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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone

I have only been playing a short while, and have been enjoying my Yamaha YAS-62.

I practice heavily, and my teacher noticed a few loose screws on my horn already after 6 months.

I would like to buy a second "back up horn" which I can take on holiday (hmmm have to pass that one by my wife yet;) ) and for when the Yamaha gets serviced. I hate to think of being without, even for a few days.

I have always hankered after a vintage (cheaper) horn, but did not know enough about the mechanics or what to look for.

How difficult is it to swap between lets say, an old pro level Martin, and a new horn?

1)Is it possible to enjoy both horns, or will one get sidelined. (I am used to owning 3-4 guitars, and swapping between them)

2)My chops are pretty fast on my Yamaha, is it best for my playing to stick to one horn??

3) What If I love the new (old) horn more than my expensive Yamaha? How do explain this to my wife??

4) Is this just early onset GAS, or will it strengthen my interest and love of this fine hobby?

Answers please. I am about to make a purchase.........
 

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1) You could play and enjoy both horns, maybe find that one works better with different playing styles then the other. You may also find a gem of a vintage horn and want yo keep the Yamaha as the back up, you never know...

2) The embouchure is the same on any alto but the keywork on the older horn might be a little more awkward. Nothing that you can't get use to and back up to full speed with a little practice.

3) You could always "gift" the Yamaha to your wife. That is, give it to her to learn so you can play duets and such and keep her happy, but sneak it back into your closet after she's given up on playing... ;]

4) Having different horns gets me excited to play, like having a different flavor ice cream on each day of the week. There are many different flavors, but most are great!

-Scott
 

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The swap is gonna depend on the key layout. I tried an old yanagisawa soprano, and it had a great sound, but the palm keys were very difficult to deal with..I SOLD IT...and that was the only reason why. SO be advised..the 62 has modern keywork, if you get an old martin or conn, the keys are not gonna be where you expect them to be sometimes and youll have to adjust. The worth situation I ever had was I had been playing a Mark VI alto for about 2 years and I put it in the shop. The repair guy gave me an old buescher to use until he finished the overhaul. I hated that horn, not because of the sound but the ergonimics were greek as compared to what I was used to.
 

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Personally,
I really like to have a few different saxophones. I got my first(alto) from my parents as a gift, (to this day I still don't know exactly what it is... but I recently decided I'm going to try to find out again) and I bought my second alto I guess it was about 7 years later. I was interested in the vintage horns as well, and it turned out great. I currently have one with me where I live for university and one back home, so I don't always have to bring them back and forth, as well as always having a backup when one is in for repairs. Since then I actually ended up buying a tenor (from a good neighbor), and am currently looking to buy a vintage c-melody.

My second alto, (a vintage Beuscher), definitely has differently positioned keywork as the previous posters mentioned but in my opinion it is no big deal. I loved the sound that I got, much differnet from any newer model sax I've tried. It might take a while to get used to, but just like your first sax, you will most likely get used to it as well and learn to like both for different reasons.

So to answer your question about one becoming sidelined: it's all personal, but I bet that if you give them both a while to get used to then it will be hard to let either go. I found that I was playing one more then the other for awhile, but then when switched again it made me stick to that one again for awhile. etc.

As for your #3: Since buying my second alto, I have really taken a liking to the vintage sound. I think that there is a personal sound that you can bring out in a vintage sax that you just can't get on a newer one. Not at all to say that there arent great sounding new models at all. It's just a different. The best way I would figure you could explain this to your wife would be to play her a song a you new (old) sax and show her the difference;)

Hope this helped somewhat..lol
Good luck with the decision,

Ryan
 

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I am still in high school, but I find it handy to have two altos for repair reasons, like you mentioned. Also, it is nice to have one horn that you don't mind getting dinged up a little...that you can take on the road, but still plays well. That sort of thing.

As to adjustment periods, it should not take long, I wouldn't think. Other than just learning the new key placements and feel for the different actions. With practice, it just comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice, It is a done deal!

(I won't blame you if I hate it)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130100561970

I know it wasn't exactly cheap, but it looks in good nick. I have been in contact with the seller a few times, and it all checks out.

These are hard to find in the UK, and even with shipping and tax I can resell it here without taking much of a hit (if any). The $ to £ exchange rate is very favourable to us at the moment.

I have just taken a guilty look at my Yamaha....... maybe her days are numbered...

BTW, speaking as a part time guitarist, you have no idea how lucky we are with these prices. In guitar terms a 1957 non refinished instrument such as a Les Paul or a Telecaster would be more like $10,000 and rising. A run of the mill 50's ES-175 Jazz Guitar $5k plus.. and there is a bit more craftmanship in these horns.

Let me know what you think of this Martin?
 

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To each their own, but I would have used the money to buy a tenor or soprano rather than a second alto. That being said, enjoy your Martin! It sounded like in your situation you needed a screwdriver more than a second alto, but how much fun would that have been?;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Joe Jazz said:
To each their own, but I would have used the money to buy a tenor or soprano rather than a second alto. That being said, enjoy your Martin! It sounded like in your situation you needed a screwdriver more than a second alto, but how much fun would that have been?;)
I toyed with the idea of a tenor, but it would be too distracting at this early stage.

I did use a screwdriver, but I struggled to find the right one, In the end I opted for a nice 1950's long bladed chrome shank with a brown bakelite handle. I believe the handle has "New York" stamped on it. ;)

I really wanted a Martin when I got the Yamaha, but I couldn't find one in the UK, and was too scared to buy blind from the US. I now feel I could recognise what could be wrong with it and get it fixed reasonably cheaply. The Yamaha was the safe option. Today I feel like living on the edge......

Plus I just got a bonus........
 

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crazydaisydoo said:
I toyed with the idea of a tenor, but it would be too distracting at this early stage.
I entirely agree. I'm a tenor begin-againer since XMas and I keep thinking how nice it would be to own an alto or a baritone, but then I think how I only have 1hr a day to practice (in order to get on with my neighbours), so do I want to get good on the tenor or do I want to have the novelty of playing several instruments?

I hope you have a lot of fun with your new alto!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rick Adams said:
I entirely agree. I'm a tenor begin-againer since XMas and I keep thinking how nice it would be to own an alto or a baritone, but then I think how I only have 1hr a day to practice (in order to get on with my neighbours), so do I want to get good on the tenor or do I want to have the novelty of playing several instruments?

I hope you have a lot of fun with your new alto!
Cheers Rick..............c'mon join me with a vintage horn...... I bet you secretly love looking at old Conns and Kings.......they are a bargain especially from the US (dont forget your import duty and VAT though) I am sure your Keilworth is lovely but..............Can I tempt you into the dark side??????
 

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Heh, if I had a Yamaha I'm absolutely certain I'd be tempted to get something else, but as I've got the only modern sax with that big vintage sound already... ;) ;) ;)

Seriously though, yes I'd certainly be interested to try some vintage horns as I've only played modern ones, but vintage horns probably aren't for me. I need something that requires minimal maintenance and effort. That said, who knows perhaps I'll surprise myself one day. Do please report back once you're up and running with your latest toy. I enjoy all your recordings by the way, though not with a certain amount of jealousy re your tone and technical control :| :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rick Adams said:
Heh, if I had a Yamaha I'm absolutely certain I'd be tempted to get something else, but as I've got the only modern sax with that big vintage sound already... ;) ;) ;)

I work for a German company (very caring)
I drive a German Car (very efficient and nicely designed)
Most of my appliances are German (never fail)
I travel to Germany 4 or 5 times a year (lovely place)

I tried the Keilwerth along with the Yamaha down at sax.co.uk. I was impressed BUT

I dont own much German jazz ;)

(to be fair though I dont own any Japanese either, If I did though it would probably be very fast)

Selmer, SML, they have that french thing, the swinging accordion, Django and Stephan at full pelt, always been great at Jazz

Conn, King, Buescher, Martin, they have all the big band stuff going for them.

Keilwerth?? I getting oompah bands here. Do they come with Lederhose?:D

I am moving away from the computer now as I about to be flamed

light touchpaper............................
 

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...ja and Keilwerth's patented own-brand talcum powder to help get them on and off :)
 

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crazydaisydoo said:
Keilwerth?? I getting oompah bands here. Do they come with Lederhose?
Uh, OK. Here's a partial list you're going to have to take that statement up with - Tony Campise, Don Menza, Mike Smith, Clarence Clemons, Tony Lakatos, Dave Liebman, Jim Riggs, Ernie Watts, Don Braden, and....ME! :twisted:

All very conservative oom-pah musicians to be sure.
 

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I bought a True Tone alto years ago as a second to my SBA, and ended up selling the SBA shortly thereafter. If it's alto, let it be Buescher. True Tones might be a bit too quirky, but the early Aristocrats can be a steal if refinished; and such a horn would make a great back up.
 

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gary said:
Uh, OK. Here's a partial list you're going to have to take that statement up with - Tony Campise, Don Menza, Mike Smith, Clarence Clemons, Tony Lakatos, Dave Liebman, Jim Riggs, Ernie Watts, Don Braden, and....ME! :twisted:

All very conservative oom-pah musicians to be sure.

Nothing like a good beer guzzling song! And those blond servers!
 

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Absolutely. In the right circumstances lederhosen can look OK

 

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Discussion Starter #19
gary said:
Uh, OK. Here's a partial list you're going to have to take that statement up with - Tony Campise, Don Menza, Mike Smith, Clarence Clemons, Tony Lakatos, Dave Liebman, Jim Riggs, Ernie Watts, Don Braden, and....ME! :twisted:

All very conservative oom-pah musicians to be sure.
Sorry Gary, I was just sipping some tea, and my bowler hat fell on the floor in shame regarding my stereotypying of your fine nation. Frankly you can name more decent German players than I can British: Johnny Dankworth........ errrrmm Corteney Pine....Peter King.........ermm help.

BTW I know the oompah thing is Bavarian, which is nearly like a different country.......It is still funny though
 
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