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Never dreamed that I would actually read this post here. :D I have a lark tenor from years ago which I really want to upgrade from.

Having said that, the Lark is actually from China and if compared to other Taiwanese models such as Jupiter, Antigua, etc, is many years behind. When you say for 850 dollars, is it US dollars? Then I think you can get much better horns at that price. One that I would recommend (although I haven't tried) is Kessler's Custom Tenor which is retailing at that price, too. I am recommending it by sheer good report and feedback from current users. You can check out his website from here (at the top of the forum) as he is the sponsor to this site.

I have been playing on my Lark Tenor for several years now and believe me if you don't get discouraged by it at first, you can build monster chops on it just by the sheer hard work you have to put yourself through to get a good tone. :cool: I gig with it and I long for the day that I have enough cash to upgrade. That way, I would already have paid my dues.

Good luck and don't make a decision too soon. Weigh your options first you if have the opportunity!
 

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If I remember correctly, the Lark is the same thing as the Swallow (please don't get started on that again), which is the same thing as the newer SML A400 and T400 (the Strasser-Marigaux company has sued because the manufacturer is using the SML name without permission).

These are definitely R.O.C. horns. Student quality. Considering I think that these are also the same as the Keilwerth ST-90 student model, they're probably not terrible student horns.

I'd still heartily recommend that if you're looking for student hornage, you get a Yamaha. I've seen a few posts here that say the Kessler horn's nice, too.
 

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Saxpics is as knowledgeable a guy as there is about these things, but let me add a qualifier: if you buy a student Yamaha, have it gone over by a tech before you try to play it for any length of time. In my experience, the YAS-23 and YTS-23 are non-players from the factory. They're good solid horns, but the setup work is pretty bad.
I imagine that, with all the Asian brands on the market these days, there's probably a couple that are ready to go as soon as the receipt is printed; one I can recommend is Alpine, but they aren't easy to find. Wouldn't be surprised, tho, if a Yamaha will outlast most of these, because Yamahas can take abuse. Just have them play-conditioned before you get serious with them, or you'll be very frustrated. Good luck!
 

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China sax vs. Taiwan sax

Let me just take this opportunity to clarify the difference between China horns and Taiwan horns having had some experience with both. I've also traveled and lived in the Greater China area for many years which includes mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
When it comes to technology in general I'd say Taiwan is several years ahead of China so saxes made in Taiwan are generally of much better quality than the China made horns. The best example of a Taiwan-made quality sax is Jupiter (I play a Jupiter). Other big name sax makers (Keilwerth, Selmer, etc) also have some models made in Taiwan which I think testifies to the higher standard of Taiwan made horns.
Having said that, the quality of China-made saxes are improving everyday and there are a few gems which can actually compete with the Taiwan made horns. Still, in my opinion, it will take the Chinese manufacturers several years and huge amounts of investment in technology and equipment before they can catch up with the Taiwanese. They're beginning to do this and one or two Chinese makers are trying to get help from US sax players to refine their products. News about these developments have been posted on this board from time to time.
It must be remembered that Chinese manufacturers are generally targeting the local (China) market when they make their saxes and this is a market which generally cannot afford the higher priced better quality instruments we're used to in the US and Europe.
The reason why so many of these cheap saxes are flooding the US market at present is because some people want to make money by selling the horns intended for the China market in the US. That's not necessarily illegal but we know it shouldn't be. Still that's capitalism at work.
I've also seen some saxes made in India but they're so primitive you wouldn't want to touch them. But that's another story.
 

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I think many of you are confused with knowing Taiwan and China ;). As a Taiwanese, I am proud of it :D I feel extremly upset when someone says I am a Chinese. I am sure this is similar with saying "hey, are you an American ?" to a Canadian. :| "NO !, I am a Canadian, eh~"

There are still people who live in either the USA or Canada think that Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean are all the same. Just like many people in Asia still think Americans, Canadians, British, and Australian are all the same. :)

IMHO, "ROC" is just for "paper work", and it means Taiwan. Nothing's wrong with it, just that "C" shouldn't be there.......... :?
 
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