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Saxophones Advice needed: A few brands of alto sax

izcremecake

New Member
Messages
10
Hi all,

I'm starting my sax lesson next week and I need to get an alto sax this weekend! Nope, unfortunately, I don't have the option to borrow or rent one and the used sax market in HK is almost non-existent. As I have zero knowledge on sax (besides the info found on various forums and websites), any advice and comment is very much appreciated.

So I have the choice of the following:
1. Antigua AS3220LQ
2. Buffet 8101-1-0 (for some reason, most websites on this are in other languages?)
3. Jupiter JAS567GL
4. Jupiter JAS769GL
5. Yamaha YAS 26

The JAS769GL and YAS26 are honestly beyond my budget. I've read a lot of good things about the YAS26 but how do the rest compare with it?
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
754
Locality
S. Wales, UK
Not sure if you'll find them in your neck of the woods under these names, even though they are mostly made near you but you can also try any model Trevor James or Bauhaus Walstein for a good starter Sax for little money.
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
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5,787
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Near Lutterworth, Leics.
Hi all,

I'm starting my sax lesson next week and I need to get an alto sax this weekend! Nope, unfortunately, I don't have the option to borrow or rent one and the used sax market in HK is almost non-existent. As I have zero knowledge on sax (besides the info found on various forums and websites), any advice and comment is very much appreciated.

So I have the choice of the following:
1. Antigua AS3220LQ
2. Buffet 8101-1-0 (for some reason, most websites on this are in other languages?)
3. Jupiter JAS567GL
4. Jupiter JAS769GL
5. Yamaha YAS 26

The JAS769GL and YAS26 are honestly beyond my budget. I've read a lot of good things about the YAS26 but how do the rest compare with it?
I've never tried an Antigua, comes out of the Mauriat factory but that means little.
Had a Jupiter 567, a Buffet 100, and a Yamaha 275 (not sure what the 26 equates to).
Don't choose the 567. Buffet is more responsive than 275 so a better player's horn. Yamaha is bomb-proof as are its residuals for onward sale.
Don't know the 769 but I believe things don't get good with Jupiter until you reach the 9xx series.

HTH.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

izcremecake

New Member
Messages
10
Not sure if you'll find them in your neck of the woods under these names, even though they are mostly made near you but you can also try any model Trevor James or Bauhaus Walstein for a good starter Sax for little money.

Hi. Thanks for the recommendations. Any idea what are the price ranges for beginner models for these brands?
 

izcremecake

New Member
Messages
10
I've never tried an Antigua, comes out of the Mauriat factory but that means little.
Had a Jupiter 567, a Buffet 100, and a Yamaha 275 (not sure what the 26 equates to).
Don't choose the 567. Buffet is more responsive than 275 so a better player's horn. Yamaha is bomb-proof as are its residuals for onward sale.
Don't know the 769 but I believe things don't get good with Jupiter until you reach the 9xx series.

HTH.

Hi. The YAS 26 is the replacement for the YAS 23 (one of the most common beginner's model that has been discontinued). And apparently, the Jupiter JAS 567 GL is an award-winning model (2004 and 2006 UK Music Industry Association best wind instrument... though I have no idea what this means)...

I've read that it's not really all about the instrument but more about the player's skills. And to each his/her own... Should I just get the most economical one for now since I'm really just beginning? I guess the main thing is to own a sax to learn and practise and eventually, I can always upgrade? Any advice is really welcomed. :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,912
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Just north of Munich
The trouble is that the cheap saxes range from close to unplayable to really reasonable pieces of kit. We don't know what you have there. In your position I'd stick to a known brand, which really means the Yamaha and Jupiters from your list. Ebay's a good place for price comparisons - just pick the closed sales. But... HK prices may differ a lot. Worth shopping around as much as you can. It's often possible to pick up something a couple of years old, that's in as new condition, for a substantial discount.

One other thing to beware of - make sure you have access to a good technician, preferably the seller. Saxes need maintenance/repairs and can become unplayable very easily. Often it's a few minutes work when you know what you're doing, but if not it can become impossible. Not sure if Kingsley knows any decent repairers in HK. Here repairers often have used saxes to sell on. Can be really good value for money.
 

DavidUK

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Near Lutterworth, Leics.
In your position I'd stick to a known brand, which really means the Yamaha and Jupiters from your list.

Yes... how silly of me to recommend Buffet. Who ever heard of them in relation to making Saxophones, eh!?
I guess Yamaha and Jupiter sax manufacture can be traced back much earlier than 1866?

:)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Yes... how silly of me to recommend Buffet. Who ever heard of them in relation to making Saxophones, eh!?
I guess Yamaha and Jupiter sax manufacture can be traced back much earlier than 1866?

:)
Buffet stopped selling saxes under their own name a long time ago. It's only recently that the brand's been revived, using Chinese sourced instruments. And who knows how well known or supported it is there?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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14,727
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Burnley bb9 9dn
You know what I'm going to write on a thread like this. Have a look at the gear4music web site. They have a gold alto on offer at the moment for £220. Mine hasn't missed a beat, gigs, busking and lots of practice. Plays in tune, reasonable action and good projection. They hold their price too. Send it back if you don't like it.

DeadAudiolink Removed

I have their tenor and sop too.
 

izcremecake

New Member
Messages
10
You know what I'm going to write on a thread like this. Have a look at the gear4music web site. They have a gold alto on offer at the moment for £220. Mine hasn't missed a beat, gigs, busking and lots of practice. Plays in tune, reasonable action and good projection. They hold their price too. Send it back if you don't like it.

DeadAudiolink Removed

I have their tenor and sop too.

I looked at the site and their alto sax complete package sounds like a good deal except... they don't deliver to Hong Kong. :(

The models I asked about are actually the ones available at one of the most established music stores in Hong Kong. I think I'll just go there, asked the salesperson for advice and then close my eyes and pick one. :D I'll report back on what the Cupid of Sax decides for me.

By the way, it's also cheaper to buy from the store in Hong Kong, probably because there's no VAT here. For example, on gear4music, the Yamaha YAS 280 (gold) is quoted at GBP844 and it's being sold at HKD8,800 (GBP714) here. :D
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
I looked at the site and their alto sax complete package sounds like a good deal except... they don't deliver to Hong Kong. :(

The models I asked about are actually the ones available at one of the most established music stores in Hong Kong. I think I'll just go there, asked the salesperson for advice and then close my eyes and pick one. :D

Wise move. Gear4music have a reputaiton for OK saxes that are sent out untested. The 'demo' saxes on ebay seem to be their returns, and there are quite a few of them. Last thing you want is the expense of returning a sax to the UK.

Before committing to buying in your store, ask them about setup, technicians - do they have someone local who's competent, will they replace if the sax is defective.... New saxes have problems as well and if there is something wrong you want it fixing quickly and properly.
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
507
Locality
Nr. Bandung, Indonesia
I looked at the site and their alto sax complete package sounds like a good deal except... they don't deliver to Hong Kong. :(

The models I asked about are actually the ones available at one of the most established music stores in Hong Kong. I think I'll just go there, asked the salesperson for advice and then close my eyes and pick one. :D I'll report back on what the Cupid of Sax decides for me.

By the way, it's also cheaper to buy from the store in Hong Kong, probably because there's no VAT here. For example, on gear4music, the Yamaha YAS 280 (gold) is quoted at GBP844 and it's being sold at HKD8,800 (GBP714) here. :D

I assume you're going to Tom Lee in Cameron Lane?

I was there a few months ago - they have very few brands - of the ones they had then, no question - go for the Yamaha.

If you had a bit more time, I could refer you to a friend who imports his own brand and teaches in Jordan. If you want to do that, pm me.
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,056
Locality
I live in Exmouth Devon.
in order of preference
1. yamaha
2. Jupiter
3 Antigua
4 Buffet

you could ask your teacher if he could recommend one or get him/her to go to the store with you and help you chose one.
good luck and let us know how you get on?
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,736
Locality
Betelgeuse
in order of preference
1. yamaha
2. Jupiter
3 Antigua
4 Buffet

you could ask your teacher if he could recommend one or get him/her to go to the store with you and help you chose one.
good luck and let us know how you get on?

I'd agree, and I'd also like to add something. Griff is a very experienced repairman, who's also been playing for a long time, which adds a lot of weight to his advice.

Personally, I've had every manner of sax over the last thirty odd years, over 70 in total. If I were in an area with limited supply and repair services I'd go for Yamaha every time. As well as being good instruments, they are the one brand you can pretty much guarantee that you can get repaired and serviced, and source parts for, anywhere.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,069
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Check out if there are any Roy Benson dealers or agents on Hong Kong. I have an AS")" alto and also just bought a soprano as well. Neither miss a beat and are good intermediate horns. Otherwise you have had good advice on previous posts - I would ask your tutor to help you source one.
 

Ads

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,314
Locality
North West UK
Are Roy Benson the same as another chinese labeled horn ? . decent student priced Sops are rare .
 

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