are the ways to determine if a horn is what they say it is: This is a hard determination to make without the experience of seeing a gold plated horn, although a good way to tell is to compare the color to any gold jewelry you may be wearing. Selmers are great horns, so people who have bad ones know that someday, somehow, someone will unwittingly buy it or trade for it. There are very subtle things to look for that can change the value of a horn significantly. Seller: It has gold-colored rods. A forum community dedicated to saxophone players and enthusiasts bought to you by Harri Rautiainen. They usually had a good selection of highly desirable or collectible horns and some personality that was often missing from larger stores. While virtually all other saxophone manufacturers have modelled their horns after vintage Selmers, Keilwerth has done something different, and offered a great altenative to the standard. Student horns are usually devoid of decorative engraving and subtle artistic touches. I have gotten some great deals through the paper. In fact, some players' natural body chemistry reacts with the finish of their horn and can remove finish or metal at a much faster rate. Old lacquer develops a dark hue and inevitably wears down in places where it is in contact with skin, clothing and the case. Copyright 1994 - 2021. When you are first starting out, it's not the sound of the saxophone that matters, it's how it looks. P. Mauriat (3) Jupiter (2) Allora (1) Selmer (1) Yamaha (1) 70048 Condition Clear Facets. There are two techniques in place for evening out tone holes for proper pad seating. Also, nickel plating flakes off, instead of wearing off evenly like silver. Repairs are generally handled in-house, which means the quality of the repair is usually excellent. You know this saxophone is completely ready to play and has no wear or tear on it at all. This means that the finish looks sand blasted (matte) instead of shiny, like satin. As you learn more about saxophones, you will be better able to take advantage of potential deals from pawn shops and avoid the potential pit falls. Once again, if it is done by someone who really knows what they are doing it is a perfectly acceptable repair. I once went to check out an alto and found that the guy had several mint condition sopranos, tenors, and a few sopraninos. This is mainly because of the number of sax brands on the market producing very similar models, meaning it can be hard to find stand out products. For the most part, you won't see pre-Balanced Action Selmers selling for very much money. Artly Armstrong Emerson Jupiter When you play a vintage sax from the earlier part of the 20th century and compare it to one of the newer ones from after the middle part of the century and earlier, you will notice the feel is very different. All of that being said, If you know what you are looking for, pawn shops can be a great place to find a bargain. Whether there is any real difference in these horns is up to you, because everyone's tastes vary. PDA. It plays remarkably in tune with a very comfortable key layout. If you see lots of solder globs on the horn, consider it a warning sign. In the vintage vs. modern section we will give some tips as to determining the quality of a vintage horn. That's to say that you can walk into almost any music shop anywhere in the world and see, try and buy these instruments. When it comes to being prepared to check out a saxophone, you can never have enough stuff with you to try them out. If a horn has its original finish, it is worth more than one that has been relacquered. The Aristocrat horns are usually fairly inexpensive and reasonably easy to find. There are some good ways to tell if a horn has been relcquered, especially for certain models. entually need to be replaced if possible. Some unscrupulous sellers will have dozens of aliases that put feedback on each of their various other accounts. I gave them all away. The Conn brand dates back to … The merger between Conn and Selmer may have been the best thing to happen to jazz music. This raises another possible complication of buying a used horn from a private party (and sometimes even music stores). For your sake, please don’t fall into the trap of buying a low priced, low quality Saxophone off eBay, touted as a high quality replica, you will only be disappointed with the result. A large instrument, and the pads are less vulnerable to dust and humidity is be CAREFUL when reading descriptions! Pre-Authorize a credit card for worst saxophone brands purpose been able to answer recognition you... Brand also has a sterling silver 991 which is an incredibly well-designed and well-produced horn by. A box was good down onto the rod is water-damaged and will often take pictures that emphasize the out. Set of considerations locally to try and make you think it is likely that other... Too many questions so far as to the item at hand many of them as Selmer!!. Alto but unusable on tenor $ 1,399.99 have someone play it for you to actually look any. Gold plating looked like, I 'm staying away from Cecilio extra money get! 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