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Thanks for the réponse and advice but, as I mentioned I already paid for repairs on this horn three times since it got damaged on a return from Brazil! In fact, I just paid 140 euros for a repair last week!
I did a leak check myself and it didn’t seem to have any visible leaks! Then, I out of frustration I put a bit of silicone on the neck tenon and the response did seem to improve!
Guys, when I got this horn it dam near played itself so, I don’t it’s a inherently bad horn. The problem I had work done was one of the lingering problems from the return from Brazil in 2013.
At this point, I will never buy another detachable neck soprano!

On a side note, I did some investigation on the tools to fit the neck tenon (which was replaced on the Antigua) and neither feree’s nor boheim has the expander or shrinker for a soprano!........voila!


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I read on another thread that Ken Beason (really heavy tech) was in China recently showing a group of techs his overhaul process. That's great news for us, the consumer, and may turn into a wake up call for the established manufacturers. Sure, it'll take some time for those techs to ingest and perfect what he showed, but everything is a formality of time. I think we're going to see some SERIOUS horns coming from over there relatively soon.

Even at this point (before people like Ken were going over to knowledge share), I'm sold on buying from overseas. I've owned killer horns over the years; lots of Selmers (VI's, Serie III, Ref 54, etc), SMLs, Grassi's, Yamaha,Yani's, 10m tenor, etc. I can't remember them all. I'm a Selmer guy; I love the sound, and the horns generally fit my hands better than anything else I've tried (except the 54, didn't like.. oh, didn't like the VII, either), and still own a few of those horns, but as far as new horns go, I'm buying direct from China. If my situation tanked and I had to sell everything, I'd buy from China when I recovered. It's the most sensible financial move on my part. May not be for other people, but it is for me. The horror stories inspired me to take up basic repair which led to me saving a couple hundred $ over the past few weeks (each trip to the tech costs me ~$90) by fixing two leaks (one on Grassi sop, another on 162 alto) and replacing a spring (again, on Grassi sop). I plan on 'fixing' anything minor that I run into with the Asian horns. Hell, I may even go into deeper repairs since they're so inexpensive, but I haven't faced that yet.

In time, these things will become even higher quality, and the prices will rise accordingly.

Here's the funny thing: I used to talk smack about Asian horns without ever having played / owned one other than Yani/Yamaha, which don't count for obvious reasons. I made the same comments I see other people make (won't play in tune, fall apart after X amount of time, poor workmanship, etc, etc), but throughout my life, I've had an affection for their culture for other reasons; martial arts, philosophy, art, architecture, spiritual paths, etc. I was always amazed at how advanced they were in many ways, but for some reason when it came to saxophones, I immediately dismissed them. Rightly so, because we were witnessing the birth of their entry to that discipline. Now, a few years later, I'm thankful I did the research and took the chance on one.

All of this being said having bought only a soprano, which I dig a lot (I figured that would be the most difficult to get the build right - intonation, etc). I've ordered an alto and tenor, which I should get in a few weeks. We'll see if my opinion holds up.
 

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I made the same mistake. Trust me, your honeymoon with that horn is going to be short lived. Chinese instruments are like trailer homes. They look good, feel nice when you get them and you feel like you beat the system. Then the roof and windows start leaking, the plumbing breaks, the linoleum tears, a slight bump on the wall breaks that thin drywall, etc etc. Chinese horns look good but fall apart fast because they are very poorly made. I bought a soprano too, Yani knockoff about the same price. It played great for a few months then the springs started going out of whack, being poor quality and had to be replaced. Then the horn developed one leak after another, and no matter how many times I got it fixed it just went right back out of adjustment. I finally gave up and put it in the closet.

If you want a cheap soprano that plays pretty well, go for something made at KHS in Taiwan. They have much better craftsmanship and quality control. I picked up a Barrington soprano for $250 used and it's still going strong after 3 years of regular gigging, busking, and having been tipped over and bent multiple times. KHS makes saxophones right, and still cheap enough you're getting a deal.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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Thank you for your non-objective view. :0

I have to wholeheartedly disagree with the current production of some (not all) Chinese saxophones. Personally I have had three KHS or Jupiter horns and I was not happy at all with the intonation or durability.

Now if someone is looking for a Taiwanese soprano that has excellent intonation, is extremely mouthpiece friendly and inexpensive I suggest an older Antigua Winds made in the last 8-9 years. I purchased one 2 years ago for $400 slightly used (it looked new) and it has been both durable and is 95% the equivalent of what it is copied from a Yani 900.
 

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I made the same mistake. Trust me, your honeymoon with that horn is going to be short lived. Chinese instruments are like trailer homes. They look good, feel nice when you get them and you feel like you beat the system. Then the roof and windows start leaking, the plumbing breaks, the linoleum tears, a slight bump on the wall breaks that thin drywall, etc etc. Chinese horns look good but fall apart fast because they are very poorly made. I bought a soprano too, Yani knockoff about the same price. It played great for a few months then the springs started going out of whack, being poor quality and had to be replaced. Then the horn developed one leak after another, and no matter how many times I got it fixed it just went right back out of adjustment. I finally gave up and put it in the closet.

If you want a cheap soprano that plays pretty well, go for something made at KHS in Taiwan. They have much better craftsmanship and quality control. I picked up a Barrington soprano for $250 used and it's still going strong after 3 years of regular gigging, busking, and having been tipped over and bent multiple times. KHS makes saxophones right, and still cheap enough you're getting a deal.
When did you purchase yours, and from whom?
 

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When did you purchase yours, and from whom?
On ebay from a guy named top eseller. He sells Taishan horns, and I think this was made in the same plant as the Taishan horns but didn't have their stencil on it. He's got great ratings as a seller, and I have no doubt that like me, everyone is very happy with their purchase, at first. It's not until a few months down the road that the horn starts falling apart. Talk to the techs about Chinese horns. They are the ones taking them apart and trying to fix them all the time. I got a stern warning from a repair tech on this very forum before I bought mine, and he listed all the shortcuts Chinese manufacturers use to make a pretty looking horn that quickly falls apart, and why they can't even be fixed much of the time because the materials themselves are too poor.
 

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On ebay from a guy named top eseller. He sells Taishan horns, and I think this was made in the same plant as the Taishan horns but didn't have their stencil on it. He's got great ratings as a seller, and I have no doubt that like me, everyone is very happy with their purchase, at first. It's not until a few months down the road that the horn starts falling apart. Talk to the techs about Chinese horns. They are the ones taking them apart and trying to fix them all the time. I got a stern warning from a repair tech on this very forum before I bought mine, and he listed all the shortcuts Chinese manufacturers use to make a pretty looking horn that quickly falls apart, and why they can't even be fixed much of the time because the materials themselves are too poor.
I almost bought from that seller, but the more I researched, the more my alarm bells started to ring. Thank you for responding and confirming my gut. For all I know, top_eseller and donfang may get their horns from the same factory, but something about eseller made me feel the quality might be lacking.
 

· Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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The thing is, buying off ebay is fraught with dodgyness.

Someone appeared to get a good horn called Taishan. So therefore other people look for that brand.

Please don't be so naive as to think that all horns called Taishan will therefore be good. Either that they come from the same factory or company, or that if they did they were made with the same QC, or that they weren't outsourced to another factory or that they aren't just counterfeits. Yes we know there are counterfeit Selmers we can spot, would you spot a counterfeit Taishan????

Just think how easy it is to stamp a name on a saxophone???

Caveat emptor bigtime.
 

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The thing is, buying off ebay is fraught with dodgyness.

Someone appeared to get a good horn called Taishan. So therefore other people look for that brand.

Please don't be so naive as to think that all horns called Taishan will therefore be good. Either that they come from the same factory or company, or that if they did they were made with the same QC, or that they weren't outsourced to another factory or that they aren't just counterfeits. Yes we know there are counterfeit Selmers we can spot, would you spot a counterfeit Taishan????

Just think how easy it is to stamp a name on a saxophone???

Caveat emptor bigtime.
I completely agree. Hell, I had my dog carved on the soprano I ordered, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to get pretty much anything engraved. I may actually test that theory and have the one-finger salute carved on a few and call it "The Bird Series".
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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I bought an ebay horn but spoke at length on the phone with the seller and talked about the manufacturing process. I started with a curved soprano and it was of such good quality I purchased a one piece straight soprano but had upgraded pads and resos and some other cosmetic items to fit my needs. Both turned out to be fantastic players right out of the box.

Since then I have ordered a tenor with some mods and was happy to find that it was a very well made horn with no intonation issues and not clunky like the very early Taiwanese horns. The tenor sustained a small hit to the post that the octave pip sits near and is being put back and set up by my tech. It played great out of the box but my tech will do his thing and make it better.

Will it replace my B&S Chicago Jazz absolutely NOT, but will it make a great backup horn, the answer is absolutely yes. It was also a kick to go through the process of ordering a customized sax and then seeing it for the first time.

Like Pete says, caveat emptor and stay away from chinese horns that sport big 5 names on them because that's just awful.

However, you can't find the good ones unless you try, and believe me I have purchased many before finding a seller I can trust.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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Congratulations! I hope it works out well for you. Are you going to order a soprano?
I purchased two sopranos before ordering tenor to gauge the quality but only before talking on the phone to the seller who was quite nice btw and once I was confident I got a tenor.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
Joined
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10,028 Posts
Oh no the seller kept most to herself but I gained positive outlook on exactly how the process is done not where it comes from. I also found her to be extremely honest when they accidentally overcharged me, they refunded me immediately and apologized. Something you don't see in America much anymore.

She said that the parts are sourced from several factories depending on the level at which you are willing pay and what and how you design the horn.

I requested as top notch horn as I could get with high copper and I believe that this was taken seriously and fulfilled on their end.

Once I get the horns back from tech set up I will play it for a few months and see what it can withstand but only time and use will tell the truth.

For the $800 I paid it was a pleasure just to go through customizing a horn and then receiving it. I am fortunate enough to be able to take a hit but I don't think it will be a bust.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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I wanted to add that I received the tenor and soprano from my tech and both play better and play evenly while playing major/minor scales.

The keywork is strange to me since its Selmer based small pearl touches and smallish low C and Eb so I haven't really given it a workout to see much except the tone and feel reminds of a late 70's King Super 20 I owned for awhile in that it is nimble and plays
with a nice spread tone that is bright. When pushed the whole horn vibrates and it achieves a lot of projection and volume without going out of tune.

I have to dial in the High F palm key. It opens way too far to move from F to E to D quickly and the position of the palm F is too far below . I am going to have my tech bend that key level with the Eb key and add more cork.

The rods and posts are soldered on ribs and do not seem to bend anymore than my B&S. The spatula mechanism has a rather large spoon lever behind the low C# that is as heavy duty as many high end horns. The keys seem very solid and do not budge when slightly twisted and either do the key cups themselves.

My tech also noted that the arch shaped metal near the top of the spatula key that has 4 screws on top was so small a tolerance from the key cup below he had to take it off and remove some brass to allow it to work correctly.

Overall nice construction with some flux showing around some of the posts but it is minimal.

For a brand new somewhat customized tenor saxophone for $800 it plays and seems to be built well enough to say it is easily the equivalent of an Antigua or Jupiter but not P. Mauriat, TK Melody, and high end Taiwanese saxophones.

This horn is a great back up instrument if you perform as a professional and I think it is good enough to inspire a High School player to think about college. I do think it would be smart to upgrade at some point but
my B&S's never go out of adjustment and those are my working horns.

Fun experience if one can afford it and decent horn for an amateur's main horn.

Value for value I think its an B+ as is and with a good tech to dial in it's a solid A-

I will report back on it in 5 years to see if the rods have fallen off and the lacquer turns black. :eek:

Next I'm going to try a Tai Shan 7000.
 

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I wanted to add that I received the tenor and soprano from my tech and both play better and play evenly while playing major/minor scales.

The keywork is strange to me since its Selmer based small pearl touches and smallish low C and Eb so I haven't really given it a workout to see much except the tone and feel reminds of a late 70's King Super 20 I owned for awhile in that it is nimble and plays
with a nice spread tone that is bright. When pushed the whole horn vibrates and it achieves a lot of projection and volume without going out of tune.

I have to dial in the High F palm key. It opens way too far to move from F to E to D quickly and the position of the palm F is too far below . I am going to have my tech bend that key level with the Eb key and add more cork.

The rods and posts are soldered on ribs and do not seem to bend anymore than my B&S. The spatula mechanism has a rather large spoon lever behind the low C# that is as heavy duty as many high end horns. The keys seem very solid and do not budge when slightly twisted and either do the key cups themselves.

My tech also noted that the arch shaped metal near the top of the spatula key that has 4 screws on top was so small a tolerance from the key cup below he had to take it off and remove some brass to allow it to work correctly.

Overall nice construction with some flux showing around some of the posts but it is minimal.

For a brand new somewhat customized tenor saxophone for $800 it plays and seems to be built well enough to say it is easily the equivalent of an Antigua or Jupiter but not P. Mauriat, TK Melody, and high end Taiwanese saxophones.

This horn is a great back up instrument if you perform as a professional and I think it is good enough to inspire a High School player to think about college. I do think it would be smart to upgrade at some point but
my B&S's never go out of adjustment and those are my working horns.

Fun experience if one can afford it and decent horn for an amateur's main horn.

Value for value I think its an B+ as is and with a good tech to dial in it's a solid A-

I will report back on it in 5 years to see if the rods have fallen off and the lacquer turns black. :eek:

Next I'm going to try a Tai Shan 7000.
I've had a few people email me about these horns, hopefully they'll see this post.
 

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The thing is, buying off ebay is fraught with dodgyness.

Someone appeared to get a good horn called Taishan. So therefore other people look for that brand.

Please don't be so naive as to think that all horns called Taishan will therefore be good. Either that they come from the same factory or company, or that if they did they were made with the same QC, or that they weren't outsourced to another factory or that they aren't just counterfeits. Yes we know there are counterfeit Selmers we can spot, would you spot a counterfeit Taishan????

Just think how easy it is to stamp a name on a saxophone???

Caveat emptor bigtime.
Taishan branded horns are very popular in mainland China, so of course, there are now fake Taishan logo horns circulating over there. I don't know if they are on eBay, but they are all over the Chinese web markets.

Also, the eBay sellers are not affiliated with the Taishan factory. Most of the sellers I see that have Taishan horns are also selling instruments sourced from other factories.

The Taishan factory is running at full capacity to meet the domestic demand. They can sell everything they make at full retail price, which is a higher profit margin for them. They don't have a lot of incentive to chase the wholesale or OEM market any more.

Personally, I think the Taishan baritones remain a good value, but for other horns there are more interesting options available from other factories.
 
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