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Hey everyone!

What are your thoughts on this series? I have read magnificent reviews on them. Its pro model for the price of an intermediate!

Thanks in advance.
 

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These are cheap saxophones made in Vietnam by a company called Tenon which sell among the cheapest saxophones around under many brandnames, some people like them. You will find “ splendid reviews” of anything these days but the truth is that if you take your money and buy an pre owned saxophone you get way more bang for your bucks.
 

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Milandro knows a lot about these instruments and his caution should be taken seriously but not as the gospel.
As I understand,
1. Tenon also makes higher end instruments like Buffet and Berkeley, if not exactly those brands.
2. Other companies manufacture saxes in Vietnam and they have gotten consistently good reviews. I have no first hand experience with Vietnam made instruments, however. I've bought and sold a number of other new Asian instruments and found all that came my way played well, a few were top rate.
3. Milandro's point about cost should be of concern. If you buy it new, it will depreciate faster than you can say Allora. With all that's on the market, the general advice is to find something used.
Good luck.
 

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Retail Price one of these - new: Alto: $1400 Tenor: $2000

By comparison, I will note ONE other contemporary brand's horns which have been garnering a good reputation over the past several years, priced new and used. I am certain other respondents can also chime in with other new horns which have gotten decent accolades as well:

Buffet 100 sax - new Alto: $1000-1400 Tenor: $1300-1600

Buffet 400's - used Alto $500-600 Tenor $500-900

Just sayin'.....

(don't get hooked by "professional", "intermediate", "student" labels. Keep doing your research :bluewink:)
 

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Indeed I am not an Evangelist, I just write what I have learned when I was involved with the saxophone trade.

I only know of Tenon which produces for many different brands in Vietnam.

I have met Tenons people many times in Frankfurt in the past. They themselves have always said that their production in China and Taiwan is of a better quality than the ones form Vietnam.
 

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I have owned one of these tenors and found it to be well made. I believe it to be the exact same horn as the "Kessler Custom Handmade". At least it was in about 2014. Many people on here will tell you the Kessler is a good horn. What they do have is superior quality control. I have owned several Allora horns and currently have a Chicago Jazz tenor. What I have found is some set up issues on these horns. Some kind of strange glue more like contact cement, holding in the pads. However the pads are of good quality and name brand. Where I do agree with others posting here is that used is the way to go.
 

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If I wanted to buy a new sax on a Budget I’d rather buy a Phil Barone (Taiwan) or a Crescent by Palo Tung (either from Taiwan or China).

These two people are both in the US and would certainly offer US buyers their experience and guarantee for a very good set up of an excellent horn.
 

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I have owned one of these tenors and found it to be well made. I believe it to be the exact same horn as the "Kessler Custom Handmade". At least it was in about 2014. Many people on here will tell you the Kessler is a good horn. What they do have is superior quality control. I have owned several Allora horns and currently have a Chicago Jazz tenor. What I have found is some set up issues on these horns. Some kind of strange glue more like contact cement, holding in the pads. However the pads are of good quality and name brand. Where I do agree with others posting here is that used is the way to go.
I own a Kessler Custom Handmade tenor and based on a conversation with Dave Kessler and my own research, I can confirm that to the best of my knowledge this horn was made by Tenon in Vietnam as others have indicated.

I realize that some have a negative perception of horns made in Vietnam and I've only played this one example, but for me, it's been an outstanding instrument. I'm also fortunate enough to own two Selmer Paris horns, a Martin Committee III, and an early "Purple Label" YTS-62 and I've played a few Mk VI's, Super 20's, Bueschers, etc. The ergos on the Kessler are the most comfortable I've ever played and I prefer it's tone to any of my other horns other than my Martin. It's definitely "darker" and more spread than the Selmers and Yamahas I've played, which is my personal preference. Also, although the horn played fine when I received it, I had it set up by one of the best local techs and he leveled the tone holes and made a few other tweaks, so I'm sure that helps.

The one drawback I've found is that it is the heaviest horn I own and after several long practice sessions, I feel it in my back. Also, as others have mentioned, you would take a major hit if you bought new and tried to sell it. I was lucky enough to pick mine up in like-new condition for a very modest price, so if you decide to go with a Tenon-manufactured instrument, I agree with the recommendation to buy used if you can. Hope this helps.
 

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Retail Price one of these - new: Alto: $1400 Tenor: $2000

By comparison,

Buffet 100 sax - new Alto: $1000-1400 Tenor: $1300-1600
Buffet 400's - used Alto $500-600 Tenor $500-900
Just to point out, you have the models reversed. A Buffet 400 tenor would likely sell at that price despite the new price of $3200+.
The 400 is my favorite new tenor, so far. On a level with Taiwan comparables. If the 100 is truly the same horn minus the bling, it could be a great horn. Another thing to note is that new prices seem to have gone up 20 - 25% in the past year or two. Used prices don't necessarily follow.

Btw Jaye, I'm using a mint Yani 990 tenor tonight. I'm looking forward to adding to my impressions of modern horns that you just don't get in the bedroom studio.

Regards to all.
 

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I have played a Kessler Custom tenor made in Viet Nam. If its typical of Viet Nam saxophones, Yech.
 

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Just to point out, you have the models reversed. A Buffet 400 tenor would likely sell at that price despite the new price of $3200+.
The 400 is my favorite new tenor, so far. On a level with Taiwan comparables. If the 100 is truly the same horn minus the bling, it could be a great horn. Another thing to note is that new prices seem to have gone up 20 - 25% in the past year or two. Used prices don't necessarily follow.

Btw Jaye, I'm using a mint Yani 990 tenor tonight. I'm looking forward to adding to my impressions of modern horns that you just don't get in the bedroom studio.

Regards to all.
Hi...read it again :)

The 400 prices I noted were for a used one, while the 100 prices I noted were for new ones...

400's, despite being pretty good horns, have a very low market value used. I hope these were freak occurrences, but I have seen some Tenors go absurdly low in the past few months. The first one sat on eBay with a $450 Buy Now....for SIX days. Over 100 views... before someone pulled the trigger. WTH ?
Second one, the poor seller basically give it away for under $600 after being listed for quite a while. Criminal.

I hope these were outliers, but am not certain they were. I dunno why Buffet is just off so many folks' radar.

Recently I saw another 400 Tenor go for $750. A little better, but still the buyer got an absurd steal.

I have had a minty 100 Alto sitting here for 6 months, priced at $550.....a better alto in both tone and mechanics than a new chinese-made Yama IMHO. No interest from anyone whatsoever. Baffling.

The 100 and 400 are really similar horns. I mean, you look at 'em and ignore the finishes and engraving, and one would only be able to spot a few detail differences, visually. The 400 has a wider tone than the 100's, so I am assuming something in the body and or neck specs differ between the two...but both sound quite rich and full.

Have fun with the Yani !
 

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I think the issues with these Asian made horns is as folllows:
- some factories are quite capable of high quality while others are not
- assuming a factory is capable, the ultimate quality then comes down to who is importing them and their concern for quality.

I have a friend in the business who has been involved in these activities in the past....they worked with the factory to get top quality out of the factory, and then did a full tear down and professional set-up on every horn coming in. As you’d expect these horns played very nicely across the board.

If someone is importing a horn without this level of scrutiny, then mileage will vary...

The other issue to consider is what support you may be able to get long term as these import brands seem to come and go like the wind. This may or am not concern you.
 

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It is is wrong to assume that the fact that a product comes from a continent as large as Asia will all be the same. There is goo and not so good, the plain bad had more or less disappeared.

The quality of most saxophones made in the world in these modern days is certainly good for the most part. Most will play with minimum adjustment and play for years.

Yet when you are looking at the market which contains an ever increasing number of saxophones in a decreasing number of players it is obvious that there is a pool of pre owned saxophones to chose from.

For this reason one could spend his money better by buying a secondhand quality saxophone. You can buy oa Vito tenor made by Yamaha for much less than this is worth, in playing conditions and even add an overhaul, and still spend less.

The “ support” offered by a brand is really irrelevant.

Saxophones don’t normally require spares that are not to be found on the market. Pads and Springs even a rod or a key can be used from other saxophones and it would still be reparable, more than that and a saxophone like this is toast. The saxophones have survived this long in their form because they are a relatively simple mechanical device which can be repaired even if the brand no longer exists.

If we needed support from the brands we couldn’t restore and use the most obscure brands made long ago from companies which have disappeared long ago.
 

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I would play an Allora Paris any day over a Yamaha 23. I agree that used is the way to go. Since you can get a very nice used Yamaha 62 for the price of a new Allora Paris that is a no brainer. The 62 is far superior.
 
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