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Discussion Starter #1
Scored this almost mint tenor RS Berkeley Virtuoso in black nickel off ebay for $1250:

View attachment 233156

Did I do ok? Was aiming for more of an intermediate than "starter" level sax, did a little research (not a lot) before bidding.
 

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What do you guys mean??? It’s a great pro horn... what I play!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info everyone! I feel quite relieved - I did some reading before bidding, but not nearly enough serious research. I guess I just got lucky, nobody else noticed it and my lowball initial bid won it! :) It sure seems easy enough to play (learning some obvious embouchure adjustments from bass clarinet of course), which is quite unlike any of the student level saxes I tried to play when I was in school... I really think I can make this work without too much trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm so glad I didn't just "BIN" (Buy It Now) on one of those cheap $400 imports - some of them were just as pretty, but I read some horror stories in the reviews - this one definitely seems several "tiers" above those, right?
 

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If you don't have to spend any money on it, I guess its an ok deal. The aim here was to produce an Asian MK VI. The lacquered one really looks the part and of course its the same as yours except for the finish. Looking at USA Horn, the new prices strike me as being fantasy - you can get a new Series III for a grand more. As to whether its any different from the $600 ones underneath the finish, I would not know, but I wouldn't wager too much on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you don't have to spend any money on it, I guess its an ok deal. The aim here was to produce an Asian MK VI. The lacquered one really looks the part and of course its the same as yours except for the finish. Looking at USA Horn, the new prices strike me as being fantasy - you can get a new Series III for a grand more. As to whether its any different from the $600 ones underneath the finish, I would not know, but I wouldn't wager too much on that.
OK so I could've gotten a better sax if I had spent nearly twice as much - yeah, I would have expected that. That, however, wasn't the question. Let me rephrase: How did I do for $1250? I certainly had to spend some money on it, but what you're asking is nearly double. I'd expect nearly double the horn for that, no? As far as I can tell thus far, all of the pads seal perfectly, it's easy to play.
 

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Like saxcop said, you did very well. I wouldn't get too hung-up on what you paid - that part of your saxophone career is past you - a done-deal, as they say. What is more important is whether or not that saxophone plays well enough for you to master it. Forget the shoulda-woulda-coulda.

Now, master the thing and enjoy that part of the journey. Years down the road, the price you (already) paid won't be a big deal. DAVE
 

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You are new here so welcome. You are going to get a bunch of haters on Asian horns. Its because we got a bunch of expensive horns and its hard for people to admit there might be a really good copy of a MKvi for $1250. I got all the expensive horns and 6-7 asian horns that I am pretty happy with. Here is a highly respected member and review. http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2009/04/182/

"Final Thoughts– Over the years I have played hundreds of different tenors that my students have had. Selmers,Yamahas, Yanagisawas, Cannonballs, Buffetts,……….and more. This is one of the best I have played as far as intonation and tone. I would have no problem recommending it to my students who need a great pro horn. Many of the horns I just listed had issues with intonation that would drive me crazy to be quite honest. This is one of the few horns I have played that I feel like I could take out immediately and gig on. No problem!"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Like saxcop said, you did very well. I wouldn't get too hung-up on what you paid - that part of your saxophone career is past you - a done-deal, as they say. What is more important is whether or not that saxophone plays well enough for you to master it. Forget the shoulda-woulda-coulda.

Now, master the thing and enjoy that part of the journey. Years down the road, the price you (already) paid won't be a big deal. DAVE
You are new here so welcome. You are going to get a bunch of haters on Asian horns. Its because we got a bunch of expensive horns and its hard for people to admit there might be a really good copy of a MKvi for $1250. I got all the expensive horns and 6-7 asian horns that I am pretty happy with. Here is a highly respected member and review. http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/2009/04/182/

"Final Thoughts– Over the years I have played hundreds of different tenors that my students have had. Selmers,Yamahas, Yanagisawas, Cannonballs, Buffetts,……….and more. This is one of the best I have played as far as intonation and tone. I would have no problem recommending it to my students who need a great pro horn. Many of the horns I just listed had issues with intonation that would drive me crazy to be quite honest. This is one of the few horns I have played that I feel like I could take out immediately and gig on. No problem!"
Thanks again! (And I'm familiar with the "haters" phenomenon from the bass clarinet and bass guitar worlds, so nothing too new here.) ;)
 

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I am not a 'hater of Asian horns' - I own and use a Chinese baritone and soprano. I believe the RS Berkley Chinese saxes have been hyped in order to get the prices up including endorsements (these endorsements are paid as is the customary practice). Simply going by price without considering actual value, $1250 for nice, slightly-used one like the OP's is great considering the advertised new price of about $4500. However, since the new price is in my view about $3000 high, the $1250 would be correspondingly high compared to a probable actual value of about $500. Dave Kessler has the best deal going on Chinese horns because he has them made to his specs and he puts them through his shop before shipping them which is a tremendous benefit.
 

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1saxman : Your argument doesn't make any sense. I agree that $4500 for a Chinese horns is ridiculous. However the actual value of the RS Berkeley is not $500. There aren't any available at $500. Please tell me where they are, I will buy everyone I can find. I don't think Neff got paid anything to review. Kessler sells the same horn as the Allora.(at least it was in 2014 when I was there) Its a good horn. He is a reputable dealer and shop checks them. However if you bought his handmade tenor for $2200 today, you would have a hard time selling it for $1250 tomorrow. So that advice doesn't seem that great. Is the Kessler a better horn than the Virtuoso, if you set aside the setup? There is no evidence to show that to be the case. In fact there are plenty of reviews of the Virtuoso, that suggests its probably better. Yes I would agree the horn has been hyped into a ridiculous price for a new one.

So OP never said that he looked at the hyped price of $4500 and jumped at the horn because it was only $1250. In fact that part of this thread was introduced by you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I had no idea what the list price was. I just hoped I was getting a decent sax for the money. I think I did from what I can tell so far. I mean, I'm a newb to sax, but I've been playing for 50+ years, not my first rodeo...
 

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I do not know anything about modern saxophones, but I have rarely seen a professional tenor saxophone under $1100-$1250 on Ebay that did not need to spend some time at a repair shop. Also, if you have doubts if it is in good condition, you could take it to your repair technician and ask him/her to check it.
 

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1saxman : Your argument doesn't make any sense. I agree that $4500 for a Chinese horns is ridiculous.
You could argue that $4500 for any horn is ridiculous. I mean what if you had a Chinses horn that was just as good quality, as well made, as a horn from Japan or Europe and they both cost $4500, in that case is the made in China one still not worth it? I am aware of how much rubbish there is coming form China, but I'm also aware of some (a few) high quality instruments that do sell for that kind of price.
 

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Those are good horns! $1250 is a very fair price and you did well. This horn is a solid pro horn.

Congrats and have fun playing!

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I believe the RS Berkley Chinese saxes have been hyped in order to get the prices up including endorsements (these endorsements are paid as is the customary practice). Simply going by price without considering actual value, $1250 for nice, slightly-used one like the OP's is great considering the advertised new price of about $4500. However, since the new price is in my view about $3000 high, the $1250 would be correspondingly high compared to a probable actual value of about $500. Dave Kessler has the best deal going on Chinese horns because he has them made to his specs and he puts them through his shop before shipping them which is a tremendous benefit.
- are you sure these endorsements are paid? I doubt it. I know a LOT of sponsored artists. P. Mauriats, Yamaha, Selmer, TM Custom and Yanagisawa and a big fat ZERO of them are paid. I'm not talking about a couple of low level guys, I'm talking about true sponsored artists and well over 20 of them. The only benefits they get are dealer prices on their horns and the ability to hand pick them easier. I highly doubt Les from R.S. Berkeley is paying his artists.

- $500 is ridiculous for second hand value. These are quite good pro level horns and $1250 is a more than fair second hand price. Have you played or spent any time with one of these??


- Dave's horn is not bad at all, he is a great guy and the value is there, but the Kessler is $2099 and is still more than than $1250. A used one could be cool, but what does that have to do with the thread?


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