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Can you feel and hear the differences?

2266 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jeff Foster
I played alto & baritone in the grades (4-8), but not in HighShool (rock guitar was the order of the late 60's) Now, in my seniority, I've picked up the sax again and have two yamahas (yts23 & yas23) - strong horns for being student grade, both were used - a total investment less than $1500 for both.

But you always wonder what playing a pro horn would be like. (Obviously all I've ever played were student grade instruments; a Bundy alto and the Jr. High's baritone, & now my yams)

Could one really appreciate what the added dollars had begot, say $4k for a decently maintained, used Selmer Paris ?

There's a pretty good sax wrench shop here in san jose, and I figured: "since he'd have no skin in the game (not a salesman), I might get a clean answer to my question". Here's what he said, as closely reproduced as I can recall (lightly paraphrased, that is):

"As the player, you probably cannot appreciate the difference in sound between horns, it takes someone else, who knows your sound, to listen, hear & feel the differences."

To me the term "feel" deals mostly with the key-action and the feel you get from the horn resonating, beyond thatIi'm likely clueless. The listener's sense of feel would obviously me more asthetic, less mechanical. The fellow was pretty adamant that the listener had to "know your sound".

Your thoughts?
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Stephan, alljoe & Dave,
Thank you for your comments, I guess my next steps have to include finding opportunities to try a few.

I've read some about the Ref 54... WWBW had an alto Ref54 with a bird engraved on the bell. The descriptions were very enticing, the pix exquiste - the price was, well... Selmer..

There's a fellow with a Tenor Selmer Reference 36 (next is his quote):
"The Ref.36 is a reissue of the old Balanced Action body spec's but with all the modern refinements ." He says he has a "MK VI" he wants to keep but that can be played comparatively.

I'd love to play them, but I'd be a little sheepish about going just to play them, because $4k is a lot of coin, for me at least, and I don't know if I could present myself as as a genuine shopper. (I could probably manage to write the check, but the wife would probably remove my two ballast orbs - or just divorce me, which would make it a very expensive sax!)
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