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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently play a Yanagisawa A901 alto in one of the Hull Saxophone Collective bands, it's a nice sax and I really enjoy playing it. However, recently I have thought it would be great to add a bari. My first sax was a Trevor James Horn Revolution and it served me well for 10 years, so I was thinking maybe a Trevor James bari would be a good introduction and would not break the bank! As I live in an area bereft of decent music shops I was wondering if anyone had any first hand knowledge of the Trevor James Baritones?
 

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Doesn't look like you're getting much comment on this. I suspect the TJ baris are relatively rare so not a lot of folks out there have first hand experience with them. I searched for some information and based on the pictures I'd say they appear to be "off-the-rack" horns with TJ branding probably from an ROC factory. I haven't played a TJ so TIFWIW but I have played several Chinese and Taiwanese baris. Some are better than others. Many of them sound good but many also have intonation and/or build quality issues so I'd be reluctant to buy without trying first. If you are going to buy something over the internet and can't play test it first your best bet is a used Yamaha, Yani, or Yani stencil in good playing condition. Honestly, being in the UK you're better off making a road-trip to one of the big sax shops you have there like Howarth or Sax Co. UK and trying a bunch of horns to see what you like and what the trade-offs are.
 

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By chance I acquired a TJ SR bari when a music shop dissolved its stock. As the price was very attractive I bought it despite knowing I will play it not that often. It is Taiwan made and has a very good sound. There is a demo of a TJ SR bari on yoube, that might be also be linked on the TJ homepage. The horn has sufficient grunt and plays nicely. That much about the good things. Now to the not so great sides of my SR bari. Remember, this is based on only a single instrument that is now some 5 - 6 years old. Things might be different today.

One thing that has not changed is, that it has a Selmer layout which is a stretch for me. The right hand keys are very far down and uncomfortable for me. I very much would prefer a Yamaha or Yanagisawa layout. Have a look at pictures for the position of the D pearl and you will know what I mean. This is personal preference. What is not preference at all is build quality. Placement of key cups: many of them are seriously off center relative to the tone hole. Padding: Pisoni, Low D pad came off on itself. It was not floated at all. It rather appeared to be installed with spray glue, some areas of the backing being almost dry. I don't know how they made those pads seal without glue in the cup to work with. However, the sax was thight and played well until that pad dropped out. I wonder when the next pad will come loose. Coming loose brings me to the Eb key guard. One foot came loose without any force of impact applied. Obviously it was soldered in a hurry.

At first glance the bari looks neatly finished and plays great. Repadding on a bari would be costly and that is the main problem I see with my bari. Would I buy a TJ horn again? A Signature Custom alto or tenor for sure but I would be a bit hesitant for their other lines. Other people may have a completely different experience with TJ horns. I contacted Stephen Howard on the pad issue and he replied he has not seen such problems with the TJ horns he had on the bench. That may say something.

Alphorn
 

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By chance I acquired a TJ SR bari when a music shop dissolved its stock. As the price was very attractive I bought it despite knowing I will play it not that often. It is Taiwan made and has a very good sound. There is a demo of a TJ SR bari on yoube, that might be also be linked on the TJ homepage. The horn has sufficient grunt and plays nicely. That much about the good things. Now to the not so great sides of my SR bari. Remember, this is based on only a single instrument that is now some 5 - 6 years old. Things might be different today.

One thing that has not changed is, that it has a Selmer layout which is a stretch for me. The right hand keys are very far down and uncomfortable for me. I very much would prefer a Yamaha or Yanagisawa layout. Have a look at pictures for the position of the D pearl and you will know what I mean. This is personal preference. What is not preference at all is build quality. Placement of key cups: many of them are seriously off center relative to the tone hole. Padding: Pisoni, Low D pad came off on itself. It was not floated at all. It rather appeared to be installed with spray glue, some areas of the backing being almost dry. I don't know how they made those pads seal without glue in the cup to work with. However, the sax was thight and played well until that pad dropped out. I wonder when the next pad will come loose. Coming loose brings me to the Eb key guard. One foot came loose without any force of impact applied. Obviously it was soldered in a hurry.

At first glance the bari looks neatly finished and plays great. Repadding on a bari would be costly and that is the main problem I see with my bari. Would I buy a TJ horn again? A Signature Custom alto or tenor for sure but I would be a bit hesitant for their other lines. Other people may have a completely different experience with TJ horns. I contacted Stephen Howard on the pad issue and he replied he has not seen such problems with the TJ horns he had on the bench. That may say something.

Alphorn
This is similar to many experiences I've had. Many of these branding companies spend a great deal more time and effort on their offerings for alto & tenor as that's where the lion's share of the market is. They treat baris and in some cases sopranos as well as an after-thought.
 

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I have never seen a TJ bari, so I can't comment on them. It might be best to go to London to try some baris. Or maybe you could contact Hanson, or Woodwind Exchange in Bradford. Either of them might have something.
Hanson sell second-hand saxes as well as their own brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for that bit of info, I picked the TJ simply because I'd had one of the horns and frankly a Yanagisawa is way out of my price range! I've emailed Woodwind Exchange in Bradford to see what he has available.
 

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If you want to contact Hanson, I have heard that they are not good at answering emails, so it is best to ring them up.
 
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