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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very much impressed with the Xaphoon Pocket sax, for its price about $100, its portablility and yes the main reason for its sound which is similar to sax and soft. But to tell you frankly that I don't know to play Saxophone. But about music knowledge, I'm an indian composer and playing keyboards, giving notes directing other musicians for my recordings. So can anyone please tell me if a person like me be able to learn Xaphoon pocket sax?


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42,184 Posts
I was very much unimpressed by this non-sax (but sold as one) and found it very difficult to play (especially the finger setting).
If you really must play something like this I'd recommend a Saxonet or a proper Chalumeau

compare the sound of these to the xaphoon

Mind you you could easily make your own and have a better result

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3,494 Posts
Yes, I had the same experience as Milandro.
I bought one (since sold it)
The fingering is very difficult and you would have to spend hours,
no make that years, to get anything decent out of it.
It's a real finger buster stretching to reach the notes and
getting them to seal.
It doesn't have a great sound either and is totally unrelated to saxophone.

What about the Native American Flute ?

2,895 Posts
Great!! Milandro, you come up with some amazing stiff! Thanks. The only xaphoon I tried was nearly impossible.

1,695 Posts
I respectfully disagree! I love my xaphoon very much. It has a warm and soulfull sound, much better than all those clarinets for children with a clarinet mpc on it. Also fingering is easy, as long as you take it as a diatonic intruments, which can play keys with 2 # or b's. There comes a chromatic fingering chart with it, so in theory you could play Schoenbergs dodekaphonical exercises on your xaphoon, but you won't have fun with that kind of music.

BTW: Thanks Milandro for these video links, great stuff! Look out for lindsay pollak videos on youtube, f.e. the mr.curly contrabass clarinet, made of a garden hose !

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Great response from all of you, its amazing.

Thanks milandro for the cool new stuff. But I'm unable to check for the price as I stay in india and its limited with shipping problems.

Thanks kavala, I loved the native flute, but little tough with its budget. I checked the price its 4 to 5 times more than xaphoon. Maybe because of shipping to india.

Hi Taragot, your positive answer for xaphoon made me realise that I need xaphoon even if I hear many negative feedbacks. I'm gonna buy and try and get back to this thread and share my experience if I regret I bought or not.

The instrument Taragot was telling is good but mostly sounds like a synth which I can make with my keyboards. Check the video below to see what Taragot ws talking about. More than this instrument, I'm wondering what sequencer or electronic machine he's using to record all the stuff on real-time loop. Could be a program in his laptop, but I enjoyed the presentation. He also includes the duster which sounds sax. ;)


18 Posts
I bought a Xaphoon a few years ago (the plastic one - $50 back then). It was easy to play the first octave. I also made my own out of bamboo, in the key of G, because I needed more notes on the bottom. The 2nd octave is kind of tough. It is fully chromatic, but I have not heard anyone play all notes well, and certainly not in the 2nd octave. And every youtube video featuring the instrument seems to center on the easy, comfortable section - the 1st octave, with very few sharps/flats.

My real intention at that time was to have something that sounds like the taragot (the instrument). I have finally gotten a hold of a good taragot (2 actually), discovered that the sound is entirely different (the taragot has quite a unique sound, much richer than anything else) and found no use for the Xaphoon anymore.

There are obvious limits to the Xaphoon - the "mouthpiece" is large and you cannot double or tripple tongue on it (too much instrument in the way), and the fingering does not easily facilitate fast playing. But I went into it knowing these limitations, and for 50 bucks, it's a neat little instrument.


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These days you can find a plastic clarinet in working order (for about that price) which will be and sounding better and taking you somewhere as an instrument, don't waste your time with something that isn't a musical instrument.

689 Posts
These days you can find a plastic clarinet in working order (for about that price) which will be and sounding better and taking you somewhere as an instrument, don't waste your time with something that isn't a musical instrument.
Agreed. My experience with a xaphoon was a complete waste of money.

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6,715 Posts
Pretty weedy sound....& plays only in the key of C.
If you play diatonic instruments I would recommend buying five diatonic harmonicas for the same price, to be amplified through a hand held harp dedicated mic...a far better sound...well, at least, in my view.

5 Posts
Hi All! :)

I'm glad I've found this thread.
I also bought a Xaphoon and I was quite dissapointed.
It was really hard to blow (so much pressure needed), although it was obviously loud.
And I didn't like it's sound, it was not "sax-like" more like a clarinet,
but not so bright and rich.
(I only tried the plastic type, so the bamboo version could be and must be better, I think. :) )

But I decided to make my own version of Bamboo Sax! :)

I was working quite a lot, and now I think I have some good results. :)
I'm not an experienced sax player, but I think my intstruments aren't that bad.

Now I'm starting to sell them at a reasonable price. (There quite a lot of work with them.)

You can check them out on my website:

I made some videos, and recorded a sample sound for each instrument,
to know better the instrument before you buy it.

I would be really interested in your opinion!

My insturments are obviously not perfect,
Xaphoon must me more "accurate", and more perfectly tuned (I think).
But I'm able to play my insturments much more gentle (it doesn't need much air pressure),
and they have a beautiful, rich sound.

I adjust the wall thickness on each instrument to support the right frequencies,
resulting a clearer sound and finish them with shellac,
which makes them more durable and feel more natural. :)

I'm really interested in your honest opinion!


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42,184 Posts
Hello Janos. I will be blunt and frank. Sorry about that.

I saw your site and video. In all honesty I don't see how your " sax" is really different from the Xaphoon and my objections to it are valid for your products too.

In my opinion they don't have a nice sound , they are definitely nothing like a saxophone , and with the same amount of money one can buy a plastic clarinet new or a wooden second hand one which will play infinitely better than these simple Chalumeau that you make.

Nevertheless, to my amazement, there seems to be a group of people willing to spend good money for these objets (you will forgive me if I don't call them musical instruments). I don't know why but they do. So I guess you will sell them.

Anyway Jupiter makes a much better instrument called the Saxonett at a price that is only marginally higher.

5 Posts
Hi Milandro!

Thank you for your frank opinion, I asked for that and I got it. :)
(Although I'm happy that others have other and more positive opinion.)

I'm sure my product is not for you.. but I'd like to reflect on a few things If you don't mind.

This "sax" is obviously not a sax and cannot be a replacement of it.
But I think it can bring some joy for the ones, who are searching for something like this.

The main difference from the Xaphoon is in the mouthpiece.
While crafting them I experienced, that so little changes on the mouthpiece can have amazingly big effect on the timbre of the sound.
I use a different type of mouthpiece, so it has different sound. :)
Although the basic composition is quite the same.

I didn't know the other two insturments, thanks for posting them.
I only have experiences with the plastic Xaphoon.
And my experience is that I have to force my fingers on it while it is hard to blow.
My instrument is easy to blow allowing a gentle play.
But yes, the conception is quite the same. :)

You mentioned second hand and plastic clarintes as alternatives,
and they are good if you're searching for that type of things.
My experience is that material really counts. :)
Bamboo is bamboo and has some unique attributes and dynamics,
which cannot be compared to plastic.

For example:

(This video gave me much inspiration during the development.)

Thanks for reading.

I have to tell that I understand your point, and in a sense your right in most of the things,
I just wanted to show a different point of view which is much more favourable for me,
and I wanted to clarify my intents and feeling regarding my own product.

Have great time with your favourite insturment! :)

2,042 Posts
Having lugged around a xaphoon around for decades (along with my pocket trumpet nested in a converted fishing tackle box) as I got deployed hither and yon to locations not conducive to tenor sax's or full sized trumpets, I actually got fairly fond of the thing. The original mouthpiece was OK after a great deal of getting used to but I eventually took an old metal clarinet barrel, machined it and the bore of the xaphoon so it fit neatly into the top part of the instrument (permanent attachment), and now use clarinet mouthpieces on the xaphoon. Plays "pretty much" in tune at A= 444 for two octaves with full chromatics- though the low C# and Eb are both very stuffy and the G at the top of the staff runs very sharp without care. While I very much enjoy it for just laying back and noodling, it would never occur to me to use it in any performance situation- however small. It's, for me at least, a private vice public, instrument.

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42,184 Posts
well, what shall I say........A musical instrument which is meant to play with other musical instruments should at least have some intonation points of contact with the instruments that it seeks to play my not so humble opinion :) your version of the Xaphoon (the Xaphoon was born made of bamboo by the way it is called the Maui bamboo sax....... but a sax it is not!), the not following a western musical scale.........not to my ear.

It is a rather well documented scientific fact that the material of which a woodwind instrument is made of has no influence on its sound. A plastic clarinet of equal dimensions as a wood clarinet sounds exactly as a wooden one,........ as long as the shape its the same. The unicity of bamboo instruments will probably be in the fact that no instrument is the same as another......(yes, I give you that) hence the erratic ( it is and understatement) intonation of your Xa-clone.

I wish you good luck with your endeavour , you have the possibility that a new client would be born every day............they usually are

28,508 Posts
I think Linsey Pollacks Carrot Clarinet beats any of these erzatz saxes by a mile. And no one can beat the price for one carrot and a cheap plastic funnel.

You can make one yourself from his video tutorial and measurements.

Added bonus is that you'll never go hungry with one of these. :mrgreen:
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