Re: newbie mom looking for alto sax
The list of horns to avoid is too long to account for properly. As far as I can tell, the names placed on cheap junk instruments change constantly, so it's usually best to stay with known dealers who stand behind their product. As I'm sure you know, having good technical service behind a woodind instrument is crucial.
Generally, stay away from apartment store brands. instructors are invaluable in auditioning instruments as their expertise can spot problems. Even instruments like Yamahas can have issues that need to be addressed before it's good enough to learn on.