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Saxophones Considering a SAX change - Advice needed

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Advice needed please from all the undoubted experts on the forum…

I am looking to transition from alto sax to tenor. At the moment I am playing a Schwartschild Alto which I bought intending to learn back in 1995. Unfortunately the Yorkshire Terrier we had at the time was a severe critic and so I decided to abandon my endeavours. Now he is no longer with us I only have my wife to annoy :) .

I planned to learn on an alto because that was all I could afford at the time although my preference is definitely for the pitch and tone of the tenor sax.

I started self tuition at the end of last year as there are no sax teachers within a reasonable distance. I replaced the original mpc with a Selmer S80 C*, a Rovner Dark Ligature and Rico Royal 2's after only a few weeks and could immediately feel the improvement. Now that I have gained a reasonable knowledge of the 'basics' I have decided that before I take it any further I would switch to my preferred instrument.

I have been told by several people that a relatively inexpensive instrument may well last me for several years and as a 65 year old student this may well be right. In fact I may never need to replace it... This is partly why I am keen to get the best I can afford now with a view to it outliving me..

It is of course possible that the switch from alto to tenor may not work out and so a serious investment could be a bad decision. I am struggling at the moment with the option of choosing a Yamaha on hire for a few months with a significant final payment if things do work out, or going for the option of outright purchase of a cheaper instrument probably the Jericho J-6.

If I do go for the hire option it would be either a Yamaha ST-275 or ST-480. The latter being at the extreme end of my budget.

Either way I would plan to get a better mpc fairly quickly and have been advised that the Meyer 6 could be a good choice and compete favourably with the Selmer S80 on tenor. But that is more expensive option.

So bottom line…… Help….
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Personally I would recommend that you consider the Bauhaus Walstein Bronze Tenor at £700, and take the wife away on the balance to soften her up ready for the practice sounds, with any additional left over to spend on lots of lovely variations of mouthpieces and reed selections.

I've been in a similar situation to yourself recently and took on board lots of advice from other cafe-ers before going and spending time in store, literally yesterday, putting the advice to use. I actually ended up putting the bigger name away and choosing the BW's option - and it wasn't about price - it was about tone, feel, lightness of the keys, ease access to higher octaves etc., and all the things I want from my next sax. I left the store with two new BW saxes for less than the price of one secondhand Yanigasawa, and really adore my choice, and feel comfortable that I've done right for myself.

Your choice will be subjective and individual, accordingly you will get a myriad of responses to your question. I learned, yesterday especially, that all these replies are very beneficial, however nothing replaces going along and playing a variety of instruments to find out what rocks your very own boat.

Others will be here soon to add their perspective.

Enjoy enjoy enjoy the adventure!

Mel
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Thanks for the reply MellowD. Unfortunately living in the wilds of Fenland the option to check out a variety of instruments is difficult. As far as I know there is no specialist Sax supplier within 50 miles :( That is why I am relying on the good offices of the Forum. Also if I am buying 'cash upfront' then I am going to have to stick to the cheaper end of the market.
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Thanks for the reply MellowD. Unfortunately living in the wilds of Fenland the option to check out a variety of instruments is difficult. As far as I know there is no specialist Sax supplier within 50 miles :( That is why I am relying on the good offices of the Forum. Also if I am buying 'cash upfront' then I am going to have to stick to the cheaper end of the market.

First of all, I think I must have made some kind of mistake looking up the instruments you are considering as what I looked at had a price tag just shy of £1900?

Other than that, I appreciate where you live (I'm on the Lincolnshire borders myself). I've checked the mileage and while you state 50 miles, would you consider 55.5 miles from Spalding to Nottingham? That's where I went yesterday, and they would be very helpful whatever your financial budget. If this sounds agreeable then check out www.windblowers.com. They were very helpful with me for many weeks as I emailed and telephoned enquiries, and eventually I set up the date to go visit them. They also will take details of what you are looking for and what budget and keep tabs on the possibility of a secondhand one coming up for you if 'new' is out of your range.

There is a thread re Secondhand Yani SC991 Soprano vs 2 x BW Bronze Series which is my queries to everyone here, and I added a review of my experience yesterday.

I don't know if any of this will help you, however, it is at least a starting point.

Mel
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,552
I have a gear4music alto, tenor and sop. They play very well. You'd probably be able to buy a second hand car with the change from a Yamaha

If you're happy with the S80 on alto why not go that way on tenor? I picked up a 2nd hand one on ebay for a fraction of the new price. I was happy with it till I picked up a vintage piece that out s80's it. If that makes sense.
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tenor-Sax...t=UK_Woodwind_Instruments&hash=item460a04ada7

I second Colin on the G4M tenor. While it's nothing special, there's nothing particularly wrong about it either. And you just can't beat the price. (By the way, just by looking at the pictures, besides the finish, I can't tell the difference between a Bauhaus Walstein tenor that's often recommended and the G4M tenor. Same factory in China?)

Edit: addendum, I only have the basic G4M tenor, so cannot vouch for the alto and sop.
 
Messages
509
I would suggest that you try the John Packer JP042 Tenor as i said in a previous post, i bought one as a standby and have been so impressed by it, that it has become my main gigging sax.
and at under six hundred pounds its good value for money.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,922
My two pieces of advice would be:

1. Dont fret too much about which tenor to buy. There are lots of good ones out there for reasonable prices. This situation has improved a lot in recent years

2. Keep the alto if you can afford to. Once you get hooked (and that's more of a "when" than an "if") you'll want them all.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,949
My two pieces of advice would be:

1. Dont fret too much about which tenor to buy. There are lots of good ones out there for reasonable prices. This situation has improved a lot in recent years

2. Keep the alto if you can afford to. Once you get hooked (and that's more of a "when" than an "if") you'll want them all.

Yes. I hated the sound of the alto at first, but with some work and the right mouthpiece I'm really enjoying it now. Still prefer tenor... And now bari...
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
I would suggest that you try the John Packer JP042 Tenor as i said in a previous post, i bought one as a standby and have been so impressed by it, that it has become my main gigging sax.
and at under six hundred pounds its good value for money.

...........Just seen THIS on eBay....

NB. No personal interest or connection to seller!
 
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