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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, as some of you know I'm back to saxophone after a 10 years interruption. I bought a used soprano and now I'm looking for a tenor.

I'm looking for 2 horns that are in my area and who fit to my budget. A Yamaha YTS21 and a Rampone & Cazzani Deluxe model stamped B&H Oxford. I tried the Yamy and it plays very good from top to bottom; it's been recently refreshed and adjusted by a tech. In a few words it's ready to play and plays very well.

The Oxford is farther from my home and I'll have to get a good drive to test it. According to the seller it's also in great condition. I never played those italian horns but I hesitate cause I love everything that comes from Italy....:mrgreen:

Well, I'm sure buying the 21 would be a great deal ( around CAD $400 ) and my question is: is the R&H stencil worth to spend a day to test it....? From what I read the italian tenors have a darker tone than the asian horns. The Yamaha is a safe bet, but what's your opinion guys?

One more question: I also read that getting a pro neck on one of those vintage low-end Yamis would be a great upgrade soundwise and also for the response of the horn. Truth or myth? I ask cause I feel very comfortable with the YTS-21.

Thanks for your inputs; any comment is welcome and appreciated.

JO
 

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Yes, go for the Yamaha , the Oxford can be anything , a French an Italian made sax but also one made somewhere else not worth your attention or the money.


If you are a betting man go there and test.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, go for the Yamaha , the Oxford can be anything , a Frenc an Italian made sax but also one made somewhere else not worth your attention or the money.


If you are a betting man go there and test.
Thanks for your opinion. The Oxford though is definitely a Rampone & Cazzani stencil.
 

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Well, I am very well acquainted with R&C ( You wrote R&H) saxophones old or new, and they are good.

Much depends on the purpose of your buy.

The old “ De Luxe” models (the majority of the stencils that I have found) are very good horns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, and I'd not like to miss a potential ''better'' horn soundwise. I know the sound is quite different than the japanese Yamahas. Sound is almost everything, or at least that's the main reason why one will love a horn more than another.

You said you are familiar with the old R&C saxes; I read somewhere they sound like the old Wetlklang, I mean a bold tone great for rock 'n roll. I once tried one of those Weltklangs and I hate the tone....what can you tell me about it? Thanks!
 

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I would go with the Yamaha. In addition to the fact that you've already played the horn, the manufacturing tolerances are going to be better with any Japanese horn when being compared with an Italian stencil. Regarding the neck issue, all Yamaha student horns share bodies and tonehole placement with their more expensive lines. A 21 will be the same horn as a 61 of a given pitch with no engravings, less hand finished details, and more machined, yet very functional, keywork.

My alto of choice is a Vito YAS-21, and I compare it to every professional Yamaha I can find. My 21 plays like a 52, 61, 62, Z, 875, or any other Yamaha student sax in like condition. The differences do boil down to necks. The stock 21 neck is nearly identical to the stock 61 and 62 neck with the latter feeling heavier due to them having tone rings and extra bracing. The G1 and V1 necks are slightly different variations of that neck. Every other neck that Yamaha manufacturers is an even further departure from that design. I have more experience with the altos than tenors, but from what I've experienced, Yamaha's design philosophy seems to have carried over to both pitches. So what's said about the alto necks also seems to hold true for the tenor necks.
 

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Well.... everyone is suggesting the 21.....without having ANY idea of what the Oxford R&C is.

OK, well.....lucky you, Jojo.

Because you have just met someone who knows exactly what the Oxford is. I just recently refurbished and sold one, and have another one here in the works. I have also refurbished a Low A Baritone of the same stencil/source.

Assuming it looks like the one in my photo here....Get the Oxford.

The 21 is okay, it's an okay student horn. Reliable, decent.

The R&C is a very nice stencil. Sounds much better, has a nicer pinky table, and is a sweet little horn. Intonation is fine. Build is good.

With due respect to other respondents, you are taking A LOT of license in suggesting things along the lines of the build and reliability of the Italian is questionable when compared to the cookie-cutter 21; that the Italian has negative attributes... considering y'all admit you have never held one of these in your hand or even would recognize one....

So rather than extrapolating based upon other generalized experiences which do not coincide with having experienced this particular model, perhaps a bit of measure should be taken ...

Sorry to seem curmudgeonly, but I do not quite understand why folks suggest model A over model B if they have never tried model B.

And it happens here ALL the time....

Yeah, and I'd not like to miss a potential ''better'' horn soundwise.
Go see the R&C.

It is worth at least playtesting.

It is a very different, and IMHO flat-out better, beast than a run-of-mill 21 (which I also happen to sell a lot of). This is one of those situations where you may well have stumbled upon a great sleeper....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
JayeLID, from what I know on the B&H OxfordL apparently they were marketed in Canada ( it's even engraved on the bell ) and they were made in Italia by R&H or made in Germany. The one I'm talking about is not an alto like the one you showed but it shares the exact same low key guard and keywork. The seller doesn't know nothing about his horn but I'm 95% sure this one is a Deluxe Rampone & Cazzani stencil. So you convinced me, at least to give it a try. But my reflexion goes further...

SuperAction80 raised a very good point and it was another question in my OP: considering the low price of the Yamaha, it's not a problem for me to upgrade the horn with a Yamaha pro neck. My question is: is it really worth the expense? Thanks to share your experience.

JayeLID, I joined 3 photos of the horn; please tell me if you see a R&H stencil! Oxford3.png Oxford2.jpeg
 

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SuperAction80 raised a very good point and it was another question in my OP: considering the low price of the Yamaha, it's not a problem for me to upgrade the horn with a Yamaha pro neck. My question is: is it really worth the expense? Thanks to share your experience.
If you like what the Yamaha is saying, it can certainly be worth the upgrade in terms of looks and tonal variety. Like the horns themselves, I probably would never buy "new" as there are some good deals to be had on used Yamaha necks. However, it's not necessary as the stock 21 neck is quite good. If you do get a second neck, be sure to get it fitted by a tech. The octave pad lever on the neck will not fit the smaller octave stem on the body tube either. The student model stems are flush with body in order to prevent damage from less than careful student hands. So you'll either have to extend the stem, or carefully bend the neck's octave lever down. Not a big deal, but something that you should be aware of.

Regarding this stencil, nobody in this thread has tried this particular horn. I've played some great saxes from Rampone & Cazzani, and I've played some that had issues. Their QC can be dodgy like Selmer or Keilwerth, and it's possible that this horn will need work. Buying sight unseen, it's best to assume the worst and hope for the best. And while you can call Yamaha, and Yanagisawa, "cookie cutter", I consider this to be a plus. It's nice being able to pick up multiple horns of the same model knowing exactly what you're going to get. For me, Yamaha horns are just extremely well balanced tools. I prefer that in most playing scenarios. Are there other saxophones that can pull off certain parts of the range better? Yes. However, that always comes at the expense of another part in the range. The Yamaha will always have a neutral to bright sound that's built into the design. If you dig that kind of tone, go for the 21. If you're looking for something else, try the R&C.
 

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JayeLID, from what I know on the B&H OxfordL apparently they were marketed in Canada ( it's even engraved on the bell ) and they were made in Italia by R&H or made in Germany. The one I'm talking about is not an alto like the one you showed but it shares the exact same low key guard and keywork. The seller doesn't know nothing about his horn but I'm 95% sure this one is a Deluxe Rampone & Cazzani stencil. So you convinced me, at least to give it a try. But my reflexion goes further...

SuperAction80 raised a very good point and it was another question in my OP: considering the low price of the Yamaha, it's not a problem for me to upgrade the horn with a Yamaha pro neck. My question is: is it really worth the expense? Thanks to share your experience.

JayeLID, I joined 3 photos of the horn; please tell me if you see a R&H stencil! View attachment 222286 View attachment 222290
Hi....if the pinky table is similar to this one pic I attached, go try the Oxford. Can the seller provide you with a photo of pinky table ? The one offered is a Tenor of course, while the ones I have experienced were Altos and Baritones, but they were darn good. Personally, after working on the A's and a Bari, I would love to get my hands on a T version of this stencil.

..and FWIW, any used horn has the potential for 'needing work'. Having serviced around 100 Yamahas, it is not as if the brand is teflon against the usual wear and tear of use. It is not as if I, as a repairer/refurbisher, have had to do 'less work' on Yamas than other horns. They require repair and servicing just as much as any other decent horn.

In regards to a 21/23 being 'upgradable' simply by a neck replacement....yes and no. I mean, it's a valid observation honestly, it can get you an improvement yes - but the horn in your hands is still gonna be a 21/23. If it were an improvement which was extremely significant....everyone would own 21/23's w/ upgraded necks.
But, in fact...rather than this being the case...folks at a point ditch their 21/23's and upgrade to 52/61/62 and 82's as well as other makes/models instead....

(As an aside: This notion that somehow the part of the hardware which consists of the body tube, bow, bell, and keywork comes in a distant 4th as far as performance and tone of the horn (and I realize that SuperAction isn't saying that, here....but it is something which I have seen bandied about on a lotta threads lately, as if it is accepted, unquestionable dogma) is nothing less than completely baffling; of course the horn makes a significant difference, and the body and everything attached to it has its own intrinsic qualities, and advantages/limitations for a player.)

Definitely playtest both the 21 and the Oxford, no question. You have the opportunity to try what I consider to be a very good player which offers more than a 21. Perhaps you will like the 21 better, which is fine....but the Oxford will give a significantly different experience/impression, IMHO. I hope they are both in good playing shape.

Let us know your impressions.
 

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"cause I love everything that comes from Italy...."
"Sound is almost everything, or at least that's the main reason why one will love a horn more than another."
Those two statements suggest checking out the sound of the R&C.
 

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Well, based on these pictures it is R&C de Luxe . I ve sold two of those, nice horns.

They are certainly more valuable then Yamaha but not necessarily better.
 

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yes, it is a R&C stencil ( you are still mixing up B&H and R&C)
 

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the thumbrest of these normally has a black (plastic) plateau which forms an inverted D shape to the left of the thumbrest, often it snaps and I think that’s what has happened here too.
 

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Here are some photos I asked to the seller. For me it's definitely a R&H stencil. View attachment 222316
Yes, thanks...what I am looking for is an image of that pinky table (mind you, am just being greedy here), because that would be the tipoff for me as to whether that Tenor is of the same design as the horns which I lauded above. So far, other details (including the sheared thumbrest as Milandro notes, LOL) seem to be the same as the ones I have had here...so it probably is of same design/era.

(According to Claudio Zolla at R&C, mine were/are late 1960's models...as this one appears to be)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
JayeLID, I will send the picture tomorrow as I'm at work now, but I can confirm the pinky table is the same as yours. Actually I don't understand why the pic isn't there cause I uploaded it.
 
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