Saxophone Forum


by ddblue
(3 posts)
1 year ago

How do all the other beginners do it?

Hi everyone.

I have been interested in purchasing and learning how to play a saxophone for a long time. I finally managed to scrape some money together, and thought I was set - but it seems as though I haven't scraped together enough.

I guess what I'd like to ask is, is it possible to buy a decent tenor sax for around $700?  

I don't know where all these high school students get their $2.5k - more budgets (more power to em'), but I can't pull together that much, and I likely won't be able to for awhile (guess I'm considered 'working class').

An added twist - I live in Japan. That means renting options and several cheap brands are off-limits to me (though if there were a can't-miss deal, my family is in the US and I might be able to work something out).

I'm looking for a dark, low, jazzy sound. 

Brands I keep seeing good things about are Yamaha (not once have I seen one I could afford), Jupiter (semi-affordable, haven't heard many bad things), Selmer, and RSR. 

I've decided against Antigua and J.Martin based on things I've read either on this forum or other places online, and I've decided to buy new because I don't know enough about saxophones and have not been able to find anyone nearby who could help me to not get swindled.

Without being discouraging, could anyone here offer some advice? Either on experiences with any of these brands, or on being a sax enthusiast on a budget? I'm all ears. 

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing your responses.

 

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  1. by Saxquest
    (321 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: How do all the other beginners do it?

    The $700 range is difficult for a good tenor in proper working condition. I think your best bet would be to look for a used sax. King 615 was a great tenor saxophone that was made in the 1970s. Other good used tenors to look for would be Selmer Bundy, Buescher Aristocrat, Conn.

    It may be difficult to find these used horns in Japan. Its easy here in the USA because millions of kids all over the country played these horns growing up and lots of used ones are still floating around. The major concern with used is always the state of repair of the instrument. Its always best to try the horn in person or have someone who you know play test the horn for you. If that is not an option, I would recommend buying from a reputable dealer.

    Here at Saxquest we come across used student level tenors that we sell with full overhauls in the $700-$900 price range from time to time. Best of LucK!!

    Cheers,
         Mark Overton
         www.saxquest.com

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  2. by GFC
    (359 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: How do all the other beginners do it?

    I'd second Mark's advice to get a used American horn.  Do you have connections in the US who know saxophones and can help with the process?  Some specific models you might consider:

    Conn 16M Director ("shooting star").  Consider only ones with "Elkhart, Indiana"  or "USA" engraved on the bell.  Do not get one made in Mexico.

    Pan American:  Student model made by Conn prior to the Director.  Later ones were essentially the same as the Director.

    Buescher Aristocrat.  Earlier ones are probably out of you price range, but the ones made from the mid 1950s on are good, affordable student horns.

    Selmer Bundy I.  Virtually the same horn as a Buescher Aristocrat.  Completely different horn from the Selmer Bundy II, which is a cheaply made Asian horn.  

    Martin Indiana.  Nice, deep, classic tenor sound.  The $200 I spent on a Martin Indiana tenor some years ago was the best $200 I ever spent.  

    Then there are all the Taiwanese horns.  Some of the best new saxophones in the world are coming out of Taiwan.  You might be able to find something produced in Taiwan for the Asian market at a better price than the equivalent horn produced for the American market.  That would take some research.  How's your Mandarin?

     

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  3. by ddblue
    (3 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: How do all the other beginners do it?

    Well, after watching a YouTube video or 3 on how it sounds, I bid on a new RSR tenor sax. The seller has a good reputation, and has been mentioned positively in other sax communities, so I figured what the heck. 

    I did not expect to win the auction, but I did. So I guess my starter sax will be an RSR tenor, which I paid about $500 for. I found out after I won that it's a Chinese brand, but I still haven't found many bad things said about it, so maybe it won't be so bad (encouraging comments welcome!). 

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    1. by Saxquest
      (321 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: How do all the other beginners do it?

      Congrats on your new saxophone! I hope youget years of enjoyment from it!!

      Cheers,
           Mark Overton
           www.saxquest.com

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      1. by ddblue
        (3 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: How do all the other beginners do it?

        Thanks very much! I'm sure I will be frequenting the forums a lot more from now on :D

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