This Sax is Better
Today I’m very excited to officially announce to you the release of the BetterSax alto saxophone.
After reviewing many low cost alto saxophone options available I realized that the saxophone world really needed an affordable instrument that was also reliable, and desirable.
It’s not enough to just be able to purchase an instrument that works. We want an instrument that also sounds great, feels like a professional horn, and doesn’t look like it’s low cost. We want an instrument developed and designed by saxophone players and educators that’s also built and backed by a brand we trust.
A Unique Partnership with Conn Selmer
So, in partnership with Conn-Selmer the leading manufacturer of wind instruments we have developed the brand new Better Sax alto saxophone. Today, I’m going to tell you all about it.
The Price of the BetterSax Alto Saxophone
We set out to create a great instrument with an accessible price tag. The BetterSax alto saxophone can be found at Sweetwater.com the exclusive dealer for US customers or Sax.co.uk for all other customers.
Please check the price at one of those great dealers depending on where you live.
This is an instrument that I could count on to play on any gig or recording session. And you’re going to see and hear me playing on it right now, and in lots of my YouTube videos going forward.
Just because you see me playing on fancy expensive saxophones all the time, don’t get the wrong idea. You don’t actually need an instrument that costs several thousand dollars to sound good.
Let’s have a good close look at this horn.
As performers our instrument is part of our visual presentation. I wanted to make a saxophone that not only sounded like a pro horn, but looked like one as well. We went with a darker colored gold lacquer to evoke a more vintage vibe. The underslung octave key is inspired by the great legendary King saxophones as well as modern, elite Yanagisawas.
On the bell and bow of the Better Sax, there is subtle hand engraving in the classic style.
Then we have the BetterSax logo stamped on the bell and you can see beneath that “by Bundy.”
The name Bundy goes all the way back to the very beginning of the Selmer company’s roots in manufacturing instruments in America. My very first saxophone was a Bundy II from the 1970s. If you are my age or a little older, there’s a good chance you started on one of those.
The BetterSax is part of a relaunch of the Bundy instrument brand by Conn-Selmer.
Where it’s Made
This saxophone is made in China. While some companies would prefer to try and hide that fact, there is absolutely no reason for me to do so.
China produces a lot of things. Some of those things are marvels of what is possible today, like my iPhone. The reality today is that in China you can get a quality product manufactured to your exact specifications. The Better Sax is being built at a Conn-Selmer Associate Manufacturing facility under strict supervision from expert Conn-Selmer agents.
Each and every instrument is carefully checked throughout the manufacturing process and then receives a final inspection before being shipped to the Conn-Selmer factory in Elkhart, Indiana.
Upon arrival at the Conn-Selmer Woodwind Factory each Better Sax alto saxophone gets checked, setup and play tested by qualified saxophone technicians. They ensure that each instrument plays perfectly right out of the case.
Since Conn-Selmer is producing so many instruments they have the capacity and the expertise to do this process which is often a feature reserved for instruments costing much more.
Now let’s go over in detail some of the technical specifications of the Better Sax.
The bore is based on a top professional saxophone design which is a favorite of mine so it has a rich, focused sound with fantastic intonation.
The original model of the Better Sax alto (EAS111) did not have the high F# key. We have since added this key to the design and now the EAS112 model Better Sax has the high F# key.
This combined with the post to body construction results in a lighter horn with a lively and less resistant response.
I think this is especially appropriate for anyone starting out or developing their sound on the saxophone where you‘re going to want a horn that is very free blowing and easy to play like this one.
We have blue steel springs the same as you get on professional model horns and Pisoni metal resonator pads.
If you’ve seen any of my videos on saxophone maintenance you know that a good quality case is very important to me, so the Better Sax comes with a great lightweight case that offers outstanding protection and is easy to get around.
The Better Sax of course comes with a standard kit of accessories so you can get started playing right away. There’s a basic student mouthpiece, a ligature and cap, neckstrap, cork grease and a polishing cloth.
Everyone who purchases the Better Sax will also get access to some exclusive video content from me to help you get the most out of your new instrument starting the moment you open the case.
How the BetterSax Alto Saxophone Plays
Now for how the Better Sax plays. You’ve heard me playing the instrument throughout this video and if you’ve been watching my channel over the years you’ve heard me play on a lot of different gear setups.
You also know I’m a saxophone technician and teacher and I want every saxophone player to have a great instrument to work with.
One that is easy to play, has a beautiful tone, good intonation, comfortable ergonomics and a reliable and tight mechanism. I would never recommend anything less to anyone.
My reputation is very important to me as is the trust of my audience.
So keep all that in mind when I tell you this horn plays great.
It’s fun to play, it’s easy to play, it feels good in my hands.
At the time I’m filming this video we are just beginning to take orders. So if you buy one, please come back and comment here to tell everyone your experience with it.
My vision for this saxophone is to change the way we think of an entry level instrument. I 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. If your budget is under $1000 this can be your one and only main instrument no matter what level player you are.
I’m going to be using this horn a lot here on my YouTube channel so there will be plenty of opportunites to see and hear it going forward.
I’m so thrilled to finally be able to share the culmination of this long project with you, and I’m wishing all the best music and enjoyment to everyone who plays on it.
Once you order and receive your saxophone, please let us know what you think in the comments below!
Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.
50 thoughts on “The BetterSax Alto Saxophone”
I can not order de betersax alt for my home in the Netherlands. When I have written all information and my creditcard number, and I click on the button “complete order”, there is no progression for payment.
Frans, Thanks for your interest in the Better Sax. I’m so glad you would like to get one for yourself. We are not yet shipping to the EU, but this is planned for later on in 2021.
I’ve been playing sax for 50 years, mostly tenor, but wanted a step up alto. And this one nails it. I have owned and played from beginner to pro level horns. From Yamaha, Conn, to Keilworth to Yanagisawa to Selmer MK6 and 7, plus some of the newer brands. This is a great horn, especially for the money. I was looking at the Yanagasawa, but this just a hobby for me and the money or ROI wasn’t there. The key is to get a good working instrument and spend money on the mouthpiece. I like the Dukoff ones with the step baffle. I have other even more expensive ones, but for tenor and alto, these work the best for me. And as Jay says, practice, practice, and practice. Long notes, overtones and scales will give you muscle memory in not just your hands but embouchure so you aren’t just pushing buttons to play a note.
Larry, Great to hear this feedback from you and happy that you are loving the horn!
Your enthusiasm, professionalism and honesty means that whatever you put your name to will be as good as you can make it. So I’m changing my plans on purchasing a tenor so that I can get your design later this year if all goes well with the world.
Aged 66, I started in Sept 2020 on a rented alto, moved to rented tenor Christmas Eve and it felt so right. You know that feeling – deep down you just know. So come May I was going to push the boat out and stump up the £1500 I reckoned I needed for a quality student instrument. Then your alto sailed into view! With the promise of a tenor to follow!! Sacre bleu! as your neighbours would say!
The only fly in the ointment is that I live in London UK – but I just read you plan to distribute in the EU later this year (OMG Brexit – but I hope you will be kind to us Brits).
Your videos are fun and informative, and your quality body of work stands first among equals. Let’s support each other in this present weary world and hope for jazz to reinvent itself and once again lead the way, encouraging freedom of expression and freedom of the mind.
Thanks for the kind words. I don’t like to talk things up too much, but if people that buy the alto like it as much as I expect they will, there will be a strong demand for a tenor.
Hey Jay, happy new year! You rock! I’ve been a guitarist for 30 years and finally decided to try out the saxophone (always loved the sound). I went with a cheap Mendini-Cielo Alto from Amazon to see if it was for me. Three days after it arrived I’m loving it, but I just saw your Better Sax Saxophone video, and now I think I have to return the cheapo and upgrade to your Better Sax.
I’m wondering if the mouthpiece that comes with your is comparable to the one that came with my Mendini by Cielo? Would a Yamaha 4C be an upgrade to the one that comes supplied with the Better Sax starter kit?
Nice! Congrats on your own branded saxophone! I’ll bring staying tuned for a tenor release!!!! I’m in the market for one.
Hi Jay, H.N.Y.
The new Alto looks and sounds great and i am keen to purchase one asap. I live in Bournemouth. U.K. so is it possible for me to Pre Order yet ? I see you are not delivering to U.K. until late 2021.
Hi there, unfortunately we are only shipping to the US right now. Hoping to expand eventually!
I have a 1975 Buscher Aristocrat alto. It needs some work, but to completely overhaul it would be about $500. It could be improved to working condition for a lot less. I’m thing your sax is similar to this except for where it is made. So it might make sense to get the new one. Any insight? Also, do you ship to California?
Denis, the Buschers from that era were student instruments. I think you will be very happy with the Better Sax alto and I would personally much rather play on this new horn given the choice. Keep in mind that if you have an old case with that horn it may be a bit stinky at 45 years old. Yes we ship to California.
Hello! Congrats for all the great youtube videos! You are doing an amazing job. I have two questions:
1) Is the Yanagisawa A991 still available in the market and could you provide a link for me, please? I tried to use the relative links included in that video of yours but I did not get anywhere close to buying it. Unfortunately, I cannot pay for the one mentioned above and I am an absolute beginner. I have only attended a 20 minute-lesson on how to blow air using the sax and immediately after that, the quarantine in Greece started!
2) Could I take a course or more of yours? I do not know anything about music. What would you advise me to do?
Thanks a lot in advance! (Could I please have your answers in an email so that I will find out about it immediately and I will not miss it?)
Yanagisawas are hard to come by these days due to increased demand. You may have to wait. I recommend getting the Better Sax alto as a starter instrument. You many never want to upgrade from it and spending the extra $3K+ on a pro level horn won’t give any benefits to a beginner. As far as the courses go, start with the free Beginner course and the Play Sax by Ear Crash Course, then move on to the Pentatonic Foundation.
I HAVE ORDERED THE BETTER SAX ALTO. ANY IDEA WHEN IT’LL WILL BE SHIPPED?
Tom it depends on the date of your purchase. Orders placed today will be shipped out on Feb. 15th.
Jay – Any chance you can post some better pictures that we can click on to enlarge. Some of these are borderline blurry. I’m shopping for a horn for my 8 year old, he is ready to graduate from a curved soprano.
Yes, more photos are on the way soon. I’m not a great product photographer. Conn-Selmer has their specialists working on the photos as we speak.
I have been playing the same Selmer Mark VI tenor for more than 50 years. I keep it well maintained and it still plays effortlessly and sounds great. Since college I have played only for my own enjoyment and for music in worship services, a few nursing homes, and some different generations of community bands. I am not a professional, but during the pandemic I have enjoyed sending a few tunes in videos to friends and family virtually.
I actually started on a Conn Alto way back in the 1950’s and I have told myself that in my retirement years (I am now 72) I would buy a new alto and revisit that sound as well. My question for you is this…..having played so long on my Mark VI, will I be disappointed in the response of the Better Sax?
I love your videos.
I don’t think you would be disappointed with the Better Sax alto at all since it really is a great playing horn. I have “better” more expensive altos yet I am never disappointed when I play the Better Sax alto. Good choice especially if it’s going to be a doubling horn.
What is the difference between Selmer Paris and Selmer Bundy? Were they the same company at one time in history?
Bundy was an employee of Henri Selmer who handled distribution of Selmer Paris in USA way back. He later had his own brand of American made instruments as part of that same company. So Selmer Paris is the French company.
It’s true. What Jay has said and done with the BetterSax alto is for real. A saxophonic slam dunk. Fun to hold, beautiful to look at, and lovely to hear – like my wife. What is unreal is the quality and price. A Bundy alto was my very first sax. Scores of horns later, a Bundy BetterSax is back as my main axe. So much better now!
So great to hear this from you. Glad you are loving the horn!
The bettersax looks awesome! I wanted to buy a saxophone for my boyfriend that wasn’t too expensive but would still feel like a professional one so he wouldn’t feel the need to upgrade in a few years. Only issue is I live in Canada, do you ship to here or have plans to start shipping to Canada?
We will soon be taking orders outside of the US. There is a place to sign up for a notification when that happens on the BetterSax product page.
First congrats! This is an epic accomplishment that I think we redefine student horns. Now that you have everyone salivating with this horn, when will the pre-orders be “unpaused” It would be fascinating if you could share with us about how many pre-orders you received and what the monthly/yearly production capacity is to manufacture these horns. We all understand a great product will have great demand, but some actual numbers would tell an interesting story too. I have a feeling that meeting demand is going to be an ongoing problem as word of this horn gets out!
Thanks Kevin, hopefully we will resume accepting orders mid April. All depends on the supply chain. The production is slower in the beginning of a new product, but can speed up over time. I’m hoping that we will be able to meet the demand and get a great BetterSax alto into the hands of everyone who wants one without a long wait.
I’m in the U.S. and hoping to buy the alto but when i first tried, pre-orders had been suspended. Can you give any sense of when you will be gin accepting orders again, and when the ordered instruments are likely to be delivered? Thanks for all your great work!
Because of the global shipping crisis we are going to wait until we have a very clear idea of when the next shipment of saxophones will arrive to us. I don’t want people to have to wait so long for their instruments once they have ordered. If all goes well, we hope to resume taking orders in mid April and deliver those by the end of May.
Hi, I wonder if it ships to Thailand?
Moreover, I can see that the pre order is pending due to the high demand. May I know when will it available again?
Will you be releasing any details as to when the BetterSax Alto will be available again? Maybe some updates on when orders may be expected to resume?
As of today, we are expecting another shipment to arrive at the end of July. Those that are on the wait list will receive a notification email at that time.
Any update on expected delivery of your new Better Sax Alto, and when you might expect taking orders?
Ed as of today we are expecting a shipment to arrive at the end of July. Those who are on the wait list will receive a notification email at that time.
Are you still planning on shipping the alto saxophone to Europe / EU? (and when?)
Yes! we are hoping this will be available in October of this year.
I’m looking for a Saxophone for my 7th grade daughter who is starting her second year of saxophone in middle school this year. There is a very good chance she will be in marching band with this instrument, so I need something that will hold up to the inevitable accidental punishment it will receive. It sounds lovely and I love the price price, but Is this instrument up to the abuse?
No musical instrument is made to be abused. Kids in marching band should be careful with their instruments in marching band and all other contexts. The Better Sax will take damage exactly the same as any other brand of saxophone
When do you expect another shipment? I don’t think I was high enough up on the waitlist for the July shipment.
Love all your videos and I purchase your entire class, along with tea leaves and all the rest of the accessories mentioned. I ordered the Alto sax 2 days ago and waiting for its delivery. I have a tenor LA sax and played 60 years ago. So starting new again. Hope the new horn will help me on my journey. I’m liking the Légère reeds in 1.75 & 2.0 .I’ll give you an update when it arrives.
Thank you Mark, Congratulations and best of luck with the new saxophone!
Jay, on the order page you say you are coming out with a newer model. Do you know which mouthpiece you are going to include with that one and can you tell us what some of the other differences will be. Thanks!
Alex, the mouthpiece that will be included with the BetterSax EAS112 is a significant improvement. It’s a good starter mouthpiece which I would say is better than a Yamaha 4C for example. It is still something that anyone getting serious about the saxophone will want to upgrade down the road. Apart from that, other upgrades include a high F# key and a brass tone ring on the end of the neck.
I have a question about shipping: Who do you ship with and how long does it take to ship to the US?
These are shipped UPS Ground which typically takes about 3 days.
Would there be any chance that this partnership would be extended to all Conn-Selmer dealers?
First of all Jay, congratulations about your own brand!
I have (probably) a stupid question: Is this horn tuned to play (only) A440 or it is possible to play (nearly) in tune A442/A443 (we all know, clarinet and saxophone are instruments of compromises)?
I am playing clarinet (or at least trying to play) and I know the US brands are tuned on A440 and it could be quite difficult to play in tune A442/A443 (most common Europe concert pitches). It is not only the length of the barrel, because the throat tones are quite sensitive and the instrument must play in tune with it self.
It has been offered to me to learn Saxophone for free during helping to build new teachers (I will play the role of the test subject).
I am looking now for a good unexpansive Horn. From the experience I know that there should be a minimum amount of compromises with the instrument if you want to like it and love it.
It seems to me that Better Sax is such Horn, but I am concern about the pitch…
Sorry if my question sounds silly but I’ve never have a sax in my hand…
Dan, The BetterSax alto is tuned to 440. It would be possible to play with instruments tuned to 442 though. The saxophone is a flexible instrument when it comes to intonation and the difference between these is very small.
Hi Jay, I might not be on the right forum, but I wonder if you ship to South Africa? Furthermore, I would like to purchase the Bettersax Alto, but I have a hitch.
I have a vintage Paris Selmer MkVI alto saxophone with serial no M145xxx (1967), original laquer, still in very good condition (no dents), original mouthpiece and ligature, original case and I am the only one who ever played on it. I can provide photos should anyone be interested. I wish to sell this instrument at this point as I am a semi retired musician.
Could you give me any leads as to where I could make enquiries to sell?
Thank you and I love your web page.