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Discussion Starter #1
Just graduated High school taking a year off and just working and hoping to go to university for Jazz solo performance and right now I have a basic Yamaha student model and I want to upgrade to better saxophone but I don't' know where to start so I just want some suggestions on what models or makers I should be looking at.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Kaveman, You are going to get suggestions from all over the place. When asking a wide open question, it is best to set a few parameters to start with.

1. Budget?
2. Modern or Vintage?
3. New or used?
4. Is there a timeline for making your decision?
5. What horns have you played and liked/ disliked?

Those are a few good jumping off points...Good luck.
 

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swperry1 hit the nail on the head, really - you'll be swamped :) The general advice given here and that I fully agree with: Play as many horns as you can that fit your budget (or are within reach in a not too distant future). I'd also add one item to his list:

6. Sound concept/preferences?

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I haven't played any horns yet maybe I will just do that because I guess its all about personal preference. My max budget is like $5000 but that's like if I find one that I really like but lower is best for me.
I don't know if this will help but some of my favorite A.sax players are Kenny Garrett and Lee Konitz.
 

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Is your current alto holding you back in any way?
If not, then just keep on playing it.
Maybe all you need to do is 'upgrade' your mouthpiece.
 

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Consider the choice from a tonal perspective. What it is you're looking for that your current horn doesn't give you - and what do you get from your horn that you're not willing to lose?

Yamahas are typically free-blowing, so you might consider that something you don't want to lose. They're also quite clean in tone - so you might want something that adds more midrange, for example.

Bandmommy's advice is well worth taking into consideration - a good mouthpiece can completely transform a horn.

Other than that, play as many horns as you can - and get the one you can't put down.

Regards,
 

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For $5K, I would find a used Selmer/Yana (or better yet vintage horn) + a good tenor and soprano. Don't put all your coins into one basket.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Is your current alto holding you back in any way?
If not, then just keep on playing it.
Maybe all you need to do is 'upgrade' your mouthpiece.
Great advice, especially if you have yet to find your tonal concept...Not that it won't change again (and again) as you continue to play.

For $5K, I would find a used Selmer/Yana (or better yet vintage horn) + a good tenor and soprano. Don't put all your coins into one basket.
Good call Bruce. You can find a great alto AND tenor for $5K. With that kind of bread, all but a few of the finest examples are in your price range if you do go just alto.

Where do you live? Are there some places you can go to try some horns out? Also try out your friends' saxes.
 

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Another option is to keep the Yamaha and venture into a vintage horn that has the great sound like a 6M, Martin, TH&C, etc.
 

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Oh the slippery, slippery slope!

The previous posters have made the excellent suggestion to play as many horns as you can until you find the one you like. The right mouthpiece will also be a very great help and in many ways will affect your tone more than the horn itself. I have been fortunate enough to have settled on a fantastic mouthpiece that has been my mainstay for the last 4 years and it sounds good on my old YAS100 as well as my other horns.

Personally, I find the gear thing really entertaining, but I do tend to separate it from my practice and playing, ie playing saxophone/clarinet/flute is a vocation for me, requiring the tools that suit me best obviously, messing around with extraneous bits of gear is a hobby.

Buy something that, as a former lecturer of mine has said many times, 'doesn't get in your way'. I upgraded from a student model Yamaha after high school (in 2007) to a Selmer Balanced Action alto, which I then played all through my degree and is still my main horn now.

Regards,
 
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