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Discussion Starter #1
I have read on the site sax.co.uk
Do I have to start on a student saxophone? This is a copy and paste.
"It all depends on yourself. Students horns, no matter the quality, are not designed to last forever. They will need upgrading at some stage. If you are looking for a saxophone to last you forever, or want something very special, you can go straight in with a professional horn and have just as much fun learning and discovering!"
Are student horns that bad now they don't last what could be so bad in a student horn that makes you bin it.
 

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"Student" horns are made for children to wreck. It's also part of a marketing scheme to have parents of school band participants buy three horns (student, intermediate, pro) by the time their kid finishes school. If you're not a child, find a good used horn from a known maker and purchase it at market value. Should you quit, you can sell it for value paid.
 

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I highly suggest a good used horn but bought from a reliable source. Ebay isnt the best place, especially for new players, to pick up a horn. I think a student, intermediate, or pro horn is fine but in all cases Id suggest not buying used. Just think of it as a car...drive it off the lot and its worth 30-40 percent less. The big question is, "What do you want to spend?" ...and are we talking tenor alto...
 

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Well, at present there seem to be two main echelons of "student" saxes.

1) Epitomized by the Yamaha YAS-23/YTS-23: well built, closely based on the professional models from the same companies with less refined keywork, simpler finishes, more robustly built in some areas to resist students' rough handling. More expensive than type (2) but will last decades with normal use and occasional trips to the repair shop. I'm not sure who else falls into this category, maybe some of the latest "Selmer USA" products, the least expensive Yanagisawa, and some of the Far Eastern brands that are sold through well respected US outlets where the US company imposes strict quality controls. (Kessler comes to mind.)

2) Epitomized by brightly colored saxophone-shaped objects available for stunningly low prices on Ebay "From China". Sold under a variety of names and in a variety of finishes. Usually crudely made copies of well respected instruments. Quality of materials, manufacturing, assembly, and adjustment will vary from usable to unplayable. Caveat emptor.

I would buy something in category 1 without hesitation, and expect it to last for decades. I would go without rather than risk my money, time, and aggravation on category 2.
 

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Student horns will last just fine if they are properly cared for and not abused.

A professional horn can offer you better tone, ergonomics, and intonation...but there are many student horns that play just fine. Any Yamaha 23 in good shape and good adjustment will suit you well as you journey into the world of saxophone.

More important than the horn is finding yourself a professional teacher. That will help you more than the quality of the horn. Take lessons consistently and practice whenever you can.

My advice is, after you have some years under your belt, and with the guidance of your teacher, you can start venturing into professional horns. Without the proper experience an expensive pro instrument wont do much to help you.

Best of luck and welcome to the saxophone!!

- Saxaholic
 

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Important to note. The OP isn't looking for a student horn. He's asking a question based on someone else believing student horns aren't designed to last forever. With the cheap crap made today, that's certainly true.
 

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Important to note. The OP isn't looking for a student horn. He's asking a question based on someone else believing student horns aren't designed to last forever. With the cheap crap made today, that's certainly true.
Again, the cheap crap definitely won't last. The good student horns (again with the YAS-23, he is!) will last indefinitely. You'll get what you pay for.
 

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While growing up in the '50's and '60's, the Selmer Bundy and the later Bundy II was the most common "student sax". It had a good tone, and good scale, but the ergonomics felt like a clunky student horn. It was also built like a tank to survive in the "battle zone" known as Junior High band. :) Fast forward to the early '70's there was finally a "student" saxophone that played very well and had ergonomics much more like a professional horn. That of course was the Yamaha 21 and 23. They were well made as are all Yamaha saxes with good quality control, but were not as solid as the Bundy II's and had to be handled with more care. Fast forward to 2000 when Taiwan manufacturing began to turn out quality saxophones at competitive prices. Several of the "brands" included those marked "student models" at a lower price point but which still included most of the same features as their professional line. As the YAS-23 price went beyond $1000 these Taiwanese saxes with even more features became a alternative . Some of the better ones I am familiar with are the Jupiter, Mauriat, Cannonball, and especially the Chateau made in Vietnam. These are certainly not in the same class as the Chinese SSO's (saxophone shaped objects) selling on Ebay for $200 or less, and as turf 3 indicated will last as long as a $4000+ professional model if properly maintained and cared for.
 
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