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Baritone Wannabe

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Damflask

Member
Messages
126
Czech it out.......
38D3CC81-4AEC-4469-A5AE-CB06C2CA0198.jpeg
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,920
Today you can buy a good used bari for less money. I helped a guy to buy a mint Conn 12 M (N prefix and serialnumberstold us that it was made in 1980 or 1981). Here around most saxplayers think all Conn saxes made after 1974 are bad. And thats good for the buyer. Low prices. But they are not bad. 10 000 s e k for a mint Conn 12 M bari !!!! In mint condition. But you should always spare money so a tech can do a service. Yesterday a Buesher Aristrocate baritone from 1962 was advertised. 7900.00 s e k for a nice bari in good playable condition. I think some older saxplayers are selling tier saxes.
 

Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
I can't expand on it much simply because I am across the Pond and am not familiar with European market. But here, a good, used Low Bb Baritone horn in serviced condition can be found pretty easily for $1500.

Talking about something like a vintage JK stencil, a King, Conn, Martin, Buescher, Holton, maybe a German Kohlert, a Pierret or a Beaugnier/Noblet/Vito horn.

If you wanted the Low A, a used B&S/Weltklang, or Couf, Dolnet, or something modern like a Jupiter or perhaps a Yani stencil (Vito, Whitehall, etc)...can be had for around $2000.

Point simply being that good, used Baritones are significantly cheaper than good, new ones. If you are open to investigate that route. If you feel modern keywork is required, then most models with modern keywork are gonna be Low A's....and you aren't likely to find a used Low A for $1500, honestly.

3000quid is a very good budget, you can certainly find something very good, new or used, for that amount. Conn-Selmer is a respectable horn, too.
Thanks for taking the time to reply JayeNM; very much appreciated.

That's all really useful information; I can keep in mind where you are based, so that isn't a problem. Some of the names you mention, I've never even heard of, but I think that may be because I've only ever looked at Altos and Tenors. It's probably a good job that I'm not able to buy immediately as it will give me time to learn what's what.

Dave
 

Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
Today you can buy a good used bari for less money. I helped a guy to buy a mint Conn 12 M (N prefix and serialnumberstold us that it was made in 1980 or 1981). Here around most saxplayers think all Conn saxes made after 1974 are bad. And thats good for the buyer. Low prices. But they are not bad. 10 000 s e k for a mint Conn 12 M bari !!!! In mint condition. But you should always spare money so a tech can do a service. Yesterday a Buesher Aristrocate baritone from 1962 was advertised. 7900.00 s e k for a nice bari in good playable condition. I think some older saxplayers are selling tier saxes.
Thanks Tomsax,

10000 sek! If I've got this right, that's Swedish Krona, which I see would be just shy of £900. Now even if it were a bit more expensive over here, which I think it probably would be, it would still be a very good price. I'm beginning to feel that this may be more manageable than I thought; it'll just be a case of knowing what I'm looking at.

Thanks again for the information; very useful.

Dave
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,987
It's knowing what you are looking at...knowing WHERE to look... and it's having an idea of your needs.

The Big 2 questions ....and they sorta merge into ONE question....are:

1) Low A or Low Bb ? Do you need the Low A note ? In what musical contexts will you be playing it ?

2) Contemporary keywork or vintage ? Does this matter to you ? Do you have any ergonomic preferences ? Have you played horns with both ?
Some people make a HUGE deal about this...to others (me, included)...well...the fingerings are all the same regardless, it's just the mechanism designs which differ, so it is an overblown subject, IMHO. I DO understand that for some people it may not be, however.

You answer those two questions (you don't have to do it NOW :rolleyes:) and determine a max budget, and your parameters are in place. The answers to both need not be yes-no, either....could be "I am open to a horn with vintage keywork IF it is the right model" or "I don't NEED the Low A but if the horn met other checklist items and it happened to be an A, I wouldn't reject it".
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,360
Here’s my experience, for what it’s worth.

My first bari was a Buescher Big-B Aristocrat. My feeling then, and now, was that it was possible to pick up a vintage bari for a lot less than a modern one, especially if it looks a bit scruffy. The Buescher sounded great, especially the low notes. However the ergonomics of a modern bari were so much easier that I switched to a Yamaha - it was much easier and more fun. The low A is nice to have if you play in a big band, but not essential.

Modern baris I tried were: Yanagisawa 901 (very good), John Packer Cadence (surprisingly close to the Yanagisawa considering the price difference), entry-level Jupiter (dull, thin tone, not in the same class as the others), Cannonball (loud, and too expensive at the time), Bauhaus-Walstein (very good, the easiest to play), Yamaha YBS-32 (the most interesting tone). I would have been happy with any of them except the Jupiter. I got a second-hand Yamaha 32. Later I found a used Yanagisawa B992, which is even nicer.

If your budget is £3000, then you should be able to pick up a used Yamaha YBS-32 in good condition. I once compared it with a 62. When played loud, neither I nor a professional player who also compared them could hear any difference, but the 62 was sweeter when played soft.

Any Yanagisawa would be very good, but they don’t seem to come up often.

If your budget is £2000 then you should be able to pick up a used John Packer Cadence (their Taiwanese model, not the cheapest one) or a Bauhaus Walstein. Either would be excellent.

And you should be able to get a vintage Conn or Buescher for less than that.

And of course there are lots of brands that I have not tried.
 
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Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
Thanks David,

Unfortunately the funds aren't available yet, and won't be for a few months, but that just gives me time to research, so that's fine.

Dave
 

Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
Here’s my experience, for what it’s worth.

My first bari was a Buescher Big-B Aristocrat. My feeling then, and now, was that it was possible to pick up a vintage bari for a lot less than a modern one, especially if it looks a bit scruffy. The Buescher sounded great, especially the low notes. However the ergonomics of a modern bari were so much easier that I switched to a Yamaha - it was much easier and more fun. The low A is nice to have if you play in a big band, but not essential.

Modern baris I tried were: Yanagisawa 901 (very good), John Packer Cadence (surprisingly close to the Yanagasawa considering the price difference), entry-level Jupiter (dull, thin tone, not in the same class as the others), Cannonball (loud, and too expensive at the time), Bauhaus-Walstein (very good, the easiest to play), Yamaha YBS-32 (the most interesting tone). I would have been happy with any of them except the Jupiter. I got a second-hand Yamaha 32. Later I found a used Yanagisawa B992, which is even nicer.

If your budget is £3000, then you should be able to pick up a used Yamaha YBS-32 in good condition. I once compared it with a 62. When played loud, neither I nor a professional player who also compared them could hear any difference, but the 62 was sweeter when played soft.

Any Yanagisawa would be very good, but they don’t seem to come up often.

If your budget is £2000 then you should be able to pick up a used John Packer Cadence (their Taiwanese model, not the cheapest one) or a Bauhaus Walstein. Either would be excellent.

And you should be able to get a vintage Conn or Buescher for less than that.

And of course there are lots of brands that I have not tried.
Thanks for this Nigel; really useful information. One of the things I think is going to be a problem is that I suspect I'm not going to be able to go along to try before I buy, due to Covid-19, which makes other people's experience, such as yours above, 10x more useful than it would have been in the first place.

Dave
 
Messages
223
Good luck for your new adventure! The baritone is absolutely fantastic to play, it is truly fascinating and for me it has the most beautiful parts in big band. Sometimes it doubles the alto one octave lower, sometimes it goes with the trombones, it is a chameleon! I used to play tenor since many years. One day a band hired me to play on their record and the want the baritone on some of their songs. So I borrowed a bari from a friend of mine and went to the studio. I was schocked by the baritone!!!! I became mainly a baritone player since that day!
 

Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
Good luck for your new adventure! The baritone is absolutely fantastic to play, it is truly fascinating and for me it has the most beautiful parts in big band. Sometimes it doubles the alto one octave lower, sometimes it goes with the trombones, it is a chameleon! I used to play tenor since many years. One day a band hired me to play on their record and the want the baritone on some of their songs. So I borrowed a bari from a friend of mine and went to the studio. I was schocked by the baritone!!!! I became mainly a baritone player since that day!
Thanks Fabrizio,

I'll look forward to the day when I actually get one and can start playing; but will be a few months yet I think.

Dave
 

saxyjt

Saxus Circus Maximus
Subscriber
Messages
4,295
Way to go Dave! Welcome to the café and good luck for your search.

I'm lucky to have been able to purchase a YBS-32 a few years back. Unfortunately I don't find the time to play it as much as I'd like. I have all four and try to play them, but it's a tall order when you're still working... And not everyone on the household supports your efforts. :rolleyes:

Take care and let us know how you're doing.

There are a lot of fantastic people here to help you achieve your goal. Don't give up!
 

Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
Way to go Dave! Welcome to the café and good luck for your search.

I'm lucky to have been able to purchase a YBS-32 a few years back. Unfortunately I don't find the time to play it as much as I'd like. I have all four and try to play them, but it's a tall order when you're still working... And not everyone on the household supports your efforts. :rolleyes:

Take care and let us know how you're doing.

There are a lot of fantastic people here to help you achieve your goal. Don't give up!
Thanks.

I know what you mean about juggling time with work and family commitments; it's certainly part of the reason (but only part) why I've never managed to get far with playing anything properly. I'm hoping that now I'm retired I'll stand more chance - I'll certainly have fewer excuses :)
 

Wonko

Member
Messages
398
Sometimes you just have to be patient, or lucky, or both......
My main horn is a tenor, but I've been wanting to expand to the lower end of the spectrum for quite some time.
At first I was thinking that I would go for a bass-sax at some time in the future. But the feedback I got from some sources convinced me that the bari might be a more feasible route and more suited to melodic music than the bass.
So I made up my mind that I would go for a Bari when I got the funds ......
During last winter I sold some stuff that we were no longer using and we put the money aside to buy musical instruments. Last February there was a very interesting offer on this site. A Stephanhouser bari (low A black nickel finish) with all the accessories one would need, for a mere £1500. I had to drive up to Aberdeen to get it though. Since a trip to Scotland was on our wish-list anyway, we made it into a week in Scotland, loved it.
And now I have a nice bari sax as a supplement to my tenor. Quite a beast to play, but fun!
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,987
A Stephanhouser bari (low A black nickel finish) with all the accessories one would need, for a mere £1500. I had to drive up to Aberdeen to get it though. Since a trip to Scotland was on our wish-list anyway, we made it into a week in Scotland, loved it.
And now I have a nice bari sax as a supplement to my tenor. Quite a beast to play, but fun!
Wow, that's a cool find ! Stepanhousers are good horns (drive techs a bit crazy because they don't have conventional pivot screws, but they were really well-made horns), and a Baritone ? You hardly ever see a Step baritone....
 

Wonko

Member
Messages
398
You hardly ever see a Step baritone....
I see one just about every day.
:cool:
Nice to read that you value the brand. I only ever heard about it on this forum.
I'm very pleased with it, still have to learn how to play it in a decent way though. That will take me a while since I plan to focus on my tenor for the next 6 years. The Bari is for when I feel like something differen, or during the holiday periods ......
Just after I bought it, the Bari player of the big band that I was part of tried it out and he was impressed. He said it played better than his old Weltklang.
From what I read on-line, I gather that Stephanhouser only used those special screws on their alto's. My tech certainly didn't complain when I picked it up from his overhaul.
 

h4yn0nnym0u5e

Member
Subscriber
Messages
313
+1 for the patience and luck. I started my bari journey in 2009 with a Gear4music one via eBay with a claimed “stuffy middle G”, which research suggested was not unusual in a bari. So I risked about half the list price, dug some excess hot melt glue out of its top joint, and was merrily on my way. But I hankered after a Yamaha, so when a very well-priced one came up a couple of years later in the Yard Sale I just had to go for it. The G4M was sold for more than I originally paid. Then when #2 son was off to uni, he wanted a not-too-precious bari. Last year a Sakkusu one came up on eBay, realistically described (“if you want a high quality baritone sax this is not it”) and priced, given that work was likely to be needed. I was even lucky enough to engage the attention of our very own Steve Howard to do the work, along with a review. So we ended up with a usable recently serviced bari for about half the new price.

So - good luck with your search!
 

Dave Hep

New Member
Messages
25
Sometimes you just have to be patient, or lucky, or both......
My main horn is a tenor, but I've been wanting to expand to the lower end of the spectrum for quite some time.
At first I was thinking that I would go for a bass-sax at some time in the future. But the feedback I got from some sources convinced me that the bari might be a more feasible route and more suited to melodic music than the bass.
So I made up my mind that I would go for a Bari when I got the funds ......
During last winter I sold some stuff that we were no longer using and we put the money aside to buy musical instruments. Last February there was a very interesting offer on this site. A Stephanhouser bari (low A black nickel finish) with all the accessories one would need, for a mere £1500. I had to drive up to Aberdeen to get it though. Since a trip to Scotland was on our wish-list anyway, we made it into a week in Scotland, loved it.
And now I have a nice bari sax as a supplement to my tenor. Quite a beast to play, but fun!
Well the patience is enforeced (no funds) and I'l have to trust that luck is on my side at the right time.

Dave
 
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