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Saxophones Sagacious Sopranino Made in Taiwan.


Well-Known Member
the Netherlands
Some of you who have met me at Frankfurt know that I have a friend, Ms Moon Chen who has her own brand of saxophones in Taiwan. This brand was previously known as HL sax and now it has changed name to Sagacious ( due to one of the partners who owned the name H.L. sax leaving the company following some company re-structuring after a flood ....... complicated story).

I have been helping them to get some orders since my love for the saxophone and a bit of experience in international business.

I have bought a few saxophones from them before at Frankfurt and one of these a HL sax spiral diamond has been sold to a member here. I currently own two altos by HL sax.

Now, as I said, this brand has changed name to Sagacious.

Some time ago I wanted to buy a sopranino and I thought to buy a Bauhaus Walstein since I was and am very satisfied with their curved soprano ( The BW is different from the curved sopranos from Taiwan because it has a more curved neck which is something that I liked and actually preferred) but due to the fact that BW was out of sopraninos I then asked my friend Moon to get me a sopranino in Taiwan.

She told me that in fact she didn't make a sopranino but that there were two other factories making sopraninos one which was a Yanagisawa clone (like the BW really) and the other which was a Selmer Super action 80 II clone and that this lat one was sold under different and well known names in the west (curiously the maker of these sopranino doesn't have a brand sold in the west himself but practically makes only OEM saxophones for several companies).

So I did order one through her and I was kindly given the price that a wholesale buyer would pay.

Anyway, to make a long story short I received the horn after a long wait (it has to be made special order). I went for the copper version with full engraving (the most expensive one of the three available, ;} what the heck!).

Now the horn is here and I am battling with my first sopranino.

I have to say that it isn't easy. If one thinks that playing soprano is challenging then playing sopranino is even more challenging on account of embouchure , breath control and intonation.

I am also sort of trying to find my way round the sopranino mouthpiece. I had bought a Yanagisawa metal 7 which is a lot brighter than the standard ebonite piece which came with the horn. The Yanagisawa is also a little narrower while the standard ebonite allows you to use soprano reeds.

It is early days for me to really say how I like playing a sopranino but I will be soldiering on.

The horn seems to be made very well but being a horn keyed up to high F# instead of the more customary Eb ( like most sopraninos around) it has a much more complex and tight mechanics which makes the playing with my large hands rather difficult (you are always in danger of pressing open something else).

In the beginning I had some problems with a sticking G# but I cured the issue, I think, by using a little spray silicone on the pad.

I can play it also way up with only the need for more mouthpiece in if I play a high C (which has the " whisper" double key arrangement.....I suspect that, especially these cold days it might have some condensation in the very small tonehole left when it is half covered by the whisper key ), side C is not a problem.

here a few pictures


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