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Discussion Starter #1
I've made 2 purchases over the last year, and here's what I learned
  • Mouthpieces make a big difference: I tried the super session mouth piece that came with the selmer reference on my yamaha. Big surprise! Mouth pieces make a difference. Although the yamaha lacked the rich low notes of the selmer, it still came very close to the sound I was looking for just by changing the mouthpiece. I probably wouldn't have bought the selmer if I had noticed this. Always try a new mouthpiece on your current horn before buying a new horn.
  • Don't buy vintage horns off ebay unless you're ready for a financial loss or there is a return policy: I bought a Pierret off there. It's a good horn, but I've changed my mind about it and regret buying it. For now, I'm stuck with it.
  • Ergonomics can be just as important as sound: If there is a great playing horn with bad ergonomics, it's gonna catch up with you. In my mind, my yamaha has better ergonomics than the selmer. One trick with the yamaha that isn't possible on the selmer is that you can go from a Ab to a Bb by fingering Ab and hitting the side Bb key. This is a huge advantage when playing the Ab scale fast. On the selmer, this note is way out of tune, so it can be done. I think the yamaha horn has almost perfect ergonomics.
  • Don't use reviews or forums or the advice of a sales man as a basis for buying a horn

In retrospect, all I ever need was the yamaha horn. I never needed to purchase these other horns.
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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on ergos the size of hands, etc has an impact. it is very hard to know if ergos will affect you unless there are specific identifiable things. and then, unless you have tried you won't really know if it *could* be worse or better.

but really, Yamaha has some of the best ergos out there. I know that, i've played Yamahas but still own Selmer.

and don't ask about mpcs. I own a bunch of mpcs and they all give me varying tonal qualities - but i have them for that reason.

also, sometimes ppl do not notice differences until given some time. sometimes ppl don't "listen" enough or as deeply as they need to to hear differences. it's all so variable ......
 

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Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member
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#1 rule I've learned. If at all possible "try before you buy".

If not possible, try another one.
 

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queperknuckle said:
]Don't use reviews or forums .........
that depends on who's writing the reviews or what kind of forum.....I found Stephen Howard's reviews excellent and this forum very informative (the comments of the others just give you material upon which you can form your opinions.....they aren't " the truth" but just the perception of it....)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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I've bought 5 saxes in the past few months and this is what I've learned.
1 It's fun to buy them
2 It's can be like an addiction
3 Old horns and cases can smell bad
4 You should know how to fix them
5 The Selmer I started with was plenty good enough
 

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Mope said:
I've bought 5 saxes in the past few months and this is what I've learned.
1 It's fun to buy them
2 It's can be like an addiction
3 Old horns and cases can smell bad
4 You should know how to fix them
5 The Selmer I started with was plenty good enough

WOW:!: That's wisdom:!: :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mope said:
I've bought 5 saxes in the past few months and this is what I've learned.
1 It's fun to buy them
2 It's can be like an addiction
3 Old horns and cases can smell bad
4 You should know how to fix them
5 The Selmer I started with was plenty good enough
Good lessons. No doubt! I'm done buying horns now. Go three great ones. I mean, it's impossible to say between those three horns which on is better.
 

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Not everyone can try a horn before you buy it ... some of us live where there is no other option than to order them sight unseen.

My lessons learned
1) If you buy off ebay, have it sent directly to a highly recommended rebuilder for him to "do what has to be done" ... and yes, expect a economic loss - though not a lot if you do it right. However, you can expect a horn that works ... and may well be a keeper.

One thing for sure, if you order a horn off eBay and you don't have a professional review it, there is a 95% chance of you not being happy with it.

2) Better yet, buy from a reputable dealer. I thought I was going out on a limb and buying direct from the Junkdude ... but what a wonderful horn I got.

3) Before buying anything, research, research and then ask questions - here at SOTW.

W.
 

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queperknuckle said:
Don't buy vintage horns off ebay unless you're ready for a financial loss or there is a return policy
I've been very happy with all the vintage horns I've bought through ebay. I think a lot depends on how you approach the purchase. I research the seller, positive feedback is a must. Rare negative feedback is not necessarily a deal breaker, but I look into the history of the people who gave the neg feedback - do they sound reasonable, or have they received and given lots of negative feedback? The comments can give a lot of insight. I only bid on horns in good playing condition, sold by players. Pass on the "might need some work, I don't know anything about saxophones" deal. Even then, allow $100 for repairs. If I want to spend $800 on a horn, I won't bid over $700. Then when the horn that was advertised as "perfect, ready to play" turns out to need a couple new pads and some key adjustments, I'm still within budget. If you don't like what you bought, you can always resell it and get most of your money back (or more) as long as you didn't overpay in the first place.
 

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"King In The Castle" & Distinguished SOTW Member
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I have not regretted selling any horn yet (knock on wood). And I am glad I could not sell two tenors in the past few months. After unsuccessfuly trying to sell them, I played them again and, as someone said, listened to them deeply. They turned out, or so I came to realized, to be great horns.

Likewise, I have almost bought some horns that I would have regretted buying. Luckily, I have always sent their pictures and details to my friends here on SOTW - so many to list by name - and ask for their great advices and insights. After that, I would draw up my own cost-benefit analysis. In cases where cons were greater than pros, I would not purchase some horns.

So, my lesson is this: Be slow in choosing horns and be SLOWER in changing them!
 

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Yellowhorn said:
So, my lesson is this: Be slow in choosing horns and be SLOWER in changing them!
Great oriental wisdom!

Yesterday I picked up my Mark VII which I wanted to sell after buying my new King Super 20......I am glad that I didn't sell it yet.....I'm keeping it, for the time being at least...:cool:
 

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Milandro -

Can you send me some pics of your 7?

Thanks, mate.
 
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