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Saxophones Beginners needs advice please about buying a good Sax .....

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I can second the recommendation of Headwind in Bristol. They also usually have nice secondhand saxes. But it would be worth calling them before turning up, in order to hear what they have got in stock.
 

saxofiend

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Well, if you want a really good instrument, shopping the bottom of the barrel el cheapos from East Asia is not the most direct path.

Whatever a jp as400 is, why don't you have it gone through by a good technician first?

And the idea that vintage American horns "play out of tune" is simply laughable. Have you ever talked to anyone who has any experience playing one of these? (I have been playing old Conns since 1978; I do have a wee little bit of experience...)

Your chance of getting a "pro" sax for 100 pounds is as near zero as makes no difference. Your best bet for finding a low cost saxophone that can be used for professional service (that's what I'd consider a "pro sax" would be either one of the less-popular variants of a classic American (King Cleveland, late model Conn Director, Buescher just post-Selmer buyout, etc.), or the Yamaha 21 series; and ugly - ugly horns sell for less but ugliness doesn't affect playing.
Jean paul alto sax 400....intermediate sax
 

saxofiend

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Jean paul alto sax 400....intermediate sax
Jean paul alto sax 400....intermediate sax
I read in here or another sax web chat that vintage horns CAN get out of tune OVER TIME .And that experienced players can adjust fir this when playing .i will never be that good , i am sure u are .no worrys , i guess bettersax.com do not know about saxes either !
 

saxofiend

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A BEGINNER having less knowledge than u who has read from experts talking about probs that MAY occur with vintage saxes OVER TIME .........is NOT laughable at all .It is sad that ppl forget where they STARTED on their sax journeys and feel the need to castigate NEWBIES etc...no worrys mate .
 

Jimmymack

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Vintage horns don’t get out of tune over time any more than modern horns do. Vintage horns may be less even across the horn but the saxophone isn’t a well tempered instrument and you need to play the thing in tune, it won’t do it for you as a piano will.

As you play more your ear gets better and you do it naturally and automatically, at least that’s the principle. I have a couple of vintage horns and a fairly modern Keilwerth. The vintage horns play close enough but I need to play many of the notes in tune, adjusting where needed. The Keilwerth on the other hand more or less hits the notes dead centre. I don’t know for other modern horns but I expect they are closer to being ‘in tune’. I prefer the older horns, I’m not interested in playing every note pitch perfect at the expense of flexibility and expressive possibilities, but others will differ. The sound coming out of a saxophone isn’t a sine wave, it’s a mix of all sorts. Tuning can be improved by adjusting key heights but you have to live with the fact that you need to play it in tune.
 

turf3

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I read in here or another sax web chat that vintage horns CAN get out of tune OVER TIME ...
Not unless the tone holes migrate up and down the tube.

Remember, it's the internet, anyone can post any nonsense they want. Neither vintage nor new saxophones "go out of tune over time". Vintage saxophones generally play as well in tune as new ones. There are a few exceptions.
 

saxofiend

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Vintage horns don’t get out of tune over time any more than modern horns do. Vintage horns may be less even across the horn but the saxophone isn’t a well tempered instrument and you need to play the thing in tune, it won’t do it for you as a piano will.

As you play more your ear gets better and you do it naturally and automatically, at least that’s the principle. I have a couple of vintage horns and a fairly modern Keilwerth. The vintage horns play close enough but I need to play many of the notes in tune, adjusting where needed. The Keilwerth on the other hand more or less hits the notes dead centre. I don’t know for other modern horns but I expect they are closer to being ‘in tune’. I prefer the older horns, I’m not interested in playing every note pitch perfect at the expense of flexibility and expressive possibilities, but others will differ. The sound coming out of a saxophone isn’t a sine wave, it’s a mix of all sorts. Tuning can be improved by adjusting key heights but you have to live with the fact that you need to play it in tune.
This for the detailed explanation , I appreciate it .Explaining is alot more helpful than using words like ‘ laughable ‘ .kind wishes .
 

Stephen Howard

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Not unless the tone holes migrate up and down the tube.

Remember, it's the internet, anyone can post any nonsense they want. Neither vintage nor new saxophones "go out of tune over time". Vintage saxophones generally play as well in tune as new ones. There are a few exceptions.
I wonder if 'go out of tune' was a reference to going out of regulation (in the same way that an engine might go out of tune). Still wrong...or at least wrong when aimed specifically at vintage horns.
 

saxofiend

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Not unless the tone holes migrate up and down the tube.

Remember, it's the internet, anyone can post any nonsense they want. Neither vintage nor new saxophones "go out of tune over time". Vintage saxophones generally play as well in tune as new ones. There are a few exceptions.
I wonder if 'go out of tune' was a reference to going out of regulation (in the same way that an engine might go out of tune). Still wrong...or at least wrong when aimed specifically at vintage horns.
It meant intonation problems ...the internet nonsense refeered to by turf3 was from Pete Thomas ( tamingthesaxophone.com ) google and type...are vintage saxes better than modern ones ? Paragraph 3 ....they rarely have the consistency of tone that u get with a modern instrument ....Anyway , life is short and my bank balance is small ....that is why a greater guarantee of intonation is better for me .........
 

saxofiend

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Kind wishes to all includ
I wonder if 'go out of tune' was a reference to going out of regulation (in the same way that an engine might go out of tune). Still wrong...or at least wrong when aimed specifically at vintage horns.
out of tune meant intonation probs etc...as said by Pete Thomas ( taming the saxophone.com ) pls see reply above
 

saxofiend

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Not unless the tone holes migrate up and down the tube.

Remember, it's the internet, anyone can post any nonsense they want. Neither vintage nor new saxophones "go out of tune over time". Vintage saxophones generally play as well in tune as new ones. There are a few exceptions.
The nonsense u refer to was said by Pete Thomas ( tamingthesaxophone.com ) google ..are vintage saxes better than modern ones ? Para 3 ..they rarely have the consistency of tone that u get with modern instruments .....kind wishes
 

saxofiend

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I look forward to owning a pro Yanagisawa Alto by Xmas hopefully! Kind wishes to all .
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I don't think that individual saxophones, vintage or modern, progress from being in-tune to out-of-tune over time, unless something goes badly wrong with the regulation, but I do think that Yamaha and Yanagisawa saxophones, for example are relatively easy to play in tune, whereas a vintage instrument may require more work from the player to deal with problem notes.

There is an ongoing and endless debate on this forum and others about whether modern instruments are easier to play than vintage ones. This sometimes provokes angry responses from vintage horn lovers who say that it is nonsense to claim that vintage horns are harder to play and that Charlie Parker and friends played on vintage horns, so anyone can. My response is that I don't have Charlie Parker's skill level, and I have moved from vintage horns to modern ones precisely because I have found the modern ones easier to play. Of course other people may have a different experience, but that doesn't mean that their experience is shared by everyone.
 
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nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I look forward to owning a pro Yanagisawa Alto by Xmas hopefully! Kind wishes to all .
A good choice. In my experience Yanagisawa owners are happy folk.

But you shouldn't assume that a Yanagisawa is best for you without trying some others. It's a strange thing how one saxophone will "fit" the individual player and another one doesn't. When I was looking for a soprano, the two Yanagisawas I tried didn't do anything for me, to my great surprise. But my Yani baritone is king!
 

turf3

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The nonsense u refer to was said by Pete Thomas ( tamingthesaxophone.com ) google ..are vintage saxes better than modern ones ? Para 3 ..they rarely have the consistency of tone that u get with modern instruments .....kind wishes
"Consistency of tone" means that each note has very similar tonal qualities to the ones next to it. What Pete wrote is true, vintage saxophones may have certain notes that sound more muffled or brighter (in a small degree). That does not change with time, nor does it have anything to do with playing in tune (at the correct pitch). Most of these minor anomalies can be adjusted out of the horn with a little attention from a technician.
 

Stephen Howard

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Kind wishes to all includ

out of tune meant intonation probs etc...as said by Pete Thomas ( taming the saxophone.com ) pls see reply above

I think perhaps there's been a misunderstanding over the terminology?
I'm certain Pete wouldn't suggest that horns, vintage or otherwise, go out of tune over time.
 

saxofiend

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"Consistency of tone" means that each note has very similar tonal qualities to the ones next to it. What Pete wrote is true, vintage saxophones may have certain notes that sound more muffled or brighter (in a small degree). That does not change with time, nor does it have anything to do with playing in tune (at the correct pitch). Most of these minor anomalies can be adjusted out of the horn with a little attention from a technician.
Thk u for explaining it to a beginner like me .kind wishes
 

saxofiend

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I think perhaps there's been a misunderstanding over the terminology?
I'm certain Pete wouldn't suggest that horns, vintage or otherwise, go out of tune over time.
Thats a defo misunderstanding by me the biggest beginner in the universe !kind wishes .
 

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