Saxophone Forum


by altosax4ever
(8 posts)
9 years ago

Pro Alto!!!

I've been playing sax for 5 years now, (a freshman in high school) and i'm very serious about playing. I usually practice for 2 - 2 1/2 hours each day, and I'm very sure that I want to go into music (preferably performance) after school. My question is this. I'm playing ona yamaha 23 starter horn, and I'm now ready to make the leap into a professional one. I absolutely adore the Selmer series II superaction 80, but I've never tried the series III. Should I stick with Yamaha? Any suggestions? If it helps, i'm using a C* mouthpiece with a vandorian optimum ligature, and i LOVE playing jazz. Thanks in advance, R Reply to post

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  1. by clamness
    (13 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    i agree with the mauriats being good. also check out keilwerths with the rolled tone holes - pretty sweet.

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  2. by wkusax87
    (12 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    I own a Cannonball professional horn. Most people that don't have high opinions of them haven't played them enough to compare. I have a sax teacher for my college lessons who played on Broadway for 20 years, and has played at Radio City music hall for 25. I'm pretty sure he went to the Eastman school of music. Anyways, he loves my Cannonball. Plus, they're more affordable. Just get a horn that feels comfortable to you, and practice. The more you work on overtones and tuning, the better you will become at playing that particular sax.

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  3. by barisax999
    (400 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    to start man, congrats on the amount you practice, thats awsome. second, you might want to look into a good jazz piece before a pro horn. i just pick up a jody jazz HR for my alto, and it is absolutely amazing. as far as the horn goes, i personally wouldnt go yamaha. if you liked the series II, you might want to look into a vintage selmer or Super20. i play on a selmer super balnceed action with gold plating and it is the best horn i have ever played on. but just remeber everyobdy is different when it comed to horns. whatever people tell you on this site(including myself) is just our opinions on what worked for us, you have to shop around, try different horns, and buy the one you like the best

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  4. by nad1rn
    (37 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    I used to play on a 23 till last year. It's not a bad horn, and i still use it for marching band. I tried out a yamaha 62, selmer series 2 and 3, and the yamaha custom Z. The Z blew them all out of the water. Its response is incredibly fast. It is really free blowing and easy to play. It also has great projection. the only problems were that the G sharp key was placed in an awkward postion (but after a few hours of practicing, you won't notice) and that it tends to be out of tune in the upper register (from what I've read on this site, It has something to do with the neck). I also played it next to a mark VI, and it easily held its own. the only difference was that the VI was much darker. (unfortunatley i didn't have $6000 to spend) While the Z is bright, this can be easiy fixed by opening your throat while playing (just say AH) In the end, the only person's opinion that matters is YOURS. Try out as many horns as possible and stick with the one you like best. ~Out

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    1. by jing24
      (31 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Pro Alto!!!

      hey man we are twins i have a yamaha 23 and a c* but i also have a meyer m5. i am also looking for a mark VI or super action 80 tell me what you get

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  5. by p-land sax
    (32 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    I'm a serior and have been playing for 10 years. I made the jump form y-23 to a super action 80 series 2. These two horns are night and day to each other. i recommend that you get a horn from the early 90's because its the time after they worked out all the kinks and the time before they began to get a little sloppy

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  6. by chiamac
    (586 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    well a few things for you... Don't have one brand or one horn in your mind, be open about the choice. but just wanting "brand x" you pretty much rule out any other horns out there. Sure, some could be worse, but some could be better. Since you're serious about this, go out and try all sorts of horns and see which works best. I'm not just talking about new... you said you like jazz, and there are all sorts of good "jazz" horns out there, most (other than selmer) are less expensive than any new pro horn. also, you don't have to choose a new horn tomorrow. In fact you really don't need one for a few years. This gives you time to think about the choice, and really do some research before getting anything. Lastly, have you looked at getting a new mouthpiece? This would really change up your sound, and make the sax you have feel new/different. Now I'm not saying that your horn will sound as good as a pro, but it could make a big difference now, and give you more time to look at pro horns. no matter what you do KEEP YOUR CURRENT HORN!!! who knows what will happen in high school, but I didn't like dragging my 10M around to pepband events and such. =)

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  7. by Radjammin
    (255 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    Vandorian Optimum Lig? that's the big silver one that looks like a metal Rovner right? I was thinking about buying that to match my new Cannonball Alto sax. What do you think of that lig? I want it for a large Van Jumbo Java Moutpiece. It's either that or Bay. Thouse are the only silver ones I know of, at resonable prices. Overall I agree with the guys that say you need a jazz setup. C* a great legit mouthpiece but far to closed at the tip for jazz. Also recommend a little larger chamber. As Horns go, I would suggest anything under $2000. Do your homework, and don't forget about the used market. You can get some really nice horns used that you might not be able to afford new. I think as long as you stay with the big 4 you will do fine. Yamaha, Selmer, Yani, Keithworth (spelling wrong). You could also try Cannonball. I did and was very happy. Taiwan is becomming a really capable instrument manufacting company. Nice to see it. This is a two sided compliment. If you don't hear good things about a Taiwan company don't buy from them. Alot of bad manufactures still left there making crapy horns.

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    1. by barisax999
      (400 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Pro Alto!!!

      mauriats come from taiwan and are fantastic. im going to be nice and not post my opinion on cannonballs

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  8. by Sax_Shark
    (134 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Pro Alto!!!

    Hey dude. That's awesome about your early commitment to music, but look around. I also want to go into music but into music education. You can nearly always find a job with music that way. Performance is great, but what's your plan? do you have a plan B? Believe me, I'm not tryin to dicourage - I've got enough of that coming from my parents (im a junior in HS) but know what you're going into. About the sax, I agree you should definatly look into a good piece, esp if you are still on a 4C or something. Also, unless you're only going to be playing jazz in HS, I wouldn't get a jazz horn or piece. You need something versitle if you are going between a concert setting and a jazz setting. Some jazz horns/pieces can be difficult to blend in a concert setting or even a jazz band setting. Hope this helps somewhat. I just wanted to warn you against getting something that your band director might fuss at you for. I know mine does ;) Shark

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    1. by jacknight
      (1 post)

      4 years ago

      Re: Pro Alto!!!

      since you like jazz, I think selmer mark series will be better~

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      1. by SaxMan88
        (318 posts)

        3 years ago

        Re: Pro Alto!!!

        The problem with Cannonball's is that their build quality, like other Taiwanese horns, are inferior to that of those made in France, Germany, and Japan. Trust me, I owned a Selmer made Taiwanese horn; it sounded and felt great, until the horn literally started to fall apart in my hands. It got so bad at one point that I could literally shift the bell around in it's brace. If you're going to be serious about saxophone performance you need at least one pro horn. The way I see it, if you're going to spend money, make it count; don't buy something that will only last a few years before major defects happen. I play on a Serie II and love it. I have also tried some very nice Yamaha's. The Serie III is good also, but to be honest I'm not so sure if I'm crazy about spending money on Selmer's anymore. I think Yamaha makes just as good a horn at a lot less. Yanagisawa's have awesome action and ergonomics. Their left hand pinky clusters are to die for. Keilwerth's have a huge beefy sound that is unmatched by any other. It's all about preference; try some out and walk away with what you feel is best. Concerning equipment; yes equipment is important especially mouthpiece/reed/ligature setup. But don't become obsessed with it; pick something that works and go with it until you feel the need to change. Often players become too wrapped up in the details instead of actually focusing on themselves as players. When you get into the collegiate level of playing then you can focus more on fine tuning your setup. But for now I would recommend simply finding something inexpensive that works, and becoming really good on that before you start spending oodles of money on equipment when the majority of the solution will come from honing your craft as a player. Best of luck!

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