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Discussion Starter #1
Been playing for about a year and a half on a YAS-23 student sax but need to return in now and would like to purchase a saxophone. Have been looking in local classifieds and come across the following:

$600 -Severin Alto Sax purchased about 13 years ago for $1,295.

It's in good condition (no dings or dents) and pads and cork seem to be working nicely - no sticking or cracking. Hasn't been played in about 10 years - has only seen 2-3 years use.


$1000-
Selmer AS300 Alto Saxophone for sale.
Excellent condition!! Sounds amazing!!

Just had it refurbished, cleaned, cork and all key pads have been replaced.



$400- Brazilian eagle brand alto saxophone in great condition. I bought it two years ago when I went to brazil. Played it for about six months. Well taken care, feels like new! Beautiful sound!

$600- Selling a Mint Condition Amati Kraslice alto saxophone aas 32. Been played only twice!!! Keys and pad are Mint!! Asking $600, will include hardshell case, neck strap, mouth piece, brand new cleaning cloth and cork grease.

Based on simply prices and brief descriptions regarding make and model, do any of these stand out as appropriate for a beginner/intermediate player looking to upgrade?

If not, any suggestions on where to buy?

thanks
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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One good choice is to buy a used YAS-23 yourself. These are usually great saxophones and a used one is well within the price range of the saxes you are looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's true, and that is always an option. I was just thinking of trying out something different or a step up, sideways or wherever. I'll definitely look into that though.
 

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Assuming you are renting now and like your sax: Will the shop let you purchase the rental horn from them using some of your rental fees as credit? Or maybe they will let you apply that credit toward something else in their shop...In other words, take the $600+/- it seems like you are looking to spend, and add the rental credit to get an upgrade.
 

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None of the horns you have listed really jumps out as an 'upgrade' from what you already have.
I too would suggest that you inquire about purchasing your rental.
If you want to 'upgrade' maybe the shop will let you put your accumulated rental fees towards the purchase of an intermediate model Yamaha. An Allegro or similar would be more than enough sax to keep you going for a very long time.

You don't say where you are located, so it's a little hard to give you specific places to look for horns to purchase.
This little bit of information might get you a few more suggestions.
 

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I agree. That short-list of yours is, at best...uninspiring. Some might be inclined to say it's actually a bit scary.

let's get some things cleared up:

1) Are you set on buying NEW ?

2) Is your budget the $400-600 zone ?

3) What kinda music/musical contexts do you wanna use it for ? Also...what kinda music do you dig ?

4) Do you have the opportunity to just go into a shop and try a bunch of different horns yourself ? On top of that....do you know of anyone perhaps more experienced than you who you can bring along ?

(BTW...perfectly cool and valid that you might just wanna play something different than the 23.....)
 

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I had a good post that went into a few details, but I botched it and I am not going to retype it up with the same info.

In short, I don't like anything you presented. You have two instruments that are very likely generic asian produced jobs, one a Czech Republic sourced student horn, and an American Selmer entry-level saxophone that I've never heard compared favorably to your current Yamaha.

The prices they're asking caused me to chuckle.

If you were seriously considering that Selmer, can I assume that your budget is at least a thousand dollars?

For that Kind of money you can find a YAS-52, or perhaps even an 80's era Yanagisawa or Stencil in playable condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, details. I'm located in the Toronto area, Canada and my price range is from $400-6 0r $700. I don't mind buying used or new as long as its a good instrument within my price range. The instruments listed were simply speculation and I came here as a first step. Any suggestions on a good deal in particular or general perspectives on where to buy are always appreciated and thanks for your truthful evaluations and advice.
 

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A budget of less than $700 for a brand new horn will get you some asian rim models, some of which are good and some poor.

http://www.kesslermusic.com/KesslerCustomSax/kesslercustomAltos.htm

I know nothing about these horns, but Kessler Music has had a very good reputation here for years.

For used instruments in that range, you're going to find a lot of Bundy's, Bundy IIs, later Conns, older Antiguas and Jupiters, Vitos, and a lot of 'Rim Jobs we'll have no ideas about (like the one's you've mentioned). Truth be told, if I had to blindly pick a random horn amongst what you might find used against your Yamaha, I would pick the Yamaha you allready have. Second choice would be a Japanese manufactured Vito which is Yamaha made (almost Identical to the YAS-23) or older YAS-21. I have no idea what you're actually going to find.

I've had a Bundy II that was mediocre and I have one now that is decent sounding. They all have subpar action. Late model Jupiters and Antiuquas can be decent, but their reputation sours if you go back much more than ten years. You'll need to check any late model Conns with a tuner. I have found some that just won't play in tune.
 

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Thanks, Thad.

Yes, so I think.... right in the bucket, if that's your budget then you have a few ways you can go about it, most already mentioned above:

1) Buy a used Yammy (you may be able to get a 52 for that price if you get lucky)...or perhaps a used Barone.

2) Go new with something NEW like the Kessler or Bauhaus Walstein (Pete Thomas and Stephen Howard both have sites which review the good, bad, ugly of contemporary, asian-made budget horns. It's not my neck of the woods, but they have provided a great resource and their checklists and observations are very apt ~ nice to have someone separate the (few) contenders from the (multitude of) pretenders).

3) Go into vintage-land... and grab something quite good, an intermediate-quality player if not better, such as a Conn 14M or 50M or even a late model 6M, King Cleveland or Zephyr, Martin Indiana or Handcraft, Holton Ideal or 265, Buescher Aristocrat, Keilwerth or a JK stencil, Kohlert, Beaugnier-made Vito, Pierret-made stencil, perhaps an early Yanagisawa like an A4 or A5.....or something like that.....these are just way better than a contemporary student/beginner horn.

All options have their fans and detractors, but all are viable and not a bad choice.... just depending upon your particular situation.

You are in a fairly large and sophisticated City, oui ? Are there shops which sell used/vintage horns ? If so, go try some - ignore the pricetags, just blow several; because what you wanna do is get an impression of how an older horn sounds and feels. Sorta like a scouting project.
 

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Been playing for about a year and a half on a YAS-23 student sax but need to return in now and would like to purchase a saxophone. Have been looking in local classifieds and come across the following:

$600 -Severin Alto Sax purchased about 13 years ago for $1,295.

It's in good condition (no dings or dents) and pads and cork seem to be working nicely - no sticking or cracking. Hasn't been played in about 10 years - has only seen 2-3 years use.


$1000-
Selmer AS300 Alto Saxophone for sale.
Excellent condition!! Sounds amazing!!

Just had it refurbished, cleaned, cork and all key pads have been replaced.



$400- Brazilian eagle brand alto saxophone in great condition. I bought it two years ago when I went to brazil. Played it for about six months. Well taken care, feels like new! Beautiful sound!

$600- Selling a Mint Condition Amati Kraslice alto saxophone aas 32. Been played only twice!!! Keys and pad are Mint!! Asking $600, will include hardshell case, neck strap, mouth piece, brand new cleaning cloth and cork grease.

Based on simply prices and brief descriptions regarding make and model, do any of these stand out as appropriate for a beginner/intermediate player looking to upgrade?

If not, any suggestions on where to buy?

thanks
Buy the Yamaha.
 

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I would also suggest taking along a more experienced player on your scouting mission.
Having that second set of ears, eyes, play testers' opinion is always helpful.
 

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One good choice is to buy a used YAS-23 yourself. These are usually great saxophones and a used one is well within the price range of the saxes you are looking at.
+1. Get a YAS-23. The saxes you listed are way overpriced. The AS-300 is the only one I've heard of and $400 is probably too much for that horn.
 

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Your list is unimpressive. The YAS-23 looks like your best bet of all the horns you mention. But as you've heard already, try as many as you can. Get a feel for what's out there and pick up some idea of what you might like. I would recommend great caution before throwing down $600 for some random sax brand you've never touched or tried out. Try not to be in a big hurry. A little patience will pay off in the long run. In the end, only you know what will feel right for you.

But it would be a great idea if you have someone more experienced who can give you some hands on guidance in making your choice. You'll probably transition through a couple of horns if you stay on this path. The horn will matter less than your dedication and passion for the music. And for crying out loud__HAVE FUN! Best of luck to you.
 

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Apologies for the double post. But JayeSF has some cool older horns in your price range. If I was in the market with your budget I'd be eyeballing one or two of his inventory right now. Heck, I'm not even IN the market for an alto but I'm tempted by the Conn 6M. I play in a band with a friend who has one and it is a sweet sounding horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks again for the advice guys and I'm definitely going to scout out and consider the options you've all mentioned. JayeSF, you mentioned trying an older horn, I found the king cleveland for example for $450 in good condition. I know its impossible to tell much from such a small description but in principle is that a good match?
 

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I have an 1985 YAS 23. It has good sound really good intonation and the action is nicer than a number of new asian horns I have tried. Pads are still good with no leaks after 2 kids and international band trips etc.

I play it with a 60's Selmer Jazz metal mpc. I just added a Warburton sax neck system. It rocks. I can go from Paul Desmond cool to funk scream and pretty warm sounds although would have to go back to stock pce for orchestra.

I paid $500 for it 20 years ago. It's probably worth all of that or more today. I will never sell it. I confess I am primarily a soprano player but with the addition of the new neck system I am having fun rediscovering my love of alto.

I have read a number of recommendations from members here who have much broader playing experience than I that centre on Yammy's and Yani's being really easy to get good intonation on. Something that may be worth considering depending on one's playing ability

I have played the Bauhaus Bronze Deluxe alto and it is a really good value for the money. Worth having on one's short list.
 

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I am not experienced in wide range of saxes but I would like to add a note about the Yamaha 23. I bought a 23 for my son that I found on Craig's list for $275. So far it has only needed $40 worth of work (mostly caused by a boy being a boy). My horn is a YTS-62 and my main point is that the build quality and mechanical soundness of the 62 is far superior to the YAS-23 and the YTS-23 that I used to rent. It seems like I am always fiddling with my son's 23 to keep it working and even after tech work low B and Bb are difficult (maybe a neck leak). My 62 is rock solid mechanically. My advice is to save your money, spend more for a horn that will be trouble-free and be dependable.
 
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