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Beginner Sax Good beginners Tenor

Lem66

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5
Location
Limerick
I've been playing clarinet for the past two years and got my hands on a very cheap alto recently to see if I liked the idea of making ving on to a sax. Have always wanted a tenor, and feel confident enough to go for it. My local retailer recommends a buffet 100 or a john packer jp042. Am I better off to pay a bit more for the buffet, or is the john packer a good bet. No plans to turn pro, I just play for fun. Many thanks, Ian
 

Rusax

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12
Location
Berlin
As a beginner player myself who owns a few tenor now, there are a few characteristics that really helped me , that are not necessarily the same as what you're looking for as a pro:
  • Reliability - when I know that my sax is consistent , in tune and has a reliable octave mechanism every time I screw up, I know it has nothing to do with the instrument , it is definitely me.
  • Comfort - all the key mechanisms, especially the pinky tables should be easy to reach and press, so I know that when I find it difficult to sound good when I go from low C# to Eb it has nothing to do with the instrument.
  • Pleasure - I don't intent to become professional , my life will never depend on my ability to play, I just love playing, so I like to think that I have the tool I enjoy , you often spend more time with it than with your wife or girlfriend after all, better make sure it the instrument you really like .
I guess as a summary , make sure it is reliable and you like it , whatever it is. Try the ones you like and see what feels best to you , otherwise just get a yamaha :)))))
 

DavidUK

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You'll get a good deal more back on a Yamaha when you come to upgrade than you will on either the Buffet or JP. Go for a YTS-280 if buying new, OR... look for a good used YTS-23 for around £3-400.
 

Lem66

New Member
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5
Location
Limerick
Thank you, the Yamaha 280 seems to be the recommended starter, will need to practice and save a little bit more, but will be worth the wait.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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2,234
Location
New Mexico, US
Thank you, the Yamaha 280 seems to be the recommended starter, will need to practice and save a little bit more, but will be worth the wait.
Buffet 100 is at least as good a horn as a 280, I have serviced over 100 Yamahas and around a dozen Buffet 100's....and it sounds better and is slicker under the fingers.

I would not eschew the chance at getting a 100 because Yamaha is the default suggestion one hears when one asks what a good beginner Tenor is.

I am not familiar with Packer, so cannot comment.

(I have also heard from some folks that the Hanson ST5 is actually a stencil of the Buffet 400....some minor cosmetic changes. I suppose one can ask Hanson about this.

Both the Hanson and the Buffet 100 are cheaper than a Yama 280....and if indeed the Hanson is a 400 stencil, both are better than the 280).
 
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nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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John Packer were very early importers of cheap Chinese instruments for beginners that offered very good value for money at the time, but I suspect that now there are others just as good, such as sax.co.uk (Sakkusu) and Headwind (Zetland).

Personally, I would be much more inclined to buy one of Packer's more expensive, and better-made, Taiwanese models than their basic range.

I've never played a modern Buffet, but if I was looking for a cheapish tenor, I would look for a second-hand instrument, and I would probably go for a used Yamaha YTS-32 if I could find one at a good price. Failing this, a used Yamaha 23, 25, 275 or 280.

With any used saxophone it is prudent to assume some TLC will be required and set aside some money for this.
 

Lem66

New Member
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5
Location
Limerick
Kind of you all to give the advice. Having started on the clarinet, my heart tells me to go for a buffet 100. As the first comment suggested, I won't know for sure until I play one. Will keep practicing on the cheap alto for a bit and will visit a couple shops after the new year when the lockdown is safer.
 

Damflask

Member
Messages
152
Location
United Kingdom
I started out on a Conn Cavalier I got from a pawn shop, and have mostly played 'older' instruments.
These days I would go for a Buffet 100, my pal has one and it's really good.
 

Filip

Member
Messages
87
Location
Manchester
Buffet 100 is at least as good a horn as a 280, I have serviced over 100 Yamahas and around a dozen Buffet 100's....and it sounds better and is slicker under the fingers.

Both the Hanson and the Buffet 100 are cheaper than a Yama 280....and if indeed the Hanson is a 400 stencil, both are better than the 280).
These days I would go for a Buffet 100


These sort of comments make me think my Alto 100 was a lemon, in 2 years I've had it it was constantly developing leaks or going out of regulation. Got to the point where the horn itself was actually putting me off practicing. Pretty much anything else I had a chance to try was significantly better. Based on my teachers feedback I also sounded much better after upgrading, though ofc he could have just been nice.

Also, worth bearing this in mind:


You'll get a good deal more back on a Yamaha when you come to upgrade

It's not something I thought of at the time, and I definitely wished I had when upgrading.

Hanson ST5 is actually a stencil of the Buffet 400
When I went to pick up the AWO1 (and ended up coming back with SA8) I asked about that, if memory saves me right that used to be the case, but isn't from a few years. Could be wrong though
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Location
london
I started on a jp 141 blues lovely sax alto tho. Had it for a while before upgrading to a Hanson. Great well made saxes sound and play a treat. The only issue is if you want to upgrade they are not so well known in general retaillers but if you want to keep the sax they are excellent...
 

Wonko

Member
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500
Location
Belgium
If you are not in a hurry, I would recommend waiting a while until you can go and try out some second hand horns. Since you already play woodwinds, that should be the best way to go about it.
When I started, I had never played anything (a bit of recorder at school, but that doesn't count), so trying them out would not have been an option. On top of that I had no money saved at that time, so I needed to buy new from a shop that provided financing options.
I asked my teacher for advice and I got the Yamaha 32 tenor. 19 years later, I still play that instrument and I am still very happy with it. It will take quite a couple of years until my playing is good enough to warrant a better sax. Or even to notice the difference in a better sax.
 

DavidUK

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Near Lutterworth, Leics.
When I went to pick up the AWO1 (and ended up coming back with SA8) I asked about that, if memory saves me right that used to be the case, but isn't from a few years. Could be wrong though
The ST5 has been out of production for some time. George's comment about the Hanson ST5 being a stencil of the Buffet 400 would hark back to earlier days. Certainly the SA5 and Eclipse models were stencils of Chinese and German component Buffet 400 models. That's from Alastair Hanson's mouth to my ear directly.

See also: Saxophones - Well well... my "new" Hanson is a Buffet 400!
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
2,234
Location
New Mexico, US
These sort of comments make me think my Alto 100 was a lemon, in 2 years I've had it it was constantly developing leaks or going out of regulation. Got to the point where the horn itself was actually putting me off practicing. Pretty much anything else I had a chance to try was significantly better. Based on my teachers feedback I also sounded much better after upgrading, though ofc he could have just been nice.
Interesting, I have refurbed and sold around 10 of them over the last couple years at this point and my buyers have been extremely happy....
 

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