Saxophone Forum


by JET
(4 posts)
7 years ago

Alto Sax and Equipment Questions

I play bari sax right now, but I would like to switch over to alto about two years from now. What brands of alto are good professional horns, other than the obvious Yamaha and Selmer? I want something cheap ($4000 is the highest I'll pay because it's the price range I have been seeing a lot, but I would REALLY like something cheaper), but I would like it to last. Where is the best place to buy a saxophone for the least amount of money? There are a lot of saxophones that I would be able to try out at a convention that I hope to attend next year, but I'm afraid the prices will be inflated. In addition, I need a mouthpiece and ligature. On my bari I play a Selmer C* mouthpiece and a Rovner Dark ligature, and I really like the tone I get. Is it safe to assume that I will get a similar tone if I use the same brand of parts for alto?

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  1. by CountSpatula
    (602 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Alto Sax and Equipment Questions

    By all means try as many as you can at the convention, they don't force you to buy anything. I went down a line at a stand and played them all! You can probably try mouthpieces too, but a C* would be a nice start. Yamaha makes a nice horn, the Custom Z which is under $3000 and is outstanding!! Cannonball is making some very nice horns that are slowly rising in price, I think almost $3000 but you can definitely find them used for quite a bit cheaper. Yanagisawa makes a nice professional model for a great price (901). The Reference 54 is a great horn by Selmer but very expensive, but I really enjoy mine! But the Z and Cannonball really scared me how good they were... Good luck :) two years is plenty of time to figure this out, a lot of this is personal preference too, I am just trying to throw some options out there if you go to the convention.

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    1. by JET
      (4 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Alto Sax and Equipment Questions

      Thank you, that really helps. I hadn't considered Cannonball; I'll start looking at those.

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  2. by bandnerd1892
    (7 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Alto Sax and Equipment Questions

    Hey! While you're at it, you may think about trying some P. Mauriats. Those are great horns and I know that I've had great success with mine.

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  3. by krzykrn88
    (27 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Alto Sax and Equipment Questions

    wouldnt really go for cannonball if i was you. they play wonderful, but their fit and finish and reliablility are not that great. yanagisawas are pretty good, and I think olegs are pretty good too. for oleg, you have to google it, and custom order it from the oleg site, but I have seen people get it for 3.5 grand to 4.5 grand. considering the recession, it is no doubt that prices will inflate. I heard selmer is intending to inflate the price again, which sucks. selmers are great horns, but I am not willing to pay 3.5-4k for selmers, unless its a mark 6 or a really clean mark 7. I do like the fact that selmers and yanagisawas provide decent mouthpieces from start (maybe oleg too, but look it up and lemme know). regarding new saxes, selmer provides s80 c* (supersession for reference) and yanis offer the size 5 yanagisawa hard rubber mouthpiece, i think. If you buy them new, these mouthpiece will be good start, and will continue to be decent backups when you eventually find your setup. IF you do not want to spend money, you can find older yamaha 61 and 62 for 2 grand or less. hope this helps.

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