Saxophone quality is an important factor if you’re going to get serious about making a great sound from your Sax. This will help to create that great tone that you aim to achieve when hearing some of those Famous Sax Players rip out a great solo.
While much of the quality of a saxophone’s sound depends on the skill of its player, it is still important to carefully consider your options when purchasing a saxophone in order to make the best investment possible. Ultimately there are only two options: New or Used
There is no one best Saxophone Brand, but you should generally purchase an instrument from a company with a good reputation. Furthermore, you should ensure that the specific model you are considering is also well-regarded. For example, Yamaha makes several less expensive models of student saxophone, like the 52 line, but also offer the professional Custom model. If you can afford to buy a high-quality horn and plan on playing for many years, you should generally stay away from cheaper models. Low-quality saxophones may have weak construction, causing keys to and rods to bend easily. If you plan on playing for many hours on your saxophone, such horns are likely to be a waste of money.
Some people attempt to save money by purchasing used saxophones. If you are looking for a highly-regarded vintage horn like a Buescher, Conn, Selmer or King, a used saxophone is likely to be your only option. However, it is generally best to buy current models new. While used instruments can easily equal new ones, it can be difficult to precisely determine the quality and worth of a used horn.
Testing Saxophone Quality
The only real way to know is to have a play on each horn, and I mean seriously give it a good play, not just a handful of scales. If you do want to cut costs by buying a used instrument, keep in mind that many used horns have some type of damage, suffering from dented bells, leaky bodies and bent rods and keys. Such damage may need to be repaired in order for the horn to be restored to working condition, and this can add additional expenses on top of your initial investment. Not all damage does need to be repaired, but if you do decide to buy a used saxophone, you should try to do so from a reputable supplier like a music store or well-known private seller.
If you do not know how to properly evaluate a given instrument’s quality, consult an experienced player or expert on saxophones. Have him or her inspect the horn to look for issues with intonation, tone quality, pads and keys. You should also ask him or her to personally test the instrument and to listen to you play it as well. The most important part of verifying a saxophone’s quality is ensuring that it allows you to produce a clear, consistent tone that sounds pleasing to you.