Saxophone Forum


by Sax_Shark
(134 posts)
9 years ago

Is this Brand any good?

I was looking on DominicsMusic.com and the site has "DC Pro Saxophones". Is this a credible site and are these saxophones any good? On a minorly related subject (somewhat random). Has anyone heard of a brand name called "Venus"? Apparently they make all sorts of instruments. I found some of their saxes on eBay and was wondering if they were for real. Help? Advice? Anything and everything would be appriciated. Thanks!

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Is this Brand any good?

    OK....EVERYBODY PAY ATTENTION!!!, because I am getting really tired of answering these questions. First of all....DON'T TRUST DOMINIC!!! The guy should be a used car salesman! To hear him talk, his instruments are pro quality. THEY'RE JUNK!!! He will take your money and laugh. The DC Pro Saxophones are a junky Chinese copy of a Cannonball and they do not hold up! The other saxophones you see advertised online like the Schill, Blessing, Band Now, Millwaukee, Monique, Simba, and I'm sure there are a few others that have sprung up here and there I haven't had the "pleasure" of testing yet! PEOPLE, Don't waste your money on these things, please! You buy them for your beginning student because they're shiney and new. The student tries it and it doesn't play well, falls apart, and then your kid decides he doesn't like band and quits! You don't have to spend an arm and a leg on a new Selmer, but at least buy a decent quality used instrument for your student to learn on. You can buy a cheap guitar and it might play ok, and sound pretty good. YOU CAN'T BUY A CHEAP SAXOPHONE!!! The saxophone is much more complex and requires much more precise craftsmenship.

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    1. by diablovt
      (3 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Here's a reprint of a reponse to DC Pro horns that I posted further down this forum site about 2 weeks ago. I can't speak for all DC Pro horns but I can tell of my experience with my tenor. I know I'll get some flak for this but I must tell of my experience with a certain DC Pro Series II tenor.

      I am not an expert player like Sonny Rollins or Joe Lovano or even Boots Randolph but I am certainly not a young beginner either. I have been playing the saxophone for over 19 years. I started out on a Bundy alto back in 1986 and over the years have owned a 1990 Selmer USA alto (that horn always had trouble staying in tune in the middle registers and the left pinky spatula keys took an act of Congress to press down), a Conn Shooting Stars tenor (1970's model I think- not sure about year and never liked that horn much so I got rid of it after a couple months), a few Keilwerth's and Yamaha's that I have borrowed from friends, and most recently a 1991 Yamaha 52 alto that I absolutely loved until I sold it two years ago when someone offered me $300 more than I paid for it. Looking back that was a dumb decision since that is the only alto I have ever played that I could really make sound like I wanted it to.

      I loved that Yamaha, but anyway. I wanted to get back into the tenor world and have borrowed a few tenors from friends over the past few years for gigs and concerts but I needed one of my own. I wanted a Yamaha 62 but I didn't have the cash for it. So I shopped around for a while since money was an issue and found the DC Pro line on ebay. Now I sell on ebay all the time but I didn't want to buy a horn that way so I looked into the DC Pro line and saw they were offered by Dominic's Music in Salem, Mass.. I have a friend in Salem and had him swing by Dominic's store and check it out. He chatted with Dominic for a while and bought some reeds from him and then called me to let me know that Dominic seemed to be a nice legit guy. I called Dominic four times over the course of a month and asked him every question you could think of about his DC Pro horns and each conversation he patiently answered me. He told me that the DC Pro is his own name brand of horn (D.C. are his initials) and that he has a shop in Taiwan (not China) manufacture them for him to his specs and his qualifications.

      Naturally, that led to many questions on my part. But, I am in the bicycle business by trade and I do know that over 90% of all bicycle frames sold in the USA (outside of Wal-Mart bikes) are manufactured in Taiwan so I know a lot about Taiwanese manufacturing and so far I have no problems with it. Finally, after being reassured that if I didn't like the horn he would exchange it for a Selmer or Yamaha or whatever I wanted (plus the cost difference ofcourse) I bought a DC Pro Series II unlacquered tenor with the oversize bell. While we were on the phone and he was taking down my order and answering my last questions he kept reassuring me of the quality of the horn and how much I would like it. Well, here's the part you've been waiting for and the part I like to tell the most. After I had spoken with Dominic and had bought the horn I waited the four days (weekend included) for UPS to deliver it to me here in NC. That's when I discovered this forum and all of the discussions on here of cheap Chinese saxes and sorry Asian copies. I even read a lot of negative stuff on here about Dominic. I immediately became heartbroken thinking that I had just paid $800 for a cheap piece of metal that wouldn't play and would fall apart if I held it wrong.

      Then, after four long agonizing days of worry and negative reviews my DC Pro tenor arrived by UPS. I opened up the cardboard shipping box (which was very well packed) and slid out the sax case and viewed my new horn. It is a nice sax case by the way, nothing too fancy but actually more than I was expecting. The sax looked great and the unlacquered finish was exactly what I had wanted. Now it was truth time. I removed the horn from the case and removed all of the shipping cork from the keys (that took forever as they were protected by a ton of cork) and assembled the horn. All of the keys felt right and the response was very quick and exact. Then I warmed up a reed, slid on the neck strap and started to play. I was so nervous that I had bought a cheaply made copy horn that my stomach was churning butterflies. Then it happened. This DC Pro Series II unlacquered tenor started to sing. I mean it sounded awesome! I played every song I knew and every riff I could think of and could not find any weakness whatsoever in this horn. Soft hush-tone playing like Joe Henderson or all out raunchy King Curtis style blues tunes, all of it sounded superb with this new DC Pro. From the lowest B flat to the highest altissimo that I can control this horn rocked!

      Well, that was back in March and it is now November 1st and I have played this DC Pro horn almost every day during the last 7 months. I have not had any mechanical work done to it at all (so far none needed) and aside from cleaning it with an old t-shirt from time to time to remove fingerprints and spit it is exactly as it was the first day I got it. I have not found one single problem or flaw with it and I am so glad I called Dominic! Do I wish I had waited a while and bought a Yamaha? Nope, not now. I love this horn and am amazed at its pure sound and precise action and response. I love to play it and my musician friends are blown away by its powerful sound and by the fact that I got a horn of this quality new for $800. Did I get lucky and find the only good DC Pro horn that Dominic ever had produced? Maybe, but I doubt it. Do yourself a favor and call Dominic and give him a try. If you are buying a sax on a limited budget I don't see how you could go wrong.

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    2. by connsaxman_jim
      (2336 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Marty, I'm glad you like your horn and I wish you luck with it, but I have a serious problem with Dominic. I've seen some of the junk that he sells. He grossly exaggerates and mis-represents the horns that he sells, and he clearly by all accounts, does NOT stand behind the products that he sells. I am constantly receiving emails from people who have purchased his horns and had nothing but problems with them, tried to contact Dominic and have not gotten anywhere with him! I do not trust him at all. I wouldn't buy a sax OR a used car from him! I wouldn't buy anything from him! As for the DC Pro saxophones, I do not find them to be of very good quality at all, and I would not recommend them. They are a cheap copy of a Cannonball. There are other horns for around $800 which I would recommend over the DC Pro; such as the Antigua Winds, EM Winston, Kessler Custom, or P. Mauriat. As for my "childish ranting", again, I get emails from people all the time asking me about these horns, as well as others that Dominic and the other Ebay stores are selling. It seems like there is a new brand every week being sold by Dominic's music that is a "Pro model" for less than the price of most student models! UNBELIEVABLE! I have a friend who sells guitars at a local shop. One of the brands that he sells is New York Pro. They're very cheap. People ask him if they are made in New York and if they are professional quality. He tells his customers that they are made in China, and they are a good quality guitar for the money. They are not a US made pro quality instrument like the name would suggest, but they are a good value, and a good guitar for a student or beginner.

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    3. by diablovt
      (3 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Jim, thanks for the well wishes and thank you for elaborating on your viewpoint. If I have any problems with this horn you will be among the first to know. Honestly, it really does play great. Now if only it would help me mentally improve my transposing.........

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    4. by johnsonfromwisconsin
      (767 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      I have for the large part given up arguing with proponents of these fringe brands of horns that all seem to be manufactured on the asian rim, are advertised with no small amount of hyperbole, often are pictured with the damned mouthpiece on upside down, look crudely constructed, and are priced far below what credible asian rim manufacturers are charging for competent horns. I mean, what do I really care if someone gets something that either has or develops so many issues, both accoustic and mechanical, that it becomes a waste of their time and money, or if they find seredipity in an ultra-cheap instrument. Either way, I don't personally lose anything.

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  2. by EL Seano
    (255 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Is this Brand any good?

    Hey, Blessing makes ok Flutes and trombones...

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    1. by Dave Dix
      (421 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Well said Jim!!!! A salesman visited our local school parents evening and was trying to sell the parents instruments marked BLESSING at a very expensive rate. Chinese crap is all i could see but they did look good to the less informed people. He was stating that they were built in USA He was a bit ruffled when i asked a few questions and then produced a mpc from my pecket, had a blow , then informed the parents on the real quality!!! result was no sales but the school wasn't impressed as they were promised a % of the sales Dave

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        I see way too much of this type of thing Dave, and it makes me sick! These people, like Dominic, mislead people into thinking that these are quality instruments that are being offered "at a discount" and that they are US made! That's fraud! They're horrible, and guys like Dominic are buying these things out of China for next to nothing. I want everyone on the internet to know just what kind of lying snake Dominic is!

        Parents, PLEASE!!! Buy your kid a decent horn! Here are some good brands to consider: Antigua Winds, Armstrong, Buescher, Bundy, Buffet, B&S, Cannonball, Conn, Couf, Dolnet, Evette Schafer (Buffet), Guardala, Jupiter, Keilwerth, Kessler Custom, King, LaVoix (Selmer), Martin, P. Mauriat, Selmer, Vito, Winston, Yamaha, and Yanagisawa. If it's not on this list, email me before buying.

        Jim

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      2. by sax parent
        (2 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        Hi Jim - I'm one of those parents you implore to "get your kid a good horn". I'm trying - that's how I found this site. But when the kid is 10 you don't want to spend a fortune. I see that Winston is on your list. There's an EM Winston 455LX Student Alto Saxophone listed online for 429.99. Would you know if that's good - or too good to be real (literally)?

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      3. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        Hi Sax parent, I'm not familiar with that particular model, but I have tried a few Winston saxophones; tenor, alto and soprano, and I was actually quite impressed with them for the money. For a student horn, I think they're very adequate. I would say that they are quite comparable to Antigua Winds and a few of the other Taiwan made horns.

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      4. by sax parent
        (2 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        Hi Jim, Thank you very much for the imput - I appreciate it!

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      5. by CMelodyMan77
        (26 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        I agree with jim, those are the brands you should look at.

        David

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      6. by dfisc
        (3 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        My son brought home a brochure for a Christmas sale at Music and Arts Center. They have their own brand Liberty Alto by Selmer on sale for $1999.95. From what I am gathering, this is rediculously overpriced?

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      7. by Sax Mom
        (964 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        I am not familiar with these particular models, but the Selmer brand is generally more expensive than others, though some people swear by the quality of the horns. I'm guessing this is a student model. The Yamaha Student Series YAS-23 is listed in WWBW (Woodwind/Brasswind) catalog for $1675. If you have a local dealer, they might be able to give more service than a mail-order company, however. The Selmer Mid-range and Professional in that catalog start at about $3000.

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      8. by seikialice88
        (2 posts)

        3 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        Thanks you for the post.

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      9. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        I would add LA Sax and Oleg to that list also.

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      10. by EL Seano
        (255 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        I would add Borgani

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      11. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Is this Brand any good?

        this should be a sticky or something more permanent around here. maybe a list of approved sax venders? hmmmm?

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      12. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        Antigua Winds Armstrong Borgani Buescher Bundy Buffet B&S Cannonball Cleveland (King) Conn Couf Dolnet Evette Schafer (Buffet) Guardala Holton Indiana (Martin) Jupiter Keilwerth Kessler Custom (Kessler Music) King LA Sax LaVoix (Selmer Martin Oleg Selmer SML Vito Winston Yamaha Yanagisawa These are all great brands that I am sure you can rely on. I'm sure there are a few others (European makes) that I have yet to hear of that are good. BEWARE OF: Dominic, and his cheap saxophones that fall apart in a year, and other ebay deals that are too good to be true! Saxophones under $500. You can't build a quality saxophone for less than about $800! Especially if the ad says it's a "Pro model" saxophone! Saxophones that clame to be "German engineered". They're not made in Germany. They're cheap Chinese made copies of a Keilwerth or B&S design

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      13. by perkysquirel
        (26 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        U guys make chinese brands sound so bad........ im chinese and im somewhat offended......

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      14. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        Some people are too easily offended.

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      15. by perkysquirel
        (26 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        thank u that makes me feel much better

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      16. by ProudDog
        (1 post)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        I spoke with a sales rep at WWBW on the phone today because I was inquiring about the BandNow saprano sax to learn on. Until I can purchase a pro-model, He informed me that it was actually a good student quality sax. What if I used a decent mouthpiece and reed would this improve the tone and intonation?

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      17. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        perkysquirel, The Chinese saxophones are not very good quality because of the poor materials used, poor manufacturing methods, and poorly trained workers who assemble the horns. This has nothing to do with the Chinese people. The Chinese people are highly intelligent, and I know a little about their culture, and I believe that they take much pride in their work. And, I LOVE Chinese food! It's hard for me to name a favorite. Probably Honey Garlic Chicken or Sesame Chicken. I love those crab cheese things too!

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      18. by martysax
        (148 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        Alto: "Hey Man, I'm hungry. Let's order some Chinese!" Tenor: "To Do What?"

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      19. by CajunSax
        (76 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        anybody (Jim) know about "Grassi" horns? Out of Italy...I have a soprano that I've had since 10th grade. It was the only soprano the little po-dunk music shop had where I grew up, and $$ wasn't growin on trees either back then. I believe that they are or were a split off of Conn (Jim should know). I've had it and still play it to this day, since it's the only soprano i've got. Works for me until i win the Lotto and get me somethin else. Anyways...i've yet to run across another Grassi ever. What u folks think &/or know about them there horns? :)

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      20. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        I've seen a few Grassi's and they're good horns. They're made in Italy, like you said. They're in no way connected to Conn that I am aware of, but they do tend to resemble some of the Conns in some ways. Grassi, Prestini, Borgani, and R&C (since I can't remember the exact spelling, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about) are pretty good horns.

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      21. by Jfk92
        (8 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        ProudDog, I bought a BandNow Tenor from WWBW. I LOVE it. I'm a beginner with tenor. I learned on a Selmer Bundy II alto. My only gripe is that WWBW sucked, and after poor response, they shipped it without a mouthpiece, which was a blessing in disguise. I bought an upgraded mouthpiece and not that I know anything, I love the sound. I was finally shipped the 'stock' piece and tried it out for comparison. WHAT a DIFFERENCE! I have a NEW sax, sounds great, and love playing....and dropped only under $350 on the sax.....(ahem, mouthpiece was around $60...worth every dime!) John

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      22. by 7Souls
        (1 post)

        5 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        Hey Jim great site what can you tell me about the 'giardinelli gs812t' I didn't see it on your list and if it is decent what type of mouthpiece should I look for my teacher says to look into the 'Otto link' brands. Also I'm in the market for a intemediate Soprano but I don't want to spend thousands of dollars but I don't want to any crap either I've looked at Kessler and I like them and I've looked at the Cannonball's any suggestions? Thanks, 7Souls

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      23. by cuber
        (653 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Jim's list of "approved" saxophone brands

        Jim hasnt been around much in the last couple years, along with a bunch of other people, by im off topic Obviously Jim couldnt try every sax, but i would be weary of any sax that isnt on the list. mouthpiece-wise, try an otto link, a meyer, maybe a beechler, possibly a rousseau. try the ebonite versions of each of these, since it will be more compatible with the music you play in school. Try Yanigasawa sopranos.

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    2. by Outsidethebox
      (1 post)

      9 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Testing a horn is the key, not the price. I found a Monique alto saxophone that has a sweet sound and paid less than $300. I spent a little bit to have some adjustments done for spring work ( i like the action to be a little stiffer) and to adjust for intonation. The horn speaks well and is consistant in all registers and at all volumes. The Venus Saxes have had good reviews on other sites however I have not had the chance to play.

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    3. by SelmerLover
      (1 post)

      5 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      I play a new Selmer Series 3 and it is better than the series 2 and the yamaha custom in my opinion. Selmers are by far the top of the line, if you have been playing for a few years and want to step up, I would recommend it. But if you are a new player or just one that doesnt need a fancy sax but one that works, I suggest a beginner-pro level yamaha. New selmers range from the price of $2500 to $5500. Even a bundy 2 would probably work better than a DC Saxophone, but don't take my word for it. Nor anyone elses. You should test some different saxes before considering buying one.

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    4. by ianwk2011
      (1 post)

      4 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      do NOT buy a dc pro saxophone, they are trash! i bought one and played it for a week before taking it back. they look nice but nothing will last, it will fall apart and you will never be able to find part for it. go for Selmer, Yahama, or something like that.

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    5. by Gaurdala sax
      (4 posts)

      3 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Can anyone tell me which brand is better? I am looking at a unison s100 soprano and and LA Sax soprano. I am not familiar with either brand. I play a guardala alto and a selmer mark vii tenor. Basically I don't have a bunch of money to buy a pro soprano but I don't know much about those brands. What do you think. Unison or LA Sax???? Thanks for your feedback.

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    6. by Gaurdala sax
      (4 posts)

      3 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      Can anyone tell me which brand is better? I am looking at a unison s100 soprano and and LA Sax soprano. I am not familiar with either brand. I play a guardala alto and a selmer mark vii tenor. Basically I don't have a bunch of money to buy a pro soprano but I don't know much about those brands. What do you think. Unison or LA Sax???? Thanks for your feedback.

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    7. by Bolognaroll
      (1 post)

      3 years ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      First Dominic's an ok guy . Second his horns are from Taiwan ... not China Third ... Taiwan horns are very good. Forth ...most name brand horns are made in taiwan by two manufactures. Speaking for myself only... I'm not rich , and I'll never be the best player on the planet. so GREAT for the money come to mind here and big time!

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    8. by jazzsax357
      (2 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: Is this Brand any good?

      I have been looking at horns. I've heard a little about Schill and about Venus. Seen some you tube vids on both and they don't sound bad in the video. I came here to get information. And even though this thread spans over 7 years, it seems like people want to call each other names, and no one has said anything about the Venus name brand.

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