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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sole student is at a level( high school freshman that he could really benefit from a better horn than the basic Yamaha 23 alto he's been playing since he was a beginner. I had one doubler friend advocatethe P. Mauriat horn he plays, but a couple of my friends who teach saxophone at the college level both disapprove of them saying the intonation is too "sketchy" and that they are clanky. My doubler friend says compared his primary instruments ( oboe and flute) *anything* is clanky.

When i bought my Mark VII alto from my teacher 15 years ago, I paid $1750. He just told me what his going price for them is now. ($2700. I was figuring with the time since I bought mine, maybe $2000-$2400 but not $2700. At that price, Do you think my student would still be better served trying to find a decent Mark VII rather than getting a new P. Mauriat or similar horn?

My other thought was that for that price, he might as well try to find a used S-80 which seem to go for about $3000.

If I were able to play, I would give the Mauriat horns a try for myself so I could form a personal opinion of them. but, as my left hand doesn't function, that is not an option.
 

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i bought a MKVII tenor for $1500 about 10 years ago. it took me through college and many gigs, but as i progressed, i thought to myself that the horn didnt quite work well for me. also, i couldnt afford the kinds of repairs that it needed, so instead, i put as much money as i could into a few repairs and i sold it to buy another tenor. i went with a pro level Saxophone.com horn and it was an amazing horn to play. that horn became my main horn for over a year until recently. I went with a very sexy sounding Olds Ambassador. i know youre asking about altos, but i thought id chime in because I had a MKVII tenor. :)
 

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I would take the VII but it should be in the $1,800 range assuming the finish is still good and the pads are OK.
 

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FRom an investment point of view the Mark VII is a better choice but as anybody commented the market of these is nowhere near the suggested price of 2700$ in these market depressed days. The rest of the comments against Taiwanese horns are mostly based on prejudices.
 

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Taiwanese horn have come a long way and improved greatly the last ten years.
Play test many and find a good one.
A mark VII alto can be a real great horn though, I have students playing those, especially the alto's I think are underrated, I played a couple that were really great pro horns. Big fat selmer sound and very accurate intonation.
Try and find one which is a bit cheaper then your estimate, I think that should be possible.
 

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VII altos can be great horns. A friend of mine has one which is fantastic.
 

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Vii s can be nice horns, however a small percentage of them are great. And they're relatively expensive.

Yamahas and Yanagisawas are relatively inexpensive when bought used and a large percentage of them are great.

Taiwanese horns including p.mauriats have great potential too, but really aren't as fulfilling to own as big 4 horns. They are pretty inexpensive however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
you can find yamaha 82z in that price range. Why not one of those?
I've personally never been a big fan of Yamaha horns. I know they have been gaining ground, but I never really think about them, largely because I don't know them... When I was a player, I always played on my Mark VII alto and tenor. So I don't know the Yamaha line well enough to suggest them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would take the VII but it should be in the $1,800 range assuming the finish is still good and the pads are OK.
I thought my former teacher's $2700 sounded rather high. As I said, When I bought my VII about 15 years ago I paid $1750. Just about four years ago, I sold my VII tenor for $2000 after spending several months on the market
 

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Assuming your student could swing 2-3K on a sax, they have a pretty large amount of pro-level saxes available to them. Especially if they're open to used instruments, it shouldn't be a problem finding one from the bigger contenders...Selmer, Yamaha, Keilwerth, or Yanagisawa.

There are also some very well built pro saxes that fall within a lower price range...along the lines of a Barone or Macsax (the former has its own section on the forum and they frequently receive praise from members here).

P. Mauriat's are also a valid choice. I think their prices are little high when new, but are fairly reasonable when bought used. I've played a number of Mauriat's and I think they're pretty solid horns. And I haven't found them to be plagued with any kind of intonation problems. I have a friend that uses a set of P. Mauriat's as his main axes. He has been gigging with them multiple times a week for the last few years and completely digs them. While he doesn't beat on his gear, he's also not the most gentle either...and his saxes have held up very well even with fairly heavy use.

Another option, that I can't resist mentioning, is to look for something vintage. Even if they aren't interested in anything with 'old keywork', there are still a number of vintage pro horns that are very reasonably priced and have a semi-modern feel to them.

At the level your student is at, he should be able to feel out what works for him fairly well. If there are any stores around with any amount of saxes, he should really go in and try out whatever is available...if nothing else, that would help narrow the field a little bit.

It's really impossible to recommend one sax over another because in the end it's just a personal preference. I would just try to buy used if possible...you generally get much more bang for the buck going this route.

Taiwanese horns including p.mauriats have great potential too, but really aren't as fulfilling to own as big 4 horns. They are pretty inexpensive however.
Not as fulfilling? To who?

I guess if all one cares about is the name on their sax, it could be quite fulfilling indeed.

Now if by big four you mean Conn-Buescher-Martin-King, then yes...they are absolutely more fulfilling :TGNCHK:
 

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A Mark VII is a Vintage horn since it is no longer available NEW and at least 30 years old
 

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I had a Mark VII and I now have a Taiwanese MacSax Classic.

IMO the MacSax has better tone and a wider range of tones than the VII did.

Notes ♫
 

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at the NEW price of the Taiwanese horn one would buy a SECON HAND Selmer, yes that's correct, but it is an unfair comparison, although I recommended the VII anyway!
 

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Even a VII tenor is in a better class than the more dialed in Taiwan horns; and most hold the VII alto in much higher regard than the tenors. Should the student continue to play in college, a VII is also more likely to appease a college instructor. But if the student does buy a VII, don't let them march with it.
 

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at the NEW price of the Taiwanese horn one would buy a SECON HAND Selmer, yes that's correct, but it is an unfair comparison, although I recommended the VII anyway!
the second hand selmer however keeps considerably more of it's value should the buyer ever decide to sell it again. I'd go for the VII, all things considered.
 

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when i was in college in Boston, i played on a Cannonball BBGS alto and I remember my teacher saying one day in class that it sounded like a toy. didnt know what to think about that, but i took it for what it was and just carried on because i wasnt prepared with the money or the knowledge to even look at other horns. at the time, i was playing either a Beechler Bellite custom 7, a Meyer 6M, or a Lakey 5*3. Always used Vandoren ZZ reeds.
 
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