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Discussion Starter #1
My band teacher is selling a black-lacquer DC Pro Series II alto. It's very nice looking and since he's been a professional saxophonist for something like 30 years I trust him enough to give it a try. It is mostly brand-new, owned for 3 months and then when its original owner passed away it remained in storage for 5 or so years. It's a very pretty horn, but from what I've seen on the rest of this site's opinions I am wary of it.

The asking price is $500. I have given him a check in this amount and it has been agreed that he will either cash the check if I decide to buy or return the check to me if I return the instrument to him. This decision should be made by Monday the 21st until which I have the instrument in my possession.

I have noticed that the instrument has a nice tone, very similar to the the school's professional Yamaha. However I worry about pitch; it is very sensitive to embouchure. I play with a clarinet embouchure and am accustomed to tightening on notes above middle E, however doing so on the DC Pro will cause it to shoot sharp. I have been advised by my band teacher to always tune this horn to its low G, differently than my own student Yamaha and the school's instrument. Using an online tuner I can tune my low G to perfect, but no matter how I play my high G the tuner says it's 50 cents below an Ab. I don't believe the school tuner produced the same results although I cannot verify this before the 21st.

It has good response and is comfortable to use, some of the keys such as the low B and Bb keys work differently than I've seen before in a way that is easier to hold down, and down to middle C has wonderful tone. I can't reach B or Bb, but I am using reeds that are too firm which is a lot of the problem. I also find that on this horn altissimo is more reachable with consistent tone, though there are many altissimo notes I still can't get.

So far I am quite pleased with this, given the nice tone and response, though the tuning thing REALLY concerns me. I have played this instrument on two occasions with the school's concert band and once I managed to finally get the horn in tune (I'm terrible tuning by ear, especially to a bass clarinet because the tone is so different) I noticed that my horn was not dissonant with the other saxes in the section nor did it sound out of tune with the rest of the band (I have several solos, so it would be pretty easy to spot out if I were). But what the online tuner is telling me is worrysome.

I want this horn to be good, because it's beautiful, responsive, and 1/3 the price that my student Yamaha was as well as several hundred dollars less than listed on the site (http://www.dcprosaxophones.com/blacknickelaltosax.htm). After all, I can't afford a Selmer Paris Series III alto, as much as I want one. However I'm not jumping into this without second, third, fourth, thirtieth, etc. opinions. Check the URL above for any info I didn't provide and I also am going to insert 7 photos I took myself of the exact horn in question.

Photos: http://yfrog.com/1rphoto0020mjx
 

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Discussion Starter #2
UPDATE: Returned the DC Pro to be safe and am saving up for a Yamaha YAS-82Z and trying to get at it before WWBW takes them off sale though I still need several thousand to make it.
 
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