Horn Lacquer

Upgrading my alto saxophone, what sort of things should I be looking for in a new pro sax?

Hi

I've been playing alto saxophone for about 3 years now, and I've had a student model since the start. I still have the same model, Jupiter JAS-567. I play at around grade 5-6.

I think it's time for an upgrade, and I'm looking for a good semi-pro/pro model. I have looked through, and will most probably get a P. Mauriat, Kielwerth or Yanagisawa.
Would you also recommend a Cannonball? Briefly, what are the positives and negatives of each brand?

I also need some advice relating to what I should be looking for in a good horn.
Lacquered or Unlacquered?
Rolled tone-hole, or straight tone-hole?
Does a specific plating change the sound? If so, roughly, which plating gives which sort of sound?
Any specific key touches?
Any other features?

Thanks a lot for you help in advance

Save your pennies or take out a loan and go for the best...Selmer Mk VI serial # under 100,000..pre 1959...don't go for a Mk VII..too stuffy, a classical horn. Selmer Super 80's are pretty nice..less money than the older Mk VI...They also make new horns that are remakes of older Selmers. the series ( I forget the model numbers(54, 64?) but they are remakes of the Mk VI and the older Balanced Action, two GREAT horns) You might look for a King Super 20 with solid silver neck and bell.The other old horn that a lot of pro's use is a Conn 10M..The horn with the naked lady on the bell...drives like a truck but has a great sound .Top of the line Yamaha's are pretty good.Go for a standard brass finish. Actually if the lacquer is worn off it makes the horn play freer. Lot of players take the lacquer off the neck and bell. Of the horns that you mentioned I would go with the Yanagisawa..I used a Yanagisawa Baritone when I was on the Artie Shaw band and it played in tune, spoke well, and felt a lot like a Selmer.

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