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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
my curvy sop is killing me and my daughter - leaking like crazy and needs a massive overhaul - we're both having issues with it jumping up the octave and clenching to press keys too hard, causing RSI to hands.

The overhaul it needs is likely not worth the cost, and so I would rather do it myself... currently overhauling a pawn shop alto to get some practice in, then I will do what I can to my baby curvy. But... in the meantime my daughter and I both need a soprano to play - we can't be out of action for the 6+ weeks that it will take me to carefully overhaul. And - I have always wanted to get a straight sop as I do prefer the tone.

I really can't justify more than $400 USD, and while I prefer vintage saxes, I need one that is in good playing order with decent intonation right away, for my daughter's sake.

I am looking at a few used ones locally (in Australia) - can anyone comment on these brands?

Fontaine
J Michael
Antigua
Emporer (the one I Am looking at says Deluxe ESS-200N)
This sax: https://www.ebay.com/itm/SAXOPHONE-SOPRANO-ROY-BENSON-ANNEES-2005/123812319914 (A Roy Benson)
This sax: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Legacy-USA-Intermediate-Soprano-Saxophone-w-CASE/273886779881 (a Legacy - though honestly I think it's ugly)
This (a Stagg) https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stagg-77-SST-Y-Bb-Soprano-Saxophone-W-Hardshell-Case/283304550264

Or for sake of not having to worry about what kind of condition a used sax is in, should I go for a cheap Chinese one? Probably can't stretch the budget to a Taishan - what about an Ammoon or Lade?

What would you buy if you just wanted a horn that works but didn't have much budget, and you needed it fairly quickly?

for those who are playing along at home... yes I previously asked about a tenor purchase. That was before I realised just how much trouble my daughter was having with the sop... and before a gig at which the final high G came out as sort of a G and a quarter, which is NOT a pretty way to end The Muppets Theme Song! Tenor buy is now on hold...
 

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Hi,
since you asked for chinese instruments: I playtested mercury sopranos from the jinsheng factory some years ago on the frankfurt music fair. They sounded really awesome (not only awesome for the money) and were in tune. All kinds of forms and finishes. I bought one of their flutes then which holds up very good.
The website:

http://en.lk-js.com/

good luck
 

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I would definitely recommend the Antigua. I've owned one for about 10 years now, and I think it's got to be the best bargain in soprano saxophones, and one of the best sopranos currently made, regardless of price.
 

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Second Antigua. On my second one and ergos are very good (Yanagisawa Clone) as is tone and intonation. Also solid build quality and made in Taiwan which are still respected more than Chinese made horns. If you can find one for $400, snap it up.
 

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I say go with the Antigua Winds (580/590 series and newer) as well. I own and play one, and hey are amazing for he small amount of money spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone - I'm looking into the Jinsheng's and the Antigua, which is a bit more pricey but there's one that's close to the budget.

I am currently overhauling a Jupiter alto... I'm not at all impressed with the build quality - but I know they are a little better than they used to be. I think I've just been scarred for life on that one!
 

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Thanks - I love the look of them. Do you know where you can actually buy them?
I'm not shure if you mean the mercury sopranos, but if so: I ordered some instruments (flute, clarinet) directly from another factory in the neighborhood on the longkou peninsula (lkjinming) and it went fast and very easy. I talked to them on the music fair and after some emails I placed my my order which was processed fast and professional. Of course this is a bit of a gamble - but perhaps they have a provider of their instruments in australia.
 

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Well, I have bought two Barrington sopranos so far. they cost about $400 new, but I got mine used for about a third of that. They have great tone and are built to last, as they are made in Taiwan NOT China! The ergos are slightly clunky compared to my Yani, especially the pinky keys. But I have used them as busking horns for years and they held up very well. i only bought the second one because the first one was run over by my bass player. Beware of gray instrument cases that match the color of the pavement.
 

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Search up this seller on eBay.....

seller:dongfangleqi

I bought a curvy from them, custom designed, and other than a small octave mechanism adjustment it’s amazing. Paid $399 for the curvy shipped to USA in 4 days!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I say go with the Antigua Winds (580/590 series and newer) as well. I own and play one, and hey are amazing for he small amount of money spent.
Can you tell me if an X/P series is newer or older? I don't understand their numbering systems... there is a used x/p on ebay for US $525, but on instrumentspot.com they sell them new for $402, so I'm a bit confused as to why that is!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm not shure if you mean the mercury sopranos, but if so: I ordered some instruments (flute, clarinet) directly from another factory in the neighborhood on the longkou peninsula (lkjinming) and it went fast and very easy. I talked to them on the music fair and after some emails I placed my my order which was processed fast and professional. Of course this is a bit of a gamble - but perhaps they have a provider of their instruments in australia.
Yes sorry, I did mean the ones from Jinsheng - whether they be labelled mercury or not doesn't matter too much to me - but if you ordered from a different factory, which one do you recommend more? Mercury or the lkjinming?
Thanks.

Well, I have bought two Barrington sopranos so far. they cost about $400 new, but I got mine used for about a third of that. They have great tone and are built to last, as they are made in Taiwan NOT China! The ergos are slightly clunky compared to my Yani, especially the pinky keys. But I have used them as busking horns for years and they held up very well. i only bought the second one because the first one was run over by my bass player. Beware of gray instrument cases that match the color of the pavement.
Ouch!

As it is, we may have to go curvy after all. Turns out the child can't really reach a straight properly, and she is adamant she wants to stick with curvy, while waiting to grow into tenor. So we need a curvy for about 18 months. Sigh.
 

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but if you ordered from a different factory, which one do you recommend more? Mercury or the lkjinming?
IMO, the Mercury branded saxes are great (or were great when I played several at the Frankfurt Musikmesse some years ago) and my flute is a lkjinming, which is labeled forest.
 

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Can you tell me if an X/P series is newer or older? I don't understand their numbering systems... there is a used x/p on ebay for US $525, but on instrumentspot.com they sell them new for $402, so I'm a bit confused as to why that is!
The X/P is their current student line. I have no experience with those. The Antigua Winds line I'm referring to are their CAD copies of the Yanagisawa horns. The 580/590 series (which has since been renamed).
 

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I recall when Antigua introduced those sopranos which they claimed were based on Yanagisawas' various models . . . they were the 582/586/590 sopranos (by memory?). I bought one from Kessler. It was a decent soprano.

My 590 LQ (LQ meant lacquered brass) looked pretty close to my S992 but the Yanagisawa was clearly the better instrument. I recall there was a "YS" stamping in the serial number on the Antigua that differentiated between the most recent issues and the Antigua models that preceded the Yanagisawa copies. The common wisdom was that the most recent issues were much better than what Antigua had issued before.

Now, Antiguas have different model designations, changed from 582-590 series. But as I understand it, the newest numbering-system models are essentially the same as the older 582-590's. DAVE
 

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Yes sorry, I did mean the ones from Jinsheng - whether they be labelled mercury or not doesn't matter too much to me - but if you ordered from a different factory, which one do you recommend more? Mercury or the lkjinming?
Thanks.



Ouch!

As it is, we may have to go curvy after all. Turns out the child can't really reach a straight properly, and she is adamant she wants to stick with curvy, while waiting to grow into tenor. So we need a curvy for about 18 months. Sigh.
I could see a curved sop working for a child, except for the embouchure and intonation issues. But for ergos my problem with curved sops is my fingers are always bumping into metal everywhere.
 
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