Armstrong saxophones can be found, but the Armstrong name is more often seen on flutes and clarinets. Some of the saxes put out by Armstrong in the past were actually made by the more prestigious sax makers at Keilworth. Some of the Armstrong alto saxophones lack a high F-sharp key. Older Armstrongs from the ‘60s are made durably and are good for using in marching bands and other high abuse situations. These are reported to be good for beginners.
Some saxophonists report older Armstrong saxophones to be made rather flimsy and not that good of instruments. Since this stands in direct opposition to what others say about Armstrongs being tough and durable, it obviously depends on the model of saxophone and the year it was made. If you are considering buying a used saxophone, it’s always a good idea to have a knowledgeable person check the horn out. It is very easy to think you are getting a good deal on a saxophone but wind up disappointed.
Armstrong is now part of the conglomerate of musical instrument names owned by Conn-Selmer, Inc., but they only continue to make flutes and piccolos. Armstrong saxophones are all vintage models at this time.
If you had your heart set on a new student model saxophone, you need to be aware that there are a lot of Asian made saxophones on the market that look like good ones but are inferior in the way they are made. If you see a shiny horn that looks like too cheap to be true, it probably is one of these and you should stay away. Vintage Armstrong saxes from the ‘60s, though, will probably be modestly price and suitable for your beginning saxophonist.
Further reading on Armstrong Saxophones.
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