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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm looking to buy a soprano and I've read that Antigua makes some very good models. They're a little difficult to find unfortunately, none of my local stores carry this brand. So I've looked on eBay and foud this ad, which seems tempting. I'm a little worried that the seller says he 'believes' it's a A586LQ though. Shouldn't it be easy to find which model you have? I emailed him and he says the SS is yss5042972. Antigua doesn't seem to have a serial number charts though...

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Olivier
 

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Olivier: Welcome to SOTW. If it is an "A"586LQ, it may be an alto improperly listed. I hope there was a photo available that told you it was a soprano.

I had the Antigua 590LQ for quite a while and the only difference between a 586 and a 590 was the addition of a hi-G key to the 590. The LQ stands for "lacquered brass", by the way. The other finish options were silver-plate (S) and black nickel (BN), if my memory serves me well.

The 586/590 models were based on Yanagisawa's S991's . . . dual-necked. The fixed necks were 582 models.

Since that time, Antigua has changed their model designations. The letters preceding the serial number (and I've forgotten exactly what those letters were - but the "YSS" you mentioned could be it), meant that at the time, it was Antigua's current offering as opposed to their previous soprano models. The models with the letters preceding the numbers were considered at that time to be the desirable models over the previous issue.

Now that I sorted THAT out, may I ask your budget? The reason I ask is that Kessler Music (a site sponsor based in Las Vegas, NV) is a known retailer of Antigua models, along with their own house-brand saxophones. I recently played two of his Kessler Custom sopranos at one of his Las Vegas stores and I was really impressed with them. I am a long-time soprano player with several of the top models in my closet.

I'm betting you could buy one of Kessler's own models for the price of a used Antigua - and in my view, having owned an Antigua before and having played the Kessler sopranos, I'd go for the Kessler. He can ship it to you and it will most likely play well right out of the box (with the exception of some unforeseen shipping damage, which I have never experienced when an instrument is properly packed for shipping).

Sure, there may be other options but if you like new stuff, my suggestion would be one way to go. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello Dave, and thank you very much for your answer, it helps a lot! My budget is up to around $1,000, with the caveat that I probably need to finance, which is kind of a pain. However tempting that eBay listing is, that'd be a stretch anyway. My local options are rather limited: a Selmer SS600 for about $1,000 and an Avalon for $600, but I can't find any info on that last one... I haven't tried them yet, only held them to get a feel... I am going to look into the Kesslers though...

I actually usually prefer used because it's better value but right now new is probably my only option...
 

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There are a ton of different brand names out there - many of which are all made at the same factories in China/Taiwan/Vietnam but which bear different names contracted for by distributors. A brand like AVALON? Never heard of it, but that doesn't mean much given the number of various brand-names floating around these days. The Selmer SS line is like that - inexpensive with a Selmer name. They are not to the level of Selmer-Paris, but then again, only a few brand names have that quality - and cache. Among the known Taiwanese-made saxophones, Antiguas are respected.

Yes, Kessler's are of that nature (inexpensive, Vietnam, based on what Dave Kessler has posted here on SOTW). What sets out one brand over another are the details in the contract, the assurances between the factory and the distributor for quality-control and extra features or build-effort, and the way the finally retailer checks out the horn before delivery to the buyer.

I believe Kessler does a good job on all of these factors - I have purchased in the past Kessler Custom saxophones and they played nicely (an alto for a grandson and a tenor for me). The sopranos were really good players when I tested them a few weeks ago.

As far as credit goes, you may have to arrange that independent of the retailer. Or maybe you could use a credit card. I'm not going to get into the efficacy of financing such a purchase. DAVE
 

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Let me add that when buying a used instrument off the internet, (e.g., eBay) you should plan on a substantial investment in repair work. If you are located somewhere where you can't find used or new instruments at a reasonable price, you may also be unable to locate repair services. So, buying a new, well-shop-checked saxophone from a reputable dealer (like Kessler will go a long way to ensuring the delivery results in a good player right out of the shipping carton. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually, I've been really happy with used purchases on eBay so far: I bought two guitars (one electric and one resonator), and apart from a standard setup (which I've had done on every guitars I've bought regardless), both were in absolutely top notch condition. One of them in particular was in like new condition, if it'd been on a wall at Guitar Center nobody would have batted an eyelid. There can still be excellent value on eBay - if you are a little bit careful and take your time...

I think I'm going to look into the Kesslers... Thanks for the tip! I also may have the option to rent, I'll know more on Monday, but that also would be a good option for 2-3 months until I can find Mr Perfect Sax. :)
 
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