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Alto Advice please

Lelly

Scarily Tall!!!!
Messages
167
Right, I know I am going to get as many opoinions as there are replies but.......

I have been playing a borrowed alto sax for a few weeeks for a local theatre group and I have decided it is worth buying one for myself (as I have the chance to dep with a local dance band).

But what do I go for? I have a Yam soprane that i love. The loaner was a YS 62 and I am not impressed . the lower notes (E and lower) sound a bit "woofly" and it is damned heavy (having to play sans sling).

Opinions?

What is the Bauhaus A-M2-DL Pro like?
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
The YS 62 is supposed to be one of the best Alto's on the market. You didn't say how much you want to spend or what level you are at, so I would suggest going to your nearest shop, have a chat and try some out. If you can easily make the journey to one of the big Sax shops, like sax.co.uk, that would probably be your best bet as they have a large selection of saxes and mouthpieces for you to try and will provide lots of good expert advice.
 
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
The YS62 has a good rep, so I'd reserve judgement as it might have a leak or similar. Also, you're going to need a sling for an alto, whatever the make...
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
You're playing an alto without a sling? That's a bit racey.

Anyway, the 62 is a great sax, so it sounds like you've got a leak somewhere. Yamaha have got fab production standards. My YAS 62 weighs as much as any other decent alto.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,079
I suppose if you're considering the Bauhaus A-M2-DL Pro with a retail of £1800 on amazon you have a good range of instruments in that price bracket.

The YA62 has a very good reputation and retails around the same price new. The mouthpiece wiill make a huge difference but any "wooflyness" down low may be down to poor adjustment or wear and tear on the pads. I don't like the key set up myself but that's a personal thing.

If you're going to spend that amount of money you really need to try it.

I can't see how you're going to manage for long without a sling. Not and stay away from the osteopath.

Good hunting
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,077
I've been playing a YAS-62 'purple logo' for 26 years - no problem. A tech. I used a few years ago who was a Mark VI man thought my alto was fantastic. Is it the Mark I or Mark II version? Sounds like it needs a tech. to set it up perhaps or sort out some issues. I wouldn't play any sax without strap:shocked: - maybe a sopranino...;}

The old advice still stands - try as many horns as possible - what may work for me may not work for you.

I'm pretty sure Pete uses a Bauhaus M2 on his latest album and I'm pretty sure Rhys has one. Nice looking horns...

Cheers,

Greg S.
 
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dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
It's not just about the horn. Having never got on with altos, on a whim I bought a cheapo eBay John Packer student alto just to have a noodle with, then found songs I needed it for in the band, but it was dull and unreponsive until I took it to that nice Mr Jools who suggested a lovely Jody Jazz HR mp (cost as much as I paid for the sax!) which suddenly makes it a joy to play. You don't have to splash out on fancy brands until you are ready to - but I do understand the temptation......
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,077
It's not just about the horn. Having never got on with altos, on a whim I bought a cheapo eBay John Packer student alto just to have a noodle with, then found songs I needed it for in the band, but it was dull and unreponsive until I took it to that nice Mr Jools who suggested a lovely Jody Jazz HR mp (cost as much as I paid for the sax!) which suddenly makes it a joy to play. You don't have to splash out on fancy brands until you are ready to - but I do understand the temptation......
Good idea Bill - another horn to consider as a cheaper option are these new Jericho altos which are based on the 62 series alto - Pete Thomas has played one and Steve Howard has a very positive review and Pete Effamy is endorsing them and acting has a consultant to SMS Academy Musical Instruments the company that sells these saxes.

Regards,

Greg S.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
You really can't come to any sort of a conclusion about an alto if you're playing it without a sling. The sling is to support the weight, if you're using your hnads to hold the weight of the thing they can't also play it properly. If you haven't got one, buy one or improvise with a dog lead or something. Just make sure whatever you use is strong enough. (For years I used a snake belt as a sling).

About the weight, all altos weigh about the same - about 3kg, plus or minus 15% or so. All the Yamaha alto saxes I've played have been great (I've had a few and just bought another). However, these days the market is awash with decent afordable saxes. The only thing to bear in mind in addition to the sensible comments above is that well established brands hold their value better. This is only really important if you think you might sell on whatever you buy in the next few years. If you buy a Yamaha YAS25 in good nick now for £400 and keep it in good order, it'll be worth pretty much the same in five years time. The same can't be said for a new-to-the-market brand.

Brands? Personal preference. I've had 23 altos over the years, including four Yamahas, vintage Conns, Bueschers, Bauhaus Walstein, 1950s Martin, modern Taiwanese, ultra cheap Chinese, various European models and so on. The one I come back to time after time, which stands above all the others by a large margin, and which I'll never sell is my Yanagisawa A6.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I agree with all the above. But my favourite is my Kohlert... I can't get on with these new ones. But I'm odd by most people's definitions..
 

Lelly

Scarily Tall!!!!
Messages
167
Well, it does seem that the YAS 62 gets the vote and I can find one in the right price range.

The "no sling" is not by choice. As i am doubling for the show i am in it is not physically possible to change from clarinet to sax or vice versa AND unhook in a 2 bar break so i just have to manage.

I will be having a nice sling when the time comes.

I rechecked the loaner instrument and it was a YAS 275 so maybe that has somethign to do with it - i do think it has a leaky pad as when i play the lower notes i can hear/feel some air leaking. the leak is not at the bottom (I closed the keys and looked for light shining through) but I do wonder about the top end. But as it is not mine I don't care. 3 more shows to go!! I have really enjoyed playing something with the real sax sound - the sop can be a bit like a brittle clarinet in tone.

I will prob go and see Richard at saxhire. I got my sop from him and he does decent prices with a lesson (if you need it) plus a couple of freebies (stand/music stand/sling/book etc).
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
The "no sling" is not by choice. As i am doubling for the show i am in it is not physically possible to change from clarinet to sax or vice versa AND unhook in a 2 bar break so i just have to manage.



I will prob go and see Richard at saxhire. I got my sop from him and he does decent prices with a lesson (if you need it) plus a couple of freebies (stand/music stand/sling/book etc).
I've done the alto/clari doubling thing. My method was not to unhook, but leave the alto dangling round my neck while I played the clari, and leave a stand with a clari peg on a handy cab, so I have something to quickly drop the misery stick onto when I'm playing the sax. If Dick Parry can manage an alto to bari flip (check him doing it on youtube, it's amazing) I reckon I can do alto to clari.

Richard at saxhire is a really good guy. He'll see you right.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
The "no sling" is not by choice. As i am doubling for the show i am in it is not physically possible to change from clarinet to sax or vice versa AND unhook in a 2 bar break so i just have to manage.
Don't be such a whimp woman (just kidding :w00t: ;} >:)) Check out this video at 9 minutes. :w00t:

 
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Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,079
Man that's some flip. Pity there's no slo mo. I always wondered why I couldn't play the second part on Bari.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Don't be such a whimp woman (just kidding :w00t: ;} >:)) Check out this video at 9 minutes. :w00t:

Shameless self promotion from Taz there.... >:)


Much preferred the tenor part - I could see the singer better ;}
 

Lelly

Scarily Tall!!!!
Messages
167
I will refrain from a sarky response. But will just say this girlie aint no wimp. 6ft 3" and built to last I'll have ya. The sling thing is irritating but as it is a loaner horn with a sling length suitable for a shorter person, if i were to "leave it dangling" so to speak it would hang like a medallion and not get close to my knees!

Last nite of the show (sniff). been great fun. next one is Sound of Music......... (can you hear the agonised screams?)
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,079
Very tempted to post
"Buy a sling Tight wad"


But I shall restrain myself to... If you're going to get your own alto a good sling will be a sensible investment for you.
 
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