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Saxophones Upgrading Saxophones to Pro model

harplayer

New Member
Messages
5
I have a YTS 23 tenor saxophone. I have been playing saxophone for 7 months and have read many posts about upgrading to a professional instrument. Most posts say that the tone is from the player not the horn. Next the post say that the setup changes tone before the horn does.

I am starting to catch on to playing somewhat and my tone is improving, but not where I would like it to be. I am also having a great time with it. My horn works perfectly well. But I am curious as to whether I would sound better with a better horn and could progress faster.

My question is this. If people say that it is the player not the horn responsible for the sound then why don't people all play the student horns that they started with? :confused:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Hi

Good questions. Sound is a combination of you the mouthpiece/reed and horn - in descending order.

Reasons for upgrading - better keywork, better engraving, better finish, and sometimes better sound. Also, it's a better piece of male jewelery.

However the YTS 23 is an excellent horn and many pros still play them. Take a look at Stephen Howard's site.
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
366
I've asked the same question many times, I'm interested to know if i could improve faster, play better or would even notice the difference if i had a better tenor. The best answer I had from a fellow band member, 'your YTS 23 is great and does an excellent job, but would you rather drive a 1960's mini or the new BMW version?' kind of says it all, I'm saving for a YTS 62, even if it is 'above my level'
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,287
One of the biggest improvements a player can make is a better mouthpiece.
The pro horns do add quality to mix and better keywork which in turn can lead to faster response in playing,they also add most of the time better build quality and also better sound,whether this is worth the extra £s only you can decide,it is certainly worth you visiting a good woodwind shop providing there is one in reach of you and trying for yourself.

Brian
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,273
If you know you are going to stick with playing and improving yourself then i don't see any reason why you don't upgrade to a 'better sax' i use better as opposed to pro because a lot of players i have spoken to don't trust the word 'pro' and believe it's just a marketing ploy !!

If you want a better sax and can afford a better sax then buy a better sax, but my advice would be spend a day trying out the various models.

Happy hunting :)
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I've had two YAS23s, although I've never played the tenor version. I'd say that the YAS23 was 95% of the quality of my fancy Yanagisawa alto and tenor. Not quite as good, but still a great sax in itself. Unless you really fancy indulging yourself, I'd say stick with the horn you've got, as it's a good'un.

To your actual question, I think there are two real reasons why players move on from their first sax. The first is that lots of players don't have the benefit of starting on a sax as good as yours, and they would get a bigger proportional improvement in quality than you would. The second is simply that, as people get more and more into the sax, they indulge themselves by buying a sax they want, because they want it, not because it'll dramatically improve their sound. That's how come I play a YAnagisawa T992.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,017
The second is simply that, as people get more and more into the sax, they indulge themselves by buying a sax they want, because they want it, not because it'll dramatically improve their sound. That's how come I play a YAnagisawa T992.
Exactly. I a good reason to upgrade it is that makes that next horn a better one for you (and not just because it costs more or is marketed as a "pro" saxophone.

If you can't decide what it is that is better about another horn, or what is wrong with yours, then I would suggest it's not yet time to upgrade.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
I would say the player and the sax together are responsable for the sound. You can do a lot with a student sax. It’s often the player that is the limit. But a professional classical saxophoneplayer is not playing on a student alto. The focus on an occasion like that the music/tones that the player produce. On the other side on a club gig with a bar walk as an ingredience to the performance the focus is not on the music/tone that much. If it’s a student, intermidate or student sax you’re using for the bar walk is not that important. I would say a cheap student sax would be better for this. Both players are paid. There are are samples of blues-rocksaxplayers that are not playing “pro-level” saxes and I just love the way they play.

The pro sax helps a pro-saxplayer pay the bills! So you must have a relialbe sax that works in most situations; in the studio, on stage, big band, combos, different genres …. otherwise you won’t be the first call anymore. Most professional player I know have at least two saxes that plays in the same way or as close as possible (same models, setup …).

I’m not so familiar with modern saxes (my youngest sax that I use is 50 years old!) but the differences between a pro sax and ”student” sax is critical specifications and tolerances, choice of materials and quality control. That means there should be better “built-in” qualities on a pro horn. So a pro sax should be better than a “student” sax!?!?! And that’s the case when I compare a student Martin with a prolevel Martin. The Magna is far better than the Medalist.

For some days ago I read that we are changing our behavior as consumers (worldwide). The “step-in”, student, beginner …. is the right stuff to catch the consumer and if they move on they go directly to the “top of the line”, pro, extravaganza level. We already have this. Computers, cars …. . The intermediate, “step-up” level is more or less going to disappear!??! So you buy something that looks and also shares the name/brand (™) as the real stuff. So would there be any saxophone producer making a complete line (from “student” to professional) of saxes in the future? Today is just Yamaha, KHS (Jupiter), Denak (Amati) and Weril (maybe I missed someone?) that are officially making and selling a complete line under their own name (at least these producers says that they are making pro saxes). Yamaha and Jupiter is making their studentsaxes in Pakistan respective China (outsourched?).

Today I’m buying less expensive saxes (odd brands) and trying to make them good Rocksaxes for pub or club gigs.

Off topic again.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
dear harplayer
I play an intermediate design of sax and I have been playing for 8 months.
Although my playing is improving I was having difficulty getting the low notes and
my tone was very harsh up high.
I was playing with a student mouthpiece a yam 4c.
on friday my teacher loaned me a selmer 80E.
Straight away my tone was much smoother and nicer and rounded and I could blow the
low notes easier than before.
My point being unless your rich, look first to your mouthpiece and upgrade that.
So the following day I went to a good sax store and tried out some mouthpeices that I wanted to try and some that the store recomended.
I also tried out some different reeds. some mps suited me but I couldnt afford them right now but i purchased a selmer s80e of my own. not too pricy but nice.
So now I have a much nicer tone instantaneously without even changing horns.
You know years ago I used to snow ski and many rich people would show up on the slopes with the newest and best gear but they still coulnt ski any better.
The poor students who were there for the winter as ski instructors and had crappy old skis could ski their pants off because all they did all day was practice skiing even when they wern`t teaching.
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
855
The poor students who were there for the winter as ski instructors and had crappy old skis could ski their pants off because all they did all day was practice skiing even when they wern`t teaching.
This is a very valid point. Some years ago, a very good motor cycle racer whose name escapes me managed to beat students on 600cc club-racing machines whilst he raced on an old 250 Yamaha. He was a professional the others weren't. In much the same vein a professional saxophonist on the cheapest, nastiest horn could probably play the pants off a budding amateur using a top-of-the-range Selmer (Paris).

That said, the OP probably has GAS and why not. If buying amore expensive sax makes you feel better when you are playing then it was worth the money and therefore will also encourage better playing in it's turn.

Go buy one, you know you will! >:);}

But as many have said, ensure you play a few and it's a must to start with a good mouthpiece setup.

Have fun trying them out.

Martin
 

harplayer

New Member
Messages
5
Thanks for all the responses, this is very helpful.

Does anyone know any YouTube videos of good players, playing on YTS 23 saxophones? I would like to hear people play on them and listen to the tone of the more experienced players.

Thanks this is a great forum.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
however If money is no object and youre sure your going to keep playing then heck get down to
the store and buy the one you like.
I would if Icould.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,632
I’m going to quote a splendid remark Gilad Atzmon once made in our shop about good quality horns. His theory is that the test of a good sax is, once you’ve had it for a few years, whether you feel as if you’ve explored its full potential- whether you’ve made it produce every sound it’s capable of producing. To me, that’s the difference between a pro horn and a student sax (as well as consistency of tone in the extremes- try a Selmer Reference, up to high F# and into the altissimo without even breaking a sweat!).
This became very apparent to me a year or so ago when my beloved Mauriat was in for a fix and I did a gig on a borrowed student horn. Within a certain ‘band’ it worked really nicely, however- as our set ended with a load of blaring rock & roll- this brought up something very odd. Mr Mauriat, the more air I push through- the bigger, more powerful tone comes out, with this horn- blow the hell out of it, expecting ‘oomph’ and I hit a sonic brick wall- there’s no fifth gear! In the sax’s own ‘comfort zone’ it worked very well indeed but there’s a ceiling I couldn’t push it beyond…..
 

GsySaxMan

Member
Messages
91
I have just switched from a YTS-275 to a YTS-62 Purple logo, 1984 vintage.

Been playing for just over a year, and felt the GAS overwhelm me!

But what I can say without question is that this horn feels better, the action is better, across the break is less muffled and the tone has improved, which I can clearly hear on my recordings; same MPC, lig and read setup btw.

If you have the spare funds, and can find a good example, I would not hesitate in getting an upgraded horn; you can also sell your old one, and the cost over few years for the upgarde is not that huge.

Just my two penny worth...

Cheers,
 

GsySaxMan

Member
Messages
91
Hi Allansto,

At the moment my set up is:
Runyon 22 Tip 10
Rovner Legacy
Legere Signature 2

But I have a Phil Barone New York 7*, which I am about to try once I am accustomed to the new horn; going to give a 2.5 Signature and a Hahn 3 a go with the wider tip and see how it works out.

Do have a problem at the moment in getting a low B or C without sounding the next overtone, but guess that will come with practise.

Also got an Otto Link STM metal and a Yanigasawa metal to see how they work for me, so lots to experiment with over the coming months.

What about yourself?

Cheers,
 
Saxholder Pro
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