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· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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Not sure what you are asking. Eastern buys instruments from Dongxing, Teda and others ...
Thanks for helping me clarify my question. I guess I am asking where in the quality spectrum do the companies that Eastern distributes stand?
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
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I have a student that just purchased a Taishan alto. I have had Taishan alto's before and am confident it is a Taishan. He purchased it from Top_eseller and it arrived in about a week. I think it is a well made horn. I will refloat a couple pads on it, but it played well out of the box.

Also I have a Taishan 7000 that I bought damaged. I don't like the neck on the Taishan tenors. They play fine, however they are of the high arch type and not with the Selmer upward curve. The neck brace is ugly. This tenor plays a lot better with a neck swap, but I have found that to be true on other Taishan tenors I have had. This tenor had double arms. Its not up to Taiwan standards, but its not junk.
 

· Registered
Soprano: 1983 Keilwerth Toneking Schenklaars stencil
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Having done a significant amount of business with Chinese, let me say that they are some of the shrewdest business people in the world. They have outfoxed just about every American and Western company that has entered the Chinese market. And, they know what things are worth.

I have bought two sopranos from China. The $300 horn is a $300 horn and the $800 horn is an $800 horn. The $300 horn was damaged in manufacture and further in shipping, despite being well packaged, the case internals did not protect it. It is a very near, perhaps identical copy of a Yani S991, but the pads are the softest, cheapest things I have ever seen. The horn needed an overhaul from day one, but it was not worth $100 return shipping and $100 replacement shipping for the willing seller to make it right.

Which brings up point number two, the nearest sax tech near me is busy enough that he won’t touch Chinese horns. I have to send these saxes to Dallas, TX to get them worked on. So, check with your tech before you buy. I have had no less than 10 reputable techs say they will not waste their time and your money on Chinese horns, and I found one that will.

My $800 horn was built as a sample. It’s kind of a Yani-Selmer hybrid and was an early attempt for what I consider a reputable manufacturer to come up with their own design. It was fine for a couple of years, then literally started falling apart in my hands as pads, “corks,” even keys fell off the instrument. My practice sessions usually included repair sessions. If I loved the horn, I might have had it rebuilt. The sound and intonation are fine, but the left hand has always felt cramped.

I hate to throw these horns away, but they really are disposable horns.

Before you say I am biased and un-objective, these are simply my experiences. They do not invalidate the good experiences of others. The point is be an informed buyer, but realize that you are highly unlikely to “beat the system.” The Chinese really do know the value of what they sell.

If you really want to get a horn from China, I recommend you get an agent in China who will buy you a horn intended for pros in the domestic market. That is typically what TaiShan is selling, but there are other manufacturers. Alternatively, buy factory direct. These will generally still be retail prices, but you can specify what you want.
 

· Premium Member
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1,401 Posts
Having done a significant amount of business with Chinese, let me say that they are some of the shrewdest business people in the world. They have outfoxed just about every American and Western company that has entered the Chinese market. And, they know what things are worth.

I have bought two sopranos from China. The $300 horn is a $300 horn and the $800 horn is an $800 horn. The $300 horn was damaged in manufacture and further in shipping, despite being well packaged, the case internals did not protect it. It is a very near, perhaps identical copy of a Yani S991, but the pads are the softest, cheapest things I have ever seen. The horn needed an overhaul from day one, but it was not worth $100 return shipping and $100 replacement shipping for the willing seller to make it right.

Which brings up point number two, the nearest sax tech near me is busy enough that he won't touch Chinese horns. I have to send these saxes to Dallas, TX to get them worked on. So, check with your tech before you buy. I have had no less than 10 reputable techs say they will not waste their time and your money on Chinese horns, and I found one that will.

My $800 horn was built as a sample. It's kind of a Yani-Selmer hybrid and was an early attempt for what I consider a reputable manufacturer to come up with their own design. It was fine for a couple of years, then literally started falling apart in my hands as pads, "corks," even keys fell off the instrument. My practice sessions usually included repair sessions. If I loved the horn, I might have had it rebuilt. The sound and intonation are fine, but the left hand has always felt cramped.

I hate to throw these horns away, but they really are disposable horns.

Before you say I am biased and un-objective, these are simply my experiences. They do not invalidate the good experiences of others. The point is be an informed buyer, but realize that you are highly unlikely to "beat the system." The Chinese really do know the value of what they sell.

If you really want to get a horn from China, I recommend you get an agent in China who will buy you a horn intended for pros in the domestic market. That is typically what TaiShan is selling, but there are other manufacturers. Alternatively, buy factory direct. These will generally still be retail prices, but you can specify what you want.
This is very helpful, thank you! What year was it that you purchased those horns, and from whom?
 

· Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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30,168 Posts
Which brings up point number two, the nearest sax tech near me is busy enough that he won't touch Chinese horns. I have to send these saxes to Dallas, TX to get them worked on. So, check with your tech before you buy. I have had no less than 10 reputable techs say they will not waste their time and your money on Chinese horns, and I found one that will.
This will hopefully become less of a problem as more and more decent saxophones are made in China. (I believe already a lot are, but many people don't know that some of the most expensive brands are made in, or have significant parts made in, China)

There is sadly still a lot of rubbish though and many techs still tar all Chinese instruments with the same brush as the $300 ebay horns.
 

· Forum Contributor 2017
“I play sax but mostly it plays me”
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10,028 Posts
My tech has no problem working on any brand from wherever it is manufactured. I know he will be honest to me about the quality of a horn. I brought him a JK EX III and he had no problem telling me it was junk.

When I brought my recent soprano and tenor from China I tasked him to take some of the keys off and remove pads so I could make sure they were correct glued and also to make sure I got Pro Pisoni not My Pads.

He reassembled adjusted the horn, and he thought it was a decent horn although not the quality of my B&S's but he said he was surprised how good was since it was from there.
 

· Premium Member
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This will hopefully become less of a problem as more and more decent saxophones are made in China. (I believe already a lot are, but many people don't know that some of the most expensive brands are made in, or have significant parts made in, China)

There is sadly still a lot of rubbish though and many techs still tar all Chinese instruments with the same brush as the $300 ebay horns.
I agree. This is why I'm looking to find out who he purchased them from and when. I just got my tenor today, alto a few days ago, and soprano a few weeks before that.. all worth more than what I paid, well built, pro pisoni pads, etc.
 

· Registered
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so took an experimental chance on a curved sop from Eastern Music, bought from dongfangleqi (aka Brenda) as advised on this site. Even had it custom designed as reco'ed, and absolutely love the look of it and it is built a bit better than one would expect for $299.

only issue is have is it is incredibly flat, almost a whole note flat.

is there anything i can do to rectify this or is it a lost cause?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pro-Easter...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 

· Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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30,168 Posts
so took an experimental chance on a curved sop from Eastern Music, bought from dongfangleqi (aka Brenda) as advised on this site. Even had it custom designed as reco'ed, and absolutely love the look of it and it is built a bit better than one would expect for $299.

only issue is have is it is incredibly flat, almost a whole note flat.

is there anything i can do to rectify this or is it a lost cause?
Are you saying C on the soprano sounds an Ab instead of a Bb?

So maybe it's a rare soprano in Ab?
 

· Out of Office
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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30,168 Posts
sorry, half step down from what it should be....
with tuner transposed to Bb, the C comes up B, etc, across horn pretty consistent

it is supposed to be a Bb horn of course
So what happens when you put the mouthpiece further on?
 

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I did not have time yet to sand down the cork so i can get the mpc jammed all the way on, i could only get it about 1/2 way last night before running out of time.
Will do this tonight and advise....

I only have a Yamaha 4C at the moment and need to do some testing/shopping to replace this soon.
I have a straight SOP from saxophone.com that is spot on in tune across with the 4C though.
 

· Registered
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988 Posts
so took an experimental chance on a curved sop from Eastern Music, bought from dongfangleqi (aka Brenda) as advised on this site. Even had it custom designed as reco'ed, and absolutely love the look of it and it is built a bit better than one would expect for $299.

only issue is have is it is incredibly flat, almost a whole note flat.

is there anything i can do to rectify this or is it a lost cause?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pro-Easter...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
So the flat issue was well solved by Jamming the Yamaha 4C mpc all the way down.

What do i think of the horn? I think it is a lot more horn than $299 (plus $100 3 day shipping can buy you), esp when i was able to customize finish and keys myself.
I also picked up a saxophone.com straight soprano (basically new but used) at the same time.
And i must say the sax.com horn has better tone, and built better, however, the Chinese horn for me will suit my purposes just fine for a curved sop.
I am not a pro, play recreationally, so a little horn goes a long way for me.
 
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