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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

Over the years I had seen plenty of threads revolving around Chinese Bass saxophones, most commonly the Jinbao type that is sold by Wessex, Levante, IW, and Sax.co.uk.
If I were to own a Bass I do think I'd prefer the Selmer style, and from past threads it sounded like build quality wasn't bad in these 'brands'.
I hopped on Alibaba recently and checked out what was available, and it seems like most of them are the same brand name, or something + the brand "OEM".
I did find one of "BATER" brand name as well, but I'm not sure if these brand names mean much and I should be looking at other info on the listing

In particular, this one caught my eye Professional Bass Saxophone - Buy Professional Bass Saxophone Product on Alibaba.com
It has a video (or did have one, I don't see it today) and more pictures than most, plus you can customize the laser engraved logo on the bell. It looks like it has somewhat of an engraving on the bell as well.
I got a quote and the lady told me it was 2700 plus shipping (express she said was 650).
There are also returns, but I am unsure about return shipping costs 馃槀

Is this a Jinbao bass or something different? If it's anything similar to the Wessex, Levante, Sax.co.uk stuff I'd be incredibly tempted to buy as a Christmas present for myself.
 

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It was my impression that all the Chinese bass saxes come from one of two factories - the short wrap Selmer copies from Jinbao, and the long wrap Conn copies from the other one.

Scuttlebutt is that the Jinbao basses are better built and more refined in the mechanism - though still very much in the vein of typical low cost Chinese construction - i.e, cheap materials, loose tolerances, sloppy assembly.
 

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... despite all of that some companies mandage to resell Chinese basses at high prices
 

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Twenty-seven hundred bucks is a lot of bread to waste on junk from a site that specializes in same. Sure, someone will come on and tell you how great off-brand Chinese saxophones are... but they're not going to shell out twenty-seven hundred bucks to find out.

Avoid this sort of thing. Unless maybe you're a professional musician that MUST have a bass sax for specific work. At least then, you can write off the loss.
 

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I wouldn't buy ANYTHING from Alibaba.

But buying a Chinese bass from a Western distributor or store who have gone through it, readjusted, tightened up the mechanism, and replaced a few things wtih better grade materials (I've seen references to pads corks and felts), would be a fairly low risk process. I say you can either spend the money to upgrade your new Chinese bass yourself, with your local tech, or in the purchase price from a distributor and store that impose QC at the factory and do subsequent QC checks on this side of the water.
 

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Buy them anywhere (or not) there are those 鈥 western鈥 companies who buy them at that price and resell them (after upgrades ?) for a lot more. You鈥檒l be the judge of how much the 鈥 upgrade鈥 is worth to you.

I have read great description of the 鈥 3 point brace鈥 ( not an upgrade bu standard from factory) as if this justified the price tag

There is a famous American brand selling for $10,000 and a less famous Dutch selling for 鈧5000 and in the UK for 拢3,900.

I just saw 鈥 an American Import鈥 sold on Ebay for over $ 7,500. Not a bad profit

The mark up, in my view, would buy you an incredible amount of hours and materials from any good technician to make this thing play or return a gigantic profit to the reseller. While I am sure the original maker gets paid very little of the end price.

They are certainly made in China, whether the reseller resides in the US , UK or Europe. A rose by any other name...

 

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Well, if the bass saxes follow the pattern of other private-labeled Chinese saxophones, the importer can pay to have more input into design specifications and level of QC, probably also can specify better pads etc.

So the more expensive Chinese bass vs. the less expensive, could just be profit margin; it could be that the importer is paying more for a better grade from the factory; it could be that they're putting time labor and material into the horn after receiving it and before selling it to the end user; or it could be any combination of the above.

Lowest risk would be buying from an importer with recent, good reviews from people qualified to do such reviews; lowest cost would be taking the risk that you will have to do a lot of fettling once you receive the thing.

Of course if you buy an old Conn or Buescher, you'll probably pay more for one in ready-to-play condition than you would for one of the Chinese ones by the time you get it ready to play. And the old horns can have a whole panoply of things wrong ranging from the moderate to extremely expensive to fix.

Or, you can mortgage your house for a new Selmer or Keilwerth bass and wait 2 years to get it.
 

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I think would need to be prepared to be very disappointed or to lose your money. If you are prepared to take that risk you might get something playable. I use AliExpress all the time for small items but would never risk even getting an Alto off there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All good points. I could never justify the house-mortgage size cost of a Selmer or Keilwerth, and I do want to stay away from some of the older basses. Either I have the money to risk for fun and see what happens with a rando chinese bass or I get one from a US distributor/importer, which agreed, is the lowest risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was looking at importers selling bass saxophones. Lot of them in the UK, but probably should expect to spend a lot more due to shipping, import fees, etc. The US horns so far seem more pricey. UK ones come around 5000-5500 USD, and so far the cheapest US one I have found so far is Wessex with 5900, and they won't even have them until next summer. Levante is 7k, IW is 9k. Not sure how many more importers there are.

Fun thing in my search too I found a Couf Bass for sale by some smaller music shop for 7k in good shape.
 

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Buying from a US importer doesn鈥檛 change how poorly they are likely made.
A **** with a bow on it is still a ****.
I鈥檇 shell out the $2700 or whatever it was before I鈥檇 pay 4 times that to buy it from someone else who may have changed a couple of felts.
Either way it鈥檚 going to be a disappointment, so go with the cheaper disappointment I say.
 

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This guy likes his Levante-branded chinese bari. He posted an unboxing video and also an update, where he detailed some adjustments that had to be made.


Unboxing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
And will that lesson be learned? Absolutely. I wanted to post an update here. Quite a bit of money to risk, but I thought it would be a fun experiment. In the end if I end up with something that plays I could never be mad and I wouldn't consider it a waste of money.

I did order one of these saxophones. The company is Binzhou Xingyue. I believe someone on this forum has once posted a review of a tenor??? or some other horn they got from them. I'm indifferent since I am still in the process of getting the horn. The original wait time till shipping was about 55 days, but it's been extended another 10 days. So should be on its way in a week or so. I doubled checked how they would box the horn and requested photos and a video at the end of production. I do get the custom logo... curious to see how that turns out. Got my first photos today of the production and thought I could share.

101850


101851


Just want to document the journey here. Learning experience for sure.

I'll update as I go!
 

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And will that lesson be learned? Absolutely. I wanted to post an update here. Quite a bit of money to risk, but I thought it would be a fun experiment. In the end if I end up with something that plays I could never be mad and I wouldn't consider it a waste of money.

I did order one of these saxophones. The company is Binzhou Xingyue. I believe someone on this forum has once posted a review of a tenor??? or some other horn they got from them. I'm indifferent since I am still in the process of getting the horn. The original wait time till shipping was about 55 days, but it's been extended another 10 days. So should be on its way in a week or so. I doubled checked how they would box the horn and requested photos and a video at the end of production. I do get the custom logo... curious to see how that turns out. Got my first photos today of the production and thought I could share.

View attachment 101850

View attachment 101851

Just want to document the journey here. Learning experience for sure.

I'll update as I go!
Good Luck! How did they ship this to you?

I am interested in a shipping company from China to Europe, did you chose the shipper or did they? Have you got any idea who the shipping company is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good Luck! How did they ship this to you?

I am interested in a shipping company from China to Europe, did you chose the shipper or did they? Have you got any idea who the shipping company is?
They have not shipped the horn yet so I will hopefully learn soon. They will choose the shipping company from there to the US. After that I am not 100% sure. They shipping method is DAP. Which makes me responsible for some extra paperwork when it reaches the states.
 

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thanks!
 
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