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Discussion Starter #1
As an absolute beginner I'm seriously considering purchasing a Gear4Music tenor in the near future.

I've read the threads on Chinese horns and understand the risks involved. I'd therefore like to get the instrument checked over and set up within the initial approval period by someone competent, honest and fairly open-minded on the subject of ultra-cheap Chinese saxes (I appreciate that it's a contentious issue with some strongly-held views on all sides).

Can anyone recommmend someone in the North West of England (Manchester / Warrington) or further afield?

Thanks in advance,

Frank
 

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Of these, I only know John at the Woodwind Workshop (actually in Johnny Roadhouse's shop on Oxford Road). Absolutely first class.
 

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Music shops with any sort of selection are thin on the ground up here.

It depends on the sort of budget you have and how dedicated you are to learning.
There are a couple of options, you could hire a new student model from a reputable supplier, they will usually deduct the hire charges if you later decide to purchase. If you decide to jack it in you are only out the hire charges.

ebay is a source of second hand and nearly new tenor saxophones (and some rubbish) where people have bought them and then decided shortly afterwards that "they haven't the time to practice" (translation: they usually can't hack it) and want to sell.

I'd been learning to play my alto for a year when I decided to also buy a tenor.
I studied the market on ebay for a while and bought such a second-hand tenor for around £160 which was in excellent condition and later sold it for a 25% profit.
If you walk into Dawsons or Forsyths in Manchester, they'll have some Trevor James saxes. These often come up ebay. They are supposed to be a reasonably good student instrument.
You could look at "completed listings" and see what sort of prices various saxes went for and the descriptions the sellers gave of the instrument. You can also find out what the purchaser thought of it too, by checking the buyer's feed back. This may give you some ideas (you could check 'em out with the kind people on here).
Someone may tell you different, but within reason as long as it "works", I mean it's easy enough to play, I don't think it matters too much what sax you buy to start.
My first concern would be not to be too much out of pocket if I decided not to continue with learning.

Whatever you buy, if you stick at it you'll want to "upgrade" sooner than you think. Then there's mouthpieces..and..and...

I kept my "clunker" (It was an Arbiter, some will tell you "bits fall off 'em", but mine was very well made) for a year and then bought a Yamaha T62 on-line, (as my Alto's a Yamaha and it is so well made).
I didn't go for the cheapest price although there wasn't a lot of difference, but I chose a music shop in Leeds which isn't too far from Manchester for whenever it may need checking out in the future.
Yamahas have a reputation for playing "straight out of the box."
My teacher thought it played as well as his MkVI, if I only half believe him it's a good enough recommendation for me.
I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advice on here. It's best not to rush into any hasty purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Many thanks for the responses.

Johnny Roadhouse is just round the corner from where I work, so would be the most convenient. However, I'll confess to being a little hesitant about asking them to checkover and setup a cheap Chinese tenor when they have their own cheap Chinese alto in the window...!
 

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Go to the top floor and speak to John; he won't be snooty about it. Be careful, though; if you need any work, the whole purchase could be called into question because repir costs will add to the initial cost. Anything in the window will have been set up by John first.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Pinnman. Yes, I'd figured that I'd need to budget extra for the cost of a checkover and setup, and possibly some rework.

...and a decent mouthpiece

...and maybe a more secure strap.

...and some cork grease, reeds, a sax stand, lessons...!



Actually, thinking about it, maybe I'd be better off with a kazoo...! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Splinter,

Yes in the end I went for the Yamaha, simply because I don't know enough about saxes to tell whether one is good or not and the Yams have a reputation for consistancy. (That said, I also bought from a store with a money-back guarantee and found a local sax teacher and got him to check it over once it arrived.)

I'm happy with my sax and my decision, but it may not (will not!) be right for everyone. The descriptions of the G4M and (coming soon) Walstein saxes sound very good and at excellent prices. It may suit others to be a bit more "adventurous" than I was!

Whatever you end up with, I hope it works out well for you.

All the best,

Frank
 
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