Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Which sax do I want?

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User ID: 9767833
Apr 29th 11:19 AM
I'm looking for a new sax. My teacher has advised me a buffet crampon, a selmer SA II and a yanagasawi in that order.
How do I decide what I want? Price is important, but a decent instrument is more important.

I've always played budget saxes (over 13 years) and just started lessons last year, so I don't have alot of experience with what is decent. Everything will seem good to me, I'm affraid...

Any tips?
User ID: 1947624
Apr 29th 5:27 PM
If you are planning on just doing classical work, then my pick would be the SA 2, but those horns are a little stuffy some times. I would even look at a Yamaha Custom or 62. Got horns for all around use.
Andrew D
User ID: 8374593
Apr 29th 5:56 PM
test all of these instruments out as well as series 3, I got to admit everytime I have played a yamaha it sounded as though it lacked resonance this inc the custom, try a kielwerth, for me it would be the only horn if I had no selmer option.
Selmer 2 has the sound but is not as easy to play as yana. I have a series 2 & it has a big open sound.....for my money it's hard to beat the selmers although i have not tried any Buffet saxes.
Fun Bun
User ID: 8736803
Apr 29th 6:05 PM
I agree with Andrew. Try them all out. The Yanis are easier to play that the Selmers.

Keep in mind that you will need to invest a lot of time in finding the right mouthpiece/reed combination.
User ID: 9767833
Apr 30th 2:47 AM
I'll be playing all styles, but my lessons will be classical so that's gonna be my main focus. And I like the classical sound...

What do you mean with the selmer 2 being not as easy to play as the yani? To get a good tone, fingering, ...?

I already invested some time finding the right mouthpiece/reed combination on the sax I play now, need to start over? (Actually, my teacher just brought me some bigger mouthpieces(C** and D* which was too big), and told me to get softer reeds... And it helped. Alot.)

Andrew D
User ID: 8374593
Apr 30th 4:11 AM
selmer 2 requires more airflow than yana to achieve a good balanced sound imho, the benefits are a bigger more resonant sound, I actually learnt to play on a mv11 and now own a series 2 and would find it very difficult to switch to say yamaha or another brand cause I am hooked by the selmer sound although it is well known that yamaha keywork on a modern horn is very difficult to beat. One more point I personally found the keywork on the series 2 to be better than the series 3 (which I owned for 6 months) although many on this board would disagree.
Steve Cars
User ID: 2386864
May 1st 12:09 AM
Roel, I read the thread twice to see what sax you are playing. it make a difference IMHO what to choose. Andrew D's comments may be for alto or tenor, but I hae found the III soprano superior in keywork to the II...
Dr. Ben
User ID: 9308123
May 1st 12:26 AM
The Series III soprano is FAR better than its predecessor. Can't speak for the alto and tenor. I never liked how the Selmer altos felt anyway, II or III.
User ID: 8722703
May 1st 2:02 AM
If you are going to be playing classical music mostly, do you mean orchestral works?
If you are playing sax in an orchestra then you may seriously want to consider the Buffet Crampon. I believe the Prestige model is tuned to 442 which is fairly standard tuning for orchestras.
If you're not doing orchestral playing exclusively, then I would scratch the BC off your list. You'll be out of tune with every other group you play with.
User ID: 9767833
May 3rd 5:43 AM
I play alto... (This is also the alto forum, btw ;o) )

I won't exclusively play orchestral works. Some fanfare etc, but also jazz. Main focus will be classical because I'll be taking lessons at the conservatory next year.

The prestige was what my teacher advised me. If it's really is that low than that's a big disadvantage...
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
May 3rd 5:45 PM
Buffet would seem to be a great choice. I just got an S1 which so far is proving a great classical horn. If you can find one out there, give it a try.
User ID: 9767833
Jun 3rd 5:00 AM
Ok.... I went to a shop and tried the topmodels of the different brands. Yamaha custom, Selmer II and III, Buffet Prestige, Yanagasawi and Keilwerth.

The Buffet was very dry sounding, very good for classical sound, but I really couln't get it to sound jazzy. Too bad, if I had money to buy 2, I might've considered it. hehe.

Didn't really like the Yani, sounded kindof thin.
Liked the keilwerth's sound. But the Selmers were just a little more to my liking. Especially the II. The intonation of the III wasn't as good. Even with the extra hole...

So, I'll go with the Selmer II. I guess. Gonna check it again in another shop on another day. And then I still have to decide for the finish.

Any tips on finish?
User ID: 9892733
Jun 3rd 5:26 AM
The Selmer Serie II is a great classical horn and can play jazz too. I know a young man at the local High School who made all state in jazz on a Serie II. If I were buying a II I would get it in gold......polished brass with clear lacquer and engraved. Classy looking.....the horns with ser. no.'s around 500xxx seem to play the darkest. However, you have to play it so get what you like and want.....whether it's a II or a Yani or whatever.......they are all good horns.
User ID: 9892733
Jun 3rd 6:09 AM
PS.....if you want to consider a good used Serie II alto there is a lady over on marketplace who has two Serie II altos for sale. Listed as Saxes for LL. You can Email her and might get a good price on a good used II. She is well respected here on SOTW, and I'm sure the horn would be as described.
User ID: 9767833
Jun 3rd 6:42 AM
Thanks... But being from belgium(europe), I guess I'll look more locally...
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0610144
Jun 3rd 12:57 PM
Roel, where did you manage to find a Prestige to try? I too live in Belgium (though I'm not there right now) and would love to give one a blow.
User ID: 9767833
Jun 4th 4:35 AM
The Adams shop in Halen. Pretty easy to get there, it's right next to the highway E314 (I think) from Leuven direction Lummen, exit Halen, at the exit you go right (direction Diest), and then it's about 500m on your left side...

Cool. A fellow Belgian.
mostly alto guy
User ID: 8639383
Jun 4th 12:32 PM
Actually, an American living in Belgium, and loving it. Just please do something about the weather.
User ID: 2442714
Jun 4th 12:35 PM
I have been using a Yamaha Custom for 12 years now...I LOVE it. In deference to the earlier post, the sound is very big,resonant, and easily controlled.
User ID: 9767833
Jun 5th 3:17 AM
Hey alto guy, this is not the time to complain about the weather. Today it's in between, but the last couple of days were pretty good.

What the hell are you doing in Belgium? What brought you here? This gets me wondering. It's not like our music scene is better, right?
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