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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I am pretty new here and I am looking to pick up your brains and find out what would be your recommendations when it comes to the tenor sax
upgrade. So, I’ve been playing somewhat 10 years, can describe myself as a upper - intermediate (not amateur, not pro). My current set up: B&S “blue label” tenor (early 80/ mpc Otto Link Tone Master 7*/ reed - Vandoren JaZZ 3)

I’ve been thinking to chose one the following second line horns: (all of them sec. half of 50’s, more less the same price I guess) Looking to spend 800 USD max.
1 Martin Indiana
2 16m Conn Elkhart made
3 Pann-american Conn stencil

So …Which one would be the best when it comes to: the sound (looking for big, dark “hawkinsish” soud ), the ergonomic and key-work response and finally playability (defionitelly not looking to struggle with old key-work issue).

Another option is to choose modern second hand pro horn – eg. Orpheo signature as it should cost the same money. I hope you guys can help.
All the best.
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

I realize you're new here and welcome! But just a word about double-posting. Don't do it (it's redundant). Give a quick read of the rules.
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

IMO none of those are really "upgrades". Save up some more money.
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

Or, try to find a 60's model 10M they should be in your price range.
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

There seem to be a lot of threads asking similar questions about how to achieve a "certain sound" based on the brand of horn. Coleman Hawkins would have sounded like Coleman Hawkins, no matter what brand he played. You are the first determinate of the sound you produce, followed by your mouthpiece and reed set up, possibly followed by the neck and lastly the horn. One of the most Hawkinesque sounds I've heard was produced by an octogenarian using a Link with a Yamaha YTS 62.
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

I dunno if they are upgrades or not, it is arguable either way. They would be sonically a bit different, for sure. Will you be keeping the B&S, or selling it ?

The thing is, none of the list of yours is currently an $800 horn...they are $500-600 horns.

The PanAm and 16M are exactly the same instrument, just with some keywork detail differences. They sound exactly the same (which would be a 10M sound, since the bodies of both models are identical to the 10M).

The Indiana will have less low overtones and a more focused 'tighter' sound. A bit brighter and more edgy.

Ergonimically they are all about equal, nothing bad going on and in comparison to a B&S some of the reaches might be easier.

(I don't get the Orpheo idea...besides the fact they don't produce squat which I would ever pay $800 for...they are not big, dark toned horns.)

For $800, you could look at some other alternatives and aim a bit higher :

~ As Buddy says, the later 10M's, say '55-'69. Those are absolute steals.

~ A Buescher Aristocrat or late-but-still-pre-selmer Buescher 400.

~ There's a Yanagisawa T5 on eFlay now, seller is overpricing it but maybe after auction ends with no buyers he would be considerate of an $800 offer.

~ A Beaugnier or Kenosha-made Vito, or Noblet.

~ A JK horn, maybe a stencil like a Couf Superba II or Couf Royalist. You want big and dark, these are the kings.

:)| wondering if the posse is gonna make an appearance here, shortly....:|)
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

There seem to be a lot of threads asking similar questions about how to achieve a "certain sound" based on the brand of horn. Coleman Hawkins would have sounded like Coleman Hawkins, no matter what brand he played. You are the first determinate of the sound you produce, followed by your mouthpiece and reed set up, possibly followed by the neck and lastly the horn. One of the most Hawkinesque sounds I've heard was produced by an octogenarian using a Link with a Yamaha YTS 62.
....with all due respect, this is really so untrue. Mouthpiece salesmen love using this line. :|

..... if this were the case, then everyone would just be playing Yamaha 23's and spending $500-1000 on their mouthpieces and setups.

Of course the horn is a huge determinant in the tone produced. Different models have different designs and different specs.

The body specs determine the intrinsic sound of the particular instrument. Neck length and taper, body tube bore and taper, bow radius, etc. etc. These all vary from horn to horn and maker to maker. Back in the day, this is what makers would experiment with and alter in order to produce their signature tones.

So...if you like that old-school, vintage dark and wide tone...hell...you could play a nice Yamaha 62 (an excellent instrument, BTW).... and then go bat**** crazy trying to make it sound like something it naturally is not predisposed to sound like...but why would you handicap yourself right out of the gate ?

The OP is in the right 'zone' if seeking that sound, IMHO he can just up his radar a bit on the particular models.
 

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Whats wrong with the B&S? They are really great horns when they are set up properly.
If your interested I have a Beaugnier of France that was stenciled for Vito for sale. The horn shows a strong Selmer influence. The closest description of the way it sounds and feels is to compare it to a good 1970s Mark VI but with the huge low end of a Mk VII. It comes with a properly sized Ponzol neck that works better than the original, which is no longer available.
 

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None of those suggested is really an upgrade to the B&S. If you want a vintage American Sax, go with a pro-model. There's not that much different in price. A 10M or pre-1963 Buescher Aristocrat should fit the bill.

But again, these will not be a true upgrade to the B&S. They will just be different. In my way of thinking, an upgrade to your B&S would likely be a modern pro-model from one of the big four sax manufacturers, such as a Yamaha 62 or 82, Yanagisawa, Keilwerth or Selmer Paris.
 

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None of those suggested is really an upgrade to the B&S.

But again, these will not be a true upgrade to the B&S. They will just be different. In my way of thinking, an upgrade to your B&S would likely be a modern pro-model from Selmer Paris.
Maybe your B&S just needs a good overhaul, I've tried several and felt they sounded good.
 

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I think your B&S is probably a better horn than the other three you listed. As suggested, your horn may need some work on it to play up to its potential. However, if you want to change horns, I have a Beaugnier tenor made in France in the late 60's for Vito with an original neck in very good condition for sale.
 

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Maybe your B&S just needs a good overhaul.....
Very possible. This is often the case when someone wants to "upgrade" or buy a new or different horn.

But man, ziomeque, you've posted this in 3 separate places on the forum. Sorry to keep pointing this out, but cross-posting is not allowed here because it results in all kinds of redundant posts and you'll find it very inconvenient/confusing, going from one thread the the next. Read the rules, as I mentioned in one of the other cross-postings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

I dunno if they are upgrades or not, it is arguable either way. They would be sonically a bit different, for sure. Will you be keeping the B&S, or selling it ?

The thing is, none of the list of yours is currently an $800 horn...they are $500-600 horns.

The PanAm and 16M are exactly the same instrument, just with some keywork detail differences. They sound exactly the same (which would be a 10M sound, since the bodies of both models are identical to the 10M).

The Indiana will have less low overtones and a more focused 'tighter' sound. A bit brighter and more edgy.

Ergonimically they are all about equal, nothing bad going on and in comparison to a B&S some of the reaches might be easier.

(I don't get the Orpheo idea...besides the fact they don't produce squat which I would ever pay $800 for...they are not big, dark toned horns.)

For $800, you could look at some other alternatives and aim a bit higher :

~ As Buddy says, the later 10M's, say '55-'69. Those are absolute steals.

~ A Buescher Aristocrat or late-but-still-pre-selmer Buescher 400.

~ There's a Yanagisawa T5 on eFlay now, seller is overpricing it but maybe after auction ends with no buyers he would be considerate of an $800 offer.

~ A Beaugnier or Kenosha-made Vito, or Noblet.

~ A JK horn, maybe a stencil like a Couf Superba II or Couf Royalist. You want big and dark, these are the kings.

:)| wondering if the posse is gonna make an appearance here, shortly....:|)
JaydePDX

Thanks for the advice.

My B&S definitely needs some service. Anyhow I looking to keep this horn. When it comes to your recommendations - it seems that it would be better to be patient add some extra money and wait …
The JK stencil Couf Superba II or vintage pro (10M , Martin The Martin) appear to be a reasonable alternatives. The only problem is that I am writing from Europe (Poland) so the market here is much lesser. Looking to buy a horn on USA ebay will make me to pay extra as I will need to buy from one on the renowned sellers shipping worldwide. Still it does make a sense…

By the way - Sorry guys for a kind of spamming. I was trying to draw your attention. I can see there is not much point in repeating the posts as the SOTW forum members as helpful anyway.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

I realize you're new here and welcome! But just a word about double-posting. Don't do it (it's redundant). Give a quick read of the rules.
Sorry for that. Wont happen again.
 

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Re: Loking for tenor sax upgrade. Need some advice

Sorry for that. Wont happen again.
No problem, just thought I'd point it out before it got out of control!

Hey, many years ago when my MKVI needed an overhaul, I didn't realize it and was thinking I needed a new horn! It was barely playable. I took it into the shop and asked if anything could be done. They said it needed an overhaul and would be good as new (probably better, actually) if that was done. So I had it done and it was a totally different horn.
 

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I'd seriously look at an older Buescher Aristocrat. From every review I've read, these are one of the best values in saxes these days. Plus, they're usually pretty cheap.
 
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