Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi SOTW Community,

I've been a registered member since 2010, but as you can see I read more than I post. I'm not really a social media type. I've benefited so much over the years from the knowledge shared by experienced players here on the forum. Now I'm ready to give back a little. I've read a lot of posts regarding the Barone saxophones. So, here's my recent experience.

In the past 8 years, I've switched careers, earned a degree in Computer Science, became a father, restored a '63 Ford... and well, gett'in kind of old. I began playing sax in grade school band (4th grade). In my 20's I became obsessed with buying vintage horns and tinkering with them. I became quite skilled at basic overhauls, including dent work and refinishing. Now that I'm a parent, I just want to share my love of jazz and my favorite instrument with my son. That said, I wanted a new tenor that wouldn't be in need of any adjustments/tweaks, and played in tune straight out of the box.

In 1998, I purchased '36 Conn 10m, which I still own. I have tried pretty much every tenor out there since then, and nothing matches the sound I get from my 10m. Last year, I considered purchasing a tenor with more modern keywork just to have the best of both worlds. Here's a very brief summary of my experience with some of the most popular tenor models out there.

- YTS-875 EX: Played itself.
- YTS-62 III: Excellent horn for the price, but a bit thin.
- YTS-82z: Too bright, but get the hype.
- Selmer SA80 II: Better Asian horns out there.
- Selmer Series III: Too bright, but otherwise remarkable horn.
- Phil Barone Vintage: This is the keeper. Sounds just like my 10m.

I received my PB Vintage Tenor in Vintage Lacquer just last week, and loving it! Now just to be clear, the Series III tenor was an excellent horn with amazing projection, but a bit too bright and focused for me. In my 25 or so years of playing, my pre-war '36 Conn 10m just sounds right to me. My new PB Vintage has a very similar sound. So, now I've got my dream tenor with a 10m sound and modern keywork. I couldn't be happier with this purchase. I looked the horn over very closely, not a single flaw anywhere. It feels very solid in my hands, and the finish is just gorgeous.

Like many of you, I've been reading up on Barone saxes since they became available several years ago. What I find interesting is that many great Taiwanese horns had surfaced at one point and then simply vanished - Viking & Macsax for example. Phil Barone saxes are still running strong. I admire that, and proud to now own one.

If anyone has any questions about the PB Vintage Tenor, feel free to PM me. I can share some pics and maybe even some video/audio clips if that'll help.

- Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,951 Posts
Well written review thanks.

I have a PB Classic tenor which actually pre-dates the "Classic" & "Vintage" monikers so at the time I bought it in 2008 it was the only PB tenor. It's been my main gigging horn for 10 years now replacing the YTS-875 that I played for the 15 previous years and still own. I originally bought the Barone to use at bar gigs and for the occasional road trip but it didn't take long for me to realize I sounded better on it than I did on my Yamaha. I still like the quick easy response and silky keywork of the 875 but my sound, especially up in the palm keys, is better on the Barone.

As far as brands disappearing I think that's more a function of the amount of competition and the expectation. Despite sounding like a cab driver from NYC Phil's a very shrewd businessman who has been involved in the saxophone marketplace for decades making mouthpieces long before he began selling horns. I think he has a very good understanding of the marketplace, his customers, managing costs, and providing a level of service that puts his product in a very strong value position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well written review thanks.

I have a PB Classic tenor which actually pre-dates the "Classic" & "Vintage" monikers so at the time I bought it in 2008 it was the only PB tenor. It's been my main gigging horn for 10 years now replacing the YTS-875 that I played for the 15 previous years and still own. I originally bought the Barone to use at bar gigs and for the occasional road trip but it didn't take long for me to realize I sounded better on it than I did on my Yamaha. I still like the quick easy response and silky keywork of the 875 but my sound, especially up in the palm keys, is better on the Barone.

As far as brands disappearing I think that's more a function of the amount of competition and the expectation. Despite sounding like a cab driver from NYC Phil's a very shrewd businessman who has been involved in the saxophone marketplace for decades making mouthpieces long before he began selling horns. I think he has a very good understanding of the marketplace, his customers, managing costs, and providing a level of service that puts his product in a very strong value position.
Thanks for the reply KeithL! I'd be very curious to see how the early PB models compare to the new. If I see one pop up on Ebay or Reverb, I might try to snatch it. I just received a Legere Signature reed over the weekend, and very impressed with how it performs along with my Vandoren Java T75 HR mouthpiece on the Vintage. As you stated, I'm feeling like I sound better on this horn. I lot of it does have to do with the ergos and modern key layout. The action also feels perfect for me. I really like having the high F# key as well, although I realize an experienced player should be able to do without it. I'm looking forward to trying out different setups on this horn and see where it takes me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,951 Posts
I played a new silver plated Barone Classic a few weeks back at Sax Alley and it felt pretty similar to my horn. Mine feels a bit "worn in" by comparison since it's been played at a few hundred gigs and thousands of hours. That's one of the things I've been most pleased with though not overly surprised by; these horns seem to hold up really well. I had the G# pad and one palm key pad replaced otherwise the rest are original. The slider mechanism (don't know what that thing that connects the Bb and C# table keys that allows the Bb to tilt is called) needed tightening and the Eb (right hand pinky) has developed a little click so that needs an adjustment but otherwise this horn has been very solid for me.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top