Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
Give Dave Kessler a call - He's a SOTW Sponsor and has some really good quality inexpensive sopranos. Not only that, but I've called him on 2 occassions and he was extremely helpful in my own soprano search.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
I don't think there ARE any good, cheap sopranos. There are some good inexpensive sopranos and calling Dave Kessler for one of his house-branded sopranos or an Antigua is a good recommendation.

I know - it IS parsing a bit, but the words "good", "cheap" and "soprano" should never be used in the same sentence. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
The chances of coming up with a "good cheap soprano" are a long-shot. Yes, it would be nice - but rare. DAVE
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
189 Posts
I've owned a Yanagisawa soprano (it was an elimona, so it's not really a top of the line horn) and I currently own a $600 straight Buescher and a $630 curved Jean Baptiste. To me, both horns are "good." At least I've never heard anyone complain that I sound bad and then proceeded to ask what brand I'm playing on. Before I bought the Jean Baptiste at Sam Ash, I asked to try a Cannonball curved soprano which cost around $2100. The difference was immediate. The Cannonball seemed to blow more freely. When I switched back to theJean Baptiste it felt like something was stuck inside the horn that prevented the sound from coming out. But it was all a matter of adjustment for me. After a few minutes with the JB it was blowing as freely as the Cannonball, and since I picked it up it has sounded fine and I'm happy with it. I won't deny the difference in feel/accessibility and maybe tone quality between the Cannonball and the Jean Baptiste, but I can tell you that the difference is not worth the triple price. I've only had the horn for about a month so I can't comment on the longevity and other stuff. Unless you're a cream of the crop player I don't think it will make that big of a difference whether you're playing on a $3000 soprano or a $500 one.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,016 Posts
I started playing soprano on a MK VI. It wasn't a particularly good one, but it was in more or less good condition. It was a loaner from college and I count it as a blessing. I spent plenty of time with that horn and never found the keywork to be difficult - it was what it was. If I had started on a different soprano, the MK VI keywork would not feel so great, that inline thing is not for everyone for sure. I'd suggest you get a VI or a VI clone for a starter horn so you aren't limited by keywork down the road when you want to move up to a better instrument. The newer style of palm keys aren't a problem to move to from the inline, but going the other way isn't so easy for some.

YMMV.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
Fighter: The Elimona designations were Yanagisawa's top model at the time they labeled their saxophones "Elimona." Hardly a low-line soprano.

Next, there was an earlier discussion here on SOTW where many of us seemed to agree that "cheap" was different from "inexpensive." True, a matter of semantics, but when we usually discuss cheap saxophones, we mean those from China or India with brand-of-the-day markings and intonation so poor one couldn't play the horn alone.

There is nothing wrong with a nice vintage soprano (I own two) nor the many inexpensive ones one the market today (Antigua, etc.; I own one). But when a newbie wants to buy a soprano, please advise them to stay away from the cheapies. Like has been said here many times, a beginner on soprano needs all the help he/she can get WITHOUT fighting the horn (a typical result when buying a CHEAP soprano. DAVE
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
From an earlier post that asks the same question,

Go to ebay and look for these:

* Prestini
* Maxtone
* Winston

Look in that order. I had an early Winston that needed a different neck to play in tune. I eventually sold it here on SOTW for about $250. The new Winstons have better reports. And I have heard good things about Prestini and Maxtone from the get-go.

If you can find a little more cash you may be able to get a used Antigua off of eBay for around $500. I've noticed the prices have been going down lately on these great horns.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
189 Posts
Dave Dolson said:
Like has been said here many times, a beginner on soprano needs all the help he/she can get WITHOUT fighting the horn (a typical result when buying a CHEAP soprano. DAVE
You're right, I definitely "fought" the Jean Baptiste (and won, luckily!). It's a double edged sword. While it is better to not have to overcome a horn's little issues if you're a beginner, it's also important to not cough up a couple grand on something that you'll find out later on to not be "your thing." But yeah, you bring up a good point. With the JB I was able to find a way around the obstacles it presented, something a beginner might not be able to do.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,029 Posts
The maxtones I have had were lower quality. I think anyone wanting a lower priced soprano should look for a Vito/Whitehall/newer Martin which are a Yanas. Great horns that usually go for $600-900.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top