SYOS

Saxophones Upgrading from a student sax

bluetone

New Member
Messages
19
Hi everyone

I bought a student sax (alto) around Christmas last year from Cranes in Cardiff (approx £300). I've already had to have the octave key fixed although I'm very careful with handling and storing it. I've been told that if I upgrade my sax I'll get a better sound/tone and that it will be more robust as it will be built to a higher quality. I have about £1000 to spend but could probably push it to £1500. I want my sax to sound quite mellow and liked the sound of the Yani 991 on the Dawkes website (which is more like £2.4k) or the Yani 901U (£1.8k).

Any thoughts? Am I deluding myself re sound - do I need to learn to play better on my student sax, or does it really make a difference. Also, should I get a sax within my budget or wait for a Yani or equivalent. It's not easy for me to get to London to try out several saxes.

All thoughts gratefully received.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
In descending order of importance to the sound....

You
Mouthpiece
Sax

Who's suggesting the upgrade?

Assuming you started playing when you got the sax, no point in upgrading for sound.
Buying a better quality model will bring other advantages - robustness, tuning accuracy, ease of play.

But if the student model is set up properly, it's an expensive exercise to change now, unless you can get most of the purchase price back. At the moment it's probably not worth changing, unless you have real problems with the way the sax is built (key position, intonation etc. ).

Unless you're playing a recognised starter mouthpiece (such as Yamaha, Rico, Runyon) you'll get a lot more from a better mouthpiece. Lots of threads on that, or start a new one if they don't give you an idea.
 

bluetone

New Member
Messages
19
Hi Kev

Thanks for that. I've already upgraded to an ebonite mouthpiece and rovner ligature and could hear the difference. I wanted to upgrade because I'm frustrated with the temperamental octave key (or maybe it is just me). I've been playing for a year practising about 3 to 4 times a week and with a half hour lesson. Lots of other things in my life (including a nearly teen) so perhaps I'm just frustrated when the octave key plays up. I took it to the sax repairer who said it was definitely in need of repair and it sounded better after repair. I just want a sax that is more consistent I suppose. My teacher and the repair man told me that if I upgraded it would be more robust. I posted on here to help clarify whether I'm kidding myself or if in fact it will make a difference.

Help.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I just noticed I almost contradicted the boss....

Question is, what's wrong with the octave key. It's a fiddly thing to set up, but it shouldn't cause you trouble even on a cheapo. But if the key metal on that sax is very soft, then you're going to have endless problems and frustration.

One of the forum members, Birdman aka Pete Scaddon, at studio saxophones in Abervagenny may be a good way forward. Never dealt with him myself, but he's always had glowing reports from forum members.

http://www.studiosaxophones.co.uk/
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I'd second Pete on the Bauhaus Walstien recommendation! Pete Scaddam (www.studiosaxophones.co.uk) in Abergavenny, and Richard Hamer (www.woodwindsalesandrepairs.com) in Ystrad Mynach are both BW dealers, and well worth contacting. It may also be useful to do some searches for used Yani's and also Yamaha YAS 62's. I'd have no problem with playing a BW as my main sax - pro quality and great sound.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I've just been reading a lot of positive reviews of the Buffet 400 Alto, which cost approx £750 in the UK, and are considered "up there" with Selmer, Yanagisawa and Yamaha pro horns. Worth a look, methinks.
 

Jack

Member
Messages
123
The saxes I purchased came from the same factory as bauhaus walstein, I would say you can't go wrong. I am extremely satisfied. My repair person describes them as intermediate/pro horns. (His experience from playing and adjusting them)
 

Steve John B

Member
Messages
134
Question is, what's wrong with the octave key. It's a fiddly thing to set up, but it shouldn't cause you trouble even on a cheapo.

I started playing in January on a Hanson SA-5 - I had real trouble using the octave key. It felt like I was having to move my thumb up and across, instead of just sliding it over - a real 'mechanical' feeling. When I upgraded (GAS) to a 2nd hand student Yani the difference was amazing, so easy to use. This may or may not have been to do with the setup, but the shape of the key is significantly different (the Yani curves round a lot lower - the Hanson was more 'above' the thumb rest). Just my 2p... :)
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Moving, Sliding? There should be no movement of the thumbs position on the button. It is a rolling motion, up (Hanson) across (Yani).

John.
 

Jack

Member
Messages
123
The reason that I know that is because Paulo Tung told me. I believe him 100% based on your recommendation of him, and will do so until it's proven otherwise.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The reason that I know that is because Paulo Tung told me. I believe him 100% based on your recommendation of him, and will do so until it's proven otherwise.

And as I said in the other thread, he's now selling them as Bauhaus Walstein.
 

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