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  1. #1

    Default Best classical soprano sax?

    Does anyone recommend me any brands to try for classical soprano saxes? Please give me specifics and dont tell me that I should try it or whatever. I just want a suggestion and your personal advice.

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 warp x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by classicalsaxman View Post
    Please give me specifics and dont tell me that I should try it or whatever.
    My advice would be to try as many as you can. And then buy the one you like best.

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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Suggestion......go try a bunch

    Personal advice.....go try a bunch

    Suggestion......don't post stupid questions like this. I mean, seriously. The best soprano sax for classical. There isn't such a thing. If there was don't you think that maker would be advertising it as such? Any soprano could be used for classical....or jazz.....or whatever.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    I would suggest you try out as many as possible, then buy a Buescher Truetone and play it for a few weeks before deciding it's very difficult to get in tune. Then try out a lot more sopranos and buy the one you like the best. Then you find another Buescher and play it with a different mouthpiece and discover you can play it in tune after all so you buy your second Truetone. But after a few days you realise you don't like the sound as much as with the first mouthpiece that was not so in tune. You end up playing a Chinese or Taiwanese soprano that gives you both the sound and intonation you like.

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    Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    I play on a Jupiter 847 SG soprano. It's one of the Artist models. If I were shopping right now, I'd take a hard look at the new 947 soprano.

    I have clips of my soprano playing, classical and otherwise on my website.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    I would suggest you try out as many as possible, then buy a Buescher Truetone and play it for a few weeks before deciding it's very difficult to get in tune. Then try out a lot more sopranos and buy the one you like the best. Then you find another Buescher and play it with a different mouthpiece and discover you can play it in tune after all so you buy your second Truetone. But after a few days you realise you don't like the sound as much as with the first mouthpiece that was not so in tune. You end up playing a Chinese or Taiwanese soprano that gives you both the sound and intonation you like.
    There are people in the US and Germany who never get beyond stage three. But they play the True-Tone, always the curved type, with the not-so-good sounding but more-in-tune mouthpiece, because they believe it's what Sax was going for in the beginning. Not early music specialists like viol or shawm players - more a return to first principles. They take pride in the extra difficulty and just bang on themselves, and the overtone series, until they make it work. Then they sound good despite the mpc, and in tune despite the horn.
    Jazz = a man with a $5,000 horn driving a $500 car to a $50 gig.
    Conn, Buescher & Martin Saxes - Selmer & Conn Clarinets - Woodwind, Morgan, Link & Brilhart Mouthpieces - Alexander Reeds

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwl View Post
    There are people in the US and Germany who never get beyond stage three. But they play the True-Tone, always the curved type, with the not-so-good sounding but more-in-tune mouthpiece, because they believe it's what Sax was going for in the beginning. Not early music specialists like viol or shawm players - more a return to first principles. They take pride in the extra difficulty and just bang on themselves, and the overtone series, until they make it work. Then they sound good despite the mpc, and in tune despite the horn.
    Yes I know and I would probably do that I think if soprano was my main or only instrument.

    Although my suggestion was possibly tongue in cheek, it is also more or less what happened to me. I almost even bought a third Truetone, something I now regret as it was a tipped bell and I would just like to own it even if I can't tame it. maybe one day I will join the ranks of those exalted US and German players. Partly due to my admiration for Frank Weir, whom I honour here in spite of the fact that he isn't actually classical, it's a tone I aspire to (with a bit less vibrato) for when I play the sort of classical stuff I sometimes need for TV/film work:


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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    classicalsaxman: I agree with every post above. But to answer your question, I'd go for a Yanagisawa S991 or S992. The reason is that 1) it will handle any kind of music you can put through it; 2) the intonation, critical to classical music (but so it is to ANY music) is as close as sopranos can get to being on pitch (a circumstance highly over-rated in my opinion . . . most sops I've owned/played were in tune, a few weren't); 3) pride of ownership. DAVE
    Dave

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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    I understand that many European 'Classical' players like the Mark VI soprano - Pete would have the inside scoop on this. I would think a Selmer Series III or II would command the attention of serious classical players. Maybe the 875EX by Yamaha and of course the Yanagisawa Models mentioned. I'm playing a Chiwanese soprano at the moment which seems to work great but I'm not playing any heavy classical music for professors (nor do I every plan to). But I'm ALWAYS looking.

    If you are involved with a college professor - be sure to check with him or her before your purchase. No need getting into issues regarding your horn selection (unless you want to). Good Luck - The Search Begins.

    Tenor - '61 Mark VI w/Tenney Slant Tone Edge 7
    Altos - '66 Mark VI w/Meyer 6M/Caravan
    Soprano - JDS (No Name from Mystery Country) w/Tenney Tone Edge 6
    Clarinet - '68 & '70 Buffet R13 w/B45

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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    I like my Conn the best followed by the Martins from the 1920s. If you have a bunch to spend, Yanagisawa would be my choice.

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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    I currently have a YSS-62 and have owned the Series III & Yanagisawa 981. I would go with either of those for classical. Actually, I sold the III to a classical player. He LOVES it. I really go for resonant horns, so that's why I'm sticking with the YSS-62 right now.

    But yes, you should try a bunch.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    The Yamaha 875EX was made specifically with classical in mind.

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    Super Action Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    the Antigua 3286 is an excellent horn for the price. In my opinion, it is every bit as good as a Selmer or Yamaha for a far better price (although I'm not much of a soprano player).

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Listen everyone, ok , music stores in my area dont have many sopranos. The ones they do carry suck. Also i say classical soprano because of yamahas 875 ex as saxy 251 said was designed with classical in mind.

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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    . . . and the claim that the Yamaha 875EX is designed with classical in mind comes from what source? Don't buy into marketing hype, especially if you read that from the manufacturer! They are among the WORST perpetrators of marketing hype.

    Now, since we don't know where you live it is immaterial that stores in your area don't have many sopranos or that the ones they carry "suck." Someone REALLY interested in making an informed purchase would make the effort to seek out a good stock of sopranos OR have enough money to make a purchase based on Internet rumors and be able to afford the financial hit if that doesn't work out.

    And ericdano hit it on the head - there is no such thing as a "classical" soprano. There may be models that some manufacturers CLAIM are for classical, or some that classical players prefer, but I'll bet you'll see that same model being played in klezmer or trad-jazz or bebop. And, I'll bet you'll see classical players using other models as well. Good luck. DAVE
    Dave

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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    I thought saxophones were designed with selling them in mind.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Dolson View Post
    . . . and the claim that the Yamaha 875EX is designed with classical in mind comes from what source? Don't buy into marketing hype, especially if you read that from the manufacturer! They are among the WORST perpetrators of marketing hype.
    The 875EX was designed with help from Eugene Rousseau, Nobuya Sugawa, and several other classical saxophonists. The 875EX is marketed for classical, while the 82Z is marketed for jazz. However, it's true that both could be used for either genre.

    "Building upon the success of the previous Custom line, the EX Alto has been retooled to offer the classical player many new and exciting features while maintaining the same beautiful sound and excellent intonation long associated with the Custom series."

  18. #18
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Rousseau has been a consultant for yamaha since he left leblanc in the early 70s. Both the 61, and especially the 62 have his 'stamp' on them. I first saw Rousseau at a NASA convention in '74. He was playing a yamaha soprano, and it was the first time I'd seen anyone play a sop with a neckstrap. As I recall, I asked him about it. He said he liked playing soprano with a neckstrap.

    None of the guys in that generation would think of a 'jazz' vs. 'classical' saxophone. They just wanted good saxes. The notion of a difference was created by the marketing department--not by the artists.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  19. #19
    dogster's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    my Phil Barone Curvy sounds very classical or very Jazzy depending on the MPC I use

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    Default Re: Best classical soprano sax?

    Like I said, don't buy into marketing hype. Try the hype associated with Chey's VOLT. Are we to believe that, too?

    I can read the same type of text in most everything shown in the WW&BW catalog or on many brands' web-sites. I'll bet none of us could put an 875EX next to a 82Z and identify much of anything that is different, inside or outside, save for the removable vs. fixed necks. And, I'm betting that if you had several of each to play side-by-side there wouldn't a significant difference save for the normal differences one would find in every saxophone. DAVE
    Dave

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