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Hi, I'm looking for a new intermediate or professional alto sax. I talked to some stores and some nearby pros, and they suggested(for my price range), either the Cannonball Big Bell, or the Yamaha 62. The 62 is out of my price range from what I believe, and doesn't have the sound I want. A couple of stores also suggested the Eastman 640.

Down to the question, is the Cannonball Big Bell or the Eastman 640 better?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to SOTW. Are you asking about new or used alto saxophones? I doubt that any experiences involving one or two examples of either model would be insufficient to conclude anything about the brands you mentioned. What that means is that in almost all cases, even similar models of one brand can vary.

I found that to be true a few years ago when i was trying to find a good Yamaha pro-alto. I played several examples of the 82Z and did not find one I liked good enough to spend my money.

If you are open to buying used, my recommendation would be to look for an older Buescher Aristocrat from the late 1930's or late 1940's. When properly regulated they can blow off many if not all of the new saxophones on the market. DAVE
 

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I am hoping to buy new, but if I have to go used that should be fine if the sax is in good condition. My director said Yamaha 62, and a close saxophone friend(who was/is playing for 30+ years) recommended a Yamaha or CB. He also recommended Selmer(any vintage horn i guess) but they are out of my price range from what i've seen. My parents will only spend at max $3000. They also highly believe the friend's recommendations. His name is Jerone Smith if you have heard of him.

If you don't mind can you tell me where I could get some decently priced vintage horns? Of course I need the f# key, and that is a deal breaker if it's not there.
 

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Last year I bought a new Yanagisawa A-WO1 from Europe for $2100. I don't know if deals like that are still around but you can always look. As opposed to most brands, including Yamaha and Selmer-Paris (and I write this with experience - 60 years of playing), Yanagisawa is one of the few brands that will play great right out of the box without dealer-prep. I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say - I've had experience - and lots of it.

Just this morning I am playing my Yany A-WO1 next to my Selmer-Paris Ref 54 that I bought new several years ago. Both are superb instruments (better than the many Yamahas I've tried - and owned) and if you were so inclined, and willing to risk it, you could probably buy a new Yany for under $3000 (assuming pricing is about the same - but not in the USA - here the new Yanagisawas were going for over $3K the last time I looked). Used Yanys are another good bet - can't tell you the expected pricing (you can find that yourself) but any of the older Yanagisawa models (like A901, A991, A-880, etc.) would likely be more pleasing than a Yamaha or CB.

So, for vintage (say mid 1920's up to say 1954 or so), many of the trusted brands are Buescher, Conn, and Martin.

There are a few web-sites that sell vintage saxophones - mostly already shop-checked and maybe with overhauls. One is vintagesax.com - Gayle Fredenburgh in Florida. Other stores are easy enough to find - USAHorn in New Jersey, Kessler in Las Vegas (a site sponsor), junkdude, etc.

Here on the site are Bruce Bailey, JAYEPDX, saxcop, etc. However, you don't yet qualify for buy/sell here on SOTW. You can look up those rules.

In MY view, one Cannonball model that impressed me was the Vintage (and maybe with the added "Reborn" in the model name) - I played a prototype at NAMM a few years ago that was terrific. The other CB's, not so much, but then everyone has their own prejudices about saxophones. Yamahas? Never played one I liked enough to buy and keep but then again, others love 'em. Again, a personal choice.

I think Yanagisawa and Selmer-Paris are making the best saxophones in the world - these days. DAVE
 

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+1 for a Yanagisawa 991. You can get one in like-new condition for less than $3000 and it will be an amazing instrument that you can play for the rest of your saxophone life. Many top pros prefer them to Selmers, even the best vintage ones that cost twice as much. BTW- if a high F# key is a must you should probably stick to horns made after the 1970's, as most of the classic vintage altos before that time were made without a high F# key.
 

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dctwells: Agree - I forgot to address the high F# keying. I never use it so it doesn't matter to me. But the OP states a need for it, and most vintage saxophones don't have it. Go Yanagisawa. DAVE
 

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I am hoping to buy new, but if I have to go used that should be fine if the sax is in good condition. My director said Yamaha 62, and a close saxophone friend(who was/is playing for 30+ years) recommended a Yamaha or CB. He also recommended Selmer(any vintage horn i guess) but they are out of my price range from what i've seen. My parents will only spend at max $3000.
The Selmer Serie II alto is an excellent horn, and should be available in the used market for under $3000. It is not as bright as the Serie III alto, and that's a good thing.
 

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I am hoping to buy new, but if I have to go used that should be fine if the sax is in good condition. My director said Yamaha 62, and a close saxophone friend(who was/is playing for 30+ years) recommended a Yamaha or CB. He also recommended Selmer(any vintage horn i guess) but they are out of my price range from what i've seen. My parents will only spend at max $3000. They also highly believe the friend's recommendations. His name is Jerone Smith if you have heard of him.

If you don't mind can you tell me where I could get some decently priced vintage horns? Of course I need the f# key, and that is a deal breaker if it's not there.
The Cannonball Vintage Reborn is a great alto. You can get it new starting at maybe $2600 depending on where you go, but dealers can't post prices so check around.
Yamaha 62iii's, the newest 62 model, sell new for about $3000 I think, but you'd need to upgrade the mouthpiece, so after tax itd be over budget.
Based on what you've said, try the Cannonball. The sax plus a $200 mouthpiece and tax will be under $3000 (assuming your sales tax is 6%, which is what it is here.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Cannonball Vintage Reborn is a great alto. You can get it new starting at maybe $2600 depending on where you go, but dealers can't post prices so check around.
Yamaha 62iii's, the newest 62 model, sell new for about $3000 I think, but you'd need to upgrade the mouthpiece, so after tax itd be over budget.
Based on what you've said, try the Cannonball. The sax plus a $200 mouthpiece and tax will be under $3000 (assuming your sales tax is 6%, which is what it is here.)
Thanks for the info. I've called some dealers for prices with both horns (CB and Yamaha-1 with Eastman) and The lowest for the CB is about $2600. I'm in MS, sales tax is 7%, but I'll still be under budget with a $200 mpc that I'm not even sure if my parents will get for me. Just in the few minutes of web browsing, the Selmer S ii is out of budget, lowest is $3500. New, of course. I have found a used one here. Is the Super Action 80 good? Recommended?
 

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Bought a brand new YANY AWO10 for $2100. To go with a grip of other YANYs I seem to be collecting.

Three altos and three tenors right now, but looking to have less. GREAT playing horns right out of the box, and they seem to stay that way for a very long time. I play a lot, but do not beat my stuff up.

Terrific intonation, big sound if you play big, classical sound if you play that way too. I bought a Yamaha before the first YANY. Then I didn't like it at all. I have played a few since, but I like a bigger sound. The Yamahas just were too plain or tame or something. For me.

Easy to find a nearly new YANY for $2000. Like AS NEW.


dat
sax
man
 

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Thanks for the info. I've called some dealers for prices with both horns (CB and Yamaha-1 with Eastman) and The lowest for the CB is about $2600. I'm in MS, sales tax is 7%, but I'll still be under budget with a $200 mpc that I'm not even sure if my parents will get for me. Just in the few minutes of web browsing, the Selmer S ii is out of budget, lowest is $3500. New, of course. I have found a used one here.
"Some minor repairs are needed, including new cork, fresh pads, and a few keys." = red flag, unless you've got a good technician nearby that will do the work.

Here's an example of what I was talking about: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...-Series-II-Professional-Alto&highlight=selmer

It's a matter of setting the money aside, and then watching and waiting.

Or do your homework and find the sale on the new Yanagisawas. There was a shop in England that was doing a swingin' deal. I don't know if it is still going on.
 

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Thanks for the info. I've called some dealers for prices with both horns (CB and Yamaha-1 with Eastman) and The lowest for the CB is about $2600. I'm in MS, sales tax is 7%, but I'll still be under budget with a $200 mpc that I'm not even sure if my parents will get for me. Just in the few minutes of web browsing, the Selmer S ii is out of budget, lowest is $3500. New, of course. I have found a used one here. Is the Super Action 80 good? Recommended?
I wouldn't recommend buying a Super Action 80 off the internet. Selmers are known to be inconsistent, so you could a great one, or a not-so-great one, and you wouldn't know until you had it. If you had an opportunity to try a used one in person, then definitely go for it.
 

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I wouldn't recommend buying a Super Action 80 off the internet. Selmers are known to be inconsistent, so you could a great one, or a not-so-great one, and you wouldn't know until you had it. If you had an opportunity to try a used one in person, then definitely go for it.
If you have that attitude, you shouldn't buy any horn via the 'net. You don't know how it's been used/abused. "Best horn of my life" doesn't mean much if the seller is 15 years old - but you won't know that. At least if you buy a horn at SotW, you have a chance of learning the seller's history and reputation.
 

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Interesting advice. I have found these here

Yani 991


Yani 902


Yani AW01

Yani AW01 #2

I have also found some YAS 62's that are under budget. From these, what do you recommend?
Horn #1 - seller has no previous experience, and the pictures are stock photos. Red flag.

Horn #2 - another red flag.

Horn #3 - Quinn bought a LOT of Yanagisawa horns, and seems to have many happy customers with those sales.

Horn #4 - maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Horn #1 - seller has no previous experience, and the pictures are stock photos. Red flag.

Horn #2 - another red flag.

Horn #3 - Quinn bought a LOT of Yanagisawa horns, and seems to have many happy customers with those sales.

Horn #4 - maybe.
Does anyone have any knowledge about interstate music? Are they legit? Good quality?

Now I am in between the Yani AW01 and the CB(I like how it looks and the dark, jazzy tone.) If I can get the Yani for cheaper I will likely get it. Any other things to consider?
 

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If you have that attitude, you shouldn't buy any horn via the 'net. You don't know how it's been used/abused. "Best horn of my life" doesn't mean much if the seller is 15 years old - but you won't know that. At least if you buy a horn at SotW, you have a chance of learning the seller's history and reputation.
I'd prefer not to buy horns off the internet, but if I need to, I wouldn't pick a Selmer.
Disclaimer: I don't particularly like Selmers to begin with, but I'm not letting that influence me.
 

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CB(I like how it looks and the dark, jazzy tone.
<groan> You are the market they are targeting.

The Yanagisawa horns are solid pro horns. At the same price, or even more, they are the better value. IMNSHO, of course.

"Dark" is dominated by the mouthpiece and the player. "Jazzy" is completely on you.
 

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<groan> You are the market they are targeting.

The Yanagisawa horns are solid pro horns. At the same price, or even more, they are the better value. IMNSHO, of course.

"Dark" is dominated by the mouthpiece and the player. "Jazzy" is completely on you.
What mpcs do you recommend for a dark tone? I think a close hard rubber type with hard reeds would work, although I personally don't go higher than 3 1/2.
 
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