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I'm looking to upgrade my alto saxophone from my current Yamaha basic beginner saxophone that I've been playing for the last six years—since 5th grade, which even then I bought as a pre-owned instrument. Right now, I'm tentatively considering Kaizer's 3000 series alto sax, because according to its description, it works well for advanced students and the price (a bit more than $700) seems pretty good. I'll play a lot after 2 years after I go to college, so I'm not really inclined to spend more than a thousand dollars on a new saxophone. (Is this logical? I might be way off here for pricing.)

I'm currently a junior in high school, and I am not—and never have—taking/taken lessons, but I managed to work my way up to my school's highest-tier concert band. In other words, I sound pretty good, but my technique and whatnot could be utter garbage, and I know very little about the specific mechanics of a saxophone and how to choose one that'll fit me.

Has anyone ever tried this saxophone—or any Kaizer saxophone, even? I'm just curious as to what I should expect in terms of quality, and whether or not it'd be a good choice for me right now.

Also, is there any other intermediate alto that you guys would recommend (ideally below $1200-1300)?
 

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From the looks of it this advertisement the sax you are discussing is a Chinese manufactured horn. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but there are no viable reviews that
give any indication of its quality so you would be shooting in the dark.

I am sure you will receive tons of advice and even some people who will try to sell you a horn. Among the members here there are some fantastic used horns for sale if
you spend just a little more, but you might find a bargain here as well.

You said you play a Yamaha already. I have seen some very good condition used Yamaha 62 and 62II for under $1400. Last week I saw one sell for $900.

That would get you through the rest of your life if maintained. I can also highly recommend the Giardinelli by Eastman GAS-10 or GTS-10 both built in Taiwan. Its a strong intermediate/pro horn made to last and mine plays fantastic.

My final recommendation is that if you have access to a music store go and try some new saxes out and see what feels good to you, and then go here and to places like eBay
and buy a used version because once you leave the store with a horn its worth half its retail price. The Kaizer will have no resell value.

Buy used!
 

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I've never heard of Kaizer before, but I doubt that it is a "better" saxophone in terms of build quality, sound and ergonomics than a Yamaha 2x or 2xx. Don't be taken in by the marketing speak - a Yamaha "student" model is a first-class instrument that is better than many other "intermediate" or "professional" models. Anyone can label their goods as "professional" - it doesn't mean much. But as BrianMitchellBrody says, the only way to be sure is to try out the saxes.

If you want a "better" saxophone than your Yamaha for under $1000 then your best option would be to buy a used instrument.
But there are a couple of other options:
  • get your current saxophone serviced if you have not done so recently - this can make a big difference.
  • upgrade your mouthpiece (which opens up a whole new can of worms!)
 

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If you're looking to upgrade from your Yamaha then purchasing a Kaizer is going in the wrong direction. The best upgrade from your student Yamaha is another Yamaha. A used YAS-62 would be your best bet. However, the student model Yamaha you are playing now is an excellent instrument in itself and other than some periodic adjustments should take you through high school. You would be better off spending any extra money you have on lessons with a qualified saxophone teacher.
 

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It is not clear that buying a new $700 sax will be an improvement. Here is a better way to spend your money - get the Yamaha checked for leaks and adjusted and get some lessons with a good teacher.
 

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I'm tentatively considering Kaizer's 3000 series alto sax, because according to its description, it works well for advanced students and the price (a bit more than $700) seems pretty good.
I'm not inclined to spend more than $1000.....
Also, is there any other intermediate alto that you guys would recommend (ideally below $1200-1300)?
As others have noted, you are putting yourself in a no-answer situation IF you want to buy something better than a Yama student horn, NEW, for $700-1300.

Basically, most would argue that that pricerange simply gets you a new student model of another brand.

Most of the time.

HERE is ONE which, IMHO, IS a step-up from a student Yama, and NEW...seems like can be found in the price range you desire:

The Buffet 100.

I have serviced refurbed over 100 Yama student horns (probably closer to 150)...and I have serviced/refurbed around 10 Buffet 100's...

The 100 is a superior instrument. It is simply a better sax, IMHO. It feels slicker and more responsive under the fingers, and it sounds significantly better than a Yama 23/25/275/280 whatever...It's build quality is as good as a current Yama student horn.

So, there's that. Oddly, a couple of months ago they were available froma few US online sellers, (admittedly with some searching you may be able to find a few here...or you may look for US dealers who have a Buffet 400 (one model up) available and inquire as to whether they can get a 100...they should be able to) but a quick websearch now finds they seem to only be available in Europe....but even with shipping, still withing your price range. Or they are available used, with a return policy, for around $600ish pretty often.

The only OTHER brand I can think of, and I have Zero experience with them....some on this forum are fans of Kessler's offerings.

Some owners might agree they find their bought-under-$1300-new-Kessler is a better instrument than a student Yama.

The best upgrade from your student Yamaha is another Yamaha.
This is not really accurate, though, is it ? I can think of 10 contemporary model horns which are significant upgrades to a student Yama, and like a 62...in the USED price range of $1300 tops. There are a lot of good, reputed models that fit that bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you to everyone who responded! Based on the collective advice I've received from you all and my band director, I'll probably just bring it in to a sax tech to perhaps restore it a bit. I'll try to make it last through high school, but if not I'll probably look into a better Yamaha sax instead of this one.
 
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