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Saxophones Shocked. Gear4Music Curved Sop

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
I had a couple of sticky pads on the recently acquired Gear4Music soprano. Thought it was just in need of a clean so gave it a go.

On closer inspection the left hand palm keys were found to be interfering with each other. Eb was rubbing on F and not returning properly. No amount of adjusting would sort it. Poor design. I decided to remove the keys and have a look what could be done.

There's a lot of spare metal in the F key so I decided to remove a small piece with the dremel rotary tool to clear the Eb key. This went very well and has solved the problem

My shock was what I found when refitting the keys. The tone holes had very sharp burrs on them and looked as though they had been rough finished with a file.

I managed to remove the burrs and sharp edges with a fine swiss file and it plays fine.

I can't help wondering what the rest of it is like. If there's sharp edges on any other tone holes , it doesn't bode well for pad longevity.

There was also a problem with the G# key sticking. The mounting bracket grabs the rod if it's tightened and the use of some plastic tubing as a spacer was sticking. A little faffing, adjusting and lubrication have sorted it for now. Poor design again.

I have their alto which is in a different class. Very good design and finish. I took advantage of a promotion and invested in a Tenor which is the same design as the alto and finished well. Both of them play great.

I have been recommending Gear4Music saxes but the curved soprano is of a different design and looks like it comes from a different factory.

Can't recommend it. In fact, if it's the same as mine, I'd steer clear of it.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Maybe an isolated accident? I've read some good comments about G4M sopranos and my technician also expressed some positive comments again on the G4M sopranos in particular...in fact I was very close to buy it.
I have an alto myself which I've bought by mistake from Ebay - I was convinced it was a yani!! - LOL (red face)...well, in the end I was pleasantly surprised and decided to keep it (still with me) - if you take a Walstein and G4M side by side you can't tell the difference - I had the chance of playing them one after the other and couldn't tell them apart (enough said) - need to say that Walstein then evolved slightly with their Bauhaus range but to be honest the only major difference I can tell between the 2 is the marketing strategy.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
Maybe the straight ones are better. My tenor and alto from them are good instruments. I did pay very little for the sop and my concerns are for something that hasn't happened yet. However , having to take the grinder to a month old sax to overcome a design flaw is far from ideal.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,488
Location
the Netherlands
the problem of QC with many Chinese made horns is very much down to how thorough the importer is while inspecting EACH and every single horn they re-sell.

Frankly speaking this is the most important issue with buying a Chinese made product (any product not only saxophones) because the factories QC is, generally speaking, lax, to say the least, so if the importer is not checking what they sell on an individual base but only waiting until a problem manifests itself to then, most of the times, replacing the problematic horn, then these problems could (will?)l occasionally arise with any brand. Moreover, inconsistent QC is the reason why there are still plenty of folks out there who are suspicious to buy Chinese saxophones because even if you had bought some perfect ones from the same brand or even the same model, it doesn’t mean that any other horn would be necessarily being offering the same quality.

This is the reason why I bought a Bauhaus Walstein curved soprano which is also a Chinese made saxophone but the British importer promises (and I believe they do) to inspect each horn.

For this one pays a substantial premium though.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
Maybe "ex demo" means something else. I assumed it to mean what it says. A good horn that has been out on display and maybe played a few times by different parties. Perhaps it's a euphemism for, sent out, returned, bit naff.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,261
Location
London
This is the reason why I bought a Bauhaus Walstein curved soprano which is also a Chinese made saxophone but the British importer promises (and I believe they do) to inspect each horn.

For this one pays a substantial premium though.

This is why I try to buy from actual people, instead of faceless online companies, with someone to talk to. A company with a return/refund policy and possibly a resident repairer.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,929
Location
Manchester, UK
This is why I try to buy from actual people, instead of faceless online companies, with someone to talk to. A company with a return/refund policy and possibly a resident repairer.
G4M do have a showroom on the outskirts of York. That's how I bought my tenor. They knocked a bit off the price for a scratch, too, which easily covered my fuel costs.
 

Pauline

Senior Member
Café Supporter
Messages
467
Location
Hull, UK City of Culture 2017
I went to the G4M showroom on Friday to choose a new sax case. (You do have to request which ones you want to look at as they keep most stock in different premises.) They seem like a reputable company to me, very helpful. Maybe you should contact them? Your sax should have a year's warranty.
Actually I bought a curved soprano just before Colin the Bear which was termed "ex demo" and I'm pretty sure it stated that this meant "shown to customers" (or someting similar). I haven't played it for a while but I'll get it out later and check it over.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,261
Location
London
G4M do have a showroom on the outskirts of York. That's how I bought my tenor. They knocked a bit off the price for a scratch, too, which easily covered my fuel costs.

Oops, I didn't know it. I don't understand the OP then. They would probably have exchanged such a wrong piece straight away.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
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8,480
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
It sounds as if you did all of the right things to correct the manufacturing problems with the sax. A tech friend of mine calls these "birth defects". In my experience as a repair tech you can expect the same types of issues throughout the instrument. In any event, I believe that the management at the store you bought the saxophone needs to have this type of feedback. It may not help in your situation, but may help improve quality somewhere down the road to benefit others.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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21,912
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Just north of Munich
I wonder what they'd do if you had collected the sax with a leak light and then tested it in the shop before accepting it (or rejecting it in this case)...
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,678
Location
Betelgeuse
It's a shame you weren't happy with the horn. Sounds like, as you say, a combination of mediocre design and bad QC.

I find it hardly surprising that these isues crop up in saxes at this market level. So, it's £230, inc VAT at 20%. That means £190 or so has to cover materials, manufacturing, shipping, import duties, something for the retailer and some manufacturer's profit. With these sorts of margins at every stage, I find it amazing a sax plays at all at that sort of price point - as they often do, I've just been playing a Lindo which retails at £200. Perhaps surprisingly, it plays OK.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
I must say that I'm not unhappy with my sop, looking at the whole picture. It was offered to me for £190ish and for a humorously worded email, I got a £25 refund and a spare accessory kit, which included a crook, sling, mouthpiece cap and ligature. B grade they're calling them now I've just noticed on their web site. If I'd paid full whack £230 ish it would have gone straight back, but for £165 and a bit of faffing for a playable shiney instument, I'm still smiling. I couldn't afford to pay any more, so it was this or not have one. And I've waited so long.

I didn't mind taking a risk because I have the experience to sort out little niggles. As long as the thing plays in tune I can sort the rest.

I just wanted to warn others. Anyone starting out or players who get the cold sweats at the thought of undoing screws, let alone stripping it down and taking abrasive tools to it, should be very careful and consider if it isn't worth paying a little more money and get the regular stuff they offer.

I'm not knocking G4M. Their sales staff are very helpful on the phone and they offer a courier pick up for their replacement service. I could have sent it back for a full refund. My alto is fine and my tenor , which by the way was ex demo, and I have friends who have had guitars etc off them and are very happy with their instruments.

However I was shocked to see how poorly finished my sop revealed itself to be on strip down. Still plays good though. Figure that one out.

Just needed to vent to an understanding forum.
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Location
Sturton by Stow, Lincoln
Gear 4 Music do actually have a policy of allowing you to go to see them at their showroom in York, by appointment, and try before you buy, so you would think they aren't faceless internet folk - however, I have sent several emails asking for details to arrange a visit, and to date - zero reply!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,992
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
Just got a like to my post from 4 years ago so thought a progress report was in order. Sop still playing with no further problems or work needed. Still not happy with my playing though:rolleyes:.
 

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