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  1. #21

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    I will try out some Yamahas and yanagisawas (if that's how it's spelt) but I've heard that Selmer saxes aren't as good as they used to be and can be over-priced

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  3. #22
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Selmer France horns are insanely priced new. Used however, you can find bargains; especially with Series II altos. And you'll have a horn for life.

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    Christian1's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Whatever you get, try to allocate some money for a good mouthpiece (or 2). It can make even more difference than a new horn.
    Yamaha YTS-62iii tenor/Paraschos Selmer Neck/Vandoren T20/Vandoren MO/L�g�re Signature Series 3.5
    Cannonball BBSS Brute alto/Vandoren AL5/Vandoren MO/L�g�re Signature Series 3.5
    Buffet Prodige clarinet/Vandoren Masters CL6/Vandoren MO/L�g�re Signature Series 3.5

  5. #24
    Forum Contributor 2015 DetroitDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian1 View Post
    Whatever you get, try to allocate some money for a good mouthpiece (or 2). It can make even more difference than a new horn.
    +1!

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  6. #25
    Forum Contributor 2015 DetroitDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    If you really want to make a bold statement with a bold finish you could get this "beauty" of a Mark VI for only a few hundred over your initial budget.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...476408788.html

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  7. #26
    Instrument Attic's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    If you want to go "professional", then I'd suggest going with more tried and true brands that better hold their value. Yamaha, Yanagisawa or Selmer France (and bonus if you can find a decent used one).
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    Selmer France horns are insanely priced new. Used however, you can find bargains; especially with Series II altos. And you'll have a horn for life.
    I see a lot of people make the first argument and want to point out the inherent contradiction Grumps brought up with his second post.

    Most commodities sell used (in good condition) for about 65-70% of their new price. That goes for bikes, model trains, saxophones, iPhones, etc.
    A Series II is $6169 new and sells around $3000 used in "near-mint" condition (see attached screenshot) - even worse than the norm.
    In other words, you'll lose $3169 by walking out of the music store with a SII.
    The $3000 used price is higher than used saxes from other "Big 3" brands, and I think that's what leads to the "holds its value better" fallacy.

    So:
    1. A used sax in mint condition from any brand will be a much lower price.
    2. But if you're comparing new apples to new apples, the top name brand saxes lose much more $ value in the long run.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #27

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitDave View Post
    If you really want to make a bold statement with a bold finish you could get this "beauty" of a Mark VI for only a few hundred over your initial budget.
    World's largest alto!

    I think the only authentic pink lacquer Selmer Paris horns I've seen have been tenors. But I've seen photos of white lacquer Selmer sopranos, altos, tenors, and baritones.

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Instrument Attic View Post
    the top name brand saxes lose much more $ value in the long run.
    Yes, the major brands generally have better ROI (in this case, that means less total depreciation as a percentage) than lower-tier brands, but often entail higher out-of-pocket losses as well. A $2500 Taiwanese horn that loses 60% of its value after purchase won't cost you as much cash down the drain as a $4500 sax that loses only 40% of its value.

    That's why the best "investment" is a top-tier pro horn in used but excellent condition! You may not lose anything out-of-pocket if you have to sell it later.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    Yes, the major brands generally have better ROI (in this case, that means less total depreciation as a percentage) than lower-tier brands, but often entail higher out-of-pocket losses as well. A $2500 Taiwanese horn that loses 60% of its value after purchase won't cost you as much cash down the drain as a $4500 sax that loses only 40% of its value.

    That's why the best "investment" is a top-tier pro horn in used but excellent condition! You may not lose anything out-of-pocket if you have to sell it later.
    The fallacy strikes again - don't get deceived by it LostConn!

    60% of $2500 is $1500
    40% of $4500 is $1800

    You're losing 20% more money by going with the more expensive horn.
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  11. #30
    Forum Contributor 2017 mijderf's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Huh? Lost Conn stated that the cheaper horn will not cost you as much cash down the drain. That is what you showed. What fallacy? I think his point was that a used top tier horn is the best investment, since cost is low and depreciation even lower.

  12. #31

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Instrument Attic View Post
    The fallacy strikes again - don't get deceived by it LostConn!

    60% of $2500 is $1500
    40% of $4500 is $1800
    Thank you for confirming the calculations on which I relied. But I think you need to read my post again.

  13. #32
    Forum Contributor 2015 DetroitDave's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    World's largest alto!

    I think the only authentic pink lacquer Selmer Paris horns I've seen have been tenors. But I've seen photos of white lacquer Selmer sopranos, altos, tenors, and baritones.
    Well, switching to tenor might be the best thing about it!

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by LostConn View Post
    Thank you for confirming the calculations on which I relied. But I think you need to read my post again.
    You're right, my bad. Cheers.
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  15. #34

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    I'd say definitely get a used horn in very good condition, rather than a new horn.

    The generally accepted concept of a new horn is one that is in the retail shop and hasn't ever been sold to the public.

    But, for the typical retail customer, a really new horn is just a myth. Think about it - its been sitting in the shop for months, and sometimes years, and during that time it was probably played 50 times or more by various customers, each of whom has deposited the sweat from their hands, saliva mixed with soft drinks and beer, food particles, and contaminated, germ-infested condensation all over the horn, including the pads, which will start to deteriorate ever so slightly. So, that new horn is not as new as you might have thought.

    And then, when you walk out of the store with your "new" horn, it immediately depreciates. Most players change horns during their playing careers, so keep in mind that whatever you buy, you will likely sell, and if you bought "new", it will definitely be at a loss.

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    It's why I want to get as good a sax as possible for my budget- I don't want to change any time soon

  17. #36
    Kenny Garrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesTheUnknowing View Post
    I will try out some Yamahas and yanagisawas (if that's how it's spelt) but I've heard that Selmer saxes aren't as good as they used to be and can be over-priced
    Hi James,

    Dawkes is a good shop and I use them, they will not have the range of sax.co. either but they do have plenty to try and some good second hand sax's. As for your coment on Selmer do not get confused with Selmer PARIS and Selmer USA, the Selmer USA horns are now made in Taiwan and that may be where the perception that they are not as good as they used to be may come from, they are also a diffent beast from Selmer PARIS instruments which unfortunately are a Rolls Royce with a full and distinctive core sound that only Selmer Paris sax's seem to have, also comparatively to Yanigasawa they are comparable on price and even possibly cheaper, but they are lake Yamaha people either love them or hate them so it's what you think ok.
    A point of consideration which may be worth checking out that if you are getting lessons through school there was a scheme that if you get a letter from your Music Service then you can buy the instrument without tax bringing the cost of a 3000 pound sax down to under £2500 check with Dawkes I am sure they will be willing to help. A little info on the AIP

    Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (AIPS)

    How it works What next? Common Questions The Small Print

    Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme Features

    •Buy a musical instrument for your child WITHOUT paying VAT!


    •You can save potentially hundreds of pounds on a new instrument!


    •Available throughout England and Wales


    •Now available for children at Academies


    •The scheme is run with the full approval of H.M. Customs & Excise


    There is a scheme called the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme which allows students* to buy instruments without having to pay United Kingdom V.A.T. (20%). This means that when buying an instrument for £1500 you could save over £220 on the purchase price.

    How it works

    1. Having chosen the instrument you wish to buy from our large range and with the benefit of expert advice, you can ask your child’s LEA (Local Education Authority), school (including Academies) or Music Centre to order it on your behalf.


    2. The school, Academy or Music Centre will then issue an official order to Howarth and we will dispatch the instrument to your child’s school or Music Centre, from where you can collect it.

    3. Payment will be made by you directly to the school, Academy or Music Centre. The LEA or school must sell the instrument to the student at or below cost, excluding VAT, though they may have an administration charge.



    Some LEAs issue a form that must be used when the order is placed to qualify for the scheme. These forms can be requested from the school or Music Centre. Other LEAs do not produce a dedicated form and the school/Music Centre can simply issue its own official order to us stating the instrument you require.


    hope this helps and have fun choosing.
    Last edited by Kenny Garrick; 01-12-2017 at 08:39 AM. Reason: removal of unnecessary material.
    never a dull moment when playing your horn

  18. #37
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Garrick View Post
    Hi James,

    As for your coment on Selmer do not get confused with Selmer PARIS and Selmer USA, the Selmer USA horns are now made in Taiwan and that may be where the perception that they are not as good as they used to be may come from, they are also a diffent beast from Selmer PARIS instruments which unfortunately are a Rolls Royce with a full and distinctive core sound that only Selmer Paris sax's seem to have, also comparatively to Yanigasawa they are comparable on price and even possibly cheaper, but they are lake Yamaha people either love them or hate them so it's what you think ok.
    Absolutely true waht you say at the end there, it's subjective.

    However I have noticed many people are actually talking about Selmer Paris when they say Selmers aren't as good as they used to be (including Selmer endorsers in private). I'm not one to equate country of manufacture with quality so whether Selmer USA horns are outsourced is not really relevant to me, but do we know for sure that Selmer Paris instruments are actually still totally manufactured in France? As I said, not that it would affect quality, I'm just asking the question in case anyone knows.
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  19. #38
    Kenny Garrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    Absolutely true waht you say at the end there, it's subjective.

    However I have noticed many people are actually talking about Selmer Paris when they say Selmers aren't as good as they used to be (including Selmer endorsers in private). I'm not one to equate country of manufacture with quality so whether Selmer USA horns are outsourced is not really relevant to me, but do we know for sure that Selmer Paris instruments are actually still totally manufactured in France? As I said, not that it would affect quality, I'm just asking the question in case anyone knows.
    Hi Pete,

    From what my Tech says it could be said that quality of all brand new instruments including the top 4 is not what it was and there has been a steady decline in quality control from the turn of the millenium, I have bought top line instruments that have had badly fitted pads and in need of tweeking straight from the box, the instrument in itself is quality the assembly and adjustment of some components not so, almost as if where ever they get to after twenty minutes they pass the instrument on for packaging. A sign of the times I guess. However buying from somewhere like Dawkes that have good tech's in store does get many problems sorted before you see them. The annoying thing for me on new instruments is the cost cutting exercises like reducing the needle spring lengths to just fit reducing the ability to tweek them that appears to have been done by so many manufacturers.
    never a dull moment when playing your horn

  20. #39
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Garrick View Post
    Hi Pete,

    From what my Tech says it could be said that quality of all brand new instruments including the top 4 is not what it was and there has been a steady decline in quality control from the turn of the millenium, I have bought top line instruments that have had badly fitted pads and in need of tweeking straight from the box, the instrument in itself is quality the assembly and adjustment of some components not so, almost as if where ever they get to after twenty minutes they pass the instrument on for packaging. A sign of the times I guess.
    Indeed. But I believe that top quailty is still available. but maybe from those companies don't have the overhedas of their own factory, and that that re-assemble or rebuild saxophones from places such as Taiwan. e.g. Trevor James (with their top-end Signature Custom), Adolphe Sax & cie (incredibly good horns those) Hanson etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Garrick View Post
    Hi Pete,

    From what my Tech says it could be said that quality of all brand new instruments including the top 4 is not what it was and there has been a steady decline in quality control from the turn of the millenium, I have bought top line instruments that have had badly fitted pads and in need of tweeking straight from the box, the instrument in itself is quality the assembly and adjustment of some components not so, almost as if where ever they get to after twenty minutes they pass the instrument on for packaging. A sign of the times I guess. However buying from somewhere like Dawkes that have good tech's in store does get many problems sorted before you see them. The annoying thing for me on new instruments is the cost cutting exercises like reducing the needle spring lengths to just fit reducing the ability to tweek them that appears to have been done by so many manufacturers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Garrick View Post
    The annoying thing for me on new instruments is the cost cutting exercises like reducing the needle spring lengths to just fit reducing the ability to tweek them that appears to have been done by so many manufacturers.
    e.g Selmer Paris. Compare springs of MKVI to Ref54
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  21. #40

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    Default Re: First 'Professional' alto saxophone

    Thank you. I'm now getting £500 off of the original price!

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