How do you react to a type of music that does not involve rigorous and high-velocity dancing? You will agree that this is a genre of music that soothes the soul. Such music is also ideal during any time of the day. Elite musicians such as Luther Vandross, Elton Jones and others made a mark because they used the best baritone saxophone. However, the quest of finding the ideal baritone saxophone is not an easy one.
This review explores 4 top quality baritone saxophones the world has ever produced. When choosing our list, we looked at the materials used to make the saxophones, their outstanding features such as thumb rest, keys, reeds, and engravings. We also considered the instruments’ finishing quality, design, weight, and manufacturer warranty. All the four saxophones on our list have garnered top ratings in most online stores. It tells you can trust their quality whether you have just enrolled for saxophone lessons or you are a professional sax player.
Top 4 Baritone Saxophones Review 2020
To give you this information, we have spent several weeks, perhaps months, doing research. The quest to find the most authentic information has led us to many sax enthusiasts including renowned performers. With all the information on our palms, we have decided to share it with you. In the review, you will find a comparison table that will help you have a quick glance on the 4 saxophones we’ll talk about. Then, we will delve into individual saxophones highlighting features, in-depth descriptions, and their pros/cons. You will also find the various factors and features to consider before settling on a specific saxophone in our buying guide.
Allora Paris AABS-955 – Editor’s Choice
- Key: Eb to low A
- Finish: black nickel finish
- Weight: 34 lb
- Warranty: 3-year limited
More features: lacquered brass keys, bell engraved by hand, Pisoni pads, case and mouthpiece included
Allora Paris AABS-955 tops our list as the best intermediate baritone saxophones in the market today for various reasons. Among the reasons why this is so, the saxophone has a nice and candid black nickel finish. According to accomplished saxophonists, black nickel is one of the high-end metals used in designing saxophones. The material is durable.
The product is famed for its big sound, quick response, and precise intonation. These are important features that make the best saxophone to any professional musician.
We are sure you will love some of the additional features on this musical tool. Some of the additional features we observed include key adjustments, hand engraving, and the brass lacquer keys. As you may knows, these three additional features are only reserved for cutting-edge musical tools.
Measuring 45” x 18.5” x 12”, the saxophone is ideal for all users whether they are accomplished players or they are just starting to learn how to play the instrument.
Are you wondering why Allora, the manufacturer, used the black nickel on Allora Paris AABS-955? Well, there could be many reasons. However, the main reason for doing this is to help in proper voice projection.
The manufacturer has given you a 3-year limited warranty when you purchase this musical instrument.
- Powerful sound projection
- Nice engravings
- Durable and sturdy body
- Excellent intonation
- A bit too heavy
- Relatively Expensive
Yamaha YBS-62 – Best for Professionals
- Key: Eb to low A
- Finish: gold epoxy lacquer
- Weight: 40 lb
- Warranty: 5-year limited
More features: annealed bell, front F plus high F# key and low B mechanism rocker style, thumb rest is adjustable, mother-of-pearl keys, case included
Are you a professional saxophonist? Are you struggling to find the ideal saxophone for your performances? Yamaha has something for you. The company has come up with Yamaha YBS-62, a 40-lbs saxophone of its kind.
Built with annealed bell, the saxophone prides to be the best professional baritone saxophone for soft and classical music in the world. Key of Eb for instance produces the best quality baritone sound than all the saxophones we have tested.
Although we loved many of the tool’s features, what we liked most was the thumb rest feature. This is one of the greatest things saxophonists we have talked to need.
The front F key, high F #key and engraved bell are other features that stand out. Yamaha YBS-62 has another beautiful feature that you will also love its finish. In our list of four best baritone saxophones in the market, you will find out that this musical tool is coated with gold epoxy lacquer.
If you are asked to give this product overall performance mark, you will lack the right prize. For instance, the keys stretch from Eb to low A.
Professionals love Yamaha YBS-62 because among other things, the saxophone has low mechanism rocker style, comes with a durable casing, and is robust.
The instrument comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
- Beautiful and elegant design
- Nice casing
- Easy to play
- Elaborate keys
- Robust bodywork
- Hard to use for starters
Selmer BS500 – Best for Students
- Key: Eb to low A
- Finish: gold lacquer
- Weight: 31 lb
- Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: high F, double braces, low B and C keys, hard case with wheels included, reinforced table key arch, adjustable thumb rest
If you are learning how to play a saxophone, the Selmer BS500 is the best student baritone saxophone. This sax is light thus anybody can carry it for a long time during practice sessions.
In terms of sound, the saxophone has the ability to produce low to high sound with its Eb to low A keys. It is finished with a gold lacquer look, something that makes the instrument shine for a lifetime.
For easy transportation, the saxophone comes with a casing. The good thing about the casing is it is fitted with wheels. Think about this for a minute! The casing is fitted with wheels thus you are not forced to carry the whole weight of 31 lbs on your shoulder or on your back. In addition, the casing is a nice safe for the saxophone because the interior is filled with nice suede, a soft fabric for your instrument to rest in.
We also love the fact that the manufacturer has decided to include a thumb rest on this instrument. The thumb rest can be adjusted to fit your preferred point of rest. Besides, the product comes with a reinforced table key arch.
Other keys you will enjoy on this instrument include low B, low C, and double braces among other low and high tone keys, which make this instrument distinct from other saxophones.
The saxophone measures 47” x 13” x 19.5”, weighs 38 lbs, and comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty that covers a few things.
- Easy to transport
- Easy and quick storage
- Shiny gold finish
- Raised keys provide stability
- The shinning may fade with time
- Does not produce perfect baritone sound
Stagg Levante LV-BS4105 – Budget Pick
- Key: Eb to A
- Finish: clear lacquer
- Weight: 27 lb
- Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: high F#, case included, leather pads with resonators, adjustable thumb rest, mouthpiece and reeds included
So far, this is our budget pick sax. Perhaps you have seen that most saxophones go for as much as $7000 or even more. With Levante LV-BS4105, you can get it at a pocket-friendly price. In fact, this is the best beginner baritone saxophone for anyone that is interested in playing the sax.
When it comes to sound quality, features, and look, Levante is among the few saxophones in the market that users praise. Most professionals we agree to have practiced with this instrument when they were starting out or still have a piece in their homes.
The baritone saxophone has A key and F# keys among others. Clear gold lacquer has been used to give the musical instrument an excellent finish.
To allow you carry, transport, and store the saxophone, the manufacturer has included a casing. The casing is nicely done with exterior corners reinforced with metallic endings to enhance durability. Besides, when transporting and storing the instrument, Levante, the maker of this saxophone ensures no water can penetrate then casing to reach the saxophone.
The saxophone comes with leather pads and an adjustable thumb rest to ensure your comfort when exercising or performing on stage. A mouthpiece and reeds for your comfort are also included.
Levante LV-BS4105 baritone saxophone weighs 27 lbs, one of the lightest in the market and comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Elegant look
- Nice clear finish
- Not very good sound
Before you finally decide on which baritone saxophone you are going to buy, you need to think of a few yet important considerations. Some of the things you will find on this section are normal for obvious reasons. However, there are others you have never heard but play a major role in your decision on choosing the ideal saxophone. Let’s look at some of the features you need to consider before spending your hard-earned money.
How does a perfect baritone sax sound?
To know how a perfect baritone sax sounds, you must first know what baritone sound is. For learners, this might be a challenge. However, for professional saxophonists, it is simple to tell how a perfect sax sound.
A perfect sax is not too high or too low. Remember a baritone sax carries the word ‘baritone’, a sound or voice traditionally produced by male artists. The voice is neither so high nor is it too low. It comes in between bass and tenor. From this simple explanation, it is prudent to say a baritone sax should be of moderate sound that is not high in pitch and so low in terms of bass.
The amount you have in your pocket or what your credit card reads is what will mostly determine which saxophone you purchase. Most of the baritone saxophones we have reviewed above do not come cheap. If you live outside the U.S, it is even more expensive because of the shipping fees. Nonetheless, we find that the Levante LV-BS4105 is cheaper. This is our budget pick sax.
Choose the best baritone saxophone by the following features
Are you struggling to decide which best baritone sax you are going to purchase? If you are torn between several options, we want to make it easier for you. This section not only mentions some of the outstanding features you need to look at before your buy the sax but also explain in detail how each feature will affect your search. We will also give our unbiased recommendation based on the in-depth research we have carried.
Material and finish
Have you realized that most saxophones on our list are made from high-quality material? Is this by chance? Well, most of the best saxophones in the market are made from yellow brass with a lacquer finish. This does not, however, mean that there aren’t other options. High-end baritone saxes have some sterling, copper, bronze or even silver finish on their necks and bells.
All the baritone saxophones on our list are made from high-quality metal and coated with either gold or nickel. Yamaha YBS-62 for instance, comes with an elegant gold epoxy lacquer finish. This in itself explains why most professional saxophonists prefer spending their money on the baritone sax. Choose a baritone sax with the perfect finish but remember that you have a lot of options.
Body construction and design
A good baritone sax, should be well constructed, allowing each feature to be at its right place. Robust construction ensures sturdiness, durability, and comfort when using the sax. The two types of body construction is the ribbed and non-ribbed. With the former, the posts are attached to the horn with the use of ‘ribs’ and they are mostly used by intermediate and professional player. Non-ribbed saxophones do not use ribs to attach the horn to the post. They are affordable and lightweight although you will have to use more strength when playing.
From the general body construction to design, we are sure you will agree that Allora Paris AABS-955 is well built. The 34-lb baritone sax looks elegant. Whether you are viewing it online or shopping at a brick and mortar store, the sax has a decent look.
The number of reeds contribute over 90% of the sound projected by a saxophone. A sax with a higher number of reeds tends to produce different sweet sounds. It also gives the player the liberty to leverage on the different sounds to entertain his/her fans. On this, we strongly recommend Yamaha YBS-62. The sax comes with among other things, front F plus high F# key, low B mechanism rocker style, and mother-of-pearl keys.
Keys and key placement is another point of consideration. A good sax will provide a variety of keys. Remember keys help to produce different sounds and offer the ideal intonation befitting a specific setting. On this, we choose two baritone saxophones from our list: Yamaha YBS-62 and Allora Paris AABS-955. Although these two musical instruments come with Eb to low A, high F#, and low B as well as low C keys, they also come with exceptional keys such as front F and mother-of-pearl.
Do you find yourself carrying your sax when you are traveling to perform or to enjoy yourself when on vacation? You need to consider the weight. We must agree that most of the high-end baritone saxophones are relatively heavy.
However, you can find a lightweight sax that will not give you a hard time carrying, transporting and storing it. Levante LV-BS4105 comes in as the lightest baritone sax on our list. We chose this sax because it weighs 27 lbs. In addition, the sax comes with a nicely-done casing that allows for easy packaging, transportation, and storage.
As the name suggests, the instrument should only project a baritone voice. When buying the sax, ensure it produces the desired sound. To help you ascertain the right mouthpiece quality, look at sax that has a size-able mouthpiece, which allows you to cover the entire vent with your mouth. On the other hand, do not go for a sax that has an extremely wide mouthpiece because you need to cover the mouthpiece using your lips.
A big bell is key. To project the sweet baritone sound, the sax bell should be big enough. In most cases, if you go for a sax that has small circumference, you will not attain the desired baritone sound. Apart from its long list of quality features, Allora Paris AABS-955, which measures 45” x 18.5” x 12”, offers you the right bell size. For this reason, most professional sax players choose this tool when entertaining their fans.
While what you need is a saxophone, you need to care about what the manufacturer is giving as additional accessories. Modern baritone saxophones come with leather pads, resonators, and casing that is fitted with extra-large wheels. Various accessories help in the easy carrying and storage of the sax. If you are worried how you will be transporting your sax, get the, Levante LV-BS4105 or the Yamaha YBS-62.
Think of lacquered brass keys, engraved bell and sax body when you are looking for elegance. Some saxophones come with detachable mouthpieces and other parts, which to many see as accessories.
This is a great thing. For you to leverage on the manufacturer’s services, if any, you need to look for a sax that comes with a longer warranty. From our observation, most saxophones come with 12 months limited warranty. However, when we take a closer look, you find out that Yamaha YBS-62 has a 5-year manufacturer warranty. Although the warranty is limited, according to the manufacturer, it will help if the baritone sax develops a problem before it reaches you. The warranty also serves you for 5 years from the day you purchase the sax.
Thorough guide for baritone sax beginner players
If you are a beginner, or are planning to start lessons to play sax, it might be a challenge to do things perfectly. Nonetheless, you are not alone. First, you need to understand that professionals started the same way you have started. Go for a lighter baritone saxophone such as Levante LV-BS4105. You might also consider practicing on Selmer BS500. This is our choice for students.
The sax is not complicated. The keys are raised and it comes with an adjustable thumb rest, which enables you to enjoy your lessons with ease. We also advise that you use one song or sound for a long time. Do not try to master several sounds or practice on different songs. The more you practice on a particular sound the easier it will be to master other songs. Soon, you will be a pro. The following video will help you start:
If there is an authorized baritone saxophone shop across the street, you can get your sax from the store. The advantage is you can test the sax. However, truth be told: there are very few saxophone brick and mortar shops, so the price is way too high. Because of this, you should purchase your baritone sax online. There are many advantages to this. First, you get a variety of products and comprehensive information or reviews about each. You also have more time to decide and you will not be coerced by a pushy salesman. And the variety of sales and options gives you a chance to save some money.
No! Learning how to play baritone sax is not hard like the soprano saxophone. It is just like any other saxophone. The sax is already designed to produce the baritone sound and all you have to learn is how to use the sax.
Absolutely! Having a bari sax on your concert is a good thing. Just like how a bass and solo guitars create a nice concert, a bari sax adds flavor to bass sax and any other saxophones.
To this end, you now know that it is absolutely possible to master the bari sax if you have the urge to play one. Our top choice for the best baritone saxophone is the Allora Paris. We loved it for its perfect black nickel finish, quick response and precise intonation.
The second choice is the Yamaha YBS-62, which has a great thumb rest feature and produces amazing sounds.
Our budget pick is the Levante LV-BS4105 that is ideal for beginners. Despite being affordable, the saxophone offers some quality music and comes with various accessories.
When choosing your ideal bari sax, concentrate on the features, material, weight and of course look at your budget. You will definitely find your preferred baritone saxophone.