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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

First time poster, and happy to be a part of this community.

I've taken the plunge to decide to learn to play the saxophone, and I'd like some advice on renting a tenor.

I've contacted a few places in Toronto regarding renting a sax, and one place has given me the option of renting a new sax (50-something per month), "silver" used (30-something per month), and "bronze" used (20-something per month).

Obviously the used instruments are a great deal, especially since I'm just starting out (I've never even held a sax before!). My question is which rental should I go for? I have no idea which models are for rent, but for the sake of discussion, I'll assume they're all the same models, just with varying levels of use. Would it make any difference at this point if I go for a new one? Would the pads, keys, etc. on a used sax make a difference? I'm not really sure what I should be looking for. I'll also assume (although I should ask) that the used instruments have been throughly cleaned, and aren't layered with the spit of previous students.

Thanks in advance!
 

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As long as the store has a good repair department, used should suit your needs perfectly. What shop were you talking to? I think the most important question you should be asking the other members is 'Which shop in Toronto should I go to?". You should rent from a reputable shop where they have a certain amount of expertise with woodwinds, otherwise you might end up with a brand new piece of junk. If you could get back to us with the names of some shops near you and the brands that they're renting that would be useful. (And the lower priced used one would be brass, not silver.)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010
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I see no reason to pay extra to rent a new instrument, as long as the used one is in good shape there wont be any problems.

Just bare in mind that for what it costs to rent for a couple of years you can buy a decent used student horn, or a more upmarket speced Taiwanese brand horn. Or a new Chinese one.
 

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Go with the brass used for a month or so. If you still find you're really liking the instrument, check out the prices of a new Kessler Custom (link at top of page). I own a Kessler Custom alto and many of my friends own other Kessler Customs, such as bari's and tenors. You'd be hard pressed to beat the price and the instruments have been seriously play tested before you get them.

Good luck on your potental new hobby.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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Go with the cheapo rental for a month or two as long as you take a friend along that can play and confirm that it is in good operating condition. Looks don't matter.

It is likely worth buying your own mouthpiece. There are lots of decent ones that you can buy for less than 50 bucks here or elsewhere. If you can't find anything another way, email me.

As soon as you have determined that you are going to stick with it for at least 6 months, buy a used horn. You will be out of pocket less in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the constructive responses so far guys.

Yeah, I guess that it would make sense to ask which store in Toronto would be the best for my needs.

I suppose there are 3 stores that have been mentioned to me.

1. St John's Music by Eglinton & Laird - this is the store with the 3 levels of rental, fairly close to where I live. Haven't heard too much about this place.
2. Cosmo Music Warehouse - pretty far from where I am - worth my time going all the way up there? Again, haven't heard too much about this place.
3. Long & McQuade - sort of do-able, I work downtown, and this name seems to be tossed around a bit here.
4. Steve's Music Store - This one wasn't recommended to me, but based on what I knew from walking around downtown, I checked them out and they do rentals.

Any more help on this would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Hey Snickers,

L&M is fine, but SotW member Merlin is in charge of the brasswinds shop at Steve's Music Store--or at least he was a few months ago--and he's as good as they come. If I were renting, I'd go to him first.

Rory

ps. are you sure you want to rent? There's got to be some good second hand horns available in Toronto: have you looked on Kijiiji?
 

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You could drop in at Ken Fornetran's shop at 849 Bloor Street West, a couple of blocks west of Long & McQuade. Aside from being a great player, he has an excellent reputation as a sax tech and should be able to provide some practical, objective, advice about what sax to rent, and later to buy.
 

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Ken has closed his shop at Bloor Street and moved out of town (about 2.5 hrs drive, northeast of Toronto). No doubt Ken is one of the best tech and his works were super (I have all my saxes, quite a few of them at one time, taken care by Ken)

Long & McQuayle has a great renting program, and their sax tech is also a very good guy. They also have stores at different locations which could be very convienience.

Cosmo is the most expensive shop, and their sax store is even further north from their main store. They are in the process of moving into another location yet not so far from their current locations.

Steve would be the cheapest place to go, yet they don't have that much of sax selection for you to choose from. Not sure if Merlin is still there, yet he is one of the very knowledgeable sax guys that I've known of, around Toronto area...

Yeah, IMHO, renting for a short period of time (1-2 months) shoud be the way to go, yet you should also have enough of time to practice and/or getting used to the sax playing thingie too...

Welcome to the saxxy world. :)
 
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