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I'm looking into getting a cheap straight alto to play with (I have a good alto, great soprano, and a killin' tenor already), which leaves with with the option of cheap Asian imports. I know the arguments against, but I've also heard how some Asian manufacturers make playable horns. Can any of you tell me of your good experiences with makers and who they are? I read the recent Ref 54 knock-off thread and several others, but none really tell _which_ manufacturer is being used (i.e. which of the 'stores' on any of the import sites they're using). I guess they're protecting their sources, or something. I can look at pics and tell when the left-hand platter keys are crooked and wrecked, but I also know those pics aren't of the actual horn being sold. That being the case, I figure they chose their best one, which means the other horns are probably laughable. I can also see when the horn is surprisingly well put together, yet still a knockoff (read: not a picture of a real Yani being used). I can read through the factory tours, view their pics, etc, but _still_ would like some additional info, if any of you would be willing to help. If nobody here has any experience with it, I guess I could do a public service and order a few from different manufactures, give reviews, and state where to get them in order to help others.

Anyway, thanks in advance!
 

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I'm looking into getting a cheap straight alto to play with (I have a good alto, great soprano, and a killin' tenor already), which leaves with with the option of cheap Asian imports. I know the arguments against, but I've also heard how some Asian manufacturers make playable horns. Can any of you tell me of your good experiences with makers and who they are? I read the recent Ref 54 knock-off thread and several others, !

Whatever you do don't even think about a counterfeit.

I would think your best bet for post sales service might be the Thomann alto.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Whatever you do don't even think about a counterfeit.

I would think your best bet for post sales service might be the Thomann alto.
Agreed, I'm avoiding those. I wouldn't be able to take them to my tech to get them worked on and certainly wouldn't want a fake name on the horn. I would like to side-by-side a few to see how close they've gotten.

The Thomann looks to be right in my price range. dlrsax is also looking into his factories for me, as well (I don't know how to tag him in this post, so he could contribute).
 

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If you are looking for an affordable straight alto which is also playing in tune (not all do) do consider the Wisemann.

I have tried it many years ago. I don’t know if the Chinese company is still trading (can’t find their address and this picture comes for Trevor Jones in the UK who no longer seems to be able to offer one.

http://www.trevorjonesltd.co.uk/images/StraightAlto.jpg


 

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I don’t think that wiseman cases is the same company.

The saxophones had all sorts of patented things like a conical tenon receiver arrangement.

Beijing Deyong Musical Instruments Co. Ltd should be the name of the maker.
 

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I don’t think that wiseman cases is the same company.

The saxophones had all sorts of patented things like a conical tenon receiver arrangement.

Beijing Deyong Musical Instruments Co. Ltd should be the name of the maker.
Ah, cool, thank you!
 

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Beijing Deyong Musical Instruments Co., Ltd.

Registered Address: No. 1104, Block B, Jiaye Mansion, No. 6, East Nansanhuan Road, Fengtai Dist., Beijing, China (Mainland)
Year Established: 1999
Registered Capital: RMB 1,000,000

e:Beijing Deyong Musical Instruments Co., Ltd.Street Address:SUITE 1104, SECTION B, JIA YE MANSION, NO.6 NANSANHUAN DONGLU, FENGTAI DIST.,BEIJING 100079 CHINAZip:100079Telephone:86-010-67672715Department:Foreign Trade Department
 

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Just curious - I once owned a nice JK straight alto - what arguments against? About buying cheap Asian saxophones OR owning a straight alto? DAVE
 

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The Chinese are capable of making a good sax. If an outside entity orders saxes to a certain spec, they can make them, but they still have to be completely gone-over before being delivered to Western buyers. Its in the details - they just gloss over what seems to them to be minor issues, things that would cause us to want our money back. Its the same thing as their watches - they can make a good one but for the most part they don't. If their defense industries are no better than everything else, they are really in trouble.
Take Kessler saxes for instance - he has them made to a higher standard plus they are all run through his shop before delivery. I've been playing one of his baritones since 2015 and I haven't done a single thing to it. My biggest problem was finding a mouthpiece but it would have been the same thing with any new modern low A baritone.
You may know that several of the 'Big 4' now contract saxes and parts to the companies in China that are capable of doing the higher-level work - mainly for the lower-tier horns. I think at some point they will be generally good horns but they are not up to Taiwan standards at this time.
 

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dlrsax is also looking into his factories for me, as well (I don't know how to tag him in this post, so he could contribute).
I have a source. I haven't handled a sample of that particular model, but if the quality is comparable to the other products from the same factory then it will be quite good.
My factory rep sent a couple of photos of an UNFINISHED sample:
View attachment 217618 View attachment 217620

e:Beijing Deyong Musical Instruments Co., Ltd.Street Address:SUITE 1104, SECTION B, JIA YE MANSION, NO.6 NANSANHUAN DONGLU, FENGTAI DIST.,BEIJING 100079 CHINAZip:100079Telephone:86-010-67672715Department:Foreign Trade Department
Website is http://www.wisemann.com.cn. Only in Chinese.
There is no straight alto in the current catalog.
 

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I bought one some years ago through alibaba links. Quite a reasonable horn but it needed a bit of TLC from my tech to get it playing well. It still needs a little modification to stabilise the long rods to the low C# B and Bb and put the pants guard in a reasonable location. Just for fun I use a curved "talto" neck on it!
If you can locate one at a good price go for it, but be prepared for a professional set-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a source. I haven't handled a sample of that particular model, but if the quality is comparable to the other products from the same factory then it will be quite good.
My factory rep sent a couple of photos of an UNFINISHED sample:
View attachment 217618 View attachment 217620



Website is http://www.wisemann.com.cn. Only in Chinese.
There is no straight alto in the current catalog.
I've actually held off on the purchase and I'm leaning toward putting a bit more money aside to buy one of these ^^^
 

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Recently purchased a unused Schiller branded Unlacquered alto for $100 and was extremely surprised at the quality. I am not sure if its Taiwanese or Mainland but it feels and plays like the T.K. Melody alto I had a few years back. IDK if I would have even considered it except for the low price on eBay.
The only thing I have concerns about is the springs are stainless not blue tempered.
 

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I recently purchased on Ebay a Tai Shan TS670 tenor sax for playing outside gigs and or bars etc. so I don't bring my Yanni to those things, I was quite surprised with the quality and the ergos. after a trip to my tech to be set up the horn is a beast plays in tune and is very free blowing and mouthpiece friendly, I like it a lot, I know it 's a tenor not alto but that is my experience, might be worth checking out to see what they have in the way of straight alto.
hope this helps
 

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I purchased a Schiller sopranino. Pretty sure it's made in Taiwan, as I haven't seen any of the Chinese ninos with that style keywork. It played great out of the box. No issues so far.
 

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there are Chinese made sopraninons in both Selmer and Yanagisawa copy style

At that price this cannot be a Taiwanese made saxophone because it would be cheaper than the dealer buy price. I saw a Schiller Selmer copy sold for $475, impossible price for a Taiwanese made sax.

I love the fact that they call these “ American Heritage” which they are a copy of a French Selmer layout :twisted: ( the straight one), the curved SOPRANO seems to be a Yanagisawa copy, obviously a Japanese saxophone, what would be American or Heritage in these is not at all clear to me.
They are certainly neither one of the two.

A clear attempt to make claims based on thin and deceiving air.
 

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there are Chinese made sopraninons in both Selmer and Yanagisawa copy style

At that price this cannot be a Taiwanese made saxophone because it would be cheaper than the dealer buy price. I saw a Schiller Selmer copy sold for $475, impossible price for a Taiwanese made sax.

I love the fact that they call these “ American Heritage” which they are a copy of a French Selmer layout :twisted: ( the straight one), the curved SOPRANO seems to be a Yanagisawa copy, obviously a Japanese saxophone, what would be American or Heritage in these is not at all clear to me.
They are certainly neither one of the two.

A clear attempt to make claims based on thin and deceiving air.
I could care less about advertisements or claims of "heritage" because every single instrument company boasts and brags about what differentiates them from the crowd and 99% is complete and utter nonsense.

I have played all the very well known brands except for R&C and I have played at least 40 saxes from inexpensive to really dirt cheap sources and my take is that you can pay more for an
instrument thinking it is superior to those which cost less but that doesn't necessarily make them a better horn.
 
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