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Back in 1999 in Albuquerque NM, my professional 1971 Yamaha YAS-61 alto saxophone was stolen from me. After rehearsal, I was at the restaurant for less than 10 minutes because one of the band members forgot his set of keys there during lunch and I was giving him a ride home. Thieves broke into my pickup truck camper, broke the locking latch to get in. All parking to the restaurant was in back. This restaurant building was constructed without any windows looking out back, the security camera quality was of such poor resolution you could not make out details on the thieves. At the time, I did not know my sax was worth $3,000. They also stole my GEM PK-7 keyboard. I bought it for $800 the year prior, it was not as much of a loss, but still a loss.

Since, I have bought gigging instruments, used intermediate quality, some beginner instruments and a few new imports. To the public, I sound as good as I do with better instruments, but if stolen would not feel as great of a loss.

One example, at the church, I use my 1999 GEM WK-2 hard disk midi arranger connected via midi to their vintage 1996 Yamaha QS-300 keyboard as my keyboard setup. These were considered as toward the upper end 20 years ago and still produce decent sufficient results in spite of their age.

Got my Venus soprano sax about 5 years ago for $230 shipping included. At the time, this brand had decent reviews unlike other saxes, so I took a chance on it and was glad I did. It plays like an intermediate instrument, plays well in tune, is easy blowing throughout its range, metallurgy is sufficiently stout and I have not had to rebend any keys. Since, have lost several bumper corks but that I can replace.

I'm using a relatively inexpensive Rico Graphtonite B5 mouthpiece. Yes, it is not one of the legacy Berg Larsens I used back in the 1970s, but it has really nice mellow timbre. So, one doesn't have to go expensive for good sound and good time. It all depends on the venue and circumstances, but if stolen would not be a big loss to me as was my 1971 alto.

Besides, one needs to have a sense of humor. I get a kick out of people discovering that the nice alto sound was from my rustic looking Selmer Bundy II alto sax. :mrgreen:
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