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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a chance recently to A/B my new Phil Barone Classic Alto with my teacher's Mark VI alto (using identical Meyer HR mouthpiece and reed on both horns). We both played both horns and listened to each other. We were surprised that the tone of the classic alto was very closely matched in focus, complexity and "color"; the PB alto was very "VI" like in its sound. My teacher also mentioned that he felt the altissimo was easier and more in tune on the PB classic.

The tone of the Mark VI was brighter and had a more "singing" quality, characterized by a ring to the sound. The tone of the PB classic was very similar, but definitely darker and "smoother."

To my ears as a tenor player, I actually prefer the sound of the Classic alto over the Mark VI because I don't like very bright alto tones. All in all, we were both pleasantly surprised that this inexpensive Taiwanese horn could hold its own next to the Selmer.

I intend to write a lengthier, in depth review of my PB Classic alto for the forum soon. However, I just wanted to mention this data point for people doing research on these horns.
 

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Thanks for the review. I can see why your PB Classic might sound a lot like your teacher's VI.......they are both saxophones! :twisted::bluewink:
 

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lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the review. I can see why your PB Classic might sound a lot like your teacher's VI.......they are both saxophones! :twisted::bluewink:
Point well taken, Atonal. They are both saxophones, and yes the PB classic sounds like an alto sax.

I guess my point was that the instrument, when played side by side with a highly regarded professional Selmer could and did hold its own. It was equally enjoyable and pleasing to the ear to listen to my teacher play his Mark VI as it was to listen to him play the exact same licks on the PB Classic. Now, much of this is due to my teacher's skill, but the point is that the horn didn't detract from his playing in any way.

For those researching these horns and wondering if they would be getting a horn with an student/intermediate level of response, intonation, and tone color (like you might expect from a Jupiter or YAS23) or a professional level of the same (in a league with a YAS62/82z, Yani, Selmer, etc...), I would argue that this alto is firmly in "pro" territory on the basis of my experience so far.

I'm sure other Barone owners here would back me up on this. For example, Saxaholic's extensive review of the PB Vintage alto puts it on equal footing with the Mauriat 66 (67?) and Mark VI.
 

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Point well taken, Atonal. They are both saxophones, and yes the PB classic sounds like an alto sax.

I guess my point was that the instrument, when played side by side with a highly regarded professional Selmer could and did hold its own. It was equally enjoyable and pleasing to the ear to listen to my teacher play his Mark VI as it was to listen to him play the exact same licks on the PB Classic. Now, much of this is due to my teacher's skill, but the point is that the horn didn't detract from his playing in any way.

For those researching these horns and wondering if they would be getting a horn with an student/intermediate level of response, intonation, and tone color (like you might expect from a Jupiter or YAS23) or a professional level of the same (in a league with a YAS62/82z, Yani, Selmer, etc...), I would argue that this alto is firmly in "pro" territory on the basis of my experience so far.

I'm sure other Barone owners here would back me up on this. For example, Saxaholic's extensive review of the PB Vintage alto puts it on equal footing with the Mauriat 66 (67?) and Mark VI.
Just ribbing you a bit! Congrats on your new horn!
 

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Phil's horns are excellent in all respects. They compete with professional horns that cost 2-3x as much (and out-play them most of the time, too!)

- Saxaholic
 
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