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  1. #1

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    Default What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Ok- I own a bundy II alto, It is giving me a hard time intonation wise, and ergonomically.

    I have taken it to my trusty Sam Ash salesperson, from her observation, she said "The bundy II is an outdated horn, it's garbage."

    I tried a black nickel cannonball sceptyr alto sax at my music store, I loved it, but it costed $1,600.00- I am on a budget- I can't invest that much money on a horn especially in these economic times.

    I loved the cannonball sceptyr's ergonomics and intonation- I thought it was a beautiful saxophone.

    However, are there any other more affordable modern saxes out there that are like/similar to the Cannonball Sceptyr alto that I tried?

    I feel like I need a more modern one w/ the f sharp, so that it can assist me in achieving the altissimo a, b, c, Eb, E, G, G#, D and E notes.


    What will help me in achieving these notes? Should I try thicker reeds? Because my setup is a Rico 2.5 and a Meyer 7M alto mouthpiece.

  2. #2
    Just a guy who plays saxophone. swperry1's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    I have this for sale. Great horn that I chose over two pro Cannonballs and a bunch of other horns. Killer set up, and it is ready to go!

    http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthr...ne-Taiwan-Alto

    $1600 is way too much money for a student Cannonball. Yes it might be an upgrade from your Bundy, but for $1600 you can get a lot of really nice saxes and possibly never have to upgrade again (mine included).

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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Second the above. Go to Ebay completed sales. Look at Selmer SA 80's, Yamaha 62's, 52's, Yanigisawa 901's, 991's to see what it will take to get you into a top line horn that will serve you well and hold it's value. You may be surprised at how little more it will take.

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Believe it or not the overtones (including Altissimo range overtones) are all there on any sax whether it's a Bundy or whatever.

    There is a poster here called Fader (I think) who plays a low end old Jupiter and can play Altissimo just fine.

    I've played what some would consider to be great piles of doo and managed Altissimo on them including a Evette that was falling apart and held together with rubber bands, a old Jupiter, a 1930s low end King, a so called student Keilwerth, Yamaha YAS-21's and YAS-23's and at the so called higher end a 1956 Selmer Mark VI.

    The Altissimo response on the Jupiters or Yamaha YAS-21's is really not much different to the Selmer Mark VI from my experience.


    Altissimo requires practice and feel to get the note voicing right on ANY horn.

    Some gear might make some things easier but it's full of variables.

    Players with shaky voicing often try to latch onto some minor thing that might happen with a different sax or reed or mouthpiece instead of really developing their voicing so that they can play Altissimo on just about any setup.

    If someone needs a certain reed brand and strength to play some Altissimo then I would say their voicing is probably shaky.


    IMO someone with good Altissimo voicing should be able to play Altissimo up to at least D just mainly using the Front F and palm key fingerings and a Yamaha YAS-23 or low end Jupiter and a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece with a Rico 2 reed.

    Cannonball apparently used Rico 2 reeds and there was nothing wrong with his Altissimo.

  5. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru Dog Pants's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    I'm going to imagine you're young. here's some free advice, take it or leave it.

    1) People have been playing Bundys for years, and playing them in tune.

    2) Salespeople are paid to tell you the horn you own is garbage. They are trying to get you to buy a shiny new horn. That's what they call "making a sale.' that's why they are called salespeople.

    3) If you can afford a new horn and want a new horn, then buy one. But do yourself a favour and research. Don't walk into a store under prepared and expect to walk out undamaged.
    The soft and despicable other side of this rather nasty coin is where everything unintelligible is automatically invested with significance by culture vultures. That was exemplified by a Ravi Shankar concert in London at which, after listening to some applause, Shankar said ‘If you liked our tuning up, I hope you will now like our playing’.

  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    I feel like I need a more modern one w/ the f sharp, so that it can assist me in achieving the altissimo a, b, c, Eb, E, G, G#, D and E notes.


    What will help me in achieving these notes? Should I try thicker reeds? Because my setup is a Rico 2.5 and a Meyer 7M alto mouthpiece.
    Top F# won't help with those notes. IMO it doesn't even help with F#. (I just bought a very expensive new horn, and I didn't even look to see if it had F#. (It doesn't)

    A harder reed might be a short term fix (if you can't be bothered to practise) but is likely to make your low notes suffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by saxpiece View Post
    Believe it or not the overtones (including Altissimo range overtones) are all there on any sax whether it's a Bundy or whatever.

    Altissimo requires practice and feel to get the note voicing right on ANY horn.

    Players with shaky voicing often try to latch onto some minor thing that might happen with a different sax or reed or mouthpiece instead of really developing their voicing so that they can play Altissimo on just about any setup.

    If someone needs a certain reed brand and strength to play some Altissimo then I would say their voicing is probably shaky.
    All good advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dog Pants View Post
    1) People have been playing Bundys for years, and playing them in tune.

    2) Salespeople are paid to tell you the horn you own is garbage. They are trying to get you to buy a shiny new horn. That's what they call "making a sale.' that's why they are called salespeople.
    Hehe, very true.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Indeedy. Your tech/salesperson is....not to mince words....an ignorant idiot. But that doesn't surprise me...SamAsh floor people basically aren't very knowledgeable.

    Bundy II's are not known for poor intonation. So something is wrong with how the horn is adjusted. Ergonomics is another matter. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. Plus, nothing wrong with upgrading from a II....they have their limits.

    But Cannonball isn't the way to go...none of my techs (4 of 'em) have any respect for that brand...and every one I have ever tried feels janky and doesn't blow very freely at all. There are some good contemporary manufacturers...but C'ball ain't one of 'em. Don't get seduced by their bling.....if they invested as much in their horns as they do in their marketing and bling....they might actually begin to produce something respectable.

    Before this thread again spins off into a bunch of well-meaning Forum members tossing out different names and models....as DogPants says....you need to do some research and you need to narrow down what you want.

    Simply stating that you cannot afford $1600 and you want something which is better than a Bundy II....is not nearly enough information for anyone here to make a focused, useful suggestion.

    What is your maximum budget ? Are we talkin' $400 or $900 ???? What other horns besides a brand-new Cannonball have you tried ? If none...can you go to places and try some other horns...new and used ?
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  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayePDX View Post
    Indeedy. Your tech/salesperson is....not to mince words....an ignorant idiot.
    Not necessarily an idiot or ignorant, probably just trying to make a sale and earn some commission. Little did they know the OP was savvy enough to ask on SOTW!

    Saxman96, it would be worth checking out what JayePDX might have in stock, you could get a good horn at a good price that suits you better than the Bundy, or maybe do a good trade.

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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Never take the word of a salesman. Take it to a sax teacher and get there opinion. If they can play it and they say it is tune then that answers the question. I bet they can even get a high F# on it with no problem. I have played Cannonballs with what I consider less that stellar intonation so be careful.

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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayePDX View Post
    Indeedy. Your tech/salesperson is....not to mince words....an ignorant idiot. But that doesn't surprise me...SamAsh floor people basically aren't very knowledgeable.

    Bundy II's are not known for poor intonation. So something is wrong with how the horn is adjusted. Ergonomics is another matter. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. Plus, nothing wrong with upgrading from a II....they have their limits.

    But Cannonball isn't the way to go...none of my techs (4 of 'em) have any respect for that brand...and every one I have ever tried feels janky and doesn't blow very freely at all. There are some good contemporary manufacturers...but C'ball ain't one of 'em. Don't get seduced by their bling.....if they invested as much in their horns as they do in their marketing and bling....they might actually begin to produce something respectable.

    Before this thread again spins off into a bunch of well-meaning Forum members tossing out different names and models....as DogPants says....you need to do some research and you need to narrow down what you want.

    Simply stating that you cannot afford $1600 and you want something which is better than a Bundy II....is not nearly enough information for anyone here to make a focused, useful suggestion.

    What is your maximum budget ? Are we talkin' $400 or $900 ???? What other horns besides a brand-new Cannonball have you tried ? If none...can you go to places and try some other horns...new and used ?
    I typically would buy a quality saxophone in the $500 to $900 range. I forgot to mention my budget range.

  11. #11
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    I typically would buy a quality saxophone in the $500 to $900 range. I forgot to mention my budget range.
    In that case you'll get a good horn from JayePDX, or maybe something new like a Bauhaus Walstein, either would most likely be better than a student Cannonball.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    The Bundy horns may be classified as "Basic transportation" of a sort, but they are certainly no where near being in the category of "garbage". I wouldn't place much weight at all behind the opinions of a supposed music consultant/tech who makes such sweeping and outlandish statements.

    There are more modern, stylish and improved horn designs to be had within the student genre (And CERTAINLY higher levels), however the Bundys are serviceable, built to last, and can be made to play in tune.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    The Bundy II is outdaded garbage? Well then so is every other saxophone manufactured before 2010.
    Truthfully, I'd rather play the 'garbage' than about 95% of the 'new' horns sitting in shops right now.
    Most, but not all, lack color and character. But that's only my opinion.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    ...thanks for the kind reference, Pete.

    $500-900 is a good price range to get you a very nice Alto. The Bauhaus mentioned by Pete is developing a solid reputation as a good quality, new brand. You could also consider buying a used Jupiter 767, my techs always tell me the Jupiters produced in the past 5 or 6 years are very consistent horns (avoid the older ones than that). You could also look at a used Yamaha YAS 23 or YAS 52. All of these should be pretty readily available to playtest at any half-decent horn shop...then you or your folks can go buy one online for easily within your price range.

    You can also look at '70's american horns such as a Conn 24M or 25M or a King 665 Empire. Solid players with 'modern' keywork.
    Or a Keilwerth-made H. Couf Royalist, or a B&S Medusa or 2001.....albeit they are harder to find.

    When buying a used horn online, however, make sure the seller has a return policy.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    (I just bought a very expensive new horn, and I didn't even look to see if it had F#. (It doesn't)
    Was that the R&C Two Voices? (Love the sound your getting out of it in your soundclips btw)
    Alto: YAS-23, Jody Jazz HR* 6M, Legere Signature 3 or RJS 3S

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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    You could buy my CE Omega alto and it'll be better than both your Bundy II and the Cannonball you tried. Check my ad in the marketplace.

    Seriously, I would reccommend a used Top Taiwanese brand like CE. Theyre great horns and wont break the bank.
    "The key to improvising is being able to play and listen at the same time."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    " What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?"

    Any other horn.

  18. #18
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony5175 View Post
    Was that the R&C Two Voices? (Love the sound your getting out of it in your soundclips btw)
    Yes it was the R & C and thank you for the kind words.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Long looong ago, my 1st alto was a Bundy II. I replaced it by a Yanagisawa A-500, which was their intermediate model by then. Today, unless you follow the (very good) advice given in this thread, and have your Bundy checked by someone trustworthy, I'd still recommend an intermediate Yanagisawa (901) or Yamaha (62). Great horns, good value for the cash, and if you buy them used and take care, they will keep the value you paid.
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    Default Re: What sax is a good upgrade from the Bundy II Alto?

    Quote Originally Posted by bandmommy View Post
    The Bundy II is outdaded garbage? Well then so is every other saxophone manufactured before 2010.
    Truthfully, I'd rather play the 'garbage' than about 95% of the 'new' horns sitting in shops right now.
    Most, but not all, lack color and character. But that's only my opinion.

    I personally don't think it's garbage- Its what I was told. I love playing the Bundy II because that is the saxophone I am used to playing.

    The salesperson also said that it the adjustments for the sax would cost more than the saxophone is worth, since the pads on the sax are mostly worn.

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