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Saxophones Is this a cynical view of all other saxophones......

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,088
Recently asked for an opinion on Martin saxophones from a respected sax player, tutor and retailer. Here is his reply..

I'll give you a little list of the only things I would consider buying,
the rest is not as good and therefore why bother?

- Selmer Paris (Cigar Cutter, Balanced Action, MKVI, SA80I, II or III,
Reference series)
- Keilwerth (only SX90R versions)
- Yanigasawa (any)
- Yamaha (any, but 32/62/875/855/61/82Z) are best
- Cannonball (from stone series onwards, nothing earlier)
- Conn 10M Tenor
- King Super 20
- Beuscher TrueTone (some like but I personally wouldn't bother)

That's your lot, it's safe to say the rest are sub-par, and why indulge in
sub-par, it only makes playing less enjoyable and harder

Opinions please...........

 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Every time this question comes up or gets debated, you'll get the same reply - each person's opinion. There are no lemons on the list. But there are many saxes missing that other big names would recommend. It's like asking car nuts what's the best car in the world? Each has it's strengths and weaknesses.

Firstly you have to ask what his criteria are... Then match them to your criteria. Then get other opinions.

You need to find out why he excludes saxes that others would recommend. (Buescher Top Hat & Cane for instance).

But's what's most important is that you decide for yourself, based on your own needs - cos there isn't a straight answer. And every time it goes to a round of "I'm right you're wrong"...
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,632
“the rest is not as good”- explain exactly what this means- how are they not as good? I’ve heard Snake Davis play on a student sax and he sounded great- it cost roughly a third of any of the above- on some levels doesn’t that make it a better horn? OK- playing devil’s advocate a bit there but I’ll stand by the point……
I’ve come across plenty of folks who- don’t like Keilwerth’s ergonomics, don’t like the Tuning on Super20s, find Cannonballs too bright, their Conn 10M fell to bits due to age (me!),etc etc….. blanket statements like the above are, in my opinion, a bit daft…
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,088
As a novice sax player I am really appreciating the different opinions and preferences from the experienced sax players.
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
915
I do hate these threads, but here goes:
In (very, extremely, very) general terms, I have to agree, as advice for someone who is just starting on the saxophone, it sounds like a sensible list.... however, it always boils down to what YOU prefer and what YOU try out and play test: the main issue is that there is so much choice out there it makes your head spin and WE are all taken in by brands!
There are now 10s of different Taiwanese made saxes which cost a 3rd or even less of a big name model and do pretty much the same job (particularly for someone who has only been playing only two or three years).

He's given you a very generic list, wow, you don't have to be a "respected" player or retailer to come up with that... more like a list with very little imagination, if I have to be critical! So, in his view, Borgani, Rampone, Martin, Buescher (anything other than Tru-Tone), Couf, Pierret, Beaugnier, etc, are "sub-par"... I rest my case (hence why one should NEVER create such a list...)

Also, bear in mind he's mixed up "contemporary" and "vintage" models: not all vintage models with the same name are equal (look at a 70s 10M and a pre-war 10M) as well as not mentioning that not all "big four" models are great... I'm already getting too deep into this and I really don't want to, so I'll just stop typing!
Cheers,
M.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,017
I think that list comes from a rather arrogant POV. I have my favourites of course but would never assume my opinion is as important as to tell somebody to not bother with anything else.

there may be some kind of commercial agenda going on, as soon as they get a Martin Comm III in stock it will be added to the lust
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
915
I do hate these threads, but here goes:
In (very, extremely, very) general terms, I have to agree, as advice for someone who is just starting on the saxophone, it sounds like a sensible list.... however, it always boils down to what YOU prefer and what YOU try out and play test: the main issue is that there is so much choice out there it makes your head spin and WE are all taken in by brands!
There are now 10s of different Taiwanese made saxes which cost a 3rd or even less of a big name model and do pretty much the same job (particularly for someone who has only been playing only two or three years).

He's given you a very generic list, wow, you don't have to be a "respected" player or retailer to come up with that... more like a list with very little imagination, if I have to be critical! So, in his view, Borgani, Rampone, Martin, Buescher (anything other than Tru-Tone), Couf, Pierret, Beaugnier, etc, are "sub-par"... I rest my case (hence why one should NEVER create such a list...)

Also, bear in mind he's mixed up "contemporary" and "vintage" models: not all vintage models with the same name are equal (look at a 70s 10M and a pre-war 10M) as well as not mentioning that not all "big four" models are great... I'm already getting too deep into this and I really don't want to, so I'll just stop typing!
Cheers,
M.
Sorry for the above post, re-reading the guy's reply, he clearly says "what I would consider buying", I guess his opinion is as good as any...
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
more like a list with very little imagination, if I have to be critical!
Don't know about that; I am amazed to see a Taiwanese sax - and a Cannonball at that - in that illustrious company! (And he is quite right - their pre-Stone series saxes are not good). At the end of the day, he is an experienced sax-man and his opinion is worth listening to. But no more so than any other guy with a good depth of knowledge.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Wotalotofrot!

The only saxophone worth playing is Mæstro Schmidt's carbon fibre, logical fingering system tenor.

He also makes some tasty motorcycle gear and therefore is obviously a good guy.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Glad to see Selmer Reference and King Super 20 on the list, phew! obviously the guy has not played a Barone, Mac-sax or Bauhouse Walstein, (all essentially the same thing) otherwise those would be on there two!
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,287
Don't know about that; I am amazed to see a Taiwanese sax - and a Cannonball at that - in that illustrious company! (And he is quite right - their pre-Stone series saxes are not good). At the end of the day, he is an experienced sax-man and his opinion is worth listening to. But no more so than any other guy with a good depth of knowledge.
This would make sense if the retailer who the OP spoke to had something to do with Dawkes or Windcraft seeing that they are dealers of Cannonball horns,not saying that Cannonballs are bad horns because they are not,but they are no better or worse than a number of Taiwanese that are available today.
 

llamedos

Senior Member
Messages
431
Isn't the list a reflection of life as we know it? The only decent camera is a Leica, you're nobody if you don't drive a Lamborghini, the only place to buy a packet of crisps is Fortnum and Mason, only a Rolex will allow you to get to your next lesson on time .... the list is endless. Just reinforces my belief that the term "expert" is derived from x being the unknown quantity and spurt a drip under pressure.

Who is to say he is wrong? We all have our opinions and often have to cut our coat according to our cloth - in this context, I guess that what he considers acceptable, I might consider expensive (I might even go so far as over-priced in some instances). Sure, we are not all professionals and therefore have no need of the state of the art in most instances and may, by the paucity of the pension-pot, be prepared to settle for the acceptable over the desirable. Who is to say which viewpoint is right and which wrong?

(Puts soap-box back in the cupboard and notes from the H. Samuels Ever-rite that it is time for tea).

Regards to all and apologies for rant.

Dave
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,095
The best saxophones in the world are the ones you can get your hands on and the best of these is the one you're playing.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Apart from just agreeing with what Jules said right at the beginning, I would say that too many "experts" end up frozen in time, and do not keep up with developments in the field.

Anyway, the reason Snake Davis sounds so good on a student horn is because he is Welsh! (Not from Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, France, Germany or any other sax manufacturing country...):shocked::w00t:;}

There's brilliant, mind!
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
Selmer Paris (Cigar Cutter, Balanced Action, MKVI, SA80I, II or III,
Reference series)
- Keilwerth (only SX90R versions)
- Yanigasawa (any)
- Yamaha (any, but 32/62/875/855/61/82Z) are best
- Cannonball (from stone series onwards, nothing earlier)
- Conn 10M Tenor
- King Super 20
- Beuscher TrueTone (some like but I personally wouldn't bother)




I think that a key to interpreter that list is that the person who compiled is a retailer.

I do buy some saxophones to re sell. There are some brands that I value but I would’t buy because they are difficult to sell.

Based on such criterium might have my ideas too and , despite my likes, experience has taught me to stay away from certain horns or to buy certain others only if the price differential between buying and selling is very favourable.

The criteria used in such a list might vary considerably from place to place.

I don’t necessarily agree with that shortlist.
 
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