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Saxophones Cheap Sax before getting something better

Janosax

Member
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336
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France
Hello,

I ringed the doorbell yesterday here :Janosax- it's a comeback!!

In the past, I played a Yani T880, and now I rent a Yamaha T275 since june. Time to buy something and stop lost money in renting this sax.

I beleive I still need to practice a few months or even a year to find again good skills after the big 7 years break, for truly appreciating the saxes I'll try and choose to buy. The offer is so large, I want to take my time.

So I plan to buy a Gear4music tenor, as Jericho seems to have closed business for some time.
Is it worth it? How does it compare to a Yamaha?

Saxophone Ténor par Gear4music, Or à Gear4Music.com

I think it's a good way to go, always good to have a backup horn too when I'll buy something better later.

Plus I use Magilanck sponge mute, and buyed Saxmute One (still waiting for final release), and I often if not everyday playing sax outsides in open fields. So a 300 £ sax is good enough and will take some abuse I suppose.

Saxmute ONE saxophone mute | Facebook

Last thing is I have good sax maintenance skills, so adjusting and regulating will not be such of an issue I already done it even on my cheap chinese flute, and even buyed Stephen Howard Manual book, just received it yesterday, an amazing product, as changing pads/fixing leaks was the thing that was technically missing me.

Summup: I wish to buy a cheap sax now and still plan to buy a more professional horn later.

So, is it a good approch? Or this kind of cheap sax will sound cheap too and will be a lost?

Thanks for answers.
 
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Jeanette

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@Colin the Bear thinks highly of gear 4 music as value for money horns. If you search the cafe you will find a few threads mentioning them :)

Jx
 

BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
Sounds like a reasonable plan to me, especially as you're not going to worry about losing money on reselling it. I know a very good pro player who bought a Gear4Music tenor which he uses for playing in pit orchestras so he can leave it at the theatre. i have one of their Rosedale tenors which I'm happy with athough I now have a more expensive horn (a Hanson) which I prefer. Played on the G4M recently while the Hanson was being serviced and was still happy with it.
 
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U CAN CALL ME AL

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Undy Monmouthshire U.K.
Hi @Janosax here is copy of the review I wrote on th G4M website
"As an experienced player the Tenor saxophone was bought as a back up and to reduce practice wear and tear on my vintage Conn. It played straight out of the box it needed only minor adjustments to make it more than acceptable. It represents good value for money and I will use it busking and on those 'risky' gigs. The intonation is good controllable the finish had a few very minor blemishes which considering the price paid were more than acceptable. The sax arrived within 24 hours of purchase, which was a bonus, by tracked delivery. My only reservation is the case does not provide adequate protection but is fine for storage or safe transportation in a car, this is not an issue for me as I have an alternative."

The minor adjustments were straightening of the low Eb keyguard which was damaged and bent in transit, the rollers were tight and needed reducing. There were a few minor burs visible on a couple tone holes they were removed without disassembly by simply careful use of a rubber wheel in a needle holder. In the 6 months or so it has been in use daily, after an initial bedding in of the pads requiring only minor screw regulation and replacement of a single cork on low C# it has been trouble free. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another, shows little sign of wear and tear at present if I get three years out of it I'll be happy, probably bin it and get another ?nickel plate depending on the revised G4M reputation at that time. Regards Al
 

Janosax

Member
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336
Locality
France
Thanks for all answers, advices, and reviews. I've got a Startone (Thomann) 100 € flute, and it was the same thing: reducing a stiff roller, adjusting spring tensions, adjusting one felt on G key, one thumb key post end was very slighly unsoldered and easily reglued, and a small leak on low C fixed with air dryer and a vape band. This flute is now pretty good with some minor tweaks, and BTW it played perfectly out the box, now it's just better, with more slick action. Seems the G4M tenor is the way to go to save money on renting, before spending much more on a pro sax.
Thanks again :)
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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If you're able to do this, you may be OK. But check the sax very carefully, especially for uneven tone holes. There are a lot of faulty G4M saxes, they usually end up being sold on ebay as faulty, cos the seller's won't fix them.
 

Jeanette

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If you are unlucky with what they send you it can be returned anyway so not much to lose....

Jx
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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I agree with both @kevgermany and @Jeanette have posted. Make sure when you receive the parcel that it is unopened and sealed i.e. It has come direct from the factory, there will be cork wedges in place to prevent key movement in transit. This is why it may need slight adjustment and setting up. If you do have a problem when I phoned to order I was told they operate a no quibble replacement guarantee. Al
 

Janosax

Member
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336
Locality
France
Ok thanks for advices, I will check for sure. The problem is I live in France, so return will cost approximately 40 £. Same thing with Thomann in Germany.
So I'll have to appreciate "minor tweaks to shipping ratio" before deciding anything.
Of course, the fact that a lot of their saxes have uneven holes it's not the thing I wish to read.... Seems risky.

BTW, hows's the neck angle on the tenor? I can't truly say by pics/videos if it's 90° angled like a Serie II, or slightly angled like a Serie III or Yani/Yamaha? I tend to prefer necks with little upward angle, for playing position and throat opening.
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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Hi @Janosax excuse crappy iPad photo will give you a better idea of the neck angle. Al
IMG_0171.JPG
 
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Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
The G4M is a very useable saxophone. The've recently stated doing a nickel plate tenor which I prefer to lacquer.
The rosedale is in another class. It feels nicer under the fingers and it has better regulation screws. It has a smaller bore than the G4M and doesn't like a large chamber mouthpiece.

Looks like the state of the pound means you're getting a good deal. Check the returns policy for France. They're getting better at answering emails. They always answer the phone.
 

Janosax

Member
Messages
336
Locality
France
Many thanks Colin. Seems to be a perfect angle to me!! I play a Lebayle LRII 8* with a big chamber, I feel it's not a very good match with the Yamaha, so thanks for this advice. As pound has fallen, it's true prices are much better for me in UK than everywhere else, at the moment. The G4M is 338 euros with some variations day to day, and was 379 euros before the drop. It's even much more interesting for pro saxes at sax.co.uk, with savings up to 300 or 400 euros. Nice to know they have good customer support. I'll check for non-UK customers return policy.
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
I play my G4M tenor and alto with vintage mouthpieces that are more or less straight through with the largest chamber possible for the piece. D2 is a little sharp, but isn't it always.
 

Janosax

Member
Messages
336
Locality
France
I admit D2 is the "touchiest" note on the sax in tune, tone and resistance. Same thing on my setup, so I'm used to that. My handmade Lebayle LRII 8* chamber:

IMG_3199.JPG
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

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@Janosax the MP in the neck photo is an Otto link vintage bell metal 2000 7*. It was nickel plated and a blue bite plate fitted to mark the millenium, it has like the current vintage model a very large chamber with little/no baffle. Your Lebayle should match up nicely. Al
 

Janosax

Member
Messages
336
Locality
France
Here are a couple other pics:

IMG_3206.JPG


IMG_3207.JPG



As they say on their website: "The LRII has a smooth rollover baffle that squeezes together a bit as it enters the chamber."

LR II chamber

I have one of the very fist sample, with Rhodium plating, no bite plate, and made from a church bell alloy.

A nice ressource : KNOWLEDGE - Baffle Shapes - Theo Wanne
 
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Janosax

Member
Messages
336
Locality
France
I feel it gives a fat, dark, smooth and refined sound, a vintage and modern mixed tone with a lovely dirty buzz in the background, and in the same time a lot of softness.

Marcus Strickland use it since many years, I like its tone very much:


When I buyed it some years ago, I was a big fan of Julien Loureau kind of tone, reminds me what he gets from his tenor on The Rise even if I don't know the MPC he uses here:

 
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Janosax

Member
Messages
336
Locality
France
Here is G4M music answer to my mail, prompt answer and very good return policy, so there are almost no risks:

Thank you for your message.

Yes, our returns policy is the same for France and the UK, which means you also get the 1 year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee. Returns are at our charge whatever the reason for the 7 first days after receiving the goods, if the article is faulty it is free for 30 days.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.
 
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