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Have you ever wondered which brand you should buy, in regards to purchasing the following equipment:
- Neck straps
There are so many options available, that making a choice can be difficult. For the beginner, many of the items that come with your saxophone will work well. You can click here for our recommendations when buying a saxophone (a previous post). But once you have a few months under your belt, you may want to make some changes in your equipment.
This week we’ll cover some recommendations for upgrading your saxophone. Next week we’ll cover the rest of the list.
If you’ve purchased a student saxophone, obviously this is not something you’re going to upgrade within a few months. I would suggest playing on your student saxophone for a couple of years before upgrading. Here are some brand recommendations.
On the downside (besides expense) I’ve recently had a student return multiple Jubilee models because of some inconsistencies in timbre, intonation, and tone. If you like the Selmer tone, this small sample size should not keep you from looking into Selmer saxophones. When you find the right one, you won’t be disappointed.
Here are some specific models:
Pro Series (Paris)
- Jubilee Series II
- Jubilee Series III
- Reference Series
- Seles Axos (Entry Pro Level)
Pro Series (USA)
- Selmer 42 (Entry Pro Level)
- A USA body and Paris neck. A first collaboration between both Selmer companies.
Paris vs USA
The Paris models are superior to the USA models, and that can be seen immediately through the price itself.
Entry Pro Level Saxophones
The “Entry Pro Level” models made by Selmer seem to be targeting the part of the market that is dominated by the Yamaha 62. After reading about the Yamaha 62, you’ll be provided with a better understanding of what to expect from this level of saxophone. If you discover that this is your level of saxophone, then definitely compare the Axos and Yamaha 62 side by side.
I would say these two brands are equal in regards to their top pro models. It boils down to personal opinion when choosing between the two.
- Yamaha EX
- Yamaha Z (Designed for Jazz)
- Yamaha 62 (Entry Pro Model)
Not All Pros are Equal
Some brands label their saxophones as “Pro”, but they don’t meet the standards of the pro line Yamaha and Selmer saxophones. So when a company labels their saxophone as “Pro”, and the price is significantly less, you should be careful.
However, Yamaha established a successful line of “Entry level Pro saxophones” with the 62, and they’re played by professionals all over the world. A true “Entry Level Pro” saxophone provides a pro level instrument at an affordable price.
If you don’t want to pay for a top of the line Selmer or Yamaha, the 62 is a great choice that won’t disappoint.
They also make professional saxophones and are an excellent choice. If you end up choosing one company over the others (between the “Big Four”) it can simply come down to personal preference between these quality instruments. You really can’t lose.
Keep in mind that there are some “new comers” that do not make quality saxophones. Stick with these brand recommendations and you’ll do well.
As always, try as many saxophones as you can. There are many opinions being expressed online, which can lead to confusion. Take the brand suggestions in this post and use them as a guide to choose the best saxophone for you. Your personal preference on the following points are unique to you and will help with making a final choice.
All three of these points will vary with each saxophone brand. By applying your personal preference to the brands mentioned in this post, you’ll find a saxophone that’s a good fit for you.
Have you played on any of these saxophones? What recommendations do you have? Please feel free to share in the comment section.
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