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Saxophones Bronze or Brass Bauhaus?

Scribbler

New Member
Messages
6
Hi! I'm new to the saxophone, though I'm hoping to get one in the near future and revive a musical interest that goes a long way back...

Apologies if this question has already been covered - I did look, but couldn't find a dedicated debate on the topic... Partially due to opinions on this forum, I have kind of settled on a Bauhaus Walstein as my first instrument (in favour of a Trevor James horn) but am a little torn over whether it is worth the extra outlay (£200+) to get a bronze version instead of a brass one...

I intend to try/hold/hear both, and know that it may be a question of aesthetics, though some consider that they have differing tones or sound qualities, and slightly different weights, but are these the only differences? I hope to pursue my interest in playing, and want to get an instrument that will serve this interest, and not be obsolete or unusable in a few years, and I am drawn to the bronze horn because it is a little bit different, but I wonder whether getting the cheaper model would perhaps be more sensible? After all, any saxophone is a pretty damn sexy thing, right? :)

Any opinions would be welcome, and apologies again if I'm going over old ground - I get the impression however that a lot of comments on the BWs are from a few years back, when the brass version wasn't available... (?)


Thanks in advance!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Scribbler!

BW are really good saxes - best under £1000 for my money. I have two Bronze sopranos, which have a lovely sound. I have not tried a brass BW, but think that Pete Thomas would say that there is no obvious sound difference. Prices do vary around the country - where are you based, and which sax are you looking into? I think that the Bronze is a lovely looking instrument, preferable IMHO to a plain brass - used to have one, which was a little dull looking (a Yanagisawa), and prefer my unlacquered or antique matt horns, along with the bronze.

I can remember first joining SOTW and some of the members seem to spend most of their time castigating new members for not endlessly doing searches rather than asking a straight question. Put me right off. I would say that Cafe Sax members are a very friendly bunch and generally treat others with warmth and respect.

Just make sure that you use a decent mouthpiece if you are testing them. Regarding suitable beginner mouthpieces I would recommend the Bari Esprit II for alto, along with a Runyon 22, Yamaha 4C, Windcraft Etude, Rico B3, and Fobes Debut for both tenor and alto.

Kind regards
Tom
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I like the look of the bronze ones (got a couple of them) but am not convinced it offers anything more than a nice look. Far more important are the pads. Earlier BWs had cheap pads which are ridiculously sticky, and are a serious compromise to the quality of the instrument. Make sure whatever you buy has the later better quality pads, or you'll be forever freeing up the G# and octave keys.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Oh, and TomMapfumo is right about the need for a devcent mouthpiece - BW mouthpieces are appalling - fit for the bin. (As are the mouthpieces often supplied with saxes, even some expensive ones). The ones he mentions are fine, although I'd be inclined to go for a bit bigger than a 4c even for a complete beginner.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
but am a little torn over whether it is worth the extra outlay (£200+) to get a bronze version instead of a brass one..
I wonder if you might be comparing the basic model with the Improved Action models for this price differential? I think that the bronze versions are about £100 more expensive than the brass. I haven't tried the brass ones, but can certainly vouch for the phosphor-bronze looking and sounding superb! Not much help, I know:w00t:!

I can't remember if you're looking at alto or tenor? There is currently an alto (AS-PD, the improved action) on ebay with a start price of £250.......... (no personal interest-had just come onto my radar!)

Cheers,

Amanda
 

Scribbler

New Member
Messages
6
Thanks to you all for your feedback - My local woodwind shop (I'm in the East Midlands) has been really helpful so far, and have given me a brief lesson in playing the saxophone to make sure it was for me. I used to sing, so have the breathing control down pat, and managed to get quite a decent, measured sound out first time, though I say so myself... Just a case of working out everything else. But I can breathe! :p

I think the BWs they stock are both the original models, without the improved action, but there is a difference of over £200, (for the alto) which doesn't seem in line with other retailers, so I will check this when I go back, and perhaps explore other options if necessary...

They shared the view on mouthpieces as expressed here - it seems this is par for the course across the board, but they package together the saxophone along with an upgraded mouthpiece and everything else I might need, so this might account for some of the price difference too.

I realise I could very probably get a better deal online or through ebay, but knowing absolutely nothing about the mechanics of the instrument, and given that I'm perhaps a bit of a traditionalist, I'm probably going to go down the local retailer route, for my first foray at least - there is always a contact then in case things go wrong, and they also do a buy back scheme, should I lose interest. Not at all likely, but nice to know it's there!

It's good to hear from people who own or have played one of the bronze BWs - I think my heart is going to win over my wallet on that one if I'm honest - as Tom says, it is a lovely looking instrument, and is just lifted by the slightly different finish, in my eyes at least... :) I am encouraged by the good things I have read on here about the brand, so thanks to all for their input!
 

breathless

Member
Messages
270
Hi scribbler, thought I'd reply from another beginners point of view (may or may not be helpful).
1st I have to say they are a wonderfully knowledgeable helpful bunch round these parts, Tom and many others have answered many of my questions and never once have it revived a "do a search".

That aside ive just been threw what you are now doing. I've wanted to learn to play sax most of my life and a short while,etc ago life presented itself in a way that was going to allow this to happen, long cut short- I did loads of research and ended up visiting the wonderful guys at sax.could.UK a basic lesson ensued and 3 hours and 3 saxes latter is made my choice and left with a shiny new Yanagisawa T901, (polished brass), the other contenders were the Yamaha yts62 and the BW pro in silver plated with brass keyword.
The yam and the Yanagisawa were neck and neck but the BW felt alien after playing the other 2, but you have to consider prior to that morning going I'd never even held a saxophone.

Probably doesn't help much but I would say for sure, try before you buy, the guys at sax.co would have been only to happy to let me stay there all day had I wished.

So Lee.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
I don't know what led you to BW, not that I would criticise that choice as the owner of a well-travelled bronze BW straight sop, but John Packer are well worth looking at, IMHO every bit as good as the lower end of the BW range, and also have lots of ex-demo stuff available at a discount. For what it's worth, my BW sop plays beautifully with Pete Thomas's own-brand mouthpiece, but that may be a bit much for a beginner.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
my only BW is a bronze curved soprano one, I made this choice basing it only on looks, I am one who doesn’t believe in the influence on sound of materials. While I made a conscious choice for the Ai version.

If you have the cash treat yourself to a Action Improved model, you won’t regret it.

There are other similar saxophone which may (or may not) come from the same factory where the BW come from But the advantages of the AI kit and BW specs are worth, in my opinion, the extra money.
 
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