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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My younger brother has recently gotten in to playing on one of my saxes and we (the rest of his family) are looking in to getting his own alto sax, the ones I’ve found in my price range I think are good, but I’m curious to see what you guys think of them or think would be best for him to start out with, and hopefully grow with

Keilwerth ST90 (unknown serial)
Keilwerth ST90 Series IV
Selmer Soloist
Selmer Omega
Yanagisawa A-4
Yamaha (various models, 23, 26, 52, 475, 280)
Kessler intermediate
 

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Out of those my pick would be Yanagisawa A4 or one of the ST90’s.
The majority will say Yamaha 23, but the Yanagisawa and Keilwerth horns will have a far better tone IMO.
Ergonomics on the Keilwerth Series II and III are excellent also.
Can’t speak for the series IV though.
Yanagisawas are all good regardless of year/model.
Later A4’s have a more modern left pinky table if that’s your thing.
 

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Now hold ON there just a minute. Wanna throw in something for consideration.

First off, A-4's had 2 different iterations....the earlier one had a traditional pinky table as opposed to a modern style one. Those are nothing to write home about.

Just wanted to make folks aware there is a distinction within the 4 models.

Next....the 4's certainly do not have the tonal and blowing response qualities of the 6's or later....so, yeah, the engraving reads Yanagisawa...but, there's a reason 4's do not fetch aficionado prices the way their later models do.

The ST90 is the way to go.

Regardless of keywork style of the 4, the 90 just sounds better and is slicker under the fingers. I have now serviced or refurbed a half-dozen of 'em. It's a well-built horn, regardless of whether it was assembled in Europe or at KHS/Jupiter. It's a JK design in either case. The IV's seem to start segueing more into a Jupe in some of their specs, FWIW. If that matters any (shouldn't matter much, but might to some).

Arguably one of the most underrated horns in its price category. It destroys the student Yamas and Selmers....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now hold ON there just a minute. Wanna throw in something for consideration.

First off, A-4's had 2 different iterations....the earlier one had a traditional pinky table as opposed to a modern style one. Those are nothing to write home about.

Just wanted to make folks aware there is a distinction within the 4 models.

Next....the 4's certainly do not have the tonal and blowing response qualities of the 6's or later....so, yeah, the engraving reads Yanagisawa...but, there's a reason 4's do not fetch aficionado prices the way their later models do.

The ST90 is the way to go.

Regardless of keywork style of the 4, the 90 just sounds better and is slicker under the fingers. I have now serviced or refurbed a half-dozen of 'em. It's a well-built horn, regardless of whether it was assembled in Europe or at KHS/Jupiter. It's a JK design in either case. The IV's seem to start segueing more into a Jupe in some of their specs, FWIW. If that matters any (shouldn't matter much, but might to some).

Arguably one of the most underrated horns in its price category. It destroys the student Yamas and Selmers....
The JK Series IV happens to be the cheaper option I'm looking at, and it appears to be in good shape, that might be the way I swing, what can you tell me about it as far as durability and sound, intonation etc goes
 

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The JK Series IV happens to be the cheaper option I'm looking at, and it appears to be in good shape, that might be the way I swing, what can you tell me about it as far as durability and sound, intonation etc goes
ST 90 IV is cheaper because it was made in Taiwan by Jupiter.

Nothing wrong with that until, one day probably soon, you are going to sell your horn.

Buy the T4 or the ST 90
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The JK Series IV happens to be the cheaper option I'm looking at, and it appears to be in good shape, that might be the way I swing, what can you tell me about it as far as durability and sound, intonation etc goes
ST 90 IV is cheaper because it was made in Taiwan by Jupiter.

Nothing wrong with that until, one day probably soon, you are going to sell your horn.

Buy the T4 or the ST 90
Well it probably won't get sold all that soon, it's for my younger brother who is just now starting to learn, he's got a ways before he's going to be ready to upgrade lol
 

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The JK Series IV happens to be the cheaper option I'm looking at, and it appears to be in good shape, that might be the way I swing, what can you tell me about it as far as durability and sound, intonation etc goes
I have done both III's and IV's (III's are also Jupiter-made btw)...a IV is a good horn: intonation, build, feel. I would say by the early 2000's KHS (Jupe) was producing horns of build quality and reliability which were just as good as Yamaha. The IV isn't 'just' a Jupiter student model (i.e. a Jupe model rebranded "St90"...although honestly....even that is not a bad thing at all). You wouldn't be doing wrong by going with the IV. It's a good instrument.
 
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