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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear All

as most others do, I use the internet to look at horns for sale.
I currently have a couple of altos, and I look with interest at tenors for sale, as I would like to get one, one day.

Sometime I find a saxophone for sale that is not advertised as either alto or tenor - just saxophone for sale. I know that a tenor is a larger instrument than an alto, but without a point of reference in the picture that is hard to tell. I enquire with sellers about this in particular, but unfortunately some sellers do not know much about sax types and cannot answer the question. I also understand the danger of purchasing online a saxophone from someone who cannot even say what type of sax it is, but all the same this issue has made me curious.

This may be a newby question but I'll ask anyway - looking at a sax pic, and without any other information, what suggests/indicates that the instrument is a tenor or an alto?

Thank you in anticipation.
:treble::bluewink:
 

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VENDOR "Innovation over imitation"
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The neck on the tenor will have a curve in it.
The neck on the alto will be straight from the top to the cork
 

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As 10mfan says, the neck is a dead giveaway. If you look up a few pictures of each and examine them carefully, you'll quickly be able to recognize the difference: the tenor has a portion that is slightly more "hook shaped" -- for lack of a better description -- that the alto is lacking.
 

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Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
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Tenor necks have a reverse curve sometimes referred to as a "S" curve. Alto necks have one simple tangent curve not two curves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your replies and info - much appreciated.
Yes, now that you pointed that out I realise the difference.
cheers
.:cheers:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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Now you need to learn to identify (and avoid) a C-melody sax.

“Ewwwww, that C-Mel...” - Alice Cooper.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
saxophone, flutes and lil' bit of clarinet
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Very good point. C Melody saxophones will look almost the same as tenors in photographs.
 

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the there is the strategy of a post a week asking what this or that is ( we have been there, but not by OP) and how much it is worth
 

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Now you need to learn to identify (and avoid) a C-melody sax.

“Ewwwww, that C-Mel...” - Alice Cooper.
Avoid ? It technically is a tenor...your favorite. Isn’t that song by Lynyrd Skynyrd ?


Darkhorse Good luck on identifying C melodies by neck only. They can have both styles of neck.
Some but not all saxes have letter stamped by serial number. T,A or C.
Measuring would by your next option to ask if seller doesn’t know what they have.
Measuring length from bottom of bow to top without neck on. Just like it’s sitting in the case.
Plus or minus some this gets you really close.
Soprano is ?? 18 ?? I forget.
Alto is 22”
C melody is 24”
Tenor is 29”
Rent for awhile, read and learn from this site. You’ll be happy you did.
 

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the there is the strategy of a post a week asking what this or that is ( we have been there, but not by OP) and how much it is worth
Followed by how much for a COA or repad.....buy first ask questions later. How much it’s worth after buying is one of my favorites. I always check market prices after I buy something :banghead:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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Dear All

as most others do, I use the internet to look at horns for sale.
I currently have a couple of altos, and I look with interest at tenors for sale, as I would like to get one, one day.

Sometime I find a saxophone for sale that is not advertised as either alto or tenor - just saxophone for sale. I know that a tenor is a larger instrument than an alto, but without a point of reference in the picture that is hard to tell. I enquire with sellers about this in particular, but unfortunately some sellers do not know much about sax types and cannot answer the question. I also understand the danger of purchasing online a saxophone from someone who cannot even say what type of sax it is, but all the same this issue has made me curious.

This may be a newby question but I'll ask anyway - looking at a sax pic, and without any other information, what suggests/indicates that the instrument is a tenor or an alto?

Thank you in anticipation.
:treble::bluewink:

One thing you can do is to look up the saxophone in saxpics

http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&c=968

If you know the name of the sax, you might be able to find it on the site and view photos. This could be useful in getting familiar with the way different saxophones look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PigSquealer and click - useful additional advice
7" difference in size between alto and tenor - thanks - numbers always the best benchmark.
did not know about saxpics - great reference also to learn more about timeframes/production periods for some of the most famous models.
 

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Despite Saxpics having being one of the most important references through the many years, that I’ve used it, the past experience has proven also that there were many misinterpreted attributions and limits to the site (a lot of the images for example are no longer available)
 

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Despite Saxpics having being one of the most important references through the many years, that I’ve used it, the past experience has proven also that there were many misinterpreted attributions and limits to the site (a lot of the images for example are no longer available)

Is there a better alternative that I should be using?
 

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Well, depends what you are looking for.

In these many years I learned to use saxpics but to take the information with a grain of salt. Helen Kahlke’s Bassic sax http://www.bassic-sax.ca has some very good information.

There was an attempt or two to create a better image data bank than the one available on Saxpics ( and I have given a contribution of pictures to the couple of initiatives which required it) but they all seem to have stranded someplace.

Since saxpics was taken over there were no upgrades and frankly speaking the site would need some maintenance

Just as an example look at this

http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&c=781

One of album with no pics (containing 6 items?)
Another album with minute low res thumbnails
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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Well, depends what you are looking for.

In these many years I learned to use saxpics but to take the information with a grain of salt. Helen Kahlke’s Bassic sax http://www.bassic-sax.ca has some very good information.

There was an attempt or two to create a better image data bank than the one available on Saxpics ( and I have given a contribution of pictures to the couple of initiatives which required it) but they all seem to have stranded someplace.

Since saxpics was taken over there were no upgrades and frankly speaking the site would need some maintenance

Cool.

saxpics

bassic-sax

Thank you once again, Miliandro!
 

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Cheers

It would be nice if there would be a co-ordinated effort on saxontheweb to imporove upon the Saxpics reference site both with images and text but I think that organising this would probably be a Gargantuan task, which explains why, Saxpics, despite its age and limitation is still the best reference around.
 
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