Saxophone Forum


by Bean
(1 post)
6 years ago

Broken Soprano Sax

I bought a cheap soprano sax made in China off EBay about 5 years ago. I was playing in church last night during a service and the neck and mouth piece flew off the horn. They ended up bouncing over the organ foot pedals like a ball on a roulette wheel. Whoa, I had to creep over there and discreetly try to put my horn back together in front of everyone. I found out that the metal that the neck band adjuster was attached to broke off. I can only assume, if it can be repaired, that it would need to be welded back on. Can it be repaired or is it a goner? Ever hear of this happening? I've played my Conn 10M for decades. I could not have imagined this kind of breakage happening for any horn.

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  1. by saxjunkie89
    (393 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Broken Soprano Sax

    ....CHEAP.....CHINA....EBAY.... Three things against it already...sorry. I've heard of this kind of fix job done, but never saw it in person. Depending on the tech, they could probably do it. If you can get the part of the neck that broke off of the sax, you could just buy a better, more resilient neck.

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    1. by chalazon
      (547 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Broken Soprano Sax

      yup, that's right..I'll do work on the chinese horns, but I always tell my clients that I can't guarantee the work..the materials are too shoddy and the workmanship too weak...get a better horn.

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      1. by Blotto Link
        (24 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Broken Soprano Sax

        Chalazon, Specifically WHICH Chinese saxophones have you serviced? Why won't you guarantee your work on Chinese instruments? If your work is good, the work won't fail; the parts surrounding your work will.

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        1. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          specifically, who cares? They're all much the same..Palitino, Palinimo, whatever..and,yes..the work will hold up, but the parts around them won't..that's why no guarantee..'cause in three months they're gonna be bringing the the horn in telling me I just worked on this...if you want to buy Chinese crap, go on ahead, but don't expect it to last more than six weeks..I know repair techs who won't even work on the dogs, let alone guarantee the work..let's see, how do I REALLY FEEL?..One nice thing about chinese horns...they're CHEAP.

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        2. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          How long have you been repairing saxophones? Who is your clientele: fourteen year-old marching band students of twenty year-old college students or thirty year-old professionals? If your clientele is a mixed lot, I'll wager that most of your repair work comes from young players who lay their instruments across chairs, on football bleachers and on top of automobiles. Parents invest less in their beginner child's instrument for obvious reasons: kids are careless. It follows that you'll see more inexpensive, irreparably damaged instruments than you will see expensive ones. I worked in music stores during the early stage of my career. I know what repairmen see. During thirty-some years of professional playing, I've owned a few dozen instruments, and I've played probably three times that just to check them out. I've transitioned out of playing to selling and importing, and I now import saxophones for a living. I've been to almost all of the mainland manufacturing sites over the past six years. Some of the instruments are REALLY terrible, but they don't make it to the states. The rest are actually quite good these days, especially the ones that have been manufactured for prominent "European" brands since the 1970's. I travel with several unmarked, unbranded saxophones. I allow the technicians check them out, and I insist that the sales people play them. I ask them to try to determine which instruments are of Chinese manufacture and which are not. The only consensus among the experienced and older sales people and technicians is that the 1960's Selmer Mk VI clone is Chinese. It's actually an excellent instrument in every respect. Experienced techs like it for the most part, but the resistance to the instrument from management is the brand. If it were engraved with SELMER by Selmer, they'd buy the cheap Chinese saxophone at Cheap Chinese prices, but sell it with a Selmer price tag. However, as the current rmb-USD exchange rate benefits no one at the moment, and probably never will, you won't see too many extremely underpriced Chinese saxophones like we saw in 2006 and 2007. Until China establishes an accepted CHINESE brand, its instruments will be subject to derision and prejudice. BTW, aside from whatever is coming out of South America and the African continent and India, you can count the number of saxophone manufacturers on two hands. The majority are from China and Taiwan (Vietnam is a different story altogether). One of the Taiwanese manufacturers farms the manufacturing work out to the mainland, then reassemble them back on the island.

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        3. by blackfrancis
          (396 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          I wouldn't work on the cheesy ones either. More to do with an uneducated customer's attitude (i.e. if you fix it, it ought to stay fixed) than anything else- fix something that's sub-standard to begin with and you're opening up the proverbial can of worms. I've played some nice stuff from the far east, but until they can build a Super 20 or 10M, they're not for me. Then again, with those horns, I'm not too likely to need a replacement.

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        4. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          I care. I asked you specifically which instruments have you worked on. And please supply specific information regarding the build of that instrument which gave you problems. This would give you some credibility. Otherwise, you come across as somewhat lacking in knowledge of Chinese-made saxophones.

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        5. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          alright...30 years professional band repair tech..40 years playing, 25 years teaching...my clientele are all of the above..14 year old kids, 2o year old sax majors..60 year old pros..have repadded every thing from a Monique to MKVI's..I thinf it's wonderful that you are so very knowlegeable about the asian horns..I live in Idaho, so of course I'm quite ignorant about anything except maybe potatoes..my experience with the chinese horns has been less than impressive..Simba, Selman, Monique, and a bunch of names I 've chosen not to bother to remember..you see, I don't sell these horns, I just deal with them as a poor un enlightened repair guy..what do I know???

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        6. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Blotto- Can you provide something to prove Chalazon is wrong?

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        7. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          > He's merely representing opinion as fact. Opinions can't be proven or disproven because of their subjectivity. I am merely trying to find out why he thinks that all Chinese saxophones are poorly-made. His presenting a few facts should help me to understand his problems better.

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        8. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          I didn't ask for attitude. I asked for you to qualify your experience and problems by telling me which instruments you've worked on. I want to help you. So far, you've mentioned two brands that are sold on eBay and another that was once sold in Sam's Club stores. I don't think that Monique is still sold on eBay as new, and Sam's dropped Simba some time ago. (If you've worked on Simba saxophones through the years, you've noticed the differences in keywork from instrument to instrument, as well as the stark differences in quality. This is because Simba is not a manufacturer (as you already know) but a brand like Vivitar. The instrument may be manufactured by almost anyone from one year to another. Some of the Simbas are actually great instruments while others aren't so great. Some were actually made in Mexico. Obviously, your experience with every Asian saxophone that you've encountered has caused you considerable anguish. Can you be more specific regarding the problem that you encountered with a particular brand? I am sure that you can pull a recent repair ticket to refresh your memory. I am really interested in knowing the kinds of problems that you've encountered. Perhaps your input can enlighten the manufacturers to help them to make their instruments better. One quite prominent American repairman decided to quit complaining about the problems that he encountered and actually did something to remedy the problems. he's now quite well-known and affluent because of his proactive approach to his business. BTW, more than one supposedly European-manufactured saxophone is actually manufactured in Shandong, PRC. Can you tell which one? Do you work for a store or do you work out of your home? If you are a member of NAPBIRT, I am quite surprised that we have not met.

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        9. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Personally I will take Chalazon's word over someone called Blotto Link, who is insulting everybody and is a junk expert as well!! But that's just me............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        10. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          > Interesting comment there. So asking questions is insulting EVERYONE? I suppose that you believe that calling me a "junk expert" is polite? No, actually, had I called someone a pin-headed know-nothing hick moron, THAT would be an insult. However, I called no one anything like that, nor have I suggested such. I am merely asking someone to explain why he thinks that all Chinese saxophones are junk. This is a reasonable question. I'm sorry that you don't like my screen name, J.... er... Kelsey

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        11. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Sorry Blotto, I was rude. I'm a long time Chalazon fan when it comes to repair and I got carried away.........Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        12. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          actually, Mr.Blotto, I am merely expressing an opinion..of course..don't recall stating that these were the hard cold facts..I live in Idaho..wonderful place..but not a major metro area..I don't see a lot of different brands. Most of the chinese horns I see come from e bay. A dealership in this area shops Aristocrat saxes I believe they are chinese..they are not real good, if ya know what I mean. I'm a band repair person..piccolos to tubas.\, so I do not consider my self to be the Sax Guru of the Gem state. That said, I find the Jupiter and Cannonball product to be pretty decent They have improved nicely over the years.I believe these are Taiwan horns..I have not tried the Muriot product..don't know. But I can tell you for a fact that the chinese horns I've worked on have been less than...wonderful..Kelsey..good to hear from you..I've adopted a number of your practice tips..cool.

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        13. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Mr. Blotto is expressing the opinion of someone who sells Chinese Saxophones. What else can he say?? He's a salesman pure and simple!! However, he's not selling me. Lots of new horns come from China. Most newer horns aren't as good as the older horns. I speak as a pro player, not a salesman. I play only Mark VI saxophones but the rest of the vintage stuff is good too. All the newer stuff is junky compared to the vintage horns, with the exception of Yamaha. All of this is the opinion of a sax player, not a sax seller.............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        14. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          could'nt have said it better myself..gotta say,Kelsey..In my opinion..yup.....

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        15. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          > Kelsey, I was a professional musician for over thirty years (i.e., I didn't teach on the side, and I didn't work another job except for a few years during some of the serious downturns in the American economy when it was prohibitive for bands to go out on the road and when endowments for musicians and other artists to travel dried up). I traveled a lot and I got to see (and play) many many saxophones that were manufactured in the east as well as in the west. I am not trying to sell anyone instruments in this post. Rather, I am trying to gather facts from the experiences from not only players but technicians as well. If I am selling anything here, it is an idea: that there ARE alternatives to the high-priced instruments that are supposedly of western manufacture. So far, all I've gathered are opinions but no facts. It is a good thing that customer loyalty to certain brands continues to be strong; it keeps the prices and demand for those instruments high. What too many saxophone mavens refuse to accept is that there are very good-- no, excellent-- alternatives to the well-known and accepted "western" brands. Much of the responsibility for many musicians' refusal to accept anything except that which is purported to be manufactured in the west lies squarely upon the western companies that license the manufacture of saxophones in the east. FEW LICENSEES/MANUFACTURERS will brand these instruments and put the time into developing the brand. Therefore, many excellent Chinese instruments go unnoticed (and untried) by those who could not only pick up a whole arsenal of new instruments for very little money but could also be paid for an endorsement or two. Let's switch instruments. I am sure that most readers of this forum have heard of the Epiphone brand of guitar. Its history is about as long as that of the saxophone. Through the years, Epiphone has had a very good reputation among players of the instrument. It was not a cheap guitar in most senses of the word, but it was not a brand that lit too many people on fire. (The Beatles added the Epiphone to its arsenal of guitars in the mid-60's after one was given to Paul McCartney). Its history of manufacture spans Europe (Greece and Czechoslovakia), Eurasia (Turkey) to North America (New York and Philadelphia, Kalamazoo Michigan, and Montana) to the Far East (Japan, Korea, and the People's Republic of China [Qingdao, to be specific]). MOST Epiphones are manufactured in Qingdao now. Do any of the guitarists I've known through the years throw fits over the idea of owning and playing a Chinese-made Epiphone? Nope. The reason for this is due to a different mindset, an openness to trying something new. I think saxophonists could benefit from similar open-mindedness.

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        16. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Mr. Blotto, all you can get from anybody who just plays the saxophone are opinions!! And that's a fact!! I too have been playing for a long time, but when I travel as a horn player the last thing on my mind is looking at different brands of saxophones. I've talked to lots of sax players and their opinions are much like mine and charlazon's....You sell Chinese saxophones and what else are you going to say???....Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        17. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          What I have asked for are facts to support the low opinion that Mr. C (and now you) have expressed about Chinese saxophones. I have gotten none. > Would you like to think about that statement for awhile and tell me what's wrong with it? > And that would be what? I think my attempt to conduct a discussion has run its course.

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        18. by Blotto Link
          (24 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          What I have asked for are facts to support the low opinion that Mr. C (and now you) have expressed about Chinese saxophones. I have gotten none. "...all you can get from anybody who just plays the saxophone are opinions!! " Would you like to think about that statement for awhile and then tell me what's wrong with it? "...You sell Chinese saxophones and what else are you going to say???" And that would be what? I think my attempt to conduct a discussion has run its course. --- Minds are like parachutes. They work only when they are open.

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        19. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          We win, Blotto loses!!! I think his ability to conduct a discussion has run its course!! And he also thinks his own mind is stuffy like a parachute, which I am inclined to agree with him............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        20. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          jeez kelsey, whats wrong with my ref54?

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        21. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Other than it's not a Mark VI, it's really a great but overpriced horn!!
          Barry Kelsey

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        22. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          yeah, new ones are kinda ridiculous. (i got mine in like-new condition... for about 1000 less...) though the ref54s ive played are nothing like the mkVIs ive played....

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        23. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Broken Soprano Sax

          Cuber, I was just kidding!! The Ref54s are great horns. I wouldn't buy one because they are so expensive. As I've said before, if anything happens to my Mark VIs I will get a YAS82z and a YTS82z. Not because they are better than the Ref54s, but I can't afford the 54 on a musicians salary.....Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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