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Saxophones Tenor Choice Hassles


New Member
Hello All

Long post alert...

I'm new here. My name is Jon, I live near Norwich UK and i've just got back into sax playing after a LOOOOOONG break.

I still have my old B&H 400 tenor, which I played at school and I love it. It's cheap, it's battered, but it works for me just fine. I'm no label snob.. :)

I play sax in a ska band and I feel that I need a backup tenor in case of problems.

My local sax man has been superb with me. Very patient and given me lots of options to try.

I recently bought a TJ Rev 2 tenor from him. Gold with silver hardware. It's not really been out of it's case since....

The chap has commented on the fact that i'm not using my new purchase and found it a bit odd that i'm still clinging onto the old faithful.

The chap has now kindly offered up a secondhand John Packer JP042 tenor. I have the option to chop in the TJ and go with this one instead and save quite a chunk of money in the process. It'd probably still end up remaining as a spare to my B&H (yeah, weird I know) Rosegold type body with gold hardware. It's had a bit of a life, but i'm open to suggestions, so i'm currently trying it out.

I had a huff on it at dinnertime and was quite shocked. I was prepared not to like it and thought the Rev2 was a far superior instrument.

The JP feels sturdy, well put together and reliable. To me, it played as well as my Rev2.

The Rev2 walks it for me in the looks/finish department, but somehow feels like it'd fall apart if I sneezed on it too hard. It seems a bit too clanky and cheap for it's price tag (even though I still got a good deal). I worry about the build quality, threads, finish etc etc etc.

So i'm stuck. I've never quite taken to the Rev2 100% (i'm sure most of you would say put the B&H in it's case and keep THAT as the spare and I agree)

The JP strikes me as being lower on the general preferred list to the TJ, yet somehow I feel differently and it's worrying me a bit.

Double bracing on some of the lower keys of the JP as opposed to the Rev2's single.

The JP is 300 grammes heavier than the TJ. OK, so it's more round your neck, but that 300 grammes is shouting BETTER MADE! at me every time I think about it.

I pick up the JP and feel like playing it. I look at it and I don't. Vice versa on the Rev2.....

I'm desperate for some suggestions, thoughts and advice on this one as I want to make the correct choice. I know it boils down to me in the end, but anyone owning these particular instruments and happy to openly discuss would be appreciated.

Whew! Sorry about that. Any other suggestions??????? Which would you keep? Or would you look elsewhere???????

Sorry to prattle on so much. First post syndrome....


Hi Jon

Welcome to the cafe I really think your undecided because your not particularly taken with either of them deep down,if you were happy with either of them, you would be using it as first sax and saving the old faithful you can rely on as back up.I would say hang fire because when you hold the sax that's meant for you,you'll know it and want to use it as first sax.As for recommends I think this is a very personal thing but I also think your always on good ground with yamaha's old or new...john
Thanks for that. I guess you're right. If I was taken with one then I would be retiring the old gal and moving onto pastures new. The old B&H is like an old friend though. Been with me since middle school and still seems to do the trick.

I'll keep on huffing and see if anything develops.

Cheers for getting in touch

HI Jon, I'm in a very similar position. I have a 1960's Amati tenor (the Amati company was responsible for stenciling many B & H horns) and I love it. I recently bought a 2 year old Mauriat baritone and after playing that I decided that the Amati could do with replacing. I mean, she's a great horn, but after playing the far superior quality of the Mauriat, I've really started to notice her faults. So I went to Wind Blowers in Nottingham (great shop by the way but others are available ;}) and I tried Yanis Mauriats, Yamahas and an Antigua Wind. All of them were lovely horns, but I just couldn't find one with a spark, if you know what I mean.
Sorry I can't offer any help. I just hope you have fun looking.

Ps, welcome to the cafe!
Hi Jon, welcom to the forum.
Any sax you pick up and blow is going to feel strange. Your senses are tuned to your B&H. It takes quite a bit of time to adjust to new gear, be it a sax, a mouthpiece, or even a new reed. Once you become used to a new sax, the B&H would feel strange.
One thing I would recommend is, on any trial, don't use the m'piece that comes with the sax. Take along the one you use on the B&H. That way, you're partly on familiar ground.

Well, to be honest, all the horns are at the lower end of the spectrum that is available so it's kinda difficult to establish much of a comparison. Why don't you do like Taz - go along and have a good blow of some big name horns, then see how you feel. It may alter your perspective of what you are looking for. If it works you will go home and pick the horn that plays closest to the yamayanikeilmers you've been trying.

Trouble is, if it doesn't work, you'll be back to the shop clutching a couple of grand..........
Perhaps God is telling you to get a Tenor Trombone...with your interest in ska etc. A decent one will only set you back £350 or so - like the JP/Rath 230.......;}
Like the others, I'd say neither. If the instrument doesn't grab you, you're wasting your time. So take them both back, and try some more. But think about what you want/don't want before moving on.
Just get a Bauhaus Walstein Tenor and get on with it............should get one for £500 or so.

Kind regards
starting to think I should've gone down an alternative route....

10-15 hours max of careful playing and one key inlay and 2 plastic "anti metal on metal" sleeves on mechanisms have already parted company (bad description).

Petty things I know and easy enough to sort, but surely after that amount of playing my sax shouldn't be shedding parts! :)

If I had my time again, I would probably save longer and aim higher......

Don't get me wrong, the sax plays nicely, but long term component reliability?? Hmm.... We'll see.

Maybe i'm just unlucky, but my TJ Rev 2 tenor isn't really filling me with confidence at the moment.....
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