May 23, 2024

I just received the latest Woodwind/Brasswind catalog. Have you seen the number of companies that make saxophones. Here is the list (in no particular order):

  • BandNow
  • Barrington (advertised heavily in the catalog)
  • Yamaha
  • Amati
  • C.F. Conn
  • Keilwerth
  • Blessing
  • Allora
  • Selmer
  • LA Sax
  • Jupiter
  • Chicago Jazz Series (LA Sax?)
  • Woodwind Brand
  • Yanagisawa
  • Unison (not in the catalog though)
  • Buescher (not in the catalog)
  • Selmer USA (not in the catalog)

Whew. And then there are different models from these guys. Selmer has at least 9 different alto saxophone models. Wow. Is there really a market for all these brands? Are any of them to be avoided? Did I forget any?

18 thoughts on “Oodles Of Saxophones

  1. That’s refreshing to hear. My daughter needs a tenor sax, and the local shop is pushing Cannonball or Yamaha. Since I’m renting, there’s a $30/month difference between a Cannonball GT5/GT1 and a Yamaha YTS-62II.

    From reading here and elsewhere, the Yamaha gets great comments. I really hadn’t heard of Cannonball, but I’ve seen a lot of favorable comments in the last couple of days.

    We’re going on Saturday to look at them and have her try them out. She’s also going to start private lessons, and her teacher will likely want her to get a new mouthpiece, but he had said that Yamaha or Cannonball were brands to consider.

  2. Just check out EBAY! I give saxophone lessons so I started to compile of list of “reputable” saxophones for my students. One day, I found more than 50 different “brands” listed many of which I had never heard of. Someone (Shanghai maybe?) is cranking out a ton of horns and stenciling the heck out of them. Unfortunately, most of them don’t seem to very good horns. Stick to the biggies (Selmer, Yamaha, Yanagisawa, Keilworth etc).

  3. This is true. But some people will buy horns cause they look cool or perhaps play well. Unison has a new line of saxophones out. I think they are New York series or something. They are made of heavier metal, and play pretty darn good. They have a good sound.

    Cannonballs are good from what I hear. I used to own a Guardala Alto once upon a time. Great horn, except I found a Selmer Mark VI Alto that played better.

  4. You can’t go wrong with a Yamaha. If she decides to stop playing at some point, Yamahas have a good resale value. Cannonballs…….I don’t know. I don’t know what the market or demand for used Cannonballs are.

    I personally don’t really have an opinion on what to get. I always think of instrument (or any big purchase) as an investment.

    For example, my latest purchase, an Oboe. I am not nearly as skilled on Oboe as I am on Flute/Clarinet/Saxophone. However, I am very much determined to get Oboe playing up to that level (and it is getting there…wooohoo). So, this summer, I was in the market to get a Oboe. I was renting a student model that was driving me nuts (pitch on the upper notes was terrible). Oboes are very expensive. I looked into Fox, Buffet, Loree, etc. I was on the verge of getting a Buffet one, but decided to spend the $4,000 and get a Loree. The reasoning was that it was an investment, and a professional tool. That instead of 6 months from now wanting the Loree, might as well get it now. And even if I didn’t continue it, I could recoop most of my purchase price back if I sold it.

    Same idea for saxophones I think…..

  5. Guardala is out of business – for saxes. The following message is posted on his web site:

    DAVE GUARDALA SAXOPHONES
    (bad)NEWS…(bad)NEWS…(bad)NEWS…Production has now ceased and we only have a few models left in stock. All available Guardala saxes are listed in our Cybersax catalog.

  6. I am currently in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico and consdering buying an alto saxophone. The only one I have managed to find is a Blessing. It appears alright and not being competent yet (I previously played the clarient) would welcome any comments on these saxophones, if anyone has any experience of them. The trouble here is I really want to start playing and choice is somewhat limited. Many thanks.

  7. Yea, deffinately go for a Yamaha if you can. I’ve got a YAS 23 (their bottom-of-the-line horn) and it plays great. I couldn’t ask for a better sax, really. Well, I could, but that would just be greedy.

  8. absolutly do not buy a blessing. i worked at a music store for 2 years and blessing instruments were avoided until the last resort. they were used to stop the customer from going to costco or kmart to get an instrument. the are one of the last on the bottom of the list. go with yamaha if you have the choice

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