Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
(Also posted in The Breakfast Room forum)

Hi All,

This is a long shot, but I'd figured I'd ask on the off chance. I'm planning to go to Hanson's (Near Leeds) in the next week or two to test play some Tenor's including the ST-6 (Selmer Mk VI copy) and ST-8 (Selmer 80 Mk II copy).

Is there anyone more experienced than me that fancies trying some of these, with me? I can probably reimburse travel costs, etc. I just want to see if someone with more experience with other horns (especially with Tenor!) could give me the benefit of their experience, on build quality and tone/sound/intonation, etc.

If not, then it's not a problem, just wanted to take the belt and braces approach. I'm very flexible with regards to times and dates.

Cheers

Tony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hiya SearjeantSax,

Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm a little north of you, luckily the train goes direct from p'boro to leeds with only something like 1 or 2 stops. Otherwise it might be a complete nightmare for me too....

I owe it to myself to check them out, their customer base that I've spoken to is incredibly loyal and their warranty is second to none. If everything people say about them is true, at those prices I'd be mad not to check them out :)

If you change your mind though, let me know, I'm very much a newbie, with only a few months under my belt, so experienced ears and eyes would be awesome.

Cheers

T.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
I'm not up for the journey, i'm afraid, and anyhow i consider myself more of a webperson than a real person ;) but i've a suggestion. If you've no luck here, get someone in the shop (sales guy, another punter who looks like they know what they're doing) to try the saxes you try - if they're into saxophones they'll jump at the chance to be playing this kind of stuff and chatting about it. If you're really in the market for this kind of purchase the shop (which i believe to be a reputable one) should be bending over backwards to accomodate you.

[edit later: somehow i managed to get my wires crossed earlier about what kind of sax you were intending to try etc. LiAM84's comment, above, is actually quite relevant here. There may be much better options for you in terms of making a purchase. I don't actually know the Hanson saxes to be bad but i would advise a certain amout of caution. All the best and sorry to have caused confusion!]
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,487 Posts
Consultant, if you could go to Howarths in London i could meet you there to try some horns, it;'s easy for me to get to and just a train journey for you,
or we could find a half way music shop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Rooty: Thanks for that, I'll bear that in mind while I'm there..

Searjeant: Unfortunately, I really wanted to try a Hanson, the place I was proposing is the factory that assembles them, which is why the prices are great, it's the ST-6 I especially wanted to have played for me. If I go to Howarths, I'll have no problem finding a Horn I like and I'd never get as far as Hansons. I'd rather try them first, Howarth's second.

Cheers

Tony.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
LiAm84 said:
Don't get a Hanson - there just chinese horns imported in apparently!
He's right i'm afraid if perhaps a little over-negative. I wouldn't necessarily right them off completely but i admit i misunderstood your buying intentions earlier through reading too quickly. Sorry about that. You may have options other than these saxes but i'm guessing you've researched a bit so why not at least give them a try.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Don't let the Chinese bashers scare you off. There have been several threads here where well respected members have said very positive things about the value of some, by no means all, Chinese horns.
Sorry I can't make it to Leeds from Cleveland.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
saintsday said:
Don't let the Chinese bashers scare you off. There have been several threads here where well respected members have said very positive things about the value of some, by no means all, Chinese horns.
Sorry I can't make it to Leeds from Cleveland.:)
saintsday, I'm kinda new, but I've always had the opinion that if you want to be good at something, find others that are also good at what you want to do, and follow their lead.

There are a bunch of threads kicking around on here, covering Hanson saxes, one of the main reasons I decided to give them a look, because Pete Thomas rated them quite highly after playing them, and has recorded with one (and plans to try some more) I figured, since Pete seems to have made a reasonable living from playing the sax, he probably knows what he's talking about, and since I don't really know much at all, I figured I'd be a bit shallow to write them off as crap without ever trying them just because they were made somewhere other than Paris.

As I understand it, they are assembled in the UK, the bodies are made in germany and the keys are made in the far east.

Liam.... have you played one, if so then I'll gladly take your opinion into account, but you'll be the first person I've come across who has not recommended them after playing one, everyone I've spoken to so far that has played them rates them highly, especially on the value for money scale.

Hope this helps to clarify my reasons for not discounting them. I've not committed to buying one, but I have committed to giving them a shot, if for no other reason than if they are great, I'll have just gotten a quality Sax for 50% less than a named brand equivalent (bear in mind, I'm not gigging until I'm good enough to gig, so don't hold yer breath :D )

If I can find someone experienced to accompany me, then I'll have a bit of protection so as not to buy a dud. More importantly, if I can find someone with experience, I'll ask them if they can post to the thread with their thoughts on them.

Cheers

T.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Good for you, Consultant. Pete is exactly who I was thinking about.

If you cruise through here enough, you'll find someone to pan or praise just about any horn you can name. But I think your basic approach makes a lot of sense, especially in the UK where it seems all saxes cost a small fortune.

I personally can't imagine buying any new sax when there are so many great vintage and used horns available, but I have a great tech who charges me very fairly and that is a huge advantage.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
573 Posts
IMO, If you want a horn which is OK, or plays "good", and is Asian, that will be it, OK or good, but NEVER great or "charasmatic", they all tend to go out of tune very easy too, due to weak rods, posts, etc, they bend easily. If you are selling them to students then fine, but I would not waste time "trying them out" as that is what they are, good student horns for little money. Good Luck, BB-NY USA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,898 Posts
Consultant said:
.

Liam.... have you played one, if so then I'll gladly take your opinion into account, but you'll be the first person I've come across who has not recommended them after playing one, everyone I've spoken to so far that has played them rates them highly, especially on the value for money scale.
Hi Consultant. Yes, I have played a Hanson. One of my students went to the Hanson factory and bought a gold plated, top of the range Hanson baritone sax and I borrowed it when I needed a bottom A bari for some gigs.

What I thought about it was that it really didn't resonate like a baritone should. There was no spread to the sound at all, no 'singing' type quality, and I had to work very hard to project a big sound. It was also very heavy (even for a baritone) though this may be due to the so called gold plating which, didn't look at all like any of the gold plated saxophones I've seen in the past (i.e bob mintzer's).

On the plus side: It had a fantastic case with Wheels on it!!!!!!!!! Which is heaven for a baritone player!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
saintsday: I'd love a vintage horn, but I stand just as great a risk of buying a dud vintage if I have no assistance, I've seen so many horror stories of people buying old horns without experience, and finding they have a loose, leaky mess. Of course all of this goes out of the window if I get some help.

Liam: Fair enough, if you'd said that you'd played one I'd not have gone into my sermon. I've been told by the people who have Hansons to go to the factory and try *some* because it can be hit or miss, but I'm guessing it can with any horn?? I thought I'd seen a review of Ref 54's where someone had played a few and said that each had played differently, and one was in very bad need of tech right out of the box, I could be wrong.

As I said I'm not committed to buying one, but I do feel I should give them a fair shake, before I make my mind up.

Olhonker: I'm guessing you're not including Yanagsawa's or Yamaha's in with your sweeping Asian generalisation?? Nothing I'd like more as a student than a EX or Z series Yamaha :)

For what it's worth my final list of Tenors before I decided to look at the Hansons was:

Selmer Ref 54
Yani 992 Bronze or similar
Yamaha EX or Z

Reason I especially wanted to look at the Hanson is that the ST-6 is the result of Alistair (owner of Hansons) spending 3 years reverse engineering a 50's Mk VI... to be honest if I can get something close to a Mk VI for that money, it can't be bad.... obviously to know this I need to take someone that's actually owned or played a Mk VI

Now you guys really are inside my head :D

Regards

T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,898 Posts
I've also heard some dodgy stories about this Alistair Hanson fellow. But it was a while ago when someone told me (just when the new horns where coming out) and I can't remember the details exactly so I won't recount it. It was a reputable UK vintage saxophone specialist shop that told me so all I'll say is take this reverse engineering mark 6's buisness with a pich of salt!

It's a good idea getting a good player to come with you consultant. I had a quick go on a Yamaha EX and Z a couple of weeks back and was really impressed... blew really well and would probably hold there value alot better than less well known horns.

good luck!!!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
774 Posts
If you cannot substantiate these 'dodgy stories', Liam, I suggest it would be better not to mention them at all.

I received a scornful comment from "a reputable UK vintage saxophone specialist shop" when I said I have a Hanson, but when I asked if he'd played one he said "I don't NEED to!" and I just filed it in the 'ignorant prejudice' file!

My MKVI & 875EX owning teacher has played for over 50 years... he says he'd be quite happy to gig with my SA-5.

So there you have it...as the saying goes "....everybody's got one, but some stink more than others!" (Opinions, that is ;) )
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
rogerb40uk said:
If you cannot substantiate these 'dodgy stories', Liam, I suggest it would be better not to mention them at all.

I received a scornful comment from "a reputable UK vintage saxophone specialist shop" when I said I have a Hanson, but when I asked if he'd played one he said "I don't NEED to!" and I just filed it in the 'ignorant prejudice' file!
Good points, roger, especially re the "dodgy stories". These kind of "someone told me something a few years ago but maybe.." things are never good. Nevertheless, Liam is saying that he played a Hanson baritone and didn't like it. I agree certainly that there are some perfectly decent chinese horns out there but there are also certainly some dreadful ones. I must admit that I have yet to come across one that I found really excellent, but as build quality improves I think I may certainly see one soon. You may already have one. As for the vintage dealer's comment, he is just bringing himself into disrepute by rushing to ignorant judgement.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
774 Posts
LiAm84 said:
Thats me told! Sorry Old Timer...
You just couldn't resist a parting insult, could you?....How sad.

It's the sort of behaviour which, IMO, degrades even further the credibility of your posts.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
I may be totally off beam here, roger, but i think Liam may have been accepting the validity of your criticism of the "dodgy stories" thing and then adding a bit of fairly good-natured teasing. But I've certainly been wrong about people's intentions a fair few times before. :)
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top