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Sales of Saxes are down


Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
From the Bass Sax Coop forum:

The figures below are from the top three source nations, and represent the total first quarter imports. As a comparison, the next number is the same period for 2009, and the next number is the same period for 2008. The top three producing nations are all Asian. The European makers are not even a blip on the radar.

TAIWAN 2,947 (2010, -38.88%) 4,822 (2009, -45.17%) 8,795 (2008)

CHINA 7,061 (2010, -22.59%) 9,122 (2009, -21.63%) 11,639 (2008)

JAPAN 960 (2010, -36.80) 1,159 (2009, -20.89%) 1,920 (2008)


Staff member
Those are significant drops. I'm really surprised by the lack of imports from Japan.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Well, are these units?

Could be a good thing - people start buying less, but more expensive instruments of presumably better quality. Means less frustrated students, teachers and repair people.

The relatively low numbers from Japan seem to support this theory...


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
GAS for getting new horns, at least.

Gandalfe, are these numbers for all saxophone pitches? Is it just for horns made and sold in the countries indicated? I'm not a member at the website you link to and it looks like I'd have to be to see the posts. The reason I ask, of course, is that if they are only tracking horns made and sold in the countries indicated, you're leaving out a LOT of stencils/house brands.

As a side note, if we're talking European manufacturers, we are talking about a LOT of brands:

* Selmer
* Orsi
* Borgani
* Inderbinen
* Eppelsheim
* Keilwerth
* Jessen
* Rampone & Cazzani
(I don't think I've forgotten anyone.)

I can say that Selmer produced, according to their last serial number charts, about 17,000 saxophones in 1992. (However, that's 18 years ago.) While Inderbinen and Jessen only produce a few horns per year, one would think that the combination of all European sax production is a little more than a blip!


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Amati, maybe?
Sorry. I often forget about them :).

Gandalfe, I'm aware of the IW bass, but not of any others from China, Taiwan or Japan (unless Yamaha's been secretly making some). Do you have access to company or model names?

In any event, I think those numbers are still exceedingly good for BASS sales. I wonder if the downturn isn't also in part due to having more choices.


Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
When I read the post on the Bass Sax Forum, I didn't get the feeling that these numbers were for bass saxes alone. I got the feeling that these were just numbers across the board for all saxes.

As far as Japanese bass sax manufacturers goes, to my knowledge, there are none.

As far as Asian sax makers from other countries goes, there are 2: Jinyin and Jinbao. Jinyin makes the vintage American style bass saxophones that are sold under a bucket full of names including the IW-602 (replacement for the 601). Jinbao on the other hand, makes the Selmer style, short-wrap bass saxophones, which are sold under a bunch of names including the IW-661.

I've done a Series on my blog about these Asian manufacturers, which some people might find interesting. Among other things, this series lists all the different names that these Asian horns are sold under. (At least the names that I've run across--and that's quite a few.) I've also got some pages on the main portion of my website on Asian bass saxophones.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
When I visited the Yanagisawa factory in 1982, they had a Selmer bass sax disassembled for measurement, but I don't think anything ever resulted.
Sales of just about everything are down. From saxophones to older homes, from cars to guitars, and so on.

It's the economy.

I know that the number of gigs I am playing is down. I still have most of the same clients and some new ones, but people are having fewer events as an effort to save money.

I just bought a new sax (Mac Sax) but only because my old one was getting too long in the tooth. If I didn't play for a living, I wouldn't have bought the new one.

And I didn't buy a Selmer or Keilwerth, but a lesser priced horn. But I have to add that I think I ended up with a great horn anyway (not just a great horn for the money, but a great horn).

I'd love to buy a new guitar, but I don't have the money and my old one works just fine. My mini-van has over 140,000 miles on it and thankfully is running just fine.

It's not that I'm not spending money, but I just have to be a little more careful about what I spend my money on and I have to think about the value I'm getting for the money.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫
This was posted on another forum. From what was possible to understand it's definitely not for bass saxophones only. It's for all saxophones. Also it's (I think) for saxophones imported into USA. 960 Japanese bass saxophones imported to USA in six months...?! :)

So then, might we assume that GAS is not as prevalent as previously supposed?
I think GAS has a relatively very small effect on buying saxophones. It seems that the cheap Chinese saxophones sell by far most, and these are usually not becaue of GAS. Anyway from what I see of people buying saxophones, GAS is almost never the reason. Almost always the reason is a student buying a student model to learn, or a student/player/etc. buying a good saxophone they want/need. It is much more rare that a saxophone player just buys another saxophone, eventhough the forum seems to be full of this. I think it's more of the nature of a type of person like this to post on forum so the impression from a forum is very different from reality.

I can say that Selmer produced, according to their last serial number charts, about 17,000 saxophones in 1992. (However, that's 18 years ago.) While Inderbinen and Jessen only produce a few horns per year, one would think that the combination of all European sax production is a little more than a blip!
If I understand the figures are for the first six months (actually a bit less) of 2010 and for imports into USA. So if Selmer (and I assume you mean Selmer Paris only) amde about 8,000 instruments in this period, that's for the entire world.
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