If you run across a Monique saxophone in your instrument shopping, have you found a good sax, or will it be a lemon? Apparently, it depends. Monique is a Taiwanese brand that is usually better than the cheap Indian and Chinese brands, but tends to vary in quality from one horn to the next. And while some buyers report problems with felts, pads, and cheap construction, many report that they love the sound of the Monique.
Monique, then, is not one of the cheap brands to be avoided, but neither is it one of the more reliable and reputable brands.Unlike the cheap brands that look great but can hardly be played, the Moniques actually sound good in many cases. They just seem to be a bit inconsistent in quality.
It's been suggested that a newer Monique saxophone may be of higher quality than the ones that are a few years older. Another suggestion is that the name is used by different manufacturers, which would explain the inconsistency in workmanship.
With a little research, you should be able to find a used Yamaha or other good brand for under $1000. Most experienced saxophonists would consider that to be a better risk than buying a Monique that you cannot see before purchasing. On the other hand, if you can check the Monique out, there's a fair chance you are getting a decent sounding saxophone.
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