UPDATE FOR NEW BAND PARENTS!
If you are looking for a saxophone for your new band student, or you feel like you are being railroaded into getting one from a music store, then call me or send me an email. Contact me before you buy or rent a horn. I'll take the most highly recommended student saxophones and overhaul them the same way I do a professional horn. My used saxophones are absolutely the best-playing student saxophones anywhere!
The reason I know so much about horns is that I’ve seen thousands of saxophones over the years. I’ve taken them apart, repaired them, and played them. I’ve worked on new horns and used horns, both professional and student models of many manufacturers. After all this work I have determined that at this point in time there are several models of alto saxophones that stand out above the rest.
These are my favorites:
· Yamaha YAS-23, YAS-21, YAS-26, YAS-200AD
· Vito (Japan)
· Selmer AS300
The Vito horns were made by Yamaha, so they are essentially the same. There are many saxophone brands and models that I didn’t mention. Some are very bad and should be avoided altogether. Some are good-playing horns by other reputable manufacturers, but are not as desirable as the ones on my list. I’m trying to keep this simple, and my favorites are plentiful, so I did not mention any others.
These are my favorite horns, but it is not enough to have a good saxophone. It needs to be a good horn in great playing shape. The saxophone will not play well unless everything fits together well, all the pads seal properly, all the keys work smoothly together, and all the corks and felts are functional. Even new horns have flaws due to mass production that affect their playability. For example, the Selmer AS300 rarely plays well as a new horn, but plays very well after I correct the manufacturer problems. And, almost all used horns need a little or a lot of work.
With all this in mind, the best horn for your new band student is a used saxophone. One that is completely cleaned and refurbished into excellent playing condition, and that is exactly what Collins Hornworks is all about!
Here is what makes my horns special. Each Collins Hornworks saxophone is given a professional overhaul. It is not just “checked over” or “run through the shop,” before it is sold. Every horn is completely disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. Before the instrument is reassembled, all dents are removed, all tone holes are made smooth and flat, all key cups are made level, and every key shaft, post, and rod is refitted for tight, precise action. High quality pads are installed, individually fit to each key for correct size and height. The key corks and felts are replaced, and all keys adjusted to optimal heights. The saxophone neck is painstakingly fit to the body, and all soldered or epoxied joints are inspected or resealed.
All of this is not “doing too much “ to a saxophone. It’s what the manufacturer wanted to do in the first place, but due to mass production, the instrument comes up short. In a sense, I hand finish their horn to make it play well. Then, I play test it and adjust the keys. When it plays great, It’s done!
A benefit to a Collins Hornworks overhaul is that the saxophone will play great for a long time. After a lot of playing, most saxophones will eventually need some adjustments to keep it playing well. Because the horn has been set up by me, using my procedures, my pads and materials, and my glue, the adjustments are much quicker and easier (and cheaper!) So there will be fewer future problems.
Collins Hornworks can get you set up with:
· A clean, quality, great-playing saxophone.
· A clean or new, sturdy, protective case.
· A new mouthpiece, cap, ligature and neck strap.
· All necessary accessories: cork grease, end plug, polishing cloth, and reed holder.
I have a limited supply of these alto saxophone packages for sale for $1,000-$1,500. If you bring me a saxophone to refurbish, I can do the same work on it for about $750, depending on the condition, and can add in the accessories if you want them. I can also talk to you about a tenor saxophone or other horns. I hope you find this information helpful, and invite you to call me if I can help you!
There are financing options available such as monthly payments and 6 months with no interest.