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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Soprano sax has always interested me, from the moment I first learned about it. Recently I've been focusing more and more on my sax playing and I'm sure it's something I want to continue with in the future. Tenor is my main instrument, though I've been playing more alto lately and have been loving that too. However, I've never even so much as touched a soprano in my 7 years of playing, despite how much it interests me. If I bought one, I know for a fact that I would get use out of it besides just practicing on it. However, I'd like to keep the price of this saxophone down if I did buy one since I would want to see how much I like it before spending big on a nicer soprano.

I've done a bit of research, and I came across this video where Better Sax tries out this soprano, and finds it to play surprisingly well for such a cheap instrument, and to a beginner on soprano like myself it does seem like a good deal. Am I crazy for wanting to go for one of these? And does anyone else have some good experience with these, because I'd expect them to be pretty inconsistent from sax to sax in terms of overall quality.

If you think buying one of these is a bad idea, do you know of any other good deals on a soprano out there? Any and all input is appreciated, and do keep in mind that I've literally never even held a soprano in my hands before.

Thank you!
 

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Any and all input is appreciated...
My advice would be to slow down. You've been here a month, and this is what... the second horn you're gonna buy? Not that this place won't do that to ya... but do you really need a soprano right now? 'cause you're gonna get a ton of recommendations all over the spectrum; some well-meaning and some wholly commercial in intent. And don't be fooled by players on youtube pushing the cheap junk. Good players can sound good on junk.
 

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I my opinion you may want to buy a better horn and possibly a secondhand one to maximize the value if you should sell it (if you don’t like it). I

The best horn to me for that purpose is a Yamaha YSS 475 secondhand.

They are very robust and resell fairly easily, they play very well and don’t cost a fortune but yes, they cost more than the horn that you are indicating. Good Luck!
 

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First: rent a soprano. Say, for a month. And play it every day. Then you'll know if you want to spend more time on one, and you'll buy one.

Some people may think renting is a waste of money, and they will present good arguments about it.
However, for just checking if that's what you want, I argue that renting will be less of a hassle than finding+buying+selling one, and, even if the rental will not be a super high end sax, odds are still that it will be reasonably playable.
 

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+1 on the used Yamaha as a good option....I almost bought a used 474ii once

I’d avoid going for the super cheap option—- although that’s what lured me into getting a soprano... I got a cheap beat up no-name soprano and got it repaired.... it was enough fun to convince me I needed a soprano but also mediocre enough that I almost never touch it anymore....I would have saved $500+ if I had just skipped straight to the 2nd soprano I bought (Schagerl )
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My advice would be to slow down. You've been here a month, and this is what... the second horn you're gonna buy? Not that this place won't do that to ya... but do you really need a soprano right now?
Fair enough. For clarification, I had been searching for an alto for a while before signing up, I actually discovered this website in the process, and decided to join because it's a place where I can learn a lot about the saxophone. Regardless, I appreciate the advice.

First: rent a soprano. Say, for a month. And play it every day. Then you'll know if you want to spend more time on one, and you'll buy one.
This is definitely something I am considering too, although I'm generally opposed to renting I agree that for a short amount of time it can be very useful and informative.

As for the people suggesting the Yamaha 475, thanks for the advice! After a quick check I couldn't seem to find one in my area for below $1500 which is way higher than my price range, but I will keep searching.
 

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I’ve been playing soprano now for 4+ months now and I can tell you this: First, I agree with you with the sound, which is gorgeous (when a real pro plays the instrument!). For the beginner, the sound can be something else!! How well would your neighbors take it? You’ll need to invest a lot of time DAILY to get along with it. It is a very difficult sax compared to the others. My baritone playing has become significantly better since I started with the soprano.

Then the instrument itself. I have a really good sounding SML Marigaux from the 60’s (a rare piece). I can tell this because I tried a Jupiter in the local music shop and soundwise I would not change. The ergonomics on that Jupiter were way better.

I don’t know if you are super talented, but I would say that you’ll be best off by first checking your progression with that $250-300 Amazon soprano with a Yamaha 4C. If you feel good with the horn after 1-2 years, go for those quality sopranos. This way you haven’t invested much money in the trial (you can probably sell it with a price that you would anyway lose on short rental). The effort you put into sop playing will help you with you other saxes. Bottom line: I’m always for trying out these things. Just build your strategy wisely.
 

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I primarily play Alto and I wont be changing that anytime soon but I do enjoy taking a soprano with me if I am flying a lot so I can still practice and don't have to carry around my Alto. Those that have suggested a YSS-475 are 100% correct. It is hands down the best Sop on the market for its price. My suggestion before buying is try as many as you can via a blind test.

My only concern for you is your "Sound Development". Have you developed "your sound" on each Sax you presently own? If you have, then getting a Soprano is fun and maybe you'll prefer it and it'll become your main Axe but if your waffling between horns it can stunt your "Sound Development". If your unsure about your Sound on Alto vs Tenor record yourself during a practice session and you should notice that your sound is noticeably different other than pitch. For example I play very Bright and Raunchy on Alto, Tenor I play Smoky and Smooth but on Soprano I play Clear and Sweet (I'm not a baritone guy lol).

I'm also not a fan of buying a cheap model and then in two years upgrading I'd rather deal with what I have and save for two years and buy a really nice horn that I'll never Have to upgrade.
 

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Buy a cheap Chinese soprano such as a SLADE from eBay. And a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece.
Enjoy it?
Sell it on eBay and buy a Yamaha 475.
Don't enjoy it?
Sell it on eBay and buy beer.
(not telling which I did !)
 
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