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Used Alto Saxophones

How To Buy Second Hand Alto Saxophones

Used alto saxophones are common. Given that the alto saxophone is about the most common saxophone around today it should mean your options are plenty and choices vast.


Buying A Used Alto Saxophone

Buying a used alto saxophone does not require a degree in anything, just apply some common sense thinking to your shopping style

Yes, they are the most common type of saxophone around today, this means you can afford to be picky and carefully choose the type of sax you want.

If you apply some logic to the purchasing process instead of shopping blind, you should, without a doubt, get a bargin.

Yamaha Saxophone

What Used Alto Sax To Buy?

The most common makes of saxophone around are:

  • Yamaha
  • Yanigasawa
  • Selmer Paris
  • Selmer USA
  • Trevor James
  • Keilworth
  • Conn

If you stick to the above you won't go too far wrong. The top three of the list usually come with a hefty price tag new so it would stand to reason the owners would look after them

A good make of alto can be had for as little as £400. That may seem expensive but bear in mind a well loved sax will last a lifetime.



What To Look For With Used Alto Saxophones

With Alto saxophones being so common every man and his dog has probably had one. This includes small children who have no idea of the value of an item

Altos are relatively light enough to be thrown around by anyone with a big enough temper

Check the following when buying used alto saxophones:
  • Dents or creases on the neck - There's nothing more tempting than picking up a sax by the neck. Result. Crease or split and an expensive replacement
  • Bent Keys - Young fingers can easily drop a sax. Usually followed by a quick grab at it can easily bend a key
  • Rod alignment - Putting the sax down heavily or general mishandling can easily bend a rod
  • Bell to body alignment - If it's out of whack it could have been dropped
  • Sticking keys - Usually from saliva, but god alone knows what might have been in it
  • Neck clamp - Possible overtightening can strip the thread or break the clamp
Always ask questions when buying:
  • How long have you had it? - With the major brands you can check the serial number which will tell you the year of make.
  • When was it last serviced? - Don't take their word for it. They should have a receipt as proof.
  • Why are you selling? - If they've raved on about how good a sax it is they had better have a darn good reason for selling.
  • Any dings, dents or scratches? - Especially on the neck. The neck helps to shape the sound so it need to be dent free.

Final Thoughts On Buying A Used Alto Saxophone

Try to stick to a named brand. Sometimes you will be tempted by an unbelieveable bargin. Ask yourself the question:

"Why is it so cheap?"

Many a dropped saxophone has been sold cheaply. They rarely sound the same once dropped. Even if they've been repaired.

Used saxophones are many. Used alto saxophones are the majority. If you miss one there'll be another one along at any time



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