Armstrong saxaphones and their quality

by eric sorenson
(coral springs florida)

I see on your website a description of Armstrong Sax and how a vintage one might be good for a beginner, which is what my son would be. However, then you indicate that some cheap Armstrong's are made in China and aren't any good. How can I tell the difference.

Also, since I'm looking for a used alto sax for my son to start band with, I have been running across several brands. Can you help give me a sense of general quality?

Yamaha 23
Bundy
Jean Baptiste
Vito LeBlanc
Sellner
Armstrong
Monique
Reynolds

Also, other than cosmetics, how relevant are scratches and dents.

email: ejt1983@gmail.com

Thanks.

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Sep 08, 2009
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Good ones
by: Blage

Yamaha's are industry standard, very good, highly recommended. Selmer Bundy 2 is what I have, they are also good. If you can find a good used one, either one would be a good buy. Yamaha's tend to be a little more expensive. Bundy's can get a little expensive if you find a good one. Good luck!

Dec 08, 2009
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Armstrong Sax
by: Shadowman

Armstrong is not a bad sax for a beginner. I would tend to stay away from the vintage or older sax for a beginner, as they sometimes do not play as well as the new horns, DEPENDING ON THE BRAND, so vintage horns are usually played by experienced players. I have been playing for over 50 tears and bought a vintage Chu Berry Con, Alto, made in 1929.
It was in perfect condition with new pads, felts and
corks. It played like crap, compared to newer horns.
glad I got it for a steal on price.
Horns made in China are not bad horns for a beginner, and many of the new "Pro" model horns are made in China and marketed under players names or brands. Some of then are pretty good actually, and are played by many pros.
I would try to stay with a newer horn ( at least 80's made ) for a beginner. E-Bay has many Conn,
Selmer Bundy and Yamaha student horns. Again, Armstrong is not bad for beginners. There are some off-brand cheap horns that are hard to get repaired because of parts availability.

Feb 15, 2011
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Quality of Armstrong sax,s
by: Anonymous

As a repairer of all woodwind instruments, my verdict on armstrong student instruments are that they seem to be made well, but have slightly warped tone holes which makes seating pads very difficult to do. Usually filing down the tone holes flat can solve this problem but there isn,t much metal to do this with. I use to play on a "Lafleur" alto sax in my younger days, and although it was a cheap horn having a very good quality mouthpiece usually makes all the difference. So i guess as long as any cheap sax is in good working order, although tuning can also be a factor here, the mouthpiece is critical in tonal quality. I don,t like that the regulation on cheaper instruments is done by corks especially when the keywork is so hard to bend to adjust. Yamaha has got it right in this department!

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