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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post and like everybody I have a lot of question. I decide after 10 years to leanr saxophone. I found a teacher and begin lessons at the end of august. I have to find a horn. I prefer tenor sax but my buget is probably to low to bought one.

Here's my questions :

1- Can I found a "decent" tenor around 350-400$?

1.1 If not for 300-350$ can I find a good learning alto?

2- I found an alto for 350$ canadian (Yamah YAS-21). Is that a good deal?

3- How can I be sure the horn is ok if I can't play it??

4- Ebay or not Ebay? (I bought a lot of guitars wihtout any problems).

5- Is it better to buy a used sax in a shop or in the ads?

I'm open to ANY OTHER way to ind a good saxophone under 400$:)
 

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Bigou said:
This is my first post and like everybody I have a lot of question. I decide after 10 years to leanr saxophone. I found a teacher and begin lessons at the end of august. I have to find a horn. I prefer tenor sax but my buget is probably to low to bought one.

Here's my questions :

1- Can I found a "decent" tenor around 350-400$?

1.1 If not for 300-350$ can I find a good learning alto?

2- I found an alto for 350$ canadian (Yamah YAS-21). Is that a good deal?

3- How can I be sure the horn is ok if I can't play it??

4- Ebay or not Ebay? (I bought a lot of guitars wihtout any problems).

5- Is it better to buy a used sax in a shop or in the ads?

I'm open to ANY OTHER way to ind a good saxophone under 400$:)
I will let some more experienced posters take a stab at this one, but I would think look for both altos and tenors because sometimes tenors aren't always that much more expensive. Look in used ads, but see if you can find a teacher at a music store to playtest the sax before you decide. In my area it's fairly easy to find student altos or tenors in that price range in the newspaper ads, since they are popular in schools in band. Local newspaper ads would be better for getting a good deal than a music store or even e-bay. I would say definately get a tenor if that is what you want unless you absolutely can't afford it... when I was getting my first sax many years ago I was almost convinced into getting an alto instead, even though I wanted to play tenor. Then an ad popped up for a beautiful Yanigasawa pro model tenor sax in mint condition for only $700. I bought it right away and didn't look back. But I think you may be able to find a good student model for half that much because they are quite common. (however altos a little more common because they are usually for kids.) Try to be patient and see what you can find, and I would consider any kind of model in good condition. Make some calls, ask some questions (condition of body and pads, brand, model, serial, etc.) do some research (post questions here!,) and try to figure out what's the best bet, and then find someone to test it. Just don't get suckered into buying something on the spot just becauase you are impatient (like I always do :() Good luck.
 

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Bigou said:
This is my first post and like everybody I have a lot of question. I decide after 10 years to leanr saxophone. I found a teacher and begin lessons at the end of august. I have to find a horn. I prefer tenor sax but my buget is probably to low to bought one.

Here's my questions :
1- Can I found a "decent" tenor around 350-400$?
Yes, but not a big 4 one of course. I got an reasonable intermediate / pro style Antigua Winds tenor off ebay for $250. It was too good a bargain to refuse, and I got in trouble with the wife for my impulse purchase. Its a gamble of course to some extent, but yes you can is the answer, if you are patient, and a bit lucky and know what to look for.

I also have a chinese made Grand Tenor from a poster here that was a good enough starter horn for a little less than that. It works fine, plays relatively in tune and has great ergonomics. For what I would sell it for now Im not using it, you could easily start on tenor and get a good mouthpiece within your budget, as well as a few extra lessons. Dont undersetimate the importance of the mouthpiece, it can make all the difference between easy progress and months of frustration. The previous owner had played it through highschool and in rep band too if I recall correctly.

If anyones interested I can send pictures for those who PM me. The price is low for a working horn in reasonable shape.
1.1 If not for 300-350$ can I find a good learning alto?
Yes, no problem
2- I found an alto for 350$ canadian (Yamah YAS-21). Is that a good deal?
It might be, although the 21 is an old model, and it will depend how much work it needs to get it in playable shape. I wouldnt pay much more, and if you want to play tenor, then get a tenor
3- How can I be sure the horn is ok if I can't play it??
Thats a tougy, best bet is take along someone who can. If thats not an option do lot of reading on the internet first to get pointers
4- Ebay or not Ebay? (I bought a lot of guitars wihtout any problems).
Ive had no problem with ebay, but factor in money to get it checked out by a tech after you get it, it will probably need at least a pad or two and a checkover. There is a lot more to go wrong on a sax, many interdependent moving parts that need to line up and seal
5- Is it better to buy a used sax in a shop or in the ads?
You will always pay more markup in a shop, but a reputable store (now a pawn shop) should at least sell you a working sax and stand behind it for at least a short while
I'm open to ANY OTHER way to ind a good saxophone under 400$:)
The classified marketplace here tends to have honest saxplaying folks trying to move on up the sax tree.

Where are you in Canada?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes I'm in Canada

Here's what I found recently in the ads :

Tenor King 615 - 500$
Lamonte tenor - 500$

These 2 horns are 1 year garantee. The sellers is a repairman.

Bel Air tenor - 350$ (but need a bit of works).
 

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Bigou said:
Yes I'm in Canada
Where abouts? On the off chance you are local I might be able to help.

You might need to budget too for the customs implications of bringing a horn into canada if you explore the larger US market. In ontario thats 15% sales tax plus customs brokerage. Canada Post isnt so bad, but if its shipped Fed Ex or UPS that can be a nasty shock.
 

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As a begginer with no expierence on e-bay other than gutiars I would say No. You may not know what to look for. You might find something here, in that price range. You WILL Have to go used in that price range. Some people rave about Chinese saxophones. Personally I would still stay away from them. If you want a Tenor, I would place a Want ad out.
I would ask for a Used
Kessler Custom
Antigua Winds
Selmer Prelude

The reason why I suggest these horns is because they have had solid performances. And they might be in your price range. All of these horns are Asain, however Kessler has a good name around here as does Antigua. I have not played any of these horns, but you may find something. I have read some good stuff about the Selmer Prelude. Also you can get a slightly used one for right around your price range.

Yamaha 21 horns are just an older version of the Yamah 23. The 21's are older than 23's. I would tread carefully when getting a older horn. Their may be problems with the horn.

If you want to go vintage, I would recomend finding a older member that will help you with the search. I had help from one, and he helped me sort through the ones that I would not like.
 

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Carbs said:
Some people rave about Chinese saxophones. .
Its buyer beware, there seems to be a lot of variability in the quality. I certainly wouldnt buy a shiney new one off ebay quite yet, but for what I paid for my used one I had very little to loose, and it turned out to be perfectly adequate to get the ball roling on tenor for me.

Id still be using it now except that my primary alto is an antigua, and the deal on the tenor was too good to refuse given my positive experience, so here I am with a rarely used, perfectly servicable tenor thats only going to appeal to those on a tight budget. Its a shame, as its really an OK horn, and where else are you going to get a ready to play tenor with modern Selmer knockoff ergonomics and a few years left in the pads with any luck for $200CDN. For $250 I could throw in a Selmer S80C** too, but its probably better for a new player to take mouthpiece advice from their teacher first.

Oh well, if nothing else this has finally got me round to putting an add for it in the marketplace...
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=61944
 

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I'd look around for a YAS-23 alto. They're pretty tough horns, and although used for students, I can bet you could find one in decent condition for your price if you spent some time looking around. If you could get your budget up to $500-$600, I'd bet that you could find a decent tenor.

There are some good saxes coming out of the Far East that are worth taking a look at, but unless you have someone who knows how to play, it can really be tricky sorting out the good ones from the crap. WWBW.com offers a company called "Barrington" which at least on alto is a Selmer S80 copy. I was really impressed with the quality of sound that I got out of it, I'd give it about 75% compared to my personal Selmer Paris Series II, and they sit at a tenth the price. However, I can't speak for their build quality as I never had to have on repaired. Some of these saxes, you put them under a repairman's torch and they'll melt away. Gear4Music from the UK has also gotten excellent reviews. If you search around the forum, I'm sure you'll find other brands that are capable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Canadiain said:
Where abouts? On the off chance you are local I might be able to help.

You might need to budget too for the customs implications of bringing a horn into canada if you explore the larger US market. In ontario thats 15% sales tax plus customs brokerage. Canada Post isnt so bad, but if its shipped Fed Ex or UPS that can be a nasty shock.
I'm in Montreal.
 

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I have a Vintage Tenor. I am selling a Buescher for $250. Plus Paypal and shipping. I played on it the other day. Didn't really need much work. Not the prettiest horn. But not bad for the price. Also their is a Conn Pan American at $400. Needs absolutlly NO work. Let me know if you are interested and I will send you some pictures.
 

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I picke up a King Cleveland for a student off ebay for 250 that I wanted to keep. (it played so fat and dark!!) Also got a Bundy 1 that was rusted as heck but a very good player for 150 dollars. Both are good starter horns for tenor. But when I bought I expected to pay at least a couple of hundred to fix them up if needed. THats the way ebay is. Lots of sales from people who don't have a clue about sax or playing it describing tone and playability. Altos? I'd go to the horn wanted on this forum and I guarentee someone will have a beater (looks bad plays good) in their closet that they'll want to sell. K
 

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Depending upon where you live, to get a good repad can cost $400 and sometimes you have to do it to fix an old instrument. So buying an old antiqua winds for $350 - $400 and then finding you need a complete repad means you could have had a new Kessler Custom or Soloist for less! :shock:
 

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The Yamaha 23 is a popular choice for beginners. Yamaha used to stencil the same horn for Vito and those are available for significantly less. The Vito must be marked "Japan" and if you compare the big ugly keygaurd on the bell keys they are easy to identify.

I picked up an Vito alto a few weeks ago on eBay for my 10 year old daughter. The horn was in incredibly good condition and played out of the box. The only thing that needed done was replacing a cork on the palm 'D' key so it wouldn't go "tink tink". It only cost me about $300 USD.

I had bid very conservatively on a few others that obviously needed significant work but didn't win them. They were going for a little less than $200 USD. It would have taken at least another $200 to get them playing. I lucked out on spotting the one I ended up winning because of his higher starting bid compared to other Vito horns starting bids.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=270138147303&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=017
 

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Everybody quotes repad prices and I would really encourage a newbie/beginner to stop by the local repair shop and chat it up with them developing a relationship. There are few shops around here who will see one bad pad and scream "repad" kind of like going in to fix a flat tire and coming out with a new transmission? Some horns are crap and need a repad. I ask the sellers on ebay what condition the horn is in and if they said it was great and it came back very poor I send it back. If you can't judge a horn by your playing go to the local music store and rent a teacher for 30 bucks to try it out? I have had some real stinkers come off ebay that I wanted to keep and I;'ll get it just playing and then go from there over time as money permits. If you by a new horn watch 30% disappear from its value as you walk out the door. Thats assuming you didn't pay the 1500 dollars retail for the 1200 dollar internet buy horn. I feel real sorry for the students who don't get a decent teacher to help through this. My latest student has a 1500 dollar rental horn that always needs an adjustment. I think I set him up (if he doesn't buy it from me I'll keep it) good student alto for 200 dollars. It isn't perfect but if you are 16 and learning to drive why buy a 100K race car. K
 

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what sax

I will also endorse the King 615's. THey also are found as King Cleveland's. These are great tenors. I purchased one for a student for about 250 and it was really a NICE PLAYING SAX.

The Yamaha YTS 23 is also a very god value in the 500 range.

Good luck
HUTMO
 

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Gandalfe said:
Depending upon where you live, to get a good repad can cost $400 and sometimes you have to do it to fix an old instrument. So buying an old antiqua winds for $350 - $400 and then finding you need a complete repad means you could have had a new Kessler Custom or Soloist for less! :shock:
If it needs a complete repad. But how often is a complete repad necessary on a 5 year old horn? so far Ive been lucky, although if you get the right pictures before deciding to bid its not such a gamble. Ive had to had the grand total of one pad replaced over three horns. Thats ~$3000 worth of "new" horns at online prices for $700 total outlay.
 
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