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A few months ago I bought a Barone tenor and posted a review up here on SOTW and ended up switching from my Selmer Mark VI (SN# 141XXX) to Phil’s Vintage model. I sold the Selmer and bought one of Phil’s Vintage alto’s. Now I’ve played it long enough to write a little something about it. I’ve gigged on it in a bunch of settings and I’m just thrilled and it’s easily as good as the Vintage tenor I bought a few months back. A few other players have heard me on it and they say I sound substantially better than on my Mark VI (#118XXX).
Sound-It’s amazing, I just love it. The low register is booming yet focused and I get the overtones out much more easily than on my Mark VI. The whole horn is free-blowing but not generic sounding like the other newer horns I’ve played. It blows free and clear yet isn’t too bright, the high notes are fat yet not thin and I’m finding that I no longer avoid playing up there. Middle d is much clearer than on my VI too. I have two mouthpieces, a Meyer #6 with RJS 3M reeds and a Dukoff D8 which I just use once and a while and the Dukoff is much more tolerable on this sax. I actually hated this mouthpiece on the VI but I’m starting to enjoy it. I’m also starting to use the mouthpiece that came with the sax, a PB NY #6 which is a lot like my Meyer but possibly better but I need to spend more time with it. Also, I AB’d the two horns and Phil’s is louder.
Finish-I got the antique bronze finish to match my tenor and I love it. I don’t care much about finishes but I had the choice so I figured what the heck, I might as well get something that’s different than my lacquered horns and I love the turquoise mother of pearls. It also matches my tenor.
Build-The sax is very well put together, no rough edges, finely polished and it played right out of the box. The quality is outstanding, easily as good as my Mark VI, maybe better. This is high-quality stuff.
Ergonomics-Great, the horn feels like it was made for me. All the notes are right at my fingertips and I feel like I can play faster than on my Selmer. I can move around on the spatula keys and the high D, E and F fit like the horn is part of me. It feels more natural than my VI, less cumbersome.
Accessories-The horn came with a really nice flight case which is durable and light and it’s the same case that came with my tenor. It’s the kind of case that you’d pay a lot of money for. Under the sax is a secret compartment, you lift up a flap of material and it reveals a space where you can put your mouthpiece and other things. The sax came with a neck strap, strap to carry the case, a polishing cloth and one of Phil’s custom mouthpieces which I’m starting to like, I just need to play it a while longer. I had a choice of two model mouthpieces, the NY or the Jazz and after talking to Phil I decided to go with the NY which he recommends on the Vintage horns. Apparently, the NY is a better match for the Vintage model. It also came with one of Phil’s custom necks which he normally sells separately.
Service-I couldn’t ask for more. Phil answered all my emails within a few minutes and he spent quite a bit of time with me on the phone between the tenor and the alto and believe me, I took up a lot of his time. He is a very nice guy to deal with and there was no pressure whatsoever to buy anything. I get the feeling that he wants what’s best for his customers and selling the sax is secondary. Phil’s site is easy to use and he takes credit cards on the site or over the phone, he also takes PayPal. I received my horn in three days from the time I ordered it and got tracking information by email from UPS.
Value-these are the best value without a doubt. Of all the Taiwanese horns I looked at, Phil’s were about a thousand dollars less and much, much less than the big three that I tried and Phil’s horns are just as good, maybe better. I actually prefer Phil’s horns to the big three because they’re so friendly to play, I just take to them for whatever reason. Phil sells direct to players so there’s no store to get a big chunk of money.
I think that covers it, now I have two of Phil’s horns that I’m thrilled with. These horns are a cut above what’s out there and at much less money and it comes with a great mouthpiece and case too. I really couldn’t ask for more. For many years I was really stuck on the Mark VI stigma but I’m done with that. I sold the tenor, kept a bunch of cash, bought another horn and still have money left over. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get a great sax. I just can't say enough good things about these saxes!!

Although I sold my VI privately, I'll be now offering my other altos for sale on the marketplace here. I'll love this horn so much I'm also getting rid of my Buescher True Tone 1920's low pitch alto and posting it in the marketplace in a day or two after I can get some pics (thanks SAXISMYAXE for making sure my permissions are good :thumbrig:) and most likely a YAS-23 if a family member doesn't want to take it off my hands.

Thanks for the long read!
Kristy
 

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A few months ago I bought a Barone tenor and posted a review up here on SOTW and ended up switching from my Selmer Mark VI (SN# 141XXX) to Phil’s Vintage model. I sold the Selmer and bought one of Phil’s Vintage alto’s. Now I’ve played it long enough to write a little something about it. I’ve gigged on it in a bunch of settings and I’m just thrilled and it’s easily as good as the Vintage tenor I bought a few months back. A few other players have heard me on it and they say I sound substantially better than on my Mark VI (#118XXX).
Sound-It’s amazing, I just love it. The low register is booming yet focused and I get the overtones out much more easily than on my Mark VI. The whole horn is free-blowing but not generic sounding like the other newer horns I’ve played. It blows free and clear yet isn’t too bright, the high notes are fat yet not thin and I’m finding that I no longer avoid playing up there. Middle d is much clearer than on my VI too. I have two mouthpieces, a Meyer #6 with RJS 3M reeds and a Dukoff D8 which I just use once and a while and the Dukoff is much more tolerable on this sax. I actually hated this mouthpiece on the VI but I’m starting to enjoy it. I’m also starting to use the mouthpiece that came with the sax, a PB NY #6 which is a lot like my Meyer but possibly better but I need to spend more time with it. Also, I AB’d the two horns and Phil’s is louder.
Finish-I got the antique bronze finish to match my tenor and I love it. I don’t care much about finishes but I had the choice so I figured what the heck, I might as well get something that’s different than my lacquered horns and I love the turquoise mother of pearls. It also matches my tenor.
Build-The sax is very well put together, no rough edges, finely polished and it played right out of the box. The quality is outstanding, easily as good as my Mark VI, maybe better. This is high-quality stuff.
Ergonomics-Great, the horn feels like it was made for me. All the notes are right at my fingertips and I feel like I can play faster than on my Selmer. I can move around on the spatula keys and the high D, E and F fit like the horn is part of me. It feels more natural than my VI, less cumbersome.
Accessories-The horn came with a really nice flight case which is durable and light and it’s the same case that came with my tenor. It’s the kind of case that you’d pay a lot of money for. Under the sax is a secret compartment, you lift up a flap of material and it reveals a space where you can put your mouthpiece and other things. The sax came with a neck strap, strap to carry the case, a polishing cloth and one of Phil’s custom mouthpieces which I’m starting to like, I just need to play it a while longer. I had a choice of two model mouthpieces, the NY or the Jazz and after talking to Phil I decided to go with the NY which he recommends on the Vintage horns. Apparently, the NY is a better match for the Vintage model. It also came with one of Phil’s custom necks which he normally sells separately.
Service-I couldn’t ask for more. Phil answered all my emails within a few minutes and he spent quite a bit of time with me on the phone between the tenor and the alto and believe me, I took up a lot of his time. He is a very nice guy to deal with and there was no pressure whatsoever to buy anything. I get the feeling that he wants what’s best for his customers and selling the sax is secondary. Phil’s site is easy to use and he takes credit cards on the site or over the phone, he also takes PayPal. I received my horn in three days from the time I ordered it and got tracking information by email from UPS.
Value-these are the best value without a doubt. Of all the Taiwanese horns I looked at, Phil’s were about a thousand dollars less and much, much less than the big three that I tried and Phil’s horns are just as good, maybe better. I actually prefer Phil’s horns to the big three because they’re so friendly to play, I just take to them for whatever reason. Phil sells direct to players so there’s no store to get a big chunk of money.
I think that covers it, now I have two of Phil’s horns that I’m thrilled with. These horns are a cut above what’s out there and at much less money and it comes with a great mouthpiece and case too. I really couldn’t ask for more. For many years I was really stuck on the Mark VI stigma but I’m done with that. I sold the tenor, kept a bunch of cash, bought another horn and still have money left over. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get a great sax. I just can't say enough good things about these saxes!!

Although I sold my VI privately, I'll be now offering my other altos for sale on the marketplace here. I'll love this horn so much I'm also getting rid of my Buescher True Tone 1920's low pitch alto and posting it in the marketplace in a day or two after I can get some pics (thanks SAXISMYAXE for making sure my permissions are good :thumbrig:) and most likely a YAS-23 if a family member doesn't want to take it off my hands.

Thanks for the long read!
Kristy
Thanks Kristy for another well done post. You're becoming one of my best customers. Phil Barone
 
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