Saxophone Forum


by digbop
(6 posts)
10 years ago

buying new alto

I've been playing (trying to learn) alto sax for about 2 years. I use my son's Bundy II from his middle school days and am now in the market for my own sax. My local music store sells Selmer and Yamaha. I've tried the Selmer Series II and the Yamaha 875Z. I like the Yamaha better. My teacher feels that the Selmer is a "better" horn, but I like the feel and sound of the Yamaha! . . . Any suggestions? . . . Now I have read many things like, "try various horns and get the one that you like best." The problem is that I've heard that the brass on the Yamaha is not as hard (tough?) as that on the Selmer and so the Yamaha dents easily. Well, needless to say, if I'm paying $2,000 to $3,000 for a new horn, I want something that I won't have to baby too much. . . . Thank you in advance for any feed back.

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by Selmer Fan88
    (15 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: buying new alto

    Of course you should buy the horn you like most, but in a few years you'll maybe have to buy a new one... Do you know the Selmer Réference 54. It's really similar to the legend Mark VI, about the tone and Intonatin... but they even improved the handling. I'm going to buy this Horn.

    Reply To Post


    1. by digbop
      (6 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: buying new alto

      Thanks for the thoughts. I don't think I can afford a Reference Selmer at this point.

      Reply To Post


  2. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: buying new alto

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My local music store sells Selmer and Yamaha. I've tried the Selmer Series II and the Yamaha 875Z. I like the Yamaha better. My teacher feels that the Selmer is a "better" horn, but I like the feel and sound of the Yamaha! . . . Any suggestions? . . . ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ As long as you're buying, go with what you like. Horn choice is about personal preference, as long as certain minimum requirements for quality are met (most techs will agree that both Yamaha and Selmer do). So, hearing from an instructor that one horn is "better" than another is no more than a personal opinion. There's no such thing as an "expert" in what the best horn is. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now I have read many things like, "try various horns and get the one that you like best." The problem is that I've heard that the brass on the Yamaha is not as hard (tough?) as that on the Selmer and so the Yamaha dents easily. Well, needless to say, if I'm paying $2,000 to $3,000 for a new horn, I want something that I won't have to baby too much. . . . --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Truley, I haven't heard major complaints about Yamaha brass from credible sources. I do hear nonsense analogies about dropped instruments and silly metaphores involving the word 'tank', but those statements should always be taken with salt. Brass isn't an incredibly durable metal as it will dent if dropped or dinged. If you are quite concerned about it, talk with a couple local instrument repair techs to get their angle.

    Reply To Post


    1. by SaxMan
      (559 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: buying new alto

      All asian horns do have softer brass than western horns cannonball, yanagisawa, yamaha, antigua, band now, everything, made in asia uses softer brass than horns made in the western hemisphere. The brass is commonly thinner too - I think the metal in the CB is almost as thick as the selmers and keilwerths. As far as tanks...you cant say that about any pro horn unless its over 50 or so years old. Yamaha brass, though, it corrodes like its trying to win a competition - their brass instruments are freaking pieces of crap - you would have to be stupid or something to buy a brass instrument from yamaha - especially a double french horn - if the slides get stuck in a yamaha, 9 times out of 10, the slides have to be desoldered to be pulled out - (if it is a pro instrument, student model's slides are super glued together, so you have to hacksaw those off and buy new slides - cant heat up super glue or you get hydrogen cyanide gas.) everything is so thin that you cant bang them out like you can do with even czech instruments. On a double french horn, you will have...7 slides if I remember right...maybe 8. Solder points normaly go from about 10 to 20 a piece, times two points per slide, theres a 70-160 dollar repair just for the slides, then you will need to have it chem cleaned if it is corroded that bad, which will run no less than 100 bucks. But their current brass is leaps and bounds better than their old brass - even the saxes would corrode with the old yamalloy, leaving a bunch of crap all over the pads. On a sax, it shouldnt be a problem as long as you swab everytime and be careful with the finish. If you liked the 8775 better, I would go with a late true-tone or new wonder II ro something along those lines, will sound even better, have a phatter sound, will be more durable and have character to the sound - which so far, I have found 2 yamahas that weren't completely neutral and bland.

      Reply To Post


      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: buying new alto

        And here once again is SaxMan: "Yamaha brass, though, it corrodes like its trying to win a competition - their brass instruments are freaking pieces of crap - you would have to be stupid or something to buy a brass instrument from yamaha" A little opinionated I'd say, and not entirely factual The comment about asian brass is partly true. Asian brass is generally softer. This is because most often the brass they use is actually an alloy of brass and softer materials. The reason for this is that Asia has very poor quality metal in general and not just brass. their steel contains a lot of carbin. China imports a lot of steel from the United States. Yamaha brass doesn't corrode any more than any other brass. The brass will ding and dent easier than a vintage American horn or a European horn (Selmer Paris, Keilwerth for example), but as long as you use some care and don't try to use it as a hammer, I think you'll be ok. The superglue thing that SaxMan is referring to is not as bad as he's making it sound. All saxophones used epoxy in one place or another. Yamaha on some of their cheaper models used epoxy to attach some of the smaller posts and spring bumpers. These are actually quite a bit stronger than the soldered on posts. Yamaha did this knowing that these student horns will get more abuse. As for the cost of repairs, there really isn't much difference in the costs of repairs between one brand and another. I can only think of a few cases where you may need to unsolder or unglue a post. This is not a situation that you're likely to come across. Just stating the facts first. Now I'll offer my opinion. I'm not a big fan of Yamaha saxes. Many of their other instruments are very good quality and have a very good sound. Their pianos and drums are second to none! The Selmer Series II is also a good horn. It's more a matter of preference. I'd also look at Keilwerth. Hands down, if I was buying a new horn I'd buy a keilwerth. The SX series is a little pricey, but they have some other models that are less expensive and are very good.

        Reply To Post Yahoo!


        1. by digbop
          (6 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: buying new alto

          Thanks Jim, I do appreciate your input. Still . . . I did get the Yamaha Custom Z. It was available locally and at a good price, so I went for it. Price had a great deal to do with it. I just can't afford $3,000+. Also, since in theory there is still $1,000 that I didn't spend, maybe I can put that toward a cheap tenor, which I'd like to learn to play also. Again, thanks to everyone who tried to guide me in the right direction.

          Reply To Post


      2. by digbop
        (6 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: buying new alto

        Please take a look at the next reply. Saxman says that the Yamaha brass is pretty lousy. He also suggests that I get a used horn. Not a bad idea, but I don't feature buying a horn I haven't already tried out. There don't seem to be many used horns in my area and that is one reason I'm looking at new.

        Reply To Post


        1. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: buying new alto

          Have you gone to www.wwbw.com yet? They have tons of horns with different guaruntees. For instance, there's a section where the horns are guarunteed to play perfectly, but they just have some minor dings and scratches on them. Because of that the price goes down a lot. There's also a retun policy there, so you can always try it out first to decide if you like it or not. Let's see.... also try: www.saxforte.com www.USAhorn.com www.Giardinelli.com Ebay would kind of be pushing it... itz kind of hard to know why someone would sell a really good horn on EBAY, when they could get more off of it at a music dealer. But hey, you could give that a try too. Good luck!

          Reply To Post


          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: buying new alto

            Great suggestion Karebear. wwbw is a great company to deal with. Musicians friend is also selling horns now. www.musicnasfriend.com

            Reply To Post Yahoo!


          2. by digbop
            (6 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: buying new alto

            Thanks karebear, I have tried WWBW and I can get the same horns locally for about $100 cheaper than WWBW! I will try saxforte and USAhorn and have a look. I really appreciate your input.

            Reply To Post


          3. by digbop
            (6 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: buying new alto

            Thanks to everyone who responded to this post. I did get the Yamaha Custom Z. Sounds great and I feel good about it. Also, since it cost about $1,000 less than the Selmer, I guess one could say that now I have $1K to put into a tenor!

            Reply To Post