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Hi,

I'm currently in school for jazz saxophone, and I'm looking for a tenor sax that is reliable enough for me to use for professional work (used or new, doesn't matter to me as long as it's in good condition), but at the same time isn't too overly expensive... What's a reasonable amount of money that I should set aside for a horn like that?

Thanks
 

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Depends on what you're after, but whatever you do, buy it outright: don't finance your purchase.
 

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Exactly.

Generally the cheapest one can acquire a good, reliable Tenor (used) in good playing and physical condition is gonna be around $500. For a new one, IMHO you are looking at over $1200 although some people here may chime in with some boutique brands they favor for less than that, new.

These $500 used horns would be second-shelf models, what some folks might call 'student' horns but which a hecka lotta 'pro' folks use as their gigging horns.

You play a Yani Alto now, so perhaps the bottom-budget Tenors would not suit you well, however.

Heck, you can go up to $4-6g or so if you wanna :)....but generally, the next 'step up' from the $500 used variety puts you at about $850-ish...at which point you will be in the zone of a number of second-hand models which people consider to be 'professional' models (for whatever that moniker is worth).

Then at around $11-1200, used possibilities open up even more.

.....and so-on, and so-on.

You are a music student...so check out your local Craigslist and visit any shops you can get to to try some and start getting your toes wet in the market. Also, research a few brands which may interest you and see what they might have sold for, used, on eBay (using advanced search, completed listings feature there ~ just remember to check what the playing condition of the sold horn was).
 

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Exactly.

Generally the cheapest one can acquire a good, reliable Tenor (used) in good playing and physical condition is gonna be around $500. For a new one, IMHO you are looking at over $1200 although some people here may chime in with some boutique brands they favor for less than that, new.

These $500 used horns would be second-shelf models, what some folks might call 'student' horns but which a hecka lotta 'pro' folks use as their gigging horns.

You play a Yani Alto now, so perhaps the bottom-budget Tenors would not suit you well, however.

Heck, you can go up to $4-6g or so if you wanna :)....but generally, the next 'step up' from the $500 used variety puts you at about $850-ish...at which point you will be in the zone of a number of second-hand models which people consider to be 'professional' models (for whatever that moniker is worth).

Then at around $11-1200, used possibilities open up even more.

.....and so-on, and so-on.

You are a music student...so check out your local Craigslist and visit any shops you can get to to try some and start getting your toes wet in the market. Also, research a few brands which may interest you and see what they might have sold for, used, on eBay (using advanced search, completed listings feature there ~ just remember to check what the playing condition of the sold horn was).
Remind me to never set foot in your shop - it would mean instant bankruptcy for me but I might be up for your TT alto - drop dead gorgeous horn!
 

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I have had good luck finding good quality used tenors in the $650-$1000 range (including one I bought from Jaye).
 

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I think you can find some second hand pro-horns in great shape for between $1,500 and $2,500 from a reputable shop.

You can get for cheaper, if you know what to look for when shopping second hand. If you purchase a second hand horn, that turns out to have not been in great condition, there is a good chance you will need to sink $600 - $1,000 into it to get it overhauled.

I have 2 tenors:

1). Selmer Mark VII. Relaquered. Purchased from Paul Maslin in Chicago 1 year ago for $2,200 or so. Has 350 - 400 hours of play time on it. Have had to pay for no repairs. Had one pad go out, which Paul repaired for free.

2). Conn Shooting Star. USA MADE. No Lacquer. Purchased for $550 from a not-so-expert local shop. (My first tenor. I had no idea what I was doing). Struggled with it for about 6 months. Ended up bringing it to a reputable dealer for $850 overhaul. Now plays great. Total all in cost - $1,500....but a big hassle.
 

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I got my YTS-23 from kijiji for $300 CAD, plus another $150 for a good tech to get it all working well...it'll last me for years before I want to replace it. Here, for example, is one for $400 CAD (no affiliation)
b
 

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Remind me to never set foot in your shop - it would mean instant bankruptcy for me but I might be up for your TT alto - drop dead gorgeous horn!
Thing about my shop is....relatively speaking...a person can walk in and then walk out having scored an almost two-for -one deal.....

(My business model needs some tweaking)

yeah, a customer special-ordered a TT a few months ago and while I was fixing it up, it reminded me how much I like these...so am gonna try to keep 'em more readily available...
 

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I have been buying and selling on ebay for over 20 years and have very good luck on there. The key is to be patient and have a good repair guy. You can find a lot of horn out there if you save up $1000-2000. Just my experience as I am sure others will say different. Patience is the key...
 

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I got my Buescher 156 for $700 years ago and it's my favorite horn I've ever had. I've tested it against Martins, Kings, Conns, Selmers, a Yanagisawa 880, older Keilwerths, etc. It's very full and very clear at the same time. I could get close to the sound with the same moithpiece with a Committee III and a Mark VI, but neither had the clarity and response of the Buescher.
 

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Early 70's Yamaha YTS-21 with a 10MFan Classic 7* 'piece and whatever reed is in the case
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I picked up my early YTS-21 knowing it would need some work. Gave $200 for a straight and well cared for horn, $50 on a good used mouthpiece, and another $50 for other things. Estimate for needed repairs are $700. I am good with this considering I know that I have a great foundation that will be repaired at the shop of my choice with quality pads. I am also grateful for friends who know saxes like I know trombones.
 
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