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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I hope to be starting out with a sax, and wanted to buy a good sounding cheap sax.
Mainly one to play pop, and soft jazz, nice sounding, good for a solo but also for backing, and very very cheap.

I seen on this webpage some saxes going as low as $300 that people recommend,
I am not specifically interested in a sax with nice engravings, all those fancy stuff I don't need,
I just need a good sounding horn for a low price, one that works (does not need a $100 key or valve job before it works) plays easily and in tune, because I'll be starting out immediately in a band.
I have previous experience playing an EWI and the (german) recorder, so I already have some of the basics of the fingering and notes down. I found the Akai EWI USB limited me in expression on stage, that's why I wanted to go over to a real sax.

I don't know if sax is going to be my thing, but we currently have 2 bassists in the band, and I wanted to skip over to the saxophone to try out and see. Perhaps later return to bass if things don't work out very well.
I am aware that there is at least a 3 months learning curve in learning a new instrument, in which I will put my utmost devotion in, and later see if it pays off.

I'll mainly need it for rehearsals at home, and play in a 5 piece band (drums, piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass, 5 singers, and me).

What would you recommend for this price range?

Ow, I'm not so fond of dark sounding saxes. Like the more bright sounding ones.

Thank you!
 

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Check out what JayeSF has - either on here or on his website (www.2ndending.com). He usually has good, ready to play horns for not much money (and he often has more than he has posted on his website), and is good to deal with. I notice that Kim Slava (www.doctorsax.biz) has some King Clevelands for cheap, one of which has new pads.
 

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I'd say try to find an older YAS 23. They play great, look nice, and can be gotten rather cheaply. Even if it doesn't look that nice, they're built like tanks, so it should play fine. 6 years of daily use and all mine has ever needed was the occasional pad, it still plays like a dream. Some around here call them Giant Killers, and I couldn't agree more. With the right 'piece, a 23 will go toe-to-toe with any horn in the world and hold its own, in my opinion. I might be a bit biased, though, in that I own 2 23's (alto and tenor).
 

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I'll second the opinion on the Yamaha YAS-23. It is universally acclaimed as probably the best entry level/student horn for its intonation and good construction. There are references here and there of pros who keep a 23 as a back up horn. Their tone tends to be fairly neutral, or slightly on the bright side. Another option is the King 660 and King 665 Empire altos. Made in the USA as late as the early nineties, they too are excellent, solid performers. My 660 is a little darker in tone than my YAS-23. These horns can be found in pawnshops, on various internet listings like ebay and craigslist, and in your local paper.
 

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Don't overlook the Vitos that are YAS-23s stenciled. If you are unsure of the condition, get a return policy. I don't usually have horns that low but I can find a vintage killer pro horn in the $500-600 range ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions!
I'm more of a new buyer, don't prefer to buy older horns (probably because of the looks of older more worn out horns).
I saw the yamaha YAS-23 is sold for 1800, that is like 6x the price class I was looking for.

Thr Vito's sax is more what I'm looking for (provided they are good and good sounding instruments).

I think good sounding in bandplay is important!

Anyone tried the Etude EAS-100?
I read that Etude might be a chinese copy of Selmer, might be wrong though!
 

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For your price range, you are going to get a much better horn used (e.g. King or Yamaha) than new. The Vito that Bruce is talking about is a used horn, as Vitos were only made by Yamaha for a relatively short period of time.

You can find used horns that look shiny, if that is really important to you (although they will cost a bit more). The key in buying a used horn, though, is what kind of playing condition it is in. (You don't want to put a lot of money into overhauling a cheap horn.)

But getting a new Etude or similarly-priced new horn because it is shiny and new looking means that you will be getting a horn that most likely will 1) not sound as good 2) not be as well made or durable, and 3) not keep its resale value if you want/need to sell it. With a good used King Cleveland or Yamaha YAS 23, you have a good chance of selling it for what you paid for it. Not so with an inexpensive new horn.
 
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