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Beginner Sax Clarinet player seeks tenor sax

timmychimp

New Member
Messages
2
Hi Saxophone people,

I am (or at least was) a fairly decent clarinet player. I hadn't touched my clarinet for around 10 years until a recent house move. I unpacked my Yamaha CX II and had a quick blast and it got me fired up to play again. However, opportunities to play in an orchestra or wind band are limited now. Also, I've been listening to more Courtney Pine and Sonny Rollins than Mozart of late, so I fancy a go at a tenor sax.

So - my question is, what would be a suitable instrument? I fancy myself to pick it up fairly quickly as the fingering is essentially the same as a clarinet, and embouchure shouldn't be too much of a problem (apart from the ache you get when you haven't blown for a while). I'm used to playing a decent instrument as my Yamaha clarinet is intermediate/pro level, but maybe I shouldn't spend too much on a horn straight away. That said, I'd like to have something that wouldn't embarrass itself in front of an audience once I'm confident enough. I'd prefer a vintage/second hand instrument, mainly because I'm too tight to buy new, and I have a budget of around £600 tops.

The only thing that catches my eye on ebay at the moment is a bronze/copper Bauhaus starting at £450 that I'm not allowed to link to as a new member.

Any opinions on the Bauhaus, or recommendations for a decent starter instrument for someone coming from a background as a decent clarinetist gratefully received.

Thanks in advance.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,075
You'll find the tenor a completely different animal to the Bb clarinet. A big fat reed with little back pressure needs lots more air.

I found the transition to alto very easy and baritone was simple and logical, which is odd as the baritone is an even bigger fatter reed wanting lots of air with hardly any back pressure.

I'd go for something new and cheapish. I have a set of Gear4Music which play well enough with a reasonable action and good intonation.


You can go for a drop dead, vintage, killer when you get going.

This went on ebay today. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281058940870?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
I don't play tenor but embouchure-wise from clarinet to alto sax it is similar but looser overall and the mouthpiece at a very diffrent angle. I imagine that with a tenor embouchure is even looser (for jazz).

I wouldn't call a Bauhaus vintage! Any vintage or used sax that is in good playing condition will definitely save you money but buying from eBay is treacherous territory.

You play a very good clarinet so you'd best apply the same standards of build quality and mechanical service in any tenor you buy to ensure you don't spend your first few weeks as a sax owner in serviceman's store or after the first year shopping for another sax.

I'd shop in person and playtest some instruments - a used Yamaha 61 or 62 would be perfect IMO.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Vintage - can be used two ways, as an older sax, and as a finish on a new sax.

Ebay can be a good bargain source, but make sure you buy low and have cash left over for a tune up. I've bought some excellent saxes off ebay this way.

Also don't foget to budget for a reasonable mouthpiece, reeds, strap and stand (not a cheapy unless you want your sax to fall off).

Good advice to try before you buy - if you let us know roughly where you are, guys can probably recommend someone local.

Otherwise the brands that seem to be OK and in your price range are Bauhaus Walstein, Trevor James, J Packer, Gear4Music and probably Jericho.

In terms of alto/tenor, go tenor, cos it's the sound you want. When I first bought an alto I spent ages trying to get a sound I wanted. Tenor was there from the beginning. The other advantage for you is that it's in the same pitch as the clarinet. Altos are in Eb.
 

timmychimp

New Member
Messages
2
Thanks for the input chaps. Very helpful comments. I should have written 'vintage OR second hand' - the main point being that it'll save me money at a time when I should be paying off the mortgage and buying nappies instead of saxophones :)

Colin - the fear I have of buying something cheap is that the keys will be poorly weighted which is going to annoy me, as I'm used to playing a decent clarinet with really good ergonomics and touch. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by a few cheaper instruments if I go out and have a play though.

Dubrosa - I'd love to go for a Yamaha 6x but I suspect they'd be a little out of my price range.

KevGermany - I'm in Congleton so the easiest place to get to is Stoke or Macclesfield (there aren't any places selling saxophones in Congleton as far as I know). Good tip on the mouthpiece too. The biggest improvement I ever made as a clarinetist was getting a Vandoren 5RV so I know the value of a decent MP.

Any opinions on Karl Meyers. I've seen one from the 1950s advertised fairly locally for what seems a very good price (if it's playable).
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,339
If I was tempted by a Bauhaus on ebay starting at £450 I would regard the leap to buying new from a reputable dealer at £650-odd worth the investment in a guaranteed new, properly set up horn perhaps with a decent mouthpiece thrown in or whatever else you could negotiate

Bauhaus seems to get good press on this forum but I would try before you buy. This place http://www.curlywoodwind.co.uk/ is in Liverpool which ain't so very far from you

Disclaimer: I'm nothing to do with either Bauhaus nor curlywoodwind. I'm tempted to try out a Bauhaus baritone at some point but my brats are well out of nappies and sucking the life blood out of my current account (buy now before the cost of nappies is replaced by ipods, school trips, clothes and inflation beating food bills)
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,945
Thanks for the input chaps. Very helpful comments. I should have written 'vintage OR second hand' - the main point being that it'll save me money at a time when I should be paying off the mortgage and buying nappies instead of saxophones :)

Colin - the fear I have of buying something cheap is that the keys will be poorly weighted which is going to annoy me, as I'm used to playing a decent clarinet with really good ergonomics and touch. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by a few cheaper instruments if I go out and have a play though.

Dubrosa - I'd love to go for a Yamaha 6x but I suspect they'd be a little out of my price range.

KevGermany - I'm in Congleton so the easiest place to get to is Stoke or Macclesfield (there aren't any places selling saxophones in Congleton as far as I know). Good tip on the mouthpiece too. The biggest improvement I ever made as a clarinetist was getting a Vandoren 5RV so I know the value of a decent MP.

Any opinions on Karl Meyers. I've seen one from the 1950s advertised fairly locally for what seems a very good price (if it's playable).
I work near Knutsford and I can tell you that there are no decent sax shops in the area. There's nothing in Hanley, Newcastle-u-Lyme, or even Chester (OK Dawsons sell a few but very limited). I'm not aware of anything in the other biggish towns such as Macc, Crewe, or Warrington. Manchester has Forsyth's (and a bigger Dawsons) but can't comment on them for saxes (but they do stock them on the woodwind/brass floor).

I think best bet is Curly Woodwind in Liverpool - they do have a decent range. For second-hand then Woodwind Exchange in Bradford is the place often recommended.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
+1 for Bauhaus Walstein. I initially bought a Yanagisawa T901, and preferred the sound of the BW when I tried one - warmer and fuller tone. You will be able to get one on £600 - Curly Woodwind, South Wales Woodwind and others.
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
984
Definitely try before you buy.
There's also Windblowers in Nottingham to consider - bit of a jaunt across the snowy peak district.
Lots of people love the Bauhaus but I didn't like the ergonomics nor the tone at the top end. Its a very personal thing.
If you can get to York phone Gear4Music a few days in advance and ask them to have a few saxes on hand for you to try. I didn't like the feel or tone of their entry level tenor but their Rosedale was much nicer and I think is sub £400.
You're in a difficult position because until you have your own mouthpiece and a bit of blow in your chops it will be very hard to compare saxes - but better to have tried a few than just take a punt on Ebay in my opinion.
 
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