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Discussion Starter #1
Forgive me if this is a repost as I mentioned this in another thread.

But today, after having not played a sax for almost 30 years, I tried out several sopranos at a local music store.

I have to admit there was some real apprehension going there. Could I even get a note out of a sax? Would I sound horrible on a soprano (nasal, honk)?

A little background: Ive been out of the country for about a year, and the idea of getting a horn, a sop specifically, came to me and has become an obsession. Others have advised me to get a larger horn (understandably) but for some reason I dont want to.

Anyway, I got to play some horns. A Selmer series II, a Yani, 3 Yamahas all using a Vandoren S35 MPC. Needless to say it was a GREAT experience. I loved the Selmer which sounded fantastic. The Yani was like nothing Ive ever experienced before. The Yahamas were ok (more horn than I am player) but not what I expected.

And I was able to get a nice, fat tone out of all of them, play scales, and use vibrato. I was with a family member who was suprised as well.

All I can say is "Wow!" The experience was like a gift. And all I can think about now is getting a horn and playing.

The problem now is....what horn to get????

I will be going back alone this time, and sitting in a practice room to try these horns out more and try to get acquainted with them better.

Not sure what the point of this post is other than to say Im very happy right now-
Thanks
 

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Congratulations! It looks like there will be a very nice sax in your near future.
 

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To save money don't buy a brand new horn from these choices. Buy a slightly used Yanigasawa or perhaps some of the more recommended Taiwanese brands like T.K. Melody, Phil Barone or Kessler.

B
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To save money don't buy a brand new horn from these choices. Buy a slightly used Yanigasawa or perhaps some of the more recommended Taiwanese brands like T.K. Melody, Phil Barone or Kessler.

B
Thanks for the advice.

Ive been thinking about the Kessler horn as he says he copied the Selmer in style and bore. But he also says its smaller and has a brighter tone, which would defeat the reason of copying it in a way.

The Antigua looks very interesting as its supposed to be "80-90%" the horn the Yani is and of course much more affordable for a first horn.

I wouldnt think twice though, of getting the Yani or Selmer as a second horn depending on how things go.

But honestly, I was not prepared for how enjoyable that was.....to play again-
Thanks
 

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Were they new horns or used? If money is no object, and they all played well, I'd probably go for the Selmer (not a Serie III, though - been there-done that) or the Yanagisawa. If money is an issue, I'd go for the Antigua. If really inexpensive is the issue, I'd go for the Kessler. Mouthpiece and reed choices can brighten up a dark horn - and vice versa. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Were they new horns or used? If money is no object, and they all played well, I'd probably go for the Selmer (not a Serie III, though - been there-done that) or the Yanagisawa. If money is an issue, I'd go for the Antigua. If really inexpensive is the issue, I'd go for the Kessler. Mouthpiece and reed choices can brighten up a dark horn - and vice versa. DAVE
All new.

If money was no object I would go for the Selmer as well (Series II). I was a little suprised at that as Ive read and heard about how different Selmers can be (and I remember when the MKVII came out and what a nightmare that was).

I think a Selmer is exactly what Ill do some day. The first horn will be in the 1000 range (give or take).

I bought a book today for inspiration (will tinker with that on the flute for a few days).

I plan to buy next week.

Then...on to some wood shedding.....then lessons.

I can hardly wait-
 

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The Barone Sops are great little horns
 

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I picke up a Yani Stencil, The Martin sop for around 6 hundred and its much much better than the antiqua or kessler in my opinion. I owned an Antiqua for awhile and its not a bad horn but the Martin has a great tone and is very in tune. (not for sale BTW) K
 

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I love my series II selmer! Great sound and intonation! Palm key notes can be hard to voice!
 

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I love my series II selmer! Great sound and intonation! Palm key notes can be hard to voice!
I have played a few Yanigasawa stenciled Martin sopranos and would recommend at least an S880 model or newer with the modern left palm keys.

Also there is a practically unused T.K. Melody gold lacquered for sale here on SOTW.:)

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?157899-FS-Georgeous-T-K-Melody-Impanema-soprano

Not mine by the way but the same model I play 4 times a week plus practice.

B
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Im not at all familiar with the TK Melody.

Ive talked to the Kesslers several times about their line of horns, and the Antiguas. Truthfully after reading all I can find in the past few weeks about Kesslers, Antiguas, BW, Jupiters etc I become weary of the entire Chinese and Vietnamese horn industry. I know from reading, that several here really like these horns. Players that are far better than I will ever be.

There is no way I could ever justify the price of a new Selmer.

Or even the Yani, which I would really like to have.

Im starting to lean towards a 475....even though that horn wasnt very inspiring when I played it. I had come to the conclusion that Yamahas were overpriced for what they are.

But Im more than willing to go back and try the 475 again.

Ive come back down to earth now that its been several hours....but I still cant stop thinking about today-
 

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Try a curvy? A very different experience: a whole other way to hear yourself. Plus your right hand will not suffer as much, especially if you plan to practice a lot.
 

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Im not at all familiar with the TK Melody.

Ive talked to the Kesslers several times about their line of horns, and the Antiguas. Truthfully after reading all I can find in the past few weeks about Kesslers, Antiguas, BW, Jupiters etc I become weary of the entire Chinese and Vietnamese horn industry. I know from reading, that several here really like these horns. Players that are far better than I will ever be.

There is no way I could ever justify the price of a new Selmer.

Or even the Yani, which I would really like to have.

Im starting to lean towards a 475....even though that horn wasnt very inspiring when I played it. I had come to the conclusion that Yamahas were overpriced for what they are.

But Im more than willing to go back and try the 475 again.

Ive come back down to earth now that its been several hours....but I still cant stop thinking about today-
http://cgi.ebay.com/VERY-NICE-YAMAH...ultDomain_0&hash=item33670c2093#ht_500wt_1156
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Starting bid on that horn is 1300 dollars. And I dont know anything about the vendor. In fact, Ive never dealt with Ebay before and am cautious about doing so especailly with a first horn. I wouldnt mind spending a little more to get a horn from a store that can guarantee the horn and fine tune it for me. Thats why I was even considering Kessler due to their great reputation.

Im planning on going back today and sit down for awhile with each and every horn and see where that goes. Initially I wasnt that impressed with the Yamahas (Ive been told they are overpriced) but considering their build quality I think I need to look at them again.

I can hardly wait to start playing regularly. But getting a horn is half the fun in a way. Kind of like messing around with boats.

I wish I could get a Yani....
 

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More controversy . . . I fully understand the concept that Yamaha's instruments are well-made. I've owned two of their saxophones in my career and while neither lit my fire, both seemed to be well built. They were their top-of-the-line models when I bought them.

Not so with my recent purchase of a new Yamaha clarinet. It was an "intermediate" German System model (YCL 457-20, meaning the keywork was not Boehm, it was Albert/Oehler). Within a few weeks, a spring lost its tension and had to be replaced. Two of the material-like "bumpers" on the end of adjusting screws crushed to the point where they had to be replaced, and finally the barrel cracked. The cracked barrel was replaced by Yamaha.

Mind you, this was not one of their hi-end models, merely an intermediate, but I'm thinking that if this is the way Yamaha delivers it clarinets, how are their intermediate saxophones? Yes, a lot of folks tout the YAS23 alto saxophone, but if I were you, I'd make a different soprano choice than the 475.

Could the 475 you buy be a good one? Maybe, Could it last a long time without problems? Maybe. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't buy one - there are better horns out there for maybe less money. Maybe a nice vintage soprano would be more affordable and more substantial. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Interesting comments. Not sure about the Yamaha quality issues. I believe their student models are manufactured in Indonesia. Of course, if they are actively managing that plant (ie the Japanese model) that really shouldnt be an issue at all. Having said that, being a high performance car enthusiast I am aware that cars manufactured in Japan seem to be of better quality than the cars manufactured in America (guess Ill duck now).

Maybe your clarinet was a lemon. It does happen even to the best manufacturers.

Sigh....

Still great fun though! Im going back tomorrow to try each horn again. This time taking some notes.

Oh, good luck finding a Yani S-6!
 

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More controversy . . . I fully understand the concept that Yamaha's instruments are well-made. I've owned two of their saxophones in my career and while neither lit my fire, both seemed to be well built. They were their top-of-the-line models when I bought them.

Not so with my recent purchase of a new Yamaha clarinet. It was an "intermediate" German System model (YCL 457-20, meaning the keywork was not Boehm, it was Albert/Oehler). Within a few weeks, a spring lost its tension and had to be replaced. Two of the material-like "bumpers" on the end of adjusting screws crushed to the point where they had to be replaced, and finally the barrel cracked. The cracked barrel was replaced by Yamaha.

Mind you, this was not one of their hi-end models, merely an intermediate, but I'm thinking that if this is the way Yamaha delivers it clarinets, how are their intermediate saxophones? Yes, a lot of folks tout the YAS23 alto saxophone, but if I were you, I'd make a different soprano choice than the 475.

Could the 475 you buy be a good one? Maybe, Could it last a long time without problems? Maybe. All I'm saying is that I wouldn't buy one - there are better horns out there for maybe less money. Maybe a nice vintage soprano would be more affordable and more substantial. DAVE
That's s shame about the yamaha clarinets! My daughter hannah plays on a older YCL-450 that was assembled in USA of japanese parts and I play on a YCL-650 made in Japan! Both play great w/ no issues except for Hannah's post on the lower right hand was slightly out of position so the last ring on right hand needed adjustment not to hit the tone hole chimmney! The grenadilla wood has been fine on both! FWIW the 450 is a huge bang for the buck!
 
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