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Discussion Starter #1
I mainly play tenor but I would like to buy a Soprano without spending an arm and a leg.

I have been researching the forum and Google and I got so many mixed reviews that I am more confused than before.

I was looking into buying either an Allora Paris or a Kessler, and I found a LOT of mixed reviews.

I would prefer to buy a Yamaha 475, but again not in the market to spend 2k and looking into get something under 1k.

Any advice from the experts?

Thanks in advance!

Best,
 

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I had an LASax soprano that was surprisingly good and I picked it up used for only a few hundred. It kept me working up my soprano chops until I could afford a Yani.
The Yani and Yamahas are the best for intonation and your price range. If you are patient you should be able to find one in good condition in the sub $1,500 range.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had an LASax soprano that was surprisingly good and I picked it up used for only a few hundred. It kept me working up my soprano chops until I could afford a Yani.
The Yani and Yamahas are the best for intonation and your price range. If you are patient you should be able to find one in good condition in the sub $1,500 range.
Thanks!

I was going to ask about the L.A. Sops. and also the Antigua. Any thoughts?
 

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Definitely consider a Buescher True Tone from the 1920s. They sound great & are often way underpriced at $1K or less. The key ergonomics can be a bit awkward 'til you get used to 'em. On the other hand, True Tones are easy to handle because they weigh so much less than modern horns.
 

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Definitely consider a Buescher True Tone from the 1920s. They sound great & are often way underpriced at $1K or less. The key ergonomics can be a bit awkward 'til you get used to 'em. On the other hand, True Tones are easy to handle because they weigh so much less than modern horns.
Such an astute, knowledgeable scholar and gentleman you are sir . . .:bluewink::mrgreen:
 

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I mainly play tenor but I would like to buy a Soprano without spending an arm and a leg.

I have been researching the forum and Google and I got so many mixed reviews that I am more confused than before.

I was looking into buying either an Allora Paris or a Kessler, and I found a LOT of mixed reviews.

I would prefer to buy a Yamaha 475, but again not in the market to spend 2k and looking into get something under 1k.

Any advice from the experts?

Thanks in advance!

Best,
A used Jupiter, built after around '97, is a pretty good choice in a contemporary horn, too. Their market values tend to be low but the company kicked their quality control to another level around '97-'00, and in the past 12+ years they have been producing horns every bit as well-made as many a Yamaha. They can usually be had for between $500-800 used.

You could go vintage, as noted by others. The Buescher for under $1g is a good deal. Most old American sops in good playing shape will run over $1g easily. Another possible thought is something like an Italian Borgani from the 60's-70's or something like a Weltklang or B&S....both of which tend to go for under $1g in good shape as well.
 

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There are also the old Yanagisawas, often labeled something else like "Whitehall" that are apparently very good copies of the Selmer Mark 6 soprano (but probably with better quality control).

There were some marked "Armstrong" that I have heard were quite good but I don't know who actually made these.

Personally I haven't cared much for the tone quality of the modern inexpensive sopranos I've tried although they certainly are easy playing with good intonation. Too bright and nasal for me. (I know one of our local soprano experts, Dave Dolson, will probably disagree with me on this to some extent, but I would respectfully suggest that a guy who has concentrated on soprano for something like 40 years is probably a lot more likely to be able to just make any horn sound like he wants it to, than someone like me that only plays soprano very intermittently.)
 

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Thanks!

I was going to ask about the L.A. Sops. and also the Antigua. Any thoughts?
I don't know about the LA sax sops but the tenors are really good. I am talking about the ones made in the past few years not the old stuff. I suspect the sopranos to be of the same quality. I believe the current La sax horns are as good as any Taiwan made horn.
 

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turf3: Make that 60+ years . . . I don't disagree, at least as it comes to others' experiences. After all, I think all of us are responsible for making what we play sound good - or at least sound like us. So if that's the result you achieve, so be it.

I find that most sopranos sound like me playing them, regardless of their value. For me, the inexpensive soprano saxophones come across as being inexpensive by the way they feel more than how they sound. But what I hear and feel as a player doesn't come through to listeners so much. Yes, there is the psychological issues of a player being satisfied and confident with his equipment, which aids in the overall result.

I've owned them all ways - new, used, vintage, modern, high end, inexpensive, junk, straight, curved, tip-bell, Saxello, gold-plated, silver-plated, lacquered, un-lacquered - mox nix. Overall, I like the higher quality instruments rather than the cheapies, but I've played some cheapies that were decent.

I also respect others' budget-issues and understand the need to keep the price within reason. Sure, a buyer may score a nice soprano on a budget the first time but I think it may require a few mistakes before finally finding the right soprano at a low price, especially if the buyer isn't able to play first before buying. DAVE
 

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Thanks!

I was going to ask about the L.A. Sops. and also the Antigua. Any thoughts?
The LASax was a straight two piece (interchangable neck) with black lacquer. Intonation was surprisingly good and keywork was modern and felt good. Straight neck blew much better - the curved neck was too resistant for me. It had a good sound - but didn't knock me over. With a little diddling I was able to lighten up the key action replace a few pads and get it playing really well. I played it for several years and ultimately sold it to a student who played it before buying it and was very happy with it.

I currently play an early Selmer Series III with a Yani SC-901 as a backup (not a bad backup!). The Yani was my primary for several years until the Selmer fell in my lap. I still like and play the Yani - but the Selmer has a slightly more complex tone and the upper stack feels slightly faster than the Yani so that seems to be getting more play time these days.

I've never had an Antigua so I can't speak to that one.
 
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