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I have been looking at purchasing a bass sax and have run across a few brands that I am unfamiliar with. Does anyone have any experience or opinions on these brands? Any experience with ordering from any of these companies? Thanks!

-Bass Saxaphone by Hengshui Xinxing Musical Instrument Company with a price of $4.038.24.
-Bass Sax by Tide International Company with a price of $2,000.
-Bass Saxaphone (HSL-6001) by Hengshui Newstar Musical Instrument Shop with a price of $3,546.32.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Well....a brand, new, half-decent Baritone goes for around $3500. Not professional-quality, just respectable...decent sounding...and pretty well-built.

So....companies producing Bass Saxes for $2000-4000.....should tell you something, really.

It would be interesting to see if there is any discernable difference between the $2000 one and the $4000 ones.

But the only way to do that would be to buy both. In which case, you could buy a really good one instead.
 

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I doubt that many people would be “ familiar” with most names of Chinese musical instruments companies.

The great majority of the Chinese companies offering any kind of instrument are not makers but trading companies and it is very difficult for anyone to know which is which. China is the country of “ agents” , virtually anyone can call himself an agent, offer products that they don’t make or often even own, yet, when you agree to buy them, pay in advance, then they buy it for you at their source and they sell it to you!

Anyway this doesn’t mean that the system is bad because the traders are most of the times good at communicating while, it has been my experience, that in many making companies even the export people have some serious problems to make themselves understood.

In fact, if you wan to have contacts with the majority of the companies most of the times they will answer you a couple of days after (unless they send you a standard answer that they have ready) because your email will be read by several people and interpreted and then given an answer which might or might not be intelligible. Ah the joys of international trade! :)

Anyway, I digress.

There are basically two models of bass saxophones made by the few Chinese companies that really make them (the others sell them, they will never tell you the truth, so if you ask, they all make them, in reality not many do!) one is a Conn inspired model and the other is a Selmer inspired model.


Both have been played at Frankfurt by for example Pete Thomas and Stephen Howard ( perhaps you can find some accounts of their visits with some comments on the bass saxophones).

I have briefly had a go too........they both seemed rather prone to possible mechanical problems.


Anyway, buying a Chinese bass is a lottery! First because you don’t really know what you are really buying and (Really) from whom, secondly because one doesn’t know how the bass will hold up.

In my view it is a very risky business and I would only do it if I could try before buying and get a guarantee from a local business who will want to fix the horn when thing will go wrong (and they will).

There are alternatives like Brazilian bass saxophones or vintage European or American ones but all cost more.
 

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I have tried a few new bass saxophones including a couple of Chinese ones. I own an old Buescher Truetone, but if I was to buy a new one, i would get the JBBS-120L from Tianjin Jinbao.

I don't know the current prices, their website seems a bit random, they used to have prices but now I think you need to contact Ms Lucy Liu.

I have a video of me Playtesting one at the 2012 Musikmesse which i will get around to putting up on Youtube some time.

View attachment 43081
 

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HEY!! Thats me in the middle video with my 1924 Buescher Junk Yard rescue!!
 

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Remember that old adage, "You get what you pay for". That has never been truer than in the world of bass saxophones. JayePDX has already mentioned that you can't get a good quality bari at the price that the basses you mention are listed at. How true it is.

When it comes to Asian-made bass saxophones, there are 2 manufacturers, and they are responsible for all the stencils we see in the market. Jinyin makes all the vintage American-style horns, and Jinbao makes the Selmer-style ones. Pete Thomas mentions the Jinbao horn he played in Germany, and even provides a link to his video demo for you. Of the 2 brands of Asian-stencil makers, these (the Jinbao horns) are by far and away reputed to be the best when it comes to build quality, intonation, playability, etc.

I've written extensively about these Asian-made bass saxophones on my site. You can find info both on my website, and a series of articles on my blog.

Hope this helps clarify things a bit for you.
 

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I took the middle video down because it wasn’t a Chinese Bass Sax :)
 

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I can't speak to Lopes' new, built from the ground up, horns like the Windmaster, but their extensions of existing horns are not particularly well done. The low G Buescher bass I play-tested in Seattle could at best be kindly be called a Frankenhorn. There's a 5 part series on the horn--with the last part being about the Lopes company--on my blog if anyone is interested.

I don't know if the UK music store that ended up with it ever managed to get rid of it or not. Last I heard they were thinking of keeping it as a widow display, or maybe turning it back into a low Bb horn, in an effort to at least recoup part of their money.

Yes Milandro, you're quite correct, there is at least one, but quite possibly more, extended horn builders in South America. I recently had a fellow stop by my site who unfortunately didn't write English, but uploaded about 30 different saxophone photos (this is the first, scroll up the page from there, and then onto the next for the rest of the pics) from a number of different manufacturers. It appeared to me as if some of them were from another South American manufacturer besides Lopes or J'Elle Stainer, but since I can't read the language of the various sites he links to, I can't be sure which are just distributors, and which might be makers.
 

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yes, the bass saxophone has quite a following in Brazil and if they would improve the quality of the mechanics here is no reason why they would be more popular. However there is an enormous difference in terms of mechanics between the brazilian saxophones and the German Eppelsheim creations.
 

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actually, Rampone & Cazzani hasn’t made a Bass saxophone for many many years (the last they have ever made one was surely not after the ’30) but I have heard from Claudio Zolla (the son of the owner and public relation man of the company) whom I am friendly with, that they were thinking of producing a bass and even a contrabass (following Orsi’s curved sopranino, bass and contrabass saxophones demise) in the next couple of years. But they are absolutely not there yet!

their range is from Baritone to sopranino

http://www.ramponecazzani.com/eng/r1.html
 

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if you look at their site http://www.orsi-wind-instruments.it/ you'll see that curved sopranino,bass and contrabass saxophones are no longer mentioned and I know for a fact that they were trying to sell their tooling (as far as I know unsuccessfully) for the bass and the contrabass.

So, unless someone (whom I am not aware of) has bought the tooling, curved sopranino, bass and contrabass made by Orsi are a thing of the past.

The other saxophones that they do appear to sell don’t look like they are made by them...........but I am not sure about that, they might be instruments that they simply retail...........unless they underwent a dramatic, expensive and sudden re-tooling which would be of an incredible magnitude for any company in the world.
 
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