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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
very nice, what is the video that you requested? one about playing?
That is what I am expecting yeah. They might forget about it but they do know I was looking to see something before they pack and ship it. Just glad to finally have some photos for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
So shipping ended up differently than I expected, and I think possibly for the best? It is arriving today. I'll have a long post describing the whole process from order to my door and how easy and also how confusing it was. Maybe post some more pics. See if it works out of the box and if adjustments should be made. Then after that I'd give myself a week or more to really play it and see how I feel about it.
 

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Yep, that's a short wrap bass. I'd bet that it's from the same factory as all the other short wrap Chinese basses.

Assuming it reaches you in good order (because even with good packaging a few things could go out of adjustment) give yourself more than a week before you make any final judgements. Even as an experienced baritone player it took me several months to really come to grips with the bassax. You should also plan on a certain amount of mouthpiece hunting. In the end I settled on a Selmer S-80 for richness of tone and (relative) ease of control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Yep, that's a short wrap bass. I'd bet that it's from the same factory as all the other short wrap Chinese basses.

Assuming it reaches you in good order (because even with good packaging a few things could go out of adjustment) give yourself more than a week before you make any final judgements. Even as an experienced baritone player it took me several months to really come to grips with the bassax. You should also plan on a certain amount of mouthpiece hunting. In the end I settled on a Selmer S-80 for richness of tone and (relative) ease of control.
Good point! I got myself a modified Runyon mouthpiece that was recommended off an article by Helen of Bassic Sax, one done by Paul Coats. Also got myself a bass reed and plenty of baritone reeds (that I already had since I own one and also primarily play baritone). I plan on getting another MPC off of Brian Landrus at some point when they become available.

But for sure if it needs adjustment that will take time. So in reality I won't have a full opinion on the horn for a while.
 

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I tried the modified Runyon and was extremely underwhelmed. Like most Runyons in my experience, it makes a sound, there's nothing actively bad about it, just passively blase. Extremely uncompelling for me. Maybe it would work better on the American-style long wrap horns.

I had the best results from the Selmer S-80 (a true bass mouthpiece) and the Jody Jazz DV bass mouthpiece. In the end I prefer the tonal quality of the Selmer by a slight margin, but the JJ is a damn fine piece (and priced accordingly). I also have a "dill pickle" true bass piece, but it's like blowing into an old gym sock. The thing's been refaced so many times that I think that's part of the trouble, I think the facing on it is crap.
 

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I'm very curious about this bass sax.
Also, has anyone out there had a chance to try the Conn style Chinese bass? I keep hearing it's terrible, but sort of get the impression that that's people saying what other people said other people said... Myself, in theory, I'd prefer the long wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Allllrighty. I am now the official owner of a bass saxophone. It's quite beefy feeling, and I am dead afraid of ever dropping it since its own weight would just add to the damage!

Pictures first, then summary:

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So I first ordered the horn off of Alibaba on Jan 21st after a week or two back and forth with the contact from the company (Binzhou Xingyue Trading Co). I paid upfront (horn and shipping), but with Trade Assurance and other things it seemed like a relatively safe process. There are a couple times along the process you could request a refund if things we not going according to the agreement. For me my contact wrote up an invoice and you simply go from there.

They did offer a custom logo. My brother put something together for me and I just sent them a photo through our messages of it, and they showed whoever was responsible for doing the logo to get it approved. They said it was fine, so no extra work there after sending them that.

Originally it said the manufacturer had 55 days from purchase date to ship it. Now for me they requested a 15 day extension twice, which I accepted since I had no reason not to. I requested photos and a video before it shipped. I did get photos (already on this forum on earlier posts), but I believe they forgot the video, but I didn't mind.

When it came to shipping, this is where I got confused, yet it worked out.
Originally the company offered DAP shipping only. This is like the second best option you can get. The best case would be to your door, no paperwork required. DAP shipping (you can look up a better definition) was supposed to be shipping to customs, where I handle some extra fees and paperwork, and then it gets sent to my house.
HOWEVER, when it came time to ship, the company first printed a label which was not actually the horn and it had tracking, so I watched this item go from Shanghai to somewhere in Tennessee I think. After some conversation, this was apparently just a way to extend their production time as to not go over the time limit to ship the item (so advancing from shipping to the in transit stage). This is clever on their part but left me really confused for a few days until it made sense.

Soon after this, the horn was done, I saw the final photos and it shipped for real. The contact sent me a photo of the label so I could track it myself.
This is where shipping again took me for a loop.
The shipping ended up not being DAP, and it also wasn't slow. I really expected it to take 2 weeks to a month. Pretty sure this was UPS International Express. So this sucker was to my door in less than a week. No fees, no paperwork, nothing extra. This wasn't the shipping we discussed, but I will absolutely take it. Saves me probably another few hundred bucks that I would have to shell out to customs and any extra paperwork.

So in summary
Time-- Jan 21st to May 4th
Cost-- $2700 (Bass)
+ $835 (Shipping)
= $3535 (Total)

It's your standard Selmer style Bass. Comes in a wheeled case, with velcro straps on the inside to go over the horn when transporting it.
Has a compartment for the peg, and a smaller one where they included the gloves, rag, mouthpiece, ligature, one reed, and the neck.
Packing wasn't too shabby. Could have had a little more in the case itself to keep the peg from moving, but the case inside the box was well done enough for me.

Now for playing... I can't do that yet. I did a quick inspection and tried to use a leak light where I could reach. Lots of small small leaks that really make it impossible to play. I had a roommate hold down the high E for me so I could get some notes out, but it still needs to get fixed up. Besides the leaks the only other issue I saw was the octave key(s) don't interchange properly when going from the (low) upper octave to the (high) upper octave. Does not seem like it should be a hard fix either (I hope). I plan on taking it in this week to get it fixed up for me. I also might want to find a harness/neckstrap with more than one hook, since for some reason the one metal ring holding this massive then from my neck makes me think it will snap on me one day. As unlikely as that may be.
Cosmetically it looks great. So far I didn't spot any dents or scratches. It's got the logo on it, some engraving. Looks good.

Here's to hoping whoever I take it to does not have a hard bias/does not mind I'm bringing in a chinese horn!

Any other questions feel free to ask. Not done updating on this thing yet. It needs to be adjusted by a good tech, and then it needs me to learn how to play it decently enough so I can give more feedback. So far, I'm pretty satisfied.
 

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I think you are going to have a lot of fun with it. I played an International Woodwinds bass sax at Sam Ash in NYC about 2 years ago and it was a very impressive instrument in the way it played overall. I was on a business trip so I did not have any MPC with me and had to content myself with the one they had and which was the $20,- version of a mouthpiece but even with that, it was fun to play.

On the negative side was the weight compared to my Conn (long wrap) bass but on the positive side were the modern ergos. Plus, a short wrap bass fits into a normal car on the back seat, which the long wrap doesn't unless you wedge it in diagonally.

As to bass vs. bari, there is no comparison really a bass sax just fills the room with sound, no matter whether you play soft or hard.

One thing about those bass horns, though, you need to play them on a regular basis, just for maintaining your arm strength, otherwise you'll end up with cramps after 15 min of playing.

Your harness idea ... I'd rather go with something high quality, two hooks will not necessarily be better than one because one of them will always have slack. As always, maintenance and attention to wear will be a better and healthier choice.
 

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It's a shame about the leaks, but hopefully they're easily fixed. I can't spot any in my Tenor or Soprano, but then I don't have a dedicated leak light.

I'm assuming that rather than using a neck strap, you'll be hooking it on to something like this when you play?
104603
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I think you are going to have a lot of fun with it. I played an International Woodwinds bass sax at Sam Ash in NYC about 2 years ago and it was a very impressive instrument in the way it played overall. I was on a business trip so I did not have any MPC with me and had to content myself with the one they had and which was the $20,- version of a mouthpiece but even with that, it was fun to play.

On the negative side was the weight compared to my Conn (long wrap) bass but on the positive side were the modern ergos. Plus, a short wrap bass fits into a normal car on the back seat, which the long wrap doesn't unless you wedge it in diagonally.

As to bass vs. bari, there is no comparison really a bass sax just fills the room with sound, no matter whether you play soft or hard.

One thing about those bass horns, though, you need to play them on a regular basis, just for maintaining your arm strength, otherwise you'll end up with cramps after 15 min of playing.

Your harness idea ... I'd rather go with something high quality, two hooks will not necessarily be better than one because one of them will always have slack. As always, maintenance and attention to wear will be a better and healthier choice.
I am sure it will be fun! And yeah it better fit into my car otherwise I'm never getting a tech to look at it. Harness wise I do have a few options already here I'll try out later. The second hook for sure isn't necessary, there is just something in my brain making me think it's a good safety mechanism just in case 😂
 

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It's a shame about the leaks, but hopefully they're easily fixed. I can't spot any in my Tenor or Soprano, but then I don't have a dedicated leak light.

I'm assuming that rather than using a neck strap, you'll be hooking it on to something like this when you play?
View attachment 104603
Just get a good harness. I've played 4 hour bass sax gigs and 30some lbs aren't really that bad if you carry them on your shoulders instead of having them dangle from your neck. As long as your forearms don't give out you're going to be fine.
 
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