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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am in the 9th grade and I want to find a new/used soprano sax without breaking the budget. I have already been playing alto and tenor sax for about 5 years now, as well as bassoon, so I would say I am ready to move on to a new type of sax. Yanagisawa, Selmer, and Yamaha saxes are too much, unless there's an amazing deal. I have heard good things about Kessler's Sopranos. A few others that I have heard about are Cannonball and Antigua. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions that might be in that budget range.


Thanks,
Ryan
 

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Kessler's house-brand soprano will work fine - and it will be cheaper than CB or Antiguas. I've played multiple versions of them all - owned an Antigua at one time. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the suggestion. I have done some research on these saxophones and I've heard nothing but good things about them for the price.

Ryan
 

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Budget? Saying that the top brands "are too much" could be completely wrong if you're only looking at new Amazon prices… but it depends how much you're able to pay.
 

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I think there may be an issue with buying/selling with the original poster until he meets the site's requirements for dealing on this site. That's one reason I directed him to Kessler - he can sure deal with someone OFF this site. DAVE
 

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I find the Berkeley sopranos equally excellent and affordable. It may be the same instrument as the Kessler, but on the East Coast. Les Silver very easy to work with. I own two of them that I lend to my students as they start soprano!
Paul Cohen
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all of the suggestions. I will have to put this all off for about 2 weeks because my family is going on vacation. If any of your saxophones that you are selling are still available in about 2 weeks do let me know. If I end up purchasing a sax, I will leave a note and what I think of the sax on this forum.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Hello,

I am in the 9th grade and I want to find a new/used soprano sax without breaking the budget. I have already been playing alto and tenor sax for about 5 years now, as well as bassoon, so I would say I am ready to move on to a new type of sax. Yanagisawa, Selmer, and Yamaha saxes are too much, unless there's an amazing deal. I have heard good things about Kessler's Sopranos. A few others that I have heard about are Cannonball and Antigua. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions that might be in that budget range.


Thanks,
Ryan
Please note this is not a marketplace thread so responses should be about general advice, not trying to sell your own saxophone in this thread. Sales posts removed.

Thanks
 

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You can generally get a Buescher, Holton, Martin Handcraft, or possibly a Conn straight soprano in reasonable condition around the $1000 mark (I think the Conns fetch the highest prices, all else being equal). The oldest Yanagisawa sopranos (S-6???) which are Selmer Mark 6 copies also, I think, are somewhere in that range. There were also a lot of slightly later Yani sopranos imported under names like "Whitehall" that would probably be in that range. There were some Keilwerths imported under various names (Armstrong, maybe some others) that would also be somewhere near that money.

All of the ones I've just mentioned are professional grade instruments that - if in good condition - could serve you well for a lifetime of playing. The keywork will be somewhat different to you if you've been playing a modern Selmer-copy sax, but you're young and springy and adaptable; plus, everything about the playing position of a straight soprano is different enough from alto and tenor that you're going to have to adapt to some extent anyway.
 

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turf3 is certainly on target with mentioning the classic vintage sopranos as an alternative to all the various Asian-made sopranos out there. If the OP is willing to take the usual risks associated with vintage sopranos, he could end up with a life-time horn. I have a '26 Martin Handcraft and a '27 Conn (neither for sale) that I'd put up against ANY new soprano on the market today, pro-level to inexpensive house-brand stuff.

However, I'd caution that a youngster like the OP may need some help in evaluating vintage sopranos for intonation issues (I've owned 'em both ways - poor to excellent intonation). AND, the OP would need to understand that some of the mechanical features on new/modern sopranos are not present on the vintage horns. But that sure hasn't hindered my enjoyment of those old beasts. DAVE
 

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Another option for a new soprano would be Just Saxes Crescent. I bought one several years back and have been very happy with the purchase. I also owned an Antigua Winds and was very satisfied with it.
 

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Take a look at the Jupiter Artist model as well, which comes with 2 solid silver necks. Really nice horns and should be obtainable used for around $1K or perhaps a little less.
 

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Since you're in 9th grade and likely need a saxophone that "just works, " I would advise buying the Kessler Custom Performance straight soprano. You can't go wrong for $700. A brand new saxophone perfectly set up is the way to go.

I bought exactly this saxophone and have since played every soprano at Roberto's Winds (many Selmers and other assorted vintage horns) as well as new sopranos at other stores. I found the expected result: some variations in tone and ergonomics. That is to say that I preferred the higher end horns, but I'm sticking with Kessler until I absolutely need to be in front on soprano.

For me, the only reason to go any higher is for your own confidence that you've done everything you can to achieve the best possible performance. It really isn't necessary. I would advise springing $50 extra for the Kessler custom mouthpiece, I'm extremely happy with it in particular.
 
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