You can have my Holton Collegiate Model 566 that's in excellent playing condition and looks decent with the original case also in good shape for only $150. If you don't agree with me after you get it, ship it back and I'll refund your money. My first alto at age 9 was a Holton Collegiate much like this one and it served me well throughout four hears of high school band and beyond.
Be my guest. I can't comment on the relative merits of the octave keys, but can assure you that the one on the 566 works as it should. You will be pleasantly surprised at the value you get in this horn for such a small amount of money. I have two other altos, and honestly don't need three. - Rob
How long has the kid been renting? Is the store applying any rental equity towards the purchase? Many stores (myself included) have a rent to own program where the rent goes toward the list price, which may explain the high figure for what I assume is an entry level Antigua. The store can give a much better price on an outright purchase than if the customer is going to take a couple years to pay it off.
YAS-23 is a good choice, as is the Vito stencil of the YAS-23. I picked up a Vito for my 9-yr old and another for a 10-yr old cousin. They are both great horns. My backup is a YAS-23. If your student is wanting a new horn, go with the Kessler. (I have the Kessler Deluxe Tenor, and love it!)
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