Saxophone Forum

by bobdgraham
(2 posts)
11 years ago

Looking at used Bari's, whats the dif with the old and new??

Hey all, thanks for taking me in. Looking at used bari's to buy, why do some of the old ones look so much different than the new ones? The old seem to have a smaller bore and the bell doesen't run as far back up the body as the newer ones. Been a musician sinced mid 60's just looking for a new challenge/toy to keep me busy.  Should I hunt for an old diamond, or am I better off with new Chineese horn for $1500 and cut my chops on that?
Thanks, Bob 

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  1. by Saxquest
    (420 posts)

    11 years ago

    Re: Looking at used Bari's, whats the dif with the old and new??

    Hi Bob-

         I think the physical difference you are noticing is the difference between a low A and a low Bb bari sax. The low A baris have a longer bell to accommodate the extra key. Most of the modern bari saxophones manufactured today have the low A key whereas most vintage baris are only keyed down to low Bb. The low A didn't really get incorporated into the bari sax until the late 1940's and even then it was fairly uncommon until about 1970.

         There are advantages/disadvantages to both low A and non-low A bari saxes. Some people prefer the sound and feel of a Bb bari as it is a bit lighter and takes the air differently than a low A horn. There is also a difference in how the horn resonates and in the overall sonics. Then again, other players prefer the tone of a low A. Also, many time you need to low A to play written music as most composers today expect the range of a bari to play down to low A.

         If you're looking for a new bari in a decent price point, I would recommend a P. Mauriat LeBravo, Buffet 400 or Chateau professional model. These are all very reasonably priced in the $2800-$3800 range. I would avoid a new bari sax priced at $1500 unless its some sort of sale or discounted deal. Also, be sure you have the opportunity to have it play tested and looked over by a reliable repair shop. Quite simply, it just costs more than that to manufacture a quality bari sax today, especially figuring in shipping costs from overseas.

        Decent affordable used baris to consider include King Zephyr, Conn 12M, Buescher 400, Yamaha 52 or 62, and/or Yani 901. Best of Luck!!!


    Mark Overton

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