Favorite brand of various instruments
February 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #19641
I suddenly have the unique opportunity to replace several band instruments that need to be retired. I am looking for alto, tenor and bari saxes, baritone horns, bass clarinets – and then for later, clarinets, flutes, trombones and trumpets. I haven’t purchased instruments in years, and with so many instruments now being produced in China and of lower quality, I’ve lost track of what brands are good and not good anymore.
Please tell me what you know about current new and used instruments. I am looking for instruments that play well and will last – aren’t we all! Thanks!February 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm #19658
I find an affordable option to be almost anything Yamaha! Just purchased some new yamaha brass. Depending on your age group, the YEP series for baritones, you can get 3 or 4 valves. Also Yamaha trombones, their intermediate series is great, YSL with rotor valves are always great, but if you want some awesome all around concert horns, I’d go for the yamaha xenos! I am a bit of a snob when it comes to trumpets, and I’m a HUGE advocate of Xeno for trumpet!
Now, with all of this…word of advice…NEVER use the mouthpieces that come with the horns. I believe the Trumpet Xeno comes with a mouthpiece that’s gold-rimmed and comparable to a Bach 3C….but the other brass instrument mouthpieces are no good.
Generally I would stick to Bach or Schilke mouthpieces.
Baritone/Trombone – Bach 5G or Schilke 51D….depending on your students’ age group, small or large bore/shank mouthpieces will need to match the horn.
Trumpet – Bach 3C is just fine!
woodwindbrasswind’s website is really good for rock bottom prices and they will sometimes have some pretty sweet deals going on such as…a free silent brass system with purchase, or NO SHIPPING. http://www.wwbw.com
Hope this is helpful…just went through this with brass!February 12, 2013 at 10:30 am #20157
for the purposes of a school band sticking to the names you know is always best. The Yamaha, Conn-Selmer, Jupiter, Holton, Gemeinhardt, etc.
If you’ve never heard of the brand its probably not a good investment.February 15, 2013 at 9:55 am #20362
For what it’s worth, Eastman has some pretty superb brass instruments at a fraction of the cost of the big name brands. I personally tested their trumpet line for our local music shop and (in my opinion) they play just as well as the Yamahas and even close to a Bach. I personally own one of their Cornets for our local Brass Band. Plays and sounds just as good as everyone else’s Bachs.February 15, 2013 at 10:16 am #20369
For saxophones, I like Selmer the best… but if you’re needed to save at all in order to stretch out the $$, Yanigasawa makes pretty good baris. Yamaha altos/tenors are good, too. Are you in middle/high school? Definitely go for the intermediate models, not the student models. Tuning is much improved as well as tone. I agree get different mouthpieces… Do students purchase their own? For saxophones, I like the not-too-expensive Premier by Hite for alto and my set-up for all saxophones is the Caravan mouthpiece, which needs to be ordered online from http://www.classicsax.com or something similar, but it’s much darker (and cheaper!) compared with Selmer C* or Larry Teal mouthpieces. Although, I do think that if you get certain models of Selmer saxes (maybe only the professional, though), the C* comes with it- so that would be cheaper, I guess! In that case, I’d go with it.
Got a little off-track… good luck! Congrats!
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