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Buffet Senzo Alto Excellent Condition Solid Copper Fantastic!$ 3,650
When I got this new, high-end Buffet Senzo solid copper alto saxophone in recently, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard good things, but I also am not used to thinking of Buffet as a pro saxophone maker in recent times. In short, I was extremely impressed!
I’m a fan of the vintage Buffet saxophones from the 40’s through the 70’s, and I wondered whether this would be like a good S1 alto, for example. It is, and it isn’t. The S1 was fantastic, but the Senzo is a whole different level. It is extremely refined. Where some saxophones make you work to get an interesting tone, the Senzo just produces it without any fuss. This is no ‘clear, bright, generic’ tone like you get on most modern altos. It is centered, with a distinct core that your ear can easily follow. And the copper gives it its own special magic. This is hard to put into words. If you read around on this site, you’ll see that I never make claims about the effect of the outside finish on a saxophone’s tone. By contrast, when you change the base material, of, say, a Yanagisawa alto neck (or a whole horn) among brass, bronze, copper, solid silver (or even plastic!) the effect on the tone is immediate, dependable, and obvious. We don’t really have a vocabulary for these timbral differences, so I’ll do my best. Compared to brass (most saxophones) copper gives you a rich, vibrant, focused sort of projection, and tons of richness both at low and high registers. If brass is Elton John, copper is Freddie Mercury. Silver is noticeably darker, more focused, and has more overtones. Bronze is darker and richer than brass but not as punchy as copper and not nearly as focused and overtone-y as silver. Whew, that was not really satisfactory, but it’s a start towards explaining why it’s worth making a saxophone out of copper at all.
If you want to play jazz or just have an all around great alto, the Senzo is surprisingly great at that. It tunes well with a Meyer style piece, which cannot be said of the modern Selmer Series II or III altos by contrast. But it also really lends itself beautifully towards classical and ensemble alto playing. It tunes so well, and the timbre blends well, so it just gets the job done. I’m almost talking myself into keeping this horn, so I had better stop.
The only weirdness of the design is the way the high F# tone hole cuts through the neck tenon area, which means that you can’t move the neck right or left very much. The ergonomics feel like a Selmer or a Yamaha or whatever – modern, easy, and comfortable. This horn is in very good condition, and was just tuned up. The pads are in good shape and haven’t been played that much since it was bought new a few years ago. There was a little ding removed from near the C keyguard that is really hard to see. And there’s a little ‘acid bleed’ in a couple of places, which means just a bit of tarnish under the lacquer near a couple of post feet. All in all, it looks beautiful, and even better in person than in the photos. In case it’s not clear, that pink color is just the copper showing through clear lacquer, and the keys are regular brass. These altos are really exceptional, and I recommend them highly. Plus, it’s priced super low to sell quickly. Some lucky person will get a great deal. Here’s another review by a friend of mine, Paul Harr at The Saxophonist mag. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwIyKeY4WWw
Only one available!
Ishimori Wood Stone Alto Saxophone Brand New WSA-VL with F# Dark Lacquer$ 4,500
This is the highly sought-after Ishimori Wood Stone alto saxophone available. The model is WSA-VL with high F#. It has dark, cognac colored lacquer and beautiful hand engraving, the among the most elaborate of any modern saxophone. Effortless player. Hard to emphasize how effortless. Completely effortless low register, low Bb pops out like any other note. Altissimo is easy. Tuning is great. The tone is sort of Selmer-ish but punchier. Easy to play delicately and softly with plenty of saturation and projection. Action is low, fast, and snappy. Great for jazz, concert, ballads– really anything. I’m impressed. $4500 brand new.
Ishimori Woodstone New Vintage Tenor VL with F# NEW Dark Lacquer Tenor Saxophone$ 4,700
Only one available of these highly-desirable New Vintage tenor saxophones from Ishimori, Japan’s premiere saxophone repair shop. These tenors stand out from the crowd with their excellent new horn setup done in the Ishimori workshop. The Ishimori New Vintage tenors hold up extremely well over time, and every detail of construction and assembly is optimized for ease of play. The tone on this Ishimori tenor is meant to remind you of a vintage Selmer – to my ear, it plays like a late SBA – not as loud and wide open as some later Mark VI’s, but more focused than earlier Selmers also. The neck and the engraving both are meant to evoke the Selmer Super Balanced Action, so I suspect that the neck is an SBA bore. The tuning is excellent. This body tube is designed to have the high F# tone hole present, so it tunes well with the high F#, and that’s also just a convenient feature. Lacquer is gorgeous, as is the hand engraving.
Ishimori New Vintage tenors play so effortlessly, they sell themselves. Every time one comes in the shop, it sells almost immediately. I have one in stock coming next week. Get it now!
Jody Jazz HR* 6M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece MPC418 Nice Piece!$ 130
Jody Jazz Hard Rubber alto saxophone mouthpiece in an original 6M facing measuring .081″. This is a nice, balanced alto piece that is good quality for the money. Not stuffy like some of these that I have played. Feels and responds a lot like a Meyer.
LeBayle Ebonite Studio S7 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece MPC421 Meyer 5 Good player!$ 225
Fred LeBayle is basically out of business these days, after tanking his reputation in a big way. This is a rare chance to get a really good one from when he was doing his best work. Nicely made example of a LeBayle Studio alto mouthpiece in an S7 facing, measuring .075″ which means that it plays more like a Meyer 5 tip. This piece has a high baffle for a crisp, projecting alto sound like you’d want in the studio for commercial music or smooth jazz etc. The larger bullet chamber gives you some warmth and complexity, but it’s mostly crisp bright power that I hear.
Selmer Super Action 80 Series II Alto Saxophone 517537 SA80-II Excellent Condition Great Price!$ 3,250
Save thousands of dollars getting this beautiful condition used Selmer Series II alto. This instrument has very little wear, and comes to you in excellent condition. It just got several new pads and a thorough setup, so it is playing very well and effortlessly throughout. As I’m sure you know, the Series II is the standard, go-to alto saxophone for serious saxophone study. You never need to upgrade it, and you can take it to college for saxophone study and it will be in good company there with a lot of other Series II’s and III’s. The tone is balanced, warm, clear and round, with a lyrical core tone and very good intonation. The Series II likes to have a classical style or concert mouthpiece like a Selmer S80 C* or D, or a Selmer Concept etc. Lots of other mouthpieces work, but if you’re not sure what to get, then get one of those two.
Saxophones don’t really wear out if you maintain them, so there’s really no reason not to save a few thousand dollars on a nice used example of one of the most popular professional alto saxophones. You can keep this for the rest of your life and play it. It will hold its value as long as you own it. These are only going to go up in price over time.
Special Order a BAM Case! Lots of options available.$ 555
Let’s find you the perfect case for you! Prices and availability vary.
Tenor Madness Custom 500SL Tenor Saxophone Cognac Lacquer High F# Effortless Player Newest Model L01110$ 4,500
This is the best TM Custom tenor that I have played so far. It is brand new, plus it got a new horn setup on top of that. This is the new light body tube version of the 500SL model, and it is a truly effortless player. The intonation is excellent throughout. This bore is designed to have the F# tone hole present, so the tuning is excellent and altissimo is easy including the handy high F# key. The low notes are nice and saturated even at pp, and the horn will shake in your hands if you push it to ff. The palm key tone stays more full and rich than on most Taiwanese tenors that I have played (like P Mauriat etc.). The neck on this tenor is modeled on an early Mark VI tenor neck, and you do in fact get a Selmer-ish tone on it. I am impressed that you can get a horn this good for this price that has been thoroughly setup in the USA by TenorMadness pre-sale.
The hand engraving is inspired by 50’s Selmer engraving, and it is of course gorgeous. The lacquer color is as well. This is one of the best looking tenors on the market today for sure. It comes in a contoured case that should be good for shipping and gigging.
If you’re looking for an easy, turn-key purchase for a high-quality modern horn that is darker and more complex than some other new horns on the market, and that is really dependably easy to play, this would be a great choice. Really no matter what style of music you play, this horn gets the job done.
Only one available!
Yamaha YSS-82ZRS Soprano Saxophone One Piece Bent Neck Silver Plate! BRAND NEW$ 4,750
Available new by special order anytime. Email me at [email protected] to order. The Yamaha YSS-62R and 62RS are the most desirable vintage sopranos pretty much. Yamaha made an upgraded reissue of this soprano, with improved keywork but the same bore. It’s simply the best.
Yamaha YTS-475 Intermediate Tenor Saxophone Good Playing Condition Great Value! 298213$ 1,850
Just tuned up completely, and playing its best!
Great deal on one of the best intermediate tenor saxophones on the market. The Yamaha 475 is made in Japan and plays a lot like a YTS-62, but costs less. If you want a very well-built tenor, that feels good, tunes well, and is easy on the budget, this is it. Don’t waste your money on a new no-name sax. Those will be worth peanuts as soon as they are used. Yamaha horns are quality and hold their value really well. You can basically play it and enjoy it and sell it later for right around what you paid. Hard to beat.
Yanagisawa SC-9930 Curved Soprano Saxophone with High G! Rare$ 4,150
For those of you who love to have the best and rarest at the same time, here is my favorite vintage of curved soprano ever made, the Yanagisawa SC-991, but this is in the solid silver neck and body tube version, which is SC-9930, AND it is one of the rare ones that came with the high G key included. This is the first one like this that I have seen, and it’s cool in a nerdy kind of way to have such a rare and fabulous example. You can order a new SC-9930 for $6730, but your extra $$$ won’t get you the high G! Nor will it be the warmer, fuller-sounding version from the 90’s like this with the bell keys on the left. My personal soprano is one just like this but brass, and I think it sounds better than the right hand bell keys version at least by a little bit. I also like the more direct action that you get with the pinky keys on the left hand bell key configuration. We’re splitting hairs here, but hey, if you’re in the rarified territory of exceptional curved sopranos, then maybe that’s your thing too.
Condition wise, this SC-9930 is in very good shape, with no significant past repairs or current problems at all. I have not spent any money on pad work yet, as I’m trying to keep the price as low as possible, and the horn plays fine on current pads. I would like to sell it a little higher and spend maybe $250 on a thorough setup, so you can have that as an optional extra if you want.
Original case and mouthpiece are in good shape as well. There is most certainly only one of these available!