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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I'm a senior in high school looking to buy a bari sax for college in the fall. I am going to be an instrumental music education major, and therefore need my own instrument. Because of the fact that I am going to have to be forking over a lot of money for college, I'm looking to a bari that is financially doable but will still be quality for playing for many years to come. I'm hoping to spend no more than $2,000 on a bari. HELP PLEASE!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The college I am attending is a small, private, Catholic college. The professors there have advised that I purchase my own bari.
 

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The college I am attending is a small, private, Catholic college. The professors there have advised that I purchase my own bari.
Did they say, "If you want to play a bari, you will need to purchase your own bari," or did they say, "For your course of study, you need to own your own instrument, and that instrument must be a bari"?

Unfortunately, $2,000 strikes me as a pretty low budget for a bari sax worthy of a music major, especially for a low A model, and it gets worse when you add in the cost of shipping and fixing up whatever horn you buy. Rare is the used horn that doesn't require some shop work, and the prices are higher for baritones than for other saxes. If you find a decent used bari somewhere for $1900 but it needs a $1000 overhaul, you can see what that will do to your budget. Have you considered a Taishan (from China) or a Solist (from Kessler Music)? The former has received some satisfied testimonials. The latter is close to your budget and at least should arrive properly set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They did not tell me that I have to play Bari, no, but that is what I am choosing to play and they do not have one available. I also play Bari in several performing ensembles separate from school, so after I am no longer able to use the bari I currently rent from my high school, I'll need to have one. Thanks for your help! I just want to make smart choices!
 

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Getting a decent low-A bari for $2000 is like threading a needle with your eyes closed: it is possible, but you have to get lucky. You would probably need to be looking at a used bari, but by virtue of their size and weight, most baris tend to get beat up. If you buy from an otherwise unknown seller on ebay or craigslist, they are likely to say "plays well" (or some variation of that), and when it arrives you won't be able to prove them a liar, even if there are issues.

So if you insist on doing this for $2000, you could be setting yourself up to acquire a problem instead of a solution. If you bump up the amount to $2500 (again, talking about a used low-A bari) it will be like threading a needle with your eyes open.
 

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I would look for a used Intermediate level horn, like a Yamaha YBS-52 or Yanagisawa (don't remember model #). Be patient, but keep your eyes on eBay.... you might just get lucky... A student of mine bought a killer Yani bari intermediate for $1500 or so on eBay a year ago, so they're out there.

best of luck!

~ Rick
 

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You may also get to lump the price of the horn into financial assistance, since it is for school. I think a former student of mine did that. Not that I advise going into debt, but if you are already taking out loans, the price of a horn wont make much of a dent if you are already doing loans.


Sent from my iDevice using Tapatalk. Please excuse typos and brevity.
 

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There's nothing like playing a satisfying horn. If there's some other horn the college could provide you with, I would personally stick with that horn until you can save up and get a really decent baritone sax. No matter what you do, good luck.
 

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I have to agree with daviderato. If you decide to go the loan route or otherwise, you have to consider your purchase of a horn as part of your College expenses. This is something that you are purchasing for you to finish your degree, and as a music student it is pretty important to have something that will allow you to do the study you need to do. Maybe something like Saxophone.com or another place's rent to own might work for you. Either way I would highly recommend not skimping on this purchase, and I think for $2000 and looking at a Low A you can get lucky but you might have issues finding something in good working condition. So plan on saving another $500 or so for repairs.

Also have you spoken to your professors about all of this as well? They might have some suggestions. Also are you sure they even want you to play Bari? Just a thought.

Anyway some advice, try looking out for Intermediate horns like have been suggested already. Also look for Stenciled horns, like Vito VSP (made by Yangisawa) or Armstrong. I think USA Horn actually has a Armstrong Low A for $2500 right now.

Another thing you could possibly consider, and this would help if you talked to your professors. Is if you could get away with a Low-Bb horn, at least for a little while, those are easier to find sub $2k.
 

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Check with other schools in the surrounding area for a baritone. You might get lucky and find a music program that owns a bari, and would let you use it in exchange for playing in one of their ensembles to fill a chair. The music program at my college was quite small, and they needed a piano player for the big band. They brought in a good high school player and picked up the bill for piano lessons with one of the instructors in exchange for his time...I'd say he won in that deal :)
 

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I'm sure that another school will be able to lend you a bari. If not, do a rent to buy, or a rental program from a reputable music store. If you are going to use the bari a lot and for a long period of your life, maybe it wouldn't be a terrible idea to invest in one. However, I don't think that it is completely ideal at this point in a career.
 

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There is a company called saxophone.com you should check into. The owner is a great Bari saxophonist, a friend, & he tells me for the price, these are fantastic saxes. Bari new starts around $2,800, but he sometimes has used ones. Also he rents, which might be something to consider. Good luck!


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I own a saxophone.com tenor sax, and am currently renting-to-own one of their baris.

I have been VERY happy with my two horns. My bari is currently doing duty with a buddy playing in a Funk/Ska(?) band in the SFbay area of California.

The rent to own is really quite reasonable if you have a credit card (or access to someone with one) - $90/month or something like that for the one I'm working with.

dv
 
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