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Do you have a backup horn?

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you have more than one horn?

Have you really had to use your second horn enough to justify the expense?

Simple questions; Please try to keep the comments brief and on topic:

I have two really good tenors, but I am seriously considering selling one...Only thing I see myself doing with two is constantly trying to decide which I like better.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2016
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I play a Phil Barone Classic tenor as my number one horn and I have a Yamaha YTS-62 that I think of selling but I keep because being without a servicable tenor if something should happen to the PB doesn't bear thinking about.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009-
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I think it's a good idea if you can justify the onetime expense of shelling out for a second horn. Let's face it; accidents happen, pads get sticky, corks deteriorate, things work out of adjustment. What if you have a really good gig coming up and you're beginning to doubt your horn's response? Or what if it's already in the shop and someone asks you to fill in that very night? We're rather lucky these days because, compared to the past, there are quite a few very good saxes on the market which don't cost $5000. But no, it's not a requirement and if you feel the least bit burdened by owning the second horn simply get rid of it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2012
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A cheapo Jupiter alto, I actually never use. More important, a Vito Resotone clarinet, whenever I don't want to expose my beloved Buffet to direct sunlight or rain.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2016
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Whoa - clarinets. I have a few of those! HN White Silver King metal, Conn Pan American metal, Vito Resotone plastic, 2 Yamaha C100s plastic, Selmer Series 10 wood, Boosey and Hawkes Albert wood and a Raison (India) Albert clarinet shaped piece of plastic.
 

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I have a Barone Classic tenor and a SG Model Alto for my backup horns. I keep them at my girlfriends house to practice there. I can borrow a backup Bari.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011-2015
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I have only 2 tenors. I was planning on getting a "backup" for the Super 20, something along the lines of a Barone but my wife bought me a backup a couple of weeks ago. Now I have 2 horns that can never be sold. :mrgreen:
 

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Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member
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Working horns. I have 2 sopranos, 2 altos, and 2 tenors. In a pinch, I can borrow a serviceable tenor and a couple of alto's from my gal. I also make sure I have a back up mouthpiece around.

I was on a gig the other night and a mic fell on my tenor, knocking the alternate f# askew. I managed to fix it before the 4th tune but I was sure glad I had a couple of horns on hand to play the gig. If I don't have a horn on hand it could cost me more money in one weekend than it would be to buy a spare.

Bottom line. If your living depends even slightly on performing. It's important to have a contingency setup. I think about selling my backups every once in awhile, but it would just be foolish.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
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As tenor is my go-to horn, yeah, I've got two that I can go to. But I don't really use one as a "back-up" per se. One is rather beat up, and the other is rather cherry... so I pick which one I use in accord with the venue. So either one could back up the other. But if you gig regularly, a back-up horn is rather prudent.
 

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I have a back-up for all of my working horns: bari, alto, and clarinet. Standard equipment for any working musician.
 

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My thoughts are that if you do it for a living, having a second horn is a great insurance policy.

I know there have been times when I was very thankful to have a backup horn at the ready...and there have even been times when a gig was saved because someone else used someone's backup horn.
 

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A cheapo Jupiter alto, I actually never use. More important, a Vito Resotone clarinet, whenever I don't want to expose my beloved Buffet to direct sunlight or rain.
when i go to a gig where bad things really might happen, like the weather for instance, i use my backup horn too
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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To those who gig and own backup horns: Do you regularly take your backup horns to gigs? What happens if your car is in a wreck or if someone breaks into your car and steals your horns? The more gear you carry, the more opportunities for loss.

Seems like one could almost make the case for three of each horn...
 

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I do not regularly carry my backups with me. If I am flying definitely not. I use them mainly when my other others need service or to loan to a student when his need service. If it is a local gig I'll carry my backuop tenor or alto with me to the gig as needed.
 

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I don't have any backups for any of my instruments (SAT, flute, clarinets).
In my 30 years playing experience it's never happened that an instrument gave out on me at a gig or just before (I have them serviced regularly).
There are many repair techs in my city in case of an emergency or I could always borrow a horn from the many sax players I know.
An unjustified expense in my opinion.
If I had the money for a backup, I'd buy a different horn instead (alto or bass flute, bass clarinet, bari sax....)
 

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I have 13 saxes. I usually play tenor and bring a back-up with me to a gig and bring it into the place I'm playing and store it with the rest of the cases. On four occasions something has happened to my main horn where I simply put it back in its case and got my back-up out.
Once a lower stack post broke off my The Martin, once my horn slipped and fell onto the floor, bending it up, once someone decided to move my horn, picked it up by the neck and the neck broke off, and finally a spring broke. Each time I had a back-up with me and was able to finish the night. The only time I don't is when I fly. Carrying on one alto is hard enough!
 

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....On four occasions something has happened to my main horn where I simply put it back in its case and got my back-up out.
Once a lower stack post broke off my The Martin, once my horn slipped and fell onto the floor, bending it up, once someone decided to move my horn, picked it up by the neck and the neck broke off, and finally a spring broke.....
In your case, having a backup is justified :bluewink:

Now that I think about it, I did have a spring break (F palm key) at the end of a cruise ship gig. A rubber band did the trick.
 

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My main gigging tenor is a Barone Classic but I also owne a H.Couf SuperbaI and an early 80s Yamaha YTS-62. Last year I had a horn drop a cork right before the gig. Nice to be able to just grab another tenor and head out the door.

For alto I have a Selmer Signet-S as a back up horn.
 

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Sometimes a horn is in the shop for a couple of weeks if my tech is backed up. This is when the spare comes in handy. I've never had a horn go out on a gig (knock on wood) but once or twice right before a gig.
 
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