From recent Experience , the best bang for buck new comes from the Elkhart Deluxe at under £500 in Straight fixed neck form, I don`t know if the two-neck version is as good, the Deluxe one piece is a superb horn for the money with excellent intonation and a smooth sound ...... I had the rarer Bronze body version of this and it was excellent, I'd still have it now if it wasn`t for my poor thumb joint not being able to take the strain so have to stick to Curveds (Centre of gravity and all that).. Sax.co have these
I have a 15yr old 300 series Curved which is even better made but has a brassy almost trumpet sound (which I like because its different) , I don`t know if later models of the 300 are as well made or sound the same .. Worth looking out for used .
on the subject of Curveds, the JohnPacker 043C curved is very good for the money new , it`s not as well made as the Elkhart Deluxe and series 300 (Chinese rather than Taiwanese) but sounds sweet, plays well and intonation is very good too , a great choice if you want a curved which sounds more like a Straight ...
I`m a tenor player who`s pretty new to the Sop but was put off Vintage Sopranos by reports of severe intonation issues (and Sops are an issue in that respect at best) though haven`t played any vintages like the Buescher you link to personally so only going on researched information. I stuck with modern horns .
I have no problem to get an even scale on my sopranos from the 20's. The intonation is good if your sax i correct setup. Some players think it's hard to get a mouthpiece that plays in tune on old sopranos.
I'm with Thomsax on the subject of playing older saxes. I use a Bari metal mouthpiece on my 1920s Buescher and the intonation is fine. However, there is a far more tangible downside to vintage sops, in that the ergonomics are not as good. The Buescher palm keys are a particular issue if you have large hands, the keys are just too low.
I currently have three sops, the Buescher, a Bauhaus Walstein curvy and a budget straight branded FF. Even the cheapy one plays fine. I've had 11 sopranos over the years (I've owned the Buescher for nearly thirty years now) and the BW curvy is the best I've had. It's not as good as a Yanagisawa I blew in a shop (the Yani was fatastic), but it comes in at about a fifth of the price, and for the money is great. Nice mellow tone, easy to play.
the BW curvy is the best I've had. It's not as good as a Yanagisawa I blew in a shop (the Yani was fatastic), but it comes in at about a fifth of the price, and for the money is great. Nice mellow tone, easy to play.