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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy a cheap but okay quality straight soprano sax. I can't go and buy a $3000 yani because I'm 14 and my parents are done spending money on instruments after I got a pro tenor. Ive been researching a lot and I've found that the Venus sopranos are good quality and sound great for so cheap. Are they as good as people say and how much can I expect to pay for one and where should I buy it? Thank you.
 

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The original Venus Sops were only by "discount musical instruments" who are an ebay outlet and you can still deal with them if you like. They appear to be quite proud of their Sopranos and also that a few folks on SOTW have spoken well of the sops although I believe they were curvy.
The main problem is that other ebayers have also started selling the brand and there have been a few poor reports suggesting that they have not been the same quality as the discount musical instruments horns.

I bought a straight one, A Dark Nickel , for a friend about 3 years ago and I was pretty gobsmacked about how good a horn it was at first look. I think you have to expect that the scrimping on cork and felts will be obvious after a very short time and if I was to buy one I`d probably address these issues before I even started to play it. If you intend handing it to a tech straight away then it becomes less of a bargain. If you have the ability to see to these yourself then I say what are you waiting for.
 

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I bought mine from Musical Wheel. Great stuff, just a sticky G# that will bug you to no end, until the horn's warmed up, I recommend replacing it with a quality pad to save you the headache.

I have mine for sale on another thread round here. Turns out I'm not a Soprano guy, and I have too many horns lying around as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bought mine from Musical Wheel. Great stuff, just a sticky G# that will bug you to no end, until the horn's warmed up, I recommend replacing it with a quality pad to save you the headache.

I have mine for sale on another thread round here. Turns out I'm not a Soprano guy, and I have too many horns lying around as it is.
How's the intonation? Does it take a lot of effort to keep in tune? And also i were to buy it off you than it would either have to be for a bit less or in a month or so when I have some money money.
 

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Well for starters when I sell it I will not send that crap mouthpiece that came with it, it looked like it was finished by rubbing it on the sidewalk. I really suggest investing the money for a good mid-range or pro mouthpiece such as

a good Bari, Selmer Super Session, or Ralph Morgan etc. Anything to get away from the stock piece they send, it's the weakest point of the horn.

For me the intonation is something you always have to be conscious of, there is a reason why it's a 280 dollar horn and not 1200 dollars, I would say there are less things you can be on autopilot about, especially regarding intonation.

A few pluses about the horn would be that it's surprisingly well built, heavy, good snappy action, but def make room for a good mouthpiece.
 

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It should be OK to get you started (with a decent mouthpiece) and you can trade it in on a better horn later or trade in your parents for richer ones now!.....Hardest part of sax playing is all the stuff you need to buy. I got a clarinet when I was 12 but they made me wait for the saxes until I had the money...took about 4 more years.
 

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Musicalwheel is the seller that sold me mine. Nice seller but Im telling you that intonation is so off it sounds comical.I wouldnt do it. But don't listen to me .the action was fine but how much is playing out of tune worth ?.I mean if it was close I wouldnt say anything but I would have had to transpose everything a half step and even then it sounded "funny".the seller admitted to be that intonation on these has been the reason he is getting a olt of returns. He told me that! I would rather just spend more and get a better soprano but thats just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like you have to get lucky and receive a good one because I've heard about terrible ones and believe it or not I've heard people trading in yanis for them. I think when I have a bit more money ill buy one.
 

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I bought my Venus straight soprano from Music Wheel 3 years ago. Fit and finish is as good as my Yamaha YAS-61 pro alto. It plays reasonably well in tune, I have no problems playing it in tune. Tone is bright, I'm using a Rico Graftonite B5 mouthpiece on it. A few cork bumpers have come loose and I've had to replace a few. But for only $230, it plays very well.

Now mind you, no sax plays perfectly in tune, one must play it in tune. I have no problems in making this horn play in tune. The plains clearcoat brass Venus I have I would consider an intermediate instrument. I find it works well for jazz work, action is light and easy. Tone is pleasing. Keys are solid, metallurgy is good, I haven't had to rebend or rework keys like you might on some bargain instruments.

If you want something that doesn't play as well in tune, I bought their Eb supranino plastic clarinet for $100. This however is a beginner instrument. I can make it play in tune, but it takes work. Still even that is fun, because I can carry that in my touring motorcycle saddle bag. Play ripped MP3 backing tracks from a USB thumb drive through my tourer's 4 speaker sound system and have an instant jamb session.

But then, I've even used a Bundy alto sax (I call it my Selmer Mark II Bundy, LOL) on the street, community band and several church worship bands, bell ringing for the Salvation Army' Christmas kettle and use alternate fingerings to bring some notes in line. It's the musician that plays the sax in tune. However, I am very pleased with this Venus and have impressed others, surprising band members that I'm not playing a brand name couple thou dollar horn.
 

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If you want something that doesn't play as well in tune, I bought their Eb supranino plastic clarinet for $100. This however is a beginner instrument. I can make it play in tune, but it takes work. Still even that is fun, because I can carry that in my touring motorcycle saddle bag. Play ripped MP3 backing tracks from a USB thumb drive through my tourer's 4 speaker sound system and have an instant jamb session.
effers even good ones are notorious for being out of tune, even good ones. Little things, reed, MPC, tiny leak can wreak havoc on perfectly instrument. If you play one you will learn many altissimo/clarion alternative fingerings, b/c they will not work every time.

If you want something cheap Vito or Bundy are good choice. They usually go for 2-300$, and you can always sell it back for what you paid for.
 
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