People are tempted to buy cheap saxophones because the good ones are quite expensive for most people’s budgets. However, when you choose a saxophone from the lower end of the spectrum, you might be disappointed in what you get. Here are some of the drawbacks of buying a less expensive model.
For one thing, cheaper saxophones are harder to play, particularly if you are trying to make them sound really good. Because they are not crafted carefully, the finer details in design are ignored. Also, because they lack the hard steel bearings and fine leather used in professional quality horns, the cheaper models don’t last as long and have to be repaired more often. They also tend to be more affected by humidity and temperature changes than more expensive saxophones.
In spite of all the negatives, there is one case in which buying cheap saxes makes sense, and that is when you’re buying one for a child to learn to play. Kids tend to be pretty hard on instruments so you don’t probably want to spend thousands on an instrument for them. A saxophone is going to cost several hundreds even for the cheapest version.
Fortunately, most schools (and some music stores) have instrument rental programs that will bring saxophone playing into the budget for most families. By the time a youngster has proven that they are serious about playing the sax, paying for a more expensive horn will seem more reasonable. So to sum it up, cheap saxes are suitable for kids, but probably not the very best choice for adults who want to learn to play.
Further reading on buying cheap saxophones.
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