Saxophone Forum


by uigrad_2000
(3 posts)
17 years ago

First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

First, I play piano, and a few brass instruments, but I've always wanted to learn to play sax. After looking on ebay a little, I've convinced myself that I really want to try this new hobby. So, I went to our local music shop. They normally have used Bundy II's for about $650. Currently, they just have one used instrument. It's an original series Bundy (serial #52xxxx), and had large dents and scratches. I noticed one of the pads didn't fully cover the hole-- it was bent up by about 1/4 inch! The saleman went to find one of their technicians. The technician said it really need some work, but they would sell it for $450 after it was fixed up. New instruments at the store are $1300 - $2000, and appear to be nothing special. So, I came back home, and started looking on ebay again. Brand new Schills are about $200. A brand new copper/gold plated Monique is only $450, and it has an F# key (which the bundy does not), and it is so beautiful, that it's stunning! I've heard a lot of people on this forum say that money spent on cheapo ebay instruments from China is wasted money. But, those cheapo instruments seem like an obvious choice to me. What should I do?

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  1. by saxbob
    (13 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

    uigrad - I don't think you mentioned which kind of sax (tenor, alto, etc.) you are interested in playing. Anyway, it sounds as if you like shiny instruments just as I do. I have a Bach Strad silverplated trumpet that really looks good. (I play trumpet and sax.) So, what's my point? It is this: You don't play shine. Go for the quality of the instrument - both from a quality of sound viewpoint and mechanical viewpoint. Don't get caught up in how pretty the horn is. I play a 1963 Buescher 400 tenor that would come in last in any beauty contest because of the lacquer wear. But, in the hands of a pro player (which I am not) it would probably smoke any Monique you could buy. The sound is HUGE and the mechanical action is quick and rock-solid. I use an Otto Link metal mouthpiece with it - and it ROCKS! I bought the horn from Rex Olsen through eBay for $750. What a deal! If you find another horn of his at eBay, you can bid with confidence! He is very honest and knowledgable about saxes. About the high F# key ... I think you can do without that. When you get to where you are needing to get into the altissimo range, there are fingerings you can learn to help make those notes happen. And those notes don't come easily. Make sure your horn has a front F key. As far as China goes, I wouldn't go there. (Although I think Jupiter is made there and some of them are supposed to be pretty good.) But I would go to Taiwan - and have - as far as my soprano goes. It is an Antigua Winds that I have had for 2 years now (bought new - also paid $750 for it). I really like it and the intonation is right on. I'd like to hear Jim comment about this horn from a repairman's viewpoint. I'm done rambling.

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    1. by Kimo
      (29 posts)

      17 years ago

      Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

      Saxbob, I have been reading the posts about the member with the Monique/Schill delima. So many questions but he never posted his decision. Can he tell us if he made the right decision?? I am looking at the Monique Pro Model myself. Just as a hobby horn and don't expect to make a living at it. I e-mailed uigrad but never got a response. Kimo

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  2. by mj_sax
    (7 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

    If you have the cash and spending a few thousand $$ won't set you back, hell, buy a new Selmer. I have a Selmer I bought in 1982...what a horn. I'm going to the grave with this one. But I didn't have the $$ to spend on the kind of tenor and soprano I wanted, so I went with the new Monique horns. I am very pleased, especially with my Tenor. I'm playing a "Phil Barone" custom mouthpiece...that cost almost as much as the horn. THE RESULTS: nice! pure, open, round, sound. It feels good in all registers...using a solid mouthpiece was the key to opening up this horn. Yeah...if you can land a vintage horn in excellent condition for $600 bucks...go for it!!! But that doesn't happen everyday. Get a horn...start playing...and when you get really serious...get a really serious horn....You'll know when you need it. SheeZ!!! When I started playing at age 12, I had the ugliest, oldest horn of the whole section. But I got a good mouthpiece...and practiced the hell out of it. When I was ready I got my beloved "Selmer"... GET A HORN, PLAY, PRACTICE...and ENJOY!!!

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  3. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

    You said "I've heard a lot of people on this forum say that money spent on cheapo ebay instruments from China is wasted money. But, those cheapo instruments seem like an obvious choice to me. What should I do?" Well if it seems like an obvious choice, why the hell are you asking? Read the hundreds of other posts about Moniques and Schills on this forum!

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    1. by uigrad_2000
      (3 posts)

      17 years ago

      Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

      Ouch, that's a rough response for a first-time poster like me. Well, I've read 3 of the 14 pages of posts, and noticed several similar posts to mine, but my situation is decidedly different than the others. My post was a little open-ended, but I did have a few more specific questions. I was hoping that the post would draw some recommendations, without me specifically soliciting them, but I should have known better. Here's how my situation is different from most of the other posts (which are primarily for students in music, not hobbyist): ------------------------------------------------------ 1.) I may use it only recreationaly, so I'm unlikely to require a lot of maintence, even over a large amount of time. 2.) I know how to treat musical instruments, and won't be putting it through the abuse that many student horns endure. 3.) It may go through long periods without use, so renting is not an option. (I noticed renting is commonly suggest as an alternative in other threads) Here's some of the comments that I was hoping an experienced player might make: ------------------------------------------------------ 1.) Comment on the copper/gold lacquer. Will it tarnish quickly? (faster than standard finishes) 2.) Comment on the prices of my local music store. Are they unreasonably high? 3.) Compare Schill to Monique. Is the different in price based on quality of sound, or is it just because the fancy color schemes that Monique likes to use? 4.) Comment about the F# key. It seems like it would be useful, even to a beginner like me, but I'm not experienced here. Would it be better to give up the concede the F# key, just so that I can have a non-China instrument? 5.) For those of you who would recommend a used Selmer Bundy, or Winston, or Conn, where should I go? I think my local store is ripping people off. 6.) The Bundy that I mentioned (with large dents, gaps under pads, and bad solder jobs), will it be a good instrument after my local shop "fixes it up" Or, should I be scared and run? If you can just comment on 1 or 2 of those 6 points, that's fine. I don't think any of them have been covered in any other posts here. Thanks!

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

        Bundys are tried and true and great instruments for new or occasional players. I played mine for over 20 years before replacing it only because it was so beat up it was getting embarassing. I'd pick one of those over a new shiny Chiny horn any day. The key is finding one that is in good repair. eBay bargains abound, but most of those will require a trip to the repairman which will easily cost as much as the initial price itself. Shoot me an email and I can help you get set up with a trustworthy horn.

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    2. by LaurieK1979
      (4 posts)

      17 years ago

      Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

      If you're planning on sticking with the sax (once you go sax, you never go back )-- then coughing up the extra cash for a better horn will probably suit you better on down the road. Keep in mind: there is a reason they're cheap. . .Right? Well, as far as a beginner horn goes, many of us started on a Yamaha 23. They are very versitile, durable, and affordable (please excuse my typing). They won't have a high F#, but alt fingerings come out pretty easily when you get used to them-- also by the time you're REALLY ready for the higher notes, you'll be well on your way to intermediate level. You can find good used Yamaha 23s for arounf $500 or so. I'm with a majority when I say beware of ebay-bargains. . .

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

        Maybe my first response was a little rough, but every other day someone asks this same question. My answer hasn't changed since the first 100 posts! And then when someone says "To me, the answer seems obvious", that's basically telling me that no matter what I say, you're going to buy one anyway. So why should I waste my time? The overall quality of the Schill and Monique saxophones is very poor. Most of them do not play out of the box. You will need to have the instrument adjusted and set up. the pads are very poor quality. They tear easily, and they stick to the tone holes. the toneholes are cut rough and sharp, and they're not always cut true, so getting the pads to seal is difficult. I repadded a Schill a while ago that was less than a year old and belonged to a guy who "only used it for recreational purposes" He about flipped when I told him that I would repad it for $300, because that was more than he paid for the sax! I showed him that the tone holes were rough and needed to be cleaned up before I would even install the new pads, and that when I was done, the horn would play much better than it did even when it was new. I'll never repad another one! It was a nightmare! There were burrs everywhere. It's a wonder that the thing even played at all!

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        1. by uigrad_2000
          (3 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

          Thanks Jim for the detailed post! I've been in other forums where I end up answering the same question over and over, so I know how it feels. I think I have enough information to completely cross Schill off of my list. It doesn't surprise me at all that the pads are the weakness of these instruments. It's something that would be easy to overlook while it is still new. If the neck leaks air, you would know it right away, but the pads degrade over time. The local repairman also charges about $300 for a complete repadding, so it doesn't surprise me that it's the first thing to go when cutting the cost of new instruments. I've seen a few posts here about how the new Moniques are really good, but nothing specific about the pads. I'll tentatively keep an open mind to them, but hold off on pulling the trigger yet. I really wish I knew someone in town that had one! I really appreciate sax_maniac's offer to help me out, so I've sent mail to him. I've found that Bundys that are cleaned up, and sold by local music stores on ebay go for just about $300, which is a lot more reasonable then the $650 from my store. I also see what looks like good ones from private parties that go for about $200. I would expect to pay approximately $60 to repair pads once I got something like that, but it seems like a reasonable risk.

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          1. by Kimo
            (29 posts)

            17 years ago

            Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

            Unigrad; You can get a used Yamaha 23 on e-bay right know for $795.00. Or a new Monique for $529.00. The new Monique Pro Model has all Leather pads with rolled tone holes. A great starter horn. Rich

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        2. by terrryc
          (5 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

          don't try to sail through life as a saxophone player on a chinese junk.....confucious AVOID CHINESE HORNS LIKE THE PLAGUE! The worst thing to buy would be a Yamaha 23 alto or tenor, or the Vito stencils of the 23. Even a pawn shop yamaha can be made respectable by a good repair tech at a reputable music store.....don't fall for the Cannonball sales pitch, either.

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        3. by terrryc
          (5 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

          when it comes to saxophone manufacturers....an open mind will lead to an empty wallet. you have been warned......

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          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            17 years ago

            Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

            The Moniques have the same problems as the Schills. Actually, I think the keys on the Schills are better than the Moniques. Stronger anyway. Moniques have soft keys that bend and break really easy. I guess the newer Moniques are better. I played a soprano a couple months ago that played nice, but later I found out that the owner had it completely repadded and had a lot of work done to it. He had bought it as a sax to gig with. The black nickel plate did look sharp. Stick with the good old American brands like Conn, Buescher, King, and Martin or the Yamaha, Yanigasawa, Selmer or Keilwerth.

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            1. by definition
              (963 posts)

              17 years ago

              Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

              As I usually always have to say; THE MONIQUES PRODUCED CURRENTLY ARE NOT BAD HORNS AT ALL. They get a bad rep from the first ones that come out. the current production ones have sturdy enough keywork, and the pads are real leather, with flat metal resos on them. The intonatin on them is respectable too. Buying one would be a safe buy, as long as you are getting the ones being produced now.

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              1. by connsaxman_jim
                (2336 posts)

                17 years ago

                Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

                Here you go! BRAND NEW!!! This tenor JUST came out. It's US made; student-intermediate model 37M I emailed them for the price! I haven't played one of these yet, but they got GREAT reviews! The current Giardinelli price on the: Conn 37M Director Tenor Saxophone (#463294) is $1,199.99 from a manufacturer's list price of $2,050.00

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              2. by aravaioli
                (24 posts)

                17 years ago

                Re: First sax purchase.. Should I look at Monique/Schill on ebay?

                Indeed Music123 sells it for $1050 and makes me VERY interested in buying this sax. Only problem is that I cannot find any information about this model. connsaxman_jim : are you sure that this model is made in the US?? The price seems too low ... Could you please provide me some Web sources if you find any? I was thinking to get an Antigua Winds pro model (550LQ at Kesslermusic), but this might be a better deal for just 50$ more. Thanks.

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