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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought an Orpheo Student Saxophone form Music Discount Warehouse at their retail store. I like the tone and sound of it a lot and even had a friend of mine, Scott Kurtzweil of Niles give it a play and he thought it was a very nice Saxophone. Not the surprise finding is that it advertised, or at least told to me, that the thumb rest is non adjustable. Well, I found out it is very adjustable! I took off the screw and had to pull hard and the metal thumb rest came off and it was kind of shellac or lacquered in place. But, it had a grove cut into it and by removing that lacquer and applying just a bit of cork grease, I am now able to tilt it forward - backward, and a bit up and down. I think it was always made that way, but perhaps they did not want to "advertise" the adjustable thumb rest in hopes that they could garner more interest in higher priced models with the adjustable thumb rest.

So, besides having some adjustable features on the keys, and so forth it also has an adjustable thumb rest.

I have this thing about the slickness of the left thumb rest that sits on that button. I applied a round piece of stick on Velcro (fuzzy piece) right on the left thumb rest by the octave key and it is so much nicer having that there for feel and grip. It does not hinder the pivot to play the upper register at all but provides a nice firm hold on the instrument.
 

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I have wondered about these Orpheo saxophones for awhile. I like to watch what MFD puts on ebay since making many a purchase from them over the last couple years.

Can you describe the build as type of springs, impression of the pad quality, lacquer finish etc?

I believe these are manufactured in China by JinYin, is it marked in any way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only marked with the serial number. Perhaps the box it originally came in would be better, but I don't have it. The pads were pretty good, as good as any I have seen. They stuck a bit, but as a friend of mine, well experienced in saxophones noted, most of it is due to the lacquerer coating. I took some dry lubricant I have from bullet reloading, Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2) (link:http://www.engineersedge.com/lubrication/molybdenum_disulfide_characteristics.htm ) and applied a thin film to the tone hole/pads using just the little bit that adheres to a Q-Tip. INSTANT non sticking pads, and since it is nearly impossible to remove, it's always going to be non stick pads/tone holes. This stuff is part of the compound used in Teflon pan coatings.

Well, enough chemistry.... The springs are adequate, and I would have liked a bit bigger Gage for the needle springs, but if you remove them off their catch and slightly bend them out and put them back on, they improve the force on the keys a noticeable bit.

Lacquer finish is outstanding. You can't ask for a prettier looking saxophone. Key work is very nice and large enough build to prevent any major bending AS LONG AS it is handled properly. Too many times a student, child more than likely, will be rather rough on an instrument, grabbing the neck, banging the horn into things. But if you play it properly and treat it like you would any other fine instrument there is no reason it should not last a very long time.

There are minor adjustments I made to mine that improved the playing. There are stops on the one large middle key that pushes down on the bottom bell key to make sure it stays shut. If this is adjusted too tight, it can have a tendency to raise the edge of the key ever so slightly, which can cause an air leak and you can experience a bit of a warbling or "motor boat" effect on pressing that key. Back off the set screw so that the contact still provides what it was intended to and that goes away.

It has metal resonators on the pads. The neck octave piece seals very well with vacuum or pressure testing. It does not have a lot of engraving on it, like my Vento, but for $199.00 I paid, I was interested in a saxophone for learning purposes and playing tone rather than some embellishments.

Scott Kurtzweil of Niles (who worked for Conn-Selmer) played it and all notes and tones were where they should be. The fact that it has an adjustable thumbrest was just an added bonus.
 
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