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Discussion Starter #1
Ok...here it goes,

Grauduation is in a month and as a graduation present, my grandmother is buying me a new tenor saxophone. I have never purchased a new saxophone so I'm looking for a little insight. In college I plan on playing jazz mostly, and classical if necessary. I've not decided if I am going to participate in marching band but it it is a possibility. Basically, I need a sax that is going to allow me to play a wide range of genres. While looking around on the forum, i have noticed some members say that some saxes are suited better for certian types of music (ie. conn-rock buesher-classical bundy-...nothing)

My budget is $2000. Currenty I own an old YTS21 that has a serious leak and the techs in my area can't seem to fix it. i plan on visiting Best Music Co. in Oakland, CA and having it repaired. while I'm there I am going to play every tenor in sight, but this seems pointless because of my budget. I've been playing the school's yts23 and feel i have outgrown it. What would be a good step up in my price range? I've been looking at cannonballs, mauriats, and barones online, would any of these be a wise choice? Or should I focus my attention on used saxophones? I really like the look of unlaqured or older saxes.
p.s-this is the sound Im after

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB1MHj3VxSQ&feature=related

i think he's got a mauriat or a cannonball
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Great video! Very fun to watch.

Cannonball, Mauriat and Barone are all fine saxes. There are also countless other options in your price range, and it seems like you are already considering them. It is a good idea to play as many horns as you can. If you fall in love with something at the shop you are going to, maybe they will allow some sort of trade-in with your Yts-21.

$2000 will definitely get you a Barone, and Phil will answer any questions by email or phone. It will also get you a TK Melody, and Rich Maraday (viking) has also been quick to respond...he just launched his own line of horns too. I have also had email contact with Juan at LC saxes. He is closer to you (in the LA area I think), but I am not sure about pricing. I thought I was going to become a soprano player a while ago, and I thought the price he gave me was reasonable, plus he is a tech as well. Phil and Rich both offer a short window to try out the horn and return it if you don't like it...Juan might too, we just didn't get that far.

Cannonball prices have definitely gone up, but if you look around you can find a new one for $2000. You can find a good used one for less. I haven't seen P. Mauriat saxes new for that low, but you can definitely score a good used one.

Definitely check out the marketplace on SOTW as well. I have bought and sold a few saxes and mouthpieces with a bunch of different people, and always had a positive experience. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience on here, and people are very helpful.

Whatever sax you end up with, enjoy it! Thank your Grandmother everyday for the wonderful gift...

Good Luck.
 

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I've not decided if I am going to participate in marching band but it it is a possibility.
If you're thinking of marching, you might want to spend a little less on your good horn and use the rest to buy a second horn to use for marching. $2000 saxophones and the marching environment don't get along too well.
 

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Are you planning on being a music major?

If yes, then you should check with the professor that you will be studying with at the university, as sometimes professors can have a bias towards certain horns (sometimes with good reason!)

Regardless of what you choose, I would recommend a Barone over any other brand. They have the best price and you really get a fantastic value; professional flight case, hand-faced hard rubber mouthpiece, and a fantastic horn.

- Saxaholic
 

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Playing a bunch of horns is definitely a good idea - even if you are trying ones you can't afford. Not far from Best is A&G, who should have some more horns (A&G is owned by the same folks as Union Music in SF, which is a larger store, so they may have more there, but I'm not sure). In SF, SOTW member JayeSF usually has an interesting selection of used older/vintage horns.
 

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JS Crescent, JS NOS, Selmer SBA, Couf Superba I, Conn, Buescher, King
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don44, if you are going to study seriously at a university, please do not buy a 2nd or 3rd tier vintage instrument. You can afford either a first tier vintage tenor (Martin, possibly Buescher Aristocrat, something of at least that level of quality). You can also afford many of the ROC-made instruments, as well as the mid-tier professional line Yamahas (used).

The most important question for you to clarify, imo, is whether you want an instrument whose pitch center is more flexible or less flexible. Knowing the answer to that will vastly reduce your field of good likely candidates.

It's difficult to tell from an up-tempo tune like that what you'd prefer. A ballad by a player whose style you like would probably reveal more.

Yamahas, Selmer Series III, and Cannonball "Big Bell Globaliser" models are examples of tenors with less flexible pitch centers.

Vintage Conn and other vintage American and P Mauriat are examples of tenors with more flexible pitch centers.

If you've never played vintage American regularly in the past, for university study that might not be a good option altogether, as the higher the level you're playing at the more subtle things will make a difference, especially when playing in a section. Additionally, even the best vintage instruments can demand a lot of the player, in terms of mastering intonational idiosyncracies.

It's not a bad idea to consult your future mentors at your new school, of course, to see what their own preferences for you might be.

Good luck!
 

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With $2000 the world is your oyster. Try everything, and keep what you like the best.
 

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Don, I am in SF if you wanna try some horns....I have tons priced from $500-2500. I would have PM'ed or e-mailed you but as a new member I could not. You can check out my website, although it only shows about 60% of what I have. Not even necessarily looking for a sale..i have a backlog of 4 horn orders at the moment...but just if you wanna expand your field of playtesting..I am nearby.

I would not be dissuaded by vintage, either. Some have 'tonal idiosyncracies' as ptung notes...but just as many...do not. And for that budget you can pretty much reach for the stars in an older horn.....although I also have to say that compared to a YTS 21 or 23...many, many a second-shelf vintage horn is significantly better.

You can also call up Eric at Saxology in Berkeley and see if he has anything worked up for sale these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your timely responces and input. amd mr. jayesf I'll be sure to check out your shop when that sax hunt begins lol. thank you
 

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I can't emphasize how much I agree with the last two posts. There is no point buying a new horn when you can get a used pro horn for the same price or less.
 

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With a budget of 2000 your best bet would be a Vintage horn, maybe in silver plate. The old Conn's are great horns and are suitable for any type of music. Just change up the mouthpieces. With a Selmer S80 you get a nice, dark, pretty sound. A Dukoff or a Berg Larson are great jazz mouthpieces and suitable for Rock if you get a larger tip opening and narrower chamber. For 2000, you should be able to score a silver plated Conn 6m or Tranny that would be great for what you're looking for.
 

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Hi, the really nice Mauriats will run more than 2 grand new. You could get a Barone for about that new. They are good choices if you plan to play several different genres. You'll get advice from people that vintage instruments are great all around pieces, and I disagree. Vintage instruments are awsome jazz pieces, but typcially are not as tight up and down the scales, so I don't recommend them for legit work. My Son plays a totally restored Chu Berry tenor for jazz and the instrument is truly amazing! However, it's a bit of a handful on the upper register, but man can it thump! The lower register is a thing of extreme beauty and really makes him stand out, which is what your looking for in jazz, like your clip.

Legit music is looking for supreme tonality and total control on every note. Blasting and bending is not a requirement, or even preferred. That's why your choices are good. Modern keywork and modern intonation, but don't kid yourself, nothing beats an old Conn for Big Band and Combo work IMHO.

Great advice about marching band too. Buy a decent backup horn. I totally recommend Selmer Bundy I's. They are old Buescher Aristocrats and can be had for half or less of the ones that say Buescher!!! DO NOT buy a Bundy II!! I bought a alto for my son for $75 and its a great horn. I paid $700 for his primary Kessler and the truth is the Bundy is a better instrument. The keywork is better on the Kessler, but the Kessler is a cheaply made instrument and does not hold up to this crazy thing called "Practicing". Use the horn alot and it's going to the tech for maintenance. The Bundy is hardy, great for marching band.

Good luck!!
 

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I would suggest buying used as well - yamaha, yanagisawa, selmer , and keilwerth.
 

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Lots of great ideas above, but just a quick comment on this statement:

I need a sax that is going to allow me to play a wide range of genres. While looking around on the forum, i have noticed some members say that some saxes are suited better for certian types of music (ie. conn-rock buesher-classical
No doubt you've read something along these lines, but it's total nonsense. The differences between tenor saxes in no way correspond to a given genre of music. The one possible exception might be that a sax with difficult intonation might not be suitable for classical. Otherwise, it is strictly up to how you play the horn.

The MOUTHPIECE can certainly make a difference in terms of the type of music you play. So get a tenor you have play-tested and like. Make sure it's in top playing condition (or have a tech put it into top condition)--that is VERY important! Then, if you need to adjust to a specific genre (for ex, screaming blues/R&B vs classical) look to a mpc to help there, as well as your own playing style of course.
 

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You can sound really good in every genre on any kind of horn, but not on any kind of mouthpiece. You should find an older Yamaha or Yanagisawa and keep a little extra money to check out some mouthpieces. Your horn only contributes about 5-10% of you overall tone, whereas your mouthpiece is more like 10-20%. Otto Link mouthpieces are a great place to start, they're pretty much the standard for tenor mouthpieces. I was just in Best Music in Oakland and they have a decent selection of mouthpieces. Saxology in Berekely has better mouthpieces, but most stuff there is gonna cost over $300.
 
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