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Hello to all,

I have been going thru posts here to help me get a better idea on what kind of Tenor sax (brand and model) to get my son.
here is a little back ground...

My son is a Junior in high school he plays Sop, Alto and Tenor. All 3 saxes that he has are "student" models. He has a musical talent that blows my mind, he can pick up any instrument and within a short time he is making music on it! This year he will be attending a new High school, better academically and Musically. The band teacher is a Sax player who I am told is a great sax player. the teacher has approached me stating we need to upgrade my sons sax from a "student" model to a "professional" model, which I have no problem doing.

I have read and even talked to Dave Kessler about this term and it makes alot of sense what he says about this "Professional" term. I do know that there is a difference in quality, kind of like in power tools Black n Decker is not the same quality and Dewalt even though they are the same company(i have learned this the hard way)

The sax I would like to get him will have to last through College!

It will be used in Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Concert Band as well as in the Orchestra at Church.

His band teacher recommended a Yamaha 62 or higher!

but that is $3000 and up and right now I don't have that kind of cash to spend. things are a little tight with the wife about to lose her job. I probably could swing $2000.

Now for the question...

what would you all recommend?



Thanks,
Kevin.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

As far as brands/models go...there are a TON to choose from that would serve your son well. There are the bigger names in saxes such as Yamaha, Selmer, Yanagisawa, Keilwerth (some would argue P.Mauriat as well). And there are also other saxes that are on the lower end of the price spectrum but are still really great pro quality horns...such as a Barone or Macsax.

While any one of us here on the forum could suggest one particular model, there really isn't just one good choice. Quite honestly it's a very personal choice, and if at all possible, your son should try out as many pro horns as possible to try to narrow the field (and maybe even find one that is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of a fit for him). Even if you have to take a day trip to check out saxes, the investment in time/gas is well worth it to figure out what works and doesn't work for him.

I would also definitely consider used saxes. Especially if you're trying to stick to a budget, going this route will give you a much greater bang for your buck.

And I really can't stress this next point enough, but he should never march with whatever you end up buying. Marching is pure hell on saxophones...and that job should be reserved for a school owned instrument, or a backup sax.
 

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Kevin,

I played sax in a marching/community band from grade school up to university. I had paid for it with my own money (with some help from my parents) I took real good care of it and it did not get thrashed. It was a Boosey Hawkes stencil probably made in Germany.

I do not know your location, but if your son can try an Amati sax I think he will be impressed by their pro models under $2000.00.

www.music123.com

or

http://www.interstatemusic.com

Good Luck


Dennis
 

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Excellent advice from VintageSaxGuy. May I suggest that, if your son does have the opportunity to try a selection of saxophones and finds one he likes, you could, before buying, come onto this forum and ask about the general reputation of that make and model. From what source were you thinking about buying..........local music store, private sale, eBay etc ? Your budget of $2000 could put a lot of very fine secondhand instruments within range. Good luck.
 

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When I think of current production "pro" horns, I think first of Selmer (Series II, Series III, Ref 54, Ref 36), Yamaha (62, 875, Custom Z), Yanagisawa (any), and Keilwerth (SX90R). After that, then I'd also consider P. Mauriat an Cannonball. Others would include other brands, but personally, that's as far as I'd be willing to go.

I agree with VintageSaxGuy that if $2K is your budget, you'd do well to look for a used horn. You can probably get a used Yamaha 62 in the $1,500 range if you're patient. Also look for 61's. It's an older model but still a solid pro horn and can be had for even less. I went to college with only a pro tenor. When it became clear I needed an alto, I snagged a previous model Yanagisawa (880) for less than $1K and it's been a mighty fine horn for me for close to a decade now.

By the way, keep the student horn and use it for marching band. If you're going to be buying a pro horn, you don't want subject it to the abuses of the marching season. Use the student horn for that and the pro horn for everything else.
 

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I'd get a used Yamaha.....but I'd also recommend getting a Barone. I just had a student get one, and the thing plays. Under $2K. Played as well as a Yamaha 62 but like half the price of a new 62.

But there is NOTHING WRONG with a used horn. Heck, my Mark VI horns, my flute, and alto flute were used when I bought them.
 

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I have some used horns also. You can get a really good deal if you're patient. If you have to buy new, I would get a Yanagisawa 901.
 

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There can be a host of recommendations within this price range, both vintage and new, but the bottom line is what sax is right for your son in terms of feel, action and tone. A horn that may be great for one player may not work for another; we're all individuals. Therefore, I strongly echo the recommendation that the only practical way to resolve this is to actually try out a variety of horns and if your son is interested in one, try to obtain a try-out period for a few days. Most reputable dealers will provide such a try-out. In addition to Dave Kessler who has a fine reputation, if you go through this Directory, you may find other dealers in your area, both new and vintage (I personally prefer vintage horns and have a Martin Tenor, Keilwerth Toneking Special, and a 285xxx Buescher Aristocrat, but other players I know prefer newer horns).
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/forumdisplay.php?291-Dealer-Directory-(United-States)

Also, see this thread
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/forumdisplay.php?257-What-to-Buy-amp-Why-Saxophones

Failing that, there are a number of reputable online vintage dealers who will make sure a horn is in top playing condition before shipping it to you. Most of these will provide a try-out period but if you return the horn, you will be responsible for the shipping costs.

Here are some vintage online dealers (listed in no particular order) who come well recommended. What you could do is write to each, detail your son's age, experience, goals, the type of music he plays, and also the size of his hands (I suggest the latter because, by way of practical example, although Keilwerth's generally are great horns, some models can be heavier than other brands and may not be appropriate for a player with smaller hands), and ask them for their suggestions.
www.worldwidesax.com
www.vintagesax.com
www.junkdude.com
http://www.tenormadness.com/product_list.php?category=cheap
www.saxalley.com
www.usahorn.com

Last, if your son has an interest in a particular model of sax, have him read through the threads listed under these headings for more info and opinion. Also, www.saxpics.com can be a good source of info.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/forumdisplay.php?9-(Saxophone)-Makes-and-Models


Best of luck!
 

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