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Saxophones First Tenor - Brand choices. Have you played one of these?...

DavidUK

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:confused:

Still mooching over which Tenor to buy...

My "thinking of" list is thus:

£600-800...Bauhaus Walstein TS-P, Y, PD or YD
£600.........TJ "The Horn"
£575.........John Packer 042
£300-400...Jericho J6
£260-300...Venus
£120-250...G4M

I've played demos of the TJ; BW TS-P & TS-Y; J6 Alto.

Not wanting to spend a lot until I decide if I "like" Tenor compared to Alto. I realise you get what you pay for but as Steve Howard often says, the difference in instrument quality and sound are often a fraction of their price differences.

We hear a good deal here about BW and G4M, but what of the last three makes, all of which Steve Howard seems to like. Anyone here have a Tenor by these three (or the John Packer)? How does it compare to anything else you have tried?

Other "unknown" makes I've considered (2nd hand ads) are Montreux, Carmichael, but can't find out much about these.

Thanks for any help!

:thumb:
 

jonf

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I've played saxes from all of the top four (although for two of them it was the alto version rather than the tenor. Of these, if I was buying new, the one I'd go for would be the Jericho. That's because the price is currently low while the brand is being established (just as used to be the case for BW). That won't last, and at the moment the Jericho is spectacularly good value. Having said that, all the ones I've played were good saxes, and streets ahead of the student saxes I played in my teens (that was some time ago.....)
 

TomMapfumo

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A wise suggestion! I'd do the same. I bought my BW bronze curvie soprano for £300 new, before they had fully caught on, and the price just went up and up (now £650+). All the signs are that the same will happen to the Jericho, which will be over £500 in the not too distant future, I can imagine. At the same time you can find used BW tenor saxes for around the £500 mark. My main concern with a tenor was to get a larger bore horn as I do not the smaller bore ones that can seem a little too bright and shallow, whatever you do to mouthpieces, reeds etc.
 

DavidUK

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A wise suggestion! I'd do the same. I bought my BW bronze curvie soprano for £300 new, before they had fully caught on, and the price just went up and up (now £650+). All the signs are that the same will happen to the Jericho, which will be over £500 in the not too distant future, I can imagine. At the same time you can find used BW tenor saxes for around the £500 mark. My main concern with a tenor was to get a larger bore horn as I do not the smaller bore ones that can seem a little too bright and shallow, whatever you do to mouthpieces, reeds etc.

I'd like to support Becky and SMS after the recent sad news. Do we know that the J6 is larger bore, like the BWs?

:confused:
 

Profusia

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Its such a personal choice. You definitely need to have a blow on whatever you are considering.

Re your list...


£600-800...Bauhaus Walstein TS-P, Y, PD or YD ....... Personally I found the tone a little too thin at the top end and didn't like the rather low positioning of the bottom Eb & C keys but you need to try it yourself as many people love them.

£600.........TJ "The Horn" ................. The tone on this horn sounded somewhat hollow to me - but a different player, different setup, and different pair of ears and who knows.

£575.........John Packer 042 .............. Not tried one myself.

£300-400...Jericho J6 ....................... Got the curvy sop. Had some issues. Very disappointed with customer service.

£260-300...Venus ............................ Not tried one.

£120-250...G4M .............................. Tried 3 G4M tenors in their York outlet - same day same mouthpiece/reed etc (my own). Didn't like their entry level one at all - not nice tone. Their top of the range tenor was unplayable as there was a problem with the octave mechanism. (Have been twice and same problem both times!). However their silver coloured Rosedale "intermediate" tenor felt, played, and sounded rather nice and I was quite tempted. I think it was £399 if memory serves, but I refrained on the day. As I say, you really need to try them yourself.

Best of luck with your quest.
 

Profusia

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Who are "They" ?

There's a link on SMS' own website (on the tenor page I think) to a YouTube video of Pete Effamy playing the tenor, in which he describes it as a "bright" or words to that effect if memory serves. I'm also pretty sure I read that it was pretty bright and thought that was on SMS' website too but must admit I can't remember for sure so it could have been an independent review or an opinion on this forum. Check out the Pete Effamy video though as this may help towards your decision.
 

MLoosemore

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Don't know whether this helps but this is the (edited) reply I got from Pete Effamy when I was looking for a Tenor and considering the Jupiter...

"First of all, it is extremely unlikely that after playing for a year you will find yourself buying a 'horn for life'. Your development in embouchure and air control will still evolve enormously and this affects the feel of the horn and of course the sound that comes out of it.

Your tastes and expectations will evolve too and the better you become, the more input you have in shaping the sound that comes out, rather than being limited by your technique. After a year of playing you are unlikely to sound much different whatever horn you play on. The main difference comes from the mouthpiece anyhow...

Selmer, Yamaha, Yanagisawa are the big recognised makes. They have their own take on how to build a saxophone and how it will sound depending on their design choices.

Keilwerth, Trevor James, Mauriat, Rampone are also trying to join this elite group.

Bauhaus Walstein, Jupiter, Elkhart etc etc etc are the manufacturers that are attempting to offer a very viable alternative to the big names but for a fraction of the cost. The Jericho J6 has joined this group.

Saxes and mouthpieces can range from a mellow tone to a bright tone, so you need to decide which type of sound you want to make and choose an overall setup that will make the production of this tone the easiest it can be (for you! - we're all different)...

The J6 is a decent horn. They tend to be fairly bright but this can be a good thing as brightness is easier to tame than it is to create if it isn't there inherently. It would be a great first buy, that could last you a long time. We don't know how they will fare after 10/20 years yet as they are brand new. For a fraction of the cost of a Yamaha though, it's probably a no-brainer. I've played the J6 in gigs and it has done very well. I have two Selmer Mk 6's, collectively worth about £10k. I don't fancy these horns going into an aircraft hold or being on stage after the gig with the crew dismantling the set around them...

At one year, I still think that you have many roads to explore re mouthpiece/sax/reed/ligature and your ability has yet to match the equipment rather than vice versa. The quality of the J6 and the price should be the ideal sort of horn to carry you to a point in your playing where you can make a decision about where you want to go next. This could be 5 years or more, depending on how much you practice!"
 

TomMapfumo

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Not sure I'd agree with much of that. My first alto was a Selmer Ref54 - it will be with me for life. My first soprano was a BW curvie, which will be with me for life. My first tenor was a Yanagisawa T901 which will not be with me for life (bright, thin sounding horn, smaller bore). I simply bought saxes that I thought I'd get on with and would keep for life, rather than to sell on at a later date. The last was easily rectified with a superb large bore horn at lower cost, which I will keep for life!

The idea that Rampone are trying to join this elite group is nonsense - they are easily above it, as is Borgani, not mentioned. I do think that the Big 4 of yesteryear (Selmer Yani, Yama, and Keilworth) is an outdated concept in the sax world, just as Yamaha and Vincent Bach are in the brass world - too many custom made instruments which are simply better in most people's eyes (Eclipse, Geneva, Van:Laar, Taylor and many others). Even the sax expert at Howarth was able to agree that the Buffet T400 sounded better than the Yanagisawa T901, despite the major price difference.

If anyone has a tight budget then they may have to compromise and buy an acknowledged beginner sax, but I think that there are too many saxes which are much better than this at very reasonable cost, which can be purchased for not that much more.

But thanks for your contribution to the debate!
 
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