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Hi everyone,

I´m a beginner, and planning to buy a low cost Sax. I found one with the brand "Mercury" I think it´s Chinnese, It looks pretty good, but I would like to know your opinion weather its a good or bad idea? Or at least, please recommend me what I have to look and test in the Sax so that I can assure it´s ok.

Thank you very much!
 

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Welcome to SOTW. I don't know the "Mercury" marque, but in my experience, the chances of buying a new, inexpensive unknown-label saxophone that will be a "keeper" are slight. Are there decent-playing Chinese saxophones around? Yes, but the buyers usually know what to look for and they test them before buying; OR the buyers can afford to take the $300 to $400 risk.

My advice would be to raise your sights a bit and buy a known, recognized "inexpensive" saxophone like Antigua or Kessler's house-brand (Dave Kessler is a site sponsor). Of course, you didn't list your area of residence, nor did you specify the size of the saxophone you want, so that could change our recommendations a bit. DAVE
 

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Hi Dave, thanks for your response! I´m currently from Mexico, and I´m looking for an Alto Sax. I would like to lower the risk regarding this Chinese sax. So, do you know any webpage that can explain me what to look for when buying a Sax? Or can you give me some tips? I would appreciate that.
Regards!
 

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Oh my goodness . . . that would require a whole book! But, everyone has to start somewhere. My advice would be to go with a reliable retailer (like Kessler). I don't if he or others ship to Mexico, but I'm guessing he would. Next, do you have a teacher lined up? If so, get his/her input. If not, that would be a wise thing to do.

Talk to Kessler, let him know your budget and be guided by his recommendation. Or, if there are reliable retailers in your area, then talk to them. Beware of sales-pitches, though. I know Kessler and he doesn't make pitches, just tells the truth about all of his products. He will sell you what is best for you, regardless of whether it is his own brand or something else in his inventory.

I've purchased two of his Kessler Custom saxophones (an alto for my grandson that I selected personally at his store, and a tenor for me that I bought sight-unseen). Both are decent saxophones.

About Chinese saxophones, though. Some are actually decent enough for a beginner, but there are SO many brands around that it is impossible for a beginning player to know one from another. Sometimes I jokingly say that they all come out of one factory, just with the brand-names changed. The truth is in the playing - and the longevity. Even a seasoned player may not be able to judge construction (for longevity). So the horn plays in tune from top to bottom. That's half of the issue.

Also, some confuse Taiwanese-made with Chinese-made horns. Over all, the Taiwanese horns are better, but much depends on what the distributor's contract calls for - and how closely the specs were followed. Keep asking. DAVE
 

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Mercury is actually one large and well known Chinese factory. http://www.lk-js.com/en/main.asp

I have bought one of their sopranos years ago in Shanghai and I see their booth and products regularly at the Frankfurt fair. I don't know about the particular item that you want to buy but I can surely say that Mercury makes good products.
 

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How about a Yamaha YAS-23? They're all over the place for around $300 used. Solid horn, good entry level value.
 

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Well after trying a few curved soprano sax along Jingling Rd in Shanghai, I bought one that I thought to have the best intonation. I did not even bother to check what was stamped on the body. Well I found out later in my hotel room that it is Mercury. The quality and response is far from my S992 Yanagisawa but it costed me less than USD300 and the tone is really nice. Btw I use an ottolink 7* for my soprano. It will be for sure my backup soprano for now.
 

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Mercury is actually one large and well known Chinese factory. http://www.lk-js.com/en/main.asp

I have bought one of their sopranos years ago in Shanghai and I see their booth and products regularly at the Frankfurt fair. I don't know about the particular item that you want to buy but I can surely say that Mercury makes good products.
Milandro, I had played a couple of these Mercury soprano's at the Frankfurt fair and I was impressed with them. I regretted not having picked one of them up at the time. They played rather well for the money! I have no clue if they (corks/etc) held up later, but 1st impressions were not bad.
 

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you know, this is certainly an open question and only time will tell BUT I thinkg that, given the prices, the risk is very limited. Of course the prices that were mentioned are not the same prices that one would pay in a shop with a guarantee and the appropriate and understandable mark up, without which no business could ever operate.
 

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just got a mercury saxello on Ebay, I'm liking it. Intonation seems workable. It's not going to kick my Yani curved offstage but it's a nice horn for under $500 delivered.
 
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