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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in taking up the soprano sax now, when my only experience before is on alto and tenor.

I want to purchase one but I really only have a $300 max for it. I'd like to get a good used horn, but I'm open to all suggestions. What are the best choices I have? Thanks!

EDIT: Might be good to mention that it will be used for classical quartet playing.
 

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used or stolen


$300 won't buy much of a soprano through standard channels.
 

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Contact Bruce Bailey. He was doing something with some Chinese soprano saxes. That is about the best you can do for close to your budget.
 

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For that kind of money you can get an OPUS off from ebay, but you will NOT be able to get it to play in tune.
 

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Take a look at both Diplomatte and Venus sopranos.

Music Wheel, on Ebay, sells Venus sopranos at that price and they are a good value. You probably need to spend about $75 more to make sure it is reasonably adjusted after you get it.

Diplomatte's contact is [email protected].
The Diplomatte horns are a good value as well and have been setup to play.

I've played them both. Either is a good place to look for a good quality, low priced soprano.
 

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...Venus sopranos at that price and they are a good value. You probably need to spend about $75 more to make sure it is reasonably adjusted after you get it.
2nd the venus, there's a thread specifically about them on here. I had no need to make any adjustments to mine although I did buy a decent mouthpiece - yam 5C.

Search on youtube, there's a clip of a guy playing one he just bought, sounds fine to me (ok, it's not a selmer...but it cost less that £200).

**
found it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKF5jQs9N64

I have no idea who the guy is, could well be the person who sells them in the uk, but he has a great brummie accent :)

(yeah, he's not a fantastic player, he's not playing fantastic music, but he certainly demonstrates that the sop is not going to hold a beginner back)
 

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For that kind of money you can get an OPUS off from ebay, but you will NOT be able to get it to play in tune.
Don't know anything about the OPUS, but the venus plays in tune from bottom C up to the palm keys. Bottom Bb is a bit sharp and the palm keys just go all over the place...some of that's probably me, but I have another sop and that plays in tune better.

However, the Venus is certainly ok for a beginner. How often will you play the palm keys on a sop as a beginner?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anyone every heard of Maxtone "French engineering" sopranos? How are they? I've come across a like new one for $200.
 

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Another Venus recommendation here - they play incredibly well for a $200 horn, top to bottom. All I had to do was some very minor adjustments. But the mouthpiece is garbage (^Joe can take care of that issue for you.......... :))

They are sold by Musicalwheel on ebay - but you may have to wait for the next container-load to arrive, I think the sopranos are sold out.
 

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I'll add my vote for the Venus. My curved soprano plays in tune through its range, and has held up well for four years. I use the Yamaha 6C mouthpiece with #2 reeds.
 

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Anyone every heard of Maxtone "French engineering" sopranos? How are they? I've come across a like new one for $200.
Maxtone saxes are Asian made. I've read some are made in Taiwan and some are made in China. Check out their web site.

A $200 soprano? If new - probably made in China. If used, maybe Taiwan, maybe China. Hard to tell without more info.

The "French engineering"? A euphemism for design characteristics. Not necessarily made or designed in France. Just a knock off of Selmer Paris design only to plant in one's mind the "intended" playing characteristics of the horn.

Edit: do a Search on Maxtone. Quite a few posts. Perhaps not soprano specific but you'll never know till you look.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maxtone saxes are Asian made. I've read some are made in Taiwan and some are made in China. Check out their web site.

A $200 soprano? If new - probably made in China. If used, maybe Taiwan, maybe China. Hard to tell without more info.

The "French engineering"? A euphemism for design characteristics. Not necessarily made or designed in France. Just a knock off of Selmer Paris design only to plant in one's mind the "intended" playing characteristics of the horn.

Edit: do a Search on Maxtone. Quite a few posts. Perhaps not soprano specific but you'll never know till you look.
It is used, locally found, so I can playtest it, which is always a plus.
 

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