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Thread: Buying a custom made Saxophone

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    Vingram's Avatar
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    Default Buying a custom made Saxophone

    About a year ago I went to New York and listened to this amazing saxophone player who is all over Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o56zTAHu7o4
    I really liked his playing and when I found out he made custom saxophones I really wanted to buy one. Now that I have the money I was thinking of purchasing one for myself, but I want Opinions from other experienced saxophone players so I won't waste $2000. Here is a link to the saxes: http://www.streetsaxusa.com/custom-saxophones
    This is not an advertisement or anything, I just want a new Tenor. Is it risky buying a custom made tenor?

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Aldevis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    From the website you linked, it seem he just inspects personally every saxophone, that are presumably made elsewhere.
    "Custom" seems to be the model's name.

    I am not familiar with new saxophones available in your price range in the USA, but I am sure other members can help you.
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Not being funny .. but the most competent of sax players can make a piece of trash Sax sound good .... It's all down to the player not the sax ... The sax will sound very different in the hands of any other player .... I have sax's that are student sax's £250 and in the hands of student sound like student instrument ... in the hands of a Pro it sounds very much different !!! Try the sax for you, & not what anybody else makes it sound like .. !!! BEWARE !!

    A lot of the NAMED sax's are actually produced in Taiwan / China / Vietnam / Indonesia .... Don't be fooled it may well be a money making thing Just because it says "Custom Made In America" or for any where else for that matter .. doesn't mean it is, A Sax these days can be named / Badged anything .. it all depends on what the build quality & sound of the sax is like With "YOU" as the player .......

    Classic historical case is "Dave Guardala" New York USA ...... The horn was actually made in Germany .....

    Even the "Yamaha" YAS 275 is an Indonesian built sax ... Sax's are all built for a price !!!
    Regards Dean'o

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    One of the photos on the site links to a "Genesis Master" horn. These (altos at least) are available new on ebay for about $450 (including shipping).

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GENESIS-MAST...item41702d90bc

    Looks like an Asian horn that he imports and resells. The ebay horns ship from Korea. Who knows? He might even buy them on ebay.

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    and they are made of solid brass (as opposed to liquid? Brass is an alloy not “ solid”, as in the normal use of the term as in “ solid gold, solid silver, solid copper “)
    By the way, always ask for ( at least for pictures!) a visit to the facilities where they actually MAKE the Custom Made saxophones.

    Remember St.Thomas! He wanted to touch the wounds as he didn’t believe without a “ first hand” approach




    I see they also have the so typical AMERICAN DRAGON model
    https://12439f39-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites....attredirects=0

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Very much a buyer "Beware" ... if it sounds & plays good ... "Fine" ... But to buy a sax because it sounds good with someone else is always a "BAD" move ...

    Hmm Horns from "Korea" .. thats a new one on me ... ??? It does look nice on Ebay ..... "Never judge a book by it's cover" .....
    Regards Dean'o

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    Forum Contributor 2013 ricanna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    The red sax picture on their website has simplified Chinese characters in the background, which is a strong hint the photo is taken in Mainland China and so their saxes are made. And also the white gloves in another picture. For $1985 I'd look elsewhere.

    Plus who on earth, now in 2013, sells "specialty mouthpiece" without letting us see the "operating side" of the mouthpiece, or even the tip opening?

    Again, if I have money to spent I'd look elsewhere.
    Ricanna is only a sequence of letters I randomly picked as an "internet ID". I have no idea it is a valid female name. Just for clarification, I am male.

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    By the way, always ask for ....a visit to the facilities where they actually MAKE the Custom Made saxophones.
    And remember to ask for the round-trip ticket and accommodations, too....

    Yes, Vingram, basically what you are considering is the purchase of what is likely just another run of the mill modern asian horn. Not saying it s#cks, not saying it is amazing.

    The thing which flags this is the ambiguity of the website. Seems to suggest 'custom made' and seems to suggest this Walker fellow actually had a hand in the design & construction of the instruments...but pretty quickly others here have pointed out that this is not the case.

    I mean....I change needle springs and pads too, and sometimes rods and screws and occasionally guard feet and posts on the horns I get thru here. Does this mean I can sell 'em as 'customized vintage saxophones' ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Vingram View Post
    I really liked his playing and when I found out he made custom saxophones I really wanted to buy one.


    A guy can sound fantastic on a Cecilio, to tell you the truth...but that doesn't mean it's a $2000 horn. A guy who sounds fantastic can also tell you his horns are da' bomb and pro-quality and 'clones' of this or that famous model (primarily because he is a rep/agent for pushing these horns here in the US). But you're always taking a risk buying something with little or no track record.

    Quite honestly, if he is in NY and ostensibly HAS some of these horns to try.....go play a few.

    Then go somewhere and try some comparably-priced new Jupiters and Yamahas....., then some used Yama 62's, JK SX90's, and Yanagisawa 880's or 900's or 901's (all of these will be in the comparable price range as this guys' stuff). See what your impressions are, then.
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    How much would they pay you to bring it back ...
    Regards Dean'o

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Also...sorry I cannot help myself but, besides the pics of the horns sitting on someone's coffee table... or having a chinese calendar in the background....I personally love this quote from the site:

    "Consider our full line of 2011 Custom Professional Saxophones
    made from Solid Brass!

    WALKER SAXOPHONES

    Soprano sax-$1600
    Alto sax- $1750
    Tenor sax- $1985
    Baritone sax-$4000"

    Reminds me of the scene in the movie 'My Cousin Vinny', where Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei walk into an Alabama greasy spoon and open the menu, and it reads:

    "Breakfast $3.00
    Lunch $4.00
    Dinner $6.00"
    Go for the Old-Skool, homies. www.2ndending.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    So the sax's are old stock 2011 .... ????
    Regards Dean'o

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I guess I will not be buying from him! (though he is a good player). I also wanted some advice about buying online on Ebay or Amazon. I know other threads say not to buy online, I know a few people who got really good deals on quality Saxes from sellers who didn't know what they were selling. With proper research, s online shopping worth it, or should I just travel to large instrument stores and try out saxes?

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    well, there is no reason NOT to buy a Chinese or a Taiwanese made saxophone! To me that is not the problem. I only have a problem with people whom don’t call a spade a spade. The market is full of excellent Taiwanese and some very notable Chinese made instruments.

    I would just appreciate that vendors would be forthcoming about the provenance of the instruments.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    I totally agree with you, false advertisement is sad. And expensive!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    I have nothing against any make/name / origin of Saxophone ... Providing it does the job well / at a price ... ?
    Regards Dean'o

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Full disclosure is key. If the company stands by their product then they should be proud to have their country stamped on their instruments. Despite any past stigmas about labor issues or quality control.

    The orient is an interesting place right now. Socio-economically, politically, spiritually and otherwise.
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    Distinguished Mouthpiece Designer/Maker/Forum Contributor 2014 Phil Barone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    I realize that I'm not in much of a position to speak on this but ....uh, on second thought never mind. Everyone have a great day. Phil

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    Default Re: Buying a custom made Saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Barone View Post
    …on second thought never mind. Everyone have a great day.
    Haha!
    Life is too short for long tones

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