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I am looking to get a sax for my nephew. He has been playing for 1 year. I know beginner saxes are getting made in different places and my knowledge is outdated. What are the best saxes these days? I used to think yamaha student were great starters, but some people debate this now. Am I better to be looking second hand? If I do, what is the best bang for my buck?
 

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One of the best bangs for the buck today is a new Orpheo Signature Copper plated alto or tenor off of ebay. $899 each. One should keep him happy for a long time. If you have more money you can always go with a Yamaha or Yanagisawa new or used. Basically, Your nephew will sound the same on any of them......
 

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The Cannonball Alcazar model is also an exceptional saxophone for students. At around $1200 it costs less than the YAS 23 new and has many more features found on professional model saxophones. Cannonballs are only available through local dealers in your area.
 

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I used to think yamaha student were great starters, but some people debate this now.
No, not really. Just don't buy them new, as they're incredibly overpriced for what they are. Used ones can go for $500 or less; and even in playing condition.
 

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A used Yamaha would be my vote (eg. YTS or YAS 23). Good horn for the money and it retains it's value should he decide to move up or quit. Easy to find, so plenty of choices regarding condition.
 

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Used Yamaha. I bought one for my oldest daughter for 400. She quite a year later and I sold it for 400. 4 months later my second daughter wanted to play sax. Bought another used one for 400. If she quits I'll sell it for 400. Being able to have both my daughters try the sax for a year or two without spending any money...............Priceless!
 

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The Bauhaus Walstein Deluxe (Action Improved).

www.justsaxes.com & www.russbecker.com both sale these in the U.S.

Just Saxes' price is higher on the BW b/c they go through a rigorous set-up by Palo Tung (owner & expert sax tech.)

Palo's Crescent line of saxes is also a highly-affordable & viable option. He designed these working with a factory in China. They are built to his exacting spec & are even gold-plated, not lacquered.
 

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In addition to the arguments to being frugal and buying a sax as cheaply as you can, there are also some sound arguments for purchasing a new saxophone at your local music dealer.

- You know you are getting a new factory fresh instrument with new pads and perfect cosmetics.
- You can go to the store and play many different saxes in the same brand and model or in different brands and models to compare.
- You develop pride of ownership of something new and take care of the sax accordingly.
- Most stores have the repair shop go completely through the sax before it is sold to be sure it is in perfect adjustment.
- Most stores offer a payment plan to make monthly payments instead of paying a lump sum.
- Most stores offer a 1 year warranty that covers most things outside of careless handling and abuse.
- You are supporting your local economy, and in many cases your local music programs by buying locally.
 

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There are many Taiwanese brands that I would recommend at the moment (though some are getting overpriced). I like the new LA Sax Big Lip series too.
 

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There are many Taiwanese brands that I would recommend at the moment (though some are getting overpriced). I like the new LA Sax Big Lip series too.
I think they should have called them "the Fat Lip" series.
 

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Thanks for all the knowledge, I'd never heard of some of these brands. I remember hearing that LA Sax was terrible in the '90s. I figured they must have improved lately. So no probs with wear and tear.
 

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Thanks for all the knowledge, I'd never heard of some of these brands.
You have to be wary sometimes when you come to this site seeking purchasing advice. Lots of folks have brands they push or some other agenda. But since your nephew has only been at it for a year, I wouldn't go with a new horn. No matter what you buy new, it will lose half its value or more once you walk out of the store with it. As it's a gift, you might not be worried about resale value. But should that be a concern, as Nefertiti points out above, should the child quit music you can generally flip a quality used horn for what you paid for it.
 

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+1 for the Cannonball Alcazar. I have a beginner using one now. These are a super value compared to the most popular beginner model and a suprisingly nice instrument. I almost want one for myself just for fun.
 

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+1 for the Cannonball Alcazar. I have a beginner using one now. These are a super value compared to the most popular beginner model and a suprisingly nice instrument. I almost want one for myself just for fun.
I did just that!

I recently started doing volunteer woodwind clinics and sectional rehearsals in the local junior high schools. Not wanting to take my prized SBA alto into that type of environment, I purchased a new Alcazar as a back up alto to use. I would not hesitate to play it on a gig or in a recital since the tone and intonation are superb.

Some folks do everything on the cheap and insist that others do the same, but I personally enjoy being the first to play a new instrument where there is no question of how it was used or abused by its previous owner(s) or how much life is left in the pads and mechanisms before needing an overhaul. I recognize that some folks do need to be frugal depending upon their finances, but that certainly doesn't apply to everyone looking for an instrument. Making blanket statements such as everyone needs to buy a used instrument does a disservice IMO by not recognizing that others' values and priorities might be different than one's own.
 

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Well, I think the name is stupid, but the instruments are really decent for the price.
the name was though by Mr. Dennis Bamber and since he owns the company that is distributing these saxophones he know his customers.

The lip is of course the rim of the bell, in this case oversized, and he calls it like that.
 
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