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· Registered
86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
am i the only person that has tried these saxophones?, i think there amazing, i bought my first saxophone from there for £459 online, and when i let my teacher play it, he said it was a amazing quality instrument for the money, and five years gurantee!, on the pete thomas website he suggests there tenors as well, saying they are about half the price of the big brand name saxes and the same quality!

· Super Moderator
14,225 Posts
Hansons aren't readily available, or common, in the USA. As a result, very few of our large American audience is likely to comment. Since most of our UK members are also members of Pete Thomas' excellent site, you will likely have more feedback there.

I look forward to testing one of these horns someday, as they are receiving great reviews in the UK, as you have mentioned.

· Distinguished SOTW Member
2,236 Posts
Hanson saxophone

I tried the student model a few months ago. I immediatly liked it alot even though it is a student sax. It was the most comfortable modern sax I have played. Neck angle espicially liked as well as the free blowing response and the way the air stream felt. Intonation was very good as well. Tone was good and very acceptable. It has been at the back of my mind to try it again. It agreed with me and my TMJ that can be sax picky.

· Registered
8 Posts
I am STILL a beginner, I don't have fluent use of the left hand little finger or palm keys, I only have a Vandoren TL4 and Java T45 mouthpieces (with Fibracells) and this is my personal evaluation of Hanson equipment.

To start with I tried Ebay and got a Conn Selmer Prelude thing that could never play quietly or in tune (yes, some people recommend it CLOP CLOP bell keys, no need for coconuts) I went into UK music shops and asked for an in tune saxophone good enough to perform on. The cheapest shown to me was a Yamaha 275 for £600.

Hanson offered a midrange model SA5 for £459 delivered and it was obviously better made..... so I ordered one.

The first sax arrived was an SA3 eclipse model... I unpacked it and checked it over.... it looked like the Yamaha 275 to me but better made. The action was better.
This went home and an SA5 arrived. The middle D was woolly and unfocussed (well, at least I could find it, unlike the Prelude) and this went home after a semi pro sax fiend gave it a blast and pronounced it wickedly good....
the sound of the SA5 was, loud, belting and raw when it wanted to be....a real rocker....some won't need better.

A little while later a gold SA8 came up ex demo and I traded up to that. This was a polite and lighter sax than the SA5, amazingly responsive, excellent intonation, more refined tone than SA5. I'd say the SA5 was close to a 62 and the SA8 better than a 62 for 1/2 the price.

More time passed and I realised the Eb did not go low enough for music I need to play (DUR) so I got a frosted gold ST8 tenor and traded in the alto. This is a heavy monster sax and puts out a huge warm round sound, again with excellent intonation and good response. Its meant to be based on an SA80-2 but the keywork looks similar to a Yani 992, it's truly their own recipe.

The ST8 was made for a metal mouthpiece player - my friend fitted a berg bullet and nearly took the roof off (and ruptured my eardrums). I have tried a Jody Jazz Custom 8 in it (too big for me) and the sound was incredible, but my embouchure isn't up to it yet.

My Hanson ST8 was declared similar to a Ref 54 by one player....basically these horns are incredible value for money and every one is a player. I'm not the only one who has had pain with the octave mechanism, but with a 5 year warranty - (which I've used twice) and Hanson have been totally excellent at customer satisfaction - I'm happy to buy reeds and accessories from UK music stores BUT my saxophone is something special.

The problem you have with Hansons is picking the character of the horn you want. Even their cheapest horn has a character. Mine was ex demo and even better value, don't be afraid to ask if they have any ex demo stock - its just like new but has some minor irrelevant blemish. For instance, my neck has gold lacquer over gold plate and the body is clear lacquer over gold plate.

I'm going to put my Hansons ST8 up aganst some well known bronze bodied saxophones next week and if it wins it's going to be insured....

After 27 years on trumpet, where it's horn roulette in the shop and a serious problem to find one good pro trumpet, (and if you did it rotted 13 months later) buying a sax has been a complete pleasure thanks to Hanson - who even advised me on correct embouchure before I even started playing.

· Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
30,061 Posts
My experience of hanson saxophones is very positive. I borrowed an alto for a TV recording session, a really beautiful and cool sounding instrument.

I also borrowed a baritone, and compared it with Roger Lewis's (Dirty Dozen brass band) Selmer - we both thought it compared favourably.

I bought a tenor frosted gold ST8, but i returned that. Nothing basically wrong, in fact I considered it the best tenor I'd ever played. (That's the one I played when I posted some soundclips on here comparing 3 tenors - Hanson, Conn 10M and The martin). There was just one tiny issue with altissimo G that bothered me so I thought I'd wait till they had some more in the factory and go back to try several then choose one.

I also tried a hanson soprano but I didn't like that so much - mainly due to the action. I'm so used to vintage sopranos I had some problems, but I imagine if you don't mind the G key not being in line (as with modern Selmers etc) you won't have this problem. Those things are very subjective.

I know they have just brought out a MKVI copy and I hope they will let me try one out.
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