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I still like my Eastern Music 'tipped-bell', but now they have an interesting variant for sale - a tipped-bell but one-piece with curved 'neck', like the Rampone & Cazzani 'Semi-Curvo' R1.
On the subject of the need for tweaking one of these received new, there is no doubt that it will be needed. You are likely to find some rather serious adjustment problems. For those who take their horns apart and fix things, this will be no problem but others will need to take it to the shop if it doesn't play right or if it has unusual intonation tendencies. Typical with all Taiwan/Chinese horns is the tendency to play flat so you'll probably have to sand the cork to make sure you can get the mouthpiece on as far as it will go. It might not need that much normally but in cold conditions it very well could. The necks might not be fitted well at all and the octave keys will probably need tweaking. Keep in mind that you are paying less for an instrument than it would cost to put pads in a Selmer.
 

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I still like my Eastern Music 'tipped-bell', but now they have an interesting variant for sale - a tipped-bell but one-piece with curved 'neck', like the Rampone & Cazzani 'Semi-Curvo' R1.
On the subject of the need for tweaking one of these received new, there is no doubt that it will be needed. You are likely to find some rather serious adjustment problems. For those who take their horns apart and fix things, this will be no problem but others will need to take it to the shop if it doesn't play right or if it has unusual intonation tendencies. Typical with all Taiwan/Chinese horns is the tendency to play flat so you'll probably have to sand the cork to make sure you can get the mouthpiece on as far as it will go. It might not need that much normally but in cold conditions it very well could. The necks might not be fitted well at all and the octave keys will probably need tweaking. Keep in mind that you are paying less for an instrument than it would cost to put pads in a Selmer.
Hello there 1saxman,

I was watching the eBay account for Eastern Music quite closely. The 1 piece tip bell variant do have a weird right angle swing arm for the octave pip and I am not exactly sure if this protruding swing arm from the body can cause future issues with alignment as it seems to be an easy accidental target of being knocked about. The Rampone and Cazzani ones have a totally different mechanism.

I may be wrong, but it does seem like Eastern Music have taken the straight 1 piece soprano design, curve the neck and tip the bell, followed by amendment of the key work to suit the curved neck and tip bell.
 

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I still like my Eastern Music 'tipped-bell', but now they have an interesting variant for sale - a tipped-bell but one-piece with curved 'neck', like the Rampone & Cazzani 'Semi-Curvo' R1.
On the subject of the need for tweaking one of these received new, there is no doubt that it will be needed. You are likely to find some rather serious adjustment problems. For those who take their horns apart and fix things, this will be no problem but others will need to take it to the shop if it doesn't play right or if it has unusual intonation tendencies. Typical with all Taiwan/Chinese horns is the tendency to play flat so you'll probably have to sand the cork to make sure you can get the mouthpiece on as far as it will go. It might not need that much normally but in cold conditions it very well could. The necks might not be fitted well at all and the octave keys will probably need tweaking. Keep in mind that you are paying less for an instrument than it would cost to put pads in a Selmer.
I found exactly these issues but with very simple fixes:
1. Mouthpiece had to be pushed as far as possible, then intonation spot on.
2. Octave key mechanism needed a very slight bend (did by hand) and works perfectly.
Everything else is perfect.
Horn plays a bit bright so in search of a bit darker mpc, but for $299 delivered (in less than a week from China!) and customized to my liking in 10 days how can you go wrong!?
 

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I received my gold keys on nickel yana tribute /copy a couple of days ago and I am comfortable that the horn is excellent value
at 220 quid all in. It did come from AliExpress but basically I wanted to see if curvy would work with my right shoulder which gave me so much pain with my straight Elkhart that I got rid of it last year. We will see but it seems to be Ok.
 

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I received my gold keys on nickel yana tribute /copy a couple of days ago and I am comfortable that the horn is excellent value
at 220 quid all in. It did come from AliExpress but basically I wanted to see if curvy would work with my right shoulder which gave me so much pain with my straight Elkhart that I got rid of it last year. We will see but it seems to be Ok.
Exactly what is a " . . . yana tribute/copy . . ."? Please be specific.

DAVE
 

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"...4 days from China to Michigan, cannot believe it."

I'm getting in on this late BUT...

Don't believe it. It didn't ship from China. The ebay auction may have indicated that it would ship from China, but if you looked at the return label (or perhaps the invoice or charge to your paypal) you may find that it shipped from somewhere in California or New Brunswick, NJ. I've bought things from eBay where the auction indicated that it was to ship from China, but when the item arrived in three or four days, I looked at the shipping label and I saw that it actually shipped from the seller in the U.S.. Same company, same product.

Unless the item is shipped DHL, four days from anywhere in China via ChinaMail is impossible. The item will sit in ChinaMail for a day in an unsealed box so it can be inspected for contraband. Really. I lived in China, and I've shipped things via ChinaMail to the U.S.. Seven- to nine days is pretty much standard.
 

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It's almost impossible not to purchase goods from mainland China these days as there are a lot of things that just aren't produced in the USA or EU anymore. But, saxophones are not one of them. I refuse to buy anything from mainland China that I can get somewhere else. I don't care how much money I can save I will not support MLC if I don't have to. The Chinese consistently rip off patented items with little or no consequences. They develop very little on their own but instead "borrow" the ideas from other countries, mass produce those goods and and undermine the economy of other nations. I won't even get into their human rights violations because this is a saxophone forum and not a political one. But, I had to say my piece.
 

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Always a bari primary, Beaugnier/Vito 38B, Grassi Std bari, Chateau 90 sop
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I know conversations end, my replies are often the last, but I believe that people doing research still find lingering responses valuable, especially if they show change over time. I wish I had found this thread a year ago when I was agonizing about buying a horn from mainland China. I am just a hobbyist. I'm retired, and don't have a huge budget, and even though I agree with things the previous poster said, I'm old enough to see that markets, especially now that ALL markets are world-wide, change drastically. A major fastener manufacturer I used to represent started out making hoop-skirt rings. I especially agree with the patent ignoring part, stealing other people's work.

And, the used, modern C-melody I sought, was the perfect example. The gent who got the market ball rolling (Steve, wasn't it?) and the startup cash flowing was supplied horns for his Aquilasax business for about eight years, then apparently they just started choking off his supply until his business evaporated. I kept hoping to find a used Aquilasax-branded horn available, then suddenly a used horn popped up on Ebay with the odd brand: "Flare". My research indicated that only one factory on the planet makes them, even still, and almost assuredly made the Aquilasax. An email inquiry about whether they did or not was answered, but with "why, yes, we can make C- melody sax for you!". Why all of the secrecy, from sellers, wholesalers, factories, while eschewing the Western concept of a simple brand, is beyond me. I did find a photo identical to my now "new to me" Flare, with what I believe to be the actual maker of all of the C-melody saxophones available today, carved on the bell:

Well, the big, continuous, problem for me, the "You're not logged in" (when I am)(ready to stop even trying to post anymore--can't this be fixed??) is preventing my pic----but it is Canex Music. I wish those of you who do know this China market with contacts could verify this or tell me I'm wrong, I am also pretty darn sure that Canex is the maker of TaiShan horns, too. That seems well on its way to becoming a respected "brand"---Why can't they just go with it?? Does every "ESeller" have to have his own stupid name?? I understand everything about stenciling from all of saxophone history, but look at 40 C-mels on Ebay and see 30 different names on the bell? Has anyone tried to convince the shrewd Chinese businessmen about real, recognizable,reliable "brands"----or is this what makes them shrewd in the first place???
 

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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. This sax was sold on E Bay from a "top seller" for $425.00, but I took advantage of an Ebay special that gave me a $50 discount on everything if I bought through the E Bay cellphone app.
So I spent $375.00 in total. A steal, in my personal opinion. I could not be happier. Of course, I am not associated with the Tai Sha brand, I am just a senior (beginner) living in Michigan.
This is a good story, and one that makes me very happy. Please let me know how the saxophone is doing, is it still playing nicely?
 

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Twocircles, thank you for your recommendation to get a new horn setup, but what do you mean when you say " Horns can be setup from the factory in ways that shorten their playability life" ? I am not sure I understand. Also, as far as I can judge after playing the Tai Shan soprano for a few days, everything seems right. All notes play well therefore it looks to me that there are no leaks. You know, I spent $375.00 on this sax and I guess that a new horn set up will cost around $40-60 ? Is there really a reason to spend this additional money even if I do not see any issue with the instrument ? Thanks.
This sounds totally unnecessary to me. When there's adjustments needed, or re-padding etc, then you can bring it to a technician. Not while everything is working fine😊
 

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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.
I totally agree. In Norway you have to pay $9000 for a Yanagisawa SWO37. That's totally nuts. So I ordered a similar looking one from China instead, hopefully I'll be happy with it.
 

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This is a good story, and one that makes me very happy. Please let me know how the saxophone is doing, is it still playing nicely?
He went through at least two other cheap sopranos prior to the latest one before disappearing about five years ago. You don't have to go cheap to save money hoping for a decent horn. Just buy a reputable one used.
 

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Absolutely true. However, once in a while, I see a cheap Chinese saxophone that I just need to buy. Like last week, I ordered a silver one with gold keys. Looks like the Yanagisawa SWO37. So If it arrives safely, and it's halfway decent, it's a steal at $250 pluss import toll to Norway ($62). If I'm charged twice for toll due to insufficient information on the package, the store says they will compensate me for that. I can't find this color combination anywhere in Norway except for the SWO37, so getting a used horn from a reputable brand that won't cost thousands of dollars is unlikely to happen.
 

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Absolutely true. However, once in a while, I see a cheap Chinese saxophone that I just need to buy.
Really?

Asking for a friend.
 
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