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Saxophones New tenor saxophone

Big-Al

Member
Messages
32
I have been looking at replacing my current tenor for a professional model. Wadding through countless reviews before going to try a few. Although originally looking at yanagisawa's and yamaha's I have been impressed by the bauhaus walstien and in particular the silver plated model. The price would mean I could buy new rather than second-hand, So the question is do they really compete in terms of out and out quality or are the yanagisawa's and yamaha's still ahead albeit at a far higher price.

Has anyone done a comparison, although any comments would be more than welcome.:thumb::thumb::thumb:

Thanks AL,
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Steve Howard has done a review of the sax you mention and maintains that it competes on a level playing field with both Yamahas and Mauriat, but "then kicks them firmly in the old family jeweis with its price" - check out his website www.shwoodwind.co.uk . I used to have a Yani T901 which I recently traded in for a System 54 and am much happier with the sound, butit does come down to personal experience and sound concept.

As well as the BW the System 54, and Trevor James Custom Raw are all worth considering for under £2000. That would allow you to get a really decent mouthpiece set up and save some money too.

Hope this helps
Tom
 

Big-Al

Member
Messages
32
Tom, yes it was reading Steve's review of the BW which made me seriously consider it. Because the price difference is so big you do wonder if it has been done at the expense of the overall quality that only shows up after longer term use. Either that or the margins on yani's and yami's must be huge!

Mouthpieces are also a big consideration although I am hoping my PPT wil do the job, I also need a harness or yoke strap to prevent neck strain due to a health condition called 'age' :shocked:

Thanks for you advice!

Al,
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I think one of the reasons for the price difference is the much lower labour costs in China.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I think one of the reasons for the price difference is the much lower labour costs in China.
As well as in Taiwan. I do think that Yani and Yami horns are expensive for what they are. A Yamaha T275 student horn costs over £1000 whereas you can get a BW for about £700, and build quality on the BW is excellent.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,285
I have owned both Yani's and Yamaha's they are great horns but have risen in price dramatically over the last few years,but there again so as some of the Taiwan horns like the Mauriat,they have nearly doubled since i bought my system 76,best advice is go and see Stuart at Woodwind Exchange in Bradford and find a horn that ticks most if not all the boxes for what you want to pay.
I recently went to Sax.co.uk in London and tried the silver Bauhaus and was well impressed and would have bought one if i hadn't already got 4 altos and the fact my wife might well have divorced me if i had walked in with another horn.
The sound was fantastic even against the big 4.
They seemed to be well built but i am no tech and it remains to be seen in years to come how they last.

Brian
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I've currently got two BW saxes, a baritone and a curly sop, both in phosphor bronze. They are undoubtedly brilliant for the money, although their prices are creeping up now that the brand is getting established. I also have a couple of Yanagisawas, as well as some vintage stuff. Although the BWs are great, and well made, having owned both brands for a few years, I don't find them to be comparable to Yanaigasawa in terms of build quality. The Yanagisawas have better casting, have stronger keys (I bent one key on the BW sop just with finger pressure), more precise assembly and fit and a better finish. Peripheral stuff like cases and mouthpieces are far better on the Yani, too.

However, what you're looking at is a case of diminishing marginal returns. A Yanagisawa would cost two to three times the price of a BW, and if you apply a value judgement you would probably find the BW comes out on top. Setting aside price and just comparing like with like, though, there is no doubt at all from my experience that Yanagisawa saxes are higher quality than BW.

The point Jazzdoh makes about Mauriat pricing is interesting as well. I remember when they first hit the market here, when they were very aggressively priced. As soon as the brand got established their prices went to the same market levels as the Japanese and European opposition. I think the same is happening with BW. When I bought my sop about four years ago it was £350. By the time it had been manufactured, quality checked, packaged, sent from China to the UK, import duties paid, final set up done and a slice for the retailer, I can't see that there is much left over for the manufacturer's profits. Even with Chinese labour costs, there's just not much profit margin. However, the brand has been a big success, and now that a bridgehead has been established, I can only see the brand being steadily priced further upmarket. The same sax now costs £650. That's not just an inflationary price rise, it's a strategy to establish a brand by selling at very tight margins for the first few years then reaping the benefits thereafter.

Jon
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,285
Jon i agree with what you say 100%,the only thing is isn't the BW silver made in a different factory and therefore built to compeat with the big 4

Brian



I've currently got two BW saxes, a baritone and a curly sop, both in phosphor bronze. They are undoubtedly brilliant for the money, although their prices are creeping up now that the brand is getting established. I also have a couple of Yanagisawas, as well as some vintage stuff. Although the BWs are great, and well made, having owned both brands for a few years, I don't find them to be comparable to Yanaigasawa in terms of build quality. The Yanagisawas have better casting, have stronger keys (I bent one key on the BW sop just with finger pressure), more precise assembly and fit and a better finish. Peripheral stuff like cases and mouthpieces are far better on the Yani, too.

However, what you're looking at is a case of diminishing marginal returns. A Yanagisawa would cost two to three times the price of a BW, and if you apply a value judgement you would probably find the BW comes out on top. Setting aside price and just comparing like with like, though, there is no doubt at all from my experience that Yanagisawa saxes are higher quality than BW.

The point Jazzdoh makes about Mauriat pricing is interesting as well. I remember when they first hit the market here, when they were very aggressively priced. As soon as the brand got established their prices went to the same market levels as the Japanese and European opposition. I think the same is happening with BW. When I bought my sop about four years ago it was £350. By the time it had been manufactured, quality checked, packaged, sent from China to the UK, import duties paid, final set up done and a slice for the retailer, I can't see that there is much left over for the manufacturer's profits. Even with Chinese labour costs, there's just not much profit margin. However, the brand has been a big success, and now that a bridgehead has been established, I can only see the brand being steadily priced further upmarket. The same sax now costs £650. That's not just an inflationary price rise, it's a strategy to establish a brand by selling at very tight margins for the first few years then reaping the benefits thereafter.

Jon
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Be good to have Steve Howard's and Pete Thomas's view on this. The M2 is double the price of the Phosphur Bronze Tenor, so I imagine it possibly has a better build quality than when the original PB tenor was for sale for £350. Steve Howard does have a direct comparison b/w the BW £350 and the Yani 991.
 

Jack

Member
Messages
123
My tech compares my saxes (made in the same factory as bauhaus walstein, by the same people) He thinks that they compare favorably (gasp! dare I say it?) with a (oh my God! I'm gonna say it, yaaah) reference 54 (now I have to run for my life !!!) eeeek!
 

Big-Al

Member
Messages
32
My tech compares my saxes (made in the same factory as bauhaus walstein, by the same people) He thinks that they compare favorably (gasp! dare I say it?) with a (oh my God! I'm gonna say it, yaaah) reference 54 (now I have to run for my life !!!) eeeek!
lol

Well I am working over near Liverpool today so if I get a chance I'll go and try a BW and any others and can get my hands on at Curly's. I'll let you all know how it goes

Thanks Al,
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
My tech compares my saxes (made in the same factory as bauhaus walstein, by the same people) He thinks that they compare favorably (gasp! dare I say it?) with a (oh my God! I'm gonna say it, yaaah) reference 54 (now I have to run for my life !!!) eeeek!
No problem with what you report. I play a System 54 Tenor (Taiwan) which is a copy of the Selmer Balanced Action of yesteryear and is very well thought of, and my tech uses one in preference to his Mauriat PMXT66R. I do think that the power balance is shifting - I have two Rath/John Packer trombones (cost £400) which are now the top recommendation for students, taking over from the Yamaha 354, which are now £709. Their quality is exceptional (as are the Yamaha's).

So, no need to hide behind Moz or any other scaredy cats - perfectly valid view. If I was buying an Alto Sax new now I would most likely go for the Buffet 400, and save money on Ref54 Alto which I do play, and also love.

Regards
Tom
 

Big-Al

Member
Messages
32
Well, I managed to get a demo, the sound of the BW is diffinately not as bright as the yami or yani, more mellow without being to dark. Keywork felt good with everything falling naturally in place. The quality of the finish was also high and it weighs just over half the weight of my current sax which is another reason I wanted to upgrade. It played really well with my ppt mouthpiece. So after a bit of bartering (got a really good price) I put down a deposit on the silver plated pro horn. So now I have to wait for a week for the new stock to come in. Apparently the UK supplier has been out in the far east so they have a shortage of BW stock. I can have it on approval before I commit fully to buying it. So well happy!

Thanks to all of you who offered advice and comments

AL,
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
Another M2 Bling Player :w00t:
Welcome to the BW club! Look forward to hearing how you get on with it once you get it home.

Cheers,
Amanda
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Well, I managed to get a demo, the sound of the BW is diffinately not as bright as the yami or yani, more mellow without being to dark. Keywork felt good with everything falling naturally in place. The quality of the finish was also high and it weighs just over half the weight of my current sax which is another reason I wanted to upgrade. It played really well with my ppt mouthpiece. So after a bit of bartering (got a really good price) I put down a deposit on the silver plated pro horn. So now I have to wait for a week for the new stock to come in. Apparently the UK supplier has been out in the far east so they have a shortage of BW stock. I can have it on approval before I commit fully to buying it. So well happy!

Thanks to all of you who offered advice and comments

AL,
Lovely news - very pleased for you. You'll now have to get a Marc Jean custom Ligature for the PPT!
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
855
I have a Yanagisawa T901. I bought it because it's nice and shiny. All saxes are nice and shiny but with a Yanagisawa saxophone, repair engineers don't groan inwardly and laugh at you. :thumb:

Martin
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
I do have to say that of the new instruments the M2 Alto is on my list of GAS aspirations.....:mrcool and Curly Woodwind are an hour away from here....:sax:
 

Big-Al

Member
Messages
32
I have a Yanagisawa T901. I bought it because it's nice and shiny. All saxes are nice and shiny but with a Yanagisawa saxophone, repair engineers don't groan inwardly and laugh at you. :thumb:

Martin
Are you suggesting that they would with a BW?.

Al,
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I cannot truthfully answer that question as I do not play synthetics. Why not email Marc and ask his view, or check his website -he's a very friendly bloke ( info@musiquedemarc.com ) They actually work out cheaper than an FL Ultimate etc. I have ordered two from Canada - neither of which have incurred any additional fees on receipt.

Not sure I get Moz's comment - the only thing I can imagine is that some people are way behind the times and they generally rubbish any instruments from the Far East. All the techs in South Wales actually also sell BW saxes, as well as System 54, Mauriat and other Taiwanese produced saxes. At least Steve Howard is a tech to be trusted and makes thorough going assessments and intelligent comments on such matters - it may be good to PM him and ask whether he secretly groans inwardly when Pete Thomas takes his BW M2 Soprano for a service...............
 
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