Saxophone Forum


by Vernon
(4 posts)
2 years ago

Orpheo Sax

Newbie, but able to play several Christmas carols and some old timey stuff on my new Orpheo Alto saxophone.  Got it back in Dec 8 of this year.  Never really have ever tried to play a saxophone before (I'm 59, but know the accordion).  I started playing a clarinet after my gums healed from extraction and then new dentures.  Then, a friend of mine, same guy that loaned me a clarinet, gave me a saxophone to try.  I couldn't make up my mind on the alto or the tenor, and choose the Orpheo Intermediate Alto sax,  Model: 901-AL-306FO. 

Friend of mine near Niles MI that worked for Conn-Selmer, Scott Kurtzweil, played it and thought it sounded very nice for the money.  Now I am considering a Tenor of the same name, or perhaps the Opus USA brand.  Probably made at the same factory in China? *S* 

Anyone have any idea on the origins of the Orpheo as well as the Opus USA, or the Anaxa for that matter?  I believe that China (Aisia) has been improving on their saxophones that they make.  I cannot think that thousands and thousands of saxophones made in this last year and sold were all junk or they would soon be out of business, price point or not. 

Vern
I've spent all my money on women and Saxophones... the rest I just wasted.
I was born with nothing and have managed to keep most of it.

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  1. by saxgourmet
    (113 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: Orpheo Sax

    The Orpheo brand originated with Orpheus Music, where I was in charge of saxophone design and manufacturing. It was a step up from our Vespro student brand, and below our Steve Goodson Model and Saxgourmet series. The horns were built by Tenon at their Viet Nam factory, and had kangaroo leather pads, keywork to high G, doube arms on the bell keys, two different necks, and a lot of other nice features. These are all engraved "designed by Steve Goodson" on the bell. After I left, Orpheus musi9c fell on hard times and went under. Dennis Bamber now owns the brand name. The horns are very different, and do not besar my name.

    STEVE GOODSON
    New Orleans
    www.nationofmusic.com

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    1. by Vernon
      (4 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: Orpheo Sax

      Thanks for the great information, Steve!  I was at Music Factory Direct today and tried 2 Roy Benson Tenors the TS-202 (student) and the TS-302 (intermediate), as well as an Orpheo Tenor sax.  Same mouthpiece I brought with me, same Rico reed so the MP and reed were constant.  It was a Yamaha 4C MP.  I actually liked the student TS-202 better.  It seemed to hold and blow the lower notes quite a bit easier than the TS-302 (Roy Benson) and the Orpheo.  I could play the low notes on all three but the standard student Roy Benson TS-202 was a whole lot easier to achieve nice clean lower notes (I am a beginner).  It was kind of a toss up between the Orpheo and the TS-202, and finally walked away buying the Benson TS-202.

      The Orpheo was alright but because the octave key was projecting up next to the thumb rest you really had to pay attention of any slight touch of that and the notes would be off.  That, I think, could have been solved at home no doubt.  But, the neck register key was not really well centered to the tone hole, and looked like it needed to be just a few mm longer to be best.

      When I got home I played the Tenor Roy Benson and when I went to clean it I noticed "RUST" in the neck piece.  Rust!  I can wipe it with my fingers.  Why would there be rust on a brass neck piece?   It was a floor model and had a small amount of dust on it and the guy gave me a discount that it was a floor model.   Still to find rust in the neck of an instrument I just bought "as new" for several hundred dollars seems a bit odd.  I'll call them in the morning. 

      Am I being too critical? As far as tone, it does a nice job of playing in tune with itself, which is good for a newbie.  My neck strap I use form my Alto was just a wee bit too short and had to use the one that was supplied with the instrument.  I have a Neotech.  Perhaps they make a Neotech with a longer length for Tenor Saxophones?

      Vern
      Been playing since... (looks at watch and Dec. 2012 calendar)

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      1. by saxgourmet
        (113 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: Orpheo Sax

        since you are correct that brass doesn't rust, I would guess that what you saw in the neck is copper leaching out of the brass

        STEVE GOODSON
        New Orleans
        www.nationofmusic.com

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        1. by Vernon
          (4 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: Orpheo Sax

          Well, I went back to Music Factory Direct in South Bend and talked to them about it.  Owner, Dennis, let me play the Vento 900 series black with the Bronze wide bell (tenor).  Beautiful engraving.  Gave up some more of my hard earned cash (not too much) and swapped out the Roy Benson for the Vento 900 Tenor.  Even has copper looking neck and bell, as well as engraving inside the bell and on the the tone hole covers (for lack of the right word).  Tone holes are rolled over and it really plays beautiful and fairly easy for a beginner.

          Vern
          Been playing since... (looks at watch and Dec. 2012 calendar)

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