support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

Saxophones Which upgrade instrument?

MrP

New Member
Messages
6
Hi everyone

This is my first post, so go easy with me!

I have been playing a couple of months now - I went straight for a tenor. I am hiring a Trevor James Classic at the moment but my teacher is sufficiently happy with my progress to encourage me onto a better instrument. At the advice of my teacher I have also bought a Vandoren Java mouthpiece, which improved my tone and range immediately - btw, even as a newcomer, I can back up all the advice on that score - a good mouthpiece REALLY does make a whole world of difference!

Does anyone have any recommendations for an upgrade instrument? I want to stick to a budget ceiling of £1000 if I can.

Thanks
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Hi everyone

This is my first post, so go easy with me!

I have been playing a couple of months now - I went straight for a tenor. I am hiring a Trevor James Classic at the moment but my teacher is sufficiently happy with my progress to encourage me onto a better instrument. At the advice of my teacher I have also bought a Vandoren Java mouthpiece, which improved my tone and range immediately - btw, even as a newcomer, I can back up all the advice on that score - a good mouthpiece REALLY does make a whole world of difference!

Does anyone have any recommendations for an upgrade instrument? I want to stick to a budget ceiling of £1000 if I can.

Thanks
Strange that after only two months your teacher is advocating changing your saxophone and has already encouraged you to change your mouthpiece. Unless you are coming back to the game after a break, I would suggest that your embouchure is undeveloped, your playing skills are limited and you have yet to find your 'sound'; I am not being rude or over-critical here, just stating fact. A Trevor James is fine as a student instrument and there is probably no reason to change it after such a short intro period. Rather than change the saxophone, I might be tempted to get a second opinion on your progress from another teacher. I am not implying that you haven't progressed, progress is usually rapid in the first few months, I'd just be wary of any encouragement blow a grand after such a short time on something that you find, a year later, is totally unsuitable. Give it twelve months, six at the very least before you start replacing one shiny metal thing for another.

Regards

Martin
 

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,041
Location
I live in Exmouth Devon.
Hi Mr P,
Trevor James saxes are fine. Seeing as you are renting a TJ at the moment and you sound committed to learning the sax -- then "upgrading" isn't a bad idea from an economic perspective. I would get the best sax you can afford that way there would be little or no need to upgrade. I understand Moz's comments and where he's coming from however, seeing as you don't own the sax you are playing, I say go for it and get yourself a nice horn. As regards what make and model there are some good saxes out there, some are inexpensive and others are 4 times your budget. I would get yourself along to a decent music shop, take your mouthpiece and have a good blow on as many saxes as you can,, dont rush into it , take your time and get the opinon of others - as you are doing here.
Dont discount the secondhand market either.

good luck and once you have narrowed down your search, post a thread on here and let us know how you are getting on.

ps..i I hear of anything going within your price range that is a better quality than the TJ you are hiring I'll drop you a line.
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Hi Mr P,
Trevor James saxes are fine. Seeing as you are renting a TJ at the moment and you so.
Now that'll teach me to read things properly, I didn't see the renting bit, oops. It's an age thing :confused:

OK forget a lot of what I said and instead read: if you feel you are definitely committed to playing the sax then buy the best you can afford so that as Griff says, you won't need to upgrade for a long time.

Cheers

Martin
 
OP
M

MrP

New Member
Messages
6
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I should have been a bit clearer. It was my teacher's idea to upgrade the mouthpiece, which I did find surprising but I guess I have to trust he has the right reasons - he's been playing for over 50 years! As for the sax upgrade, that was more my idea, based on preferring to put the cash into something better I could own now as it appears I can actually play the thing!

I did play the clarinet when I was a kid but that was SO long ago, I doubt it has any bearing. But I have kept on playing various recorders ever since, which gave me the basic fingering.

My embouchure is clearly underdeveloped as I still have a big problem with the tone of my D2 and often split G2 (classic novice problems I gather) but I have the lung power due to singing virtually all my life.

I'll look at that BW thanks. I had my eyes on those anyway but what do people think about Selmer USA, Jupiter, Hanson, budget Keithwerth for eg?
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I should have been a bit clearer. It was my teacher's idea to upgrade the mouthpiece, which I did find surprising but I guess I have to trust he has the right reasons - he's been playing for over 50 years! As for the sax upgrade, that was more my idea, based on preferring to put the cash into something better I could own now as it appears I can actually play the thing!

I did play the clarinet when I was a kid but that was SO long ago, I doubt it has any bearing. But I have kept on playing various recorders ever since, which gave me the basic fingering.

My embouchure is clearly underdeveloped as I still have a big problem with the tone of my D2 and often split G2 (classic novice problems I gather) but I have the lung power due to singing virtually all my life.

I'll look at that BW thanks. I had my eyes on those anyway but what do people think about Selmer USA, Jupiter, Hanson, budget Keithwerth for eg?
I have a Selmer USA Alto. It is bronze and cost £500 from sax.co.uk. My weapon of choice is my Yani tenor but I was impressed with the Selmer. They say USA but I think they are all made in Taiwan, mine was. It's very well built, 'brick s**thouse' quality comes to mind. Plays well and in tune throughout the range. However I'm afraid that here on this forum I am going against the flow of the Bauhaus Walstein cosa nostra (sshh, they are everywhere) in that no one has a bad word to say about them (unless they are too scared of 'der management'). :w00t:>:)

Have fun with your search.

Cheers

Martin
 

rudjarl

Senile Member. Scandinavian Ambassadour of CaSLM
Messages
657
Location
Løten, Norway
Hi MrP,
you could also try something like a Roy Benson (not unlike a Selmer USA). Many of those "cheap" horns are surprisingly good. You could save 3-500£ on your budget and still have a horn that would last you for quite a few years. But if you really want to spent 1000 then an Elkhart could be right up your alley :)

Happy playing
Rudjarl
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
If you like the TJ then "Woodwind Direct" on Ebay have some great deals on the better TJ models. I have stuck with the TJ saxes myself, starting with a "classic" before buying a "Horn Revolution", I like them and I have had great feedback from fellow band members about the sound.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
IMO if there is no urgent reason for changing to another instrument, such as a mechanical defect, I would hold off. There is an amazing choice of instruments out there, some very well known and others far less so. In the end it is all about tone and the suitability of the instrument in your case for producing the right tone, i.e. the tone that suits your music and your taste. OTH, money for a good mouthpiece is probably well spent as long as you don't go overboard.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,993
Location
Just north of Munich
...However I'm afraid that here on this forum I am going against the flow of the Bauhaus Walstein cosa nostra (sshh, they are everywhere) in that no one has a bad word to say about them (unless they are too scared of 'der management'). :w00t:>:)
:)))

I haven't bought one and won't be buying one. I reckon you can get great instruments with a bit of history attached for the same money or less. But you need to be careful. Picked up a superb '30s alto that way, and my tenor's pretty good as well.

Perhaps it's me, but I believe that older, top quality instruments were made to be played - for lifetimes, not put to one side for something brighter, shinier, new.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi There!

Sax Heaven in Oxford have an excellent quality S/H Yamaha YTS62 Tenor (recently serviced) going for £875 or nearest offer. In your position I would be sorely tempted (currently they retail for about £2000 plus). Given how many parts there are to a sax I would personally be a bit wary of going for something vintage (I have vintage trombones and trumpets, but they have much less that can go wrong on them).

So, my recommendation would be a good used sax (in all likelihood costing £2000 plus new) - which would have the edge on lesser priced ones, but the BW is a well respected/well known Sax and excellent in the under £1000 range. You could also check out the Hanson website that have used saxes at lesser prices.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Semiquaver

Member
Messages
102
Location
Hertfordshire, England
I think Moz was right first time, just wait a little longer before you spend all your money.

There is one important thing to consider here. Once you have the sax bug one instrument will not be enough. I guarantee once you buy an alto you will want a tenor and visa versa.

Get well into the whole thing, playing, embouchure, tone, what reed you like what mpc you prefer. If you can, have a go with a differnt makes of sax. Compare the register key and the keys for the left little finger. Then look at the palm keys do they get the way. All the advice you have been given so far is from personal experience. This forum is full of great points but they are all from a personal view point. You need to build your own personal experience.

Then when you are ready you can go to the shop as someone who knows and make a choice on that.

Sax.co.uk are great for trying out. as is Howarths in Chiltern street London.

Take your time.
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
I am inclined to follow the example and advice of those whose reputation, both as a player and as having an open mind, are undeniable.
In my case it is our Mr Thomas, backed-up 'technically' by our Mr Howard.

For this reason, I started with a Hanson, a nice 'intermediate' sax, backed-up by an excellent guarantee, and I now have BW alto and tenor. Alastair Hanson is a really nice gent and if you are not too far from Mardon (between Huddersfield and Oldham) I'd recommend a visit ....even if you don't buy, the coffee and the welcome will be very warm!
Allegro Music (saxophoneheaven.com) will let you try a variety of nice metal, and will probably give good advice....if you aren't put-off by the halitosis and bumptious attitude of the proprietor :eek: (He'll probably be rude about TJ ....was extremely dismissive of Hanson, AND had 'never heard' of Lamberson mpcs!!)
WW&B, near Portsmouth are also very friendly, but have a more limited choice... of which one is the BW range.
Sax.co.uk is the place for a hiuge variety...I haven't been there myself, but I fdon't think you'd find a Hanson or BW there.

As others have said, take your time, and if possible, take a sax-playing friend!

Living as I do in Spain, I dismissed any thoughts of a vintage horn which might need continuing repairs.
 
OP
M

MrP

New Member
Messages
6
Thanks for everyone's advice.

I have been offered a (seriously) mint condition Yamaha YTS 62 mk1 for £1400 and a Selmer Paris Series 2 Super Action (engraved) for £1700, which has a few dings. Both horns are lovely to play but the Selmer is slightly easier to blow through the registers.

I'm tempted although both are beyond my stated budget. Which would you guys choose and are they worth the money?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,993
Location
Just north of Munich
You probably won't go wrong with either choice. Tom's is an interesting idea as well, would be worth test playing it. What sort of guarantee do you get? (I assume that you're buying from a shop at those prices).

One observation - there's a strong following for the YTS62, especially the earlier mark I with the blue label. My guess is that it'll hold it's value the best, could well be wrong, though. Did you prefer the sound of one or the other instument?

But as you're seriously over budget already, perhaps price should be the decider...
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
I'd still go for the Sax Heaven Yam 62 (Purple logo) serviced, no rod wear. good lacquer, case etc, for "£875 OVNO" and spend the left over £600 on a Theo Wanne mouthpiece...............
 
Top Bottom