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Looking to get a Bari Sax to use 20-30% of the time , would like the low A.....can't afford a Yamaha 61 or 62. Currently for my Tenor is Yamaha YTS61, and Alto is Yamaha YAS-62.

What are your thoughts and opinions of choosing a L.A.Sax ( not sure of model # or age), a brand new Kessler Solist, or a Allora Paris or a Berkeley BS509.?
 

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Bought my Solist new in '15 and its been great. Of course, I haven't tried any of the others on that list. All of them you named are made in Taiwan or China. One of the China companies also has a plant in Viet Nam. Generally the Taiwan horns are thought to be better than the Chinese but consider that Selmer and most other sax makers have saxes or at least parts made in China. Allora Paris is made there too except the neck piece which is made in France. The neck quality is important of course but mainly on tenor which has the longest neck and the only double-curved one. Alto and baritone necks don't usually make much difference as long as they are of the correct design and are in good condition.
LA Sax was a big name 20 years ago and the saxes generally are of good quality. I assume you're talking about a used one - for me it would depend on condition and price. LA Sax has a good rep for quality of construction and general quality, like intonation and tone - if I were looking for a bari and found one that looked new and had no damage, for about $1000 or less, I would grab it. When the price gets closer to $2000, I start thinking of the Kessler that's new and has a warranty. One of the best things about the Kessler is they run it through their shop before shipping it. This makes all the difference in the world compared to other Chinese horns that arrive needing work.
Finally, I assume you do not have a bari mouthpiece that you like. Kessler also has a deal where you pick a step-up mouthpiece at a discounted price with the new horn. It did take me several years to finally get to the mouthpiece that really turned this sax on, and of course it turned out to be an irreplaceable 1975 Brilhart Level Air. You should have less trouble because you haven't been playing bari so you should be able to bond with any reasonable mouthpiece that you get for it.
In my experience, all Chines and Taiwan saxes play flat so you have to push the mouthpiece way on the neck. This is certainly true with my Solist but once I get the global tuning set, overall intonation is good. I use a phone app for tuning called 'Sound Corset' which makes it convenient to tune anywhere and anytime.
Anyway, I know its rambling but I hope this helps you make a decision.
 

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Ideally I'd say a lightly used Yamaha YBS-52 or Yani B901 (or stencil) but that's easier said than done since everyone is looking for these. Of the group you've mentioned I'd also opt for the Solist on the strength of Kessler's service and setup as well as that (I believe) it is the only Yani copy in the group. Most of the horns coming out of China and Taiwan are Selmer Series II copies and for me the design of the Low A key, which moves down and to the right when pressed, is not optimal. The Yamaha and Yani design moves down and left bringing your left-hand pinky closer to the table keys making riffs that require manipulating combinations of Low As, Bs, Bbs, and C#s (typical of a lot of TOP charts) much easier. I own a Taiwanese made Phil Barone branded Low Bb bari that I really like but I haven't found the Low A baris made in Taiwan agree with me.
 

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The newest version of the LA Sax is made in Taiwan. I own two tenors and a soprano. The ones that I own the are the Big Lip and the Big Lip x. I don't think they have anything in common with the La sax of 20 years ago. One way to tell the difference is the engraving. The engraving on the newer ones is very fine. The engraving on my big lip x rivals most horns that I have. Its nearly as nice as my solid silver Yani engraving. The old ones had a pretty big Logo. I would choose a late model La sax over a Kessler.

I have a favorable view of the Allora. I think they Paris series is made in Vietnam. I haven't owned a bari, only a tenor. Where the tenors are concerned the Paris series and the Kessler were the same horn back in 2014. That may have changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for the advice and information.

I found some more about the LA Sax - it is the "950" model........The seller says that this model was mfg in the USA and is comparable to the yamaha 62 model.
 

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Thanks to all for the advice and information.

I found some more about the LA Sax - it is the "950" model........The seller says that this model was mfg in the USA and is comparable to the yamaha 62 model.
I don't know that LA Sax horns were ever made in the USA, perhaps "assembled". Could somebody please respond to that? What is the history?
 

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I agree. I don't think they were ever made in US. Its not an uncommon claim by folks that don't know and the company is US owned. I see similar claims made by people selling Cannonball.
 
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