SYOS

Saxophones Your thoughts please?

Burt

New Member
Messages
6
Hi I am going to upgrade my Saxaphone, I have a yamaha yas 23 student sax which is great but I have fallen in love with Jazz and want something with a more darker tone. I am on a budget of around £1000 and have been told that the Selmer liberty would be ideal as a step up and more darker tone, it's also bang on budget.
What are your thought and does anyone know much about this sax? Thanks
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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3,835
Have you considered changing your mouthpiece?

It often makes a bigger difference than the horn...
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Supporter
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681
My thoughts exactly. Why not tell us about your full setup. The mouthpiece and reed is generally the area of focus for going brighter or darker. Of course dont leave out the player.
 
OP
B

Burt

New Member
Messages
6
Yes I understand about mouthpiece, set up ect and duelly noted as I know it makes a big difference but I'll be honest with you, I'm treating myself as I have received a little bit of cash. Money doesn't come my way very often so I thought it an opportunity to upgrade.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,835
Don't rush based on whoever's opinion. Make your own. Try !

If you don't feel qualified, don't change yet. It takes time to feel what you like and don't like. And again, the mouthpiece can be a good match to the horn or not! I can start to feel it, but I'm no expert yet. 10 years down the line...
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
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5,833
You really have to try some saxes to see what you like, which may be difficult at the moment.

Headwind in Bristol have a nice second-hand Martin Committee II alto. It’s priced above your budget, but you could try bargaining. The shop is closed, but I think they will send instruments out on trial.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,579
Hi I am going to upgrade my Saxaphone, I have a yamaha yas 23 student sax which is great but I have fallen in love with Jazz and want something with a more darker tone. I am on a budget of around £1000 and have been told that the Selmer liberty would be ideal as a step up and more darker tone, it's also bang on budget.
What are your thought and does anyone know much about this sax? Thanks
Are you in a location where you can go to a few shops and try some horns ?

I am going to assume here you wish to purchase a new instrument, not second-hand. I will say, as will others, you get more 'bang for the buck' (pound) buying used...you can get a better model horn for the same 'new' budget. But buying used also can have its pitfalls. But f you have decided NOT to go down that road, just say so and we will respect that.

A couple of (new) others which I really like, as a repairer and player, are the Buffet 100 and 400 models. They have a much richer and bigger tone than a Yama 23.
They bracket the price of a new Liberty.

I have no experience with a Liberty, so am not judging it one way or other.

Another thing I very recently discovered...Giardinelli offers a few models which are actually made by Eastman....the Giardinelli GTS 10 is the same horn as the Eastman 640 (which is very similar to the Eastman 52nd St) but the GIardinelli-branded one is around 25% cheaper, new, than the Eastman-branded 640....dunno why I threw this out there, just figured I'd mention it. Eastmans are very, very good horns.

Maybe take a sax field trip' to someplace if nothing is local to you. And take your Yama with you, to do direct comparisons.
 
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Saxodent

Member
Messages
194
I agree that the mouthpiece is probably more important than the sax.
Changing your set up will make a big differences if you get that first then you will have a better perspective if you think the sax still needs updating.

However I would suggest that with your budget look at used modern instruments and probably avoid vintage ones for the moment as they have their own set of problems.

The Conn Selmer Premiere unlacquered 380V is excellent and a favourite of mine and many of my friends .
Any of the Altos by Mauriat
A used Yamaha 62
Trevor James Raw

The best specialist shops amongst others are (in no particular order)
Headwind Music,Trevor Jones,Bristol
Allegro Music Oxford
The Saxophone Shop Glasgow
Woodwind Exchange Bradford
There are other on Musical Instrument Sales, Gumtree and Preloved
 

Saxodent

Member
Messages
194
There are also plenty of You Tube Videos on Mouthpiece Comparison etc as well as charts of the SetUps of well known and famous players
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,265
I have three points to make along the lines of @saxyjt and @Phil :

1. The mouthpiece and reed combo make a far greater impact to sound and response than the horn

2. The mouthpiece and reed combo make a far greater impact to sound and response than the horn

3. The mouthpiece and reed combo make a far greater impact to sound and response than the horn

Honestly. You have to try them out though as they differ vastly.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,265
I agree that the mouthpiece is probably more important than the sax.
Changing your set up will make a big differences if you get that first then you will have a better perspective if you think the sax still needs updating.

However I would suggest that with your budget look at used modern instruments and probably avoid vintage ones for the moment as they have their own set of problems.

The Conn Selmer Premiere unlacquered 380V is excellent and a favourite of mine and many of my friends .
Any of the Altos by Mauriat
A used Yamaha 62
Trevor James Raw

The best specialist shops amongst others are (in no particular order)
Headwind Music,Trevor Jones,Bristol
Allegro Music Oxford
The Saxophone Shop Glasgow
Woodwind Exchange Bradford
There are other on Musical Instrument Sales, Gumtree and Preloved
There is no “probably “ about it. Ask any decent player whether they want to do a gig on their mouthpiece with a different horn or a “great” horn but another mouthpiece. I’m sure that you’ll mostly get one answer.
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
681
One of my long time customers was a pro and played the same horn you have for years. He had me make a mpc and came to my home so it would be adjusted as I made it. He liked a really dark and clean sound. Years later he upgraded his horn but still felt the mpc made a bigger difference.

You still have not mentioned your setup. Its your money, you can buy an average new horn for a grand but i dont know if you will accomplish your goal by doing so.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,579
Have you considered changing your mouthpiece?
It often makes a bigger difference than the horn...
I agree that the mouthpiece is probably more important than the sax.
OK...it depends, tho, doesn't it ?

You can upgrade the mouthpiece on a Yama 23 and indeed you can get a darker tone out of it...or brighter, or mellower, or wider or narrower....depending on what mouthpiece you are coming from. The blowing response can also be improved by a better 'piece.

BUT...horns are designed to specifications. Those specs determine the tone, blowing response, action/feel of the instrument in a very BIG way. A huge way. Horn models have 'intrinsic' tonalities.

It is fair to argue (true to argue) that some makers have been working on offering models which move more towards the old-school paradigm of tonality. Some have done so successfully.
It is also fair to say that when one looks at reputed models available in 2020....indeed their overall ergos and feel and key response exceeds that of a good ol' reliable Yama 21/23/25/26 etc...and I am not talking about 'top shelf', expensive new horns either. The feel of a current Jupe or Buffet or Eastman or a number of others are much nicer than that of a 23. And they DO sound better.

So....again, depends on the player's desires as well as budget....but the notion that 'changing the mouthpiece does more than changing the horn.....that's not accurate. As I have offered before, the piece of hardware the mouthpiece attaches to, is still the piece of hardware the mouthpiece attaches to.


There is no “probably “ about it. Ask any decent player whether they want to do a gig on their mouthpiece with a different horn or a “great” horn but another mouthpiece. I’m sure that you’ll mostly get one answer.
But that is a 'false choice' isn't it ? Because one would never be limited to that choice (I would also challenge your perceived 'obvious answer' to that choice. Slap a $400 mouthpiece on a 23...and slap a stock, off-shelf Meyer on a Keilwerth or Yani. Have the player try both and pick one combo.
I am not certain "you'll mostly get one answer" at all).
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,924
A newer or more expensive horn may seem like an upgrade on paper. In real life it may be a step down.

It probably won't sound any different That's up to you putting the hours in.

The only real reason to change gear imo is if the new gear does something easier or better or faster than the old gear and you can't tell that till you try it.

A better horn might not be a better horn.

You have a great horn. Robust, reliable, easy blowing with good intonation. Get it serviced. It's a keeper. ;)
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,265
OK...it depends, tho, doesn't it ?

You can upgrade the mouthpiece on a Yama 23 and indeed you can get a darker tone out of it...or brighter, or mellower, or wider or narrower....depending on what mouthpiece you are coming from. The blowing response can also be improved by a better 'piece.

BUT...horns are designed to specifications. Those specs determine the tone, blowing response, action/feel of the instrument in a very BIG way. A huge way. Horn models have 'intrinsic' tonalities.

It is fair to argue (true to argue) that some makers have been working on offering models which move more towards the old-school paradigm of tonality. Some have done so successfully.
It is also fair to say that when one looks at reputed models available in 2020....indeed their overall ergos and feel and key response exceeds that of a good ol' reliable Yama 21/23/25/26 etc...and I am not talking about 'top shelf', expensive new horns either. The feel of a current Jupe or Buffet or Eastman or a number of others are much nicer than that of a 23. And they DO sound better.

So....again, depends on the player's desires as well as budget....but the notion that 'changing the mouthpiece does more than changing the horn.....that's not accurate. As I have offered before, the piece of hardware the mouthpiece attaches to, is still the piece of hardware the mouthpiece attaches to.



But that is a 'false choice' isn't it ? Because one would never be limited to that choice (I would also challenge your perceived 'obvious answer' to that choice. Slap a $400 mouthpiece on a 23...and slap a stock, off-shelf Meyer on a Keilwerth or Yani. Have the player try both and pick one combo.
I am not certain "you'll mostly get one answer" at all).
You're saying that any $400 piece is better than a stock Meyer????

We all know that price is no gauge for quality of piece either. Let's look at this again. Assuming that the instrument is airtight and is of a quality of a Yam 23 or better, the question is whether to look for gains in a change of horn - that $1000 will allow, or to look for gains from a Yam 4C - I'm presuming a 4C.. ?

I'm a fan of the 4C for a "piece in the box' but there's so much more to be had.
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,579
You're saying that any $400 piece is better than a stock Meyer????
Why would you ever have drawn that conclusion from my reply to you ? I am not saying anything of the sort, and I don't believe that was even intimated, honestly..

I could have said $600, $1000...the point would have been the same (at least my intended point ;)). You can buy a higher-end mouthpiece, a reputed one , one with very good, probably hand-finishing or partially so, one which may arguably blow better than a decent, off-shelf stock 'piece...and stick it on a 23.
I do not believe that 90%, 80%, or even 70% of players would prefer playing the 23 with that sort of piece vs. a better horn with a more 'common' piece- I don't think they would hands-down choose that combo over a JK or Yani two10 or Eastman or C'ball or even a more moderately priced horn like a good top-shelf Jupe or Buffet...outfitted with a decent mass-production 'piece, is all....

Assuming that the instrument is airtight and is of a quality of a Yam 23 or better, the question is whether to look for gains in a change of horn - that $1000 will allow, or to look for gains from a Yam 4C - I'm presuming a 4C.. ?
Except that's not quite the question here. It's a question/argument some here are making, but that isn't the question the OP posed. The OP wants to buy a new sax. He wants to try to find a 'better' sax than a 23, and has stated that as his desire.

It's perfectly valid to ask 'why not just the mouthpiece ?', but he already replied to that. I simply concur with his position (as well as understanding the mouthpiece suggestion, mind you)...because he has the budget to get a horn which is better-toned and a bit slicker and more responsive in the keywork and action than what he currently has.

There are many 'gains in a change of horn' which a mouthpiece will not get you, basically. And again, that's because horns have different design specs and levels of construction precision....and those are the intrinsic qualities of the horn.
 
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Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,265
Slap a $400 mouthpiece on a 23...and slap a stock, off-shelf Meyer on a Keilwerth or Yani. Have the player try both and pick one combo.
Well in that case your experiment is not the one we're really talking about. Slap a well-used and well-lauded mouthpiece on a 23, vs an in-the-box piece on a Keilwerth or Yani. Isn't that what we're talking about?
 

Saxodent

Member
Messages
194
There are several variables in playing the sax.
Embouchure ,Reed (Brand and Strength),Ligature,Mouthpiece ( metal,abs,ebonite the tip opening),and then the Sax.
All of them have an individual specific effect some more obvious than others.Some subtle and others negligible some detrimental to your sound .
It is very important you change only one at a time and then trial the effect to see if it is an improvement .
This may be intonation,projection,tone ,darker sound brighter sound etc.
This is a lifelong journey for all players.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,579
Well in that case your experiment is not the one we're really talking about. Slap a well-used and well-lauded mouthpiece on a 23, vs an in-the-box piece on a Keilwerth or Yani. Isn't that what we're talking about?
Granted you didn't write " a pricey mouthpiece", you wrote a player's "own" mouthpiece.

But as the suggestions offered here were for the OP to invest in a better mouthpiece, as opposed to buying a new horn....I think my comments have been apropos, and my position valid - a mouthpiece can do some things, but as the OP clarified he wants to upgrade his horn, and there are better saxes than a 23....why not ?.

He can, and hopefully with some research will, get a horn with a better tonality than a 23....

I am, granted, assuming that when folks were suggesting a new mouthpiece, they were not talking about a $100 one, but something pricier, more of an investment.....
 
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