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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have played both rentals and school owned instruments for the last 7 years through middle and HighSchool, but now I am looking to buy a tenor for some small gigs with a jazz combo that I’m in. Preferably I would like to spend less than $600, but I know that might be unrealistic. Where would you suggest that I look and what brands should I either look for or definitely stay away from?

Thanks!
 

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At that price point the only place I'd look is here: http://www.2ndending.com/saxes.html

The owner is a long standing and well regarded SOTW member and repair tech. You may be able to find something a bit cheaper on ebay or Craigslist but the chances of you having to put a significant amount of additional money into it to get it into good playing condition are also very high. He has a older Yamaha stenciled Vito right now for $510 that would be a good choice - decent sound, good intonation, solid mechanics. There are lots of brands to consider but at that price the playing condition is probably more important than the brand. Don't buy a $500 Chinese tenor off ebay whatever you do.
 

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It's not unrealistic, but it is nearing the bottom-end of the Used Tenor in Good Playing Shape market.

A Vito-branded YTS-21...a Jupiter 6XX or 7XX series....are two which jump to mind. Good quality, reliable, free-blowing modern horns, readily available usually.
You COULD get something cheaper...like a Bundy II, which are about $400-ish used. But I dunno if that floats your boat.

I am assuming you mean Used..because I would NOT go NEAR a NEW Tenor priced at $600-under. You'd be asking for trouble.

I am assuming you mean a modern-ish horn. Dunno what you play at school but most these day are post-80's. If you opened your radar to vintage, then you get a lot more possibilities...but perhaps as a young player you don't wanna go there (yet :bluewink:).

(edit: oh, thank you, Keith for the referral. I DO have 21's here which I can work up for $500-550-ish, FWIW. Contact me thru my website or via PM here if you like).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m not closed off to the idea of a vintage horn. I was fortunate enough to use my school’s new YTS-62 my senior year, so obviously anything I buy at my price range will be a step down. I would definitely just need some more insight on what to look for if I start looking at vintage tenors
 

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When I had no money to spend I found used Antigua Winds saxes to be great value. Decent enough Tiawanese copies of Selmer horns. Pretty well put together and played in tune with "modern" ergonomics. With some judicious shopping about you can pick up tenors for <$400 which leaves some funds for a tech to beat it into shape once it arrives.

Maybe not the last horn you will ever buy, but it will at least get you in the game on a tight budget.


On the other hand if you can get a yamaha tenor for $500ish you will likely never lose money on it should you chose to trade it in at a later date.
 

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I would second KeithL's recommendation to buy from JayeLID/2ndending.com The best way to go at your price is to buy a less-prestigious-but-decent used horn that you know is in good working order. That's what he sells, and he is honest and straightforward and knows his stuff. Buying a super-cheap new horn or buying used off of ebay is a crapshoot (and the odds of winning are similar). Given your finances, you probably don't want to take that risk. The other alternative is to try to find something locally (not sure where you are) that you can try out in person or have your tech check over.
 

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Why not get a student line Yamaha? It probably won’t be much different than the one you’ve been playing.
A $500 vintage horn would likely be an old clunker off brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why not get a student line Yamaha? It probably won’t be much different than the one you’ve been playing.
A $500 vintage horn would likely be an old clunker off brand.
I’ve been looking around on reverb and eBay, I’m in NJ and I’ve been looking on Craigslist and Facebook for anyone local, but I’ve had no luck. Is there anywhere else I should be looking?
 

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Can't go wrong with a Yamaha YTS-23.
 

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I’ve been looking around on reverb and eBay, I’m in NJ and I’ve been looking on Craigslist and Facebook for anyone local, but I’ve had no luck. Is there anywhere else I should be looking?
USA Horn and Liberty Music - I'd give them a call and tell them what you are looking for since not everything they have is listed on their websites.
 

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I’ve been looking around on reverb and eBay, I’m in NJ and I’ve been looking on Craigslist and Facebook for anyone local, but I’ve had no luck. Is there anywhere else I should be looking?
I sent you a private message earlier in the day. I have two YTS-23’s for sale.
 

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I suggest you look on Ebay at the Taishan Winds horns coming out of China. While it's true that many of these horns are pure junk (especially in the early days,) this particular brand is pretty surprising in terms of tone, intonation, resonance, etc. This mfgr. obviously has some American consultants, and they listen carefully to feedback from owners and alter their standards accordingly. I bought a Bari from them a couple of years ago, and it FAR exceeds any student horn, and most intermediate horns I've ever played. Taishan also offers a money-back guarantee. I think the tenors are pretty close to your price range, and that's for something brand new, shiny, and with several different choices of lacquer color, trim, and engraving. There's nothing like having something new that you don't have to worry about. The cases aren't great, and I recommend having your own sax tech look it over when it arrives, but that's something that should be done with any new sax you buy.

I just looked and the new tenor is $768, and there's a used one for $399. Trust me, a lot of pro sax players will pooh-pooh this idea without ever having actually played the horn. I've been a professional sax player for almost 50 years, but I'm not too hidebound to try something new. Good luck!
 

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