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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000112.txt from 2005/12

From: Roger Hewitt <>
Subj: Re: [kl] clarinetists who go over to the dark side and get a soprano sax :-)
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 17:03:40 -0500


To answer your questions (sorry about taking a while to respond ...)

It is stamped "MJB Instruments". A friend of mine (who plays clarinet
and saxes in the same military/concert band) has a friend who has
started importing these chinese saxes. He tries them out for the
importer and reports that some of them are terrible, some ok, and some
very good. The importer then rings up China and reports the no-goods
and gets a refund - apparently without having to return them, so they
now have several "spares" instruments. They are cheap. I once played
a tenor sax (about 8 years ago for a gig) and decided I wasn't really a
sax player, but the soprano always appealed. So when these instruments
became available at such **really** low prices my partner (a flautist)
and I decided to buy one each. I have a straight, she has a curly.
Several other band members have bought them too.

I cannot comment from personal experience on the tuning, but the
accomplished saxophonists who have them say they are good (but bad
tuning is what classified some of them as useless, so the build quality
is obviously not consistent!). Also the ligature does not work
properly (sits far too high) and the mouthpiece is described as "pretty
useless" by those in the know, but a few pounds more will cure that
easily enough. I have a fair bit of work to do before I could put
forward my own opinions!

We are planning to form a new sax quartet (SATB) in which I will play
sopr so I expect to be able to do quite a bit of playing. I do not
plan to use sax in place of clarinet (ugh! sacrilegious suggestion!),
but just may consider covering an oboe part on it - the transposition
is no problem, but the purists will complain.

But, at 225 GBP (399 USD, 332 euro), I think it a fairly cheap way of
finding out whether it's a mistake!

Anyway, that is my story ...

Roger H

--- Gary Smith <> wrote:

> I don't have anything to say, I just thought I'd demonstrate proper
> trimming and the ability to change the subject line.*
> No, seriously, I was wondering -- I have seen so many soprano saxes
> in
> the hands of non-clarinetist sax players who were trying to cover
> clarinet parts that I'm honestly wondering - how often does one
> encounter honest-to-goodness soprano sax parts in their respective
> gigging as a clarinetists or clarinet/sax player? I've been thinking
> back and while I play alto, tenor, and sometimes bari sax, I don't
> know that I've ever been asked to play sop. sax, nor have I been
> given
> a sop. sax part and asked to cover it on clarinet.
> Not trying to diss the instrument or those who love it and/or play it
> a lot - just wondering what kind of jobs people are doing where they
> use it.
> Also, Roger, what kind did you get and how do you find the intonation
> compared to clarinets and/or bigger saxes you may have played?
> On 12/12/05, Roger Hewitt <> wrote:>
> > Roger H
> > (UK)
> > ps I've just bought a soprano sax, so I suppose I'll need to start
> > reading the sax comments now.
> *I realize some people will still take me to task for putting my
> reply
> OVER the original. So to throw them a bone, I've put this footnote at
> the very bottom.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
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