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Beginner Sax Help me choose a Tenor for my wife!

Stevie360

New Member
Messages
2
Hi guys. My wife's birthday is coming up next month and I thought I'd surprise her by getting her a tenor sax. She used to be quite musical in her teens and she's always talked to me about playing a tenor as one of those things she REALLY has to do in life! I want to surprise her but the more I've read up about saxophones, the more worried and confused I'm becoming. I know to stay away from chinese/very cheap saxs. In an ideal world I'd love to buy her a new Trevor James or Yamaha but my budget won't stretch that far. I have about £400 to spend, which should get me a decent 2nd hand tenor from what I can gather. However, I've also read that a novice (like me!) shouldn't buy 2nd hand off Ebay. What would you guys suggest?

*Are there any new tenors for <£400 or are they all poor?

*What brands should I be looking at new/second hand?

*What should I look for if I do buy 2nd hand?

I know there will be some horrible saxs out there but I know there'll be some genuine sellers too. Any help would be hugely appreciated.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Hi and welcome.

you should be able to do what you want. Take a look through the yard sale. There'll be plenty of suggestions from the members here. And don't forget to budget for a decent mouthpiece, reeds and a decent neck strap as well.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,989
I know to stay away from chinese/very cheap saxs.
I don't think this has been relevant advice for almost ten years now. Although I agree you should stay away from the dodgy Chinese instruments, but there are now some very good and very inexpensive instruments made in China, and would probably be your best bet at that budget.

There are some very good reviews here of the Academy Jericho, I have tried their alto it's as good as anything four times the price, it would be fine for me as a professional instrument.

Going up a bit on your budget you could get the much praised bauhaus walstein, fast gaining a great reputation worldwide.
 

flamingoer

Member
Messages
138
Hi Stevie,

I know of two pro players who've recently bought ex-demo horns from John Packer (Taunton)
and are using them on gigs. I see a tenor on the website going for £372.
I've not played one myself but they get a pretty good press.
 

Stevie360

New Member
Messages
2
There are some very good reviews here of the Academy Jericho, I have tried their alto it's as good as anything four times the price, it would be fine for me as a professional instrument.
Jericho J-6 Tenor from SMS Academy - £339

This is the one you mean I assume?

"As good as any saxophone at the professional end of the price scale"
Pete Thomas
(Cafe Saxophone) :)

It looks fantastic value, thanks!

And don't forget to budget for a decent mouthpiece, reeds and a decent neck strap as well.
Is it 1.5 reeds she'll need? I heard they're easily ruined, should I get a few? Will I need a new mouthpiece with this Jericho sax or will the standard one be ok?

Flamingoer - I'll have a look, thanks

Thanks for all your help guys. You've suddenly made this much less daunting for me. I can't wait to come home to hear my wife playing!
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,989
Jericho J-6 Tenor from SMS Academy - £339

This is the one you mean I assume?
Yes.

Is it 1.5 reeds she'll need? I heard they're easily ruined, should I get a few? Will I need a new mouthpiece with this Jericho sax or will the standard one be ok?
I.5 reeds would be a good start, it's worth getting a few, they break easily plus they are not very consistent. I'd ring up and discuss what a beginner might need. At that price you have some money for a few accessories, stand etc.

A yamaha 5C would be a good mouthpiece to get with it.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
I would recommend to find some recognized/reliable seller.
John Packer: I have been playing their horns for years as backup instruments, I always experienced good communication.
Jericho: I tried their alto too and they are probably the best value for money horns around. Robbie Fraser is a member here and really willing to help.
sax.co.uk: big shop with excellent musicians working there.
howarth: London based shop with a long tradition.

If you decide to go up in price, a lot of other options...
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,554
I was about to suggest a Yamaha 5C too.
I have one on my Bauhaus Walstein Tenor, and it's a good middle of the road starter mouthpiece (and may be all she ever wants)
1.5 is a good place to start, assuming she's never played a single reed instrument before.
Reeds are a whole subject of their own, too, like mouthpieces.

I play RICO royals (blue box) on all 3 of my saxes, or if you wanted to spend a little less, I understand the RICO orange box are also good, but a little cheaper. If you just want to be sure she can get playing on day one, then you could just buy a packet of 3, no need for 10.

A neck strap is also an absolute essential, the Neotech is a good basic one! It offers some padding for the neck, comes in at around £20. Other neck-straps are available for a similar price.

After that, if you have spare cash (or you could get other family members on board for accessories?) a body pull-through, a neck/mouthpiece pull-through, an instrument stand will all be really useful, and pretty much essential fairly swiftly.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,082
Gear4Music do a reasonable tenor for just over half your budget and include a starter pack with everything if you want it. They do the yamaha mouthpieces at a fair price too. You'll have a little left over for some earplugs while she practices and perhaps enough to retain a lawyer when the neighbours sue for noise abatement;}
 
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