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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to learn saxophone for years and have recently been looking around near me and I've found some people selling theirs, the problem is I have no idea what's what, would anyone be able to tell me which of these is best and give me some general information/advice? Would be much appreciated, thank you! :)

Danny

1. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Beautifu...930858?hash=item33f2fbf5ea:g:PFQAAOSwlgFbg~ba

2. https://www.gumtree.com/p/saxophone...eeds-sling-etc-good-condition-sax-/1333662990

3. https://www.gumtree.com/p/saxophone...-foreign-good-play-good-condition-/1333391045

4. https://www.gumtree.com/p/saxophone/evette-buffet-crampon-alto-saxophone/1332773037

5. https://www.gumtree.com/p/saxophone/saxophone-alto-excellent-condition/1333536162
 

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Hello. My advice (personal opinion only) would be to look for a student Yamaha. The earlier models, Made in Japan, often with nickel keys and brass bodies are good reliable instruments that will hold their value. Buying secondhand from Ebay/Gumtree can often mean some expense to get the instrument to good playing order (maybe $100 - $200, maybe more depending on the variance between described and actual condition). Get a good used mouthpiece, most start with a Yamaha 4C or Selmer C*. Get some lessons. In the long run it does save time - but it is possible in the Internet World to figure it out. Hope this helps. And remember, it's supposed to be fun.
 

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Not familiar with most of those listed except Evette Crampton. I would recommend a Yamaha YAS23. It may be a little bit more costly but worth it. This was my first horn.
Good luck with the hunt.
 

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I was in your position not too long ago. I strongly suggest immersing yourself in the resources of this forum for a few months of study before buying anything, and saving up money in the meantime. Start with these three stickied threads in the Beginner's sub-forum, and continue from there.

Buying off of ebay is a really bad idea for a beginner; you'll be a lot better off buying from a reputable (i.e., a saxophone specialist) shop if there's one within driving distance. Hang out here and you might be able to locate one you don't know about, the bottom line is that you can't go wrong by being patient. If you participate meaningfully in the forum, eventually you'll gain access to the marketplace area here and you very well might be able to buy something from one of our members in the UK.

This is a great forum with incredibly knowledgeable and helpful folks. Avail yourself of it.

 

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I think the Evette would be fine for a beginner and is a good price. Just take it to a shop and get it checked out and adjusted when you get it. Same goes for any instrument you buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi again thanks for all your replies. I completely hear you I don't mean to rush into it and get a bad sax but the thing is that I don't really have the means right now and just want to get a feel for the instrument. I thought it might be good just to get an OK cheap sax to start with and then resell later on and upgrade, plus the seller of the Evette has now agreed to £100, do you guys think that this is a bad idea, considering?
 

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I would tend to skip any sax that was sold without a case.

Can't you find any players nearby who can help you in your search for a working sax for small money?
 

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Your sax will need service at some point.

Where will you go?

Find that place now and have a talk with them.
 

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Hi Mdavej, should I definitely get it for £100?
That's a solid horn for that price. I picked up a similar Buffet years ago from a student who hadn't played it much. Was practically mint like this one and played like a dream after a few minor adjustments. Yours appears to be in very good nick, as you would say. Looks like it's actually been played, meaning is probably playable. Neck cork looks quite new, finish looks great. I would do it if I were you, assuming it plays as good as it looks. Ideally, since you don't know how to play yet, it would be nice to either get the seller to play test it for you or find a sax player friend to go with you to check it out if possible. With so little money at stake and such a new looking horn, it's not a big risk even if it turns out to need a few repairs. I say go for it and enjoy your new adventure.
 

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Hi again thanks for all your replies. I completely hear you I don't mean to rush into it and get a bad sax but the thing is that I don't really have the means right now and just want to get a feel for the instrument. I thought it might be good just to get an OK cheap sax to start with and then resell later on and upgrade, plus the seller of the Evette has now agreed to £100, do you guys think that this is a bad idea, considering?
Problem is there is no way to tell by looking if its an "OK sax", ie one with no leaks that will hold you back and frustrate you as you start out.

My advice is rent for a few months (15 quid a month maybe?), buy a decent starter mouthpiece (Yamaha 4c, which some rentals include anyway) and get a teacher to teach you the basics, if only for a few weeks to get you going and avoid starting off with bad habits that could take years later on to iron out. Budget for a mouthpiece because the majority of "no name" mouthpieces that come with cheap saxes are not fit for purpose, (unless the purpose is to wedge a door open), although sometimes you will luck out buying a used horn as someone else has already done an upgrade.

The sad truth is many beginners are full of enthusiasm to learn the sax, but reality hits and many give up soon after starting. Renting a horn should ensure that you are starting with an instrument that is in good working condition, and wont leave you on the hook with a large brass paperweight if the dream goes sour. Dont commit to a long term rental as that is probably not super cost effective, but rent to get you going for a few months. Once you are over the beginner hump and can play a little and are sure that you want to invest time and money in your new passion then think about saving up more and buying a horn that plays for you and feels good in your hands (This will probably be more money than you want to spend right now). Bare in mind that the cost of a tech to examine a cheap horn purchase and fix a few leaks / do a bit of a tune up could likely end up close to what you would pay to rent a starter horn that should be put in good shape before you get it.

One thing I have learned is there will always be another horn you can buy later on, you dont need to jump on a good deal just because its there.
 

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Hi again thanks for all your replies. I completely hear you I don't mean to rush into it and get a bad sax but the thing is that I don't really have the means right now and just want to get a feel for the instrument. I thought it might be good just to get an OK cheap sax to start with and then resell later on and upgrade, plus the seller of the Evette has now agreed to £100, do you guys think that this is a bad idea, considering?
Honestly, the Evette is a respectable student horn. I have refurbed/serviced a few of them. Yes they are chinese-made, but clearly Buffet has a pretty decent quality-control thing going. I would say, actually, these are AS good as the current new Yamaha student horns now being produced (outside of Japan...Yama no longer produces student lines in Japan).

So...if the question remained focused upon YOUR list, Danny....I would:

1) ask the seller of the Evette if the horn plays up and down

2) ask the seller if there are any dents or damage to the sax anywhere.

3) ask the seller 'if I purchase this, take it to a tech for evaluation, and the tech estimates it will cost more than £125-150 to get it playing OK....will you accept a return on the sax ?" This means, Danny, that YOU are willing to put, ohhhh.... £100-124 into repair/adjustment and not complain about that to the seller.

If the a seller is OK with accepting a return in that instance, buy the Evette.

That's a solid horn for that price. I picked up a similar Buffet years ago from a student who hadn't played it much. Was practically mint like this one and played like a dream after a few minor adjustments. Yours appears to be in very good nick, as you would say. Looks like it's actually been played, meaning is probably playable. Neck cork looks quite new, finish looks great. I would do it if I were you, assuming it plays as good as it looks. Ideally, since you don't know how to play yet, it would be nice to either get the seller to play test it for you or find a sax player friend to go with you to check it out if possible. With so little money at stake and such a new looking horn, it's not a big risk even if it turns out to need a few repairs. I say go for it and enjoy your new adventure.
+1...to all of this ^^^^^^^^^^

Some people may say oooooh....Yamaha ! Yamaha ! Yamaha ! ...but fact is, a used Yamaha 21/23 in a similar listing situation (seems to be in good shape but description a bit vague) is gonna cost £250 and then may well need those same repairs/adjustments.

So you end up paying £350+ for a Yama vs. £225 for the Evette.

If money is a significant concern, the Evette is the smarter purchase. As Dave says, the risk is relatively small if you get the seller to answer those questions....
 

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If the a seller is OK with accepting a return in that instance, buy the Evette.
AFAIK there isnt any way to enforce this with a gumtree purchase. So its a question of trust.
 

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.......remembering the purchase of my first saxophone. A few key learnings

1). The sax you purchase today is highly unlikely to be the sax you want to use in 2 years. So definitely stay conscientious of budget.

2). The key today is “Is the sax in good playing condition,” not “What type of sax is it.” If you have a friend you can find who is a sax player to test out the horns for you, that would be wise. Alternatively, the idea of renting for a few months from a reputable dealer makes a lot of sense. As a beginner, it will be very difficult to determine if any playing problems you are having are related to your personal development or the sax. Without knowledge of the sax being in good condition, you will meet with a lot of unnecessary frustration when you try to learn the beast.

3). I have made the decision to spend 2 - 4 hours driving to a reputable dealer to buy a sax, rather than purchasing on eBay. I use eBay to purchase other types of collectibles, but I have found that only about 50% - 60% of the stuff sent to me is what I would consider “as-advertised.” I have to return a lot of stuff....and in the case of a saxophone, the postage can get pretty expensive.

4). If you purchase a sax that needs a full adjustment and new pads, it is very easily going to cost $600 - $900 USD. I don’t know the cost in Europe, but I assume similar. This is why I believe ‘playing condition’ is more important than brand name.

5). The point on Yamahas is a good one, but possibly over emphasized. They have a reputation for being consistently made......but lack of variability in their production process is not related to whether the Yamaha is the right horn for you. It might be, but at this stage of your development, it would just be random dumb-luck.

Ultimately, however, there is no perfect way to reliably get the perfect sax when you are just starting off. You are going to simply have to take a leap of faith somewhere......

Good Luck - we have all been there and have come out better for going through the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you guys for responding, I think I'm going to go to check out the Evette and see what it's like and ask the seller a few questions without committing to anything and if it doesn't have any problems then I think I'll take it, thing is renting a sax for a few months wouldn't be too different from just buying this one for £100. I was wondering, however, if anyone would be able to identify or give any information about the fifth link I shared? I have spoken to the seller and got her down to a similar price but she doesn't know the make - I realise you said that make is less important than condition but here it looks as in good nick as the Evette - but maybe someone can identify it and clarify for me? thanks again

Danny
 

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thing is renting a sax for a few months wouldn't be too different from just buying this one for £100.
The difference is that a rental is more or less guaranteed to work correctly from day one, which will make learning to play sax easier.
 

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Researching on this forum reveals stories of objects that are made to look like saxophones by reputable companies, but are constructed of soft metals, and poorly put together. Such objects could be made to play, but would shortly fall out of regulation, and the pads and silencers might literally fall out.
 

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Thank you guys for responding, I think I'm going to go to check out the Evette and see what it's like and ask the seller a few questions without committing to anything and if it doesn't have any problems then I think I'll take it, thing is renting a sax for a few months wouldn't be too different from just buying this one for £100. I was wondering, however, if anyone would be able to identify or give any information about the fifth link I shared? I have spoken to the seller and got her down to a similar price but she doesn't know the make - I realise you said that make is less important than condition but here it looks as in good nick as the Evette - but maybe someone can identify it and clarify for me? thanks again

Danny
1) #5 looks to be a Asain import of no name. Common. For a few pounds more you can buy the same junk new.
2) lots of great advice on different pathways here. They all work out.
3) I look forward to your posts asking all the questions everyone before this post suggested reading about. Glad to help when you need it.
4) be Patient

Welcome to SOTW!
 

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AFAIK there isnt any way to enforce this with a gumtree purchase. So its a question of trust.
Thx, never used gumtree don't know what it's about. But, in this instance, where apparently the OP is actually gonna meet seller in person:

Thank you guys for responding, I think I'm going to go to check out the Evette and see what it's like and ask the seller a few questions without committing to anything and if it doesn't have any problems then I think I'll take it.
In a face-to-face, I'd say most people would answer the query honestly. In a Craigslist face-to-face situation, when posed with the question most sellers would just answer honestly....so I'd say there isn't a big risk at that point the guy is gonna screw you, IMHO.

The difference is that a rental is more or less guaranteed to work correctly from day one, which will make learning to play sax easier.
The counterargument is an Evette is a decent horn, certainly suitable for the first 4 or 5 years of learning; so even if it needs £120 of tech work to get it up to speed....you know have purchased a decent student horn, outright, and it belongs to you.

So you have your own horn which is working correctly after the servicing, which will make learning to play the sax easier.

No need to concern yourself with payments and service agreements.
And at a total investment of £225-ish, you will be able to sell it for around that in a few years if you want to.
 

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I was wondering, however, if anyone would be able to identify or give any information about the fifth link I shared? I have spoken to the seller and got her down to a similar price but she doesn't know the make - I realise you said that make is less important than condition but here it looks as in good nick as the Evette - but maybe someone can identify it and clarify for me? thanks again

Danny
Pass on that one. A contemporary asian horn, not branded whatsoever....90% chance it is not gonna be of good quality.

1) #5 looks to be a Asian import of no name. Common. For a few pounds more you can buy the same junk new.
Yup.
 
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