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Discussion Starter #1
We bought a new MORENO beginner sax for my son to start learning upon. I have no experience with new saxophones as I began playing on a used 1954 Buescher Aristocrat (that I still have). It has been a long time since I last played but I and my son are unable to get the MORENO to produce low notes, pads don't seal well, etc. Before I throw in the towel on this horn, is it possible that it will play better after it is "broken in?" I can't afford to wait long, he will fall behind if we don't do something quickly. I can't even play it well and I played for 12 years up through college.

Personally, I think the MORENO is a piece of crap.

ANY advice on beginneing horns would be appreciated.
 

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It could well be a piece of crap (its not a brand I have heard of...cheap and chinese by any chance?), or it could just have a leak somewhere or need a simple adjustment.

Have to taken it to a tech to see what they can do to help?
 

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Never heard of it either. On the assumption that the Moreno is rubbish: Do you sound fine on your Buescher? Are you prepared to lend your son the Buescher to learn on? I'm presuming he'd have to take it to school so would need a good case plus some strongly worded instructions about not getting it damaged. What would Jesus do? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To Rootytootoot and Canadian: Yes it is a chinese knock off (it has a bamboo etching on the bell for pete's sake). As for my being able to play my Buescher, LOL, IF my Buescher were in playable condition, which it is not, I think I could still run the scales up and down a few times. Its been a while, but its just like riding a bike, right? LOL
 

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Fix the 'crat. It's a classic and should serve your son forever. Otherwise sell it to me :D .

I'm sure the Moreno would make some really nice wall art, stuff some silk flowers in the bell and voila!
 

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Just cos its chinese doesnt automatically make it a write off. Some recent chinese horns have been favourable reviewed. I had a chinese tenor that was OK for the little I paid for it. There are better horns of course....

Maybe it just needs a pad reseating, or a bit of adjusting done here and there. Worth letting a tech take a look before writing it off. It could be a $20 fix, rather than throwing $500 at a repad on the Buesher...you can save that for when hes got pretty good, and wont be embarased to have an old beat up looking horn (you know how kids can be) Besides...you dont really want to sent an Aristo to the school band room, that would be cruel and unusual punishment for it:)

If you are using the POS plastic mouthpiece that came in the box that might have something to do with problems with getting the low notes to speak too. I find it much easier to hit the Bb and C with some mouthpieces than I do with others. But if it hasnt been seen by a tech I'd do that first before starting to search (in vain) for the perfect mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reply Canadian... With regard to the low notes... I am talking anything in the lower octave, not just the lowest two or three notes. It just won't play much of anything.

As for the 'Crat being sent to the band room... I had no idea the quality of horn I had until just recently. My parents bought it for $40 from some friends who obviously didn't know what they had (neither did we). When I think about how badly I treated it, it makes me cringe. We did get it overhauled back in 1977 and it looked nice. The serial number is barely readable so I wonder whether it could go through another one.
 

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Soilmapper, You wouldn't HAVE to get the lacquer refinished, just get the pads, corks, felts, etc. done and leave the "scuffs and scrapes". Gives a horn character and charm.

Plus, tell your son that CHICKS DIG SCARS....

dv
 

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soilmapper said:
Thanks for the reply Canadian... With regard to the low notes... I am talking anything in the lower octave, not just the lowest two or three notes. It just won't play much of anything.
It gotta be leaking then, or an octave mechanism issue? Have someone look at it, it might be fixable pretty cheap.

The 'crat might be a nice horn, or could be with work, but at this stage thats opening pandoras box and would probably cost hundreds, and it will have a few ergonomic quirks that a modern Selmer copy shouldnt.

If I was looking at spending at least a few hundred on a horn for a beginner I would be looking at a newish lightly used Taiwan made horns like a Jupiter or Antigua Winds, and then have a tech give it the once over to ensure playability. If I had a little more I would maybe go for a Yamaha student horn, not cos its necessarily better, but because it will retain its value better when the time does come for an upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ClaudeMorris said:
Yes, look at the octave mechanism and compare to your Buesher. It is possible that the gap between the octave pad and the hole is not right.

Checked it, adjusted it a bit (not popping up enough for my taste). Changed very little. Thanks for the tip though. It has the octave key to the right of the thumb pad which does not lend itself to small hand playing (and my son had smaller hands than most). Why would anyone design a beginner horn like that??
 

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look for some leaks in the left hand stack keys. a small piece of rope light from the local hardware store will work as an inexpensive leak light.
 

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soilmapper said:
It has the octave key to the right of the thumb pad which does not lend itself to small hand playing (and my son had smaller hands than most). Why would anyone design a beginner horn like that??
Thats the standard positioning isnt it?


I'd be amazed if they had designed anything...they just copied a Selmer in all likelyhood.

Seems pointless to try and diagnose this yourself. For a nominal fee your friendly local tech should be able to spot whats wrong.
 
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