Saxophone Forum


by alexcoconuts
(2 posts)
6 years ago

What sax should I buy?

I have been playing alto for 5 years, and will be a sophomore in September. I'd like a sax that works for both marching (we have a pretty big band so I have to be loud=) and concert band. I have about a $2000 budget, and am stepping up from beginner horn to intermediate or pro. I have a Yamaha YAS23 now and heard some good ones were Yamaha 475 or 62 or 62II Selmer LaVoix or the Action series Jupiter 769GN? If you could give a review of each sax that would be awesome. And other suggestions, too, thanks!

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  1. by Altonian11
    (39 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    It's yamaha or nothing. NO contest NO debates. It's the "cadillac of saxophones"

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    1. by cuber
      (653 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: What sax should I buy?

      obviously you havent heard of a couple horns, for example: (the alto version, for simplicity. assume the others in the series are similarly good) conn 6m selmer mkVI king zypher special King super20/silversonic Buescher top hat and cane Selmer balanced action/super balanced action selmer reference series Keilworth SX90 The Martin Alto Yanigasawa 991/2 and the list goes on. to only concider one brand of saxophone is pure ignorance

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  2. by clamness
    (13 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    I play a Mark VI, but I was recently killing time and my patience at Sam Ash in White Plains. So I tried the Yamaha Z thing, the new Selmer pro model (forgot the name), and the Mauriat. To my surprise I was digging the Mauriat the most. It has a vintage dark sound, and was responsive from top to bottom. It's a great horn, and cost less than either of them. Not to mention it looks perhaps too pretty to play. The Yamaha was nice, but one dimensional, and the Selmer was a little hollow sounding somehow. I used my Meyer 6M on all three with #3 1/2 reeds.

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  3. by jazzman47
    (4 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    If you plan on playing later in life or following a musical path get a professional horn. If taken care of it will last you the rest of your life. DO NOT TAKE ANY PROFESSIONAL HORN OUTSIDE. Use the YAS 23 for marching band. It is a good horn (especially for marching). Mine lasted me through high school and I will continue to use it if need be. If you want a loud sound for marching band try some different mouthpieces, but don't mess up your embouchure by overplaying in concert band because you've done it all marching season. I have a YAS 62 II for classical saxophone and a King Super 20 for jazz. They’re both magnificent horns. Since you have been playing on a Yamaha, I would stick with that. The Selmer key positions are a lot different from the Yamaha. The Cannonballs are similar to Yamaha if you are looking for something different that still feels the same in your hands.

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  4. by wkusax87
    (12 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    Look up Cannonball Saxes. Smaller company, often overlooked. I have a Cannonball alto that I use for college, and it stacks up even next to any selmer or yamaha. Pick a horn you like playing, and get used to it. That's how you can get the best out of your horn. Plus, Cannonball professional models run about 2,500, so they're on the less expensive side. Listen to Branford Marsalis play too. He now plays Cannonball Saxes.

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  5. by Caelestis
    (5 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    Yamaha 62 sucks I'm playing a school one right now and: It squeaks on G it's octave key screw fell out without warning and I can't play low notes. I would go with The Selmer, they're good (Kings are also good)

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  6. by alexcoconuts
    (2 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    well, it's funny to come back to this two and a half years later just to realize that I still haven't bought a new saxophone :) I just finished marching band a couple of weeks ago, so now it's only concert, and I'm off to college! I'm now researching mouthpieces because I get one included with my new Classic Barone, which I ordered just today! And it was good to get more experience these past couple of years. Thanks again, everyone!

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    1. by cuber
      (653 posts)

      4 years ago

      Re: What sax should I buy?

      I like my selmer soloist. thats the only thing ive tried that i would advise. unless you have $600-$1000 to drop on a New York Meyer

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  7. by dgallego
    (27 posts)

    3 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    Use the student horn in marching band since it is basically blow and go. Try mouthpieces to get a brighter cutting sound. You have the best of the students horn. As far as long term (doubtful you will do marching band after college) I like vintage horns but the top end Yamaha has impressed me greatly. I am not a selmer fan I do not know anything about the Jupiters but the silver one looked interesting. Any comments about that one?

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  8. by zmomochi
    (1 post)

    6 years ago

    Re: What sax should I buy?

    I cant give you a reveiw on every horn but I can tell you this. You want to get a horn depending on how long you plan to play. If you plan to play through high school, college, and after college, then I would get a more professional saxophone so you dont have to go through the same thing in three or four years. I'm going throught the exact same thing right now and i'm telling you the same thing my teacher told me. He has had his professional alto sax for 32 years and I plan to get a pro saxophone because I plan to play for a really long time. I'll be a freshmen next year. By the way Jupiter I know makes intermediate saxophones so again if you plan to play for a while then get a sax that will last you a long time and that you really like. I am currently looking at a Conn 6M that looks to be in good condition, and I found a Selmer Serie III and a Selmer Super action 80 Series II. You might want to take a look at some of those. Good luck with your hunt for a good horn.

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    1. by JBTSAX
      (364 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: What sax should I buy?

      You might also consider looking at the Cannonball line of saxes that are close to that price range. Unlike buying brands sold only on the web, you can try out different models and finishes at a local dealer who will also back the instrument with repair parts and service in a timely manner. As a retired band director and a full time repair technician, I would strongly recommend that you keep your trusty YAS23 as a "beater horn" for marching and pep band, and use your new professional sax for the indoor rehearsals and concerts. You will be glad you did in my experience. You can get information about Cannonball dealers in your area at this link. www.cannonballmusic.com Good luck in your search. John

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      1. by cuber
        (653 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: What sax should I buy?

        id be reluctant to take a 2 grand horn marching. cant go wrong with a yamaha

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        1. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: What sax should I buy?

          Yamaha is definitely worth looking into.

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        2. by saxocopter
          (4 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: What sax should I buy?

          Are you looking to purchase a student or professional horn? As a band director, qualifed band instrument repair technician, and professional player with 27 years' of playing experience, my advice is to get the best quality horn you can afford. If you're planning to purchase a student-line instrument, Selmer, Conn, and Keilwerth offer the best quality, best-playing horns around. But if you want a pro sax, go with Selmer, Keilwerth, Yanagisawa, or Yamaha. I wouldn't recommend Yamaha's YS student series due to its soft, thin brass which doesn't hold up well to normal use, let alone abuse, but the 52,62, and Custom series are excellent instruments. But in the end, go with the brand and model that you're most comfortable playing and happy with. I personally prefer Selmer horns because of their quality and consistency (with the exception of the Mark VII series), their rich, focused sound, their ease of playability, and the company's long legacy of producing top-of-the-line saxophones. How can you go wrong with a brand that was preferred by Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Stan Getz, Paul Gonzalves, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond, Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Henderson, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Bob Berg, Joshua Redman, Eric Alexander, and....well, you get the point!

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        3. by saxocopter
          (4 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: What sax should I buy?

          As jbtsax said, your YS would be a good instrument to keep and use in situations that might result in damage to the instrument (such as marching band), but for concert and jazz band you would definitely want to look into the brands I'd named.

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        4. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: What sax should I buy?

          "I wouldn't recommend Yamaha's YS student series due to its soft, thin brass which doesn't hold up well to normal use, let alone abuse, but the 52,62, and Custom series are excellent instruments." the yas 23 does not have soft brass. I dropped one from about three feet once, and it didnt even have a scratch. FYI, selmers are rediculously overpriced. I wouldnt even think about buying a reference model. According to one of their dealers, they are actually modified series III models. If you are going to get a student horn, id really only concider a french-made selmer or a YAS 23. I assume that vintage horns are not being concidered?

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      2. by Saxesofevil
        (24 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: What sax should I buy?

        A Cannonball saxophone both looks classy and sounds great. It's flat black with gorgeous mother-of-pearl keys

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        1. by Altonian11
          (39 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: What sax should I buy?

          I've seen saxophones from a brand called Hawk, but I've never really looked into them. I'm assuming there just cheap knock offs, but I don't really know 4 sure.

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          1. by anonymouzjew
            (1 post)

            3 years ago

            Re: What sax should I buy?

            i have roughly 2.5k at the most to spend and thats pushing it a bit. ive been looking into saxes and regrettably passed up many good deals on great horns that were alittle outta the range. im currently a tenth grade tenor player and i might be lead next year in an elite nationally acclaimed band program. i must upgrade from my current student model. ive looked at cb big bell. please help. (crap this site doesn't automaticallly capitalize the beginning of a sentence)

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            1. by dgallego
              (27 posts)

              3 years ago

              Re: What sax should I buy?

              If you do not want to go vintage. Look strongly at the upper end Yamahas. Which one will depend on the type of playing you will do as to the better model. I am a big fan of vintage horns particularly Conns, but like all vintage things they have their quirks. I am a Jazz/rock player and like a brighter tone. I do not know anything about the Cannonball line. I just am not into pink and purple horns. Do not forget to look at used horns. Good music stores with a good repair department may have several fine used instruments. Also look at the ones listed for sale on this website. There are some very fine instruments that are used. What is the hurry on buying. Are you going to work this summer. Bust your hinny and save your money and spend a little more. Remember a good mouthpiece will run you 2 to 3 hundred dollars. You are not playing a cheap instrument. You came this far with your current tenor live with it a little longer and buy a fine pro horn instead of halfway horn.

              Reply To Post


            2. by dgallego
              (27 posts)

              3 years ago

              Re: What sax should I buy?

              If you do not want to go vintage. Look strongly at the upper end Yamahas. Which one will depend on the type of playing you will do as to the better model. I am a big fan of vintage horns particularly Conns, but like all vintage things they have their quirks. I am a Jazz/rock player and like a brighter tone. I do not know anything about the Cannonball line. I just am not into pink and purple horns. Do not forget to look at used horns. Good music stores with a good repair department may have several fine used instruments. Also look at the ones listed for sale on this website. There are some very fine instruments that are used. What is the hurry on buying. Are you going to work this summer. Bust your hinny and save your money and spend a little more. Remember a good mouthpiece will run you 2 to 3 hundred dollars. You are not playing a cheap instrument. You came this far with your current tenor live with it a little longer and buy a fine pro horn instead of halfway horn.

              Reply To Post