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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading some of the reviews on the Taishan Bari's I thought I would look into how well Taishans are built.
I had an opportunity to pick up a used soprano at a decent price and it arrived today.

Pulled it out of it's case and the 'feel' is a little toy-ish......not sure how to really describe it, just doesn't feel sturdy. Could be the weight (feels light), or it could be the plastic touches.
Looking the sax over there are areas that concern me, others are just personal opinions.
I don't like the fact that some (most?) screws don't go fully into the posts.
There are posts that seem to 'float' on solder.
One post is still covered in grease (from factory or seller i am not sure, but picture included here).
And a couple of levers have me worried on how long they'll last, the side top E & top E!

Amanda is at a practice so playability has not been tested, but that was not the reason for this purchase, it was for quality since a bari purchase is the final purpose.

For others that have purchased a Taishan, would you say the fit & finish of this sop the norm?

IMG_2780.jpg IMG_2781.jpg IMG_2784.jpg IMG_2785a.jpg IMG_2785.jpg
 

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When paying so little for a horn it goes to reason you'd need to spend at least a few hundred $$ to get it professionally set up. The quality is really going to be in how long it holds its adjustment and that's something that can only be done over time. It's why we haven't seen a whole lot of people posting about the quality because they really haven't been around that long.

I'm sure your sop could be a wicked horn with some love.
 

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The floaters are keyguard feet vice posts. The E touch with the sloppy fit to the lever itself should be OK if it is (and it probably is) silver soldered. The rod not fully through the post head for the lower stack is sloppy workmanship but ought to have no effect on anything. It generally matches up with what I've seen.

What you don't picture but might be more worried about would be the fitment of the keywork (specifically play between the hinge rod segments especially in the upper stack around the B cup and up). They shouldn't have any lateral play (sliding up and down the rod because of a space between the keys) or "wiggle" on the rod. Are the little adjusting screws for the upper (and perhaps lower) stack liable to be functional? (heads not stripped, pressing on the appropriate surface)

Mostly the Taishans look great from four or five feet away, and for all the issues cited above- which seem to be endemic to one degree or another to all the sopranos (quite a few) curved or straight - can play surprisingly well despite them. While the goal is no slop at all (the "rocket science" approach), it turns out that some can be tolerated in the acceptable playing range between feather touch perfection and gorilla grip airy.

I've never worked on a Taishan baritone or seen one from closer than twenty feet or so. The kid who was honking one in the HS band seemed proud as a peacock though, and sounded quite good FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input guys.

To littlewailer, the guy I bought this from said he just spent $55 to have it "set-up". Not sure how much $55 get you in Wash., but here it gets you a dirty look!!
We may, or may not see how long the set-up lasts as I will probably be selling it soon.

To Henry D, there are more than 1 'floater' post but the one imaged is probably the worst. Sloppy fit on the E touch may not break, but puts into question the QC for the whole sax. Overall the play is good, EXCEPT the side top E, low Bb & low C#. Some lateral play with those. Hardly visible, but you can feel it, top E being the worse.

Thanks again for the replies.
 

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What can one expect for $400 new. I bought a Taishan Black/with gold keys Soprano to mess around with. It looks great, and it does the job, except my dogs and wife hate it. You can't expect to buy a VW bug and expect it to perform like a BMW 750I.
 

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After reading some of the reviews on the Taishan Bari's I thought I would look into how well Taishans are built.
I had an opportunity to pick up a used soprano at a decent price and it arrived today.

Pulled it out of it's case and the 'feel' is a little toy-ish......not sure how to really describe it, just doesn't feel sturdy. Could be the weight (feels light), or it could be the plastic touches.
Looking the sax over there are areas that concern me, others are just personal opinions.

I don't like the fact that some (most?) screws don't go fully into the posts.
There are posts that seem to 'float' on solder.
One post is still covered in grease (from factory or seller i am not sure, but picture included here).
And a couple of levers have me worried on how long they'll last, the side top E & top E!

Amanda is at a practice so playability has not been tested, but that was not the reason for this purchase, it was for quality since a bari purchase is the final purpose.

For others that have purchased a Taishan, would you say the fit & finish of this sop the norm?

View attachment 52384 View attachment 52385 View attachment 52386 View attachment 52387 View attachment 52388
AmandasDad, check out my post comments on the thread No One Likes Chinese Sopranos bottom-line Taishan Soprano I had was a POS
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What can one expect for $400 new. I bought a Taishan Black/with gold keys Soprano to mess around with. It looks great, and it does the job, except my dogs and wife hate it. You can't expect to buy a VW bug and expect it to perform like a BMW 750I.
What did I expect? I wasn't expecting anything, just wanted to know what the fit & finish was like and whether 'investing' in a bari is a good idea.
JS, I'll check your post.
 

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I can help thinking of my bicycling world.
You can now go out and get a very nice useable all purpose bicycle for about 2-300 dollars. More or less works well with nominal bells and whistles. Looks pretty good, feels OK. Works OK, nothing great but OK.

But these are all likely to be gone in 10 years, primarily because of two things.
1-The owners consider them disposable and don't fix them to maintain and keep them (not committed to ownership of it).

Or,

2-They are subject to, and require repeated and tricky repairs (which don't "hold") and owners/repairers become frustrated.

In the former, its just a sort of convenience of the market and our disposable world, and perhaps a purchase of whim.
In the latter, its the inadequacy of the device and its underlying nature/quality.

I don't know which these might fall into. Or, into which these these might fall (for the grammar tyrants...)
 

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Wow that horn looks like CaCa..kinda like a monday morning hangover horn..for the record my taishan sop looks 100% better than that one.. well maybe I just got lucky..I certainly don't have any floating posts or un-attached stuff. My sop is a rose brass straight model, it looks identical to B walstein's $1100. offering, but mine is un-branded and not numbered. I find the fit and finish amazing for what I paid for it ($399 otd)..my horn plays perfectly well in tune and straight from the box at that. I've played many professional gigs on this horn and so far have not found any problematic issues. But dad I see your point..I would not be happy if mine looked like yours...now as far as longevity goes.. I've seen nothing that would require any unusual or "repeated and tricky repairs" (***??) ..in fact at this point it looks to me like the best deal on a cheapo sop out there.. Also as far as "whims" go, I have not seen any used TaiShans for sale yet, so maybe they're not so "disposable" either..I actually do see a fair number of satisfied bari buyers on the forum..I would like to try the taishan bari myself one day. Now about that "Inadequecy of the device" remark, seems it would be easier to call the taishan a POS..which to me it ain't..
 

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I was at my repairer on Friday and he had on his bench a bunch of curved sopranos that a shop that he works for rents out to kids.

So, the subject of cheap Chinese horns came up. He is rather inexpensive a technician and he charges less than most in the business around here because he works from his home and has no employees while running a proper registered business (and not a bootleg repairing shop). Yet the overhaul of a soprano has just reached 350€ now (it was 300€ before for years and years)

Anyway, even though he is cheap(er) than most, he charges more than the cost of many of these horns for an overhaul. So, for the shop renting them out it is not convenient to overhaul them but they simply will botch them up a little bit every time they are savaged by a kid and ultimately, they will meet their fate at some stage and will be disposed of.

I am happy about my Chinese BW, it has served me well in these years. I would buy one again. It now needs a few very minor repairs but it isn’t in need of an overhaul yet and has stayed in regulation all these years. I paid more for this horn than an overhaul cost but, come the time that it needs one, I will be in need of thinking what to do with it.

Would I invest almost half of the cost of a new horn in an overhaul when I can sell it before it gets to that point for half of the money that I paid and pay the other half (which is the price of an overhaul) and get a NEW horn?

In the last few weeks I saw at least 5 curved sopranos (various “ brands”) appearing on the local classified ads site, all with very low prices and all apparently still very new.

Someone obviously bought them, found out about a problem (probably past the guarantee time if there was a guarantee altogether), brought them to the tech, was told that the repair exceeded the horn’s price and went on selling the horn as a “ Carnival’s “ horn (in the South of Holland and in some parts of Germany there is a tradition for Mardi Gras not dissimilar to New Orleans with lots of small bands “ Dweilorkesten “ playing in the streets you don’t want to play your GOOD horn then!).

This, I am afraid (and I’ve said it for quite some time now) is the foreseeable destiny of all these ultra cheap horns (whether they are made on monday morning or friday afternoon or well made the rest of the week :twisted: ) and it is all down to elementary economics.

The cost of the repairs is continuously going up while the buying price of the majority of the NEW Chinese made horns is lower than the cost of repairs.
These is already affecting also the low end of the vintage market too.

There are many horns now that are not worth being repaired because their market price if well operating is lower than the cost of the repairs that they would need to be well operating.

Even if not vintage. A playing YAS 23 is worth 350€ maybe 450€ , on overhaul is a minimum of 300€.

What would you do if you had one?

Most people sell them cheap on line, they are typically bought by technicians who fix them in their spare time and sell them. For a normal customer they are not worth buying.
 

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We have seen the arrival of disposable pens, lighters, clothes, shoes, cell-phones, it is about time for musical instruments to finally catch-up...
 

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well, the amount of energy that is needed to make, transport, sell a saxophone is a considerable one and the best way to conserve that energy is to continue using something that can be used almost indefinitely.

The breaking point is really the labour coat for repairs.

It would be a very good thing to do what many charities around the world do with unwanted tools and musical instruments.

Which is collecting them, send them to countries where they are needed, have them repaired THERE where the instruments are sent (so one finance local businesses and doesn’t disperse any value outside the destination country and supports the local business) against a fair price and be given to people whom couldn’t possibly afford spending the couple of hundred dollars that an instrument like that would have costed to buy.

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/recycl...orchestra-musical-instruments-made-from-trash

Although this is a risible amount of money for most of us, it is often equal to the yearly income of an entire family in some of these countries.


http://www.oprah.com/home/Where-to-Get-Rid-of-Clothing-Toys-Old-Phones-and-More/21
http://charitymusic.org
http://givethegiftofmusic.info/give-the-gift-to-those-in-need/
http://bandlandmusic.com/CHIRP.html
 

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I was at my repairer on Friday and he had on his bench a bunch of curved sopranos that a shop that he works for rents out to kids.

So, the subject of cheap Chinese horns came up. He is rather inexpensive a technician and he charges less than most in the business around here because he works from his home and has no employees while running a proper registered business (and not a bootleg repairing shop). Yet the overhaul of a soprano has just reached 350€ now (it was 300€ before for years and years)

Anyway, even though he is cheap(er) than most, he charges more than the cost of many of these horns for an overhaul. So, for the shop renting them out it is not convenient to overhaul them but they simply will botch them up a little bit every time they are savaged by a kid and ultimately, they will meet their fate at some stage and will be disposed of.

I am happy about my Chinese BW, it has served me well in these years. I would buy one again. It now needs a few very minor repairs but it isn’t in need of an overhaul yet and has stayed in regulation all these years. I paid more for this horn than an overhaul cost but, come the time that it needs one, I will be in need of thinking what to do with it.

Would I invest almost half of the cost of a new horn in an overhaul when I can sell it before it gets to that point for half of the money that I paid and pay the other half (which is the price of an overhaul) and get a NEW horn?

In the last few weeks I saw at least 5 curved sopranos (various “ brands”) appearing on the local classified ads site, all with very low prices and all apparently still very new.

Someone obviously bought them, found out about a problem (probably past the guarantee time if there was a guarantee altogether), brought them to the tech, was told that the repair exceeded the horn’s price and went on selling the horn as a “ Carnival’s “ horn (in the South of Holland and in some parts of Germany there is a tradition for Mardi Gras not dissimilar to New Orleans with lots of small bands “ Dweilorkesten “ playing in the streets you don’t want to play your GOOD horn then!).

This, I am afraid (and I’ve said it for quite some time now) is the foreseeable destiny of all these ultra cheap horns (whether they are made on monday morning or friday afternoon or well made the rest of the week :twisted: ) and it is all down to elementary economics.

The cost of the repairs is continuously going up while the buying price of the majority of the NEW Chinese made horns is lower than the cost of repairs.
These is already affecting also the low end of the vintage market too.

There are many horns now that are not worth being repaired because their market price if well operating is lower than the cost of the repairs that they would need to be well operating.

Even if not vintage. A playing YAS 23 is worth 350€ maybe 450€ , on overhaul is a minimum of 300€.

What would you do if you had one?

Most people sell them cheap on line, they are typically bought by technicians who fix them in their spare time and sell them. For a normal customer they are not worth buying.
Wow, that is really illuminating...
 

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I was also looking at the Taishan baritone saxophones that are listed on EBay. I wound up getting a Keilwerth made Armstrong Heritage baritone sax for more money. I considered testing the waters with an inexpensive soprano just like the OP. I looked at the feedback here on SOTW and the few reviews were positive but it wasn't enough feedback for me to follow through with the Taishans. I think I did the safe and the most likely correct thing in finding a undervalued Keilwerth and following through with it's purchase. I would have loved to purchase a new baritone sax made made by the big four but I couldn't afford one, that's why we are looking at the Taishan.
 

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seems to me if you are lucky enough to recieve a decent built TaiShan to start with and handle it with reasonable care it should last a good long time. after all it takes quite awhile to wear out any sax. I fail to see anything on mine that looks like it's ready to fall apart or self destruct. I will admit it does not feel as sturdy as some vintage or big 4 horns, but a pad or a cork or a felt is simply that and should be easily replaceable..(except for those snobby techs)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
seems to me if you are lucky enough to recieve a decent built TaiShan to start with and handle it with reasonable care it should last a good long time.......
And there lies the crux of my purchase......I don't want to be "lucky enough", I want to purchase a sax from a maker that consistantly makes good (great) horns.
 

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And there lies the crux of my purchase......I don't want to be "lucky enough", I want to purchase a sax from a maker that consistantly makes good (great) horns.
Then you probably want to be looking at buying from a brand that does good good quality control and not direct from a Chinese manufacturer on ebay.
 

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Just as an aside, I started a project where I collected 150lbs of used baseball gloves and brought them to Nicaragua in the last two years (see my signature) - its their national pastime and they often have to share gloves among many kids. It was a great success.

This year, I'm expanding and starting Far Out Clarinets or something like that. I'm looking to collect clarinets or $ to buy good used ones for around 100. each. and $ to hire a local teacher for a few months (at about 175 per month) Also good condition used or new reeds for same.

So, keep your eyes out for this in the coming months boys and girls!! I'll be looking for small donations through Indiegogo again, as I did for Gloves Go Far.


well, the amount of energy that is needed to make, transport, sell a saxophone is a considerable one and the best way to conserve that energy is to continue using something that can be used almost indefinitely.

The breaking point is really the labour coat for repairs.

It would be a very good thing to do what many charities around the world do with unwanted tools and musical instruments.

Which is collecting them, send them to countries where they are needed, have them repaired THERE where the instruments are sent (so one finance local businesses and doesn’t disperse any value outside the destination country and supports the local business) against a fair price and be given to people whom couldn’t possibly afford spending the couple of hundred dollars that an instrument like that would have costed to buy.


Although this is a risible amount of money for most of us, it is often equal to the yearly income of an entire family in some of these countries.


http://www.oprah.com/home/Where-to-Get-Rid-of-Clothing-Toys-Old-Phones-and-More/21
http://charitymusic.org
http://givethegiftofmusic.info/give-the-gift-to-those-in-need/
http://bandlandmusic.com/CHIRP.html
 

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seems to me if you are lucky enough to recieve a decent built TaiShan to start with and handle it with reasonable care it should last a good long time. after all it takes quite awhile to wear out any sax. I fail to see anything on mine that looks like it's ready to fall apart or self destruct. I will admit it does not feel as sturdy as some vintage or big 4 horns, but a pad or a cork or a felt is simply that and should be easily replaceable..(except for those snobby techs)
Hate to repeat myself i.e. beat a dead horse, but Amandas Dad, please note the Curved Taishan Soprano I had and also note it said Taishan on it and did have a serial number and is not rose brass (which makes me doubt CashSaxs horn is actually a Taishan) was clearly a big POS.
 

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And there lies the crux of my purchase......I don't want to be "lucky enough", I want to purchase a sax from a maker that consistantly makes good (great) horns.
I bought mine on eBay, the sellers handle is (TaiShan)feedback is excellent and the actual person (Lily) who answered my queries seemed quite legit. I realized I was still taking a chance hence the "get lucky" part. The taishan bari buyers I referred to on this forum seemed to deal with the same folks as me. Not all TaiShan saxes are branded the same.
 
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