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Saxophones GAS attack imminent - advice please!

Kerry

Formerly HipCity
Messages
119
Locality
Leeds
A bit of money is heading my way and I want to upgrade my alto, get a decent mouthpiece and buy a cheap tenor. I’m going to head over to woodwind exchange to try out some saxes once the kids are back at school but in the meantime any advice on suitable makes/models to look for would be appreciated. Budget-wise I can spend up to about £1350 ish, I was thinking about £1000 alto, £100-£150 m/p and £200-£250 on a tenor.

My current alto is a Jupiter 567, in really good condition, nothing wrong with it but I feel it’s time to upgrade to an intermediate alto, if I had a bit more cash and they still did them in silver I’d be tempted to get a Hanson SA8 which I tried and really liked. I’m going to need a need high f# key as it will be used for exams which probably rules out most vintage saxes which is a shame as I do quite fancy a vintage one. I don’t want a Yamaha, no offence to anyone but they’re just not for me, I like to be a bit different - any suggestions?

Mouthpiece-wise, I tried several out at the woodwind exchange about 6 months ago, I liked the otto link tone edge and meyer ebonite 7 best but that was with my current alto, both within my price range but would need to get a new alto first. I am still using a Yamaha 4c and am finding it quite restrictive

I have a battered old Jupiter tenor on loan from my wind band and although I like my Jupiter alto the tenor is awful – probably just that particular one but it has put me off Jupiter tenors completely. I can’t wait to get my own tenor and return it, I can manage without high F# on tenor but don’t want to spend too much. I have wondered about a corton as they seem to turn up cheap and I know a few people with corton altos that they’re happy with but I’ve heard the left pinky keys are hard to reach on tenor and I’ve got quite short fingers.

Any ideas?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,390
Locality
Just north of Munich
Alto mouthpieces... D'Addario is superb, reasonably priced, similar to a Meyer, but better all round. PPT is also great, a touch more expensive. I also liked the Absolutes we had on pass around a while ago.

Saxes... Just try them all. Cortons are made by Amati in CZ. Some bargains, but many in terrible condition. Old German sound, which I like. Keywork may not work for you. Something different? B&S blue or gold label. Tenor, you'll struggle at the price.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,387
Locality
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
A couple of lovely altos in the yard sale in your price range, mpc as you say try when you get your alto but do try a PPT if you can.
Tenor in your price range used i would recommend a Jericho

Enjoy the search
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,309
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Corton come with many badges, Amati, B&H Lafleur etc. They play in tune and are very robust and easy to work on. I've had a couple, tenor and alto over the years. Still got my first sax, Lafleur. However. they are very basic. The action is clunky, no tilting table and things can be a stretch. They were a bargain in the 1980's but you can do much better for the money these days.

I'm sure if your Jupiter tenor is battered it will probably be neglected, out of regulation and in need of a service.

Don't write them off because the one you play needs some work.

As far as mouthpiece goes, any advice or recommendations should go on your "to try" list. You need to match up you and the new sax in a way that you like. Only you can sort that out.
 

sdt99

Member
Messages
177
£1000 would probably get you an old Conn NWII or 6M alto - I second the D'Addario mouthpiece recommendation. Conn NW2 / 6M altos are some of the best altos ever made and better than most new horns IMO. Beuscher also made good altos - old American altos can be great buys.

"Tenor, you'll struggle at the price." - I agree with this - I'd keep saving and go tenor shopping when you have £500-1000 - else you risk wasting money.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,027
Locality
Rugby UK
I love my Amati tenor. Bought from the Devils junkyard (eBay) for about £150. It's been through griff136's hands (one of the top techs around) As Colin said, they are a little basic but solidly built. Mine has been through some real rough gigs and I love it!
Combined with a Runyon Quantum mouthpiece it's a real rocker, on the other hand, she can pur like a kitten too.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,200
Locality
Betelgeuse
Personally I'd get a used Yanagisawa alto, and a Yanagisawa 7 metal mouthpiece for the alto side. For the tenor, you can get a worthwhile instrument for under £250, but it will either be Eastern European, Chinese or possibly Taiwanese. I'd look for an Elkhart Series II or a Sakkusu (actually pretty much the same thing). You're taking a bit of a chance at that budget but can get a really good sax for that money with a bit of luck and some careful shopping. I also like the Amati/Corton tenors, and you can certainly get one of those in budget. You'd need to check it fits your hands, though, the ergonomics are not great. Suits my big hands with long fingers. Good rock sax.
 

Mostlytenor

Member
Messages
99
Locality
London
A bit of money is heading my way and I want to upgrade my alto, get a decent mouthpiece and buy a cheap tenor. I’m going to head over to woodwind exchange to try out some saxes once the kids are back at school but in the meantime any advice on suitable makes/models to look for would be appreciated. Budget-wise I can spend up to about £1350 ish, I was thinking about £1000 alto, £100-£150 m/p and £200-£250 on a tenor.

My current alto is a Jupiter 567, in really good condition, nothing wrong with it but I feel it’s time to upgrade to an intermediate alto, if I had a bit more cash and they still did them in silver I’d be tempted to get a Hanson SA8 which I tried and really liked. I’m going to need a need high f# key as it will be used for exams which probably rules out most vintage saxes which is a shame as I do quite fancy a vintage one. I don’t want a Yamaha, no offence to anyone but they’re just not for me, I like to be a bit different - any suggestions?

Mouthpiece-wise, I tried several out at the woodwind exchange about 6 months ago, I liked the otto link tone edge and meyer ebonite 7 best but that was with my current alto, both within my price range but would need to get a new alto first. I am still using a Yamaha 4c and am finding it quite restrictive

I have a battered old Jupiter tenor on loan from my wind band and although I like my Jupiter alto the tenor is awful – probably just that particular one but it has put me off Jupiter tenors completely. I can’t wait to get my own tenor and return it, I can manage without high F# on tenor but don’t want to spend too much. I have wondered about a corton as they seem to turn up cheap and I know a few people with corton altos that they’re happy with but I’ve heard the left pinky keys are hard to reach on tenor and I’ve got quite short fingers.

Any ideas?
If the Hanson alto is anything like their tenor I'd go for it. I'm very pleased with my Hanson ST8 tenor.

I'd strongly recommend you to try a Selmer Concept mouthpiece. They really are outstandingly rich throughout the range. It is much more focussed than the Selmer S80s, which I also like by the way. I'm sure you will be impressed if you try one even if it turns out to be not quite your cup of tea.

I think it would be hard to get anything decent in a tenor at that price.
 

Mostlytenor

Member
Messages
99
Locality
London
It's actually better because it's Alto ;)


Jericho J6 fits the bill :)
Yes but they cost a lot more than £250. £389 in fact but that's very little to pay for a half decent tenor saxand probably a lot better than messing around with old secondhand stuff that will need sorting out.
 

Kerry

Formerly HipCity
Messages
119
Locality
Leeds
Thank you all for your really helpful advice which has all been taken on board.

I've tried a 60's conn 6m today and liked it though it would take some getting used to - what struck me was how light it felt and the keys seemed much more compact than on my alto which is a good thing as I have smallish hands, the low notes sounded amazing and the keywork was very light and responsive but the low Bb felt to have a very strong (too strong) spring, can it be adjusted?. It seems to be in great condition and I can have it for £750, its a well known local sax teacher selling it so should be trustworthy.

I am very tempted as it would leave a bigger budget for a tenor but I think I perhaps ought to get over to woodwind exchange first and try some different altos and other 6ms for comparison. I only tried it with my yamaha 4c which didnt seem very compatable and a conn mouthpiece so don't think I got a good measure of its capabilities. Is there anything in particular I would need to look out for if buying a 6m? I know the 60's ones arent as sought after as earlier ones but is there a particular reason for that?

I also tried a corton alto belonging to a bandmate and I found the table keys easier to reach than on my alto, not sure if that would apply to a corton tenor as well or if they are a lot different
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,390
Locality
Just north of Munich
but the low Bb felt to have a very strong (too strong) spring, can it be adjusted?.
Yes, but part of it will be the design of the keywork, the modern tilting table makes a big difference.

I think I perhaps ought to get over to woodwind exchange first and try some different altos and other 6ms for comparison.

Yes. Try some mouthpieces as well. Starting point for something like that would be a vintage Meyer. But there are many modern copies that are excellent. If you can find one, also try a Brilhart Personaline, HR or white plastic.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,785
Locality
Sweden
I know the 60's ones arent as sought after as earlier ones but is there a particular reason for that?

The late Conn Artist 6M are good saxes but not as good as a pre-war Conn Artist 6M. The company that made Conn saxes was trying to cut costs so they didn't spent so much time on each sax. I have owned several Artist 6M but the pre-war saxes are the best. I had a late 6M (#669XXX; 1957) that became a good player after renovation. But no microtuner and rolled toneholes on the late models. And the finish is "25", which means gold lacquered body with nickelplated keys. Otherwise it shared all other details that a pre-war Artist 6M had. I would say a late Artist 6M should be half the price of a pre-war Conn Artsist 6M. Some bad pitures of the -57 6M:
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