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Maybe I'm just missing it but I haven't seen much comparison in terms of the kessler custom and horns like yamaha or selmer. Right now I'm looking for a good alto with a High F#, preferably in the $1,000 range... I know the kessler is right under that which is why it's got a number in my top 5 for horns. I've been wanting a yamaha 62 alto or even an 82z alto but unfortunately even ebay has those both fairly well over 1,000. I've beena yamaha guy for a while now and would really like to know how the kessler is set up in terms of sound and playability, and if it would be a good horn for a college student(probably going to be playing lead in the wind symphony again)

Thanks all, sorry if this is a post that's been asked lately but my net's been really slow for a few days and I'm anxious to find answers!

-Al
 

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Al: I'm a fan of Kessler's inexpensive saxophones. I bought a KC alto for my grandson after playing a few horns at Kessler's store. And, I bought a new KC tenor sight-unseen after getting the urge to try a tenor. Their sound would cause the majority of listeners into think the horns were pro-level horns.

I own a bunch of hi-end vintage and mordern saxophones and I can tell you that even if the KC is a great saxophone for the price, it doesn't compare to an expensive new saxophone like Selmer-Paris and Yamaha's Z, etc. I think Dave Kessler would tell you the same thing, and he's selling them.

Except, that for the tenor, I like the KC over a new Yamaha Z and a new Cannonball I tested about a year before buying the KC tenor. Understand that I am NOT a tenor player. Oh, its fun, but I wouldn't dream of taking it public like I do soprano, clarinet, and alto.

The issue is bang-for-the-buck. If you can afford it, go for the hi-end models. They have a certain FEEL and response that the inexpensive-but-good KC's (and other brands) lack. It isn't that the inexpensive models are bad, it is more like the hi-end saxophones are better.

But if you can't afford the high prices, buy the KC with confidence and enjoy it (them). They will do almost everything the more expensive models do and look good doing it. Hope this helps. DAVE
 

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I think Mr Kessler would be the first to admit that the Kessler horns are not directly comparable with the pro brand horns, but they seem to be good value for what you pay.

However, like any non "big 4" NEW horn, the resale value might not be great and perhaps $1000 could be better spent on a good used horn.

For example, for a little over $1000 I picked up a virtually new pro level B&S stencil alto last week. The kesslers are good horns, but I know which is better for the money, more adjustment, top quality pads, additional design features, just a better horn.

However if you really want new new, then the Kesslers are good bang for the buck according to those in the know around here....but then so are the Wallsteins and probably a number of other taiwanes / chinese stencils too.
 

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Al, I will second what Dave Dolson has said about the Kessler Custom Alto. Fine student model type horn. I also bought one for my gandson to use in school band....6th grader now. I play a professional model alto and tenor and there is really no comparison, however, for the cost of the Kessler Customs you would be getting a lot of sax for the money. Having bought my tenor from Kessler's and having referred a friend who bought both a pro modl alto and tenor from Kessler's, I can recommend them highly as good people wih whom to do business. Good luck in your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help guys. I thought they might be of a higher quality than a good student model since he has them under his "Professional models" section when searching by alto sax. I think I may be able to fork out an extra $1000 if I have to to get my hands on a yamaha or selmer S2 or 3 used... Thanks all!

-Al
 

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Al: I think you may be reading into what we've said. I for one was trying to be objective, but know that I'd buy a KC before I bought a Yamaha. And, since I'm not a Yamaha fan anyway, I'd probably save $1K to 2K and buy the KC over any Yamaha.

I once owned the best Yamaha Z alto I'd ever played, but as good as it was, it was not a player for me. I know, I know, many posters here love their Yamahas, and that's a good thing. But for the money, I'd go for the KC. I heard tonal qualities in the KC alto I bought for my grandson that was missing from my Yamaha Z.

Any comparison to the Big Four saxophones is difficult because of the feel and the cachet. It isn't a matter of pro vs. intermediate vs. student, at least for me. It is the tone and the response regardless of the marketing level that a manufacturer assigns to its models.

When I bought the KC, I also tried a 62 and a really nice Unison 2000. If I'd wanted to pop twice the price of the KC, I would have purchased the Unison. Those who were present when I played them ALL went for the Unison #1. But price was an issue for me (not for me, for my 10-year old grandson), so I chose the KC and was satisfied.

I'm thinking that if I had to do it all over again and NOT amass so many great vintage and hi-end modern saxophones, that I'd just buy the KC's and be satisfied. DAVE
 

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For whatever its worth, after not playing sax for 4 decades, i got back in the game with a KC Bari that was slightly used. While i don't have much to compare it to, i have been very pleased with its playability and tone quality and now use it jamming at local pubs twice a week. I understand its a knock off of the Selmer SA II so the ergonomics are good, but I also appreciate the tone quality of my axe.
 

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Thanks Dave for the extra input here. Unfortunately I can't afford to go and test these babies out for myself, and living in Alaska, even a weekend road trip is out of the picture! All the input is very much appreciated and I'd love to hear even some more ideas on the KC layout/sound. So far Ub says not the same and you say(as not a yamaha guy) just go for the KC or even the extra 400-500 for a unison(right?). My other problem is I don't have any in town that I know of that I can go try out, most everybody up here is pretty selmer biased. I have some time before I lay out any cash for a horn whatsoever, so I'd love to hear some more info on these horns, and maybe even some info on the Unison since that's been brought into the picture as a really good horn by you, Dave! :) I'd also like a perspective on these horns if possible by another yamaha fan to let me know how they feel in retrospect to the yamaha altos.

Again I thank everybody for their help, I really respect everybody's opinions and ideas and have since I got started on this site years ago. I always check here whenever I'm going for a new horn or looking into them for a friend, even when I don't post about it. Because of budget and need for a good horn for playing in a college band... This horn's really going to have to be a select pick and I'm(gasp) actually going to take my time before ordering... :)

-Al
 

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barisaxplayer said:
Maybe I'm just missing it but I haven't seen much comparison in terms of the kessler custom and horns like yamaha or selmer. Right now I'm looking for a good alto with a High F#, preferably in the $1,000 range... I know the kessler is right under that which is why it's got a number in my top 5 for horns. I've been wanting a yamaha 62 alto or even an 82z alto but unfortunately even ebay has those both fairly well over 1,000. I've beena yamaha guy for a while now and would really like to know how the kessler is set up in terms of sound and playability, and if it would be a good horn for a college student(probably going to be playing lead in the wind symphony again)

Thanks all, sorry if this is a post that's been asked lately but my net's been really slow for a few days and I'm anxious to find answers!

-Al

My Son has an Alto KC as well, and it has held up well to the abuse of a 7th grader who plays concert band 5 times a week, and Jazz band twice per week. He did have the neck screw break, but Dave said he'd fix it at no charge, but I just haven't ever sent it back to him.

Interestingly, my Son likes the sound of his 1930's Pan Am better, and I have half the money wrapped-up in it as I do the KC, but he says the fingerings are easier on the KC.
 
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