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I have been playing alto saxophone for about 5 years now, and I am going into my freshman year. My current saxophone is a beginner Selmer AS300, and I bought it used. I have learned and practiced a lot using this saxophone, but I feel that it is time to upgrade. I have already upgraded my mouthpiece to a Vandoren V16 and I currently use Vandoren 2 1/2 reeds. However, I think that my sound on the Selmer is not the best that it could be, especially since it squeaks whenever I change from a high note to a low note. It is almost impossible to play high E or high F, and the overall tone quality is not the best. I was wondering if I should upgrade my alto saxophone... and if so, how should I upgrade it? Should I upgrade to intermediate or professional, or should I stick my current saxophone? Should I buy used or new? Any other input is certainly welcome.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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18,947 Posts
Well....none of the problems you speak of (with the exception of the tone) are the shortcoming of the horn. Regarding how it plays, that is.

Either it needs to be taken to a tech, you need embouchure work, or your reed/mpc setup is giving you problems.

But if you don't like the tone and it is really bugging you...sure, get something better.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Hard to believe that this isn't a joke or baiting post, especially since it's a first post.

If you are for real, I apologize. Then I say get to a tech. If your horn is that badly regulated, then you don't even know what it can really sound like.
 

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Sounds like you need to find a tech first. One who specializes in saxophones is obviously ideal. If you determine there is nothing wrong with the horn AND your teacher feels there is nothing wrong with your technique or setup, there are plenty of horns to choose from. I would caution against getting any advice until you've done those two things.
 

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What tip size is your mouthpiece (mpc), and how does that differ from the one you replaced it with? Mechanical problems aside, you might just be unconsciously contracting your embouchure because of the new mpc, which could cause the kinds of playing problems you mention.
 
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