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  1. #1

    Default Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Hey everyone, if you had come across a budget saxophone and like to share your comments with the rest of sotw, post them here. This would help beginners as they know what to look out for and what to stay away from.

    Some good budget saxophones
    - Walstein ( Read some good reviews of them )
    - C.E winds ( Heard their recordings on their ebay page. Sounds quite decent )

    Some brands to stay away from
    - Celio ( Lousy chinese make i guess ? )

    Hope to see some reviews from you guys. Please do add more to the list of good and bad. Lastly, we're not talking about known student brands like bundy, jupiter, etc. We're talking about newer, not so known , budget saxophones.

    Thanks
    Daryl

  2. #2
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    J.Max's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    How cheap are we talking about? I can name off some great Asian made saxophones, but they aren't necessarily as cheap as the Walsteins...Topsax is one.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    For the bad:
    Simba (anyone remember that hilarious ebay ad about how much it sucked?)
    "It's always easier to leave than to be left" -Dave Matthews, on the death of LeRoi Moore
    RIP LeRoi

  4. #4

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    J.Max, well as long as they are reasonable in quality and worth the money. For example walstein is based on a yani design and its much cheaper.

    Anyone has a review on C.E winds saxophones?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    i've heard some good things about the saxophone.com saxes.

  6. #6
    Seeker Of A Clever Title. zxcvbnm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Good:
    saxophone.com
    Kessler
    Antigua
    Jupiter
    Buescher true tone
    Buescher curved soprano silver plate high F/Jicaino custom large chamber sop piece
    Buescher Aristocrat 140 silver plate /Jicaino refaced Buescher piece

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    There can be two problems with some of the cheapies. First, some are pretty decent horns that are not set-up well and may never stay in adjustment. Second, some even though working properly are so out of tune that there is no hope. I have found most of the ones from mainland China to be "notsogood" but many from Taiwan to be good. All are improving of late. I had a Belcrest soprano that was VERY good. I had a Maxtone that was poor and ones marked Soul that were worse than terrible.
    The ones mentioned in the thread above tend to be worth looking at. Whatever you choose, be sure it is returnable.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    My opinion:

    I have a Walstein, at first I was really excited about trying it based on reviews I read, but when reality set in I realized it wasn't really that great compared to some vintage horns that are not necessarily a lot more expensive. I was playing a Walstein alto, admittedly with difficulties, and almost went and bought a tenor too. The tenor was back-ordered and was not shipping out as early as I expected, at which point I realized I wanted a different alto and found my Conn 6M that I paid $950 for. THIS WAS THE BEST DECISION I COULD HAVE EVER MADE. I still have my Walstein, from time to time I consider giving it away to a certain member here who shall remain unnamed, or making a lamp out of it. But, if I have nothing else to play, it does play pretty well since I had some issues with corks and springs falling out that was fixed by my tech. It drove me crazy with these issues for months but since I got my Conn it sits in the closet and I couldn't be happier.
    Last edited by quackattack; 08-17-2008 at 08:39 AM.

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    I could chime in and say how my Walstein is fantastic and is one of the best horns I've played but I have never tried one. The general consensus is that Walstein horns are pretty good. Pete Thomas has a sax shootout http://www.petethomas.co.uk/saxophone-shootout.html and the Walstein comes out pretty well IMO. Largo are another brand sold in Australia that seem to be ok from reading quite a few reviews.

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2008 3 Olives's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce bailey View Post
    I had a Belcrest soprano that was VERY good.
    I bought a Belcrest soprano from Bruce as a second sax for my son. It is well made and played very well right out of the case.
    Avatar is of Max's Alto True Tone
    Photo Courtesy of Bruce Bailey

  11. #11

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Budget brands? I'd suggest looking at any cheap saxes as well.

    A later Conn 6M without rolled tone holes or Buescher Aristocrats, later 400s will all have cheap examples that can play better than most of those budget brands.
    PB Bare Brass Vintage Tenor - LAW Buzzer/ Morgan 8E
    Buescher Aristocrat Alto - Selmer Soloist-style .83

  12. #12

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Hey what do you guys think of Largo saxes? Im thinking of ordering a tenor so i can mess around and experiment with it :P

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Its not hard to find reasonably priced used Yamaha 23, Jupiter or Cannonball saxes. The Cannonballs seem to depreciate quite a bit from the new selling prices, so they arent a bad deal used.

  14. #14
    Forum Contributor 2008 3 Olives's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Quote Originally Posted by Twombles62 View Post
    Budget brands? I'd suggest looking at any cheap saxes as well.

    A later Conn 6M without rolled tone holes or Buescher Aristocrats, later 400s will all have cheap examples that can play better than most of those budget brands.
    I have bought 2 saxophones and several mouthpieces from Bruce Bailey.
    I would contact Bruce and see if he has anything available. You can't beat his prices, the sax will be better than expected, and it will be ready to play.
    Avatar is of Max's Alto True Tone
    Photo Courtesy of Bruce Bailey

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Thanks for the good words! Give me a call if you want vintage....nothing modern right now.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member themacintrasher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Phil Barone

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    Forum Contributor 2009 al9672's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Quote Originally Posted by DarylLeongWY View Post
    Hey what do you guys think of Largo saxes? Im thinking of ordering a tenor so i can mess around and experiment with it :P
    Go with an older yamaha before a largo.
    The largo's just don't sound as good.

    The tenor I have plays easily but the sound is a bit tinny and a yamaha tenor properly adjusted will blow it out of the water.

    I have a largo tenor (black) and a yamaha yts275.

    From a friends temby, I'd rate largo the same or slightly better.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Al9672 - I see, i think i'll be getting a yts-23 though. Anyway, do you mind writing a review of the largo here? Maybe this might help beginners looking to buy a cheap budget sax that has reasonable quality. Thanks

    Macintrasher - How much is a phil barone sax? I saw one on ebay for about USD$1000.

  19. #19
    josephcoffee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Quote Originally Posted by themacintrasher View Post
    Phil Barone
    I second that. AWESOME horns, in the same league as the Mark VI and SBA.
    Selmer Paris Super Action 80 Series III tenor saxophone, Vandoren V16 T77 mouthpiece, Vandoren Optimum ligature, Vandoren V16 reeds (strength 3)

  20. #20
    SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2013
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    Default Re: Budget Saxophone Brands - What's Good and What's Not

    Hello 2 year old thread, welcome back from the dead!

    And, I concur.

    - Saxaholic

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