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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! I've already reviewed the Jean Paul AS-400 alto saxophone and consider it the best alto you can buy new for under $500. I figured if that's the best budget alto, why not do a head-to-head battle with what I consider the best alto, period?? Enjoy!

 

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I've notice some discussion recently about so-called "reviews" that are actually not what we have been used to ie not exactly impartial. Anyone who is making money off something is quite possibly not doing an impartial review but more of a sales pitch disguised as a review.

These could be:
  • A manufacturer
  • A retailer
  • An "official" endorser (paid with money, freebies, discounts or product)
  • Affiliate, ie getting a commission on sales which are usually generated via a link or a discount code used when purchasing.
  • Good old fashioned shill

I see nothing wrong as long as they are up front about it but it's not always obvious. Just because they may be famous just well known in a certain niche, doesn't mean you ought to somehow "know" that they have something to gain. Often they try to get round it by the disclosure being right at the end of the video credits which nobody looks at, or just the good old fashioned "small print."

We've all seen those review sites: "the ten best..." which then have links through to Amazon (those people get money back for each sale, ie affiliates)

Or they could be YouTube videos and/or social media. What do we think when we see this kind of thing on SOTW? Should we call them out if they do not make it obvious that they have something to gain?

There are guidelines from the FTC and it seems they are getting tough on social media who allow this to go on:


FTC guidelines:


Lots of concern in many places it seems:



 

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The simplest remedy would be to impose a forum rule for SOTW that requires all product-related posts by a person with a material interest in the product at issue to include an explicit disclosure. This rule would apply to both first-person product "reviews" and to posts containing quotations of, or links to, reviews, demos, or recommendations of the product by a third party.

The required disclosure should appear in the first line of the user's post on SOTW, before any substantive material. Examples:
  • Disclosure: I have received a free [mouthpiece/neck/box of reeds/strap/swab/sax stand/etc.] from [name of company].
  • Disclosure: I have received a discounted [mouthpiece/saxophone/microphone/etc.] from [name of company].
  • Disclosure: I am a compensated social media influencer for [name of product or company].
  • Disclosure: I am an official endorser of [name of product or company].
  • Disclosure: I am a contracted [name of company] Artist.
  • Disclosure: I am a compensated Amazon affiliate marketer with respect to [name of product].
  • Disclosure: I have an ownership stake or beneficial interest in [name of company].
You get the idea. It's not difficult to include information like this. Actually, the people involved already have an independent obligation to do so, but it wouldn't hurt to align the forum's rules with FTC and other regulatory marketing constraints. If nothing else, requiring these explicit disclosures would spare all of us the frequent subthreads on these issues, and their attendant animosity.
Maybe you should do something like this then, for people that cannot watch the video.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Maybe you should do something like this then, for people that cannot watch the video.
Why would people worry about something or comment on it without watching the video? I teach my 4th graders that...I think adults would understand this.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Great playing Dave! Always a treat. I think the most important thing I learned was that Adam Larson writes some awesome duets! Gotta get that book :)

Maybe you should do something like this then, for people that cannot watch the video.
Gotta say it's a bit rude to make a targeted post to someone's video about something they covered (and not watch the video to see if the content you requested even existed), especially when your point was asking them to do something that is currently being discussed by the forum and not implemented.
 

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Great playing, very significant sound difference, but as you say, the Jean Paul has quite a decent sound.
 

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Dave:

Thank you! I always find your videos interesting and enjoyable. Your work has helped me think more broadly about my saxophone playing (I am primarily a clarinetist, but have been working to build my abilities on the sax.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dave:

Thank you! I always find your videos interesting and enjoyable. Your work has helped me think more broadly about my saxophone playing (I am primarily a clarinetist, but have been working to build my abilities on the sax.)
Thank you so much! I love hearing things like this, and I really appreciate it.
 

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Great video as always Dave.
i always wonder how would a beginner, for instance my grandson, sound playing the Mark VI vs the Jean Paul.
If that is something you would be interested in, send me your Mark VI. I can probably get it back to you later this year.
Don't forget that 10MFan piece you used.
 

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Maybe you should do something like this then, for people that cannot watch the video.
Sounds like a solution in search of a problem (a phrase I just heard on the news in a completely different context).
 

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I was 2 for 4 in my guesses. I guess I could have done as well flipping a coin. A well done video, as always.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great video as always Dave.
i always wonder how would a beginner, for instance my grandson, sound playing the Mark VI vs the Jean Paul.
If that is something you would be interested in, send me your Mark VI. I can probably get it back to you later this year.
Don't forget that 10MFan piece you used.
Hah, I've had my students play my VI and the more beginner they are, the worse the horn plays for them. It is VERY out of tune, but it's the only alto I've had since 2001 so I know exactly where to place my embouchure for every note. Even some of my very good high school students sound bad on it because it just takes so much to get to actually play well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was 2 for 4 in my guesses. I guess I could have done as well flipping a coin. A well done video, as always.
Thanks so much! Glad you dig this one. I'm also glad people understand this is just a sound comparison and not a review - it surprised me how close they sounded!
 

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Hah, I've had my students play my VI and the more beginner they are, the worse the horn plays for them. It is VERY out of tune, but it's the only alto I've had since 2001 so I know exactly where to place my embouchure for every note. Even some of my very good high school students sound bad on it because it just takes so much to get to actually play well.
That's a very, uh, interesting endorsement of the vintage Selmer. I'm especially glad I have a Yamaha 62 after hearing such praise.
 

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I was 2 for 4 in my guesses. I guess I could have done as well flipping a coin. A well done video, as always.
I’ve learned this listening to Dave too. He’s like the cook that knows that adding an extra dash of salt can enhance the hint of flavor that’s already there. He and I also agree that a hair scrunchee makes a helluva ligature.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's a very, uh, interesting endorsement of the vintage Selmer. I'm especially glad I have a Yamaha 62 after hearing such praise.
Hah, it’s the best alto I’ve ever played and wouldn’t trade it for ANY other horn on the planet (seriously). It’s like a set of forged bladed golf clubs - steep learning curve and takes awhile to figure out, but once you do you can do anything with them (vs. cavity back clubs in this instance)

I can bend and shape the sound/pitch/anything I want with my horn and make it sound exactly how I want it to - it just takes time!
 

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I'd like to see you test the ACTUAL best alto ever made: the Conn 6M.

(Not to say the M6 isn't a very very good horn, because it is, but until you've spent some time with a 6M in good condition you don't know what you're missing.)
 

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What ever happened to buyer beware? Just because someone does a favorable review on a product doesn't mean it's right for you. I've seen several favorable reviews on the Jean Paul AS-400. I've also read several responses to these reviews from people that purchased the AS-400 that were disappointed with it for various reasons. Bottom line is you need to do your homework before purchasing anything or you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. There are quite a few mouthpiece reviews online these days and that's fine as a guideline. But anyone that's played for a few years will tell you that mouthpieces rarely play the same for different individuals. Basically, you should try before you buy so you can use your own judgement.

As far as mouthpiece reviews go, this is my favorite. And the reviewer didn't play a note ...

 
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