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6 Saxophone Brands To Avoid & Why

The Smooth tone from the sophisticated and impressive saxophone instrument has made it very famous among the horns family. The saxophone is the best when you seek the most suitable musical instrument for music genres like blues, jazz, soul, and classical. However, the satisfaction derived from a musical instrument outside the player’s ability depends mainly on the instrument’s functionality.

Saxophone Brands To Avoid & Why

A substandard quality or cheap musical instrument can be highly frustrating to beginners and instrumentalists at all levels. Cheap musical instruments often don’t play at all or don’t play adequately, and they fall apart quickly. Hence, the reason you have to shop for a quality musical instrument.

Some of the brands of saxophone to steer clear of include 

  • Schill  
  • Monique  
  • Helmke  
  • German Engineering  
  • French Engineering  
  • Saxophone Brands from China

While some popular and trustworthy saxophone brands you can buy include

  • Selmer  
  • Yamaha  
  • Yanagisawa  
  • Keilwerth  
  • P Mauriat  

Worst Saxophone Brands To Avoid

1. The Schill Saxophone Brand

Top on our list of the worst saxophone to avoid is the Schill saxophone brands. Not even a beginner is advised to play on this sax not to be discouraged and give up on music. A quality musical instrument like a saxophone is not cheap, so the price of the Schill alone should sound a warning bell to buyers. Schill is a cheaply made-in-China musical instrument with inferior quality. 

It features so many inferior qualities like a weak metal body, fake leather pads, rough and imperfect tone holes, keys are a white metal alloy, etc. The keys are soft metal which is not a good quality as they break very easily. The sax pads are made of a very soft material looking more like plastic than the genuine leather and have this spongy feel. 

The intonation of this saxophone is also bad: while some notes may sound perfectly in tune, other notes sound flat or sharp. From most of the reviews gathered, the Schill saxophones have in no way meet the quality standards that players expect.  We will in no way recommend the Schill saxophone brands for beginners that want to go a long way with the saxophone.

2. Monique Saxophone Brands

Though the Monique saxophone brands are very affordable, the tone isn’t comparable with others. The body quality is excellent, the keys and the pads are also functioning correctly; however, if the tune of an instrument is dull, it’s not worth it. Sounds from a musical instrument are to be pleasant to listeners’ ears and not just about the body of the instrument. 

A player once said that the intonation of the Monique Saxophone brands reveals the price. This can be taken to say that the sound of the saxophone is cheap or inferior. The harsh response and the inconsistent intonation is the main reason the Monique saxophone brand has made our list of brands to avoid when shopping. 

3. Helmke Saxophone Brands

Helmke Saxophone brands like Monique and the Schill made our list because of the poor quality of the brand. As earlier mentioned, cheap musical instruments often don’t play at all or don’t play adequately, and they fall apart quickly. This is the case of the Helmke Saxophone Brand because they have a poor reputation for quality. 

Some people bought the musical instrument out of curiosity from our reviews, while others fell for the too-good-to-be-true price of the musical instrument. Some even fell for the shiny look of the instrument, forgetting that not all that glitters are gold. Some players say the Helmke Saxophone Brand is a piece of junk. 

Hence, we recommend you keep off this brand when shopping for a Saxophone. 

4. German Engineering Saxophone Brands

We recommend you keep away from saxophones with the German Engineering stamp on them. The reputation of the German Engineering Saxophone Brands is inferior. They have failed mechanisms, and their parts are hard to get around, plus intonation is lacking.

While some of the brands produce poor intonations, some will not play all the notes. The craftsmanship of this musical instrument is nothing to write home about, so we advise you don’t buy it. Interestingly we found some respectable technicians refusing to work on the instrument. 

5. French Engineering Saxophone Brands

The French Engineering Saxophone Brands are just in the same boat as the German Engineering Saxophone Brands. On seeing French as part of the same plus the fact that it is very cheap, people fall for them. The craftsmanship and intonation of this musical instrument are inferior and won’t give you the desired result even as a beginner or pro. 

6. Saxophone Brands From China

To wrap up our list of worst saxophones to avoid is Saxophone brands from China. We recommend that you keep away from brands with unfamiliar names and too-good-to-be-true prices from China. Note that this is not to say there are no reliable and trustworthy manufacturers with great brands in China.

 It’s just that these reliable brands are way outnumbered by the substandard producers hence the reason we ask buyers to avoid them. They are no better than a piece of art you want to hang on your room wall and stare at. If you want a functional musical instrument, stay off Saxophone brands from China.

What Are The Best Saxophone Brands?

The choice of the best saxophone brands to go for depends mainly on the level you belong to. There are different types of saxophones for different levels, either for students, intermediates, or experts. Just as the saxophones types vary, their prices also vary from beginners to professional saxophones.

The Selmer Bundy, Yamaha 23, Vito, King 613, Cleveland, and Chateau are top student saxophones that can be considered. Any of the mentioned Saxophones brands would make a perfect start for a beginner looking at going to the next level with this musical instrument. We recommend you go with an expert or your teacher whenever you want to buy a saxophone as a student. 

 When looking at getting a professional brand of a saxophone, note that you are making a substantial financial investment in the musical instrument. This is because they are worth their weight in gold, and you will get the worth of your money. There is also a wide range to pick from, from new to used, and at a different price range. 

We expect that a pro will know his or her way around the musical instrument and the one best preferred. Preference differs among instrumentalist as some prefer some horns to other. Nonetheless, below are some lists of the best saxophones brands that both students and experts can trust. 

1. Selmer Saxophone Brands

The Selmer saxophone brands have dominated the professional musical instrument market for 60 years and counting. The premium quality of the Selmer saxophone brands has made them very famous and almost incomparable. They are renowned for their professionalism in the production of saxophones, trumpets, and clarinets.

The Mark VI series manufactured in 1954 is one of their most incredible models in the saxophone world. This series had, however, been replaced by many other fantastic saxophones from Selmer. The extended years of experience of the Selmer brand can be seen on all of their saxophone models with no diminishing values. 

If you are looking at getting a Selmer saxophone, we recommend the Selmer Paris Reference 54 Tenor saxophone. 

Reasons to purchase the Selmer saxophone brands

  1. Selmer saxophones bring musicality, premium quality, and reliability together in one musical instrument.
  2. The Selmer brands is a preferred brand by greats musicians like Charlie Parker, Marcel Mule, John Coltrane, and Zoot Sims
  3. Selmer saxophone brand has maintained a good reputation for decades.
  4. The value of the Selmer has remained the same without diminishing.  
  5. Though the price is high, you get the worth for your money.

2. Yamaha Saxophone Brands

The Yamaha saxophone brands are loved by instrumentalists at all levels worldwide. The Yamaha is a household name with one or two of its products in virtually every home. When you are talking about consistency in functionality and intonation, you refer to the Yamaha saxophone brands. 

Their saxophones have a very high level of consistency compared to many other brands you find around. The Yamaha saxophone brands feature several great Premium qualities like incredible maneuverability and intonation. Also, the innovative design of their excellent-looking horns is very adorable. 

The keys and fittings of the musical instrument are made with absolute precision. Are you a student looking at getting a saxophone? We recommend the Yamaha YAS 280 Student Alto saxophone.

Reasons to purchase the Yamaha Saxophone Brand

  1. Made with premium quality
  2. Awesome maneuverability and intonation
  3. Keys and fittings made with absolute precision
  4. Their horns feature great innovative designs. 

3. Yanagisawa Saxophone Brands

The Yanagisawa saxophone brands are powerful and top-quality musical instruments as well. Their ranges of soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones compete for shoulder to shoulder with the Yamaha brands in terms of quality and durability. They come with an ebonite mouthpiece of top quality; you don’t have to spend extra cash shopping for a perfect mouthpiece.

The 991 models of the Yanagisawa brand are one of their top professional horns. The horns are very consistent with great functionality and unbeatable intonation. The 901 models are awesome for intermediate-level horns but with significant actions like many professional horns. 

The Yanagisawa WO20 series is a perfect horn for professionals; it is made with bronze and weighs 17 pounds. The Yanagisawa saxophone brands are expensive too, but their brands are worth the price of each musical instrument. The careful and excellent craftsmanship plus the durability of these musical instruments stand them out among many other brands.

 If you are looking at buying one, we recommend the Yanagisawa WO20 Series Alto Saxophone.

Reasons to purchase the Yanagisawa Saxophone Brand

  1. It is very durable with excellent craftsmanship
  2. Top premium body quality
  3. Produces very clear and bright sound
  4. It has a very great projection
  5. It comes with an ebonite mouthpiece of superb quality.

4. Keilwerth Saxophone Brands 

Keilwerth saxophones Brands are unique musical instruments among their peers in the world of sax. One would observe that almost all other saxophone manufacturers have fashioned their horns to look like the vintage Selmers. However, the Keilwerth brands offered a great alternative to the status quo. 

The Keilwerth brand has been known for its quality right from the inception of its production. The instrument’s craftsmanship is top-notch, the keys are solid and not easily bent, plus the pads and felts are of high quality. The pads are not so prone to dust and humidity and the felts don’t get easily flattened. 

They have fantastic Saxophones like the SX-90R Saxophones with a great feel, huge sound, and excellent intonation. The consistency level of the Keilwerth Saxophone brands is very high. 

Reasons to purchase the Keilwerth Saxophone Brand

  1. The Keilwerth Saxophone Brand has a very distinctive design
  2. Top-quality with premium craftsmanship
  3. They are very easy to play
  4. They have consistent intonation

5. P Mauriat Saxophone Brands

P Mauriat Saxophone brand is a new saxophone brand compared to the earlier mentioned but known for producing top-quality saxophones. They are based in Taiwan but very different from other manufactures based in the same place. Their Saxophones are top quality and are hand-assembled. 

The P Mauriat Saxophone brands have a great feel and a solid and consistent intonation. The mechanics, handling, and sound are perfect and remarkable. They are also pocket-friendly compared to the other famous saxophone manufacturers around with the same quality of saxophone.

Reasons to purchase the P Mauriat Saxophone Brand

  1. Handcrafted with quality material from start to finish
  2. Consistent Intonation
  3. Very affordable saxophone


The marketplace has been flooded with different kinds and brands of Saxophones that you can barely tell the good from the bad. But honestly speaking, a quality saxophone is not cheap and worth all the financial investment you may want to give to it.

This article has highlighted some worst Sax to keep away from as well as some great ones. So if you can’t afford a very expensive Sax like the Selmer, make the best decision with the amount you have as much as possible.