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Beginner Sax Newbie question...


New Member
Howden - East Yorkshire - UK
I have been looking (for quite some time now) at learning the sax.

I keep looking at lots of website etc. and I have also been to my local(ish) music store in York.

I am thinking of buying either an Artemis or Trevor James (299-399) sax to start on.

Am i making a mistake to buy at this price or do i need to up my budget?




One day i will...
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Welcome to the cafe :) and on your choice of learning the sax

The Trevor James horns do get good reviews, and a few members on here have them aand are happy with them.
Have you thought about a quality 2nd hand sax, reason being if you spend £300-£400 on a new sax and don't stick with learning if and when you decide to sell you will lose a lot of money from what you paid new.(hopefully that wont happen)
Buying a quality 2nd hand if you don't take to the sax you wont lose out as much, the 2nd hand horn has already depreciated.
I had my sax bought for me as a present and although i'm very happy with my present, if i had the money they spent on my sax i would have bought a quality 2nd hand model, and a better sax to boot :) just my opinion as a beginner myself

Good luck in your search

Rico Vandoren

St.Helens, Merseyside. UK.
Hi Nige,
I started on Trevor James' ' The Horn ' alto sax. I've had a look round the web and it seems to fall within your price range. I'm no expert, but all I can say is that it did the job for me for about 4 years until I was ready to upgrade. It was well made, very playable, and never gave me any trouble.

If you are on the fence as to whether to make the commitment or not, I would say do it, and do it now. Learning the sax has changed my life in many ways. I've met lots of great people, learned to read music, and become, dare I say it, a musician!

All the best, and welcome to the forum.


Well-Known Member
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi There!

You should find a reasonable sax for around £400. The Bauhaus Walstein is excellent quality at that sort of price, and a particular favourite of this forum. They have a new one at in oxford for £399, and a used Bronze Alto at for £299. I would certainly go for either of these as they are nearer pro quality than most student saxes. The other one to consider IMO is the John Packer range which are about £400 - see the John Packer website. As you will also need to get a neck strap, mouthpiece, reeds and ligature you should find something decent for £400 or so (the JP045 Series), especially if you are open to buying online or used instruments. Commonly the mouthpiece/ligature supplied with a beginner sax is not really that good, so you may need to get a better quality one - cheaper mouthpieces include Rico Graftonite (B3), or a Runyon 22 (4/5 facing) or a Yamaha Plastic (4C/5C), and are highly recommended between £15 -£30.

Any additional advice just fire away - several forum members have played Trevor James altos - not sure about Artemis, but I personally would recommend the other 2 as good quality alto saxes.

Kind regards

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Ilkley West Yorkshire
My tenor is an Artemis rebadged as a Conrad for some reason, and with a decent mouthpiece has given me years of pleasure.
The stock mouthpiece is garbage but for a few quid you'll get a decent set up. Tom knows his mouthpieces so listen to him.
Just buy yourself the best you can afford and have some fun


Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
If it's a choice of the two I'd go Trevor James. TomMapfumo's recommendations are good too, but you might want to go to the local shop and build a bit of a rapport with them - obviously you'll also need reeds and music and other bits to get you started too.

Trimmy's point is also good, since I usually recommend used Yamaha if you can find one. Just don't buy a second-hand sax without getting a sax player to try it for you first, and get yourself a teacher!

Good luck, and like Tom says - get stuck in!



Café Supporter
Medway Kent
I too started out on a Trevor James and it served me well.
Are you aware that do complete hire packages where you can hire a new TJ or similar for a nominal fee for 3 months then at the end of the period you can renew your rental or purchase the sax and the rental costs are taken off the purchase price. Its a reasonably cheap way of finding out if you want to invest in a sax. Thats what I did and never looked back.
Good blowing.


Buckinghamshire, UK
I've had both a TJ and a BW and much prefer the latter, but it's all down to personal preference.


Senior Member
United Kingdom
Check out Phil Barone site man. Also he is on your doorstep. Not right now, on your doorstep but on; yeah check it out Nige.A great option.


Morecambe prom
Another option might be 'lease to buy' Effectively you lease the horn for a few weeks paying a rental. At the end of the period you can either pay the outstanding balance or simply hand it back. This way if you find the sax isn;t for you, you haven't lost too much moneyand you haven't got a horn on your hands that you have to try and sell. That's how I started. I bought the horn at the end of the lease and I still have it. I use for playing outside in weather I wouldn't let near the Yani or the Buescher.
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