Taishan Mark VI style soprano

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    Default Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    I posted on these in my factory tour thread. Here are a few more photos:

    52B5D4F2-A2A2-4DAD-9D1A-8B63D9908ACB.jpg0A899F46-5947-458A-AAE4-75912FD3864A.jpgF998FFD4-5182-4075-B1D0-4A182D58DAAF.jpg5B2C6241-F283-4D20-A8ED-FF702C70CB86.jpg602A8BC9-5E9C-404E-AE4C-20A372E9189A.jpg

    As you can see, it's not a straight up Mark 6 clone. It's the Kenny G design, with a VI style LH pinky table and RH palm keys, with modern LH palm keys, a front F, and high F# & G keys.

    I've put it through its paces over the last couple of days, with very surprising results. I've played Mark VI sopranos for a long time, so the LH keys are natural fit for me. It took a brief second to get used to the hybrid LH palm keys. The keywork is nice and tight, not too heavy like a lot of Chinese horns. It has a nice balance and feels solid in my hands. It plays in tune and I don't have to push the mouthpiece to the end of the cork either.

    I've played two sessions so far, one using a Selmer Super Session, the other a Vandoren S35. I got a lot of compliments on the tone, and people who knew me were coming and asking about the new horn. Even my wife, who was not particularly happy about me walking in the door with more cases, made a point of telling me how much she actually liked the way it sounds. It doesn't feel like a VI, it's much easier to play. It's got a big sound with lots of authority. And did I say it plays in tune ...

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Not Mark VI palm keys. Oh well...

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    For those of you who are asking "How do I get one of these?" I've got good news and bad news. Firstly, the bad news - these horns are not part of the regular production line. Taishan has only built a few of them, and hasn't made all the tooling required for large scale production. They are trying to find out the demand in the market before they decide to pull the trigger and make it a regular item.

    The good news? I have an arrangement with Taishan to distribute for them in the USA. If there is enough interest in this horn Taishan will make a batch and they will sell for $875 + shipping (from my location in NC, not from China). If the demand is big enough I can get the price down even lower.

    So, if you want one, let me know ...

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    OK.

    This is interestingly veering into a self-promotion of a biz thing here, no ???

    (I was wondering about the whole Taishan factory thread....)

    (sorry, I don't mean to be a wet blanket, honestly...but most of the Forum is for sax discussion.
    There are ways to peddle wares in other sections (you can always contact a moderator if you'd like to consider becoming a part of the Merchant Ads section; it's a pretty reasonable deal for some).
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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Well, so much for an objective take on the Chinese and Taiwanese horns. I thought it was too good to be true.

    In my experience trying out horns, none of the Chinese/Taiwanese altos have come close to the performance of a Mark VI or a Borgani or Yamaha 82Z, despite the fluffery...I don't play Soprano, so I can't judge them.
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    Selmer Mark VI Tenor Sax, Sakshama Custom MBI

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    The Kenny G horns are distributed by Rheuben Allen’s company and also made in China. Are these the same horns?
    Current setups:
    Yamaha YSS-875EX, Selmer Soloist D, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YAS-875EXS, Selmer Air Flow C*, Ishimori lig,Hemke 3.5
    Yamaha YTS-875EX, Selmer Air Flow C*, Ishimori lig, Hemke 3.5
    Kessler Solist Bari, Selmer Air Flow C*, BG Tradition lig, Vandoren 3

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by Budget Explosion View Post
    Well, so much for an objective take on the Chinese and Taiwanese horns. I thought it was too good to be true.

    In my experience trying out horns, none of the Chinese/Taiwanese altos have come close to the performance of a Mark VI or a Borgani or Yamaha 82Z, despite the fluffery...I don't play Soprano, so I can't judge them.
    So you were hoping there was an objective opinion on Chinese and Taiwan horns from someone without a financial interest in their opinion? Yet you have already concluded that they don't come close to the high priced brands. Hmmm....

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Max View Post
    The Kenny G horns are distributed by Rheuben Allen’s company and also made in China. Are these the same horns?
    It's the same design, but the Kenny G horns are not made by Taishan. I believe the Chinese series (or at least some of them, they may have changed suppliers between the series) were made by Jinyin. The newest ones will be made by Tenon in Taiwan, I saw them at the show in Shanghai and they are gorgeous.

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by saxcop View Post
    So you were hoping there was an objective opinion on Chinese and Taiwan horns from someone without a financial interest in their opinion? Yet you have already concluded that they don't come close to the high priced brands. Hmmm....
    I don't have a financial interest in any of the Taiwanese brands I reviewed in that very long thread I wrote. I posted the websites inline with my comments so the members here could make their own contacts and inquiries. I've had numerous PMs asking for details and help, but any transactions have been between the individuals and the sellers and I haven't made a penny from either side for making introductions, translating or anything else.

    As far as Taishan, I got interested in them entirely due to this forum. There are hundreds of Chinese brands, but Taishan is the one that kept popping up in threads here. I talked to them at the trade show and learned that had interest in expanding officially into the US under their own brand name. I am moving back to the States because I have a kid with a serious medical condition that can't be properly managed out here. I'll need to get an income stream as soon as I can, so I'm going to work with Taishan to get everything setup for a US operation. There seems to be a demand for the Taishan products, they would love to expand their market, I need a job. Seems like a good arrangement for everyone. Yes, I do plan on setting up an official merchant presence here on the forum in the near future.

    I visited the factory because if I am going to go into business with someone I want to see for myself what I'm putting my name and reputation behind. I put up the factory tour thread not in the interest of self promotion, but because there a lot of people who have Taishan horns already I thought would be interested in seeing how they are put together. There has also been a lot of talk about working conditions in Chinese instrument factories, so I put up the photos so people can see for themselves and make their own judgements. I've got pics from other factories I don't have business with and I'll be writing on them too.

    Regarding this particular horn, I put up this thread to determine the level of interest. If there is enough, the factory will tool up and make them. If there isn't then they will drop the idea & I'll just keep it for myself.

    There's also an alto in this series. I haven't said anything about that because, frankly, it's not ready for primetime. The sound is great, but it needs a little more R&D before I put it in the market. The soprano is a good horn and ready to go, the alto isn't. Is that objective enough?

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Of course there's no shame in starting a business -- if it weren't for the folks who decided to make a living selling horns, we wouldn't have access to all the wonderful horns that we do.

    However, just some unsolicited advice. Be conscious of how you are branding yourself on the internet. For example, in the last post, you described a Taishan alto as having "serious issues". Suppose 6 months from now, someone does a search on "Taishan alto" and comes across your post. They'll think, "Damn, if the distributor doesn't like them, why should I buy one?"

    Best to define a brand carefully. You're the brand, your business is the brand, Taishan is the brand. They say, "You've got one chance to make a first impression". Think about how you want people to feel about your product, then think about what is likely to get them to feel that way.

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by Budget Explosion View Post
    Well, so much for an objective take on the Chinese and Taiwanese horns. I thought it was too good to be true.

    In my experience trying out horns, none of the Chinese/Taiwanese altos have come close to the performance of a Mark VI or a Borgani or Yamaha 82Z, despite the fluffery...I don't play Soprano, so I can't judge them.
    I played a Mark VI soprano and bari until they were stolen. I was lucky to have had really good ones and I can say I haven't played a modern horn (yet) that would match them BUT, I'm also not willing to spend the kind of money they sell for now.

    This Taishan horn isn't a VI, it just is made to look (somewhat) like one. There are a lot of people, especially beginners, that buy horns based on appearance. Why not offer a decent playing budget price horn that looks like a classic, and hey, once they are good enough to go for a real VI they will already be able to handle the funky LH table.

    If you want a modern soprano that really nails the VI vibe, then the TK Melody Legend is it. It's got the look, the feel and plays better in tune than the originals. Most people prefer the feel of modern sopranos, so it's very much a niche offering.

    The TK Melody Yarbird bari I just bought is a sweet horn. I've only had it a week, but I'm not missing the old VI these days.

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    I have appreciated you posts dlrsax. I have been a Taishan fan for some time. I currently have a Ryton bari. Its probably 8 years old now. I bet the newer ones are even better. I just sold a Ryton alto. It was very well made but I had to refloat many pads. I had two Taishan tenors and one curvy soprano. Frankly it makes it hard to sell a vintage horn in the under $800 range when these are that good.

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    Quote Originally Posted by dlrsax View Post
    I don't have a financial interest in any of the Taiwanese brands I reviewed in that very long thread I wrote. I posted the websites inline with my comments so the members here could make their own contacts and inquiries. I've had numerous PMs asking for details and help, but any transactions have been between the individuals and the sellers and I haven't made a penny from either side for making introductions, translating or anything else.
    This reply obfuscates the issue raised. You deflected it to your thread on the various other makes you came across.

    This particular thread, on the heels of your other thread which appears to be an objective, FYI sorta posting...initially appears as an objective thread regarding (and singing the praises of) a particular model soprano by a maker.

    But then it segues into...
    Quote Originally Posted by dlrsax View Post

    The good news? I have an arrangement with Taishan to distribute for them in the USA. If there is enough interest in this horn Taishan will make a batch and they will sell for $875 + shipping (from my location in NC, not from China). If the demand is big enough I can get the price down even lower.

    So, if you want one, let me know ...
    It's more than fair to point this out. What initially appeared to be just a 'hey folks lemme run my impressions of new asian horns by you from what I saw'...over a week or so now has seemingly shifted into you promoting your own business relationship.

    It's more than a fair observation to make.

    Your reply does not diminish the significance of the observation. FWIW, you are not the first person to do this here, but just another in a line of several. This is why the Mods created the Dealer section, as I noted above. This way, folks flat out know that a particular member's posts regarding a particular brand might have more intention other than just being one sax dude sharing impressions with another.

    ("What benefit might it have to a rep of a particular asian brand to start a thread talking up a number of asian brand horns that he has playtested ?" is not only a valid question, but in this instance sort of an obvious one; I doubt I thought of it first - I just happened to be the first to mention it. IMHO, it's a question which can easily be avoided simply by deciding how you choose to use the Forum).

    My intention is not to be snarky, but rather have you consider (as a previous respondent has already sagely mentioned) that you can exhibit yourself as a dealer here in a certain way which might benefit you...or you can exhibit yourself here in a way which may well be detrimental, and leave you open to certain impressions/criticisms of misleading folks and misusing the site.

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    To be fair JayPDX he is in a pretty unique position being in China and able to tour the factory. He is not a dealer, so starting a dealer thread, doesn't really make sense. If the mods want to move the thread they can do so. He didn't hide that he might have a future financial interest. Since Taishan horns are readily available on Ebay, anybody can and see if his potential offer make sense. This particular version of the soprano is the subject. I am curious what they believe is the advantage of keeping the MKvi type pink table?

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    Default Re: Taishan Mark VI style soprano

    When I said "If you want one, let me know" was only to find out if there is enough interest in putting this model into production. There aren't any for available to sell. I also put the price point so people could decide if it was something they wanted to consider.

    Once I get it back to the states anyone is welcome to try it out. I welcome other impressions.

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