Re: Soprano Sax . . .
I'd be really careful buying a soprano. Soprano is a very demanding instrument and the intonation is quite tricky. If it's a cheap horn or an old vintage soprano, intonation problems are even more of an issue. Also, don't assume just because it's a new professional horn, it's not going to have intonation problems. Several years ago, I tried several Selmer Series III horns that had severe intonation problems. I was AMAZED! My Mark VI had far superior intonation. (Clearly, there must be some out there where this isn't as much of an issue, but that was MY experience). None of the other horns I tried (Keilwerth SX90, Yamaha Custom, Yanagisawas, other Selmers) had such problems, including a Selmer Series II. You should be able to pick up a professional used modern soprano for around $2000. You might not have the same problems with the Yamaha that the person posting above did. Several decades ago, when I was playing in high school, the school had a Yamaha 62 that I thought was a really nice horn at the time. I use a Yanagisawa 992 now. My experience with vintage horns is that they can sound great, but get ready to work it a lot to control them (not that this isn't an issue with any saxophone, it's just a matter of degrees). As far as sound, so much of it is in your throat/tongue/diaphragm, reed, mouthpiece combiniation and your own personal sound concept.
Also, a pro horn will have better resale value than a new cheap horn if you decide you want to sell it for something else.