Pros and Cons of buying a new saxophone or a second hand one
A big question which is often asked is “should I buy a brand new saxophone or a second hand saxophone?
Well there are many factors to consider when deciding on this question….
Pros of buying a new saxophone
- You can be assured that the saxophone will have no faults. Often new saxophones will come with a warranty so if anything does go wrong, you can soon get this fixed. You have peace of mind that your saxophone is ready to play and has absolutely no wear or tear.
- New saxophones have a strong physiological effect, especially with young beginner players where looks are very important rather than sound.
Cons of buying a new saxophone
- You do not get the same value for money as buying a second hand saxophone in good condition. New saxophones can cost up to 10 times as much as second hand ones.
- Despite being a new saxophone, each individual one is different and may require some setting up by a professional to make it perform well.
- Mass production of saxophones has led to to the manufacturing process losing some of the artistic nature which was dominant in vintage saxophone’s where each one was hand made and different from another saxophone which is the exact same model. This also means that some quality is lost as there is a lack of craftsmanship when producing saxophone’s in mass.
Pros of buying a second hand saxophone
- Buying a second hand saxophone is the most cost effective option. You can get a considerably better vintage saxophone at a much lower price than purchasing a brand new saxophone from a music store.
- The quality of second hand vintage saxophone’s is far better than new saxophone’s.
Cons of buying a second hand saxophone
- The condition of used saxophone’s can be hard to judge. On the outside the saxophone may look fine but there could be all kinds of problems such as worn pads (causing the air to leak) and rod/key damage.
- The saxophone could be stolen. Some possible warning signs for stolen horns are:
- Filed down or missing serial number
- A case that has a school’s name painted on the outside
- Unrealistically low price for condition and model (especially Selmer!!)
- Strange behavior by the selling party
- Someone who is not a sax player selling a pro horn that looks recently played
- Someone who knows nothing about saxophones or the sax they have
- Someone who will only show the sax outside their home or business
- Someone who is too anxious to sell the horn
My advice would be to only deal with reputable saxophone dealers who you can trust. Often saxophone shops who sell used saxophone’s will look over the saxophone and correct any faults before they sell them. This means you will be buying a ready to play horn for a great price compared to buying a brand new one.
Thinking of learning the saxophone? Click on the image below to find out more……
New Saxophone or second hand?