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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I currently play a YTS-23 that I've had since forever. Recently I've been looking to upgrade to a more professional level horn without breaking the bank. There are two lines of budget horns that get good reviews and have caught my eye:

1. Phil Barone Vintage series
2. Just Saxes Crescent series

I find myself leaning more towards the Crescent since it's ~$1k cheaper, but wanted opinions for anyone who has tried either, or both, and whether the price difference between the two is justifiable.
 

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You should read the comments from the owner of Just Saxes toward the end of this thread: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...chance-buying-from-China-and-it-went-SO-well-! Make sure he still has Crescent tenors available before reaching a purchase decision.

The reason the Crescent is less expensive than the Barone is that it's built in China rather than Taiwan. You can decide if that means anything to you.
 

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I had a student that owned both, and I think we were in agreement that the Barone was a far better horn in every way (sound, intonation, build, feel, etc)
 

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I just went through the process of evaluating a new Barone tenor vs several other mostly used professional saxes, and the Barone won out hands down. I received it last week and have played it on a couple of gigs, and it plays equal to and in some respects better than my Mark VI and Yami 82Z. Check out the many positive reviews on SOTW, and then get the Barone. You won't regret it.
 

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I have owned so many Barone tenors. I always have my vintage Conn 10m here for my vintage horn, and for my modern horn, my choice is the Barone.

I have had both the Classic and the Vintage models, and they are both really enjoyable. I enjoy the ergonomics and the sound. I have been pushing these for a long time because I feel they are a fantastic bargain and they play incredibly well compared to anything, not just based on their price.

Every year I pick one up in a different finish than I have already had, so I can compare and see which I like the best. It’s a fun process, and not an expensive one. You can always sell these for pretty much what you buy them for if you buy them used.

Excellent playing and sounding horns.



I haven't owned any of Palo's horns, but I know he is passionate about everything he does, and I bet they are also very good horns.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You should read the comments from the owner of Just Saxes toward the end of this thread: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...chance-buying-from-China-and-it-went-SO-well-! Make sure he still has Crescent tenors available before reaching a purchase decision.

The reason the Crescent is less expensive than the Barone is that it's built in China rather than Taiwan. You can decide if that means anything to you.
Oh wow, thanks for the link! Good info to know. Looks like that might narrow my choice a bit.

I have owned so many Barone tenors. I always have my vintage Conn 10m here for my vintage horn, and for my modern horn, my choice is the Barone.

I have had both the Classic and the Vintage models, and they are both really enjoyable. I enjoy the ergonomics and the sound. I have been pushing these for a long time because I feel they are a fantastic bargain and they play incredibly well compared to anything, not just based on their price.

Every year I pick one up in a different finish and than I have already had, so I can compare and see which I like the best. It’s a fun process, and not an expensive one. You can always sell these for pretty much what you buy them for if you buy them used.

Excellent playing and sounding horns.
Thanks for the input! Glad you popped in since my main piece is an HR Robusto (absolutely love it, btw). I'd be interesting in hearing your thoughts on which of the Barone horns you think would pair better with it. Classic or Vintage?
 

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Thanks for the input! Glad you popped in since my main piece is an HR Robusto (absolutely love it, btw). I'd be interesting in hearing your thoughts on which of the Barone horns you think would pair better with it. Classic or Vintage?

So glad you are loving the Robusto!!!
Either horn will be fantastic with that mouthpiece....no question about it.
Enjoy.
 

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While I haven't had a Barone, I've had several Taiwan tenors to compare to a gold plated Crescent with both necks and setup by Palo.

Having discussed this with Palo, I think it is safe to say that the all over build quality is better in Taiwan but that the Crescent is really pretty good. I could only find one slight solder gap on one of the posts although I didn't disassemble it. The main difference, as I recall, are the pads, corks etc. which could be the deciding factor for the OP.

A couple of local pros play-tested the Crescent against Mark 6s and a SA80. The younger player immediately liked the tone as being brighter and more aggressive than his SA. It is a Yani 9xx design copy.

But there's another perspective. The Barone is twice the price. If you bought both new and decided to upgrade in a few years, you'd lose 50% +/-. On the Barone, that's a thousand bucks. Enough to pay for the Crescent.

But with the number of used modern saxes on the market, you shouldn't get locked into a brand name. You just want one that's put together right. Buffet 400 was my fav although made in China but the Jupiter 889 with the Sterling neck is a great horn and of course, who can resist a nice Viking!

Good luck.
 

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Think I saw a Barone Classic here yesterday. Was it 1200 AUD? I think that’s around 900 USD, n’est ce-pas? No time to look, but I’m sure it was Barone.

If you want a Chinese-quality horn instead of Taiwanese, get a Cecilio set up well and save a few hundred.
 

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I agree with what StuatSax has said here. I think the Jupiter 889 maybe the most under rated horn out there. However they can only be found used. If you are looking at new prices the Crescent and the Barone are not really comparable as the Barone is nearly double in price. I have had a bunch of Taiwan made horns and also owned a Crescent. The Taiwan horns are better made period. However I have never owned a Barone. Only a neck. One thing that I question is where the Barone is made. In my experience Taiwan horns are always stamped so. However I have never seen this on a Barone. I have looked at many that have come up for sale. Also in my experience these non stamped, Taiwan origin horns, are really made in Vietnam. Now I have a Vietnam made horn and its great.
The Crescent may be designed after a Yani, but thats all I would say about that. Its nothing like a Yani. I have two Yani tenors. I also have my doubts about if the gold plate is really gold. I have my doubts about self promoters that claim this or that and claim to have some secret bag of tricks that other techs don't know. Both are good horns. Personally I would buy a used 889. It will smoke the Crescent and you still paid a grand less than the Barone and get a solid silver neck.
 

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+1 for the Jupiter 889..... way underrated and can be had used for under $1k. Well built with an even sound and excellent intonation. One thing I’ve noticed about the ergos is that the key layout seems to be made for smaller hands ..... not good or bad but worth mentioning.

Still, in the sound department I think the Barone is the clear winner .... I’ve only tried a Vintage model so can’t speak to how the Classic compares.
 

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saxcop;3626698. The Taiwan horns are better made period. However I have never owned a Barone. Only a neck. One thing that I question is where the Barone is made. In my experience Taiwan horns are always stamped so. However I have never seen this on a Barone. I have looked at many that have come up for sale. Also in my experience these non stamped said:
Very few of the Monique’s that were from Taiwan were stamped, and none of the Cannonballs I’ve owned were. Of course, when they were first imported into the US most Americans thought all Asian saxes were junk and could not be told differently. So they didn’t exactly shout the country of origin from the rooftops; funny how things turn around.

There are actually some decent instruments coming in now from all parts of Asia. You’re smart to be skeptical, though. Why pay what is now a premium for something you think was well-made and in a high labor cost country only to learn it’s not. The importers should openly declare their sources.

And FWIW, it is a Barone Classic up for sale and it is at 1200 AUD (taking fish oil capsules must be working). Probably have to figure well over $300 to get it here; kinda kills it’s being any deal. Price confirms what another member said, about figuring a resale at 50%.
 

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I agree with you extradarcafe. I played a Monique alto for 10 years. It was a decent horn and unmarked. Cannon Ball has always been in the business of trying to confuse the buyer on the country of origin. Good horns though. However the modern Taiwan horn is proudly advertised and I am skeptical when they are not stamped so. If you look at the engraving on a Barone, it really doesn't match up with other Taiwan horns. The engraving on my new LA Sax is nearly as nice as my solid silver Yani 9937. When I see simple engraving on the Barone, and that it matches the style of chinese horns, I am skeptical of where its made.
 

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I agree with you extradarcafe. I played a Monique alto for 10 years. It was a decent horn and unmarked. Cannon Ball has always been in the business of trying to confuse the buyer on the country of origin. Good horns though. However the modern Taiwan horn is proudly advertised and I am skeptical when they are not stamped so. If you look at the engraving on a Barone, it really doesn't match up with other Taiwan horns. The engraving on my new LA Sax is nearly as nice as my solid silver Yani 9937. When I see simple engraving on the Barone, and that it matches the style of chinese horns, I am skeptical of where its made.
** Not much to do with Barone and Crescent, but: ***

Your skepticism about the Barone has me wondering about my LA Sax tenor, and a Unison S400 now. I never paid it much thought and looked at both today. Neither are marked as to origin, but I always took both to be Taiwan saxes. The LA Sax has no decorative engraving except on the bell cups, and on the Unison it's sparse (suits my taste). I plan to sell both eventually, now that I'm nearing 1,000 years old, and don't want to state unequivocally that they're from Taiwan if it may not be the case. Still, back in 2006 when the Unison was made I don't think the mainland was yet sending us consistent quality. (They were being hit up by US importers for low-priced instruments for the most part.)

The LA Sax is the LAX-308, later engraved "Big Lip." Fortunately, that's not written on this one. It's a plain-Jane clear lacquered thing. Maybe I should get "Fat Lip" engraved on it and see if anyone notices?
 

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I had a student that owned both, and I think we were in agreement that the Barone was a far better horn in every way (sound, intonation, build, feel, etc)
That student was me! Yes, The Barone is better in every way. I do not recommend buying a crescent, Palo is awesome and was putting a lot of work into setting up these Chinese horns, they do not hold regulation and the quality just isn’t there.
Edit: this was 2011 or 2012. I know the PB horns are still of high quality and excellent bang for your buck, but haven’t heard about crescents lately.
 

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** Not much to do with Barone and Crescent, but: ***

Your skepticism about the Barone has me wondering about my LA Sax tenor, and a Unison S400 now. I never paid it much thought and looked at both today. Neither are marked as to origin, but I always took both to be Taiwan saxes. The LA Sax has no decorative engraving except on the bell cups, and on the Unison it's sparse (suits my taste). I plan to sell both eventually, now that I'm nearing 1,000 years old, and don't want to state unequivocally that they're from Taiwan if it may not be the case. Still, back in 2006 when the Unison was made I don't think the mainland was yet sending us consistent quality. (They were being hit up by US importers for low-priced instruments for the most part.)

The LA Sax is the LAX-308, later engraved "Big Lip." Fortunately, that's not written on this one. It's a plain-Jane clear lacquered thing. Maybe I should get "Fat Lip" engraved on it and see if anyone notices?
Pretty sure LA and Unison are factory jumpers who have had many lines made in many factories in different countries with varied attention to quality and detail. Pretty sure most were Vietnam and China made for a while with a couple of the higher end lines using Taiwan factories with their own specifications for material qualities. Phil Barone Saxes have never been made anywhere but Taiwan even when he was co-branding with MacSax.
 

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If so PB horns have some of the poorest engravings of all Taiwan horns. It is highly unlikely that factory only makes his horns. Where are the others produced by that company? I think the style of this engravings, post shapes, key shapes, are clues that you can use to make some reasonable assumptions. I am not knocking PB horns. I am not a believer that they are 100% Taiwan made.

The latest LA sax is a nice horn. It is stamped Taiwan. I agree with you that the past LA horns were sourced from different places.
 

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If so PB horns have some of the poorest engravings of all Taiwan horns. It is highly unlikely that factory only makes his horns. Where are the others produced by that company? I think the style of this engravings, post shapes, key shapes, are clues that you can use to make some reasonable assumptions. I am not knocking PB horns. I am not a believer that they are 100% Taiwan made.

The latest LA sax is a nice horn. It is stamped Taiwan. I agree with you that the past LA horns were sourced from different places.
They were made in the same place as P Mauriat for a bit, then TK Melody and some of the other better Taiwan makes. There’s always been the rumor that the alto and tenor vintage model body tubes are almost identical to the Cannonball Big Bell Stone Series. Give Phil a call, he knows where he gets his horns. I love the tenor I have now, but regret selling the vintage model tenor he sold me...the bari as well. Oh yeah, I once had a Barone classic alto with a TK Melody brace on it, bought from and sold to someone on this forum.
 
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