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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am completely new to playing tenor saxophone. I am just about to order me a saxophone from Woodwind & Brasswind company, their WWTS black nickel Tenor Saxophone and it does not ship with a mouthpiece. I was looking at the Otto Link HR 5 mouthpiece (accompanied with Rico select jazz unfiled reeds Str.3M) My question is, should I get the 5 opening or a 4, or maybe as high as a 6*? I am looking for a semi dark jazz feel for my tone. I have a history of playing trumpet so airflow though an instrument is not so much a problem for me (I don’t know if that last sentence even applies though because a saxophone is a completely different instrument) Thank you for your time.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Hi Prop3r, welcome to the forum. I am kind of new here too. Just about any horn, or piece of gear you could want has been reviewed somewhere on here.

I am sure the mouthpiece ( OL HR 4,5, or 6) will be fine, but it would probably better to have a stock mouthpiece to start out with. Then you could go on a hunt for what gets you closer to the sound you want when you get some chops and a better feel for your horn.

I am curious why the WWTS as your first horn? You can look around on here and see that they get fair reviews, but are overpriced new. They do have a used on listed for $539. That would seem fair. For the 1699 they are listed at new (or less), you can get (among many, many others) a fine used Cannonball, a TK Melody (maybe new), Maxtone (also new), Phil Barone...all of these horns get good reviews from great players on here, and all come with a mouthpiece. You can also get any number of quality vintage horns in that price, though they may not be as beginner friendly.

I know a lot of people will probably say not to start out on a "pro level" horn, but if you really want to play, why spend 1699 on a beginner's horn when you can get a nice (and really good) horn for the same or less?
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Prop3r: I tried to send you a private message, but your profile doesn't receive them. You should go in your settings and allow them. Send me a pm, or email me at [email protected]
 

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I sent you an email and friended you, IDK why I cant PM either, I dont exactly know how to fix that in my account settings yet. (Edit) I think my acc needs to be approved by an administrator before I can PM
 

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I agree with swperry. Look around and get yourself a better horn. One that comes with either a really good stock mouthpiece or a really good custom mouthpiece. swperry mentioned a Phil Barone horn. I just got one of those and his Alto horn is solid. No real experience with the tenor though, but I've yet to read a bad review on it. I do know this though, like with the Alto, you'll get one of the $200+ Phil Barone Custom New York mpc's in the box. Go check the site out! Good luck!

http://www.philbarone.com/saxophones/index.html

Jr.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry lol I forgot to mention my price range. I have a total of about $800 to spend on a whole set up. I was looking at WWTS because it is $600 new.
 

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Oh sorry prop, I thought I saw 1699 somewhere up top!
 

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Respectfully...I wouldn't do that.

A complete beginner doesn't wanna wrestle with a tip opening between .085-.095". Most people would be handicapping themselves by doing that....it would cause frustration in getting the notes to speak up and down. Yes, this is a generalization, but I think it is one I have seen here plenty of times before, which has merit.

You want a m'piece which is gonna be very easy-blowing and responsive for someone who has yet to particularly develop embouchure.....I don't think and of the Links you have noted fit that bill.

I have a Q, Prop. You have chosen a pretty cheap horn, yet a relatively expensive mouthpiece. How did you come to that ?
Because, I would think one should just buy a reputed, solid, easy-speaking beginner m'piece such as a Yamaha 4C or 5C or a Brilhart Ebolin 3 or 4. The tips are more closed (but not ridiculously so) and they will narrow the tone of the horn compared to a .095 tip...but....for the first year or so, that doesn't trump being able to blow the horn up and down with relative ease and comfort.

Save yourself $50-75.... so you can buy a whole mess o' reeds or a nice neckstrap.....

You have made a decision to buy new, so we will go with that and not digress the thread into other options. It's a reasonable decision, one which most folks tend towards.

I would first suggest you take a peek at Steve Howard's website sax reviews. Spend a half hour looking around. You can also contact him on this Forum. I'll get you started with THIS page:

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Ultra_Cheap_horns.htm

Steve's a good guy, very approachable should you wanna ask him some Q's. Oftentimes, I don't particularly agree with some of what he says or concludes, particularly on the arguable merits of budget modern horns...BUT...kudos to him for testing the horns and publishing his impressions.

He is doing the sax community a service by giving the horns he reviews thorough and complete testing both in playability and construction, to help folks separate the relative quality of a new instrument.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I don't have experience with the Rico Graftonite we talked about in email, but that is inexpensive ($16 on WWBW and in stock) and gets fair reviews. Looks like the B5 is a good jumping off point...Middle of the road and easy to blow.
 

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Oh, gaaaaaaaawd...stay away from those.

They are just plain weird. Hella cheap, yes...but as many folks struggle with 'em as love 'em.........

I tried one when I started and hated it...it sounded horrible and blew horribly. Folks just suggested I put it aside and come back to it later. 6 months later, I pulled it out again. It sounded horrible and blew with difficulty. 3 months after that....one more time. It sounded like nails on a blackboard and required a lotta work to blow up and down.

"Jumping off point". That's ironically apt. I should have taken it on a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge on a windy day ....and just sat it on the guard railing.....

But then I realized that I wouldn't wanna do something horrible to some poor fish.

Instead....I gladly threw it in for free with a horn I sold over the past summer. They are true DAWGS......A Yammy is 10x better and only a few dollar$ more.
 

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Don't know every much about mpc's in tenorland, but I got some very solid advice from the elders in here when I was trying to get my alto mpc situation all sorted out. My parents bought me a Phil Barone Vintage Alto basically for Xmas, and the mpc that Mr. Barone put in the box was just way too advanced for me. On top of that, I was determined not to carry over to the new horn with the Yamaha 4C and 5C I had been using since the 5th grade. Most of these guys took their time and patience and led me down the Meyer and Vandoren path. I'm still saving up to do the Vandoren Optimum, but I got the Meyer 5M almost a month ago, and I haven't looked back. Big smiles! Bottom line, if you're just learning this stuff, listen to most of these guys and save yourself a lot of time discovering stuff that's already been discovered. The link JayeSF put up for you really is a great read!

Jr.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you Jay for the insight! To answer your question earlier about why get an expensive mouthpiece, is because I keep hearing people tell me that its the mouthpiece that produces the tone, so I figured having a really nice mouthpiece with a semi decent horn would produce a decent sound. But since you have suggested the yammy mouthpiece and since the rico and the yammy are both really cheap (in price) I think I will just get both and make the decision for what one is easier to blow for myself :). Also thank you for a link to that website. I looked around quite extensively and found that article about cheap horns useful. I looked at the reviews of most of the horns he tested also, unfortunately they are all over my budget. I mean the max I can go with for a new set up is $800. I was also looking at saxophone.com. They have one that is $800 and I have heard nothing but good reviews about them. It also comes with everything I would need to start playing and I wouldn’t have to go through the headache of picking out mouthpieces, reed, etc :p.
 
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