Saxophone Forum


by SaxMan2.0
(13 posts)
10 years ago

Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

I cant afford an expensive sax but I heard these sax brand and was wondering to know which one is the best for it's price. If you can, please post why is it good or not good (like intonation, is it easy to dent or break, is it easy to press the keys, etc.) I am planning to buy a sax that is within my reach and this will help me lots, thanks. If you suggest other brands (cheap but still good intonation and such) also post here.

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  1. by nickb
    (2 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    I bought a Monique Tenor last year on Ebay - I play it loads, gigging regularly - it is light, lovely tone, easy action - and I prefer it to my mate's Selmer Mk 6. So don't be put off - I'm not a technician but I know what I want from a sax and this one passes the tests for me.

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  2. by SaxMan2.0
    (13 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    I also forgot to put that I am going to play a tenor, so put in reference that between the Tenor Sax made by these 4 brands

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  3. by Saxman2200
    (64 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    I have heard that the Monique saxophones play moderatly, but do not last long. I have heard the word flimsy used quite a few times. I have not heard much about Maxtone, or Helmke, but I beleive that L.A. sax are good saxophones for the price you pay ( and they come in cool colors too.) Hope this helps, good luck.

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    1. by nickb
      (2 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

      Hi everyone, does anyone else like Monique ? I replied a few months back to this chat and said I was happy with mine. Sax players in the audiences say the same when they hear it (and I'm just an average player after 25 years of playing for a year, laying off for a year and so on) - I've had it for over twelve months, no problems , though I clean it after every play, don't leave it on a sax stand if there is any other moving body in the room, treat it like a friend instead of an object ..it's not flimsy in my view, it's very light to wear around my neck (and after the baritone sax it feels like a bird's wing) - the action is easy too. So that's my last offering - hope you found the sax that was looking for you, saxman. Like the Monique, I play moderately and will not last long, so perhaps we're suited

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  4. by karebear1012
    (395 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    Hey saxman2.0! I'm in the same position as you...i'm goin into highschool next year and i need a really good sax to play on in jazz band. There's a pro sax player named Jeff Kishawa who kind of advertises LA Sax. So if you want, you could find Jeff's website and email him. I did that, and Jeff gave me a phone number and some names to ask for. I've heard that LA Sax makes a fairly good horn for a good price. Hope this helps!

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  5. by karebear1012
    (395 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    Jeff's email is jkashiwa@comcast.net. Ask him what brands he recommends, and he'll help you out=)

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  6. by cybermaxx12
    (1 post)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    I know Moniques are pretty bad. There are worse horns out there, but not many. Helmke is just another rip off brand. L.A. Sax is probaly the best out of all of these choises, but it still isnt that good. If you get one you might want to get something more traditional, because tiger stripes will make you stick out. And I've never heard of Maxtone. I hope I've been somewhat helpful.

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    1. by saxgrobie
      (86 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

      I don't know much about Maxtone, but I know that Monique and Helmke are both pretty cheap. If you're looking for a good price and a good horn, try looking for something used. You could a get a Jupiter for a good price. I play one myself, so I would recommend one of those. You might want to stretch your price range if you wanted a Yamaha, Conn, Yanagisawa, etc. But stay away from Helmke or Monique. Kelsey

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  7. by skittle911
    (3 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

    The only brand I can tell you about is Helmke because I own a Helmke tenor sax. ( unlike a lot of ppl on here that think they know what they're talking about when they havent even held one of these instruments ). I have had it for almost 2 years and I love it. Awesome tone quality, good key movement, I'm always able to get it in tune (forget about what "jonsonfromwisconsin" says about that), and I've never had any problems with it.

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

      [(forget about what "jonsonfromwisconsin" says about that)] lets see here... his word vs yours he has been playing prolly longer than you have been alive and does this for a living, YOU have had one for 2 years now... who are we to belive?

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      1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [(forget about what "jonsonfromwisconsin" says about that)] lets see here... his word vs yours he has been playing prolly longer than you have been alive and does this for a living, YOU have had one for 2 years now... who are we to belive? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for the vote of support chia, but just to clarify, I don't play proffessionally. I don't play on a pro-level either. I play as a hobby exclusively. Skittle: My comments about Helmke/Maxtone/Monique/Brand X don't come as a veteran clinician or a Technician, but as someone who has heard such things come from the writings of veteran clinicians and Technicians and those that have tried these horns and came away dissapointed. I'm not the source of the warnings I give about these brands. I'm serving as a relay of a warning signs to the unwary. Does this distinction matter? Maybe it does, but I would put forth anyone interested in purchasing one of these horns the following challenge: Go to a couple local technicians, and ask them about any of these cheap asian brands and ask them what they think. Ask them what horns they've worked on and if they typically stand behind their work. Then ask them if they would stand behind their work on a Helmke/Maxtone/Monique/etc. Some technicians will give you some different answers. Some technicians will outright not work on such horns for various reasons. Some technicians would looooove to work on such a horn as they believe it may be back real soon for more work. Some might work on the horn but tell you that the horn really isn't worth it and that they can't stand behind the work. If you find one that will stand behind the work, then consider yourself fortunate as I have talked to a large number of techs that won't. Since all horns need repair occasionally, I would consider talking to local repair people to be a fine litmus test in terms of quality of instruments. If repair people you talk to are hesitant to take on a Helmke, and repair is their livelyhood, would that not be a good indicator of their quality? If however, you can find a number people that would stand by their work on a Helmke, that would seem to indicate that I'm wrong. Any takers?

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        1. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

          The day may indeed come when saxophones out of China compare to those of widely renowned manufacturers. The only issue with the proposition is that it takes probably 10 years for the reputation to take hold or to find out if the horn is a keeper you pass down to the kids or if it's a throw-away. Looking at the trend in electronics as essentially disposable (more expensive to fix than replace), the whole economy of music instruments may be heading that way. Will the brand reputation take hold if the name on the horn changes every year? Do these manufacturers showcase their equipment at the big conventions and conferences? I really don't know. Maybe eBay is all they will ever need to promote their goods. Selmer's Taiwan made horns probably get a spot on the floor, but I'd be curious of Maxtone/Helmke/Monique. I think they're just catering to different profiles of musicians. I'm for free markets and all, but on principle, I'd rather buy an instrument from a company dedicated to producing quality instruments than from a purely capitalistic enterprise. Who knows. Maybe we'll all find out that Selmer started Helmke as a manufacturing experiment. The Helmke name gets dropped at some point and the Helmke owners suddenly have collectors items on their hands. Won't we all be terribly embarassed?

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        2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Between these four brands (Maxtone, Monique, Helmke, & L.A.) which is best?

          --------------------------------------------------------------------- Maybe we'll all find out that Selmer started Helmke as a manufacturing experiment ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Selmer allready did something like this by resurrecting the brand name 'Buescher', which are poor-mediocre Taiwanese made horns

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        3. by NickelPlated
          (20 posts)

          10 years ago

          MAXTONE ROX!!

          ok hi! my name is Paul, i just recently bought a Maxtone alto silver nickel plated off ebay and it is awesome! I have never a sax with that kind of rich sound! I got mine for really cheap (only $350) and the retail price is 1400. SO if i were you i would simply buy one off ebay for under $400! Thanks and i hope ive helped you a lot. ****PS****: Maxtone saxes are made by Franch Engineers

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        4. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: MAXTONE ROX!!

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ****PS****: Maxtone saxes are made by French Engineers ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -spelling corrected Erm, no. They aren't!

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        5. by mintyfreshjam
          (48 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: MAXTONE ROX!!

          L.A. Sax is a no no. They have bad tone production and just overall are bad. If you want a cool looking horn, then that's for you, but if you want one that will actually sound like a saxophone should sound, don't get it. They're cheap because they're crap. Maxtone - I've never heard of this horn, so I won't touch it. Monique - Never heard of. Helmke - If it's out of China, it's not the quality that you're going to want. Chinese horns are known to have serious intonation problems and have a bad tone production. If you're looking for a good, cheap horn, none of these should be a choice. I'd go with a Selmer USA or a Yamaha 52. These horns have great tone production and aren't expensive at all. Don't just go to a dealer to buy it either. Look in pawn shops and on eBay, however, be sure to play test if before you buy it or set up a trial period to make sure that it's the horn for you.

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