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renegade said:
I just tried a Taiwanese made Selmer alto sax today. The model is A-600, Prelude, if I am not mistaken. Except for some minor adjustment, I think the sax is ok insofar as intonation and keyworks are concerned. It sells for about $700.
Saw a new one on ebay recently with a "Buy it now" of £170, £210 after shipping.
 

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*Definitely* not as good vfm as a Hanson, even at that price.
 

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At least with a Chinese sax, you know exactly what you are getting into. With the Hanson sax it seems as though they are trying to cloak that their horns are made in China (or Taiwan, what's the difference?). As a beginner, you might want to consider resale value as you would with your guitars. A Hanson, Jupiter or Mauriat you might get half of what you paid for it, if you are lucky. They still have the cheesy feel of the Chinese horns at 4 or 5 times the price. You are still better off getting some kind of older student level sax like a Bundy that are inexpensive but built like tanks. I don't think I'm alone in saying that a Bundy that is in good repair will blow these Taiwanese horns out of the water.
 

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rogerb40uk said:
*Definitely* not as good vfm as a Hanson, even at that price.
The Hanson may well be a better horn for the money, but its money you wont get much return on when you step up to a more pro horn or move away from the sax all together. (which seem the two logical progressions in this case)

I think at £210 for the Selmer, you stand a much better chance to recoup a large chunk of that on resale due to the well recognised name. Selmer are not going to market a complete lemon of a horn, even if its built to keep cost down, they have too much to lose, and someone out there will buy it from you used based on that alone.

Now, if you can buy a used Hanson for a bargain price then you are onto a winner...thats how I got my Antigua for $200US. No Bundy has blown me out of the water, and if you do find a cheap bundy you are in all probability looking at spending some serious money to get it in top shape again anyway. Not that Bundys seem that common in the UK anyway, its more of a north american beast isnt it?
 

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What I cannot understand is the apparent prejudice by some against Chinese or Taiwanese made horns although manufactured under license by a reputable manufacturer like Selmer. What is the difference in construction if a horn is made in a country other than the country where it was originally produced if made by the same company? Are the production standards employed by the same manufacturer different from country to country where it has production facilities?
 

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renegade said:
Are the production standards employed by the same manufacturer different from country to country where it has production facilities?
Seems that way for VW cars. The German made cars are much better received than the same models made in Mexico or Brazil.

Its one thing to have a standard, but its another thing to get workers to buy into that whole quality culture and actualy go the extra mile to get it right.
 

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renegade said:
What I cannot understand is the apparent prejudice by some against Chinese or Taiwanese made horns although manufactured under license by a reputable manufacturer like Selmer.
Because the motivation to manufacture there is solely to cut costs. We're not talking about cars or computer chips. The saxophone is a damned piece of art. You'd think all you folks would realize that... being this is a site for devotees of the saxophone.
 

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Grumps said:
Because the motivation to manufacture there is solely to cut costs. We're not talking about cars or computer chips. The saxophone is a damned piece of art. You'd think all you folks would realize that... being this is a site for devotees of the saxophone.
Maybe at the highest price points they can be considered works of art in addition to being fantastic tools, but at this price level its a tool to get you started, plain and simple, and nothing more. We cant all afford to start on a top of the range horn I'm afraid.

If cutting costs brings playing the sax into reach for more people, then that surely is a great thing? After all, the art should be the result of playing, not looking at a horn you cant afford in a shop window.

Besides, you seem to we writing off the chinese as incapable of art, which a few thousand years of history would appear to contradict.
 

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Canadiain said:
We cant all afford to start on a top of the range horn I'm afraid.
Sure you can. Buy vintage horns second hand.

Canadiain said:
If cutting costs brings playing the sax into reach for more people, then that surely is a great thing?
The market has been flooded with cheap, disposable horns, because that's where the money is to be made. Now the alleged pro horns are being produced there. It's not because they make 'em well. It's because they make 'em cheap. Never a good sign for quality.

Canadiain said:
Besides, you seem to we writing off the chinese as incapable of art, which a few thousand years of history would appear to contradict.
With their current political regime in place, they're producing more cheap crap than works of art; and under slave labor conditions to boot. The artistry is not all in the playing, but in the construction. That's been lost on this generation.

Thank God for vintage horns...
 

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Screw them to the wall

Use long screws so they don't fall off during an earthquake.
 

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Grumps said:
Sure you can. Buy vintage horns second hand. ...
$200 for the horn, $400 for the repad. No thanks, that aint cheap!

The market has been flooded with cheap, disposable horns, because that's where the money is to be made. Now the alleged pro horns are being produced there. It's not because they make 'em well. It's because they make 'em cheap. Never a good sign for quality.
Yes theres some crap, but many respected posters here have found perfectly good cheap horns too...thats the whole point of this thread.

With their current political regime in place, they're producing more cheap crap than works of art; and under slave labor conditions to boot. The artistry is not all in the playing, but in the construction. That's been lost on this generation.

Thank God for vintage horns
Fortunately the question was about CHEAP saxes, not politics.

Vintage is all well and good, but a pro quality vintage horn from a reputable seller is waaay more to buy than a cheap chinese knock off. The chinese are quite capable of producing a decent cheap horn. Like most other things they have tried recently, they start off cheap and nasty, and then refine there production to meet required quality at the price point. Look at Hyundais (not chinese I realise)...used to be cheap crap, now still cheap, but winning awards all over the place. Vintage horns are great, but thats also a total minefield too, and you will not find one in top ready to play condition with decent life left in the pads for much less than twice the cost of a cheap chinese horn, unless you are either very lucky, or know a lot about what you are doing.

Chinese horns will come to fill a niche and gradually move upmarket as the Tiawanese have. They can and will make a good horn for the money, but I dont think the Selmer Paris fraternity need be looking over there shoulder just yet, but thats not the market this thread was aimed for.
 

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The Chinese cannot produce quality??

"With their current political regime in place, they're producing more cheap crap than works of art; and under slave labor conditions to boot. The artistry is not all in the playing, but in the construction. That's been lost on this generation."

What am sweeping generalisation about such a huge country:shock:
It sounds, to me, more based on political opinion than common-sense.... sorry

I was shown a set of Chinese-made trumpet valves last week which were, IMO, better-made and finished, in a side-by-side comparison, than German-made valves in a $2k Spanish trumpet, and, of course, at a fraction of the cost.

Much, or even most, of the musical instruments exported from ROC may be [email protected], but it is, I believe, nonsensical and patronising to tar every Chinese horn, or musical instrument component, with the same brush (I hope that is not too non-PC a term to use, and apologise to anyone who's offended by it).

(Sorry, didn't see Canadiain's post before writing mine... he's made many similar points.)
 

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Canadiain said:
Yes theres some crap, but many respected posters here have found perfectly good cheap horns too...thats the whole point of this thread.
Yeah, but once they say they're the best things they've ever played, that's when the respect is lost. Go ahead. Tell these folks to buy the garbage they'll never be able to resell when they move up; if it's even still functional. At least when you spend that $400 on a repad for a vintage horn, you'll not only have a superior horn, but when you resell it, it's a wash. That is of course, if you ever have to.
 

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Its a positive benefit if you dont mind buying used, if you dont need to do much to get it in good shape. Really the point is when figuring the total cost of a starter horn you need to figure out what it costs to buy plus the cost of keeping it playing well minus what you can sell it for when you move on to a better horn or away from the sax altogether... the total cost of the ownership experience...

Chinese horns cant be given away used in the current market, although it remains to be seen if thats true of Selmer Preludes, as the name makes a difference. No one really knows how well many of these will stand up to frequent use either, but at the bottom price point they could be regarded as disposable, to be used for a couple of years and then tossed or turned into lamps rather than pay for a repad.

Grumps has a point that if you get an old pro horn you might never have to trade up, and it will maintain its value (if not appreciate), but the initial cost would be out of some peoples price range, and vintage horns are clearly not to everyones tastes. Its an option to explore though.
 

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A typical (non Chinese) student horn costs £500 to buy new
resale after a year £300 - £350 (if you're very lucky)

One of the good recent Chinese horns £200
resale after a year £80 - £100

And in my experience the good cheap ones (ie the £200 saxophones from China) are better than the cheapest Yamahas and Jupiters that cost a lot more.
 

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Cheap saxophone

Hi Cali, I think you ae putting the cart in front of the horse !! first you need lessonsor you'll be going around in circles, second, you gotta start reading music, unless yu want to play alone always, third, you nor an ecxpert can 'assume' what mouthpiece you need, only your embouchoure can dictate that, so get a working horn (You'll need help) Best new horn deal I have seen and they play good and are cheap ae KOHLERTs made in Viet nam, then get youself a Brillhart 3* mouthpiece ($40.. Amrican) and go from thee, don't assume anythin, Aaaand look at a time frame of sefveral years before you know where your going, there are no short cuts, long notes...Bruce ..
 

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Pete Thomas said:
And in my experience the good cheap ones (ie the £200 saxophones from China) are better than the cheapest Yamahas and Jupiters that cost a lot more.
The trouble might just be finding a good one. The vast majority of it is junk, and even if you can pick out a decent brand name, the next batch could be from a different factory.
 

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Grumps said:
The trouble might just be finding a good one. The vast majority of it is junk, and even if you can pick out a decent brand name, the next batch could be from a different factory.
To paraphrase Forrest Gump (Forrest Grumps????? :badgrin: :badgrin:)

"Cheap Asian Saxes are like a box of chocolates - you never know what your gonna get"
 

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Pete Thomas said:
And in my experience the good cheap ones (ie the £200 saxophones from China) are better than the cheapest Yamahas and Jupiters that cost a lot more.
Hi Pete

Which Chinese sax brand did you find to be good? I was considering stretching my budget to get a student yamaha (YAS-23 or YTS-23), under the impression that is the best constructed student horn. Perhaps Antiguas are also very good, but those are Taiwanese.

I guess I'm looking for something that will hold up well mechanically with careful use, since I dont know if there are many good sax techies in my town. I also dont think I will sell the sax, because the resale market here is pretty small. Maybe I should just get a Yamaha 62 and get it over with :D
 
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