Case Mouthpiece

Need help choosing a tenor sax?

So I have been looking around for a tenor and have a budget of $500ish
Not a beginner but not a professional just a strong hobby
Eventually (10 years from now) will get a GOOD sax hopefully but its not my career
For now I have been looking at these

a little bit of my playing:
I like to play pretty loud, aiming for a bright sound | maybe the jazzy sound at times but mostly bright. I played two years marching band and had 3 years of beginning in elementary but not consistent.

Yamaha YTS23 Tenor Saxophone - $750
--------Strap, Music note guide, oil, all parts, new reed
[they are willing to negotiate]

Selmer Signet tenor saxophone-"S" brace - $650
-------------mouthpiece,case ,cleaning supplies and neck strap
[hoping to negotiate with them]

Jean Baptiste Tenor Saxophone. Model JB 480T/L - $500
------brand new,hard shell case, mouthpiece, neck strap, and cleaning cloth

I would personally suggest either the Yamaha or the Selmer, leaning more towards the Yamaha because I know that brand well. Even their student line (which is the one you have listed) sounds good - and you can upgrade the mouthpiece/neckpiece to professional models easily to create a better sound. Yamaha is known for it's reliability in tone response and durability.

The Selmer Signet is a good model - you'll likely get a better tone quality with the Selmer, but when it needs parts replaced (and it will), you may encounter a challenge in getting replacement parts because that line (Signet) was discontinued around the 70s. Most experienced repairmen can find parts that are interchangeable, but that will up your labor costs because they'll have to experiment to see what works. If you choose to get the Signet, and when it needs to get fixed, find a repairman who is older - they'll likey have Signet parts stocked away somewhere.

As for the JP - I am not knowledgeable enough on to offer my personal opinion on the brand, but through the "grapevine" I hear the intonation and construction is horrible.

I would strongly encourage the Yamaha. I personally played a Yamaha during college and loved it - sax is not my main instrument, but I played a recital using a Yamaha and no one knew it was a student-line sax. I upgraded the mouthpiece and bumped up the tone quality quite a bit. You could say I'm a little bias because I'm negotiating the purchase of a Yamaha (bass clarinet) as well :)

No matter what you choose, consider buying a "jazz" mouthpiece - it will have a more narrow baffle, creating a brighter, edgier sound. Many jazz saxophone players use a metal mouthpiece because it also brightens the tone and projects the sound. You can visit any local music shop to test out different mouthpieces.
See the link below for an explanation of baffles.

Have you checked out any other used intermediate/pro instruments? Many professionals (ESPECIALLY the ones who endorse a certain brand) will sell their old instruments and buy new ones every few years for insurance purposes. My former clarinet professor did just that - I bought a pro clarinet off of him (only six years old) for about $700. Email a saxophone professor at any local college and let them know you're looking for a new sax. That way you won't have to buy another one in ten years. I know Craigslist often has pro instruments for good prices - you just have to watch for them.

Good luck!

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