The preferred places to start looking for a saxophone allow you to actually play the instrument or have someone play it for you. If you do not know how to play saxophone, you may be at a disadvantage when purchasing a horn, especially a used one. A student saxophone must also be hardier than a pro model, since the brand-new player may not quite understand how to best use and care for a sax. Features an active saxophone forum, buy sell trade your sax, saxophone museum, sax teachers and more. It is with some reservation that I bring up a pawn shop as a place to buy a saxophone. Most people would rather have a vintage Conn than a pre-Balanced Action Selmer. While virtually all other saxophone manufacturers have modelled their horns after vintage Selmers, Keilwerth has done something different, and offered a great altenative to the standard. For saxophonists today, these old horns can offer a unique alternative to a new horn. On-line auctions have a similar feeling, although with a certain sterility. As you now know, there are many options out there in the way of vintage saxophones. Cons of buying a new saxophone: Buying a new saxophone can be very expensive. There are generally a fair amount of used Tenors out there that start around $800. For example, Conn altos in the 330,000 serial range are considered to be among the best. I like the Rico Royals or Lavoz reeds. You must decide if you are a player or a collector. 1938 Selmer Balanced Action alto saxophone with ping dents, possible evidence of a dent-pull by the thumb rest and general lacquer wear. A non-specialized single-store retailer is often the music store down the street from you. That 1930 Conn alto was probably part of some swinging big band sax section back in the 40's. I also test, When you decide that you want to go through with purchasing a saxophone, it is time to determine what your needs are. The finish is mainly designed for appearance, although it does have an effect on the sound of the instrument (there is a great deal of debate about this, and I will address it further later). They normally allow you to look at pictures and prices and get some idea what price range you'll be looking in for the horn you wish to buy. Many of the individual dealers out there got their start from the early days of the "gold rush" and have no real business, while others had a limited national presence before the Internet. All of that being said, If you know what you are looking for, pawn shops can be a great place to find a bargain. The sax is particularly important to the Country and Blues genres of music. Sometimes you can even get a new saxophone at a very good price. Prepare to break out your wallet. Another problem found on many horns is a lack of consistency in quality from the manufacturer. Also, the materials and craftsmanship of older used horns is usually superb. The plastic versions are about the worst faced pieces you can find, ive only seen one or two metal pieces a number of years back. The Aristocrat horns are usually fairly inexpensive and reasonably easy to find. A music store with a Mark VI sitting in the window is going to act as though the horn is made of solid gold. I assumed it was an extraordinary 6M, but instead it was a Mexican-manufactured student model. Look for areas where the gold may be wearing off. You must know how to ask the right questions to determine this ahead of time. If you open the case and detect a foul odor and find green deposits all over the horn, chances are this horn isn't the one for you. The second model is the transitional Conn which lies somewhere in between the New Wonder and the M series. When searching for a new or used saxophone, there are literally hundreds of places to look on-line for it. If it is a Buescher Aristocrat, and there is a big "S" on the octave key on the neck, then you have the wrong neck. Here is a list of the top brands for saxophones. One other point of importance is that every one's choices are different. Selmers are great horns, so people who have bad ones know that someday, somehow, someone will unwittingly buy it or trade for it. Because they have recently started gaining momentum as a good affordable professional level saxophone, the price has started increasing. Unfortunately, some horns (as mentioned earlier) are so entwined in mystique that their value has been falsely inflated. A common and sad misfortune to befall necks is the "pull-down." The brass used is top notch thereby making the keys stronger and not easily bent. It became clear that the Internet was a global market with thousands of people willing to pay lots of money for the items they were buying. Another key element in any saxophone (especially used) is the pads. Learn more with our expert Saxophone Buying Guide. Vandorens Hemke's Rico they all work good if you can find a good one in the box! Of course there are exceptions to every rule, so don't let a bad smell turn you away until you ask some important questions about the horn and its condition. He was asking $100, and I made a counter offer of $50 which he accepted. Jean Paul TS-400 Tenor Saxophone -Best Overall; Mendini by Cecilio MAS-L+92D+PB Gold Lacquer E Flat Alto Saxophone -Best Alto; … These are the bulk bin reeds that junior high school band teachers buy simply because they are cheap. Music stores can also be dangerous for buyers that are uninformed. It is easy to tell if a neck has previously been pulled down in the past. Let the facts speak for the value of the horn. Horns began appearing in Internet classifieds at the prices they were selling for in the real world. There are lots of other players and collectors watching that paper besides you. Either fortunately, or unfortunately there are dozens of choices in the student model arena. The earlier models were much like earlier Yamahas, suffering from the same flaws of having soft metal; making them go out of adjustment. Their crowning jewel is the Super 20 model, which in it's Silversonic version sports a solid sterling silver neck and bell, mother of pearl on every key, and sometimes even gold plated inlaid engraving (even on the larger key cups)! You may like something completely different and unique. Selmer also released the Mark VII starting in 1975. For the price of a new student model at the music store, you might be able to buy two good used horns. We all have different tastes and preferences when it comes to our instruments. Also, there are only a few models which were actually gold plated. As part of this project, we must state that the information here is presented only as a representation of our personal experiences and opinions. Dealers were forced to compete with the local-level market on the same terms as a national competitor, since the Internet provides, Before the Internet, individual dealers offered a change of pace from national retailers. This was the first time that a widely-distributed media revealed local pricing structures that had been previously hidden by geographic and economic diversity. Martin changed models fairly frequently until they settled on a model simply called "The Martin _____" where the blank is soprano, alto, tenor or baritone. Had I brought my other mouthpieces, I might have been able to try them out. Another facet of the body is the soldering. So you may have found a saxophone you are interested in. Saxophone.org - created by saxophone players for saxophone players. I love to play my alto-it`s a great feeling. Just this work alone is $250, but they include it with the sale of every brand new horn. I have seen some great horns at small shops destroyed by inexperienced repair technicians. From the dealers' point of view, it makes business sense to buy horns at a low price and sell at a higher price to reflect the time and money spent improving the horns and offering extra services. Finally, there are a number of other saxophone brands that you may see on the market. Our recommendation is to purchase vintage Selmers from recommended dealers such as Saxquest, or one of the other Pro-Shops around the country. Also, have the person or store send you detailed photos of the saxophone first, either through the mail or e-mail. These are some of the top and most appropriate options for those who want to enjoy a good performance and comfortable playability at a very reasonable rate. Meanwhile there would be a player somewhere really distraught over the ordeal. Hopefully after reading this guide, you will be better equipped to determine these important facts. The second process involves physically filing down the metal on the tone hole. Here are a couple of things to help you out. If the person can't answer any of these questions and acts nervous, the horn may be stolen, in which case you can ask for the serial number and call the police to have them check it out. If so, where did you get this info? (This is one good reason why it is good to buy horns from a Professional Saxophone Shop like Saxquest because they will fix many of these inconsistancies.) Don't let someone sell you a saxophone, especially a Selmer, without verifiying all of the facts first. Also, the materials and craftsmanship of older used horns is usually superb. One of the biggest decisions you will face will be new vs. used, and even vintage vs. modern, so you may want to look those sections over first. So while student saxophones may not be quite as well built or artistic as pro horns, they get the job done, and can take you really quite far. 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