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Hey everyone, I was wondering anyone knew places to try saxophones in the NYC area. I already know of Robertos and the Sam Ash in times square, any other places as well? Im also willing to drive out to Jersey if there might be a good shop as well. Looking to get a tenor specifically. Thanks
 

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Give Phil Barone a call... he's in Westchester county. (212) 686-9410 (never mind that it's a NYC number)
 

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Jon Baltimore's shop: 151 West 46th Street | 2nd Floor | New York, NY 10036. Tel: 212 840 7165, or
Brooklyn Woodwind & Brass: 6 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222 Tel: (718) 874-3434 - Just off the G train Nassau stop. Eric Downs is the owner, give him a buzz.
 

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Hey everyone, I was wondering anyone knew places to try saxophones in the NYC area. I already know of Robertos and the Sam Ash in times square, any other places as well? Im also willing to drive out to Jersey if there might be a good shop as well. Looking to get a tenor specifically. Thanks
Neither of these are "in Times Square" they are farther north higher up in the theater distric. I'd suggest you write the addresses down and carry a small map (or smart phone) if you haven't been to NYC before. It is very easy to get disoriented (I grew up in north NJ and have been there dozens of times and still walk the wrong way sometimes when I come up out of the subway) and if you ask a New-Yorker where "Sam Ash is in Times Square" 99.9% of them are not going to know anything about Sam Ash but they will all know where Times Square is and that's where you'll end up.

In addition to Phil Barone's place, I'd suggest making a trip out to USA Horn in Union NJ on Morris Ave. behind a sandwich shop (Quizzinos I think). It's about Exit 140 off the Garden State Pky. Call ahead and talk with Mark or Lou the day before and tell them you're coming- they usually don't get in until 11AM or so.

You may want to narrow down what you are looking to try as well. Most of the shops in and around the city will be more than happy to help you find what you are looking for but they aren't Baskin Robbins. If you have the $6-8K+ it's going to take to buy a Mark VI and you are serious about buying one, by all means try them but if not don't expect the shops to have unlimited patience with you as you try every horn in the place.


Last piece of advice - if you aren't staying in the city don't drive in. Leave your car where you are staying and take a train or bus- trust me, it will be a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle.

Don't forget the tax rates in NYC are substantial as well.

Have Fun and don't spend all your time there in horn shops.
 

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Hey everyone, I was wondering anyone knew places to try saxophones in the NYC area. I already know of Robertos and the Sam Ash in times square, any other places as well? Im also willing to drive out to Jersey if there might be a good shop as well. Looking to get a tenor specifically. Thanks
You don't want to buy a sax in NYC; they're crazy expensive. USA Horn is good and I'm sure there's some other places too. Phil
 

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Ditto on the USA Horn suggestion in Union, NJ - the shop is a short trip from NYC, and they will have a larger selection of vintage horns than either Roberto's or Sam Ash. Check out their inventory at usahorn.com before going. Roberto's is almost all about Mark VIs nowadays, and they seem to be priced for the foreign market or investment bankers with a hobby - I wouldn't bother unless money is literally no object or you just want to have fun playing some VIs. Sam Ash is a comfy enough place to try out horns and they leave you alone (at least in my experience), but I'd probably go there just to try, not buy. They occasionally have a decent deal on a used horn.

p.s. - there are no "private" rooms at USA Horn to do play-testing, so if you are shy about that, don't be disappointed. Mark is very laid back about you playing wherever you can find room to stand in the shop.
 

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I recently bought a Selmer from Kim Bock at http://www.kbsax.com/. Don't know how he goes about customers trying out in the shop though, but he's a very nice guy to deal with.
Wow - this does seem like a good shop to check out. It's like Tenor Madness-East. Nice selection of horns. (And the video demonstrations (while still limited) are unusually good).
 

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Right. I was actually asking about who the customers of the NYC shops might be. It wasn't a rhetorical question. What is the customer base of those expensive NYC shops?
People from other countries with a lot more money than NYC jazz musicians. I can't think of too many people who have the capital to buy a $40,000 Mark VI.
 

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There are plenty of hobbyist sax players in NYC that make $1 million+ a year to buy saxes in the city. I've heard of guys walking in and buying a $14k mark vi at Roberto's without even playing it first.
 

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He's only been in business for a year, and just recently moved from his apartment to a "real" storefront -- so infrequent is probably a short term thing.
 

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I bought a mouthpiece from Kim Bock last year and it was a great experience. I have a feeling his shop will become a popular destination for NYC sax players in the near future.
 

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How flexible is Roberto's on their sticker prices?
Roberto once offered me a 13000 Mark VI for 12000 taxes included. It was a great horn but I didn't have the money anyway, so I passed. He also told me about an Indian gentleman, who bought the two most shiny horns he had in heartbeat. He could barely play a song. I wished he was still around the moment I was there to donate a horn to me. :)
 

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That shop is discussed surprisingly infrequently on SOTW. I've seen some youtube videos with Joel Frahm and other players in their shop. How do folks generally feel about their prices?
They at least seem to be in line with what other dealers (like Tenor Madness, e.g.) charge for similar quality. I'd definitely look here before Roberto's.
 
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