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Beginner Sax A Beginner's Saxophone

hubertj

New Member
Messages
9
Hi Guys!!

I am very new to this forum and also to Saxophone music. I used to play the violin, guitar and a little on the piano when I was very very young. I love to take up a different musical instrument this time and hope to keep the fire burning. I have read up on different sites on which saxophone should beginners purchase and I have narrow down my search to just a few brands but would still like to have advice from fellow forumers.

New or 2nd Hand
I read that purchasing a 2nd hand saxophone would be a better choice due to its value depreciation issue. New saxophone would cost higher and the value of it would normally depreciate greatly within the first few days or even hours (quoted from somewhere here i think). I felt that it is true and so I think that 2nd hand saxophone might be a better choice for me, furthermore I might get a valuable deal for a 2nd hand sax (a few bauhaus walstein sax i seen here).

Which brand to go for?
I have seen one or two recommending Elkhart, I am not sure if they meant the (100as or 2 series). I read on tamingthesaxophone's recommendation that jupiter or yamaha student model would be good too. I asked one freelance tutor and he told me that Trevor James saxophones are good for beginners too (not sure which model, but i think he meant classic). And lastly many people on forums recommended Bauhaus Walstein saxophones (I am looking at the cheaper models)

My budget range from £200 to £350. I am currently looking at Bauhaus Walstein's Saxophones but have not found any within budget (not sure if I will be able to find 1).

Guys, I wonder if you are able to give me several advice??

Thank You so Much!!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,059
Your budget is small and this limits your options.

Your concern about depreciation is understandable but any instrument you buy should be a keeper and so
depreciation becomes irrelevant.

Buying second hand may not be the way to go for an absolute beginner. The added cost of service and regulation and a student mouthpiece may push the budget out of your range.

There are several new options in your price range that will give you the security of a guaranteed instrument.

A new saxophone will give you years of relatively trouble free playing and something that doesn't cost a lot can't depreciate by any more than it's cost, so not a lot.

Have a look here.

http://www.gear4music.com/Woodwind_Instruments/Saxophone.html

They have a range of own brand instruments within your budget that are very playable.
 

Bigtwin

New Member
Messages
161
I bought a basic level sax for my son within your budget range. I got it from this very forum. It's astonishingly good for the money, and made me think about how much I've spent on "pro" level instruments. You are in the right place - keep a look out.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Also I'd recommend the new Jericho saxes from Academy Wind Instruments: http://www.studentmusicsupplies.com/jericho-j6agl-alto-saxophone---gold-lacquer-196-p.asp Bauhaus Walstein saxes cost about £300 when they first appeared, but have more than doubled in price since then. The Gear4Music and Jericho J-6 are at that price now and both well worth a look. I'd rather one of those than a Jupiter or Yamaha student sax - DavidUK has been trialling such saxes and rated the Jericho above a Yamaha 275. A Bari Esprit mouthpiece only costs £14 inc shipping, so £300 should be just achievable.
 

Bigtwin

New Member
Messages
161
I give the Honorable Gentleman's entry a warm hand. For 'twas an Academy Sax of which I was speaking.
 

TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
You could also try a John Packer 041 and they quite often have ex demo ones for sale at a reduced price
 

Kath

Member
Messages
119
I got a gear4music sax (I guess google it) I'm no expert by any means - I've only been playing since Christmas, but personally, it's all my dreams come true! I know one day I'll want more, but as a beginner, it's a sax and it plays (though I did buy a new mouthpiece that ad made an immense difference - but again only cost £30) . What more can you ask for really for £200 when you're learning anyway. Sorry if this isn't helpful but it's the view of a real real novice. But for what it's worth, it's got my passion ignited - that has to be worth something? Good luck anyway hubertJ
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I got a gear4music sax (I guess google it) I'm no expert by any means - I've only been playing since Christmas, but personally, it's all my dreams come true! I know one day I'll want more, but as a beginner, it's a sax and it plays (though I did buy a new mouthpiece that ad made an immense difference - but again only cost £30) . What more can you ask for really for £200 when you're learning anyway. Sorry if this isn't helpful but it's the view of a real real novice. But for what it's worth, it's got my passion ignited - that has to be worth something? Good luck anyway hubertJ
I have given it a blow and it sounded good!
 

hubertj

New Member
Messages
9
Hi guys

I don't mind to spend a bit more than my budget if I am able to get a good for value sax. I seen many people saying Yamaha might be a little overpriced as there are many others which are better yet cheaper. I don't wish budget would limit my spirit to go into the saxophone culture.

TomMapfumo, you were saying Bauhaus used to be cheaper, any idea you know where I can still find 2nd hand for that brand? I tink the review i read for that brand has really tempt me but think that you guys have introduce me something new which is gear4music.

colin the bear What you say is right depreciation should not bother me but i hope that the recommendations wasn't base strongly on my budget because I don't mind to spend a little more like maybe up to £500 if necessary. Of course the cheaper the better but people always say you get what you pay for.

Thanks Guys I will look into gear4music
 

hubertj

New Member
Messages
9
Jericho J6 is worth the look...thou the reviews of Bauhaus have tempt me...I do not mind increasing my budget to £500 if necessary. Of course the cheaper the better but like what people always say you get what you spend for.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Jericho J6 is worth the look...thou the reviews of Bauhaus have tempt me...I do not mind increasing my budget to £500 if necessary. Of course the cheaper the better but like what people always say you get what you spend for.
It is often the case that you can spend much more to get something that you could have got for much cheaper.
I think, when it comes to saxes, that you do not necessarily need to think so much about resale value. If you start off with a very cheap but good sax then it will be good for a few years, and you will always be sounding better on it as you progress. When you get the right mouthpiece it will take you quite some way. If you later on want to splash the cash then go ahead, but you may always want to keep the other sax as back-up etc.

Lots of professionals and other good players will often play on a cheaper sax when playing live, to guard against accidents etc. so your first sax may well be one to keep anyway. My main Soprano sax is a Bauhaus Walstein which I got new for £300. No need to upgrade it, ever!
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
If you want to go with second hand Trevor James I can recommend the Artemis if you want to keep the price down @£150-£175. It's not stamped Trevor James but it is their beginners model. For another £100 you can get a Trevor James Revolution II which is another excellent buy and won several awards when it was first came out.
 

hubertj

New Member
Messages
9
I am seriously thinking to get Jericho J6 for a start off...anyway may i ask for different sax the amount of air and the way you blow into the instrument should be the same right?? what matters should be the mouth piece?? am i right?? Can you recommend me a smooth mouth piece for beginner?? Because i am a total noob, I am not sure which mouth piece should I go for to make the start up smooth..

Thanks Guys
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
There's hundreds of threads on this site about mouthpieces but if I had to name one very common one with a good reputation I would go with the Yamaha 4C. You can pick them up new on Ebay for £20-£25
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
My three recommendations:

1. Bari Esprit - costs £14 new.
2. Clark Fobes Debut - costs £36 new.
3. Windcraft Ebonite Etude - costs £45 new.

In my experience the Yamaha 4C struggles against all of them, and is probably in need of an update.
If you need help finding them just ask.
 

saxman80

Member
Messages
62
I am seriously thinking to get Jericho J6 for a start off...anyway may i ask for different sax the amount of air and the way you blow into the instrument should be the same right?? what matters should be the mouth piece?? am i right?? Can you recommend me a smooth mouth piece for beginner?? Because i am a total noob, I am not sure which mouth piece should I go for to make the start up smooth..

Thanks Guys
HI hubertj,
You are quite right thinking about how important mouthpieces are,in my experience i don't think a beginner could go wrong with a selmer c*, but a new one would cost around the £100.00 mark, they do come up on ebay quite frequently for a lot less.
But it would be worth trying two or three different brands at your local music store, just to get a feel of what's available before you make your mind up.
Hope this helps.:D
 
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TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Subscriber
Messages
811
I am seriously thinking to get Jericho J6 for a start off...anyway may i ask for different sax the amount of air and the way you blow into the instrument should be the same right?? what matters should be the mouth piece?? am i right?? Can you recommend me a smooth mouth piece for beginner?? Because i am a total noob, I am not sure which mouth piece should I go for to make the start up smooth..

Thanks Guys
I bought the Jericho Tenor a couple of months ago, based on reviews here and elsewhere, and it's fine. I bought cheap because I didn't know if I'd take to playing the sax. Well, I have, and I'll upgrade when I can. If you're okay with second hand (I wasn't, because as a total newcomer to sax I felt safer with a warranty, etc), then I'd suggest that's the way to go as far as money is concerned: if you don't get on with the sax, you can sell it and not take a hit.

I might look at getting an alto down the line, will probably try another make though.

Regarding mouthpieces, I bought a Bari Esprit as recommended above, but still can't get a decent sound out of it (wonder if I got a bad one, I've not had this problem with any other mouthpiece I've tried). The Yamaha 4C was perfect for me: sounded better than the stock mouthpiece (it can do smooth), was easier to use, and was cheap :)

I've since bought a couple more (cheap) mouthpieces, and no doubt will buy more in the future (!), but I'd still recommend the Yamaha for a complete beginner like me.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
As far as I recall the Yamaha 4C has a 0.067" tip opening, and the Bari Esprit has a 0.085" tip opening. Given that, it would need a softer reed. The sound issue is simply about reed strength as the Bari has a larger opening - more a 5 than a 4. If you go down by half a size you should be fine. The Bari mouthpieces are moulded out of very hard plastic so should have no quality differences. Which other mouthpieces have you tried?

Kind regards
Tom

A view from a fellow forum member: http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?7767-Bari-Esprit-Tenor-Mouthpiece
 
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Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
984
Can I just double check that it's definitely an alto sax that you are looking for? I seem to have missed the bit that specified that.

I have a Jericho (Acadamy) curved soprano and I don't feel able to recommend them. I'm not saying they are bad horns by any means but I've had a number of frustrations that have left me dissatisfied.

I would however strongly recommend that you try to get a blow on a few saxes and get a feel for the keywork. I know when you're beginning that its almost impossible to assess what's good or bad about one sax compared to another but you'd be surprised how much the keywork can vary and how much more comfortable one sax can feel compared to another. I didn't like the Bauhaus Walstein Bronze tenor because the low Eb/C keys felt a lot further away than on other saxes and the tone felt thin at the top end, at least for me and on my mouthpiece. Choice of sax is a very personal thing and it might be worth you considering renting before you buy. I believe there are outlets that will let you try various saxes, and then rent one, with the rental costs knocked off the price if you eventually decide to buy. I admit however that's not the route I went.

As has been mentioned above the yard sale here is a good place to look for a second-hand sax, especially if it comes from a regularly contributing member of the forum in my opinion. I got my latest tenor from here.

Gear4Music do quite a range of saxes. I'm not sure where you are in the world but if you could ever get into their York outlet they would let you try them out if you gave them some notice.

Another option might be to find a good sax repairer/technician as they sometimes have second hand saxes for sale which they have renovated. Again, depending on where you are in the world people here may be able to advise/recommend.

Just my initial thoughts.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I don't think that sax type is actually mentioned by the OP. I've assumed Tenor but not sure that is clearly stated. Also I'm not sure where "A, A" is. It does affect recommendations if someone is potentially in another country.

Kind regards
Tom
 
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