How do you pick a great saxophone from the list of tens of brands in the market?
Before choosing the best alto saxophone for students, it is imperative that we begin easy by defining what an alto saxophone is.
These are saxophones pitched to the E♭. Therefore, alto saxophones enjoy a pitch that’s slightly larger than soprano and smaller than tenor. Alto saxophones are used in various areas and functions; from military brass bands, to concert and jazz bands, or even in solo repertoires.
As a student, you should have a checklist before scouting for an alto saxophone in the market.
Here a few questions to ask out:
- What drives your intent? Is it the design of the saxophone or its output?
- Are you looking for a modern alto saxophone or you’re better off with a vintage one?
In order to make an informed choice, you will have to read through lots of alto saxophone reviews.
Here’s the top 8 best alto saxophones 2021:
One of the strongest selling points of the Yanagisawa WO20 series alto saxophone is the chic and quaint design that nearly gives it a vintage finish.
However, impressive craftsmanship is not all there is to this alto saxophone by Yanagisawa.
The saxophone comes with a moderate resistance level, which makes it ideal for those looking for something in between. Whether you are a rookie or seasoned player, this level of resistance will enable you to experiment with different tones, a flexibility that you rarely get in most alto saxophones.
It also features remarkable depth. This one of the clear reasons why this product features among some of the best alto sax out there.
- Bronze body with a lacquered brass finish for an elegant look.
- Features a detachable neck for ease of use, handling, and storage.
- The case is covered with fabric and with a wooden shell for better protection.
- Resistance is not very good, for an alto saxophone of this caliber.
If you are out looking for an alto saxophone that features aesthetics and impressive output in one package, you might consider the Yanagisawa WO20 series alto saxophone. The best part is, this alto saxophone has been designed with both beginners and seasoned players in mind.
The best thing about this alto saxophone is the fluid keyword that makes for relaxed and comfortable use.
As one of the best alto saxophones for beginners, you can use the Selmer SAS280 La Voix in various situations. This instrument comes with unparalleled intonation and smooth sounds.
It is also easy to control the tone and blend its sound with different musical aspects, thanks to the product’s traditional-sized bell.
Compared to other high-end alto saxophones, this product is also relatively affordable. All this is despite the fact that the manufacturer has also incorporated professional key styling that ensures accurate fingering.
The instrument is fairly easy to play, with a pitch that consistently staggers between the low end and the altissimo.
- Easy to play.
- Ideal for different musical occasions; from jazz to solo performances.
- You can experiment with different musical aspects.
- With the many high-quality functionalities, the saxophone comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
Price is not always a measure of quality. But with this alto saxophone, you get good value for the rather hefty price tag. Whether you are a student that prefers solo or group performances, very few alto saxophones will come close to what the Selmer SAS280 La Voix offers.
Yamaha is a household name when it comes to the manufacture of best-selling musical instruments, and it seems they have done us one better this time.
First off, the Yamaha YAS-280 student alto saxophone features a gold lacquer finish for that elegant appearance. With impressive F# as well as Front F auxiliary keys, this is yet another alto saxophone that’s ideal for different musical renditions.
The saxophone comes with a neck strap for ease of control, making it one of the best-rated instruments. The mouthpiece is beginner-friendly and the keys are ergonomic, making for effortless use.
The package includes a backpack-style luggage carrying-case, a cleaning swab, a 4C mouthpiece, and ligatures a neck strap, a cork grease, and a Rico reed 2.5 strength.
- Ergonomic keys make this alto saxophone beginner-friendly.
- The package includes lots of bonus components.
- The basic neck strap that comes with the package is not the best.
The Yamaha YAS-280 student alto saxophone does not just make for a great beginner saxophone, even expert players will love its advanced functionalities.
With lots of accessories included in the package, you won’t be making your way to the saxophone shop anytime soon with this sax.
Mendini by Cecilio MAS-L
This alto saxophone features a gold lacquer body. The keys are also in gold color. However, if gold is not your taste, you can always try out other options like blue, green, red, purple, nickel and black nickel.
The design is a large bore, ribbon construction for better grip and control while in use, making it a notable mention among the best alto sax for intermediate students. In the interest of durability and comfort, the manufacturer has included quality leather pads that also feature metal-tone boosters.
This sax guarantees the comfort of your fingers using the contoured design of the keys, a design that comes complete with mother-of-pearl inlays.
On durability, the shell case, the neck strap, and the mouthpiece feature a Pro-deluxe that is one of the perfect ways to ensure that wear and tear are kept to the minimal.
Lastly, this sax lots of bonuses in the package. Some of these include a Cecilio 92-D chromatic/string tuner, a pair of white gloves and cleaning cloths. Besides that, there’s a 1-year warranty that covers manufacturer’s defects.
- Gold finish for that regal appearance
- Designed with lots of durability features.
- It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s defect warranty.
- Has a lot of small, detachable parts which can be a choking hazard for young learners.
Ranks among the best intermediate alto saxophones, it also is clear testimony that there are budget saxophones out there that still pack the most essential sound aspects.
This is an alto saxophone that features versatility, remarkable playability and excellent functionality all in one package.
It comes with an array of notable features like professional leatherette pads which offer maximum control of the pitch and intonation. As one of the best alto saxophones for high school students, this saxophone sports a solid-yellow brass for the much-desired tonality.
The price is also fair enough, especially for beginner students. In fact, it is one of the best cheap alto saxophones out there.
The Kaizer alto saxophone packs an advanced set of premium steel springs for comfortable and seamless action. Along with the package, you will get a molded case, a piece of polishing cloth and cleaning rod, a pair of gloves, a ligature set and a lubricant for its mouthpiece.
Besides all that, there is a 45-days free trial period, just in case, it doesn’t impress you (which it will definitely). In addition to that, the manufacturer has included a lifetime warranty that covers all manufacturer’s defects.
- 45-days free trial is great in case you have a second thought.
- It features enhanced tonality, for a saxophone its kind.
- It comes with a lifetime warranty.
- The case is not waterproof, so you should always keep it dry.
The comparatively fair price of the Kaizer ASAX-1000 alto saxophone is not the only thing that makes it one of the common alto saxophones for sale. Its high tonality and ease of use, coupled with lots of accessories, also account for its popularity among students.
Here is yet another great alto saxophone by Yamaha and just like the one we reviewed earlier, the Yamaha YAS-23 is clear proof that when it comes to design quality and overall sound output, Yamaha products are still a cut above the rest.
This alto saxophone features an ergonomic design and dimension, complete with refined key shapes. The key action is remarkably smooth, making your adjustments precise and on point. The pivot screws are tapered to prevent them from abrading your hands when using the instrument.
A gold lacquer body ensures your aesthetics needs are also taken care of. But what makes this product one of the best beginner alto saxophones is excellent intonation. The plywood case guarantees the durability of the product.
- Impressive intonation for beginner students.
- Tapered screws for maximum hand protection.
- Ergonomic design for ease of use.
- Not really the best alto saxophone for the money.
Evidently, the only thing we have against this alto saxophone is its comparatively high price. The alto saxophone scores fairly high on various fronts; from design to color and even intonation. But practically speaking, there are hardly any top-rated alto saxophones that come cheap.
Jean-Paul AS-400 is another great pick when scouting for the best alto saxophones for students.
One great thing about this alto saxophone is that it is both recommended for beginner and intermediate students.
The case is contoured to allow for ease of carriage and transportation. The mouthpiece cap is plated with nickel and the resonators are made of nylon for better weatherproofing.
This alto saxophone also features a yellow brass body complete with a lacquer finish, great for those looking for some aesthetic appeal.
Accessories that come in the package include one Rico reed, a cork grease, one carrying case, a cleaning cloth, and swabs, as well as a mouthpiece.
With a fluid key work, you can seamlessly play the saxophone as the warm sound and well-balanced intonation makes for a smooth and relaxed vibe.
Surprisingly, this saxophone also happens to be one of the cheapest alto saxes on the list.
- The inclusion of a strong bell brace enhances its durability.
- Pivot keys are tapered for ease of control.
- Good value for the money.
- Fairly lightweight.
- The cleaning cloth cannot be used to clean the inside since does not come with a string.
Jean-Paul AS-400 is one of the cheap alto saxophones that does not sacrifice quality at the altar of affordability. It’s just the right alto saxophone for every student that’s pressed for choice and looking for an inexpensive saxophone.
What’s the first thing you realize about the Eastar AS-II student alto saxophone E flat? It’s definitely the intuitive design.
The alto saxophone features a blend of copper and lead-free welding green-craft. These materials do not just enhance its look, but also account for its strength and durability.
Besides that, the saxophone also features advanced leather pads that provide enhanced elasticity, not to mention the high airtightness for a well-controlled tone.
The tone quality is excellent with minimal-to-zero noise levels. As one of the highest-rated professional alto sax, you can seamlessly oscillate between low and high gamut range.
The transparent lacquered gold accounts for this saxophone’s regal appearance. The package includes a cleaning brush, a soft cloth and swab, a hard saxophone stand, cork grease, 2 shoulder straps, and a resin practice reed.
Worth noting is that the manufacturer has also included a 12-month warranty.
- Features a practical and intuitive design.
- A blend of lacquered gold and copper gives it a rustic appearance.
- A one-year manufacturer’s defect guarantee.
- Not the best student alto saxophones, price-wise.
Eastar AS-II student alto saxophone is not the most popular if you are looking for an affordable alto saxophone for students. With the well-balanced intonation and ability to experiment with different ends of the gamut range, this might just be another great alto saxophone for both beginner and intermediate students.
Choosing the best alto saxophone is no walk in the park. Before you hit the stores, you should ensure you have a great checklist. As a student, you are not only looking for a top-rated instrument that will deliver impressive intonation and overall sound output.
You are also keen on getting a less expensive instrument that does not sacrifice quality, durability and comfort needs. Thankfully, the above alto sax reviews will go a long way in helping you make an informed choice.