Student Alto Saxophones - Buyer's Guide – Better Sax
Student Alto Saxophones - Buyers Guide

Student Alto Saxophones – Buyer’s Guide

Student Alto Saxophones

I have recently reviewed 3 popular student alto saxophones.

There was the “Cheapest Alto Sax on Amazon,” that now has over 6 Million views. Thank you YouTube!

Then there was the review of the Jean Paul AS-400 alto saxophone.

And then of course the review of the Yamaha YAS-280 which has always been kind of the gold standard for student saxophones “Is the Yamaha YAS-280 Still the Top Student Saxophone?”

If you are shopping for a saxophone for yourself or someone else, and you don’t know anything about saxophones, I hope this review will help you determine which one of these is the best choice for you.

I’m going to rate these saxophones according to a number of criteria on a 3 star scale. At the end we will tally up the score for each instrument and find our winner.

Please keep in mind that my scoring system is for what I consider a beginner level or student instrument. So three stars is considered outstanding for an entry level instrument.

If you own any of these instruments, please comment below with your experience with it. This will be very helpful for anyone out there trying to make up their mind. I’ll be comparing the Jean Paul USA AS-400 Alto Saxophone, the Ammoon/Lade Alto Saxophone, and the Yamaha YAS-280 Alto Saxophone.


Yamaha – 3

JP – 3

Lade – 2

Sound Quality

Yamaha – 3

JP – 3

Lade – 2

Build Quality

Yamaha – 3

JP – 3

Lade – 1


Yamaha – 1

JP – 2

Lade – 1


Yamaha – 3

JP – 3

Lade – 0


Yamaha – 2

JP – 3

Lade – 2

Overall Value for Price 

Yamaha – 2

JP – 3

Lade – 2


Yamaha 19
JP 20
Lade 10

So after adding up our scores it looks like the Jean Paul AS-400 is the clear winner with 20 out of 21 possible stars. The Yamaha is a close second with 19 stars, and the Lade only got 10 stars.

Price is often the deciding factor in making a purchase, and while a Yamaha has always been a sound investment, when you consider the quality of the Jean Paul for less than half the price it’s hard to justify buying the Yamaha. If your budget is limited and you need to spend the absolute minimum, you can safely purchase the Lade alto which costs about half of the Jean-Paul. But as with anything else, a bit of savings in the beginning can often end up costing you more in the long term.

So my recommendation out of these three is the Jean Paul hands down. With the money you save, you can buy some great accessories, a top level mouthpiece, some great reeds, some private lessons, some great courses over at, and still have some money left over to go to a concert and get a Spotify subscription.

After you take a listen, let me know in the comments below what you think of these horns! Can you hear the difference between the student alto saxophones?

The BetterSax Alto Saxophone

Since reviewing all of these instruments we have partnered with Conn-Selmer to produce the Better Sax alto saxophone.

Our vision for this saxophone is to change the way we think of an entry level instrument. We want people to be able to buy this horn and not have to think they are going to need a step up instrument a few years later. The Better Sax alto sax can be your one and only main instrument no matter what level player you are.

Interested in more alto sax reviews? Check out this “Alto Sax Play-Test Review and Buyers Guide.”

Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.

About the Author

As the founder of Jay’s mission is to help developing saxophone players break away from traditional music learning methods and discover a more efficient, practical and fun way to become a Better Sax player. The BetterSax YouTube channel’s videos have been watched by millions and thousands of students have made meaningful progress on their instrument thanks to BetterSax courses.

Jay Metcalf


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 thoughts on “Student Alto Saxophones – Buyer’s Guide”

  1. I am wanting to purchase a sax to begin learning. I have watched a couple reviews of the the Jean Paul AS400 both good and bad and that sets me aback a bit. What do you think of the Conn Selmer TAS711 as opposed to the Yamaha yas280 and the Jean Paul.

  2. Looking for an alto for my son and was deciding between the JP AS400 or YAMAHA YAS280. Looking to have this through middle and high school, and maybe a little beyond. Which one would you recommend?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Play Sax by Ear
Crash Course

Start taking the play sax by ear crash course.
This 6 part video course gets delivered via email
Over a week.

Enroll for free

BetterSax Courses

Blues Foundation




Core Essentials


Pentatonic Patterns for Improvisation


Scroll to Top