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*New* Bass sax sold by Aquilasax!

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
I suspect that they didn't design it themselves. He writes in his description:

I played one briefly and found it to be big. Felt a bit like my Conn baritone but bigger. Looked a bit like a Conn too, similar keys.
Not exactly the description one would expect of the company that designed it. Also they're currently out of stock. I think he's testing the waters to see if he has enough interest to order a shipment.

I have written extensively about the modern Asian-made bass saxophones--both in my blog and on my website.

Under all the different stencil names (and there are lots), there are only 2 companies that make them. Jinyin is the manufacturer of bass saxophones that resemble the vintage American-styled ones. Jinbao is the the company that make the ones that resemble the French bass saxophones.

It is interesting that he chose to sell American-styled bass saxophones. By all accounts the Jinbao-made (French style) are the superior horns. True they cost more, but they also don't have nearly the consumer complaints & returns that the Jinyin ones have.
 
Yes they are deffinately not designed by Aquilasax. Here is supposedly a C Bass sax, but the description doesn't quite say that, gives some more info and a price.

http://aquilasax.3dcartstores.com/Bass-saxophone-C-key_p_416.html

Doesn't seem much cheaper than a rebuilt quality vintage Bass sax. The brand is Solo, but I believe that is just a distributer name, as they also sell BIY guitar kits.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Well that bass sax is not a C bass. It is an Adolphe Sax original Bb bass, circa 1877, on display at the National Music Museum, on the campus of the University of South Dakota.

Furthermore, that particular photo on the Aquilasax website, was taken off my website. I can tell by the frame around it. I used the photos with permission, and framed all the Adolphe Sax horns with that antique looking frame when I wrote about them in July 2008.
 
Well that bass sax is not a C bass. It is an Adolphe Sax original Bb bass, circa 1877, on display at the National Music Museum, on the campus of the University of South Dakota.

Furthermore, that particular photo on the Aquilasax website, was taken off my website. I can tell by the frame around it. I used the photos with permission, and framed all the Adolphe Sax horns with that antique looking frame when I wrote about them in July 2008.
LOL...BIG OOPS. As I was thinking previously, Aquilasax may be a great resource for c mel accessories, but as for their horns, I am sure that better deals on the same saxes can be found elsewhere.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
I will second that, in terms of sound, apparent build quality and ergonomics.
Pete, I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to part with my vintage bass in order to buy a new Jinbao-made horn. As a 2nd horn sure, but not as my only bass. Now a Eppelsheim bass, that I'd sell my Buescher for. :D
 

pete thomas

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Pete, I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to part with my vintage bass in order to buy a new Jinbao-made horn.
I probably would if I was going to do a lot of bass playing, but as it's mostly now the occasional session playing two in a bar bass lines or when I just spontaneously burst in Teddy Bears Picnic due to an excess of joie de vivre, I'll probably just stick with my old Buescher.
 
Is this specific to the Bass sax? Or are you saying that the Jinbao saxes in general are decent? I ask because I am interested in getting an Alto sax at some point, and while the Jinbao may not be a pro intrument, if it is a decent horn for a hobbyist, I might be interested.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
There are literally boat loads of saxes to chose from if you're interested in picking up an alto. Let your teacher help you pick one out.

Have you found a teacher yet? That will go a long way towards avoiding picking up a bunch of nasty habits that will hold back your playing. Since you're already a musician, you of course realize the importance of this, so I'm likely preaching to the choir. But I wouldn't be doing my job here on the forum, if I didn't at least mention this.
 
There are literally boat loads of saxes to chose from if you're interested in picking up an alto. Let your teacher help you pick one out.

Have you found a teacher yet? That will go a long way towards avoiding picking up a bunch of nasty habits that will hold back your playing. Since you're already a musician, you of course realize the importance of this, so I'm likely preaching to the choir. But I wouldn't be doing my job here on the forum, if I didn't at least mention this.
Point taken. I have found a teacher, unfortunately he is not able to see me until friday. I will be taking lessons for clarinet first, as I have a fully functioning Bb clarinet. I would love to learn sax on a c mel, but I doubt my teacher will want to teach me on my 90 year old dinosaur c mel. lol
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Posting a bit of a round-up, here. I hope to not confuse folks.

Aquilasax is toying with the idea of a C bass saxophone. Helen covers this a bit more in detail on her blog. However, the picture on the Aquilasax website -- I've attached a copy to this post -- is an A. Sax Bb bass. At least the museum claims it is. Museums are never wrong.

It's possible and probable that there were a few C basses out there. However, 99% of the time when folks insist to me that they have a C bass, F alto, F baritone, etc. they have a high-pitch instrument. It's like the time I offhandedly mentioned that Buescher made ONE set of sterling silver saxophones and they were ALL accounted for ... and for the next month I got dozens of e-mails from folks claiming to have a sterling silver Buescher.

Aquilasax also does make a Bb bass, C tenor and other fun pitches.

==============

For LowThudd, there's no particular reason for someone not to give you sax lessons on a C melody, provided the horn's in perfect shape. However, I never recommend a vintage horn to beginners because they're going to be struggling with just making the horn sound, period, and don't need the extra burden of worrying about their vintage instrument's own eccentricities. Remember, too: the older the horn, the more eccentricities.

For beginner instruments, please take a look at http://woodwindforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2547.
 
As stated by Helen, I don't believe Aquilasax is "making" any Bass saxes. That is what the description on their web site states: Traditional bass sax made in Beijing. I played one briefly and found it to be big. Felt a bit like my Conn baritone but bigger. Looked a bit like a Conn too, similar keys. Big sound! Email Steve if interested? They more than likely did influence the design of their c tenor and c sopranos, because that is what they are claiming. *Shrug* I guess it is a bit unnecessary to speculate, I would take their word over Alibaba wholesale. lol

I do plan on buying some accessories from them next month as they have incredible prices on C mel MPCs and reeds. If they didn't want $48 just for shipping a gig bag, I wouldn't have made my own. They do have accessories for great prices, and I will most likely continue to buy from them, as well as the fact that they are the ONLY place I have ever seen repop C mel necks for vintage horns. All in all a decent company, although I think their horns are a bit pricey for Chinese made horns. *Shrug* Just my oppinion.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
What do you mean "repop"? I've never heard that term before.
 
What do you mean "repop"? I've never heard that term before.
Sorry, in automotive terms it means reproduction, usually of a vintage part. Figured it was fitting.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Sorry, in automotive terms it means reproduction, usually of a vintage part. Figured it was fitting.
OK, that makes sense. In the sax world we usually refer to them as replacement, or aftermarket necks. (Not so much the latter.) FWIW, if my vintage C mel neck needed replacing, I'd likely just find another vintage "donor horn" that had a sound neck. I haven't tried an Aquilasax, and I know nothing about their replacement necks, but I believe in keeping my vintage horns vintage. However, I've been playing since for about 25 years, so I can play around the eccentricities that Pete noted. If I had started on a vintage sax, I would have given up in frustration.

I never, ever tell my students to start on a vintage sax. Despite having 25 vintage saxophones, and 1 modern baritone (there Pete, I've put it in writing :emoji_rage: and yes, I likely do need professional help :???:), and obviously loving vintage horns, I strongly encourage even my adult students to start out on a modern sax. Now as Pete said, if the vintage horn is in perfect working condition, then you'll be better off, but you're still going to learning on a horn that has eccentricities.

Pete and I share the same view of the ideal starter horn for students--and they can be picked up used for cheap. They are easy to play, easy to produce a tone one, have an even scale, have a good key layout, and play naturally in tune. Once a new player has mastered the basics, then I encourage them to explore their love of vintage horns. However, learning to play sax on a sax built in 1920, is a bit like learning to drive in a Ford, Model T.

When you get a chance, I encourage you to read an article I wrote called Vintage Or Modern? It addresses some of the issues, and pitfalls, that players can encounter with vintage saxophones.
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
For LowThudd, there's no particular reason for someone not to give you sax lessons on a C melody
Of course if the teacher likes to play along with their student and doesn't have a C Mel, it makes for an interesting tonal clash if the music isn't transposed.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Of course if the teacher likes to play along with their student and doesn't have a C Mel, it makes for an interesting tonal clash if the music isn't transposed.
We call that "modal" my friend. ;-) :emoji_smile:
 
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