What brand saxophone do you play ? Do you have some favourite saxophone brands ?
Have you found a bargain sax that you would recommend to other beginners ?
I’ll go first.
My Alto saxophone is an ageing Evette Buffet Crampon.
I’ve had it for more than 25 years. It was at least 10 years old at that time. They have since rebranded as Buffet Crampon. Their saxophones now are now very nice indeed and they make some very high end instruments, as well as really good student models.
These were one of the mid range saxophone brands at the time and again at the time many years ago their quality varied a bit from individual instrument to individual instrument. Now they are great. I was lucky – mine has been excellent and is one of the fantastic ones, which is why I’ve held on to it. Having said that, mine is in need of a service. And a new alto sax would probably be a much better option for me…..
I can’t remember exactly how it came into my possession. It was given to me by someone but because I was young and unappreciative, I didn’t really pay much attention to it at the time. I was a firm and staunch Tenor saxophonist and didn’t wish to sully my reputation with something as inferior as an Alto saxophone.
Was I wrong !
Fast forward a decade and I started to play my alto more and more – over the last 5 or 6 years or so my alto gets just as much use as my tenor saxophone, perhaps even more so. The benefit of an alto sax is its size – my alto has travelled with me all over the world. My tenor sax has been to many parts of Australia (as has my alto), but only overseas with me once, a long time ago. My alto sax and I have been lucky enough to travel overseas together several times, the most recent trip as of writing this blog post being to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2018.
A student of mine just bought a Yamaha YAS 62. I’m very jealous !! I would looooooooove one as well, to match my tenor sax….
My tenor sax is an original Yamaha YTS 62
I bought it brand new for myself with some money I got as 21st Birthday presents about 29 years ago (!!!!), plus some money I had inherited from a then recently deceased relative, plus my life savings at the time. As a 21 year old, all I owned was a crappy car and a top of the range (at the time) tenor saxophone.
The lead singer in a band I was playing with at the time owned a music shop, so he got me a good deal. It was still ridiculously expensive for me. I remember the first time I played it – I took it out of its’ case, set it up and it almost started playing itself before I had even put it in my mouth. My Yamaha YTS 62 is quite simply a beautiful instrument.
It is my pride and joy. If my house was burning down, I would run back inside and grab it first.
As far as saxophone brands are concerned, I love Yamaha. Their cheaper student models are great quality and value, and their mid-range and professional models are simply wonderful instruments.
My soprano sax is a Carmichael that I bought on ebay about 10 years ago.
If I recall correctly there was a mutiny of some sort within the staff and company at Selmer about 10 or so years ago. The Selmer staff who left apparently set up the Carmichael saxophone brands. Or something like that, anyway.
It’s great, for the price. I did buy myself a different mouthpiece, because the one that came with my Carmichael soprano sax was very cheap and very nasty, almost to the point of being unplayable. At first I thought I’d bought a crappy sax – it turned out that only the mouthpiece was crappy and the saxophone itself is fine.
A quick Google search leads me to believe that the Carmichael website and saxophone brands no longer exist, which is a shame. You can still get them second hand.
I would LOVE to get a Baritone saxophone.
Alas, even I can’t justify the expense…. I got away with it for my soprano because it was less than $500 including shipping to Australia. A bari sax will cost significantly more than that – at least with an extra zero on the end. I would happily welcome some sponsorship ! I could happily add some bari sax lessons into my Members Area…… 😉
(Yamaha – are you listening ??? I need a new Alto YAS 62 or YAS 82 or YAS 875 ……and I’d love a YSS 62 / 82 / 875…..as well as a Yamaha Bari sax…..I would more than happily endorse them here on my rapidly growing website and various social channels, not because I want to the saxophones, but because they are fantastic instruments….And that is certainly not to say I would not welcome Selmer, or Yanagisawa, or Keilwerth with open arms….)
Please also keep in mind that these “big 4” saxophone brands – Yamaha, Selmer, Yanagisawa and Keilwerth – are still awesome if you buy them second hand. Like all used musical instruments, please check them carefully, but because these are quality instruments, if they’ve been looked after they will easily last 20/30/40 years or more.
So, over to you.
What saxophone brands do you have ? What influenced you and how did you end up with your saxophone(s) ?
Please let me know in the comments below 🙂
P..S. If you would like simple step by step instructions to help you learn how to play the saxophone, all neatly organised in the one convenient location, all provided by an experienced saxophone teacher who can help you to play the music that you want to play quickly and easily, then check out our saxophone lessons membership options. Get started on your saxophone journey today !
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