All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Beginner Sax Purchasing a Pro Horn as a Beginner

MrJ

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
Missouri
I am a middle-aged adult beginner. To initially get me started I bought the cheapest and ugliest playable YAS-23 I could find and got a teacher. This was to gauge my commitment to learning and to see if its something I would enjoy and stick with it. Not only did I stick with it, I religiously practice at least an hour every day working on the material my teacher assigned. Now I am l looking at picking up a new Yamaha YAS-875 Custom EXII. Since there isn't any place I can go to physically play it before I buy it, is there anything about a pro horn that will make it harder to play than a student horn? Thanks in advance
 

DavidUK

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
5,935
Locality
Near Lutterworth, Leics.
No, but you may find you can't tell the difference. There will be plenty of pro players who have used a 23.
Some say they prefer a 62 to an 875 or 82. Also, buy used so as not to lose so much on resale when you find there's something you prefer later on.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,940
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I've been gigging cheap and cheerful for40 years.
A pro sax has extra features that make maintenance simpler and quicker.
The basic instrument remains the same. A tube with holes.
Is there something you don't like about your 23.? Do you feel it's holding you back?
Do you just want the status of a pro instrument?
They are very pretty and a pleasure to own. (I'm told)
 

MrJ

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
Missouri
I've been gigging cheap and cheerful for40 years.
A pro sax has extra features that make maintenance simpler and quicker.
The basic instrument remains the same. A tube with holes.
Is there something you don't like about your 23.? Do you feel it's holding you back?
Do you just want the status of a pro instrument?
They are very pretty and a pleasure to own. (I'm told)
I think my only gripe with the 23 is how the octave key sits above the thumb rest instead of off to the side but otherwise it isnt holding me back. The 23 is good so in all honesty, this is really a want and not a need. When I started my wife's only stipulation was to be cheap and used so I wasn't stuck with an expensive horn if it collected dust. I don't much care about status because I play for myself.
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,407
Locality
Bristol, UK
If your current saxophone has been well maintained then a different instrument may not be as easy under your fingers at first, but that's just a matter of getting used to it.

If you have it shipped to you, then it would be worthwhile getting it checked and set-up by a repair person when it arrives. They can easily get out of adjustment in transit.

But it would also be worth considering a YAS-62. Over here they are a lot cheaper than 875's. And a second-hand one would be cheaper still.

There's a comparison here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8OaT1rvuD0
 

Yansalis

Member
Messages
89
Locality
USA
You have GAS. The occupational hazard of playing the saxophone. It is possible that if you can reign it in now, it may not get much worse. It is also possible that if you try to reign it in now it will explode later and you'll end up with a collection.

I would encourage you to keep a list of things you wish were different on your horn. See how the list changes over a six month period. Keep a list of horns you'd like to try because you think they'll be better in terms of those things you wish were different. Then try some out in person and see if the live up to your hopes.

Buying things through the mail can solve the problem of not having a saxophone pretty well, but it is badly suited to solving the problem of wanting something a bit better, a bit more suited to one's (ever evolving) taste. It's especially badly suited to solving the problem of having the vague sense that the grass is greener.
 

MrJ

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
Missouri
If your current saxophone has been well maintained then a different instrument may not be as easy under your fingers at first, but that's just a matter of getting used to it.

If you have it shipped to you, then it would be worthwhile getting it checked and set-up by a repair person when it arrives. They can easily get out of adjustment in transit.

But it would also be worth considering a YAS-62. Over here they are a lot cheaper than 875's. And a second-hand one would be cheaper still.

There's a comparison here:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8OaT1rvuD0
The Yas-23 I bought is playable but it has definitely had a rough life. In the US, at least the places I have been looking new and used seems to be within $500 of each other. I watch a lot of Sax.co.uk and have gotten alot of good info from their channel
 

mizmar

Senior Member
Messages
1,008
Locality
Trondheim, Norway
I'm still waiting to see if anyone will actually answer you question.
...is there anything about a pro horn that will make it harder to play than a student horn?

Personally, I've no experience but can't see why it should.
 

turf3

Member
Messages
561
Locality
Earth
No, a pro horn won't be harder to play.

The action will be slicker and more refined. The tonal qualities may or may not be different than what you're used to, but they won't be worse.

The thing will be more visually attractive.

If you're a grown adult and you've got the money, go for it.
 

greenstripe

Member
Messages
101
Locality
UK
Personally I would wait until you can go and book some demo sessions to try out some different options. In that price range there is so much choice and you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to try a few different horns from various manufacturers, especially as you have a decent reference point with your current horn and will be in a better place to say what you like or don't and this sense will further develop. You may surprise yourself.

Arguably at the pro-horn level, the difference between one saxophone and another is more about personal preference. than anything else.

I'm sure that the Yamaha YAS-875 Custom EXII is an excellent horn, but would you not ever wonder what you might have tried or bought instead? However if that's what you have your heart set on and can afford it, why not.
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,382
Locality
Half way up a hill
One way of satisfying your desire and staying with the AS-23 -
keep the alto and get into playing tenor - expand your horizons.
A whole new world of Rock'n'Roll fun awaits you. >:):rolleyes::old:
 

MrJ

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
Missouri
Personally I would wait until you can go and book some demo sessions to try out some different options. In that price range there is so much choice and you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to try a few different horns from various manufacturers, especially as you have a decent reference point with your current horn and will be in a better place to say what you like or don't and this sense will further develop. You may surprise yourself.

Arguably at the pro-horn level, the difference between one saxophone and another is more about personal preference. than anything else.

I'm sure that the Yamaha YAS-875 Custom EXII is an excellent horn, but would you not ever wonder what you might have tried or bought instead? However if that's what you have your heart set on and can afford it, why not.
Unfortunately, there isn't anywhere I can go locally as the local stores do not keep saxophones in stock. I would need to fly to a big city or order from a place with a solid return and exchange policy. I won't say I am set on a custom ex I am just basing it on reviews and watching comparisons. Besides the EX I was considering the YAS-62, Selmer Axos, and P.Mariuat 67R
 

MrJ

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
Missouri
No, a pro horn won't be harder to play.

The action will be slicker and more refined. The tonal qualities may or may not be different than what you're used to, but they won't be worse.

The thing will be more visually attractive.

If you're a grown adult and you've got the money, go for it.
Thanks, I can afford Yamaha custom. I did look at Selmer Paris for a few seconds but I cant spring $6-$7k for one. A demo model Custom EXII would run me about $4k. Some of the best deals I have seen are from European shops on reverb but I don't know if import duties would eat up the savings
 

Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,250
Locality
Austria
Hi,
I have 3 horns at home at the moment.
My Yanagisawa TWO20U, a Dallhammer Tenor (about €6500,-) and a Yamaha 275 from one of my music schools where I teach. I don't think you would hear a difference in "sound quality" from the 3.
Personally I don't have troubles with the 23's octave mechanism, but I understand your "troubles".
One thing I notice is, that the 275 has least resistance of the 3, the Yani having most.
The Yamaha is about 10 or 15 years old, has never been serviced. Still there is not one single problem with it. So I consider it a "Pro Sax". It plays perfectly in tune. The reason I'd prefer a different horn at gigs is that sometimes I need a little (more) resistance to work with. I often play hours and hours on the upper level of my dynamic ability.
I consider the Yani's or Dallhammer's feedback as more positive in these situations.
Still, one could play everthing on every stage in the world with the 25 or 23 or 275.
If you like the 23, sell it. You will not lose money. Try to trade it for a 25 or 275.
Then. later on, get a Selmer.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,776
Locality
Betelgeuse
You've recognised it as a 'want', not a 'need' (although as an economist, I did once write an essay on the false dichotomy between wants and needs), so I say if you've got the cash, and you want it, buy it.
 

Yansalis

Member
Messages
89
Locality
USA
But even if you don't have to be careful about spending money, you want to understand what you are after in your purchase, so you can evaluate whether buying through the mail based on what others have said is likely to get you what you really want. If you have little to say about why you want a new instrument, then are you buying to put yourself in a better position or just for the pleasure of receiving something new in the mail. If there's only one issue, for instance the octave key, wouldn't you want to try the new one first before spending thousands on something that is only a solution on paper?

Sure, if you can afford to just be on a new saxophone subscription say every few months then more power to you. :)
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
477
Locality
Northern California
I am a middle-aged adult beginner. To initially get me started I bought the cheapest and ugliest playable YAS-23 I could find and got a teacher. This was to gauge my commitment to learning and to see if its something I would enjoy and stick with it. Not only did I stick with it, I religiously practice at least an hour every day working on the material my teacher assigned. Now I am l looking at picking up a new Yamaha YAS-875 Custom EXII. Since there isn't any place I can go to physically play it before I buy it, is there anything about a pro horn that will make it harder to play than a student horn? Thanks in advance

No, there is nothing about a “pro” horn that makes it more difficult to play.

I enjoy playing the best horn available. I respect your choice to reward yourself with a great horn.
 

Jimmymack

Member
Messages
857
Locality
London
The import stuff will probably put buying from Europe out of reach, it does the other way round, but as you are in the US you don't need to mess with that, from the UK the prices in the USA look ridiculously cheap. Your problem seems to be finding a place to try them out. I think it's worth it to make that effort if it's at all feasible but if not then go for the one you want. Once you get into the comparison game it gets out of hand and the benefits are not necessarily worth the time spent. The "pro" level Yamahas might take a bit of adjustment but that doesn't take long, a few days probably, and you will have what you want, a top quality horn, and you can work with it. The problem with sax sites is that everybody has their own reasons and preferences, I'd recommend classic American horns but that would be no use to you. Find the horn you want , buy it and enjoy it.
 

Members online

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom