Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Are there any significant differences between the Antigua A500 versus the A520. I know the A520 is classified as a low-end "Pro" model and the A500 is an "Intermediate". But is there anything that makes the A520 (or A521), a far superior horn to the A500. The A500 looks like it would be a great student horn.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
For the difference in money you would pay on ebay, hold out for the 520. Its better made, probably with better pads and more care and attention to detail goes into making it. It also has ribbed construction, meaning the posts are attached to ribs that are attached to the body...this makes for much better allignment of the posts (and rods), and a more heavyweight construction.

Based on the info on the website there is no mention of a detachable bell on the 500 (and the picture is inconclusive) The bell on the 520 is removable, so if there is a dent in the body, its potentially much easier (and cheaper) to repair than the 500 if that one is soldered on.

The annealing of the body perhaps maybe also accounts in part for the very solid tone that my 520 gives...I havent played a 500, but many cheaper / student horns have a somewhat thin, uninvolving tone.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,269 Posts
Nolzman: I realize that "pro" vs. lower-line saxophones has been recently discussed, and defining each level is subjective at best. But I have a hard time coming to grips with the brand-name Antigua and "pro" being associated in a sentence.

And, this no slam on Antigua saxophones - I own one (a soprano 590LQ) and I've tested others. Yes, they play and can fill a lot of players' needs. But to me, a "pro" saxophone is not an inexpensive Taiwnese-made horn.

I'll defer to what Canadian said about the specific models in your question. I am not up to speed on the subtlties of Antigua altos. Should you choose to buy one, I hope it goes well for you. Dave Kessler is a good source for new Antiguas. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
Joined
·
3,310 Posts
Dave Dolson said:
And, this no slam on Antigua saxophones - I own one (a soprano 590LQ) and I've tested others. Yes, they play and can fill a lot of players' needs. But to me, a "pro" saxophone is not an inexpensive Taiwnese-made horn.
I recently got a B&S, and there is a distinct difference between it and the Antigua, the tone is slightly fuller, the keys fall more naturally under my fingers, The biggest difference is the quality of the adjustment screws and overall mechanism, the Allore can be set up "just so", whereas the 520 could was a case of "good enough"

To be honest I am not close enough to being a good enough player that the horn held me back, but things like respone sluring down steps through the octave are noticably better on the B&S, and the tone quality more even througout. It didnt bother me at all on the Antigua, but now I think, "Oh, that was easy" on the B&S. In short the tollerances and quality are that much finer on a true "pro" horn, but the differences on the Antigua are not such that they will significantly hold most players back, and we are talking a 500% difference in the cost for me to buy.

I have no doubt that more expensive Taiwanese brands like Cannonball and Mauriat are fully capable of the level of workmanship and quality of a true pro horn, but again, thats a different price level entirely, and perhaps the keyword in the quote above is "inexpensive". I think the Antiguas are excellent for the money they cost, especially on the used marker, but no, they are not top of the range big buck pro horns...if you want that, then you have to pay for it.

If you want a good quality modern horn for marching, or as a back up for rowdy gigs, or if you dont want to invest $1000+ in a true pro level horn for the level of playing you do, then you can do worse than an Antigua.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well... one key piece of information left off my original post, was that this sax will be used for 4 years of High School Marching Band. I bought another MUCH nicer sax for use at home, concerts, etc... Oh, and the A500 is really like new (no dents or scratches), less than 4 years old, and hardly used, and I paid less than $350 shipped to my door.

I also checked with Antigua (twice actually) and they said the it DOES have the detachable bell.

This is replacing a pretty beat up Selmer Bundy II, which I intend to sell for whatever I can get.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,269 Posts
An Antigua will work just fine for those purposes - and probably for any playing situation. I recently bought my 11-year old grandson a new alto from Dave Kessler's store in Las Vegas. I played a variety of inexpensive altos including Antigua, Kessler's own house-brand, a Yamaha 62, and a Unison 2000.

For the money and playability, I bought the Kessler Custom. However, the Antigua was competitive and any of those that I tried would have worked (for years). The saxophone players in my family love the KC.

The only point I was trying to make above was that as good as the latest inexpensive saxophones from Taiwan may be, they are not in a league with Selmer-Paris, Yanagisawa, Yamaha's hi-end, and JK.

From what I've played out there, neither are the Cannonballs and P. Mauriats, although they appear to be of higher quality than the various inexpensive models. But THAT is subjective and certainly open to argument.

I acknowledge that any well made saxophone these days (and most of the truly vintage saxophones) can be life-time players. It is just a matter of feel, response, build-quality, and cachet. And, I agree with what Canadian posted. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Dave.

Actually, in case you haven't read my thread in the B&S forum. I had to get him a "marching" instrument, because I also bought a one of the last B&S Chicago Jazz Series (Earthtone) from WWBW. That sax is beautiful and should be the one he keeps a lifetime. But, of course, that horn is for the home and concerts, NOT for marching. The B&S is going to be a Christmas present.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,269 Posts
You are welcome.

I have a B&S Medusa alto - very nice horn. I don't play it much, though. I prefer my Bueschers and Ref 54.

My oldest grandson has my Yanagisawa 880 alto (a gorgeous genuine pro horn) and he marched with it. The old saw that one can't march with a hi-end horn is much like many of the myths perpetuated among musicians.

The issue is risk, of course - some youngsters can maintain their equipment and others can't. If yours has difficulty in taking care of his things, then an inexpensive marching instrument is probably a wise buy. However . . . DAVE
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top