Saxophone Forum


by Sax Mom
(964 posts)
10 years ago

What's so great about a pro horn?

Hi. Showing my ignorance here. I've been reading all the arguments about this brand or that brand of horn being so great, but I'm wondering what the difference is between a pro model and a student model within the same company? What is it that makes the pro horn cost so very much more than the student model?

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  1. by SaxMan
    (559 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

    The pro horns are made of better brass, the taper is a little more complex, the good ones will be annealed. The top notch ones have berrings that makes the action really smooth and quick. A respectable one will have a rib system for the keys instead of the posts going directly to the body. The ribs make the action faster and insure a proper pad positioning. there are others, but those are the majors.

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    1. by YanagisawA-901
      (312 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

      like sax man sed, better brass, more attention to detail..... its kinda like sayin... dude, whats the difference between a chevrolet chevette and a chevrolet corvette...theyre both cars, both by the same company, its just one kicks ass the and the other one doesnt...

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      1. by Sax Mom
        (964 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

        But a Corvette has a bigger engine than a Chevette (to say nothing about form and style). The engine of a Saxophone is the player. Doesn't matter how good the driver is, a Chevette is not likely to beat a Corvette in accelleration. Yet, a good player on a student model Conn would probably beat a less experienced player a 6M. The only thing I can compare is my 6M alto to my 16M Tenor, but maybe I'm not accomplished enough for it to make a difference!

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        1. by SaxMan
          (559 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

          The player may be the engine, but the horn is the spark plugs - a student model is the cheapest plug you can find, a pro selmer is a like a bosch platinum 4 - which gives you better excelleration, more power, better fuel economy and a smoother running engine. But anyways, that isnt the point. The corvette has a better suspension, it has a frame, not this unibody crap, it has close to full power steering, a MUCH higher grade transmission more comfortable seats and better tires. There are certain things that a sax dictates that a player has NO control over - the flavor of the sound, unless its a yamaha (Which lacks any kind of flavor to the sound and is completely neutral.) a pro sax will have certain attributes, like complexity and a bigger body of sound. Pros can play on pretty much anything, but why in the hell should you fight a student model horn if you are pro level? Even a top of the line selmer is not bad if you actually consider labor costs. (Which you wont, but heck, remain ignorant.) how many pros do you know of that play on junkers? I have only ever heard of two, and neither werent any big name person.

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        2. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

          Pro horns generally have more adjustment options as well as some other features not necessarily available in the student line. I wish my YAS-23 had low C# supression and adjustable bumper felts...

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        3. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

          'Student', 'Intermediate', and 'Pro' instruments are designations placed by the manufacturer to distinguish model lines and are otherwise completely arbitrary. You may indeed find Intermediate horns that out play and out handle some other horns that are considered pro. That said, manufacturers tend to design their Pro horns with better keywork, asthetics, and more adjustment mechanisms than their lesser horns. Some manufacturers will place better engineering and attention to the acoustic properties of their top horns. It all varies. Student horns are typically designed with durability, mass produciblity, and intonation in mind. The idea is to create a reputable horn in as few manufacturing steps as possible, all the while leaving room for a player to realize it's limits as she/he progresses Intermediate horns tend to vary a lot. I'm under the impression that some are little more than a student horn with laquered keys and a high F# haphazardly added to the design. Other horns that are considered 'intermediates' are identicle to their pro counterparts in key action and bore design, yet lack things like extra bracing on bell cups, ribbed construction, engraving, adjustment screws, etc. For instance, LeBlanc, the Yanagisawa distributor to the US, calls the 901 series an 'Intermediate' horn. I don't think Yanagisawa will admit to ever designing anything that it wouldn't consider a pro instrument and it seems Yani regards it's 900 series horns as Professional oriented (I would definitely agree with Yanagisawa here. There 900 series of saxophones are on par with any other proffestional instrument). So there is no really cut and dry difference in every case. Just a few lose standards set up by internal marketing.

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        4. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What's so great about a pro horn?

          Thank you all, that's the kind of information I was seeking.

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