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I've FINALLY Played A Chinese-Made Bass

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Yesterday I had the opportunity to play a Jinyin-made, horn stencilled under the name Xu Qiu. This vintage American-style style bass is like the plethora of bass saxes that we have seen over the past number of years--and which I have documented extensively on both my website and my blog--only carrying a brand name that I have personally had not seen to date.

The horn belongs to a local player who bought the sax on Craigslist a couple of years ago. I met this fellow a couple of months ago when he was looking for a baritone sax case, and I was looking for a home for an extra one that I had. Long story short, I made a new friend in the process who also plays vintage horns, and shares my love for JKs and Kings.

Getting back to this Chinese bass sax, I have to say, it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Considering he has not taken it to the shop recently, it played quite well. That's not to say that this didn't have its fair share of problems. That said, it had a lot going for it as well.

I will be writing a really thorough review on my blog over the coming days, but I just wanted to post a couple of pics of the beastie here as a teaser as it were. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take great pics since I didn't have a tripod with me, and there are lots of reflections of objects--mostly me ;) --in the lacquer. I shot the pics in the owner's living room.

That said, the pics do show the heavy (over) construction, and quirkiness of the horn's design. I was left wondering: Did the people who built this ever look at a bass sax before they designed it?

Bottom line: I don't know if all Jinyin-made bass saxophones have all of these features, and are built like this. (We normally don't get this level of detail in the online pics we see.) Or if different ordering companies have input into the kinds of design features their stencil horns have.

I expected this Jinyin-made horn to be a sax equivalent of a light-weight tin can. It was anything but. It was a heavy horn, that was likely just as, if not slightly heavier than my Buescher True Tone bass.

If one could guarantee that the horn you ordered would be like the one I played, for the casual (3 or 4 gig a year) player, this horn would likely do the trick. (Now there is something you probably wouldn't have ever expected to see me write.) ;) That said, there are too many unknowns about this manufacturer, the factories the horns were (are?) made at, and the companies that ordered them, to be able to make a blanket statement that these are OK instruments to buy without being able to play test before buying them.

But like I said, I will write a full review of this horn in the coming days, in the meantime, enjoy these teaser pics...

Bow-Right-Side-&-Low-C-Key-Mechanism-2.jpgCarbon-Fibre-Peg.jpgLeft-Hand-&-Palm-Keys.jpgLeft-Palm-&-Pinkie-Keys.jpgOctave-Vent-&-Upper-Key-Work.jpgRight-Palm-&-Pinkie-Keys-and-Bell-to-Body-Support-Brace-2.jpg
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
It sounded pretty much like the Buescher Jim. As far as intonation goes, that depends on which of the 2 necks I used. To be quite honest, I was able to play it in tune better than I can my Buescher. It seemed to be less finicky--especially since I wasn't familiar with it. But I'll go into all of that when I do the review.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I do like the idea of two bell-to-body braces and the fact that they use screws, rather than solder.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
It sounded pretty much like the Buescher Jim. As far as intonation goes, that depends on which of the 2 necks I used. To be quite honest, I was able to play it in tune better than I can my Buescher. It seemed to be less finicky--especially since I wasn't familiar with it. But I'll go into all of that when I do the review.
I look forward to reading your review.
 
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