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Discussion Starter #1
i have an LA sax soprano it’s over 15 years old now and needs some repairs. My guy said rough estimate will be around $100. I really want a pro soprano but was wondering how bad is my current one. can anyone Tell me anything good or bad about LA sax straight sopranos at all. I looked and couldn’t even find em anywhere so I honestly don’t know if they r still even around or being made any more. Thanks guys and gals

any thing you can add please please let loose. I would love to hear The good the bad the ugly. In fact the more the better
thanks
sean
 

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Hello Welcome to Saxontheweb L.A. Sax is a company importer of Asian instruments they have imported over the years many instruments from several makers both in China and Taiwan.

They are , as a brand, not bad to very good but much depends on model and on conditions.

Having said this, repairing a saxophone, any saxophone, and spending only $100 sounds cheap to me, lots of people would pay that for just having the sax professionally oiled and checking it out, replacing a few corks and felt where needed.

We have large archives of threads but at the moment the search engine isn’t working as well as we wish it to.

Nevertheless I have found a few threads for you, click on the following links

 

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The LA Sax Taiwan horns were good, and WWBW sold a re-branded 'saxello' under the 'Woodwind' name. I had one of these for many years. In my view the LA Sax brand was the king of the Asian saxes. The 'saxello' (tipped bell, two necks) in particular had a fat sound with a lot more 'meat' than anything else I tried, including premium sopranos. Other Woodwind saxes apparently were not LA Sax and came from China. These were okay - I procured a number of them for kids of friends/associates. I would play them, make adjustments and then play them on a gig to prove that they were capable of being played. I didn't buy another horn of this origin for many years, when I bought a Kessler baritone in 2015, which turned out to be a great one. As far as I know right now, the Kessler saxes are probably the best bargain going.
 

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First as stated, you have a reasonable horn. Second, a service of a hundred bucks is nothing. Compare it to the price of a pro soprano sax and it becomes pocket change. Granted money is tight these days but, to me, there is no question. Have your horn fixed and enjoy.
 

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If you want to upgrade and your LA Sax soprano is working OK for you (other than needing $100 worth of work which is probably no more than a couple pads and some regulation), your best bang for your buck will be in mouthpieces and reeds, not in a different horn. About the cheapest you're going to find a professional grade soprano would be a Buescher True Tone in good nick which will run around $1000 if you get a good deal. $1000 will buy several good mouthpieces and several boxes of various reeds. Alternately, it would buy 10-20 hours of professional instruction.
 

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Yup. If you have $1-1.5g, then get a used pro soprano.

But if you don't...then again, $100 ? That is NOTHING as far as a tech bill goes. If it ONLY needs $100 of work...consider yourself lucky.

You could try for an 'in-between' solution (i.e. "maybe if I spend $650 I can really get an upgrade"). You could find a used Jupiter 6XX or 7XX for that price point....the thing is, it'd need to be guaranteed to be in good playing shape or your money back.

In this instance, Turf's suggestion seems pretty good. Get the horn serviced, see if it is working well for you (blows easily, intones well). If it does, then the next 'upgrade' would be maybe do some mouthpiece hunting and spend $100-150 on a good mouthpiece setup.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
wow I can’t believe how great these forums are. As you can see this was my first ever post and I’m very pleased to see everyone was super helpful and even more importantly polite. You rarely find that quality of help in forums across the web despite what subject matter that may be focused on. I guess Ill do as you all suggested and focus my savings on practice and getting the best sound possible. Perhaps like many mentioned a good mouthpiece and maybe a tuner of some sort as I have no way of knowing how good or poor my intonation is at the moment (with all my horns that is). Any recommendations on a cheap tuner that gets the job done?
again I cannot thank u all enough. I love a great forum with highly respectful members.
🍻
 

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I guess the first question is what kind of music are you into and what is your particular sound concept. A Buescher True Tone is certainly a great horn but it is vintage and unless you have a proclivity toward Trad or dixieland style music it may not be suitable for you. Since you've been playing a more modern style horn the last 15 years and are used to those type of ergonomics I would think a used Yamaha or Yanagisawa or something else more modern would be a better choice for you. You don't specify a budget, but today you can buy a new pro horn at a reasonable cost, and there a plenty out there to choose from. I would suggest spending some time on the web scoping things out.
 

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Yeah, meat tuners are unnecessary. Just get a phone app and you have it with you all the time.
 

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I'd disagree that a Buescher is only suitable for trad. Back in the early 80s I did all my fusion and avant garde soprano work on a Holton (very similar sound profile to the Buescher). My favorite saxophonist of that time Larry Slezak played all his bebop soprano work on an ancient Selmer Model 22.

My point, however, was that for professional quality sopranos a Buescher or Holton is about the lowest cost option, and they can be had for around a grand. Anything else in that quality range is going to be a lot more. The guy who's concerned about spending $100 for some pads and adjustment is probably not the guy who's in the market for a $3000 Selmer Yanagisawa Yamaha or Buffet.
 

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I'd disagree that a Buescher is only suitable for trad. Back in the early 80s I did all my fusion and avant garde soprano work on a Holton (very similar sound profile to the Buescher). My favorite saxophonist of that time Larry Slezak played all his bebop soprano work on an ancient Selmer Model 22.

My point, however, was that for professional quality sopranos a Buescher or Holton is about the lowest cost option, and they can be had for around a grand. Anything else in that quality range is going to be a lot more. The guy who's concerned about spending $100 for some pads and adjustment is probably not the guy who's in the market for a $3000 Selmer Yanagisawa Yamaha or Buffet.
Well, like I said Buescher's are great horns, but not for everybody. And I'm sure a great player can play any style of music on one. However, since the OP has been playing a modern horn for 15 years the ergos on a Buescher may not be suitable for him. Plus the tonal quality would be a bit different. You're making a few assumptions as far as the OP's budget goes. He simply stated his tech quoted him a $100 to tune up his current horn, not that it was too expensive. My best advice for him would be to take his LA sax after it's been worked on to music store and play it up against some new horns for comparison. However, since we're in a pandemic that's really hard to do these days. So, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. :)
 

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wow I can’t believe how great these forums are.... I love a great forum with highly respectful members.
🍻
You’re welcome. I try to believe it is related to our core shared passion, music. My experience with other music related forums is also very positive.
Anyway, we certainly all wish you full success with your horn.
 

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Well, like I said Buescher's are great horns, but not for everybody. And I'm sure a great player can play any style of music on one. However, since the OP has been playing a modern horn for 15 years the ergos on a Buescher may not be suitable for him. Plus the tonal quality would be a bit different. You're making a few assumptions as far as the OP's budget goes. He simply stated his tech quoted him a $100 to tune up his current horn, not that it was too expensive. My best advice for him would be to take his LA sax after it's been worked on to music store and play it up against some new horns for comparison. However, since we're in a pandemic that's really hard to do these days. So, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. :)
Yeah, we're not even disagreeing about the real question here - should OP ditch the LA soprano? I'd agree with you - get the $100 worth of service, then go from there.
 

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