All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Beginner Sax How good (expensive) is this saxophone?

achrn

New Member
Messages
3
I know nothing about saxophones (OK, I think I can recognise one) and am very non-musical, but am looking for some advice. I've tried looking round the web and the previous threads, but I know so little I'm not confident I've understood what I'm reading. It's also pretty much guaranteed I'm going to use the wrong terminology:

My daughter has been having lessons and playing the clarinet since she was 8. Obviously, we've had spells when she practised only when nagged, but last few years she plays it for fun too. She's now 17 and in the final year of school. For the last couple of years she has been running and leading a small student wind group (eight of them in the band this year, I think), and because the school wanted another tenor sax in the jazz band they lent her a tenor saxophone. She now plays clarinet and saxophone in the school jazz band (it’s about 20 piece) and also at church each week (typically a band of six or so). She’s never had lessons on the saxophone (but I understand the keying is the same?, and her clarinet teacher also teaches saxophone and they sometimes go ‘off topic’ on that, I think).

She likes the saxophone more than the clarinet. She plays the saxophone more than the clarinet at home for no particular reason. However, she’s going to have to give the saxophone back.

I’d like to buy her a saxophone, but I’d like to know what’s a similar quality instrument to the one she’s been playing. I want to know what expenditure is necessary so it’s not a step down in quality. With the spend I anticipate, I’ll need to do some planning.

On the saxophone she has, the side (between the largest of the ports and the trumpet mouth) is engraved 'Prelude' in cursive script about 15mm high (the P being 20mm high) then new line 'by Selmer USA' the Selmer being in a plainish gothic font, then 'TS700' in a modern-style sans serif font about 5mm high. On the other side of the trumpet is a plant design, about 170mm high, seemingly part engraved, part inscribed into the metal with something like a narrow knurling wheel. On the back (facing the player) just above the bottom bend it says '17904' and 'AD002TS'. This is less clear, may not be engraved - it actually shows as outlines where the plating has eroded - the rest of the plating being pretty much intact round here.

I think I’ve determined that Selmer is a premium brand name, but this is their extreme budget model / range.

The saxophone seems to have had a relatively hard life – presumably as you’d expect for a school instrument. It was said to have had a full service immediately before she got it, but I don't know what that entailed, The plating is pockmarked throughout, and mostly gone entirely from the neck piece and mechanical linkages. There are three or four minor dents scattered around, up to about 6mm across, probably less than 1mm deep but they are visible when a reflection falls across them.

Is it possible to tell me what a comparable saxophone costs new and likely cost in decent condition second-hand? If we tried buying privately, I don’t think I know anyone else that plays saxophone, though we have a friend that plays various other brass and wind instruments who would probably be able to help and must know more about it than me. From what I’ve said of my daughter’s experience would she be able to tell if there was something wrong with a saxophone on the sort of brief try she’d get if we went to see a private seller? If there’s too much risk we’d end up with a lemon, I’ll try bracing myself for new prices, though I haven’t done much more than note they are even scarier than clarinet pricing (her clarinet is mid-student-range Buffet Crampon we bought new when she was about 10, I remember that price-tag alarmed me then, and it seems I can stick an extra digit on for saxophone prices, though it's less scary handing that over to a 17-year-old than a 10-yr-old).

Thanks for any advice, when offering it, please assume I don’t know any terminology!
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,538
Right now I would go for this:

 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,388
Selmer France is indeed a premium brand, but the Prelude is from the American Conn-Selmer company, not the French Selmer. It is a cheap instrument as saxophones go.

Besides Jericho (see above), another brand that is popular in the UK is Trevor James.

If your budget would stretch to it, then there is a used Yamaha saxophone in the Café Yard Sale that would be an excellent purchase. But it costs a lot more than the Jericho.
 

majordennis

Senior Member
Messages
486
I decided after a long time without a tenor I would try another, usual suspects on eBay were overpriced so I decided to give the Jericho a try. I’m currently evaluating the tenor version, first impressions are very good, the customer service is second to none, lots of contact and all questions answered promptly and accurately, key pop test and finish were first class, setup nice and crisp and intonation accurate. I hav’nt played tenor for a long time so I’m still finding my accuracy with the keys, so still working on it but first impressions are very good.
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,102
If your daughter likes the Prelude she has a plethora of mid range saxophones to choose from as an upgrade path. I have a MkI Jericho alto and would also recommend giving the tenor version a go if it's anything as good as the alto.

@Jericho Saxophones - Did I dream it or is Steve Howard once again setting Jerichos up before shipping?
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,435
It's all about budget really and how much you are able or prepared to spend Pete Thomas knows what he's talking about and the Jericho would be a good first sax and every bit as good as the loaned one but new for under £400 the other YTS 32 would be a fabulous sax for your daughter ten times better than the prelude and it's being sold by a reliable member who is a sax tech so it should be in tip top condition for under £1000 the choice is yours
 

achrn

New Member
Messages
3
Thanks all. I admit it's a relief to find a comparable saxophone is within reach financially. It's not quite as simple as just buying whatever we can afford, because there is some elasticity in a budget so I was trying to find out what the budget needs to be to get something equivalent to what she's already playing, then we can think about whether it can be stretched further.

We are also thinking about second hand, but that's tricky when we don't know what to be looking for when getting our hands on an actual individual instrument.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,993
I am a bit surprised that folks jumped on a one-brand bandwagon right from the start of this thread (?). Unusual for here, actually....

Fact is, not to disregard the Jericho whatsoever (I have zero experience with any)...but there are at least a half-dozen sax makes/models in the running here...probably readily available in London, certainly. All would likely fit the bill - not just one.....particularly if your budget would allow for a reputable name brand.

Yamaha, yes.

Jupiter ? Yes.

Buffet 100 (very NICE horn) or a Buffet Evette ? Yes.

Trevor James ? Elkhart ? (Both quite popular on your side of the pond...)

Eastman, a recent discovery for me, makes really GOOD pro-grade horns. They DO have a student line as well....I cannot say the quality is the same, but based upon what I have seen of their top-shelf stuff, I would also take a look at their more inexpensive models.

Also, wanna say here - a Selmer TS700 is not a BAD horn, it's actually a fairly good student horn...I am sure, as OP states, it is not in tip-top shape. But any of the above would, IMHO, be better; and certainly worthy of serious consideration.
 
Last edited:

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,435
I think the reason for the one brand is that it is very much a known quantity,they are a company with a known track record that offers great after sales service and the Jericho is also known to be a quality product for an amazingly low price that basically can't be touched by the likes of Jupiter and Eastman and Buffet who basically start at double the price,I have no idea how the quality compares but eBay UK is flooded with those makes so people are either not happy with them or are just moving up to something better after using them as a starter sax
 
Last edited:

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,435
Thanks all. I admit it's a relief to find a comparable saxophone is within reach financially. It's not quite as simple as just buying whatever we can afford, because there is some elasticity in a budget so I was trying to find out what the budget needs to be to get something equivalent to what she's already playing, then we can think about whether it can be stretched further.

We are also thinking about second hand, but that's tricky when we don't know what to be looking for when getting our hands on an actual individual instrument.

As far as buying second hand goes it's a mine field for someone with no knowledge of saxophones a trip to sax.co .uk might be a great idea as they are in your area I believe or just look on their web site to get an idea of prices
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,538
I think the reason for the one brand is that it is very much a known quantity,

Also a lot of people here have bought them and given good honest reviews. It is very rare to find such a reasonably priced instrument with such quality and a great set up.

For a while I was involved in an affiliate scheme mainly because I had tried the instruments and thought they were the best value for money, so I think a lot of people here maybe bought via that.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,993
I think the reason for the one brand is that it is very much a known quantity,they are a company with a known track record that offers great after sales service and the Jericho is also known to be a quality product for an amazingly low price that basically can't be touched by the likes of Jupiter and Eastman and Buffet who basically start at double the price,I have no idea how the quality compares but eBay UK is flooded with those makes so people are either not happy with them or are just moving up to something better after using them as a starter sax
This comment confuses me....and again I am not being 'difficult', but it intmates a few things which may or may not have been intended.

So, OK, you have a sax brand here, VERY cheap as far as pricetag goes. But in one breath you say 'value for the money" is very good...which is a reasonable comment.

Then in another breath you suggest that because Yamas and Jupes are readily available on the second hand market, that somehow makes them suspect ? Is there is a quality issue by virtue of the fact that one may find many of a particular horn available second hand ?

I do not see a sequitir there. Cannot one a posit that a few years down the road, when folks who happen to own the Jericho student horns begin to sell 'em.... the market would also not have them appearing somewhat more often ? And if that were the case....would their appearance second hand somehow speak to their quality as an instrument ?...would a few appearing on teh second hand market suggest 'people are not happy with then' ? ....or simply attest to the fact that (like folks with student level Yamas or Jupes) the players are simply ready for a better horn (or perhaps just stopped playing, etc...) ?

Again, I reiterate....a sax this inexpensive which has gotten favorable reviews is something worthy of a look. But it is reasonable to question whether it is THE choice in this particular instance, is all; and I found it a bit surprising that on this forum, the color of the convo would move in that particular direction so quickly....
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,124
Having never played or worked on one, I'm inclined to accept Pete Thomas at his word that the Jerico is a good value as a student instrument. I learned from their ad that they have a "3 point quality control process" and they allow a 30 day trial period.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,538
You know me and what query comes next....any of those people (unaffiliated) techs ? Not being a thorn here, honest question.....
No, just user reviews.
The only tech here who I think has reviewed them is @Stephen Howard (who as we know is/was involved in the QC setup is not unaffilated

Having never played or worked on one, I'm inclined to accept Pete Thomas at his word that the Jerico is a good value as a student instrument.

I think though that @JayeNM does have a point in wondering about unaffiliated tech reviews vs customer reviews (or my review which was totally POV of playing the thing, not analysing the mechanics and forecasting if it will stand the test of time) I admit that.

What I do know is that if the build quality was not up to snuff, Stephen would not get involved in the set up process knowing that there is little point in turd polishing.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom