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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have been renting a saxophone for a while now. The store I use gives equity towards a new instrument, which adds up every month. However, in two months, equity ends so I am considering buying one. The decision will be tough, because it will have to fit a few criteria (in priority order):

1. Be a Selmer, Yamaha if no Selmer can fit my needs.
2. Have very quick response
3. Have great projection and sound quality (marching needs)
4. Be light-midweight
5. Be able to survive the elements of a field (Rain, heat, cold, snow, etc.)
6. ALSO have good performance for a concert and jazz setting. It needs to be versatile.
7. Stay below $2200.

I have been considering a AS240 as a good choice for my needs. The 250 is also a consideration. However, I haven't seen many threads on good multi-purpose saxophones, so here I stand. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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I think the Yamaha YAS-62 is a superbly built horn, rock solid.

Here is a great review. Also take a look at his review of the Yani, I would say a good bet too (Very well built)

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Alto/Yamaha_YAS62.htm

My Yamaha projects very well, and is easy to fix. Basically it is the "standard" pro horn. Why buy anything else?

That said, I have never tried a selmer, mainly due to cost constraints. I hear that they have some issues with build quality from time to time (with their modern horns)
 

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Marchingguy: Welcome to SOTW. If you are concerned about damage while marching, buy an inexpensive saxophone such as the Taiwanese-made house branded saxophones from Dave Kessler (Kessler Custom is the model name). They are rugged and play well. I bought one for my grandson a year ago. VERY nice horn for little cost (in relation to the high-end horns).

As to weight, don't buy into those myths. Most saxophones weigh about the same depending on their size (sopranos come in around three pounds) - altos are heavier, of course - but I'll bet the weight differences won't be more than eight ounces. DAVE
 

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Dave's point about weight is a valid one, but strap ring placement can make it feel like much more. My Bueschers and Couesnons feel like they weigh half of what my Cannonball does although I know that is not the case.

Are you saying that you must have a Selmer or Yamaha only? Why?

You might want to check around on pricing. The rental racket often translates to paying full retail for a horn and the "credit" is sometimes less than a normal discount.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
As for weight, I have played a vito for about a year (switching from a yamaha-of which serial I should find out), the vito came in a heavier case and the sax itself felt heavier when high-step swinging. The Yamaha I am renting now (also must check serial) is noticably lighter, I have gotten the same feedback from others.

Yamaha and Selmer are the brands I am most familiar with. Keep in mind I also want this to be a sax I want to keep around for a long time, so it doesn't necessarily have to be a tank "rugged". I prefer warm sounding saxes, that is why the bronze caught my eye.

The review for the 62 seems favorable. I'm going to have to look into that.
 

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Marchingguy: Before you weigh them, I'd withold that comment about one weighing more than the other.

The NEXT myth you need to tackle is the tone of bronze vs. brass. DAVE
 

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marchingguy said:
Yamaha and Selmer are the brands I am most familiar with.
You need to spend some time here reading. There are MANY options out there.
 

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Dave Dolson said:
The NEXT myth you need to tackle is the tone of bronze vs. brass. DAVE
Amen.

marchingguy said:
I prefer warm sounding saxes, that is why the bronze caught my eye.
Come over and play in Buescherland and leave those cold Y & S horns behind:twisted: :D
 

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Another vote here for the YAS-62. If it is half as sturdy as my YAS-23 was, it will survive all your marching/outdoor gigs just fine with little regulation necessary, and will be plenty versatile.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, as I read, the YAS-62 looks better and better. I like the waterproofed pads on the YAS-62II. I wish it would come with a less-basic mouthpiece at that price, it is teetering on the budget line :p
 

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How much is your store credit and what is your cash budget?


We can offer options you may not think of if we have the numbers involved here.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
$1600 is the preferrable limit, but I know the credit is around $400-$500 (wow), so I suppose a sax around $2000-2100 is not terribly bad, but I want to avoid very very high numbers.
 

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Were it me, I'd be looking at mouthpieces and music with the store credit and not limiting myself to that store for such a relatively small sum in credit. You can get a good horn around here for $1600.

Look in the marketplace and see what you can find for that budget. Then ask about the horn, both the seller and the general population around here, so you have as much information as possible. Both about the horn and the seller.
 

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Yamaha lacquer is near indestructible. Also a good thing for a marching horn. Do people seriously recommend Bueschers and the lot for this kind of work? I wouldn't. Those horns deserve better.

The 62 and a decent mouthpiece (maybe a Runyon or a Jody Jazz) should keep you within the upper range of your budget, and it'll last longer than you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Horns deserve better? This is also for concerts and jazz ensembles, so... I think a marching sax is a proud sax (especially at this school, where any sax that is on the field is +1 for the little band). Still, I am trying to avoid internet buying at all cost...no pun intended; I want to play it before I make a choice. I will probably go through some La Vie's, Voixs, Yamahas (specially that 62) and whatever else they can recommend, although they are guitar smart in most cases.

Unfortunatly, credit can only go towards a new intrument. And an instrument at 2100 list price down to 1700 is good enough for me, especially if there are any in-store discounts at the time.
 

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Sorry marchingguy :) - there was no intent to demean playing on the field. Sounds like your school is more accomplished in this area than mine was...
In any event, IMO, the Yamaha will be able to do all you want it to - march, concerts, jazz, polkas, whatever - and do it well. And not need adjustment as often as many other horns. That's it for me, as it sounds like you'll be giving it a try.
 

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I've been biting my lip about this, cause I'm a Yamaha player... The field can be a dangerous place for a sax (and most other instrument). The idea of taking a 62II on the field sort of makes me shudder; granted that it IS your money. I wouldn't want to take my concert/gig horn onto the field regularly.

If I were you, I'd use the store credit to get the cheapest playable sax they have and use that as your marching horn... I'd then take whatever you have left and buy a very nice horn (from this forum) AFTER doing some good research. You can also do it the other way around (buy the nice horn from the store, and a beater from here).

A YAS-23 or 21 would serve you quite well as a marching horn (your instrument tech would like you more if you had a 23). I think that if your store carries them, YAS-52s give you a decent amount of bang for your buck (for brand new prices)... If we're talking used prices, find a YAS-62 (of any era) as they usually are lovely instruments. The other thing regarding some of the YAS-23's is that the same horn is available under the "Vito" name. You can get a steal on these at times (ebay mostly).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So, from what I've been reading; low quality inexpensive is the marching god? Right now, the budget doesn't allow double horning and I want to bring the best I can to our field band. It wouldn't be fair to everybody else bringing on Second Best when Mr. Beautiful is sitting in his case wanting to perform.
 

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I had a long, passionate post, but... never mind. Let him march with and wreck whatever he wants. It doesn't sound like he's really asking for a real opinion anyways, he just wants an endorsement for what he's decided to do.
 
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