Saxophone Forum

by baridrummer
(8 posts)
4 years ago

The most economical way to own a Bb bari

Hey there,

It's been a couple years since I've posted here, so I'll just start with the basics:

My main axe is a Conn 12M bari from 1941, which I love dearly.  It needs repairs more frequently than I would like, probably because it has had a long, busy life.  I bought it about 12 years ago.

Because I play in a busy brass band with a lot of free outdoor gigs, and because of my vintage horn being in the shop so often, a few months ago I bought a backup horn, which ended up being another 12M because of ergonomics and price.  This one is a lesser-desired model (without rolled tone holes or full metal resonators), from about 1967.

However, after two bouts of repairs with the newer horn, and a feeling of general clunkiness compared to the older horn, I have to wonder if I even made the right decision.  Did I just gain another cost burden?

So I'm wondering if you think that it would be wise to buy a new-model (or b-stock if it exists) of Bb bari... if this would make economic sense to not have to pay for so many repairs.  This would be instead of the newer Conn.  

The only brands I know of that currently make Bb baris are P. Mauriat, Thomann, and Amati.  P. Mauriat I've heard makes good horns, but some people say that they're too fragile.  And I really know nothing about the other two brands, in terms of durability.  Are there better makes that I don't know about?  Or does it still make financial sense to keep both of my vintage horns despite the repair costs?  

I staunchly only want a Bb bari sax, because of the weight.

So what do you think?


(PS I already tried a Bundy bari -- it had terrible, unusable ergonomics)

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