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Hi everyone!

I'm on a hunt for a solid tenor. I'm finished my classical saxophone masters last year, my main instrument is alto (Selmer III). I played a lot of tenor at my university (Selmer II) and now I want to buy something on my own. I also play some jazz/funk/rock, so what I'm looking for is a solid all-rounder, I'm on a budget, so professional horns are out of my reach for the moment, and I am fully aware that i will have to get down with a few compromises for that matter. My preference of a sound is darker and rounder.

I've tried some of the tenors in last few weeks and would be glad to hear some opinions, if anyone has come across these horns or owe them.

Buffet 400 matte/antique: Has almost exatcly the sound that I personally search for in tenor, but you have to work for it(still managable though). Intonation is great, keywork is not the best but i think i could get used to it, the sound is nice through all the register and(I like that very much) it doesnt get edgy or "squeezy" if you push it in the upper register. On the opposite, it gets really beasty when you blow fully in it. It has a very definite sound(which I like), but like I said i takes some work/energy it and it's not very versatile-it stays dark whatever you do. Price: cca 1500€

Keilwerth ST110: Compared to Buffet it's much more generic(especially in terms of sound). Easier to play, intonation is also great, but in terms of sound it's nothing special. When i played classic it sounded almost too bright, when I pushed a little bit it started to get too edgy. I liked the keywork and intonation. but the sound is somehow generic(kind of like Yamahas). Price: cca 1500€

Sequoia (tried Lemon and Booster): Very nice in terms of sound(Lemon is brighter and more versatile, Booster is darker and more definite), but it has issues with intonation and also keywork. Very nice feature is that it comes with 2 necks...IMO it is not worth additional 1000€ compared to the previous two.

Yes, I am considering a secondhand Yamaha or Selmer, but it's difficult to find them, I tried yamaha62 from the 90'2 but i just didn't like it.

I'd appreciate your opinions and thank you in advance for them!
 

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I played a Buffet Crampon Super Dynaction for several years. Great sounding horn but I also wasn't excited about the keywork. I never totally got used to it. One of the reasons I changed was I found a Yamaha YTS-62 that just had buttery smooth keywork compared with the Buffet.
 

· Forum Contributor 2015-2017
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What did you not like about the Yamaha? "Everybody" seems to like them. ((I do not like them much))

Have you tried my favorite modern tenors? Yanagisawa or Barone. Many Yanys for many years, just the last year or so with the Barone.

dat
sax
man
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Sax, Flute, Keyboard, Vocal
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My alto 82Z has stood up to many many challangers over the years. Try one, they aren't like the 62s K
 

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I think the Keilwerth ST90 Series III is an outstanding budget horn.
I would prefer one of these over most of the Yamaha range.
These can be picked up for very little and are surprisingly good horns.
Both tone and ergonomics are right up there.
After that any Yanagisawa from the T4 (the later ones with more modern G# cluster) through to current models.
Some of the Jupiter tenors are excellent also.
 

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Do not discount Amati saxophones - can be had most affordably but you'll need to do a little research about models so you know what you're buying.
 

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I know at this time (Covid) it's difficult to try out horns, but the best you're gonna get here are opinions based on other peoples experiences which may or may not suit you. Trying a horn is the only way to find one that's suitable to your tastes. Develop a criteria sheet based on what's important to you and check off the boxes as you go along. Finding your dream horn may take a long time and you may go through a couple horns to get there. Don't get discouraged.
 

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I think the Keilwerth ST90 Series III is an outstanding budget horn.
I would prefer one of these over most of the Yamaha range.
These can be picked up for very little and are surprisingly good horns.
Both tone and ergonomics are right up there.
After that any Yanagisawa from the T4 (the later ones with more modern G# cluster) through to current models.
Some of the Jupiter tenors are excellent also.
Isn't the ST90 made in China?
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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That Buffet 400 tenor may really suit you. I haven’t played one but I played the 400 alto and baritone. They are both excellent quality for the price. In fact I own a 100 series alto and it is basically the same horn as the 400. I wouldn’t recommend the Sequoia or Amati.
 

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I have a 1951 Amati Toneking alto (great) and a 1952 Amati Toneking tenor (also great). Amati stencils can be a bargain also. Why wouldn't you recommend an Amati soybean? Amati is the biggest manufacturer of woodwind instruments in all of Europe so they've got to be doing something right! I have friends with contemporary Amati's and they're just fine too.
 

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I would say the Amati is a solid budget tenor. Those early ToneKing horns are really are the same as the Keilwerth of the same vintage. The Amati super classic is also a solid build. It is a little clunky but has a nice tone. Those can be found super cheap.
 

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yes - the contemporary Classic, Super Classic and Classic Deluxe are all worthy of consideration. I would suggest to anyone who has not played one to do so if and when the opportunity presents itself.

The High-End contemporary Amati's such as the "Bravour" are er, um, amazing.
 

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The ST-90 may be a Jupiter. Look for an oblong bell brace to be certain.

The Buffet 400 is a great playing horn and built like a tank. I liken it to a cross between a Selmer and Keilwerth. Two things to be aware of -
1. the earlier ones had a high arch neck which I've read have intonation problems. Look for the lower profile similar to a Mark 6.
2. While their new prices are really up there, used prices are getting lower.

Still, I think it is among the best of the new Asian horns.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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I have a 1951 Amati Toneking alto (great) and a 1952 Amati Toneking tenor (also great). Amati stencils can be a bargain also. Why wouldn't you recommend an Amati Soybean? Amati is the biggest manufacturer of woodwind instruments in all of Europe so they've got to be doing something right! I have friends with contemporary Amati's and they're just fine too.
I need to try some of yours! The two Amati saxes that I owned were nothing special. These were not particularly old. No older than 1995.

yes - the contemporary Classic, Super Classic and Classic Deluxe are all worthy of consideration. I would suggest to anyone who has not played one to do so if and when the opportunity presents itself.

The High-End contemporary Amati's such as the "Bravour" are er, um, amazing.
Yes, I forgot about those but probably out of the OP's budget.
 
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