Recommended Saxophones & Research Made Simple

Stay Tuned!

Last week I mentioned we would go over the step by step process for buying a used (or a new $300) saxophone. We will definitely cover this topic, but we are moving that topic to next week. So stay tuned!

Recommendation or Research?

Sometimes doing research before making a purchase can be overwhelming. In fact, sometimes you can end up with even more questions. In the end, you may just want a professional to tell you which instrument to buy, and move on. We want to help you if you want to do your own research or you just want specific recommendations. We’ll begin with research; making it easy, quick, and to the point.

Helping With Research

Over time, we have provided posts to help you make the right saxophone purchase. The reason we do this is because everyone’s needs are a little different. Some people want:

  • The cheapest saxophone that will play well
  • The best saxophone money will buy
  • To buy somewhere in the middle
  • To buy used
  • To buy new
  • To know everything about the subject before they make a decision

So, we’ve written the following posts in order to help each person make the best choice when buying a saxophone. Instead of searching online in multiple places and wasting your valuable time, you can find what you need in the links below. This will speed up your research and provide the information you need to have confidence in your choice. In addition, you can ask us for help anytime! Here are the links to help make your research quick and painless:

Helping With Specific Recommendations

We’re confident that the posts above will provide the information you need to make the best choice. I also understand that there’s a lot of information here, and sometimes we just want a recommendation. If you just want a recommendation on which saxophone to buy, I can help you with that as well. Here we go!

The $300 Category

  • Etude EAS-100.

Before buying one of these saxophones, read the post above about the $300 saxophone. This will provide an understanding of what to expect from this level of saxophone.

You’ll notice that I didn’t recommend a tenor saxophone model in this price range. However, just apply the tips from the $300 saxophone post from above, and it will be quite easy to make a choice. I would suggest buying this level of saxophone from a company like It’s a large company that backs their products and provides a return policy. Currently, they are selling the Allora Student Series Tenor Saxophone Model AATS-301 Standard; this is a saxophone in this price range. Keep in mind that it will be a little more than an alto saxophone in cost.

Used Saxophones ($300-$1000)

If you’re looking in this category of saxophones, I would suggest the following:

  • Any student level Yamaha saxophone (Yamaha 23, Yamaha 26, 200-AD)
  • Any student level Selmer (Selmer 300, Selmer 500)
  • Intermediate (Yamaha 475)

Middle Price Range Saxophone

A used Yamaha 62

The Best of the Best (New or Used)

  • Yamaha 62
  • Yamaha Custom EX
  • Yamaha Custom Z (Designed for jazz)
  • Selmer Series 2 or 3 (Super Action 80 or Jubilee)

The List

I left off many saxophone brands and models from this list. But the purpose was to provide a solid recommendation for someone who just wants to get started. Besides the first category, you can’t loose with any of the saxophones listed above.

If you have any experience with the saxophones mentioned on this list, please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you’ve purchased a different brand or model, please share that as well. Let us know what you think. We look forward to your comments!

Next Week

It’s important to have the right information when purchasing saxophones in the $300-$1000 range. Next week (as promised) I’ll provide the step by step process for buying this category of saxophone (both new and used).

Comments 4

  1. I have a conn 6n naked lady alto sax. I used to play clarinet years ago but I will be starting from scratch. should I proceed with this instrument. it is in excellent condition. New pads etc..?

    1. Post

      Hi Don,

      This particular Conn saxophone is a favorite among vintage saxophones. They have that great tone, which is very warm and rich. If you already own it, and it’s in proper working condition, then it would be a great saxophone to start with. I would also encourage going to a music store after a few months of playing and try out a modern saxophone (in the same price range). That way you can get a feel for the tone and key placement between a modern saxophone and a vintage. With this knowledge, you can come to your own opinion concerning preferences and saxophones.

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I finally have a Prelude AS711 student alto saxophone. My only concern is that I live in a Veterans Home, and will have to move outside to the center courtyard to play it. Looks like I will have to pay for some lessons.
    I did look around. I saw a Selmer AS32 on sale from a website in Wisconsin for $1300. It is brand new. I was waiting till I had enough money for a Selmer AS400 which is what the one on sale identifies. In the description though it says AS32.
    The other AS400 is over $2000.
    I paid $727 because it was discounted. Regular price was $819. I added a Selmer Goldentone and a C* mouthpiece. I did blow a note in my room. I will have to go outside and play around.
    I sure wish I remembered the notes with the keys. It has been many years.
    I also played a bassoon in High School and took piano lessons. I’m sure that after getting oriented on the keys with notes I will be just fine.
    Thank-you for the offer of online lessons, but I just can’t play in my room.

    Randall Thompson

    1. Post

      Hi Randall,

      You have a great saxophone to get started, and I hope it’s playing well for you already. If you are looking at other horns, the AS32 is an option. Selmer Paris and Selmer USA collaborated by using a USA body and a Paris neck. It won’t be as nice as their Paris pro line, but these saxophones look like a good option for the hobbyist who is looking for a pro like saxophone without the price tag. I would suggest the 42 over the 32, but it’s kind of a toss up between the 400 and 32. Selmer says the 32 is a pro horn and the 400 is a student saxophone. The 32 has the Paris neck, but does not have ribbed construction. The 400 has the ribbed construction which helps with tone and durability. I would suggest trying both and seeing what you like best.

      As far as remembering notes, let me know how you’re doing after you’ve completed the free lessons, and I can help you out if you’re having any issues. I hope your practice situation works out. Who knows, maybe you can work something out with a music store where you could go in and use their practice rooms during their non teaching hours in the day. Good luck and I hope to hear you soon!

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