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Beginner Sax Choosing My First Saxophone (UK)

Which Saxophone is best?

  • John Packer JP041

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Windsor Alto Saxophone

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sonata Student Alto

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Vivace 3SKVA-GL Alto

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Andoer Alto

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tuyama TAS131 Alto

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

Lyno

New Member
Messages
2
Hi,

I have never even blown into a saxophone once before in my life, but I love the sound of the instrument and would love to be able to play it. I have decided I will definitely buy an alto saxophone. I am already proficient in guitar and know musical theory.

I have shortlisted a few different Saxophones online which fit my budget, but I have no clue how to distinguish between them. I think going for a new one would be better as I don't have the time, patience or knowledge for the uncertainty of buying second-hand (but I may be open to changing my mind).

Could some people please give me some suggestions as to what to buy, and what not to buy, out of the below models? Or if you know any others around my £250-350 budget available in the UK feel free to post a link. :)

[URLs are clicky]

Elkhart 100AS Student Alto
Elkhart 100AS Student Alto Saxophone at Gear4music.com

John Packer JP041
John Packer JP041 Eb Alto Saxophone

Windsor Alto Saxophone
Windsor Alto Saxophone Includes Hard Case - Gold Lacquer Finish:Amazon.co.uk:Musical Instruments

Gear4Music Alto Sax
Alto Saxophone by Gear4music, Light Gold at Gear4music.com

Sonata Student Alto
Sonata Student Alto Saxophone | Normans

Vivace 3SKVA-GL Alto
This product no longer exists (error: 1507325946)

Sakkusu Alto

Sakkusu - Alto Saxophone - Gold Lacquer - Sax.co.uk - The Worlds Leading Saxophone Specialist

Andoer Alto

Andoer® bE Alto Saxophone Brass Lacquered Gold E Flat Sax 802 Key Type Woodwind Instrument with Cleaning Brush Cloth Gloves Cork Grease Strap Padded Case:Amazon.co.uk:Musical Instruments

Tuyama TAS131 Alto
Eastman Alto Saxophone | Haydock Music | Musical Instrument Shop - Online Musical Instrument Specialist


Thank you very very much for your help everyone. I'm very excited to finally start playing this amazing instrument!

Best wishes,
Stephen.
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,936
Locality
Bristol, UK
I can understand your reluctance to buy secondhand, but you can get more for your money that way.
Whereabouts do you live?
 

SaxoFREAK

saX on the bEaCH..
Messages
626
Locality
Liverpool
I voted for the G4M for 2 reasons, one, I have one myself and two, my son's sax player borrowed it in an emergency and made it sound amazing on stage, as for the others I will let my learned friends here at the Cafe give their infinitely more professional views..
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,706
Locality
Victoria BC Canada
Have you thought of renting for the first few months. If you are set on buying though I would suggest considering a used Yamaha YAS 23. If you get one from a reputable shop, in reasonable shape, they seem to pretty much keep their value. There are a number of others but of the big 4 in the sax world they work well. I still have a mid 80's YAS 23 that plays really well that went through two of our children.

I hope @Stephen Howard and some others with experience in the UK market might provide some suggestions.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,852
Locality
Cheshire UK
+1 for a secondhand older Yamaha I have a YAS25 :)

Jx
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,220
Locality
UK
At this kind of price-point you're very much at the bottom of the barrel - and all of these horns are going to have build-quality issues of one kind or another.
This doesn't mean the horns aren't any good, just that you'd be wise to budget another £40 or so on top of the purchase price to have them properly checked and tweaked. As such, you might as well go for the cheapest - and I'd suggest the Gear4Music is very likely to be your best bet.

Otherwise the JP045 mentioned above is a good deal - as would be a used Yamaha (23, 25 or 275) if you can find a decent example within your budget.

 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,978
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I play G4M saxophones. The alto is very good. I would recommend the nickel plate over the other finishes not for looks.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,116
Locality
Betelgeuse
At one time or another I've had examples of the Elkhart, John Packer, Windsor, Gear4M, Sonata and Sakkusu. Based on my actual experience, I'd go for Sakkusu first, then Gear4M then John Packer. I'd also echo what Stephen says about a small spend on some set up tweaking. I'd also rate the seller of the Sakkusu, sax.co.uk as the best of the lot, closely followed by John Packer. Unlike the others, both these sellers are proper sax shops, not just online retailers, so they should be able to supply the instrument in good order and offer proper after sales service.
 

garrobito

Member
Messages
131
Locality
Alameda, CA, USA
My suggestions are:
.- Rent first for 2/3 month to be sure you liked it
.- Get a nice used yamaha YAS 23 (or 26) or any Yamana AD 200 (or AD 200 II)
.- My next suggestion is a sakkusu.. very good relation best bang for the buck
.- John Packer is my 3 option.
I do not know g4m but I read all kind of mix reviews around.. I think on this instance you need to go for the safe part of the freeway. Any professional can blow almost any sax but when you're start, you need confidence and half the problems. Just my 0.2 cents
Good luck and welcome!!
 
Last edited:

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,649
Locality
St. Mary's
I did vote but for the most part the poll makes little sense unless the voter has test played all of those instruments, all equally set up and under the same conditions. I've tried a few of them.
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,936
Locality
Bristol, UK
The problem with cheap instruments is quality control - the good ones are fine, but you can't be sure that a randomly chosen one won't have a defect.

If @aldevis has tested his JP alto for sale in the Yardsale, then I would be inclined to go for that one, because you know there won't be any issues with it.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,852
Locality
Cheshire UK
The problem with cheap instruments is quality control - the good ones are fine, but you can't be sure that a randomly chosen one won't have a defect.

If @aldevis has tested his JP alto for sale in the Yardsale, then I would be inclined to go for that one, because you know there won't be any issues with it.

I'm sure he will have :)

Jx
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,852
Locality
Cheshire UK
@Lyno what we haven't mentioned is the importance of trying a sax if you can. They all feel different under your fingers and whilst I'm sure you will adapt to your purchase you might miss out on something that feels more comfortable. Whereabouts are you, there may be a shop near you we can recommend?

If you are near London I'm sure Aldevis would be happy to let you try his alto before buying and he won't let you buy it if he doesn't feel it's right for you....

I can speak from experience in that respect :)

Jx
 

Rikki

Member
Messages
205
Locality
Sydney, Australia
I would tend to agree with Mr. Howard. As you have next to no playing ability it is pointless trying to test a number of saxes. What I did was buy a cheap secondhand elkhart (didnt really care what it was just that it was cheap) got it tweaked at the shop, then spent 6 months learning to get some sort of ability. I then sold the Elkhart for virtually what I paid for it and bought a good secondhand Yamaha YTS23,(after trying a few other makes) which was good enough to let me really learn how to play.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,220
Locality
UK
If you are near London I'm sure Aldevis would be happy to let you try his alto before buying and he won't let you buy it if he doesn't feel it's right for you....

I'd go one further and suggest the OP buys this horn sight unseen.
It's a better horn that any on the list, the seller has a rock-solid reputation - and if the horn fails to please (or the OP simply gets fed up with it) it can be sold on with little or no loss of money.
And I'll put my money where my mouth is. If the OP buys it and it turns out there's a problem with it - I'll sort it out FOC.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,852
Locality
Cheshire UK
I'd go one further and suggest the OP buys this horn sight unseen.
It's a better horn that any on the list, the seller has a rock-solid reputation - and if the horn fails to please (or the OP simply gets fed up with it) it can be sold on with little or no loss of money.
And I'll put my money where my mouth is. If the OP buys it and it turns out there's a problem with it - I'll sort it out FOC.

That's very kind of you, he's not going to get a better offer than that :)

Jx
 

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