Saxophone Forum

by iking
(2 posts)
5 years ago

Buying advice for a college-aged, novice player


I am new to this forum and fairly new to the sax. I have been playing music since grade school (from piano to flute to the oboe), but I was asked a few years back to play alittle sax to help out an ensemble I was in. I really like the instrument and have decided to sell my Yamaha oboe to get a nice baritone sax.

My questions (TL;RD): What is a good brand (new or used) that offers some emphisis on durability - but still has tone you would be happy with? Do you know of any reputable Canadian pro-sax shops I could look into? Is $3500 CAD an unrealistically low price for me to aim for?

More details:

I recently made up my mind that I would transition away from oboe (my instrument of 7 years) to saxophone (specifically bari-sax). So now, my big hurdle is to buy one. I read the excellent "buyers guide" from this site, but still feel like I could learn more details here.

My biggest concern is buying a sax that lasts. My current sax (which was gifted to me) sucks. It is a Mendini by Cecilio, which I believe is a Chinese brand only sold on Ebay - it is falling appart after 3 years of light playing.

My second concern is cost. As a student I don't have much cash. I am lucky to have had a number of well-payed internships which allows me to safely spend ~2.5k CAD without getting to worried. Additionally I have a wooden Yamaha oboe which I am willing to sell - I hope to get at least 3k CAD. With those facts combined I was hoping to spend ~3.5k and hoped to spend no more than 4k. Realistic?

My last concern is location. I am an American student (from Las Vegas) in Canada (Toronto). I would like to buy my sax from a pro-shop if possible. But I am finding it hard to find ones in Canada at all (I thought Toronto may be the best place in the country for this stuff). Do you know of any good Canadian pro-shops?

Any concerns I am missing - I would love to hear them!

Also, what do you think of this deal? It is from a music store in Las Vegas, I could get my folks to pick it up for me (~3k CAD):


- Ishmael King

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  1. by mijderf
    (282 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Buying advice for a college-aged, novice player

    I do not play bari, but a professional on wrote the following:

    And if you get a Kessler sax you don't have to worry about getting stuck with a lemon. Its a legitimate and well-known business. I'd love to fly out there and play a bunch of horns! The baritone I got from him has been great.

    Hope this helps. 

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  2. by kelsey
    (930 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Buying advice for a college-aged, novice player

    The only baritone sax I would buy would be the Yamaha YBA 62! It's not as expensive as the selmers and I think it's a better horn!

    Barry Kelsey

    Reply To Post AIM

  3. by GFC
    (842 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Buying advice for a college-aged, novice player

    Can't go too far wrong with the Kessler or the Yamaha.  If you want to give the Kessler a tryout while you're in Toronto they have a trial-return policy.  If you want the horn shipped to you from LV I would suggest having it shipped directly from Kessler since they're pros at packing horns for shipping and if there's any issue with the condition it arrives in packing by a third party could be a complicating factor.  But it sure would be convenient for you to pick one out on your next visit to LV.  

    Phil Barone in New York also sells good Taiwanese horns by mail order for a good price and has a reputation for good customer service.

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