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So I'm a college freshman studying music comp and I've been playing Alto for a little over seven years. I recently had a pit orchestra gig and I had to borrow a Tenor sax to play some bass clarinet parts. The other guy brought me an early '50's Dolnet Tenor. A little out of adjustment and needed some work but it played great. Since then I've had the bug to get a tenor. I had a soprano sax during high school, but it was a school horn and the only soprano sax they had, so when I graduated earlier this year I had to return it. I have a lot of stuff written for soprano too, so it'd be pretty cool to be able to adjust some parts so I can play it on tenor. There are also many other reasons to have a tenor than that, obviously.

Anyway, I've been looking around for tenors, and the other guy from whom I borrowed the Dolnet suggested that Bundy's are great horns that don't go out of adjustment. He also commented that he has a great Conn from the '20's that is very "free blowing". But seeing as these are generally student horns (I could be wrong), I don't know if I should go for one of those or if I should just go to the local music store and do a rent-to-own for a YTS-875 like I did for my alto.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
 

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Well there are many things to consider when looking for a horn. The best piece of advice I can give you is go to your local music store and try every brand you can get your hands on. You will get a variety of opinions on here most of which will be people telling you to buy what they play, which may not be the best for you. The Bundy is a basic student model, as a collage freshman I think you would want to step up a little. Also, I disagree with your friend, all horns will and do go out of adjustment from time to time. Anyway, that's my opinion. Try all the different brands and buy the one you like the most.
 

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I would go with a fellow saxophonist and try as many horns in similar price range as possible vintage, new, doesn't matter try them out somehow grade each one you play using the same set up on each horn as you go along. The last time I did this I tried a ridiculous amount of horns and I graded on 1-10 scale 10 being the best and I tried each horn twice then I narrowed them down to my top five and did it again until my top 2 then the last time graded from those two. I ended up with a Yamaha 82ZII but a Selmer Reference 54 came in 2nd at I was very close.
 

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He also commented that he has a great Conn from the '20's that is very "free blowing". But seeing as these are generally student horns (I could be wrong), I don't know if I should go for one of those or if I should just go to the local music store and do a rent-to-own for a YTS-875 like I did for my alto.
Conn saxophones from the 20's are not student horns. They are old, but great pro horns.
 

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Your first tenor is unlikely to be your last. A used Taiwanese tenor may be the way to go, because most if not all of them are made very well. And it's easy to find one (in the US) in excellent cosmetic and playing condition for under $750 to about $1,000, depending upon the brand name and model. Get a good mouthpiece and watch Craigslist and Reverb. You know enough about a sax to be able to tell playing condition, and price/value research is simple.
 

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or if I should just go to the local music store and do a rent-to-own for a YTS-875 like I did for my alto.
Rent-to-own purchases are generally very bad deals. They can get you where you want to go if you're committed to installment payments only, but at a very high price. You could easily find a used Yamaha tenor in great shape for much less total money. My first tenor, after many years of clarinet, alto, and then soprano playing, was a used Yamaha YTS-61. These are very good horns available at reasonable prices. After 15+ years, I sold it (for more than I paid for it, if you don't count inflation) and got a barely used Yanagisawa TWO1 for a great price.
 

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So I'm a college freshman studying music comp and I've been playing Alto for a little over seven years....

Anyway, I've been looking around for tenors, and the other guy from whom I borrowed the Dolnet suggested that Bundy's are great horns that don't go out of adjustment. He also commented that he has a great Conn from the '20's that is very "free blowing". But seeing as these are generally student horns (I could be wrong), I don't know if I should go for one of those or if I should just go to the local music store and do a rent-to-own for a YTS-875 like I did for my alto.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
OK so first off, what you need to do (as others suggest) is expand your radar a bit.

As it stands, you seem to be considering:

1) a Bundy

2) a 1920's Conn

3) a high-end-ish Yama or the like on a rent-buy agreement.

of those 3 I would actually nix the Conn (oomph, I hate to say that) ...NO not because it's a 'student horn' (where in the world did that come from, BTW ? :bluewink:, because it is anything but)...but more because of expediency and the context in which you reside (an alto player - familiar with contemporary horn keywork and blowing tendencies - who needs a Tenor as a second-voice option occasionally to be used for pit/gig work or the like).

First off, where are you located ? I ask because I am wondering how robust the local market is for saxes...and whether perhaps expanding your range to maybe a 2-3 hour drive helps you any.

Secondly, IF you bought a horn flat-out (either cash or credit card ow whatever, IOW no 'payment plan with seller')....what is the max you can afford ?

This is unclear at moment because a refurbed Bundy costs around $375-400ish...while a '20's Conn in great shape costs around $900 if a NWI, or at least $1300 if a NW II, give or take.

Because I can think of a good half-dozen horn models (other) which would potentially fit your particular situation and are likely fairly readily available....
 
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