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I'm a high school student and i would like to get a pro horn. I could use some feedback!

I am a heavy jazz fan and my "forte" is Big Band! I also like dixieland and bop, not so much the modern stuff!

My band directors say i should either get a Custom Z or an SA80. Personaily i don't like the feel and sound of Yamaha.

I've heard great things about the SX90, how it can "cut through the biggest big band and blend seamlessly in a small group" I like a bright sound. It could save me a few hundred bucks also!:D

On the other hand the SA80 is the most widely used horn out there and is one of the best!


I don't know which one!:? Can you help? Thanx!
 

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The SX-90 is not a bright sax(despite what the JK website may say). It may be brighter than it's corresponding "R"(rolled tone holes supposedly darker tone a bit) model but because of their bigger bore JKs are dark saxes. SA80(rich sound) and custom Zs(very warm sound) are middle of the road saxes w/ referance to brightness. The series III Selmers and Yanagisawas(brass models-bronze are slightly darker{trhough some will say material doesn't matter}) lean towards the bright side. Jks are great saxes,one of my faves!!!!But SA80 and custom Z are quite nice also!!!!
 

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Oh I see you posted in the Selmer section and the Keilwerth section!!!!The Keilwerth is dark sounding. The Yamaha Z and Selmer SA80 are "middle of the road" in between bright or dark. Selmer series IIIs and Yanagisawas tend to be bright.
 

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JD, I have a Serie II alto and JK and Z tenors and I have played a JK alto.
Either the Selmer or the JK will work well for big band. They have different core sound to them and if you can, you really should listen to each one so you know what I'm talking about. To make a very broad generalisation, I would say as a lead alto in big band with the JK you would have a more rounder sound and with the Selmer a brighter (or more compact) one.

The JK alto just has a distinct sound. When I played one, the sound was smooth and darkish. For me it was almost too void of texture - very smooth. I had a colleague who played a JK alto and a Meyer metal mpc and she could get a Candy Dulfer vibe to her sound as well as a more conventional jazz sound. I was just play testing mine while she had lived with her setup for a couple of years as a conservatory student.

Regarding the Z if you don't like it then end of story. Since your band director's two choices are the Z and Selmer, my guess is that he's more partial to a Selmer vibe - which the Z can have - than an American Conn sound, which the JK has more of, so he's steering you away from the JK. Personally, I think the z would make a very good big band alto. Another Yamaha that I think is overlooked in this context is the Yamaha Custom EX, which I think has good potential as a jazz horn, I'm just not aware of many playing them.

I had my choice over all the altos last fall/winter when I was shopping around and chose a Selmer Serie II but that was because of its capabilities not only as a jazz horn but as a classical one also.

I'll tell you one thing, and that is you can't go wrong with either the Selmer or the JK. Pick the one that rings your bell because that alone will give you more incentive to practice and dig into working on your horn. Bottom line - you really need to play test both horns.
 

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I see you are only 14 years old. When I was 14 and I wanted something really expensive, I had to wash dishes in our home, BY HAND mind you for 1 year every night. And that was for a $400 BMX bike. How are you going to earn your new $2000+ saxophone? Man most kids your age don't get these kind of choices. You must have some rich parents! :D
 

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Finnerski said:
I see you are only 14 years old. When I was 14 and I wanted something really expensive, I had to wash dishes in our home, BY HAND mind you for 1 year every night. And that was for a $400 BMX bike. How are you going to earn your new $2000+ saxophone? Man most kids your age don't get these kind of choices. You must have some rich parents! :D
I've been ssaving up! I have about half saved up! my folks will help too. I really want kep going w/ my music and my as300 was slowing me down! The action is soo un-Godly slow!!!:x
 

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Thank u all for your feed back! I have played the sa80 and the z but i am yet to try the jk! Thanx agian!
 

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you will have to try them for yourself. i've played all three and they all play great. i bought yamaha because it played the best for the price. the other two were not worth the extra dough for me.they were different but not better. and being a doubler i wanted an alto and tenor that had the same intonation.
 

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WWBW has a SX-90 Alto for about $2200! That is few hundred dollars less than a Z and a grand less than a SA-80!
 

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Jimmy,

Is there any possible way you can try out these horns you are talking about before you buy one? JK's, Selmers, and Z's all have different feels and sounds. If you are going to spend those hard earned dollars on your new horn, you gotta try it out first. If you enjoy playing the Selmer more than the JK, well then its worth forking out the extra dough. You might not even like a JK, there are several players that do, and there are several players that don't. Do yourself a favor and ask your mom and pop to take you out horn shoppin'. You will have a blast doing it and you won't be disappointed once you fork out that massive amount of money. Think of it as looking for that new girlfriend. Do you go out and ask your friends who you wanna get funky with? No, you check em' all out, maybe play the field a bit. Am I right? Well I hope I am!

Peace Jimmy!
 

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I have to agree, play them.
And the Girlfriend anology I guess works.
But I would probably say that this is more like a Marriage proposal. You are going to be playing this horn for along time, just like you will probably stay with your wife a long time. You got to do it right.
 

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Carbs said:
You are going to be playing this horn for along time

Really?:twisted:



Just kidding!:D
 

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Sorry, once you figure out what you have, and enjoy playing it (or don't have a choice; thanks guys) you will end up playing it for along time. If you want a pro horn I have a nice Yani 800 for $1200 that will save you a fortune ;), just kidding it is not for sale.

But I stick with my suggestion find a horn, play it, buy it and enjoy it.
 

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Carbs said:
I have to agree, play them.
And the Girlfriend anology I guess works.
But I would probably say that this is more like a Marriage proposal. You are going to be playing this horn for along time, just like you will probably stay with your wife a long time. You got to do it right.
Well I think the girlfriend analogy will work for Jimmy, it just won't work for you because you've never had a girlfriend. Chakatobooom! :D I've seen many boyfriend/girlfriend relationships outlast many marriages!
 

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I haven't had a girlfriend, that is news to me and many fortunite ladys. Just because I choose not to date my horn doesn't mean I have never had a girlfriend :D;).
 

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Carbs said:
Just because I choose not to date my horn doesn't mean I have never had a girlfriend :D;).

Hey man, thats old news to me. Scroll down to # 55 on this link. My wife doesn't mind sharing me with a few horns.:D
 

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Lets just say, I was very happy when I got that horn. You'll understand, once you get that that chick under your, well whatever! :D
 
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