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Discussion Starter #1
I can get the LC for 5k after tax and the Mauriat is 6k pre tax. I've heard nothing but praise for both saxes.

Help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 

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I have a Lien Cheng curved sop....very well made, in tune, solid feel....if the bari is made the same way, it's a very good horn....
 

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I've played a couple of the Mauriat baris on a few different occasions. They're nice horns and probably on par with many of the other baris from Taiwan. However, I wouldn't pay those prices for either of those horns. If you really want a Taiwanese bari I'd get a Barone. It will likely be as good or better than either of these and only run you $3500. If you're going to buy the LC or Mauriat at those prices you'd better like it because you'll only get 50% of that on the used market if you change your mind. If you don't mind spending $5k-$6k I'd get a Yanagisawa 901, 902, or 991 which you can get from Matthew's Music for $5000 - $6500. IMO these will be better horns and hold their value better as well.
 

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In my opinion the Mauriat is one of the better Taiwan horns made. I suspect Lien Cheng is right up there. I personally think the Barone is a second tier in comparison to some of the other Taiwan makes. Between the two I'd get the Lien Cheng for the savings.
 

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I’ve played both and prefer the LC, it seemed a little better put together.

If you want a Taiwanese horn, take a look at the review thread I wrote about the recent Music China exhibition. There are links to most of the Taiwan factories in it and most will sell you a horn factory direct at wholesale or below retail prices.
 

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In my opinion the Mauriat is one of the better Taiwan horns made. I suspect Lien Cheng is right up there. I personally think the Barone is a second tier in comparison to some of the other Taiwan makes. Between the two I'd get the Lien Cheng for the savings.
I won't argue that all the horns coming out of East Asia are the same because I've played several that I didn't care for. However, for many years, until recently, I owned two Mauriats and two Barones. I compared my Mauriat Sys-76 to my Barone Classic tenor for hours and could find little difference between the two. I traded the Sys-76 for a Tenor Madness Custom tenor about a year ago mostly because the Mauriat was worth $1000 more based upon the brand so it was worth more in trade. Likewise, I've compared my Barone bari to Mauriat baris and came to the same conclusion. I see a lot of difference in the advertising, branding, distribution, and overall business model between the two but not all that much difference between the horns themselves.

The LC may be a better horn. I don't know because I've never played one though I'd trust dlrsax at this point since he has compared many of these brands head-to-head. The issue with LC is there is virtually no place to go and try one of these horns in the US and $5k is a lot of money to pay for a horn you can't play test before buying.

I might look at this Mauriat if I were you- http://www.tenormadness.com/product_detail.php?product_id=1797
Also I found a great deal via eBay an a YBS-52 and absolutely love it. Something else to consider.
This is a great deal on solid playing bari set-up by a master tech. This is the kind of deal on a lightly used horn that makes sense to me if you are going to buy a Taiwanese bari. Of course if you are patient and not too picky you can usually find a good deal on something lightly used.
 

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I have owned an LC alto, a Mauriat 66rul tenor, and I still own a Barone Bari. I thought that the quality of the all three is similar which is overall very good but there were small issues with each. The LC needed to have bow soldered to the body because the bell to body brace had some play in it and the bell notes kept leaking because the bell would shift slightly in relation to the body over time. Everyone who played it was impressed with the keywork which was crisp under the hands. The tone I did not love, but that may have been this one particular example as I have never played another LC. It was a very dry tone and it lacked some of the sparkle of altos that really grab me so I sold it. The Mauriat tenor I owned for some time. I loved the low end response but I always felt like the tone lacked some color above G2. It just was not as rich sounding as some other horns. I also felt that the keywork was a little clunky compared to my Yanagisawa. My Barone bari has a huge tone and is very responsive. I have had others try it and all are impressed with the tone. The keywork feels nice under the hands. I bought it 5 years ago new for $3000 which is a steal. The only issue I have had is that one foot on one of the guards for one of the bell not key cups has come unsoldered. I have played Yani and Yamaha baris, both of which have a little snappier keywork but do not have as much character to the sound as the Barone. All in all, I am happy with the Barone, especially when price is considered. I play bari rarely but when I do I am never disappointed.

I have played Eastman, Mauriat, and Cannonball horns that I have liked and ones that I have not. I would not hesitate to buy a horn from Taiwan if I played it and it moved me.
 

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I won't argue that all the horns coming out of East Asia are the same because I've played several that I didn't care for. However, for many years, until recently, I owned two Mauriats and two Barones. I compared my Mauriat Sys-76 to my Barone Classic tenor for hours and could find little difference between the two. I traded the Sys-76 for a Tenor Madness Custom tenor about a year ago mostly because the Mauriat was worth $1000 more based upon the brand so it was worth more in trade. Likewise, I've compared my Barone bari to Mauriat baris and came to the same conclusion. I see a lot of difference in the advertising, branding, distribution, and overall business model between the two but not all that much difference between the horns themselves.

The LC may be a better horn. I don't know because I've never played one though I'd trust dlrsax at this point since he has compared many of these brands head-to-head. The issue with LC is there is virtually no place to go and try one of these horns in the US and $5k is a lot of money to pay for a horn you can't play test before buying.



This is a great deal on solid playing bari set-up by a master tech. This is the kind of deal on a lightly used horn that makes sense to me if you are going to buy a Taiwanese bari. Of course if you are patient and not too picky you can usually find a good deal on something lightly used.
I don't know anything about the PM sys76. However the PM66r and the Tenor Madness horn are the same horn. All these Taiwan horns are remarkably similar IMO. I would never pay 5k for a Taiwan bari. If you buy any new horn you are going to loose alot of money the second you buy it. Just like buying a new car.
 

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There may be similarities but Taiwanese horns have much variation. I compared a Cannonball bari to my Barone and it was very different. They layout of the posts and rods were different, the Cannonball was heavier, and it sounded different. They just did not seem like the same horn at all. My Mauriat 66rul did not sound or feel like the Cannonball vintage or big bell horns I have tried.

I do not know where the original poster is from but the Nayy Band Sax Symposium held in January at George Mason in Norther Virginia is a great place to try saxes. The usually have several baris to try. There is a Cannonball dealer and a Mauriat dealer who attend every year. Eastman had its own table a few years ago. The only way to really get a feel for the differences is to try several head to head.
 

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I don't know anything about the PM sys76. However the PM66r and the Tenor Madness horn are the same horn. All these Taiwan horns are remarkably similar IMO. I would never pay 5k for a Taiwan bari. If you buy any new horn you are going to loose alot of money the second you buy it. Just like buying a new car.
I'll agree these two horns are similar to a degree. I've played the 66R many many times and I played both side-by-side at Sax Alley before I bought the TM. Supposedly the body tubes are the same, at least that's what I've been told, though Randy and his crew make some changes to the palm key tone holes to improve response and intonation. The response and feel of the keywork is significantly different as is the sound which may be in some part due to the necks. If I had you play for a couple of minutes on the Barone and Sys 76 and then came back a 1/2 hour later, blind-folded you and handed them back to you- you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart or tell me which was which consistently. Given the same test, you'd be able to tell the TM from the 66R every time.

I agree with the rest of what you're saying 100%. In many ways lots of these horns are similar and it really comes down to the details. I bought the Mauriat Sys-76 used and got a really good trade on it so I actually made money. Without that I never would have paid the difference for the TM. I really like the TM. Randy and his crew have spent a lot of time figuring out what the best body to start with is coming out of Taiwan and what needs to be done to correct for the issues many of these horns have, and then spending 20+ hours of bench time doing it. That being said, I also realize I'd better like the horn a lot because if I decide to sell it used I'd take a beating. For me, this is at least an educated risk because I spent several hours playing the TM over 3 separate visits to the shop.

At the end of the day I'm just suggesting folks go in with their eyes open is all, as at those prices, there's lots of room for this to become a very costly mistake.
 

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I don't know anything about the PM sys76. However the PM66r and the Tenor Madness horn are the same horn. All these Taiwan horns are remarkably similar IMO. I would never pay 5k for a Taiwan bari. If you buy any new horn you are going to loose alot of money the second you buy it. Just like buying a new car.
The PM66R and TM Custom are actually not the same horn. The TM Custom did start out based off of a P. Mariaut body tube years ago, but has since been refined to our specific specs. We have different sized tone holes at different parts of the instrument and the necks are INCREDIBLY different. On the rolled tone hole model TM custom three of our tone holes are beveled and not rolled and three are straight. We also offer a completely straight tone hole instruments, which is much different than the 66R. Soon we will even have some heavy bell straight tone hole models, which are incredibly cool.

We hand assemble the TM Custom here in the shop, solder the bell to body tube, level all the tone holes, seat all the pads and voice each neck to each horn individually. No other manufacturer of modern horns in production today, that we know of, solder the bells. There is A LOT that goes into these instruments and we truly love them. All of these modifications have happened over time though and we are still working on them! There are similarities for sure in the bore of the body tube, but that's about all.
 

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We hand assemble the TM Custom here in the shop, solder the bell to body tube, level all the tone holes, seat all the pads and voice each neck to each horn individually. No other manufacturer of modern horns in production today, that we know of, solder the bells.
TenorMadness has a great touch for setting up horns for optimum performance. I had a great playing Selmer Ref 36 years ago, that I sent for a setup - including soldering the bow to the body, and it came back a monster player. Matt Stohrer similarly soldered the bow to body connection of the first Borgani Jubilee that he overhauled for me. FWIW, at least some of the current production Borgani Jubilee tenors (my silver pearl OBT included) come with a soldered connection.

I heard that Randy Jones collaborated with Borgani several years ago regarding some improvements on their mechanism. I wonder whether he similarly influenced their decision to add the option of soldering the bow to the body.
 

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The PM66R and TM Custom are actually not the same horn. The TM Custom did start out based off of a P. Mariaut body tube years ago, but has since been refined to our specific specs. We have different sized tone holes at different parts of the instrument and the necks are INCREDIBLY different. On the rolled tone hole model TM custom three of our tone holes are beveled and not rolled and three are straight. We also offer a completely straight tone hole instruments, which is much different than the 66R. Soon we will even have some heavy bell straight tone hole models, which are incredibly cool.

We hand assemble the TM Custom here in the shop, solder the bell to body tube, level all the tone holes, seat all the pads and voice each neck to each horn individually. No other manufacturer of modern horns in production today, that we know of, solder the bells. There is A LOT that goes into these instruments and we truly love them. All of these modifications have happened over time though and we are still working on them! There are similarities for sure in the bore of the body tube, but that's about all.
Same factory. There appear to be more similarities than differences. Set up is important. More attention to detail than the PM. However I believe that PM probably level their tone holes and seat their pads. Cannon ball was the first to claim to tune the neck to the body. I have a Cadeson 902. It is the same horn as the PM66r but with a fancy finish. I have a TM custom neck here as well. I don't find them incredibly different. I have no doubt that the TM is a great horn. I think the PM66r is a great horn and the TM can only be better with the attention to detail and modifications stated. However to claim there is only similarities in the bore of the body tube is a stretch IMO.

In either case buying the TM or buying the PM66r new you will loose about $1500 the second you buy it, if you resell. If you have decided that you want to play that horn for the next 10 years than not such a consideration. You like new or you can like almost new for a lot less. However a used TM does not come up that often. Yet they do come up. One sold on this forum for 2500 recently and one was on ebay at 3k recently.
I am using tenors as an example to speak to the OP's situation because I think it applies to bari as well. I just know the tenor market well as I buy them the most. So if a used TM is worth about 3k what other horns could you get USED for the same money.
Yamaha 82z, 62 of any series, 875, 875EX, Yani 991, 990, 880, 992, Keilwerth sx90, sx90r, Selmer Mk7, SA80 1 and 11, almost any vintage american horn, and any Taiwan horn made.
 

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TenorMadness has a great touch for setting up horns for optimum performance. I had a great playing Selmer Ref 36 years ago, that I sent for a setup - including soldering the bow to the body, and it came back a monster player. Matt Stohrer similarly soldered the bow to body connection of the first Borgani Jubilee that he overhauled for me. FWIW, at least some of the current production Borgani Jubilee tenors (my silver pearl OBT included) come with a soldered connection.

I heard that Randy Jones collaborated with Borgani several years ago regarding some improvements on their mechanism. I wonder whether he similarly influenced their decision to add the option of soldering the bow to the body.
Good point DrG ... You are right, Borgani does solder their bells, I talked to Randy. Also, Ishimori solders their bells too. But that's it. No "major" manufacturer does.

On a side note, I hope one day you can come out here and visit and play the new model TM Customs! I know from your horn preference that you would dig the direction we are going:)

Best wishes.
 

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Same factory. There appear to be more similarities than differences. Set up is important. More attention to detail than the PM. However I believe that PM probably level their tone holes and seat their pads. Cannon ball was the first to claim to tune the neck to the body. I have a Cadeson 902. It is the same horn as the PM66r but with a fancy finish. I have a TM custom neck here as well. I don't find them incredibly different. I have no doubt that the TM is a great horn. I think the PM66r is a great horn and the TM can only be better with the attention to detail and modifications stated. However to claim there is only similarities in the bore of the body tube is a stretch IMO.
I just want to make a couple notes about this ... Also, we'd love to have you come to the shop sometime and try some new stuff!! We have a lot of fun:)

Differences in the PM 66R & TM Custom (Based off of our current model! Yes, 8 or 9 years ago it was based on a PM 66R and very close to it. We owe a lot to PM, but now the models are VERY different) Also, these notes are straight from Randy, not me.

- The bore of the PM 66R and the TM Custom is different (I thought they were the same, but Randy has informed me that due to the changes he has made over the years the bores are NOW different). My apologies for not asking him first.

- The neck is a different bore and brass wall thickness.

- 5 of our tone holes on a high F# are NOT rolled, 4 tone holes on a non F# are straight. 3 - 5 tone holes are beveled and not rolled.

- The octave vent bores are completely different on the body tube and neck.

- Soldered bell to body tube

- Completely different key work now and pearls.

- Removable chromatic F# key guard

- Completely different adjustment material including cork, felts etc...

- We voice each neck to each horn and then hand lap the tenon / receiver fit.

- Change the angle and remove tension on the bell to body brace.

- SOME models have the same bell and bow as the PM 66R, but our heavy bell model is completely different

- Due to the differences in the instruments they now have to draw our body tubes up completely separately. They will only do this ONCE a year for us. So we order what we want in the beginning of the year and they then draw it up. They have worked with us closely and very well to refine these differences and we are very appreciative.

Final Note****

There really are almost no similarities with PM66R any more and while we greatly respect the P. Mauriat horns we are very proud of this. In fact, our horn has much more in common with the Ishimori instrument than the PM66R.

There is a LOT of mystique / lore / false information about the production of horns in Taiwan for some reason. We have an employee that lives there half the year and here half the year that represents us and I'll be traveling there next year to work with the model and more changes / specs.

We welcome anyone to the shop to play these and other horns! Also, feel free to e-mail or call and talk with me or Randy as we love this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the help guys. I didn't realize it at the time, but my dad went ahead and ordered the LC. I'll comment how it plays when it gets here.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok so....
Got the sax monday/tuesday

And wow, it looks beautiful!
It plays very well too, with good response and a punchy lower end. I can single and double tongue much better on this horn too, compared to my old beat up SA80.

I've gotten lots of compliments on its look and sound so far and am very pleased with the purchase.

The only downside is that there is an octave hiss/buzz on some of the high notes but I'm going to try the pantyhose fix.
 
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