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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been thinking on changing my current Tenor. I'm have been studying sax for about three years now and playing both alto and tenor. I like the tenor more, but I find that I always practice and play the alto because the horn is more comfortable.

This is the sax I have right now: https://www.adverts.ie/brass-wind-instruments/conn-new-wonder-tenor-sax/6003536

The sound is beautiful and what I want: A kinda loud, bluesy sound. The problem is that is really uncomfortable to play, specially when compared with my alto which is a bit more modern.

Can you recommend me a sax with that kind of sound, but better ergonomics? My budget is of about 2500 CAD.

Thanks!
 

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You can make any tenor sound like what you want, provided it is in working order.

A Yamaha YTS-23 is a little above your price range and is sturdy with modern keywork, but it's such a good horn at the inexpensive end that I can't not recommend it. I have no experience with cheaper horns and always recommend the YTS-23 to my students.

BUT HOW COULD YOU GIVE UP ON THAT GORGEOUS HORN?! Conn New Wonder? SHEE-OOT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know! It's beautiful. And it has an even more beautiful voice. It's such a shame that I the keyboard is so hard for me :(. Specially transitions in the low notes are difficult. I sometimes have the feeling that it's too much of a horn for my current level...

Thanks for the recommendation! I am not sure I understand your comment about the price, though. It seems that it's around the 1000CAD, which is way less than what I was expecting to spend. I will see if I find oine nearby and I will go and try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
you might like this https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?350372-Viking-M58S-Tenor-Sax
around 1750 usd I believe

you might also like a borgani, but they will likely be above your price point
I don't seem to have permission to see the link. But from the URL, I can see is a Viking. That's a brand I was considering, yeah, and I was about to get one at the time that I bought my current horn. But it is hard to find and last I knew they were no longer produced...
 

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You made a wise choice buying your Conn at the time.
I would take a used Yamaha or a Jupiter any day over a Viking.

Sorry, but...I have seen a couple of those on my techs' benches.
'Nuff said.

If you are gonna buy used, for $2000-ish CAD, you can do better than that.

The Jupiter 7XX or 8XX series horns are pretty darn good, and they tend to go for what'd be in your zone. For that money (equivalent to around $1900USD) you are also in used Yanagisawa T6 or 800 range.

Then, a new favorite of mine for someone looking for a contemporary horn, are the current Buffet 100's and 400's (gasp :dazed: - Jaye just said something NICE about a Chinese-made sax ?). These can be found used quite cheap; here's a new 100 on eBay, which quite honestly, is sort of a steal:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BUFFET-BC8...=item44320f4b68:g:bHYAAOSwl1FcKop6:rk:15:pf:0

I'd take this horn hands-down over a new Yama 23/26

Keep in mind (your probably already know this) that the tonal paradigm of a modern horn is gonna be really different from that Conn of yours. Of the four I mentioned, probably the Yani would come closest in that respect....the Buffet in second....

Dunno how DEEEEP into things you wanna get, too. I mean, are you looking for something fairly quickly available ? Or can you be patient ? A B&S Blue Label or 1000 is also a choice worth considering if you want more modern-style keywork but still wish to maintain more of the vintage tone. Those come up reasonably often, used, and they are well in your ballpark, price-wise.

Also, although not seen as often, the discontinued Keilwerth EX series is a good horn, too.
 

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I have to disagree with the Buffet 100 being a steal. Its worth about half that. Who are your techs Jaye? Don't you have a business refurbing horns?
 

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I don't seem to have permission to see the link.
sorry, i didn't notice your post count, etc

marketplace rule says

"For those members joining aft June 16, 2013, Marketplace Privileges are attributed after six months AND 50 posts relevant to saxophone or some aspect of music making. This does not include very short, irrelevant or "+1" type posts that are merely added to increase post count. Repeatedly making such posts will be viewed, and dealt with, as spam."
 

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I have to disagree with the Buffet 100 being a steal. Its worth about half that. Who are your techs Jaye? Don't you have a business refurbing horns?
Well Saxcop...I like you, mate...an since you asked, I'd be happy to oblige:

But, BTW..how many saxes have you worked up ?
Over 1000 ?

I have.
Vintage ......and modern. Maybe like a 65%-35% split.

(Although IMHO that query of yours is a bit of a puzzler...because it seems to intimate that a tech who has 15+ years experience working on older horns is somehow not an appropriate professional to give an opinion on the quality of a modern horn which has crossed his path ? A bit of a specious argument, that would be....)

I've seen 2 Vikings on my techs' benches, . One tech in Bay Area. One in Portland. Guys with 20+ years experience each.
Not hearsay. Literally, I walked in, and there were the horns being serviced.
They were not happy campers working on those...and they showed me precisely why.
Fabrication precision was not very good. Key play, badly threaded point screws. Body metal was thin - and key metal on the softer side.
Matter of fact, one guy even thwacked one of the side keycups with his knuckle, and it made the key leak.
Even once assembled and regulated, they just didn't feel particularly substantial.

Lay those horns next to a Yamaha, a Yani, a JK, a Buffet....it's no contest.
They just weren't very good horns. Sorry.
That's my assessment, and I saw two firsthand; they weren't pieces of crap, but they were basically middlin'-quality asian horns ...being aggressively pushed/marketed as 'pro-level' instruments on par with Yama, Yani, JK, etc.
Which was pretty absurd.
And the company is out of biz now after a very short run.
'Nuff said.

Now, in fairness: On the good side......they were VERY, VERY sexy looking !! (Perhaps the company should have considered putting less resources into their blingy detailing and more into the engineering and fabrication R&D ? Just a thought....)

Regarding that Buffet 100. I'll agree with you in this respect: the market value of a used 100 Tenor is probably around $600-700. The market value of a used Alto is around $500.

But that Tenor there is a brand-new horn. As we all know, depreciation of the value of around 90% of modern horns is significant, compared to their new pricetags.

Note there was a Best Offer option on that horn...for a brand new horn. So I look at that and I assume seller would certainly accept 10% lower, no problem.

So... a brand new Tenor, established name brand, not boutique brand... which can be had for $1300 or perhaps a tad lower ? I have worked up three 100's in the past year; 2 Altos and a Tenor....IMHO they surpass the current Yama 23/26's...hands down in all categories.

~They sound better.
~The keywork is more responsive.
~And the build quality is at least just as good. (I'd actually say the engineering of the key mechanics is superior).

In a recent thread on 100's in the Buffet section, here's an owner chiming in on his alto:

I took mine in to Bruce Belo, whose credentials in addition to servicing instruments for The Tonight Show and other pro players, also include being the Orange County School District's brass and woodwind tech for decades. So, a few saxophones of all levels of construction and makers have passed through his hands. His knowledge and skills are top notch as others on this forum can attest. He's also very matter-of-fact and forthright. Bruce plays a MKVI alto.

Bruce set up my alto when I first bought it while we talked. Then he played it for 10 minutes; a mini concert. The Buffet, and Bruce sounded pretty damn impressive in the cavernous room that is his workshop. Afterwords, I remarked on his playing and said that he got a fantastic sound out of a 'student' horn. Bruce, who plays a MKVI remember, was immediate and firm in his assessment that the build quality and playability of this alto was not student level, meaning it was better. He said it twice. Some may disagree.

I paid $600 for mine. No regrets. It has great intonation up and down, no fussy or stuffy notes, excellent projection, and is mouthpiece friendly. Feels fast and smooth in hand. No issues in 3 years since Bruce set it up. My only beef is that it's heavier than my cherished Big B and my '45 silver Zephyr. But it's an alto so . . . . YMMV.

and another member:

Another Buffet 100 owner here. Mine looks exactly like this. Very high quality, solid horn, better than equivalent Yamaha model. I'll check the serial tonight.

EDIT: My serial is BCA 9648 something, close to yours. I like it better than any intermediate model Yamahas I've owned. Tone and build-wise, it's on par with an old Selmer USA I used to have. Both are very heavy, solid horns, with a somewhat dark sound. Lots of nice pro-level touches - steel springs, plenty of adjustment screws, mother of pearl keys.
Now, a quick search shows a brand-new Yama 26 (which seems to be what has replaced the 23 in N. America).....costs around $2600.

This 100 on eBay likely costs $1300-ish. Perhaps they'd even accept $1200 (?)

A pretty solid example of a no-brainer, for someone looking to buy a new horn....

....IMHO...from a guy who has refurbished and serviced a very significant # of saxes.

Cheers.
 

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I wasn't questioning your knowledge. After all I've asked you for advice several times. I was just surprised that your were referring to someone as "my techs'. It didn't make sense to me when you have refurbed 1000 horns. Your peers maybe?

I completely agree that the Viking isn't as good as a pro horn from the big 4. However it appeared you were comparing it to student horns. I would disagree and I do own one. However I would also agree with you that they were over hyped. I have also seen many posts from you not liking Taiwan horns. You may think that its only defensiveness, because I own one. Not so as I own 7 Taiwan tenors at the moment and its not the best of the bunch.

I dont have to have refurbed 1000 horns to be able to have an educated opinion. I don't see the defects that you pointed out. I have a bunch of pro tenors vintage and modern and I compare them all the time.

I look at what can be bought for the same money. Whoever buys that Buffet will loose about $500 the moment they receive it.
 

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Maybe keeping the old Conn is completely off the table, but I play a NW II and consider it the most horn you can get for your money. The Jazz lab sax holder made it 100 times more ergonomic and playable for me. Worth a try if you want to save a ton of dough and keep the horn your used to. My Conn is stone stock and I can play for hours without discomfort now. With a neck strap I was cramped up and hating it after 20min.
 

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I have a Keilwerth stencil that has a lot of the power and bluesy vibe of the older horns. PM me if you are interested in it. The keywork is NOT based on the mark six, I believe. Not sure where you would go for Conn New Wonder sonics and mark six keywork, besides those folks who have paid thousands US to modify.
 

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Well Saxcop...I like you, mate...an since you asked, I'd be happy to oblige:

But, BTW..how many saxes have you worked up ?
Over 1000 ?

I have.
Vintage ......and modern. Maybe like a 65%-35% split.

(Although IMHO that query of yours is a bit of a puzzler...because it seems to intimate that a tech who has 15+ years experience working on older horns is somehow not an appropriate professional to give an opinion on the quality of a modern horn which has crossed his path ? A bit of a specious argument, that would be....)

I've seen 2 Vikings on my techs' benches, . One tech in Bay Area. One in Portland. Guys with 20+ years experience each.
Not hearsay. Literally, I walked in, and there were the horns being serviced.
They were not happy campers working on those...and they showed me precisely why.
Fabrication precision was not very good. Key play, badly threaded point screws. Body metal was thin - and key metal on the softer side.
Matter of fact, one guy even thwacked one of the side keycups with his knuckle, and it made the key leak.
Even once assembled and regulated, they just didn't feel particularly substantial.

Lay those horns next to a Yamaha, a Yani, a JK, a Buffet....it's no contest.
They just weren't very good horns. Sorry.
That's my assessment, and I saw two firsthand; they weren't pieces of crap, but they were basically middlin'-quality asian horns ...being aggressively pushed/marketed as 'pro-level' instruments on par with Yama, Yani, JK, etc.
Which was pretty absurd.
And the company is out of biz now after a very short run.
'Nuff said.

Now, in fairness: On the good side......they were VERY, VERY sexy looking !! (Perhaps the company should have considered putting less resources into their blingy detailing and more into the engineering and fabrication R&D ? Just a thought....)

Regarding that Buffet 100. I'll agree with you in this respect: the market value of a used 100 Tenor is probably around $600-700. The market value of a used Alto is around $500.

But that Tenor there is a brand-new horn. As we all know, depreciation of the value of around 90% of modern horns is significant, compared to their new pricetags.

Note there was a Best Offer option on that horn...for a brand new horn. So I look at that and I assume seller would certainly accept 10% lower, no problem.

So... a brand new Tenor, established name brand, not boutique brand... which can be had for $1300 or perhaps a tad lower ? I have worked up three 100's in the past year; 2 Altos and a Tenor....IMHO they surpass the current Yamaha 23/26's...hands down in all categories.

~They sound better.
~The keywork is more responsive.
~And the build quality is at least just as good. (I'd actually say the engineering of the key mechanics is superior).

In a recent thread on 100's in the Buffet section, here's an owner chiming in on his alto:




and another member:



Now, a quick search shows a brand-new Yama 26 (which seems to be what has replaced the 23 in N. America).....costs around $2600.

This 100 on eBay likely costs $1300-ish. Perhaps they'd even accept $1200 (?)

A pretty solid example of a no-brainer, for someone looking to buy a new horn....

....IMHO...from a guy who has refurbished and serviced a very significant # of saxes.

Cheers.
The Viking Line came from 5 different factories. The first m58 Legend series, m21 Swing Sonics, M58s second edition ,M40 Acoustic Balance, m40cb Acoustic Balance and the Euge Groove house of groove horns all came from the same factory but had very different specs. That factory Known by those in the Biz and run by the guy named Boss man is one of the P factories. The m229 came from another factory starting with a C. The M60 Valkyrie came from the Saxophone Playhouse factory. The m58 New York Model with rolled tone holes and straight tone holes came from the Wonder Ears Factory. It's just my opinion that making blanket statements such as

"They just weren't very good horns. Sorry.
That's my assessment, and I saw two firsthand; they weren't pieces of crap, but they were basically middlin'-quality asian horns ...being aggressively pushed/marketed as 'pro-level' instruments on par with Yama, Yani, JK, etc.
Which was pretty absurd.
And the company is out of biz now after a very short run.
'Nuff said.

IS BS.

1300 horns sold is pretty good for 7 years. Out of business because of personal issues. Klicken a guy when he is down and being on a quest to devalue a brand that involves fellow horn players investment for possible resale. Real Nice!

Your statements are just plain ignorant and mean spirited. You can't judge a line of instruments based on trying or looking over just two instruments of the same model from one of several factories. Your techs said? Hearsay.... It's no secret that you don't like me George. Stop the misinformation. I'm not selling saxophones at this time and I'm not cutting into your business any more. Viking won't be coming back but I will protect my name and the time and work I put into the Viking Brand.
 

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The Viking Line came from 5 different factories. The first m58 Legend series, m21 Swing Sonics, M58s second edition ,M40 Acoustic Balance, m40cb Acoustic Balance and the Euge Groove house of groove horns all came from the same factory but had very different specs. That factory Known by those in the Biz and run by the guy named Boss man is one of the P factories. The m229 came from another factory starting with a C. The M60 Valkyrie came from the Saxophone Playhouse factory. The m58 New York Model with rolled tone holes and straight tone holes came from the Wonder Ears Factory. It's just my opinion that making blanket statements such as

"They just weren't very good horns. Sorry.
That's my assessment, and I saw two firsthand; they weren't pieces of crap, but they were basically middlin'-quality asian horns ...being aggressively pushed/marketed as 'pro-level' instruments on par with Yama, Yani, JK, etc.
Which was pretty absurd.
And the company is out of biz now after a very short run.
'Nuff said.

IS BS.

1300 horns sold is pretty good for 7 years. Out of business because of personal issues. Klicken a guy when he is down and being on a quest to devalue a brand that involves fellow horn players investment for possible resale. Real Nice!

Your statements are just plain ignorant and mean spirited. You can't judge a line of instruments based on trying or looking over just two instruments of the same model from one of several factories. Your techs said? Hearsay.... It's no secret that you don't like me George. Stop the misinformation. I'm not selling saxophones at this time and I'm not cutting into your business any more. Viking won't be coming back but I will protect my name and the time and work I put into the Viking Brand.
Ya know, Rich...one would have hoped that perhaps you would at this point have left the strafing behind. But apparently not. Apparently you still insist on calling people names. One would have hoped that your previous experiences would have perhaps made you moderate your modus operandi a bit, given your desire to be an authorized representative of a product.

As I said, my assessment isn't that the Vikings were junk by any means. But as I have reiterated multiple times....they were just OK horns ~ yet you repeatedly pushed them, incredibly aggressively, as 'pro' models which could stand toe to toe with the top-shelf biggies. And beyond this, you and your surrogates very aggressively (and at times personally) attacked anyone here who posted opposite impressions. Producing some serious low points in the history of this Forum.
Add to that the descriptions of your instruments as something they clearly were not (the word 'clone' was a favorite descriptor if I recall, although these 'clones' turned out to not match the body/neck specs of the supposed classic model which they were 'cloning'....at all. Just some of the detailing (keyguards, etc) which made the horns aesthetically 'look sorta like' the older model.....)

The precision and quality issues are not something most players would notice, but when horns go to the bench and get disassembled, they become apparent.

So....here we are in 2019. And there are 1300 horns out there. And we see them come up for sale, used...fairly often.
That says something.

Not 'bad' instruments.....but certainly not what their 'marketing' claimed they were, is all. So folks purchased them for a pretty good penny, and now find for the most part they cannot turn 'em for what they want to/feel they should go for.

That's the used market. Time, as I have said before, possesses a good deal of leverage....it is a long-term balancer.....

I continue stand by my comments, and I do not stand alone in my assessments. And with my experience in refurb and servicing work, my assessments are anything but 'ignorant'.

It's a bit sad that the poor OP's thread has digressed into this yet again. I certainly did not send it here.

I simply initially stated, as I will continue to state when I feel apropos, that there are better/smarter purchases out there ~ so if one is considering one, proceed with caution. Saxcop could have simply stated he disagreed, but instead decided to insinuate that my professional experience was somehow dubious grounds for me to make such statements.
Didn't have to go that way, but welcome to chatboards, I guess.

Regardless of all of that....best to you and your future endeavors; and may your past experiences begin to inform your future actions/endeavors.
 

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Ya know, Rich...one would have hoped that perhaps you would at this point have left the strafing behind. But apparently not. Apparently you still insist on calling people names. One would have hoped that your previous experiences would have perhaps made you moderate your modus operandi a bit, given your desire to be an authorized representative of a product.

As I said, my assessment isn't that the Vikings were junk by any means. But as I have reiterated multiple times....they were just OK horns ~ yet you repeatedly pushed them, incredibly aggressively, as 'pro' models which could stand toe to toe with the top-shelf biggies. And beyond this, you very aggressively (and at times personally) attacked anyone here who posted opposite impressions.
Add to that the descriptions of your instruments as something they clearly were not (the word 'clone' was a favorite descriptor if I recall, although these 'clones' turned out to not match the body/neck specs of the supposed classic model which they were 'cloning'....at all. Just some of the detailing (keyguards, etc) which made the horns aesthetically 'look sorta like' the older model.....)

The precision and quality issues are not something most players would notice, but when horns go to the bench and get disassembled, they become apparent.

So....here we are in 2019. And there are 1300 horns out there. And we see them come up for sale, used...fairly often.
That says something.

Not 'bad' instruments.....but certainly not what their 'marketing' claimed they were, is all. So folks purchased them for a pretty good penny, and now find for the most part they cannot turn 'em for what they want to/feel they should go for.

That's the used market. Time, as I have said before, possesses a good deal of leverage....it is a long-term balancer.....

I continue stand by my comments, and I do not stand alone in my assessments. And with my experience in refurb and servicing work, my assessments are anything but 'ignorant'.

It's a bit sad that the poor OP's thread has digressed into this yet again. I certainly did not send it here.

I simply stated, as I will continue to state when I feel apropos, that the horns aren't what they were cracked up to be, and there are better purchases out there ~ so proceed with caution. Saxcop could have simply stated he disagreed, but instead decided to insinuate that my professional experience was somehow dubious grounds for me to make such statements.
Didn't have to go that way, but welcome to chatboards, I guess.

Regardless of all of that....best to you and your future endeavors; and may your past experiences begin to inform your future actions/endeavors.
Well George it seems you did send it this way in post #6 and in post #9. It appears that you jumped at the chance to throw the Viking under the bus, when all I asked was who are your techs.

There are plenty of people that have claimed to have been so happy with their Viking that they turned in their high price vintage horn. I have read a bunch of people claiming that they were as good as this or that. So I don't think he is totally off base in making a like claim, when his customers were doing the same. Though I am not familiar with him doing so.

I disagree with that they come up fairly often for resale. However with 1300 horns out there they are bound to. How many on Ebay right now? I also disagree that Rich attacks anyone that says contrary to what he was saying. I can use myself as a case in point. I criticized him in a way that cost him substantially, and he was never harsh to me. Ultimately I apologized for my poor course of action and he graciously accepted it.

My viking is a fine horn. I haven't overhauled 1000 horns. However I have recently worked up a S20, Yam 875, Mkvi, Buescher 140, and continue to maintain dozens of horns. So I may not be as good as you but I have experience. What I do have is dozens of horns that I can compare side by side.

I don't have people I call my techs. That is because I do my own horn work. Its odd to say that. I have people that will help me when I need advice or complex repairs to include you. However when we claim to represent the opinion of others it called hearsay in my business. It has the appearance of bolstering ones claims, but in reality is of no value.
 

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As an unbiased reader one thing I observe here is a lack of data leading to people fighting over opinions and brand loyalty.

What I observe is that there is no clear data presented. I dont doubt that JL has specific reasons for his opinion. They are hinted at but not clearly spelled out.

Im sure this leaves the OP completely in the dark.

On my end, I dont work on horns and I dont want to. I prefer things that lack moving parts!

Saying. "I dont like brand x" would be more meaningful if we knew what issues in the "Build quality" were problematic.

Are threads stripping, rods weak. Are posts positioned wrong? We dont know.

You just cant assume that because of your reputation and credentials its all accepted.

One thing I wonder about various brands of asian horns is their longevity. I have not played a Viking. I have a horn and Im not shopping. Are there immediate problems or is it an issue of how these instruments will fare over time. Are they 5 year horns, 10 year horns or like the current OP's horn one that will last more than a lifetime? ... Just wondering.

My point is that simply because Im a mouthpiece maker I cant simply say "Brand x isnt up to snuff or as good as brand Z". At least I dont think its enough. I have to follow with reasons why. Otherwise, it all can turn into a pi$$ing match.

I hope that makes some sense. Move the discussion to one that is fact/observation based and very quickly a great deal of emotional content is stripped away.


Just my 2 cents. With inflation that opinion will be worth less than 1 cent in six months...opinions are not worth much. Experiences and facts stand firm.
 

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You could always send it to Das Blahaus and have them put modern keywork on it.

...better have a thick wallet. They do amazing work but it is a LOT of work.
 

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Conn NWII + modern ergos = Borgani Jubilee (“J” series, the one with the big bell).
 

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AugustinCB, I can't think of a horn that sounds like a Conn tenor but with more modern ergonomics. But you might want to try a Martin Comm III. A quality horn, with a big sound, and quite a few of them look to meet your price criterion.
 
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