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Hi!

I'm considering to buy a used sax. I'm totally new with saxophones, altough have been playing piano for 10 years earlier. I have actually now 3 choices, which one would you take?

1) Armstrong alto (about 30 years old) for price of $250
2) Yamaha YAS-23 for price of $400
3) Yamaha YTS-32 for price of $800

They should all be in good working condition. I know that #1 has been used by it's current owner for a year within last 6 years. And #3 has been used for total of only 1-2 years and left unused after that. For #2 I don't know about it's history.

Which one would you take if this is all the info you would have? Which one will most likely keep it's value after let's say 2-3 years? Is there any problems I should be aware of regarding spare parts, if I tend to keep the sax longer?

Thanks,
Arhi
 

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I played an Armstrong alto from 4th to 10th grade, and though I had no basis for comparison, felt it played very well and sounded better than the other kids' Bundy's. The keywork was not as refined as the newer horns, but I think people get used to whatever they play. It's a solidly built horn with a great sound- I still play mine occasionly some 20 years later. It won't keep it's resale value like a Yamaha, but if you just want something to play around with on the weekends it will be fine. You can find these going for 50-100$ on Ebay.
 

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definitely go with a yamaha over any armstrong. they are solid horns with good intonation and nice sound. they will have many fewer mechanical problems than the armstrong as well. Yamahas can always be resold easily for these reasons.
 

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I vote YAS-23 - but for $400 it should be in near perfect condition. I also played an Armstrong Alto as a beginner - not bad but not nearly up to the Yamaha standard.
 

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Well, the first thing you have to decide is whether you want to play tenor or alto. In general, the Yamahas are very good horns for the money. Assuming they're in good shape, both of the Yamahas are decent deals. The YAS-23 is a student/beginner horn, whereas the YTS-32 is an intermediate horn. You'll be happy with either. I've never played or heard an Armstrong, so I can't comment on that.
 
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