A wise buyer will shop for the lowest saxophone prices, of course. When shopping, however, a sax buyer will soon find out that prices for saxophones run the gamut from almost nothing for beat up old horns at yard sales to many thousands for professional quality saxophones. It takes some study to know when the prices are fair and a good bargain, and when they are overpriced and a bad deal.
One thing most experts caution the would-be sax buyer about is that they should make every effort to try the horn out first before buying it. If the buyer is a new player, or the parent of a child who is joining the school band, they should try to find a saxophonist who would be willing to try out the horn in question. Many times, saxes that are priced low are very hard to play. That goes for old second hand saxophones as well as cheap new ones. Don't be too quick to jump when you see new saxophone prices of under $300. Most experts warn that these saxes are poorly made Asian imports. They look shiny but are not worth even the low price because they are hard to play.
One reliable brand of student saxophone is Conn, whose prices start at around $1000. Conn is a respected name in band instruments. Most experts suggest it is better to buy a second hand saxophone of a respected brand name than to spend $400 or $500 on a cheap new horn. If a student enjoys playing and pursues the instrument, a better quality sax will be worth it. On the other hand, if they quit early, you will still have an instrument with good resale value. You may find that even the music store is not interested in that cheap import. And an instrument that is easy to play will increase the likelihood that a young person will stick with it.
There are student model saxophones available from reputable companies that will give you the best prices for a new player. Expect to spend over $700 for a new student level saxophone. Some brand names to look for include Selmer-Bundy, Stay away from Selman and other odd name brands that are not carried by the more reputable instrument dealers.
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