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· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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I would like to add my two cents about Chinese manufacturers selling on ebay. I have tried tons of horns and I am not sure where they were built but most were truly awful until I started to have custom horns made for myself as I am NOT in the selling biz.

The company I purchase from directly on ebay is Eastern Music and so far I am very impressed with the quality. They have different levels of horns that are grouped into Professional, Intermediate and High Grade (being the lowest?) I think.

Email them and they will make a saxophone in any metal, any engraving, My Pads or Pro Pisoni, and any lacquer finish or bare brass etc...

This company has made me two soprano' one curved and one straight one piece. I sold the curvy to a pro out of Dallas and he thought it was very good.

The straight one I just took delivery on recently is so very good I am in shock at how quickly this Chinese wholesaler/manufacturer? has come in terms of real genuine detail and quality.

I highly recommend this eBay seller to those who are looking for an above average horn for a decent price (think high end Antigua/TK Melody/P. Mauriat). That said, I can not speak for buying directly off ebay but emailing and asking to have one of their Professional level with features that are as good or better than Taiwan saxophones made custom is how I did it.

Do not believe the hype about all Chinese instruments are junk, that is simply not the truth.

I can not figure out how to post pics here but if someone helps me I will do so willingly.
 

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Soprano: 1983 Keilwerth Toneking Schenklaars stencil
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I have directly purchased several saxes, clarinet and flutes from Eastern Music that I had built to my specifications and was blown away at how well they played in tune and how nice they were lacquered and built. My tech was leery but after setting it up he told me that all but the flute were of excellent built quality.

I am currently having Brenda at Eastern Music have a dark gold lacquered body over 85% copper with lighter gold lacquer keys straight one piece soprano built with F# and G. Supposedly it is a very close copy of a Yany 991but with built in neck.

I understand the geo-political implications of purchasing items directly from China but I am not wealthy and I only play couple times a month now that I have a child in the house. :)

I will review it when it is completed in about a month.
IIRC Eastern Music was a main outlet of Venus Saxophones that were well regarded as a good, inexpensive backup sax a number of years ago.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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10,164 Posts
IIRC Eastern Music was a main outlet of Venus Saxophones that were well regarded as a good, inexpensive backup sax a number of years ago.
Well I am not surprised but this soprano is worlds apart from those Venus' and was expecting a $700 horn which is what I paid and I'm not joking its a $2800+ horn at Taiwanese quality or dare I say Yanigasawa (which is a design combination WO10 and a WO20 at 5K).

I am completely astonished at the quality and attention to detail.

This will probably end in a bad place thinking back on how I was treated on sotw 8 years ago when I switched from Selmer SA 80 to TK Melody but I don't care what the detractors say, this particular brand has come along way baby.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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10,164 Posts
use the "Go Advanced" tab and then

Attachments
Manage Attachments:
Valid file extensions: bmp doc gif jpe jpeg jpg mp3 pdf php png psd sib txt wav zip

that's all you need
There is no go advanced on my page ugh
 

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I always dreamed to own a curved soprano saxophone but I never could afford such high prices from brands as Yamaha, Yanagisawa,
etc... on the other hand, I have always been suspicious of those saxes sold for 200/220 dollars on line, as Mendini, Lazarro, etc...
After much search, and after having read several reviews, I took a chance and finally ordered a gold curved soprano sax from Tai Shan Winds,. They are supposed to be the "premium" Chinese brand, with prices usually twice higher than mainstream chinese competitors, still very affordable compared to the great western brands. The sax arrived in FOUR days ! 4 days from China to Michigan, cannot believe it.
Extremely well packed. When I opened the case (not a wooden case, but still well made) I saw all the parts wrapped in velvet lining.
The sax body also had several rubber stoppers under several keys to prevent damage during shipping. The saxophone looked gorgeous, and upon further inspection it seemed very well and accurately built. I played the sax for almost two hours and have been surprised at its playability and at the quality of the sound. As far as I can judge (I am not a professional) intonation is great. So far, I cannot find a defect. All keys play well, no leaks as far as I can judge, the sax seems ready to be played. Also, the mouthpiece, a 4C, is good and I didn't find any difference in tone and/or ease of play with an original Yamaha 4c that I already owned.
Omg omg omg my new beloved arrived on monday...today is tuesday and I am floating on air . I thank you so very very much for you post that has led me to this path of joy. I've been playing and playing and feeling great with my Tai Shan curved soprano. I had problems with the supplied mouthpiece, but had prepared for that and am using a yamaha 5 c, rovner ligature and hemke 3.0 reeds. The low notes sound like my alto and the high notes sound a bit oboe ish. I'm a beginner, so this may all even out. But it is so much easier to play. It took all of a week to get to me in the most layered and careful packaging. The case is an ergonomic wonder and the sax came with cleaning tools, reeds, cloth bags-- the presentation was stunning. I watched a great tutorial on the difference in embouchure from my tenor and alto and also from reading, pushed the mouthpiece further on the neck.....my first notes were encouraging. So thanks again, for leading me to this great experience...only 400 and one week delivery from China. Fabulous!
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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I have been watching those Eastern horns for a few years. The quality appears to be improving.
It seems between Eastern Music and Tai Shan they are stepping up into a true professional category with their new horns. It was inevitable and since I can not afford to spend a fortune to replace a B&S Chicago Jazz tenor that I now regret selling
(I still own another) I want to have a backup when my horns go in for maintenance.

The soprano I recently purchased put side to side with a Yany S991 and a 902 are so close in build I can not tell much different. Same adjustment screws, same ergos and same ribs and posts. The sound with a metal Link and legere reed is on the bright side on both this and the yany sooooo......

I compared it with these models because its a hybrid on both in that its a S991 with a one piece body.
 

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I picked up one of those eastern music saxes - an alto. the build seems sturdy, was shipped well. action seems solid if a little stiff which is fine for a new horn. I am not sure about the intonation though. I haven't played much alto for awhile, so I am hoping it is just me, but so far the intonation seems pretty rough. I'll play it for a bit and see if I can even things out. It definitely seems built better than the Venus soprano I had, but even with that it was pretty easy to get a solid scale - one would think alto would be easier to tune than a soprano, so I dunno.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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10,164 Posts
I picked up one of those eastern music saxes - an alto. the build seems sturdy, was shipped well. action seems solid if a little stiff which is fine for a new horn. I am not sure about the intonation though. I haven't played much alto for awhile, so I am hoping it is just me, but so far the intonation seems pretty rough. I'll play it for a bit and see if I can even things out. It definitely seems built better than the Venus soprano I had, but even with that it was pretty easy to get a solid scale - one would think alto would be easier to tune than a soprano, so I dunno.
You really cant judge a horn until its been set up. Have the key heights adjusted, check for leaks and adjust the springs for even action.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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10,164 Posts
I'll take it by a tech this weekend - I do like the tone and feel of the horn, it has a warmth about it with my meyer-clone mouthpiece. I hope a setup will help that tuning.
One other thing to think about tuning is that mouthpiece might not be positioned the same as other horns. All horns have a sweet spot whether lots of cork showing or none at all. What I have noticed with Taiwanese and Chinese horns that I have owned is the mouthpiece needs to be pushed in more to play in tune.

I have also found that short lay (table) works best. Not sure why but this is my experience.

In a few weeks I take delivery of a fully customized Tenor made to my specifications. I will let you know my experience.

Hope it works out for you, and if not Eastern Music has a one year warranty.
 

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Got this horn in better tuning with some key height adjustments , not perfect, but good enough to hold on to (everything is less than 20 cents off for the most part). I have barely been able to play due to having a new baby in the house, so perhaps it will get better once i get my chops back.
 

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Soprano: 1983 Keilwerth Toneking Schenklaars stencil
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It seems between Eastern Music and Tai Shan they are stepping up into a true professional category with their new horns. It was inevitable and since I can not afford to spend a fortune to replace a B&S Chicago Jazz tenor that I now regret selling
(I still own another) I want to have a backup when my horns go in for maintenance.

The soprano I recently purchased put side to side with a Yany S991 and a 902 are so close in build I can not tell much different. Same adjustment screws, same ergos and same ribs and posts. The sound with a metal Link and legere reed is on the bright side on both this and the yany sooooo......

I compared it with these models because its a hybrid on both in that its a S991 with a one piece body.
I am a little confused. My understanding is the Eastern Music (aka dongfangleqi) is a seller and distributor of musical instruments on eBay. Although there is an eBay seller with Taishan in his name Taishan is Shandong Taishan Wind Instrument Manufacturing Co. They actually make saxophones, not just assemble them.

Among other labels Eastern Music sells Taishan-made saxophones, apparently now with his own Eastern Music label. He apparently is offering custom-made saxophone too. He offers a tipped bell soprano. To my knowledge, there are only two manufacturers in Asia making tipped bell saxes, Mercury in China and Allbest in Taiwan. They make stencils for everyone else who sells them.

The point is that Eastern Music saxes are stencils made by a variety of manufacturers. This has the potential advantage of being able to pick and choose the best horns available in China, if that is what he does. On the other hand, he may be selling the horns he can make the biggest markup on. So, as with all things eBay, caveat emptor.

Taishan on the other hand, is the most highly regarded saxophone manufacturer in China. They make parts that other makers all over the world assemble. There are only a handful of manufactures in China that actually make parts and some specialize in certain parts, like bells or key work. Taishan makes stencils for other manufacturers and distributors. And, they are gutsy enough to put their own name on a line of saxophones. You are welcome for this last, but that is an entirely different topic.
 

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I just took delivery on a Taishan curved soprano. Well made, looks good and sounds....just like every other soprano I've played. That includes Keilwerths, Yamahas, Yanagisawas, Selmers, and others. I am so glad that someone is still making affordable new saxes. As far as I'm concerned I don't care if the big guys ever sell another new sax. Serves them right for doubling their prices over the last few years. I don't remember my pay getting doubled.
laughing at that comment!.......being in Paris (as in france) i see the prices and again laugh! since i already have three top shelf tenors (VI, 66R, 875) i am having problems with my antigua soprano so, i need to get one soon!
looking at that semi curved cheap chinese soprano has sparked my curiosity!.........i would probably spring for one if it had one piece body because, both necks of the antigue are leaking! no detachable neck sopranos for me!
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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10,164 Posts
Thanks for chiming in. I was unaware that Eastern was a distributor. That point made I have owned three saxes from them and they have all been very good. Would I compare it to Keilwerth or Selmer Paris probably at about 90% the build quality and tonal qualities. As for the duration I have no idea but Ive been playing a one piece straight soprano that I had customized with Pro Pisoni Pads and it plays very well and is the equivalent to most if not all the many Taiwanese sopranos that I have performed on.

Having compared this soprano to Antigua, TK Melody, P. Mauriat, Jupiter, Andrea Eastman and at 1/3 the cost is a steal.

I have played Yani 6 and a 901 and have to say it is not that far off from those either. Again duration will take a couple of years to know actual build durability.
 
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