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Discussion Starter #1
hello. i am an ex professional musician and am considering the purchase of a cheap sopranino to play with my son, who is learning the alto. i played mostly soprano back when and have owned a mark v1, sa series 1, yamaha 62, buffet s1. could anyone with experience or an opinion give me input regarding the pros and cons of the yani copies over the selmer copies, fingering wise/comfort/tuning or anything helpful. i have enjoyed reading this site and looking forward to any inform i might glean. thanks for your time.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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could anyone with experience or an opinion give me input regarding the pros and cons of the yani copies over the selmer copies,
If you are talking about copies, then you would need to specify which copies, I believe there are many different copies out there. e.g. not all copies of a yanagisawa would be the same. And of course not all copies are exact copies.

I doubt anyone has tried all the different possible contenders, I have only played a BW which I believe is a copy of a Yanagisawa. It had some problems, but I then found out it was a prototype and the company since addressed those issues and it's a fine horn. I have played many different cheap chinese sopraninos, I'm not exactly sure whether they were copies of Selmer or Yanagisawa or what, but most left me disappointed. I can't remember the makes, because these were at a trade show and any out there would be rebadged anyway. The only other brand I remember was Chateau or Tenon, not bad but nothing inspiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the reply. sorry not to be more specific. from what i've seen/read most of the taiwanese/chinese copies appear to fall into two general categories. firstly there are the instruments keyed to high E which appear to be copied along similar lines to the yani sopraninos and the instruments keyed to high F# which look to be along similar lines to a selmer series 2. quality differences aside, is there any advantage to the differing fingerings/keywork/egonomics on one style of instrument to the other in a general sense? did anyone find advantage in one type of keywork to another, vis a vis, the general model keyed to high E over that of the model keyed to high F#? thanks again.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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quality differences aside, is there any advantage to the differing fingerings/keywork/egonomics on one style of instrument to the other in a general sense? did anyone find advantage in one type of keywork to another, vis a vis, the general model keyed to high E over that of the model keyed to high F#?
I think that would be purely down to personal preference. But I don't think you can take quality differences out of the equation, quality of manufacture could easily affect the ergonomics. Obviously a good quality copy of a Selmer would probably have much better ergonomics than a bad quality copy of a Selmer.
 

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Honestly, you might have an easier time (and smaller chance of disappointment) buying yourself a student level alto or soprano, assuming that you don't own any of your old sopranos. If you do go with a soprano, you can just transpose stuff. If not, I recommend a Jupiter alto (also check this one). I play one myself, a CES-760 (out of production). I think that they feel more like a professional horn than any other student level horn I've played, and I've tried everything from Yamahas to Vitos to a Bundy, and quite a few others in between, along with some more current Selmer Paris altos to compare to. I've heard great things about the 767GL. They make sopranos, too. Another possibility would be to buy yourself the exact same alto your son is playing, which would theoretically make helping him REALLY easy.
I would imagine that a 'nino has to be much more finely tuned than a larger/lower horn to sound decent*, and I'm skeptical that there are any cheap copies that can pull that off. I've never tried one to compare myself, but with my alto/tenor experience, I agree with Pete when he says that it's probably about both preference and manufacture/copy quality more than anything else.
Whatever you decide, good luck to you and your son. If you want to mess with him, tell him to learn Frankenstein :)

* I will be the first to state that I could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you for your replies. i still have a mark vi alto which i play occasionally and i picked up a vito - yanagisawa stencil soprano which was a bargain (99% lacquer, plays well in tune for a $500 aus. i did send for one of the ebay sopraninos some time ago, the model based on a selmer series 2 i think, played it for 1/2 hour and sent it straight back. even with a my soloist mouthpiece (c*) the tuning was terrible. quite possibly i'll sit it out until a yanagisawa sopranino turns up for a reasonable price - or at least a price i can afford. thanks again.
 

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You could post a Want To Buy ad in the Marketplace, Horns Wanted section, it might trigger a Nino sitting somewhere, waiting for a better life.
 
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