The BetterSax Alto Saxophone – Better Sax

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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

So first things first, the price. The BetterSax alto saxophone sells for an introductory price of $649. It really is unmatched in this price range. It’s an instrument that is on par or better than other saxophones selling for twice the price.

I know for some people that can still be a lot of money, but is this just another student saxophone?

Absolutely not.

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.

The Design

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.

Tech Specs

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.

I chose a configuration without the high F# key. This is also similar to many vintage saxophones. It’s really the only key on the saxophone that I personally never use so I consider it unnecessary. I always use the auxiliary F key to play high F#.

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.

The Better Sax is only available for purchase from me, here, at bettersax.com

Final Thoughts

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 around $650 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, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.

27 thoughts on “The BetterSax Alto Saxophone”

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. Hi Jay
    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.

    1. 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.

  3. Kenny Van Dyke Jr

    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?

  4. Nice! Congrats on your own branded saxophone! I’ll bring staying tuned for a tenor release!!!! I’m in the market for one.

  5. 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.
    Regards
    John

  6. 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?

    1. 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.

  7. 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?)

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

    thanks

  9. Clifford L Gorball

    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.

    1. 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.

  10. What is the difference between Selmer Paris and Selmer Bundy? Were they the same company at one time in history?

    1. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

  13. Jay,
    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!

    1. 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.

  14. 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!

    1. Warren,
      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.

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