There are a lot of cheap student model altos out on the market now. Heck, even Costco sells instruments now. I have a couple of students who have the Costco instruments. They are crap.
With a new store in my area that is peddling these Selmer student models for nearly $1600 (a price where you can get a used pro-level instrument), the store where I worked found these Roy Benson Altos. I have nothing but good things to say about them. As good as the Selmer student models the “Music and Gifts Store” is selling, and half the price. Retail price is $799. They play great. I’d say if you are looking for an alto that is cheap, and built well. A quality alto, but not at the huge Selmer markup, check out Roy Benson’s line of instruments.
4 thoughts on “Roy Benson Altos”
I’m a tenor/bari player primarily and was looking for a used YAS-52 so I could play alto when needed. How would this model compare to Benson?
I’d try one out. A YAS-52 isn’t anything to write home about. I’d say its still a step-up model. And it costs a lot. The only Yamaha’s I’d go for are the 62s, Custom, or the Z models. Anything they have high end.
For a low end horn, I’d say the Benson one could hold its own against a 52, and cost about 1/2 as much.
Man… It’s tough finding any information on Roy Benson here in the states but now that I’ve found your post ericdano I’m feeling better. The reason I say that is that I just bought a new Roy Benson AS-302 for $365.00 USD from a musician/instrument wholesaler for my daughter. I mean, I trust the guy but I’ve never heard of Roy Benson. Based on your comments, I see that you apparently think that Roy Benson is a good quality instrument for the money but my question is, do you think that my 9 year old will be okay with the AS-302?
Compared to the instruments you can get at Costco or other places, these instruments are quality. The metal is way better, the construction is way better. The only thing I’ve noticed, and this goes for a lot of lower end instruments, is that to get them to play in tune the mouthpiece needs to be way down on the cork.
But for a 9 year old? Perfect for a 9 year old. It’s cheap, and solid. If anything happens to it, you won’t be out thousands of dollars, and it is solid enough that nothing really should happen to it. They seem pretty durable to what a typical kids puts it though (banging the case around, dropping the instrument in the case, etc)