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Revving up the sax...

PaulWhite

PaulWhite

Woodwind Wannabe
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68
Locality
Kent
I am a 48 years old Vicar and started playing the tenor sax just after Christmas. I did play an Alto many years ago (when I was at college) and I could just about get a tune out of it but never got very far.

However, for whatever reason, I recently felt an urge to return and wanted to try a tenor this time - not sure why, just prefer the deeper sound. I was fairly shocked when I saw the price of most tenors (vicars don't get paid much) and then I discovered the joy of renting. So, for £25 a month I am renting a Trevor James Horn 88 and very much enjoying it. I started with lessons straight away (actually the day after the horn arrived) and I think that this is a good motivator for me - it makes me practice before the next lesson!

Obviously I am only 6 weeks in but am very much enjoying it and I may even aim for the Jazz Sax Grades in due course - my teacher does the trinity course.

Then I shall have to decide what to do about a sax of my own. The downside of renting is that it can be 'dead money' unless you buy the instrument so I shall have to decide whether to buy the Horn 88 (which is nice) or to do something else when the minimum 3 month rental is up.

Anyway, this forum looks good!
 
kevgermany

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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Hi Paul, big welcome from me. We try and keep the forum family friendly, but we do have a few incorrigibles. No doubt you'll be able to handle them.
Have fun here!
 
PaulWhite

PaulWhite

Woodwind Wannabe
Messages
68
Locality
Kent
Hi Paul, big welcome from me. We try and keep the forum family friendly, but we do have a few incorrigibles. No doubt you'll be able to handle them.
Have fun here!

Thank you! Mostly friendly but with a few incorrigibles - yes, sounds a bit like church...;-)
 
Jeanette

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
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Welcome to the Café Paul, have fun.

You'll get lots of well meaning and useful but conflicting advice about which sax to buy :)

Check out the yard sale when the time is right but go and try as many as you can.

Jx
 
nigeld

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
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7,881
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Bristol, UK
Welcome. It's worth waiting a bit before you decide to buy, so that you have an idea what sort of instrument you would like and so that you have the ability to try them out more effectively. Second hand instruments are generally the best value for money.
 
Andrew Sanders

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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2,765
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Ilkley West Yorkshire
Welcome Paul.
I think I've just read that Irene, a newcomer has red crosses on the pearls on her horn.

Revving up? You'll fit in nicely.
 
PaulWhite

PaulWhite

Woodwind Wannabe
Messages
68
Locality
Kent
Welcome Paul.
I think I've just read that Irene, a newcomer has red crosses on the pearls on her horn.

Revving up? You'll fit in nicely.

Thanks for the tip about Irene,

I have to say that playing 'The Bad Boy' does have a certain attraction...
 
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
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15,551
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St. Mary's
Thanks for the tip about Irene,

I have to say that playing 'The Bad Boy' does have a certain attraction...

I'm a bit wary of those, for various reasons but mostly the marketing and evasive answers I've had from the maker. I haven't tried one yet, but hopefully I will at some stage and report back. I would really not advise buying one based on the hype though, on the face of it I'd say it's just another Chinese saxophone with a much higher price tag.
 
PaulWhite

PaulWhite

Woodwind Wannabe
Messages
68
Locality
Kent
I'm a bit wary of those, for various reasons but mostly the marketing and evasive answers I've had from the maker. I haven't tried one yet, but hopefully I will at some stage and report back. I would really not advise buying one based on the hype though, on the face of it I'd say it's just another Chinese saxophone with a much higher price tag.

Thanks Pete - there speaks the voice of experience over a flashy website! If you do get to try one that will be very interesting - in the meantime I shall keep practicing...
 
gladsaxisme

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Messages
3,409
Locality
manchester
Welcome aboard lots of sinners to save in here but probably better using your time practising the sax, the hats are there to cover the horns
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
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3,167
Locality
UK
I'm a bit wary of those, for various reasons but mostly the marketing and evasive answers I've had from the maker. I haven't tried one yet, but hopefully I will at some stage and report back. I would really not advise buying one based on the hype though, on the face of it I'd say it's just another Chinese saxophone with a much higher price tag.


I think probably Taiwanese (or even Vietnamese). Just a guess though...

The blurb makes for 'interesting' reading - and just for the sake of entertainment(?), here's a tech's-eye view of what all that grand prose means...

"Show your Blue Rose to any experienced player or repairman and he/she will immediately notice she packs the latest and best tuning apparatus, but it’s blended artfully within an overall build that makes it easy to mistake her for a much older horn."

It looks like just about any other horn since the MKVI (save for the guards), and I can't see any 'latest and best tuning apparatus'. I would imagine they mean 'adjustment' rather than tuning...but that appears to be a pile of hooey, because I can't see any regulation adjusters on the lower stack. I'm calling that a fail.

"On top of that: the vintage and minimalist: key structure, key guards and grills make The Blue Rose incredibly open. Giving you an absolute minimum of sound obstruction. While the modern post, and tone-whole placing give her the power of today’s impeccable pitch."

I'm not seeing how the 'minimalist' structure makes for an open horn (I presume they mean tone). This is function of the venting (the height at which you set the keys). If you had a sax with just a couple of keys on it, and those keys were set too low, it would sound stuffy.
Perhaps they mean minimal in terms of the number of keys - but it looks like it's got as many as any other horn.
As for 'sound obstruction', that too is a function of key height. Another fail.

As for those key guards...gimme a break. When I open a horn case and see wire-style guards, I always sigh inwardly (sometine outwardly too). Poxy bloody things. They're fine and dandy when everything's in good shape, but they're a pain in the arse when you need to change a pad or sort out a dent. Stupid bloody idea, though at least they have adjustable bumpers. I still call fail.

"A great example of the unique tactile flavor of the Blue Rose is the addition of the handcrafted X-pearl keys. .....They also create a bit of very subtle extra feeling with the notes of the C-major scale (Eb on Alto, Bb on Tenor) on the instument . Which adds a dimension to playing the Blue Rose that no other saxophone has. Making the player “Feel” the central scale."

No idea what an X-pearl is, but I guess it's either an X cut into the pearl, or one stuck on top of it - in which case I call bloody stupid. I'm also puzzled as to why it would affect the C major scale and not the others. What happens if you're in D?
I suspect a loss in translation, so they claw back some point for that...and then toss them right out of the window with 'feel the central scale'. Fail.

"...she’ll command attention and effortlessly bring the crow under her sweet spell."

Probably a typo - but given what's gone before, I'm not 100% sure.
Either way, I'd pay good money (more than a quid, less than a fiver) to see a crow under a sweet spell.

I notice that the horns have a lion's head engraved on the back of the body...with the word 'Roar'.
Roar...RAW...see what I did there?

OK...so...I think I probably have to make some allowances for translation, rather like the cheap Chinese violin gut strings that used to say 'The swit(sic) sound of bowel strings' on the packet.
However, the cringe-o-meter's gone completely off the scale. I half expected the Milk Tray man to come flying through the window, closely followed by a blinged-up ambassador who clearly wants to spoil me....while the calendar on the wall sheds pages until it gets back to 1972.

If it turns out to be Chinese horn then it'll be a massive fail all round...but if it's Taiwanese it's really not so bad. Bit on the pricey side, but some people don't mind forking out a bit extra for a bit of bling. Even if it's Vietnamese it's not so bad....they can turn out some respectable stuff.
So it could be a cheapo horn with delusions of grandeur...or it could be a midrange horn with a '70s complex. Either way, they need to fire their marketing manager...or perhaps hire one.
 
PaulWhite

PaulWhite

Woodwind Wannabe
Messages
68
Locality
Kent
Thanks guys - I shall be sticking with the Trevor James until I am old enough to know better!
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,167
Locality
UK
I asked them and they said "Chinese"

Really?
Well, you and I both know what the Chinese are capable of when they put their mind to it (or when they're paid enough), but I'd still be concerned about consistency.
It's a very brave move, putting out a Chinese horn at that price - especially when you consider the competition.
 
Stephen Howard

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,167
Locality
UK
Thanks guys - I shall be sticking with the Trevor James until I am old enough to know better!

Makes sense. The 88 is a decent bit of kit - but if you had a hankering for something more swish, you can find some good deals on the TJ SR.
Alternatively, keep the 88 and invest in a nice mouthpiece. A pertinent analogy might be "The horn is the pulpit...but the mouthpiece is the Bible"

And if you use that in next week's sermon I want 10% of the T-shirt sales.
 

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