Saxophones Baritone saxophone advise required please


Well-Known Member
Chipping Campden
I have been playing for about 3 years (alto and tenor), my son has just started to learn saxophone, he is 16 and already passed Grade 8 on Guitar, Bass and Drums so is picking it up very quickly.
He desperately wants to play baritone!
My question is what should we get? I know that the Gear 4 Music has a good review for the price, but would we be better getting a decent second hand one?
We dont really want to spend more than £1500 but realise that we may have to!
He has had a go on a vintage very hard to play one and is still very keen!
Thank you for any advice you xan give.
Jo :)
Vintage ones come up from time to time on Ebay from £500 to £1000. Not many Low A ones. They seem to be mostly low Bb. I do like my 1980's Weltklang even though it's a bit of an old clunker and they seem have a following. Plenty of Umph! One went in alledged playable condition for £1k recently.

You might be better picking it up if you go the Ebay route. Lord knows what might happen in transit.

I've blown a BW which was very pretty and had very nice lively feel to the action.

I'm a fan of G4M. The return policy is there if you decide you don't like it. I believe @BigMartin likes his G4M

Don't forget that the mouthpiece will cost quite a bit and needs careful choosing to match instrument and player and reeds run £5 to £7 each.

It warms my heart to hear of a youngster keen on Baritone.
I'm a fan of G4M. The return policy is there if you decide you don't like it. I believe @BigMartin likes his G4M
It's the only bari I've played so I don't know how it lines up against anything else. I expect some more expensive horns would have smoother actions, but for the price I paid I'm happy. Bought it second hand 30 months ago. Had a service done, and since then it's been no trouble.
I don't blame him for wanting a bari after all they are the most beautiful sounding of all the horns. If you can stretch your budget a wee bit, you could be in the market for a used Mauriat. They are superb horns in my opinion (I've never played another bari so to be honest I'm not much of a judge) the sound and feel of them just does it for me! Good luck with the hunt and listen to plenty of Gerry Mulligan and Ronnie Cubber. My two favourite players
As he's clearly musically talented, as long as he's a big lad then good luck to him. You should get something pretty good for £1500 if you keep your eyes peeled. As it happens, Woodwind and Brass have a BW one in their Bargain Basement for that very price. I had one of those for a while, and it was very good. You WILL need a new mouthpiece, though, the BW one is awful, but they play really well with a Rico Metalite, which only costs £30 or so. Otherwise, there's Thomann one on ebay at the moment for not much money. Budget a few quid for a set up and that could be a good option. Others crop up from time to time - I got a Kholert Pennsylvania Special for £450, and sold the vintage mouthpiece it came with for £130. It didn't have a case, which set me back about a hundred used, but it was a bargain. It could do with a service, but for that money I was very happy.
also this might be worth a look

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If you get a G4M Jo , I`d suggest getting them to send it to Stephen Howard instead of you so he can set it up / see if its fit for duty / fix it / etc before you even see it .. Baris are more likely to land on your doorstep in an unplayable state than any other normal sax especially from box shifters like G4M so having it arrive via SH is well worth the minimal outlay - if its a total duffer he can get them to exchange it

The Hanson one will be Chinese too (maybe even the same horn but with Hansons guarantee) but will have their sterling backup and is likely to arrive working .. the price looks good .
Thank you so much for your replies, I have emailed about the Bauhaus to get more info and I will have a search around the internet to see what else I can find!
Pete recommends the Bauhaus Bari. to be honest, I`d get that sent via Stephen howard too if you get it , in fact, he may still do servicing for them so you could probably request it from WW&B ......
In where i live a complete overhaul of a bari costs about 500 pounds. If i were you i would buy an older Bb one in so n so comdition -what people call playable- to make sure i like the keywork and its weight, overhaul it and let my son bring it back to life. Some selmer bundys and martins, jk stencils, weltklang, kohlert etc...can be found for cheap and do the job nice. Some conn 12s also are cheap -but you need to be careful-

In baris keywork is really really important. Some are just too difficult to play.

I played a g4m and even though it seemed nice being an A was too heavy for me.
I played a taishan as well was good for about this amount of money. This is chinese as well.....

+1 for rico metalites on baris :)

Arghh i cant wait for the time my beaugnier bari arrives.....
My experience of G4M is such that I'd say take a very close look before buying. I know there are fans here, but...

I'd be wary about a low Bb, sooner or later he'll want the low A and then you'll have to pay again. Having said that I really like my old low Bb and don't miss the low A.

Point about mouthpieces is a good one. Some guys love the metallites and they play well. It's a lot more expensive, but Pete's PPTs are streets ahead of the metallites. Maybe the Power version. Lots of control, but pushes better, which may work better for gigging. Might be a bit much for a beginner, but I don't think so.

Hope your neighbours are tolerant...
Hope your neighbours are tolerant...

They have to be! Actually they are both elderly either side of us and we are detached. We haven't had any complaints so far and I have been playing saxophone and Ben has played drums for 7 years and electric guitar for 3 and also had band practises here!
I think we are very lucky!
Pete recommends the Bauhaus Bari. to be honest, I`d get that sent via Stephen howard too if you get it , in fact, he may still do servicing for them so you could probably request it from WW&B ......
Good idea, give them a call.
I know G4M baris have been mentioned, and I think they are from the same stable, but I had a John Packer bari which was also pretty good.
I did notice a significant difference when I bought the Yamaha 62, but I would have been well miffed if I hadn't!
My JP cost me £800 secondhand off PreLoved, and it had only been played a handful of times.
As others have said, you may need to invest in a mouthpiece, but as with all saxes, that's a personal choice thing.
I find my Selmer S80 D very easy to play, and it suits what I play, but it's not cheap either.
Hope he enjoys his bari whatever you decide.
Sometimes things are just meant to be!
Sounds perfect John, I will message you :)
I guess a young bariplayer should have modern low A bari. Perhaps a bari with good ergonomics is more important than sound/tone? And to get use to harness as well.
Low A is a a necessity if he is playing in an ambitious school band. Many arrangements demand a low A (if the arrangement is not for complete newbies).
Also you should check the horns with an experienced baritonplayer, otherwise you will not know how good the instrument really is. A bad bariton with bad intonation is awful in any school big band. Also watch out for one which is good regarding mechanics (ask Stephen Howard). Too weak mechanics or mechanics with bad drill holes really can mean trouble after a short time.
Also get a good harness (or the freeneck) or try one of the Saxrax stands that enable to play while standing or seating (you need one for each) without all the weight hanging on the body (which can be pretty heavy for young players). Make sure that he is strong and big enough to play it (you need more air than on the other ones). Also a stand generally is a must have.
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