The saxophone is a wonderful instrument to play and is ranked highly among its woodwind counterparts. Someone who plays the saxophone is often seen as sophisticated and with a lot of fervor; an image appropriate for playing such an impressive instrument. In total there are 9 different types of saxophones out there with the most widely used being: Alto, Soprano, Baritone and Tenor. The smooth and relaxing tone of the saxophone makes it one of the best instruments for use in genres like jazz, soul, blues and of course classical.
The best saxophone should be able to give you the best comfort, tone and response you’re looking for and the saxophone brand can have a huge effect on these properties. Today, we are going to look at five of these best saxophone brands giving you their special features along the way.
Selmer is that brand that simply cannot be missed in a list of the best saxophone brands. Its quality is almost unparalleled. Selmer is that saxophone brand that sets a bar on which other saxophones can be measured upon. The history of this great saxophone begins in the year 1885 in Paris. This was the year when the Selmer Company was found and they manufactured woodwind and brass instruments. They were especially skilled in making trumpets, clarinets and of course saxophones. The Mark VI series introduced in 1954 was perhaps their greatest installment into the wide range of saxophones they made. The model was however replaced the Mark VII in 1974 but it did not leave up to the hype and reputation of the Mark VI. As a matter of fact, Selmer is still being associated and remembered through the Mark VI series.
So aside from the fact that Selmer has a century worth of experience, what else makes it a brand you would want to buy? Well, let’s find out.
- The Selmer brand has been used by some of the greats like Marcel Mule, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Zoot Sims and Fredrick Hemke. This shows just how good of a reputation this brand has acquired over all those decades.
- Selmer saxophones bring quality, musicality and reliability to a whole new level.
- Selmer saxophones hold value as they age. To acquire an instrument that doesn’t lose value in future is always a win.
Suggested Selmer Brand Saxophone
Selmer Paris Reference 54 Tenor saxophone – This model was inspired by the 1954 design of the great Mark VI series and is simply classical in every way. With it you get a more extended bell, a dark and lacquered finish, high quality keyword and a rich sound to complement all these features. This is a great saxophone which almost any professional will treasure. It brings back the spirit of the Mark VI which we all long for.
Whether you are a musician or not, you have probably heard or seen the name Yamaha somewhere. It is impossible to miss it as they produce more than just musical instruments. There brand is all across the world. Founded in 1887 by Torakusu Yamaha, Yamaha easily ranks among some of the largest companies in the world. Despite producing a range of other products, it would be ridiculous to call Yamaha an underdog in the music world. In fact, they trace their origins to music since they began as a piano and reed manufacturer. Today they produce almost every type of musical instrument out there and saxophones is one of them.
Yamaha, like many other brands have experience on their side. Almost every Yamaha labeled instrument is synonymous with quality. They hold this reputation even in the saxophones they make. Yamaha branded saxophones have a number of great qualities. You get an incredible tonation and wonderful maneuverability. They are also known to make some very good looking horns coupled with some innovative designs here and there. The keys and fittings of Yamaha brands are known to be machined with absolute precision.
In addition to all these, you can get some of their saxophones at an affordable price which is something you don’t always find on most saxophone brands.
Suggested Yamaha Brand Saxophone
Yamaha YAS 280 Student Alto saxophone – If you are a beginner or student, then we highly recommend giving this saxophone a try. The Yamaha YAS 280 features a high-class finishing with a stylish and professional design certain to leave many in awe. It is well-built and sturdy which makes it quite durable and features an amazing pad alignment. With it also comes the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece which is of high quality. This model is easy to play, has a great response, has a brilliant tonation and is lightweight. All these features make it a suitable student model and show just why Yamaha is present among the best saxophone brands.
Yanagisawa was founded in 1896, but it wasn’t until World War II that they started manufacturing saxophones. Right now, they make a range of saxophones such as soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Yanagisawa has risen to become one of the top saxophone manufacturers in Japan along with Yamaha. They also feature among the best saxophone brands in the world. They not only limit themselves to Saxophones but also make a variety of other woodwind instruments. Whereas most brands make their saxophones mostly out of brass, Yanagisawa has gained popularity for its use of other materials such as solid silver, phosphor bronze and combinations between the materials.
Yanagisawa provide qualities which are somewhat similar to Yamaha and so you might be caught in a dilemma between the two brands. The first thing Yanagisawa gives you is a carefully and excellently crafted saxophone. The build quality is really great and therefore it is a durable brand.
Another feature is that it is light, this makes it easy for beginners and students to easily practice with them with no struggle. It is also very suitable for people out there who have smaller hands. While playing, you will notice the clear and bright sound that is produced as well as a very good projection. The Yanagisawa brand saxophone also comes with an ebonite mouthpiece of superb quality.
Suggested Yanagisawa Brand Saxophone
The Yanagisawa WO20 Series Alto Saxophone – This saxophone is a masterpiece coming from the elite models. Anyone who knows the elite models is aware of the outstanding craftsmanship that goes into making one. It is an instrument professionals will adore. With this model, you can be able to generate a tone with immense depth and flexibility. The model is also said to bring out that individual musical expression you desire. The Yanagisawa WO20 is made out of bronze and weighs 17 pounds.
The Yanagisawa WO20 Series Alto Saxophone review
The Keilworth saxophone company was developed in the year 1925. The founder was a German craftsman by the name Julius Keilwerth. By the beginning of World War II, Julius Keilwerth’s Company had become one of the biggest manufacturers of saxophones in the whole of Europe. The company’s headquarters was shifted to Nauheim in Germany after World War II ended.
There is so much that can be said about the Keilworth saxophone brand. First of all, is the distinctive design of the brand. Keiwerth tried to set his saxophones apart from other predecessors by giving them a unique design. Secondly, we have the quality. Keilworth saxophone brands have been associated with high quality since their inception. The brass used is top notch thereby making the keys stronger and not easily bent. The brand also has high quality felts and pads. The felts will not get easily flattened and the pads are less vulnerable to dust and humidity.
Last but not least, is the craftsmanship. This is something you cannot ignore in any musical instrument. The Keilworth brand does a great job in crafting there instruments. This saves you a number of problems usually associated with poorly crafted saxophones such as loose keys, corrosion and screw problems.
Suggested Keiwerth Brand Saxophone
Keilwerth SX90R saxophone – Keiwerth became known with the development of the SX series of saxophones. You can get the SX90R alto, tenor or baritone model depending on your choice. A sound characteristic of the Keiwerth brand which is present in the SX90R, is the big and spread out sound. You can get it in a number of finishes such as, black nickel, gold, shadow nickel silver as well as a vintage finish. Each of them gives a different but beautiful sound that enables you to express yourself. In addition, the model features adjustable palm key touchpieces and an amazing build quality.
When you name something after a great person, you of course expect it to be just as great and that is what P.Mauriat saxophones have done. P. Mauriat is named after an extraordinary person by the name Paul Mauriat. Born in 1925, Paul Mauriat was a talented musician. He was well-versed with the easy listening genre and a leader of the French orchestra. He became famous after making “love is blue” by Andre Popp which took the number one spot for 5 weeks in 1968.
Unfortunately, Mauriat passed away in 2006. However, he is not forgotten because a series of saxophones now bear his name which shows just how much he was loved in Taiwan, his country of origin.
Mauriat was discovered 13 years ago in Taiwan and all the P. Mauriat saxophones are actually crafted by hand from the start all up to the finish. That is something most brands cannot boast about and therefore is definitely deserves to be in the list of the best saxophone brands. P.Mauriat is a quality saxophone brand is almost every aspect. It has a stunning design and finish, the handling and mechanics are perfect and the sound is remarkable. You can say that this brand has lived up to the name of the person it is named after.
Suggested P.Mauriat Brand Saxophone
P.Mauriat PMXA-67R Professional Alto Saxophone – This model is a gem to behold. From the design to the sound, you will see just how much effort and dedication goes into making a P.Mauriat saxophone. This model features a golden lacquer finish and it looks absolutely gorgeous. There are also other finishes you can opt for such as raw brass, cognac and vintage dark. All of these produce a slightly distinct sound from one another. The rolled tone hole and enlargened bell featured on this saxophone helps to give it a breathtaking and flexible sound.
Watch James Carter talking about P.Mauriat PMXA-67R Professional Alto Saxophone
You will encounter a number of different brands out there and not all of them will live up to what they promise. Saxophones are not cheap and therefore you need to be very careful when picking one. The brands mentioned above are some of the best saxophone brands in the world. It is nearly impossible to miss them in bands, ensembles and music stores. They will definitely produce the sound you want to express each time you play.