Saxophone Forum


by stowman47
(5 posts)
4 months ago

Newbie (sorta)

Hi gang.  I played back in my teens and early 20's broke my front teeth and couldn't play anymore. Switched to drums and guitar, but nnot for long. My passion is still sax. I decided a few months ago to give it another shot. Played a sax just to see if it bothered me. It didn't. I'm now looking for a good intermediate horn to practice on, and have some fun. want to kep the cost around $1000 or less. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I purchased a Yamaha YTS-23 (tenor), and a Yamaha YAS-23 (alto), but they weren't cutting it so I sold both of 'em. Now I'm looking again. 

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  1. by mijderf
    (57 posts)

    4 months ago

    Re: Newbie (sorta)

    I am confused by your post.  For $1000 max are you looking for a tenor, an alto or both?  Good used altos are easily found for that price.  Tenors generally cost more, but you can get a good used one for that amount.  If you want both for that amount....good luck!

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    1. by stowman47
      (5 posts)

      4 months ago

      Re: Newbie (sorta)

      Sorry...I guess I wasn't very specific. I'd like to fine a used tenor that plays well appearence is not all that critical. 

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      1. by mijderf
        (57 posts)

        4 months ago

        Re: Newbie (sorta)

        Here is a place that specializes in refurbing old horns:  http://www.2ndending.com/saxes.html

        Tell them what you are interested in.  They have horns that have already been refurbed but they also have inventory available to refurb.  Last time I looked they had a 50's era Conn 16M in the back room.  That model can sound great, and should run well less than $1000.

        Another similar source is https://www.junkdude.com/collections/saxophones/tenor-saxophones

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        1. by stowman47
          (5 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          Thanks a bunch. If there are no Conn's available, what other brands should I be looking for, that are not beginner models, or maybe are, but sound and play better than those introductory horns. I've been out of the music scene for way too long and have lost touch with what's available to suit my needs. Again, thank you for any info you can pass on. I will look into your suggestions so far. I just went to the "2ndending.com web site. It is apparently "under construction", but it looks like a site dedicated to the movie industry.

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        2. by mijderf
          (57 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          Try checking out the "Saxophone Buyers Guide" on the Resource tab at the top of this page.  A lot of good information there.  Other brands you may consider are old Buescher models like the Aristocrat Series I (older professional horn) or a Martin model like the Indiana (intermediate horn).  These are old vintage models of U.S. made horns, so if you get one, have between $100 and $200 set aside for possible leak and dent work.

          Your comment about http://www.2ndending.com/saxes.html doesn't make sense to me.  It is not related to movies.  It is a vintage horn site.  Make sure you got the URL correct.

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        3. by stowman47
          (5 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          Thanks or the info...I played the Aristocrat back in the day. Never had an issue with it, but I'm not familiar with all the stuff out there. Thanks again for the help. Now to find something

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        4. by mijderf
          (57 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          There were 4 versions of the Buescher Aristocrat.  The first 3 are great horns.  The 4th version started out OK, but soon after its introduction, Buescher was bought by Selmer, and over time they changed it to a student level horn.  So if you are considering an Aristocrat, be sure you know which version it is, and cross check the serial number against the Serial number charts on this website.

          Good Luck in your quest! 

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        5. by stowman47
          (5 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          Thanks again for your help. I found a Buescher Aristocrat 400 for $750, A King 662 for $500, and a Selmer U.S.A. for 500. Accoring to this web site, all are decend horns. I have not played any of them. They are for sale from a music store called Music-go-Round (apparently a franchise) and all are nowhere near my location. If you had to pick one of these which one would be your choice, assuming they all played great. Or do I need to get more information? The Selmer U.S.A. horn has a serial # 1335831, which the salesman said sounds like it was mfg'd around 2006-2010 ish.

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        6. by mijderf
          (57 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          Buying used horns sometimes comes down to finding a very reputable dealer you can trust.  I am not familiar with Music-go-round, so I cannot comment on them.  I looked at their website, and the Aristocrat 400 I saw was made well after the Selmer purchase, so be careful because it looks like an entry level student horn.
          I looked up information on the Cleveland 662.  It is considered to be an intermediate level horn with a good tone.
          If the Selmer USA horn is an Omega for that price, that may also be a good purchase.

          What more do you need to know or see?  I would ask for photos of the neck from both sides, and look for signs of a crease and check to see if the neck octave pad is centered on the neck pip.  If not centered, the neck might have been pulled down, which is a common way to damage a neck, and not often a cheap repair.  I would also ask for photos of the left hand table keys and look for good alignment and equal spacing between all of the key touches.  Big gaps mean that something is bent or damaged.  Also ask for serial numbers on the horns.  They can ofter tell you when the horn was made, and sometimes even where they were made.

          Recognize that many sub $1000 tenors may need service.  If the horn needs a total repad, that often runs over $500, so I would also enquire about the amount of life left in the pads.

          If you cannot try out the horn in person, then I would stay with dealers like the ones I earlier recommeded.  The initial price could be higher, but if they say that the horn plays well top to bottom, they can be believed. 

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        7. by mijderf
          (57 posts)

          4 months ago

          Re: Newbie (sorta)

          By the way, Saxquest is a great seller of horns.  Anything they have worked on will play absolutely great.  I did not mention them earlier because they are above your stated price point.  However, realizing that anything you buy may need additional work, you might want to see if you can stretch your budget to one of the Saxquest horns.

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