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  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2013 blahchici's Avatar
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    Default LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Hello I'm thinking of buying an LA Sax I find the Big Lip is about the same price as a Series 1. Is one better than the other in any way? If I get a series 1 I'll probably get the antique matte finish. If I get the Big Lip I can't decide between the Diamond Spiral or Warrior. Whats the difference sound wise between the two saxes?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Both diamond spiral and warrior are a horn of the same design but of course their finish is very different. Both unforgettable, the diamond spiral is a hight tech , high polish , engine turned finish (like the one you see on some fine planes, cars or other machinery of a by-gone era).
    The Warrior is a finish that is achieved by treating each horn in a chemical bath which gives the metal a unique patina resembling a burned and oil stained instrument.

    A war axe! A bad axe!

    They are great instruments and play very nicely indeed for an affordable price.

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2013 blahchici's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    So is the Series 1 better or the Big Lip?

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    I don't have any experience with the Series 1 while I know the Big Lip series very well

  5. #5
    Forum Contributor 2013 blahchici's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    If I get the Big Lip I would get the Warrior and if I get the Series 1 I would get Antique Matte. What's the sound difference?
    Both same price. Oh I forgot to mention I'm talking about Tenors.

  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2013 blahchici's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Would you consider the Big Lip a Professional or Intermediate sax? How 'bout the series 1?

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Quote Originally Posted by blahchici View Post
    Would you consider the Big Lip a Professional or Intermediate sax? How 'bout the series 1?
    I honestly don't know what the definition of an intermediate saxophone really is. Both these saxophones exceed the quality (and the price) of a student saxophone and you can certainly professionally gig with them for a long time and be satisfied by them (remember to always keep maintaining the saxophone with regular visits to your technician if you are using an instrument professionally) .

    You cannot buy a saxophone on paper or based on someone else's advise or impression. You have to play it to know what it sounds like for you. L.A. sax has been providing many people with excellent and perhaps a little eccentric saxophones for years. They have a good reputation among many players.

  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2013 blahchici's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    I decided to buy a warrior finish big lip tenor.
    Thanks for the advice!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Keep us posted on the results! Enjoy!

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2013 blahchici's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Somewhere I heard that the mouthpiece and ligature that come with the Big Lip are of high quality and it is not necessary to buy a separate mouthpiece. Is this true or just random things on the internet? I play mostly classical and am thinking of buying an E. Rousseau New Classic NC5 Mouthpiece with a Rico H Ligature.

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    the mouthpiece is good and adequate but not better than a Yamaha 4c. I have no idea of how the Rousseau New Classic would be , I have had good results with Barone HR, Ponzol HR, Ponzol M2

  12. #12

    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Hey Milandro. What is your experience with the LA Sax Big Lip? Im kind of curious about the Big Lip and Series 1 myself. Ive actually been real curious about LA Sax for a while now because I used to be a fan of Jay Beckenstein who I think at the time was playing an LA Sax horn? I know it wasnt any of the models they offer today, but thats why Im curious about LA Sax, especially with their current offerings.
    ALTO: 1950s Beaugnier & Gretsch w/Lakey 7*3 - SOPRANO: Cannonball Knight Series w/Rico Royal Graftonite M9 - FLUTE: Artley 15-0
    Contact: jlaufou@yahoo.com, hawaiiansaxman84@yahoo.com

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    I have tried a few of the " Big Lip" series and they are very nice indeed , well made and nice sounding.

  14. #14

    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Looks like this thread has died, but should anyone stumble upon it I thought I'd liven it up with some fresh info for one of my first posts. As an LA Sax Artist Endorser I can say that LA Sax is alive and well. I endorse the current Big Lip models, very similar in appearance and design to Cannonball's Big Bell Stone Series, minus the 'gems/stones' of course. All of the modern LA Saxes have hand engraving on the bells and key touches as well, rather than the laser engraving on the cannonballs big bells (you have to get the vintage model to get engraving on most cannonballs). I'm not dissing Cannonball by anymeans, but my LA Saxes do play just as well and for a fraction of the cost. They're both made in Taiwan and are very similar side by side. I play the 'Warrior' (unlacquered) models which look just like the 'Brute' cannonball, but with a big bell and hand engraving, for $1495 new (alto) and $1595 (tenor). Not trying to sell anything, just updating the info. They also make some nice sopranos, curved, 2 necks and one piece. They only make one single piece straight soprano at the moment, the Satin Doll. This is the model I endorse, and it plays just as good as my Yanagisawa!!! Great tone and feel. These are constantly on back order, I have an extra one currently on ebay at the moment. Even the new ones sell for $1095, free shipping with a 30 trial period. My cannonball dealer couldn't believe how great it played and when I told him how much they sell for he about fell out of his chair shaking his head in disbelief.

    To stay true to the thread let me shed some light on the Series 1 VS. Big Lip.....both horns are quite affordable, the Big Lip costs only slightly more than the Series I. I've played both and chose the Big Lip for a few reasons.....I tried a Series 1 Antique Matte Tenor and a Big Lip Warrior Tenor side by side. Initial impression of the antique matt finish on the series 1....it actually looks greenish grey in person, the engraving is very nice though. 1) Both play great, intonation was there except the high end on the series 1 (i'll get to that in a second) as was projection, but I preferred the Big Lip's overall tone and response. The Altissimo popped out more with ease and the bottom end was fat sounding, overall I found the Big Lip to be more full in tone. 2) Quality Construction...the Big Lip felt very solid, where as the Series I has the high G key (High F# key is essentially split in half and the top half is a G) this adds an extra rod spanning the entire length of the horn and an extra tone hole at the top, above F#, naturally. For some reason having this extra rod sticking out felt cumbersome, also the rods on the series I seemed like they were made out of a thinner metal and felt very bendable and as a gigging musian I wasn't confident it would hold up on the road. 3) Having the High G key caused intonation problems for me in the upper register and the G didn't even play as in tune as my altissimo fingering does. What's more, adding the extra tone hole for the high G made the horn slightly longer than my other tenors. It wasn't noticeable until I tried to fit the horn in my pro tec case and various other tenor sax cases....it was nearly an inch longer than my other tenor! Only fit the case it came in.

    Big Lip....loved the Warrior/Unlaq finish, just like the Brute Cannonball, however the Big Lip series horns have a different design than the series 1 altogether. Big Lip = Bigger Bore and Big Bell. It also has double post arms on the lower stack much like the 'Vintage' series Phil Barones and the Big Bell Cannonballs. Since all of those brands are Taiwanese based it's no surprise the design is similar. Anyway, I chose the Big Lip series because of 1) the sound was amazing, on par with my Selmer SA80, dark core, but very flexible to mouthpiece changes, and it projected way better than my selmer. FREE Blowing and easy altissimo! I'm used to the resistance of a selmer so I was surprised how free blowing the Big Lip series was. Great horns, I play the warrior alto and tenor and the one piece straight soprano (Satin Doll)


    Anyway, to sum it up I'd say Series 1 = student/intermediate. Big Lip Series even a Pro gigging player can be plenty happy with, yet at student horn prices! Hope that helps someone out there!

  15. #15

    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    I'm looking at an LA Sax tenor on Ebay. Looks to be about a 1987 model, appears to be in good condition. The LA SAX logo is painted on the bell, also is engraved with LA USA. Serial number 247xxx. At around $375, is this worth a flier? I played years ago, and, now that I have retired, I would like to start up again. I want a decent instrument, but I don't want to sink a lot of money until I decide whether I'll keep playing. A little advice is appreciated.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Stormridervj View Post
    I'm looking at an LA Sax tenor on Ebay. Looks to be about a 1987 model, appears to be in good condition. The LA SAX logo is painted on the bell, also is engraved with LA USA. Serial number 247xxx. At around $375, is this worth a flier? I played years ago, and, now that I have retired, I would like to start up again. I want a decent instrument, but I don't want to sink a lot of money until I decide whether I'll keep playing. A little advice is appreciated.
    For a horn that old, condition is everything. If you don't have a local tech to check out the horn as well as an option to return, I'd pass.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  17. #17

    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    I agree with Chris. I put a down payment on a Big Lip Bad Axx alto. I liked it better than the Big Bell Stone series & all the others I tried. Especially for the price. This is probably the only real review I've read. He actually played the Big Lip. Everyone else talks about it. Looking forward to getting mine. The other horns didn't sound $1000-2000 better!!! Real talk!!!


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  18. #18

    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    I play a LA Sax Big Lip Warrior Tenor everyday for a couple of hours. Easy to blow, sounds big and bluesy for me. I us a Metalite 5 MP, and a Yamaha 4C. But I like the M5 the best.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Well they are discounting LA Saxes to make way for the new lineup. Might be a good time to load up
    I'm sure the new ones will be more expensive. Those satin doll sopranos look tempting at under a grand.....

  20. #20

    Default Re: LA Sax Big Lip vs Series 1

    Quote Originally Posted by captjraney View Post
    I play a LA Sax Big Lip Warrior Tenor everyday for a couple of hours. Easy to blow, sounds big and bluesy for me. I us a Metalite 5 MP, and a Yamaha 4C. But I like the M5 the best.
    The Warrior is still my favorite model. The Warrior Big Lip alto is my MAIN ALTO and has been since 2011. Great intonation, solid build and just a great free blowing horn that responds well to various mouthpieces. I can't be more happy with it. It's been a no fuss instrument and for the price, you really can't beat it. I had the dark brown artificial patina removed at it's last service, so it's all golden brown bare brass now and looks even more like a vintage horn.

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