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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
That's it. I'm shopping altos and I'm curious What would you do?

Assuming I can stay around $2k and find something playable or only in need of minor adjustments. What would be better? VII, Cigar Cutter, or Balanced Action.

Seems it comes down to new key work vs old, New ergos vs old.

Let's be honest, if I add my skill level to the mix I would be deciding on a Vito vs YAS23. So let's leave me out of the equation.

Any thoughts? I'm asking because I recently bought a nice Conn Tranny, but if I drop another $800 to have it rebuilt (not that it needs it) I may be better off looking at something else.
 

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You would be very , very lucky to get a BA for $2,000. This is all personal preference and you should try the horns. I would get a VII because I don't like the old key work. Even though many complain about the size of the pinky keys of the VII, I found it easy to get used to with a a nice tone and good build quality. VII's are probably the most undervalued Selmers.
 

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For $2k, I'd skip all of these and just pick up a nice, used Series II alto. These have been out long enough for good ones to depreciate to el cheapo prices.

Nothing special about cigar cutter or BA altos, and most you find have 'excuses'.

Good M6 is gonna be lots more than $2k, anyways. Plus, a good modern horn plus mouthpiece/reed setup will get you as good as you wanna be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
120782508787 (ebay) Somewhere near... but yeah 2K may be just a bit optimistic

You know the SA80 II is a good idea. Thnx Gents.
 

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BA for $2K? Even if it needs a complete overhaul it's a good deal. As mentioned above, the SBA II is a great idea in that price range. If you want to save a grand check out a recent Cannonball. I've recently had a couple of these and they compare nicely (for the money) to my SBA.
 

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Don't you love when somebody is looking for real horn and you hear the Cannonball brand come up?
Personally, I'd try a Conn 6M (rolled tone holes or not) if you want a great sounding vintage horn. When it comes to altos usually the ergos don't seem so hard to get around.
 

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I'd find an SA80II alto as well...
 

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Nothing special about BA altos?!!!??!!! Have you ever played one? The one I have here is a monster player. As good as one can expect a horn to sound and play. My backup horn is an amazing MKVI. A used Yani A991 is a seriously undervalued horn. You can get them for under $2K.

For $2k, I'd skip all of these and just pick up a nice, used Series II alto. These have been out long enough for good ones to depreciate to el cheapo prices.

Nothing special about cigar cutter or BA altos, and most you find have 'excuses'.

Good M6 is gonna be lots more than $2k, anyways. Plus, a good modern horn plus mouthpiece/reed setup will get you as good as you wanna be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't you love when somebody is looking for real horn and you hear the Cannonball brand come up?
Personally, I'd try a Conn 6M (rolled tone holes or not) if you want a great sounding vintage horn. When it comes to altos usually the ergos don't seem so hard to get around.
Well that's my trouble. The Conn I have seems to be a nice horn and the ergos are not too bad. The left hand pinky cluster being the only exception. I'm not sure if the missing high F# will bug me down the road. It doesn't now but... In the end all things I could get used to but I'm in it for about $400 now and It has a mix of pads and lots of leaks and needs a good bath. If I keep it I'll have The Horn Shop go through it completely. Maybe I'll do that and start saving...
 

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120782508787 (ebay) Somewhere near... but yeah 2K may be just a bit optimistic

You know the SA80 II is a good idea. Thnx Gents.
It is a good idea! A friend of mine bought a SA80 tenor for $2100.00 and it's a great horn. I'll amend my response to Mark VII or SA 80, both in your price range.
 

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any horn you buy that is older for 2k is going to need a job most likely. older series 1 and 2 altos in that range are great horns but most of them will have pads that are 20 years old. if you are starting your saxophone journey (you implied that above) , i would say to have the conn fixed up, play it for a year or two and then go shopping. that when you try these other horns you will eb abel to tell for yourself what you like and don't like.

besides even if you sink 800 into the conn, assuming its a 6m style, you should be able to get most of your money out of it when you move on (if you decide to).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Too late... I was tempted by a nice Yamaha 82z. It really has a sound that just does it for me. Funny cuz I always turned up my nose at Yamahas. Guess I didn't know what I was missing. Now I just need to strive to be a good enough player to justify owning it. Off to the woodshed.

Thnx for all the responses.
 

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Yeah I agree with Whaler. Get an old Conn. 6M or even a Chu model. The ergonomics are actually really nice on the altos, very very fast, and man they sound just as good if not better than anything else out there.
 

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Well that's my trouble. The Conn I have seems to be a nice horn and the ergos are not too bad. The left hand pinky cluster being the only exception. I'm not sure if the missing high F# will bug me down the road. It doesn't now but... In the end all things I could get used to but I'm in it for about $400 now and It has a mix of pads and lots of leaks and needs a good bath. If I keep it I'll have The Horn Shop go through it completely. Maybe I'll do that and start saving...
Get the Tranny in top playing condition and play it until you can decide what you really want and are sure you can afford it. If you want the tonal characteristics of an early Conn, the SA80 and the VII are not going to be satisfactory.
 

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Man - you really should have your Conn overhauled while you are playing the other horn. I'm willing to bet that once they are both in good playing shape and the playing field is leveled, it will blow the Yamaha out of the water. You're sitting on a gem there.
 

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Yamaha 82Zs are top of the mark. Nice get!
 

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Nothing special about BA altos?!!!??!!! Have you ever played one? The one I have here is a monster player. As good as one can expect a horn to sound and play. My backup horn is an amazing MKVI. A used Yani A991 is a seriously undervalued horn. You can get them for under $2K.
Damned right. Any $2k BA ain't gonna be a gem...and, fwiw, I've owned all of the vintage Selmer altos and for my money, the SBA is the best of 'em. However, the modern horns tune better, and unless he specifically wants a particular vintage model, he'd be much better off with a good used modern horn.
 
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