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I have recently found somebody selling a ' one piece P. Mauriat Soprano Saxophone - System-76 II custom class' and I was wondering if anybody has had any experience with these? Would you recommend buying one or not, and what price should a second hand one be?

Or would you recommend going for a 'yamaha YSS 475' instead (second hand also)? Or any other makes/models?

Also it is silver plated the one in question, which I am not 100% keen on. If I was to pay to get the laquer professionally stripped off (though i probably wont as it will devalue the instrument), what color would appear? Normal rusty dark color?

Thanks
 

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Hello and welcome. I will defer in answering the first half of your question. IMHO I find Mauriats way overrated; sorta baffles me how such an incredibly average example of a sax line ever acquired the popularity it seems to have. I am unfamiliar with the 475 Soprano.

But if I understand your latter question correctly...you would consider stripping a silverplate horn down to bare brass...is that correct ?

Perish the thought now.

Plating is not lacquer...it is neither sprayed on nor baked on; it is electro-plating, the adherence of a plating metal (silver) to bare brass thru an electrochemical process. The only way to remove it is to do a reverse-(un)plating process (again electrochemical), or mechanically buff it off. The former is expensive, the latter will really mess up the horn.

Yes, bare brass is what is beneath the silver plating (actually on a good silverplate job, there should be a flash-plate layer of copper over the brass first, if I recall correctly).

But why anyone would ever go to the time and expense of removing a plated factory finish would be beyond me. If you cannot live happily with the plated finish, do not buy that particular sax.

IMHO I would take a decent silverplate horn over a bare brass or lacquer over brass horn any day of the week....
 

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Some silver-plated saxophones do have a coat of clear lacquer. But I agree with what Jaye posted, including his take on PM saxophones. I have yet to come across one that impressed me. Yet, I know of a local saxophone teacher who LOVES her PM tenor.

The Yamaha 475? I've played a few and they were decent but nothing that made me want to get out my wallet (and I DID get out my wallet for other brands and models over the years). Currently in my closet is a MKVI (a wonderful soprano - my go-to soprano now), a Yanagisawa S992, a yanagisawa SC902, and a '28 Buescher TT. They all outplay any Yamaha I've played over the last 30 years (including a silver YSS62S that I bought new and still is in my family).

Maybe the OP should give us a budget to consider. Going inexpensive for a soprano is risky, in my view. One would need to know the territory and be able to play-test before buying. DAVE
 

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Definitely do not purchase the horn if you are not keen on the finish. It will be extremely expensive to strip it and will leave the horn more vulnerable to physical stress. I did a lot of shopping and play testing before I found my soprano. I played the Yamaha 475 and was not very impressed really...the horn had very little character and a bland sound for my liking. The Pro Cannonballs surprised me. These are pretty nice horns but my horn now is an early L.A. Sax Pro one-piece and I love it. If you can get your hands on an early L.A. Sax, you should test it out. They are now hard to find and the new LA Saxes are pretty crappy for the most part. I was extremely patient and lucky while searching for my soprano. Because it was a rather "undesirable" horn (because it was an L.A. Sax and it had a classy honey gold finish and not a flashy finish) even though it was in mint condition, I got it for very cheap. If you can, play test whatever horn you are interested in. With sopranos, patience and actually playing the horn are particularly important.
 
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