Saxophone Forum


by VillageIdiot906
(3 posts)
9 years ago

Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

Ok. I'm buying a new Alto soon, but I can't decide on which one to buy. I've been playing Yamaha 23 for 6 years and have never played another horn, so I don't really know what's better than others. If you can, please rate the following saxes, along with a short review or explanation of why it is better than the other saxophones. 1) Keilwerth SX90R 2) Selmer SA III 3) Yamaha Custom 82Z (lacquer or unlacquered) 4) Yanigisawa A9933 (with sterling silver bell) I play both legit and jazz (a bit more jazz than legit) and I'm just a bit shallow... I like my horns to look good (although for some reason, I don't really like the look of full-silver horns all that much, unless the sound is exceptionally better).

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  1. by definition
    (963 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

    All four of those are REALLY nice horns, and ou should be happy with any of them. Go to music stores, play-test them alongside each other, and decide for yourself which one you like best, thats the best advice I can give you, since all three of those are top notch horns.

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    1. by VillageIdiot906
      (3 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

      See... that's the thing. I can't playtest them because I'm ordering them from Woodwind and Brasswind (www.wwbw.com) and that's no where near where I live. So, I'm stuck with trusting the opinions of others...

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      1. by Firk
        (31 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

        wwbw will let you try out horns just like they let you try out mouthpieces. they only let you try 3 or 4 at a time. i did it myself and had no problems. call them and ask them about it. ~Firk

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

          I agree, they're all really nice horns. I'm a little partial to the Keilwerth SX 90R myself because I like the sound and feel. Is there a local music store you where you can go and at least try a couple of the models? It's really best that you play them all and decide which one feels the most comfortable to you and fits your style of playing.

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        2. by VillageIdiot906
          (3 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

          Nope. My local store (H&H) isn't carrying any SX90R or 82Z right now. Makes me one sad panda. ;[

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        3. by p-apple
          (49 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

          That's a pretty tough situation. My only suggestion is that some people can literally play the hell out of a sax but when other people like me play it sounds like a beginner sax. If there's *absolutely no way you can get your hands on those pro sax to try out* then you should base your purchase on other people's advice. If you any friends or if you're private lesson teacher (if you have one) has some of those saxes he/she might be willing to let you play those saxes for a bit. I'm also a bit curious about how you chose those four because you ought to give the Selmer Reference a try, if possible, because despite all the negative remarks about it from some people; the reference is a pretty nice sax which is pretty much the same price for all the other sax you listed.

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      2. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

        I really recommend trying all of these before buying, if you can possibly do so, but wwbw will let you return it if you're not happy with it. Here's a little feedback on the four that you have selected here. Maybe this will help you make a decision. The Keilwerth SX90R is most like the vintage American saxes, with a more modern European action. These are some of the best playing saxophones I've ever played with a BIG tone! The SX90R has rolled tone holes. Keilwerth offers a variety of different finishes for this horn, including a brushed nickel which looks like the older 1920's saxophones. These horns have a warm, dark tone that is very well suited to jazz and rock, as well as legit and classical. I've never played a single Keilwerth I didn't absolutely LOVE! The Selmer SA III is a well-made horn that plays very well. The action on the selmers is very smooth and the horn practically plays itself! The sound is more appealing to an orchestra setting; a very smooth, well-centered tone. For Legit and classical , this saxophone is hard to beat. It's not as bold and brassy as the Keilwerth or the Yamaha. Yamaha's Custom Z Series saxophones are gaining a lot of respect. since I haven't played an 82Z, I can really only base this opinion on the 875 and a few other Yamaha's I have tried. The Yamaha horns play very well. Even their student line instruments, such as your YAS 23. I would definately go with the lacquered model instead of the unlaquered. The laquer will keep the horn looking nicer longer. I've had very good luck with Yamaha keyboards (I use Yamaha Motif and S series keyboards), drums, and other instruments. Their saxophones always sounded a little thin to me. They're brighter than the Selmer SA III, but don't have the warm full sound like the Keilwerth. The Yanigisawa A 9933 is an acceptional horn; one of the nicest saxophones on the market today. It's very similar to the Selmer models. Truthfully, I think it's a better made horn than the Reference series Selmer. The intonation is exceptional. The Yani's sound a lot like the Selmers they were "inspired" by. This is a great Legit or Classical horn. Also a very nice looking horn, You really can't go wrong with either one, but if I was spending your money, the Keilwerth would be my pick! 1. Keilwerth SX90R 2. Yanigisawa A9933 3. Selmer SA III 4. Yamaha Custome 82Z

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        1. by phathorn
          (165 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Buying new Alto Sax... need opinions and reviews.

          I think I should confuse you a bit more. ANY of those horns will make you happy. However, I'm gonna add one more to consider. Look at the B&S Medusa series. They are one of the best horns on the market. Kesslermusic.com carries em as well as the yanis.

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