Saxophone Forum


by Sax_Shark
(134 posts)
8 years ago

Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

I'm looking for an alto saxophone for classical study in college. I have purchased a Selmer S90 mpc and a Vandoren Optimum lig. Now, I need a sax. Should I go for a Yamaha YAS-62II or a Selmer? If Selmer, which reference? I am definately open to all help and I am not stuck on a certain brand. Thanks

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  1. by Donnie The B
    (282 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

    You might have to change mouthpieces, but if you're willing to pay $4000+ for a new Selmer Reference horn, why not consider a nice Mark VI? I really doubt if there's that much variation from sax to sax on these new mass-produced models, in fact logically you'd think computer aided manufacturing techniques would decrease variations. But the older hand assembly method was able to ensure proper alignments and etc. if there was some sort of variation to deal with noticed during assembly. And don't think you have to have a 5 digit serial number, although there WAS somewhat less production in the 1954-1963 decade than later. The 1964 and later Mark VI's were extemely well-made too, although I have heard you might avoid the last year or two of Mark VI production for some reason. Best of luck.

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  2. by barisax999
    (400 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

    dont go for the 62-II. if anything just a 62. the series III seems to going really well,(im just starting college). i like my vintage better. they do well classically. another guy has a ref. 54 alto. hes amazing and i value his opinion very highly. just go and try some horns and get a feel for what you like. you may want to also try keilwerths, they are pretty good.

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    1. by Sax_Shark
      (134 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

      I realize that most of the decision will lie in what I like but I was just trying to get a feel for what other players seem to be using. Thanks for the input.

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      1. by barisax999
        (400 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

        if you let everybody know your general geographical location, we may be able to point you towards a local, smaller, less known, higher end dealer to give you a hand as well.

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        1. by Sax_Shark
          (134 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

          Im in Southwest VA. I know about Washington Music Center and as far as I have heard, thats the only on even close by. Once I've got the money I was planning on going up there to try some horns out. Is there any others that you or anyone else know about?

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        2. by OANegrin
          (26 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

          Washington Music Center is one of the best instrument dealers I have done business with. Byron Toney is the man you should be dealing with -- a great professional and knowledgable salesman. That said, pro Yamahas (875 and Custom EX or Z) are very consistent. I love them. I love a good Selmer even more. Try as many as possible. Do not settle for a subpar Selmer -- those are a bitch. A good Series II or Series III will yield the results you need, but bad ones will stand firmly in your way. Quality control is bad these days at Selmer, so make sure you try a LOT of these. Keilwerth and Yanagisawa are good second choices, but I believe Yamaha and Selmer are best choices for alto players (or those who are eschewing the vintage instruments). Best of luck. Angel

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      2. by The Insomniac Saxman
        (141 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

        I played (and still play) an older model YAS-62 in grad school for both legit and jazz. I'm happy with it for most styles of music, although if I'm sitting lead alto in a big band, I prefer to play a Mark VI. One maker you might want to check out is Hollywood Winds (formerly Unison) . . . Rhueben Allen who at one time was THE sax repairman in L.A. is now at the helm. With the help of the legendary legit sax guru Leo Potts, he designed the Leo Potts signature model. I played it at the NAMM Show this past year and was very impressed. If I were playing as much legit as I used to in school, I would likely pick one up. Another option for legit (and this is something else I would do if I were still playing a lot of legit) would be to pick up a Keilwerth straight alto. Intonation was great, but more importantly, going over the break was smooth and effortless--very seamless. HOWEVER, if I were independently wealthy, and could pick whatever sax I wanted, I would go with the solid silver Yanigasawa. Thought it was excellent for whatever style I played on it, and was absolutely wonderful for legit. I played it for over an hour at the NAMM Show and didn't want to put it down. Best of luck!

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        1. by hselmer9966
          (31 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

          if i were you i wouldnt waste my time trying the selmer reference saxes, the intonation of the horns are bad, i play on a series II and a s90 190 and really like it, but thats me. but like everyone else has said you need to try as many horns as possible, and not just one of each but a lot of each, there are selmer and yamaha duds and they suck, with that said i wouldnt suggest buying the selmers without engravings...ive heard those are the duds and thats why selmer doesnt put the time and money into engraving them. best of luck on your search.

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          1. by selmer 4evr
            (309 posts)

            8 years ago

            Re: Alto Saxophone <-- Specific isn't it?

            What ??? saxes without engraving are duds? ,,,I guess you have never been to the Selmer factory ? The horns are identical except that for years Selmer US only imported the engraved version since that would fetch more money . Both are identically good or bad depending on the horn. I own a sterling silver alto serie III ,,sterlings are only made without engraving what does that say? Selmer maybe decides ahead of time,,, to make all sterling horns to be bad that is why they do not bother to engrave them ,,,,is that it? Man some guys would belive just about anything !!!

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