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Saxophones Opinion on B & S Blue label alto sax to help out a newbie

Leedalton

New Member
Messages
3
Hello all, I was hoping I could get some help regarding my daughters B&S blue label alto sax serial no 1379 (pretty sure it was made before the unification of Germany. We bought it off her previous saxophone teacher and she has been playing it for the last 4 years. About 9 months ago we had a full service and were told it was all fixed. Just this last week her newest teacher has said that it has a leak somewhere and there is an issue with the guard? affecting the D key? (you might have guessed by now I know nothing lol). We live in Australia and it seems that her school band teachers don't know anything about this brand and are pressuring me to buy a new Jupiter brand saxophone. I love the B & S it sounds amazing to me but am I in my ignorance making school band harder for myself by continuing on with the B&S?
 

sdt99

Member
Messages
183
Maybe post on saxontheweb - there are several Australian sax techs. who regularly post on there and seem very down to earth. If the intonation is OK and if it's comfortable ergonomically then IMO there is little to gain by buying a new Jupiter - the sound produced is much more a function of the player, mouthpiece and reed than of the instrument.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,337
Hello all, I was hoping I could get some help regarding my daughters B&S blue label alto sax serial no 1379 (pretty sure it was made before the unification of Germany. We bought it off her previous saxophone teacher and she has been playing it for the last 4 years. About 9 months ago we had a full service and were told it was all fixed. Just this last week her newest teacher has said that it has a leak somewhere and there is an issue with the guard? affecting the D key? (you might have guessed by now I know nothing lol). We live in Australia and it seems that her school band teachers don't know anything about this brand and are pressuring me to buy a new Jupiter brand saxophone. I love the B & S it sounds amazing to me but am I in my ignorance making school band harder for myself by continuing on with the B&S?
I own a B&S blue label alto and they are good horns,i would take it back to the tech and let him/her correct the leak and other issue,i think going to a Jupiter would be a backwards move,there is plenty of info on the net about B&S so its just ignorance from her band teachers IMO.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
If it's just got a leak and nothing more, just get it fixed, it's something that can happen to any sax of any quality. A leak is no reason to get rid of a sax. B & S Blue Label are good saxes with a robust sound. If her teachers are too ignorant to look beyond the limits of their own limited knowledge of instrument brands, I wouldn't listen to them.
 

Leedalton

New Member
Messages
3
Thanks so much for all your help with this. I want to keep the B&S as I really like it. I will take it back to the tech I used last time and have the repairs done.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Good. These are good saxes and have a distinctive sound. There's a lot of ill informed prejudice regarding sax brands.

If you look back in the thread, the forum gas automatically linked to other similar threads, where you'll find more info.
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,048
Good. These are good saxes and have a distinctive sound. There's a lot of ill informed prejudice regarding sax brands.

If you look back in the thread, the forum gas automatically linked to other similar threads, where you'll find more info.

Yep I agree with Kev.
Ive had a few come across my work bench since January an alto and 2 tenors. Blue label B&S horns are decent saxes. Here is a link to a review on a B&S Blue label tenor done last year by Stephen Howard - a forum member on here an respected tech in the UK. if you don't want to read over the technical "gumph" the last paragraph sums it up. B&S Blue Label tenor saxophone review
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,927
B&S blue label saxes are good but you should keep in mind that it's a +40 years old construction. A Jupiter sax is also a good sax. The 700 serie is very good for beginners/students. And XO is one of the best new saxes I've tried! I guess you're talking about a Jupiter 500 model?

I think the question is more which sax is best for a young player? I don't recommend older saxes to younger students. I think a young player should have a modern sax. And there are lots of good modern horns for beginners.

B&S blue label saxes are getting better and better! Internet helps up to increase the value! B&S made good saxes and the Blue Label was a good sax for less money when it reached the market in mid/late 70's.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,337
Although the Blue Label is considered vintage,i would class it as a modern horn,keywork is modern and a 40 year old Blue Label would still have another 40 years plus especially with its well built construction.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,393
Your daughter needs to feel happy with the instrument she is playing. You don't say how old she is, but she has been playing for a few years now.

So if you can visit a shop that sells saxophones, then maybe you and your daughter could go in and she could try a Jupiter, and perhaps some other brands. If she really prefers the feel of a new sax to her current one, or if she sounds noticeably better on it, then that would be a reason to change.

But in any case, it's worth getting the leak and the keyguard fixed as soon as possible. Saxophones are made of soft metal and they can get knocks, so a leak doesn't mean that the saxophone is poor, but it can make the instrument harder to play.
 

Leedalton

New Member
Messages
3
My daughter is 11 and this is the sax she has played the entire time. We tried a Jupiter that we were loaned while her B&S was being serviced and my daughter didn't like it at all (maybe didn't have it long enough to really form an opinion) to me it sounded thin and tinny while her B&S sounds deeper and more consistent if that makes sense? I do like its silver plated finish and bit of wear as it looks like it has been loved opposed to the really glaring gold finish on a new Jupiter or such
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,393
We tried a Jupiter that we were loaned while her B&S was being serviced and my daughter didn't like it at all (maybe didn't have it long enough to really form an opinion) to me it sounded thin and tinny while her B&S sounds deeper and more consistent if that makes sense?

To me that sounds like a very good reason not to change to a Jupiter, unless it's a different model from the one you tried.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,332
The secret is to try every saxophone available and only change , or more likely add, when you find one better or nicer or has that certain je ne sais quoi. A silver B&S is a desirable horn. Maybe a little too distinctive for the school band.
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,106
Yep I agree with Kev.
Ive had a few come across my work bench since January an alto and 2 tenors. Blue label B&S horns are decent saxes. Here is a link to a review on a B&S Blue label tenor done last year by Stephen Howard - a forum member on here an respected tech in the UK. if you don't want to read over the technical "gumph" the last paragraph sums it up. B&S Blue Label tenor saxophone review

...and for those looking for a tenor Blue Label:

B&S semi pro Tenor sax circa 1975. Genuine 'Blue label'. Professional sound. Bargain. | United Kingdom | Gumtree

B&S Tenor Saxophone - complete with Hard Case For Sale in Birmingham, West Midlands | Preloved

;)
 

Jazz Is All

Member
Messages
224
Old thread I know but the question is a recurring one. It's the difference between a solidly constructed intermediate quality sax and a student horn. Furthermore the B&S is a German sax--the GDR was Germany, after all, with German craftsmanship, and the Jupiter is most likely made in China unless it's a top model assembled in Taiwan from Chinese-made parts. That's not to say they are bad, just that they don't compare in quality of either materials or craftsmanship. No doubt the sound quality is not as good either but that is going to depend a lot on the mpc and player. Just my 2 cents having had both a Blue Label and a Jupiter student horn.
 
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Dibbs

Member
Messages
672
Old thread I know but the question is a recurring one. It's the difference between a solidly constructed intermediate quality sax and a student horn. Furthermore the B&S is a German sax--the GDR was Germany, after all, with German craftsmanship, and the Jupiter is most likely made in China unless it's a top model assembled in Taiwan from Chinese-made parts. That's not to say they are bad, just that they don't compare in quality of either materials or craftsmanship. No doubt the sound quality is not as good either but that is going to depend a lot on the mpc and player. Just my 2 cents having had both a Blue Label and a Jupiter student horn.
There wasn't much German craftmanship in most of the goods that came out of East Germany. They generally had a reputation similar to that of Chinese goods today.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,993
Not sure exactly why this thread got resuscitated....but....it (was) apples and oranges.

Indeed, used B&S's...they are GOOD...but the DO need some tech attention, usually, to get them to "good". Just build precision stuff. So Dibbs is right there.
Nothing rocket science, but they DO take a bit more tech attention to bring back to good tack. Once there, they are solid. The closer to the Wall Falling they got, the more suspect they got. The late 80's ones...those need some help. Again, not rocket science help, but help. After reunification...they curved upward definitely,

Jupiters..to this day, unfairly ignored/maligned. What they produce today is as good as any Yama 280/475 or the like. Better, I would argue, as the key response is better. I would take a used Jupe 6XX or 7XX any day over a used Yama 23....the latter is just a slicker horn to play, is fabrication-wise equal, and sounds/blows just as well.
Yet whenever I give that choice to a prospective buyer....100% of the time, they will jump at the Yama. 100%.
Always.
It's brand stereotyping, little to do with the actual horns.

I just chimed in because I think, here, in the resurrection, the Jupes again may have received an unfair sleight....depending on how reader interprets it.
 

Jazz Is All

Member
Messages
224
Not sure exactly why this thread got resuscitated....but....it (was) apples and oranges.

Indeed, used B&S's...they are GOOD...but the DO need some tech attention, usually, to get them to "good". Just build precision stuff. So Dibbs is right there.
Nothing rocket science, but they DO take a bit more tech attention to bring back to good tack. Once there, they are solid. The closer to the Wall Falling they got, the more suspect they got. The late 80's ones...those need some help. Again, not rocket science help, but help. After reunification...they curved upward definitely,

Jupiters..to this day, unfairly ignored/maligned. What they produce today is as good as any Yama 280/475 or the like. Better, I would argue, as the key response is better. I would take a used Jupe 6XX or 7XX any day over a used Yama 23....the latter is just a slicker horn to play, is fabrication-wise equal, and sounds/blows just as well.
Yet whenever I give that choice to a prospective buyer....100% of the time, they will jump at the Yama. 100%.
Always.
It's brand stereotyping, little to do with the actual horns.

I just chimed in because I think, here, in the resurrection, the Jupes again may have received an unfair sleight....depending on how reader interprets it.
Okay....my bad. I was under the impression that a Blue Label alto is better than the Jupiter student level horn but I have not had more than one Blue Label and it was a tenor, so I could be off base. You no doubt have more experience with both of them than me so if you say so then scratch my comments. I do know that the Jupiter JAS 767-769 is feature for feature a better sax for the money than the YAM 23. I had a Jupiter and it was quite decent and had a high F# to boot, which if I recall correctly, the 23 doesn't have.
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,993
Okay....my bad. I was under the impression that a Blue Label alto is better than the Jupiter student level horn but I have not had more than one Blue Label and it was a tenor, so I could be off base. You no doubt have more experience with both of them than me so if you say so then scratch my comments. I do know that the Jupiter JAS 767-769 is feature for feature a better sax for the money than the YAM 23. I had a Jupiter and it was quite decent and had a high F# to boot, which if I recall correctly, the 23 doesn't have.
I wouldn't disagree with your assessment. If given a choice between the two, the B&S would be the way to go, I would also say. Just pointing out for posterity sake more than contradicting you, Jupes don't get their fair due is all.
I'd say the instance where a middle-shelf Jupe would be a better option would be for someone who wants more of a modern, bright tonality and.or a lighter-weight horn.
 
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