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Discussion Starter #1
has anyone worked on these Chinese horns and have an opinion on keywork or repairability?

they are so cheap it seems worth a look. also, as i stated on another thread, in the 70's everything Japanese was considered junk. now, yani and yamaha have great reps. im wondering if this attitude is just "new kid on the block"thinking and propaganda from the established manufacturers.
 

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It varies. Some of it is awful, some is not awful, and even a few are pretty good.

Good article detailing some of the stuff you find when it is awful: http://news.musicmedic.com/index.php?entry=entry100423-150751

Note: imported saxes come from China, Taiwan, and Vietnam nowadays with maybe more places I am not yet aware of in the mix. My days of direct factory involvement as a part of helping Sam Ash improve their Jean Baptiste line are a few years behind me.
 

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In the 70's everything Japanese was considered junk. now, yani and yamaha have great reps. im wondering if this attitude is just "new kid on the block"thinking and propaganda from the established manufacturers.

I don't ever remember anyone referring to the Yamaha 21 /61 as Junk ...not one person !

Now as for Chinese horns and leaving to one side workers rights, there are still issues concerning consistency of general perfomance and intonation.
 

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i don't either. that was an in general comment. i remember when "made in Japan" meant junk to most people about everything. hence the cool names for cars like "rice burner". Now, we all drive Japanese cars. the difference now is that i think a lot of those are assembled in Mexico too. some, like Toyota Tundra are assembled in USA. i remember in the early 70's it was still way cooler to have a horn with a french name than Japanese.
 

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Some are, some aren't- most fall in-between.

The real issue is that when you spring for one without holding and examining the specific horn that you are actually purchasing you really don't have much of a clue as to the quality of the item you'll eventually receive.

You pay your money and you take your chances. Less money- more chances.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It varies. Some of it is awful, some is not awful, and even a few are pretty good.

Good article detailing some of the stuff you find when it is awful: http://news.musicmedic.com/index.php?entry=entry100423-150751

Note: imported saxes come from China, Taiwan, and Vietnam nowadays with maybe more places I am not yet aware of in the mix. My days of direct factory involvement as a part of helping Sam Ash improve their Jean Baptiste line are a few years behind me.
yea that looked awful but i think i know why. when i lived in korea, it was not problem getting things fixed cheaply, including the car. if it quit working, it want much money to take it in to them to get it fixed. so, i found odd repairs would happen. bicycle shops come to mind and the repair shop i took my car too once said i needed a part that was several hundred dollars but he did something to the carburator or fuel injection that was suppose to last a while because he thought the part was too expensive. i went back to him whatever he was doing worked for 2+ years. i dont think i paid over 60 bucks twice a year for whatever was wrong.. so if they keep it going after selling it to you. it all works out.

as stated in another post, its a pretty big chance when looking at 1600 dollars
 

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Just want to throw my 2 cents into this conversation.. will expound later ... But after all the hurting the Chinese economy has done to ours WHY would anyone consider a Chinese horn .... I refuse to ever so that ... I will play Vintage Buescher, Conns, and Selmers before I would extend.to the Chinese any more money than.I really have to .... The Chinese have hurt my business pretty well with their strong hold on the US debt ....
 

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I have a Chinese "Venus" bari that I bought 6 months ago. When checking the regulation, I was surprised how well it was set up, with all notes sounding effortlessly, top to bottom. There are a couple of small acid bleed spots, but apart from that, it's a winner (the sax that is).
The no name mouthpiece however, did need quite a bit of work to flatten the table and get the chamber concentric to the rails. After which it performs pretty well.
 

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has anyone worked on these Chinese horns and have an opinion on keywork or repairability?
Which Chinese horns do you mean?

Just want to throw my 2 cents into this conversation.. will expound later ... But after all the hurting the Chinese economy has done to ours WHY would anyone consider a Chinese horn ....
I would just consider getting a horn I like to play. I have Italian, Chinese and US, horns. I just get the saxophone I like to play as it's my living, it's important to be happy with the horn, not so much where it's made.
 

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I recently worked on Orpheo and Jupiter from Taiwan and Kohlert from Vietnam. They seemed pretty well made. As a player I much prefer vintage US. Are there any US makers of saxes today?
 

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To my knowledge the horn in the ebay link (post #3) is Taishan TSBS-681. It would really be nice to know how serviceable that particular model is.
It seems to be the only one of the "cheap Chinese bari's" that's not available in Europe from the major distributors.
People who have bought it (or the TSBS-680) seem to like it but then again people tend to like things they have bought especially if they got it at a relatively low price.

I don't personally believe in categorizing goods by the country of manufacture. Not all French made horns are that great even though people tend to like the Mark 6.
 

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How do you know what to look for?
There you have me.

Some are imported by someone who actually has a "name" (in many cases applied to the imported horns- PB, Kessler, Buffet 400, Selmer USA Prelude, et al) and is liable to have exerted some QC in terms of the contract and in some cases after the receipt of the horns. These are likely to cost more and probably have a lower risk.

Some are associated with what appears to be a "brand name" which seems to refer to a series of horn that are from a consistent source. These generally cost in the middle and may or may not work out to actually be from the same source. I sprang for a "Taishan" curved soprano and it turned out to be surprisingly well made in virtually every regard (spring quality a bit iffy- but the rest from pads through fit and machining/ soldering work on keywork is more than acceptable- I could work on any aspect of this horn with a straight face and am confident you could do so with even more ease than I). If I bought a "Taishan" tenor would that be the case? Darned if I know. If I bought another soprano would that be the case? Again, darned if I know though I'd probably take a flyer on it if I "needed" two sopranos (pretty unlikely).

Some are "never heard of them" incredibly cheap with photos that are either generic or of another manufacturers' horn altogether (such as pictures of an SA-80II). Low price, might be fine, might be junk. Even if you're competent to work on a horn, the flaws could easily be embedded in the very foundation of the construction- simply impossible to overcome without far more effort than it would be worth.

But surely- there are some very nice quality horns out there along with quite a few absolute stinkers.

If you figure out how to reliably distinguish one from the other based upon an internet site/ EBay listing please let us know. I, as with you at this time, haven't a clue.
 

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Re: Chinese horns - you have to distinguish between horns made in Taiwan (e.g., Mauriat) and those made in the People's Republic of China. They're both Chinese horns. The one you're looking at on ebay is made in PRC. I have a soprano made in PRC. It's OK, nothing great but it plays as well as a friend's Yani. I think the quality control in PRC factories has gotten much better and will continue to improve.
 

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i remember in the early 70's it was still way cooler to have a horn with a french name than Japanese.
NEWS FLASH: It still is.
Always will be.
 

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Re: Chinese horns - you have to distinguish between horns made in Taiwan (e.g., Mauriat) and those made in the People's Republic of China. They're both Chinese horns...
Perhaps- but that distinction has far less meaning than five years ago. (in terms of instrument quality rather than politics!)

The best Chinese (mainland) horns are probably the equal of the best Taiwanese horns- and though less blatant ISO's come out ot Taiwan these days than from the mainland "Made in Taiwan" is not exactly a sure ticket to high quality.

(Neither is Made in anywhere else.)
 
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