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Beginner Sax Not sure which sax to get

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
Hey everyone,

I'm planning to start learning how to play the sax and I've decided to start on an alto like most beginners do. I do have some experience playing piano and guitar but I have never tried playing a wind instrument.

After some hours of dedicated research I can't help but feel overwhelmed by how many things go into the making of a sax so I need some help deciding which sax should I go for keeping in mind that my budget is very low for a sax (350 euros). I'm aware of how low that is cause most of the big brand insturemts I've found would sell for about a 100o or so.

As far as I can tell my best options are:

1- the Odyssey OAS130 Debut Alto Saxophone

Odyssey OAS130 Alto Saxophone Outfit:Amazon.co.uk:Musical Instruments

2- ammoon ® bE Alto Saxphone Brass Lacquered Gold E Flat Sax 82Z Key Type


Any and all feedback and help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,722
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Hi, welcome

I strongly suspect you can do better than that. I'd be wary of anything that comes with 'white gloves'... You'd be much better off finding a proper music shop and buying from there especially as they may have some decent second-hand instruments.

Hopefully some Irish members will be able to advise on possible outlets for you.
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,937
Locality
Bristol, UK
The problem with cheap Chinese-made saxophones is that they keep costs low by saving on quality control. This means that a random Chinese instrument may be excellent or it may be a complete lemon, and you won't know which until it arrives. If you are a beginner then it may be hard to tell even after it has arrived. So you really need to buy the saxophone from a source who will check it before sending it out. This tends to rule out the huge sellers like Amazon or Gear4Music, unless they are acting as outlet for a smaller organisation.

So if your budget is very limited then I think your two best options are:
1. Buy a cheap Chinese-made sax from a seller who will check it and set it up before shipping
2. Buy second-hand from a reliable source (not eBay)

With regards to option 1, I have heard good reports about Jericho saxophones, though I have never played one myself.

Another possibility is Headwind in Bristol:

With regard to secondhand saxes, the Café Yardsale is normally a good place to look, but there doesn't seem to be anything in your price-bracket at the moment. Local ads can be good if you have a friend who plays the sax and could come along with you to try it. Or Hanson in the UK are advertising a secondhand Elkhart Deluxe for a bit more than you want to pay, but it should be a good choice - these are made in Taiwan.

I have heard that it is no use sending emails to Hanson - you have to ring them, but they are very helpful.
 

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
Hi, welcome

I strongly suspect you can do better than that. I'd be wary of anything that comes with 'white gloves'... You'd be much better off finding a proper music shop and buying from there especially as they may have some decent second-hand instruments.

Hopefully some Irish members will be able to advise on possible outlets for you.

I thought the same when I saw it came with "white gloves". I would very much rather get it from a music shop where I can talk to someone and make sure that the instrument is good to go but unfortunately due to the current situation with COVID-19 everything is pretty much closed and sadly I don't think they'll be opening businesses anytime soon, so I'm left with the online option.
 

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
The problem with cheap Chinese-made saxophones is that they keep costs low by saving on quality control. This means that a random Chinese instrument may be excellent or it may be a complete lemon, and you won't know which until it arrives. If you are a beginner then it may be hard to tell even after it has arrived. So you really need to buy the saxophone from a source who will check it before sending it out. This tends to rule out the huge sellers like Amazon or Gear4Music, unless they are acting as outlet for a smaller organisation.

So if your budget is very limited then I think your two best options are:
1. Buy a cheap Chinese-made sax from a seller who will check it and set it up before shipping
2. Buy second-hand from a reliable source (not eBay)

With regards to option 1, I have heard good reports about Jericho saxophones, though I have never played one myself.

Another possibility is Headwind in Bristol:

With regard to secondhand saxes, the Café Yardsale is normally a good place to look, but there doesn't seem to be anything in your price-bracket at the moment. Local ads can be good if you have a friend who plays the sax and could come along with you to try it. Or Hanson in the UK are advertising a secondhand Elkhart Deluxe for a bit more than you want to pay, but it should be a good choice - these are made in Taiwan.

I have heard that it is no use sending emails to Hanson - you have to ring them, but they are very helpful.

Thanks so much for your reply =)

The main problem I faced when trying to get a student sax online is that there are so many different options of both models and brands and there isn't any information you can find online. Upon intense googling you only get the product page for many saxophones and you won't find any online reviews or videos.

So for both your recommendations, do you reckon that option 1 or 2 would be the way to go? I'm not sure about a 2nd hand sax as I'm afraid it won't be up to code or in perfect condition and as you said as a complete beginner I wouldn't be able to tell at all. I understand they will be checked before being shipped so maybe I'm not too worried about the condition but I've noticed it doesn't say that it would come with any of the accessories one might need (case, cleaning kit, reeds etc...)

for the 1st option I've noted a significant price difference between the two. how does the Jericho compare versus the Headwind and then overall would the 2nd hand Elkhart be better than either?

If it helps I aim to focus on jazz, pop, solos and blues.

Apologies for being a nuisance I'm just completely lost here and I wouldn't wanna make a bad decision/investment that would be a complete waste of money and/or turn me off learning the sax. Once again thanks I really appreciate the help.
 
Last edited:

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,985
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
There's no guarantee that a new saxophone or in fact any saxophone will be in playing condition after a journey through the post.
 

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
There's no guarantee that a new saxophone or in fact any saxophone will be in playing condition after a journey through the post.

So should I give up on getting one online since I won't be able to take it to a repair shop and make sure it's sound?
 

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
You will need a mouthpiece, reeds, probably a sling. If it doesn't have a case, don't buy it.
Perfect! and that's all the essentials? I understand reeds come in different thicknesses, any recommendations on what thickness to start on?
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Messages
2,421
Locality
Hampshire
It's understandable to want to get hold of a Sax as quickly as you can. Things are clearly more difficult at the moment and I don't imagine Galway is over run with Sax shops at the best of times (correct me if I'm wrong) So your options of making the right, informed choice about a Sax are pretty limited.

As your budget is quite low, are you able to hold back for a bit and maybe increase your budget? Learn a bit more in the meantime, get to know the forum and what you need as a new player, and get yourself a better horn when times are a bit easier.

I appreciate for an eager new player, the above might just be a nonsense, but it might be your best route.
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,937
Locality
Bristol, UK
for the 1st option I've noted a significant price difference between the two. how does the Jericho compare versus the Headwind and then overall would the 2nd hand Elkhart be better than either?

The answer is that I don't know. The Elkhart is a Taiwanese instrument, and a few years years ago it would have been the obvious choice compared with the others. But I have heard that mainland-China saxes can also be pretty good nowadays.

If you have a local teacher, and if they are willing, you could ask them to try out the sax when you get it. I did this with my first sax. It cost me the same as a lesson. In any case, you need the seller to have a good returns policy.

My advice would be to ring to Jericho and to Hansons to check if they are still doing business at the moment and to ask what they will do to make sure the sax is in good condition when they send it. With Hanson, you could probably haggle about the price, and try to get them to include a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and a strap and some cleaning swabs.

An alternative way to get going is to hire a sax. Usually the hiring company will deduct the hire charges from the cost of the sax if you decide to buy it.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
2,461
Locality
New Mexico, US
So should I give up on getting one online since I won't be able to take it to a repair shop and make sure it's sound?
Let's put it this way....generally speaking, it's reasonably fair to assume that a brand-new horn is gonna be in decent, regulated playing shape when it arrives. MOST buyers do NOT initially have trouble with getting their horn to speak and perform well, freshly unboxed.

BUT

A not-insignificant amount of players do. In the past month two threads here contained that very situation. So, it's not 'uncommon'.


Now when it comes to buying USED, you HAVE to get an assurance from the seller that the horn is in good playing shape. Many will NOT give this, with reason - they haven't bothered to have the sax serviced by a tech BEFORE listing it for sale, and they don't intend to.

But if you can find a seller (or dealer of used) which provides that assurance, or you can return it if not....then this is no 'riskier' than buying new.

As noted by others, used gets you more bang for the buck (quid). BUT, many people might also suggest that for a newbie who has no experience in buying used, staying with new is a wiser option.

As noted, if that will be the case, upping your budget a bit will help as far as acquiring something new and decent.


You could also just rent. I believe there are shops which rent and ship directly to you. A rental shop should guarantee the horn will arrive in playing shape.
 

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
It's understandable to want to get hold of a Sax as quickly as you can. Things are clearly more difficult at the moment and I don't imagine Galway is over run with Sax shops at the best of times (correct me if I'm wrong) So your options of making the right, informed choice about a Sax are pretty limited.

As your budget is quite low, are you able to hold back for a bit and maybe increase your budget? Learn a bit more in the meantime, get to know the forum and what you need as a new player, and get yourself a better horn when times are a bit easier.

I appreciate for an eager new player, the above might just be a nonsense, but it might be your best route.
It's understandable to want to get hold of a Sax as quickly as you can. Things are clearly more difficult at the moment and I don't imagine Galway is over run with Sax shops at the best of times (correct me if I'm wrong) So your options of making the right, informed choice about a Sax are pretty limited.

As your budget is quite low, are you able to hold back for a bit and maybe increase your budget? Learn a bit more in the meantime, get to know the forum and what you need as a new player, and get yourself a better horn when times are a bit easier.

I appreciate for an eager new player, the above might just be a nonsense, but it might be your best route.
Thanks and that's exactly it. I might be too eager for my own good and it will be challenging to hold back now. Since everything is closed now (Galway only has a few music shops and just one that sells a few horns anyways) it would be nearly impossible to have someone examine the sax when it arrives. I could try to increase my budget to 400 maybe 450 overtime but It'll take much longer since I'm not working at the moment.

I might be trying to rush it but I can't help but think this is the perfect opportunity to pick up the sax.

Thanks so much for your reply!
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
2,432
Locality
london
i Started with a JP 141 my mate had gear for music both lasted us a while. Ive just noticed Hansons are doing a new range the SAV lite £499 for a complete kit. I realise this is out of budget but I always found the to be excellent value for money and you get 5 years free service and warranty. Heres a link

 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
6,725
Locality
Near Lutterworth, Leics.
Jericho wins hands down over Elkhart DeLuxe or JP 141. I have owned/played all of them and keep on hanging onto the Jericho. I think they still have a set up before dispatch so there's a chance it'll work well on arrival.
Don't touch Ammoon, despite that Youtube review.
Hanson always a good bet too.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
2,461
Locality
New Mexico, US
i Started with a JP 141 my mate had gear for music both lasted us a while. Ive just noticed Hansons are doing a new range the SAV lite £499 for a complete kit. I realise this is out of budget but I always found the to be excellent value for money and you get 5 years free service and warranty. Heres a link
That's just a really....really...really unfortunate name to give a sax model, tho. Looks interesting enough and I know they do some compelling design stuff over there at Hanson, but they really need to ditch the "Lite" (partcularly considering they admit right in the description that it's a tad heavier than a Yama 280)....
 

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