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Saxophones 1925 Selmer model 22 vs modern Elkhart Curved Soprano

DaveT

DaveT

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I have a 1925 Selmer Model 22 straight Soprano saxophone. It is delightful. My tired old body wants something more comfortable. I hired an Elkhart curved Soprano on a 3 month deal with Dawkes music. It's alright. VERY comfortable. I can see how you could learn to love it. BUT in every other way from intonation to ease of playing to tone that old Selmer wipes the floor with it.
So, which modern curved saxes should I try? Money no object. Cheap compared to the next motorcycle on my wish list...
 
Sue

Sue

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I've had a Yani SC992 for years and love everything about it. Intonation is great as are ergonomics. I can't recommend any others as I haven't been tempted away from it, although I would like to try the R&C curved if I could get my hands on one locally.
 
T

turf3

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Don't forget the old American curved sopranos, among which the Conn and Buescher are the most common; York, Martin, and other brands may exist but are harder to find.
 
jonf

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If it's comfort you're after stay well away from vintage Buescher and Conn. I've currently got a Buescher and had a Conn - both lovely old things to play but terrible ergonomics. If I was in the market for a quality curved modern sop (I'm not, I don't play soprano all that much) I'd go for Yanagisawa every time.
 
DaveT

DaveT

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I should add, Ye Olde Selmer is free-blowing whereas the Elkhart is not! There's a curved Yani in Manchester for £1900 on ebay... Suppose I should ask if I can have a go on it, it is not too far from me.
 
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

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Ye Olde Selmer is free-blowing whereas the Elkhart is not!
This is an important factor, although there’s a good chance you will get used to and enjoy a bit more resistance.
Suppose I should ask if I can have a go on it, it is not too far from me.
Yes you should, by far the best option. And if you are in that general area I would recommend a trip to Hanson’s in Marsden.
 
Wade Cornell

Wade Cornell

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Yanagisawa make very fine sopranos. Intonation is excellent and very easy to play (ergonomics). However I also have a R&C curvy soprano that I got subsequently and wound up selling the Yanagisawa. The R&C horns are noted for being most similar to older American style horns in terms of the tonal colours. If new they can sometimes require attention, but after that...all go. The R&C is also very mouthpiece friendly and has good modern ergonomics, but not quite as good as the Yani. If tone is most important I'd choose the R&C, if ergonomics the Yani.
 
DavidUK

DavidUK

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I see curved Yani sops circa £1,250 from private sellers in excellent condition.
£1,900 would be a retail price, with warranty.

I spotted one in Liverpool not so long ago, player seller... hang on and I'll see if it's still for sale...

...nope, gone. BUT there are a fair few curvy Yany sops for sale, from £1,175, here: Saxophones For Sale Second hand, Used.

If the Elimonas are like their bigger cousins there's probably an S800 and S880, the latter being the supposedly better model, but I'm not up on Yany sops so someone else will need to chip in. I would consider older Yanys every time.
 
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T

turf3

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If it's comfort you're after stay well away from vintage Buescher and Conn. I've currently got a Buescher and had a Conn - both lovely old things to play but terrible ergonomics. If I was in the market for a quality curved modern sop (I'm not, I don't play soprano all that much) I'd go for Yanagisawa every time.
Depends on the individual. I prefer the less-complex keywork, positive feel, and lighter weight of the older instruments compared to the Selmers and the like where the keywork was clearly designed in accordance with theories rather than based on how the human hand actually works.
 
jonf

jonf

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Depends on the individual. I prefer the less-complex keywork, positive feel, and lighter weight of the older instruments compared to the Selmers and the like where the keywork was clearly designed in accordance with theories rather than based on how the human hand actually works.
Older saxes are often a fair bit lighter, and they tend to have slightly less complex keywork. In my experience older saxes, even when newly set up have a less positive feel. But one thing's for certain. The keywork of my Bueschers and Conn certainly weren't based on how the human hand actually works. The left little finger table is poor, and the palm keys are far too low for anyone with even average sized adult hands. Don't get me wrong, I like my vintage saxes (I've had the Buescher sop for nearly 40 years) but I know their strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn't try to dissuade someone from buying a vintage sax if they want one, but the OP has a really nice one, and he was asking about a comfortable modern equivalent.
 
L

lydian

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I don’t know about the UK, but in the US, Yamaha is probably the best value for a quality modern horn these days. My last YSS-475 was £1,100 used.

@DaveT, I’d be happy to send a short recording of mine if you want to hear how it sounds.
 
Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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I don’t know about the UK, but in the US, Yamaha is probably the best value for a quality modern horn these days. My last YSS-475 was £1,100 used.

@DaveT, I’d be happy to send a short recording of mine if you want to hear how it sounds.
OP is looking for curved. I can't find a Yamaha curved. Do they make one?
 
DaveT

DaveT

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Thanks for the info, the used sax link is now bookmarked.
I am a Luddite at heart, old things tend to be prettier and work better, modern tends to be boring but reliable. I need a sax that helps me, not one I have to master!
Example: Yamaha Purple Logo YAS62 soprano. The internet loves it, I had high hopes for it, turned out to be hard work. I could tell it was a very good sax if only you were good enough to get the best out of it.
That old Selmer is easy to play. Palm keys built up with cork to make them easy to use, and done a very long time ago!
I need to ring up about the Yani in Manchester...
 
L

lydian

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My YSS62 purple logo was effortless. Yours must have had some leaks.
 
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Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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Is there not some sort of sling/harness to help with the straight one? It seems so sad to give up on an old friend. :(
 
SaxBoss

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L

lydian

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I thought Yani had the same horrible ergos as those old Selmers since they were copies.

Yani S6:
1655565676787
 
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jonf

jonf

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I thought Yani had the same horrible ergos as those old Selmers since they were copies.

Yani S6:
View attachment 20495
The original poster is asking about a comfortable modern curved soprano. A modern Yanagisawa is a completely different sax to that S6, and in my experience, Yanagisawa saxes have pretty much the best ergonomics of any brand of sax.
 

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