Re: Who's got info on Manufacturers?
The instrument manufacturing and marketing businesses are becoming quite incestuous. It's getting so conglomerated now, I think it's damned near impossible to tell where an instrument was made. Unless it says "Elkhart" or "Paris, France" or "Japan" on it, it's hard to tell exactly what you're buying unless you can find a retailer or knowledgeable person familiar with the particular model.
My advice is to seek out WHERE something was made more so than who's name is on it.
There are features such as key guards and octave mechanisms that can help identify who the original manufacturer is. The serial number may be of help, as well.
I have soprano and bari horns that don't say Yani anywhere on the horn, but do say "Japan" and the serial number follows Yani's scheme as well as certain design features (found their emblem very subtly placed on the bari upper body brace), so I can say with confidence that I'm playing a Yani-made horn.
I'd have no aversion to buying a private brand horn if I could decipher what company actually made it as well as the country of origin.
There's no 100% method. Sax equipment is pretty much an odds game. Certain brands give you better odds of satisfaction than others depending on what you are looking for. Consider the hundreds of parts and possibilities of variation with such a complex mechanical device. It's a miracle of (relatively) modern manufacturing and artisanship that saxophones play at all, quite frankly.