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Beginner Sax First sax : Hanson Series V vs Trevor James SR vs BW AS-PD Deluxe vs ... ?

Which of the following would you recommend for a newcomer to the sax ?

  • Hanson Series V

    Votes: 2 11.8%
  • Bauhaus Walstein AS-PD Deluxe Action Improved

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • Yamaha YTS-280

    Votes: 5 29.4%
  • Julius Keilwerth ST90

    Votes: 2 11.8%
  • Trevor James SR

    Votes: 5 29.4%
  • Conn-Selmer Avant ATS200

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hanson ST8 (later upgrade)

    Votes: 3 17.6%

  • Total voters


New Member

I also posted this question to another forum but it didn't spark much discussion though it did lead to a definite recommendation for the Yamaha. Anyone who saw it will see I have changed my mind and gone for a tenor sax rather than an alto on the grounds that this is really what I'd like to play and have come across advice that said there is no reason to learn alto sax if you really prefer tenor.

As an oldster (aged 56) based on the South Coast of the UK with no active musical experience since the second year at school I have decided to learn an instrument for the first time. My musical tastes are avante guarde rock (as we used to call it in the '70s:), hip hop, post rock etc. I can't read music nor sing in tune so I know there's a task ahead...

I'm trying to decide between several tenor saxes which I have seen online and which I could more or less readily afford as follows :

  1. Hanson Series V----------------------------------------------£ 870
  2. Bauhaus Walstein AS-PD Deluxe Action Improved---£1,000
  3. Yamaha YTS-280---------------------------------------------£1,160
  4. Julius Keilwerth ST90----------------------------------------£1,200
  5. Trevor James SR---------------------------------------------£1,300
  6. Conn-Selmer Avant ATS200--------------------------------£1,350
  7. Hanson ST8----------------------------------------------------£1,800

The odd one out is the more expensive Hanson ST8 but AIUI it's possible to buy a Hanson Series V and upgrade later with Hanson giving a discount of the full purchase price. This coupled with the fact that the Series V has the lowest price of all these tenor saxes make it very interesting.

I am aware that for the money I could get a second hand sax that might be better but as a complete newbie I'd rather get a new one from a UK vendor offering warranty services and backup. I would prefer new anyway and have read that eg the YTS-280 will take a person to music stage 6 which could well be further than I might get anyway..

I've read web reviews of some of these models but wondered whether anyone here has hands-on experience of some of them and can compare them for me ? I don't have anyone I can take round shops with me and know absolutely nothing myself, so will be buying on spec anyway.


Based solely on your age and your lack of previous musical knowledge, my vote is for the Bauhaus... my second favorite one could be the yamaha... can take at look at the sakusu from great starter sax..
South coast... Take a trip to, try a few, see which one feels better in your hands. You can try some mouthpieces as well. Don't worry too much about how they sound. This will develop as you learn to play. But if one does grab you sound wise, don't ignore it.
The Hanson ST8 is a tenor, the alto is SA8 and quite a bit less moolah.

edited to add: The Bauhaus AS-YD is £100 cheaper than the AS-PD.
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You need to try them if possible as ergonomics do vary, especially palm keys
Definitely take a day out to somewhere with lots of models on offer, you'll be surprised how different they feel in your hands. Buying from a reputable shop you shouldn't need to worry about taking anyone with you and you will get lots of help and advice in a specialist shop.

And don't be afraid to walk away empty handed if none of them grab you and look elsewhere :)

I'd second the advice to go along to and try a load of saxes, including their Sakkusu own brand. Don't feel at all nervous about pitching up there as a new player with no experience. They are used to it, and are good people to deal with.

Of the ones you've listed, for a complete beginner, if you can't get to a decent shop to pick the one you prefer, I'd suggest playing it safe and getting the Yamaha. There is no limit to how far any of these saxes will let you go but the Yamaha has proven build quality and is the best for resale should you choose something better later on. They also play great and have ergonomics which seem to fit most players.
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If you're prepared to spend just over a grand then my top picks would be the Yamaha and the TJ SR.
And never mind grade 6 - any of the horns in your list are more than capable of taking you way beyond that.
I also suggest going to a shop to try them out if you can. Different saxophones feel different, and what suits one of us may not suit you. is an obvious choice if you live in the South East. Their staff are used to beginners, so you needn't feel shy. And you can ask them to play the saxophones so you can hear them.
Hi all,

Just thought I'd post to say that I bought a sax on the web from, one of their own Sakkusu brand based on recommendations from garrobito & jonf here and other reviews on the web. First impressions are that it seems of good quality and I can get a noise from it so onwards and upwards !

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Congratulations on your new sax.

If the mouthpiece that comes with the sax is a generic plastic one, then you would do well to get a better one right away. A Yamaha 4C mouthpiece is not too expensive.
Congratulations on your newly acquired sax

+1 for the 4c, my teacher recommended this to me and imo it is a great mouthpiece for us beginners, try a selection of different reeds as well such as rico, vandoren etc in different strengths e.g. 11/2 or 2 to see which suits you, my preference is vandoren blue box #2 but we are all different so try a few see which you like best

But above all enjoy :sax:
Thanks for the recommendations on the mouthpiece, the Sakkusu saxes do come with the Yamaha 4C and I'm off to Ackermans to buy some Vandoren reeds in a couple of minutes :)

Congratulations on your new sax!!
I'm not a big fan of the Yamaha 4c mouthpiece but thousand of new players used it.
Well.. time to get few reeds, clean kit and separarte at least one hour a day to start blowing...
Too late since you have already bought one but for anyone else you can rent one from John Packer and if, after six months you like it and want to buy it, they will knock off the rental charges.
Congratulations on your new sax!!
I'm not a big fan of the Yamaha 4c mouthpiece but thousand of new players used it.
Hi Garribito, can you tell me which mouthpieces you think are better than the Yamaha 4C for a beginner ?


There's nothing wrong with the Yamaha 4C for beginning. More a matter of preference. Others to consider would be Fobes Debut, Bari Esprit, (both reasonably priced) Selmer S80, D'Addario Jazz select, Meyer, Van Doren AL3, and many others. And... The PPT. Ohters willhave other recommendations to add to the list.

What you need for starting is something neutral tone wise, what's fairly easy to play, not fussy and demanding. Apart from the Fobes/Bari, all the others will see you through from starting to professional level play.
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