Saxophone Forum


by RobertD
(51 posts)
2 months ago

Eastman 52nd Street Alto EAS652RL

I was looking for a backup sax for my '65 Buescher 400. I tried a vintage Buescher True Tone from 1930 but the keywork felt so different from the more modern keywork on my Buescher, it felt much more difficult to play. Fortunately, the shop I purchased it from had several others to choose from. I found one that has turned my Buescher into my backup horn.

I read about the new Eastman saxophones and at just about that time, the shop put one up for sale. I got a good price on a used Eastman 52nd Street alto and I have to say, I love this sax. I've only ever played three saxophones but I have good knowledge of brasswinds and this sax felt like a pro instrument the moment I picked it up. It's just such an easy horn to play, free blowing and flexible, I feel it's improved my playing by months, as would any horn of this quality, I'm sure.

This unlacquered horn vibrates in my hands. The wood floors vibrate on low notes. It is built like a tank and is heavier than my Buescher but my JazzLab Sax Holder takes care of that easily. Intonation is flawless throughout the full range from Bb to F# (I haven't visited altissimo yet.) The response is instantaneous. You think it. The horn does it. And the verdigris is absolutely stunning.

I don't know what exact key system they mimicked but the left pinky spatula is simply genius. You can roll any note combination. Some say it's too close to the large bell but I don't mind. It seems to have helped my technique by keeping my pinky closer to the spatula. Less wasted motion. Smoother action.

I could go on. I love this horn. I can't put it down. I play Vandoren V16 mouthpieces. A 5 medium and I just got a 5 S+ that I am really liking a lot so far.

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (235 posts)

    2 months ago

    Re: Eastman 52nd Street Alto EAS652RL

    Yeah, the crap coming out of China and Taiwan are getting better.

    Not really crap any more.....

    Enjoy your new Taiwanese horn.

    Congratulations on finding a horn that works for you.

     

    A perfect example of what time, trial and error, and Asian ingenuity can do.

    Along with slave labor.

    Slave labor is still legal in Asia.

    Enjoy the benefits. They are able to make a better horn at a lower price.

    Its the American way.

    We built an entire nation on just such a work ethic.

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    1. by RobertD
      (51 posts)

      2 months ago

      Re: Eastman 52nd Street Alto EAS652RL

      While you play your French sax?

      You need to take a chill pill.

      Enjoy your rectitude. I'll enjoy this most excellent saxophone.

      :)

      PS Considering our history, slave labor and slavery are hardly subjects the Western world should care to argue against anyone. And forms of slavery go on in this nation to this day.

      https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10925.html

      Not to mention, you can thank Nixon for "opening China" and Reagan for switching the USA from a manufacturing economy into a "service" economy.

       

       

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      1. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (235 posts)

        2 months ago

        Re: Eastman 52nd Street Alto EAS652RL

        Hah!! That was very funny.

        I must have come across harsher than I intended.

        I do pretty much stand by my slavery position ....

         

        Making a perfect saxophone is not rocket sceince here in 2018.

        It comes down to using the right materials, precise measurements and finally,  employees to follow through and see that only the best products are produced. In a market where minimal labor costs, due to the poorness of a particulat country, you get a dramatic shift in production costs. Putting others out of business.

        Ex 40 cents/hr as compared to 20 bucks/hr in this world market.

        The Asian market is where it is for awhile. As wonderful cheaper horns are produced to compete with those legendary Selmers, Yamahas, the already saturated used instrument market is just going to get cheaper. The big guys, like Selmer, will go out of business. As long as they read the writing on the wall and get out with their dignity.

        So, enjoy your Eastman. Its going to be one of those horns that changed the saxophone market once and for all. I personally have not heard anything bad about them.

        Reply To Post


        1. by RobertD
          (51 posts)

          2 months ago

          Re: Eastman 52nd Street Alto EAS652RL

          I might have sounded a bit harsher than I intended as well. Slavery is a real sore point with me. U.S. chattel slavery was particularly virulent and cruel. The effects are being felt to this day.

          I was in transportation most of my life so I understand the influence of lower wages and benefits. Someone decided in the early 90's that truckers were making too much money. Nevermind that the work was backbreaking and the hours were more than any human should have to work in a day. Suddenly union trucking companies were going out of business being replaced by owner-operators working for whatever day's pay they could find.

          I tried to warn people I knew back then; today it's me, tomorrow it'll be you.

          I'm retired now. Tomorrow is here.

          I play for the sheer enjoyment of playing. I can't afford a new sax or horn like a vintage Mark VI. I found a vintage Buescher 400 in near new condition that I could afford and when I posted about it here I was criticized for trying to make it more than it was, according to one member.

          Looking for a backup horn, I found one that I could afford that plays like a horn costing thousands more. Qian Ni, an internationally recognized flutist, started Eastman back in 1992 to provide professional quality instruments at more affordable prices. I played their archtop guitars for years. They are fantastic guitars at about one-third of the price of a Gibson archtop. I can't afford three times more for a guitar. The choice was simple. Just as with this sax.

          Globalization is bringing down pay, benefits, and working conditions around the world instead of bringing them up to where our standards used to be. The true basis of the problem is; a very small percentage of the population controls more than half the wealth in this country and they've decided they can keep their money and make it grow faster elsewhere. As long as oligarchs get away with keeping far more than their fair share, none of that is ever going to change.

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