Best Tenor Saxophones [Buyer's Guide + Reviews 2019]

Posted in Woodwind Instruments | Last Updated on June 11, 2019

a female player holding one of the best tenor saxophones

To everyone out there looking for a reliable piece of the tenor saxophone, this review was written. Tenor sax is one of the vital parts of accessories to a woodwind instrumentalist. It comes with an artistic look and an appealing finish that makes it the choice of many people.

There are quite a number of manufacturers that produces tenor sax. This is why we have compiled this review to help in your search. It could be confusing trying to pick the most fitting one for you due to the myriads of tenor wind instrument available. However, this review will explore the best tenor saxophone based on customer review and satisfaction alongside hours of research on our part.

Hence, sit back and relax as we take you through the journey of the top tenor sax available for all. Whether you are a beginner, a student or a professional, we have something that will fit you perfectly.


Mendini - MTS-L+92D (Budget Cheap Choice)

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For long term players and beginners, Mendini B Flat Sax is the ideal choice. It comes with many amazing features that bring out the perfect saxophonist in you. With its large bore, you can achieve a superb and robust tone, making it stress-free for beginners.

It is recommended, and easy to use by all players due to the fast action keys. This enables it give a rich and deep tone in all its range.

These Tenor saxes come with ribbed construction and a large bore. There are quality leather pads with metal tone boosters as well as contoured keys. In short, everything you need to have a good time playing on this sax is included. This product was double tested at the factory before shipping off. Hence, the customers are assured of getting a top quality wind instrument.

Weighing 17 pounds, it is light and easy on beginners. There are accessories like a backpack strap; nylon covered hard case, mouthpiece, cleaning cloths, etc. With a one year warranty, you are assured of a good time using this classy Mendini tenor Sax.


Kaizer - B Flat Bb (TSAX 1000LQ) – Runner Up

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If you need a sax that brings functionality, excellences, and versatility to your show, try the Kaizer tenor Sax. It is a wind instrument targeted towards beginners with lots of amazing features that makes playing effortless. This is a classic product offered to everyone seeking to develop their skills on this wind instrument at a reasonable price.

Targeted towards the student, this high quality tenor wind instrument was built with various high quality materials. Hence, it is tough and requires little to no maintenance. Durability and tonality was built into this outstanding sax through the high quality solid yellow brass body. Besides, the professional leather pad guards against corrosion and wear giving you the perfect companion for use in bands and school.

It comes with all essential features like polishing cloths, cleaning rod, mouthpiece lubricant, etc. This weighs just 9 pounds which makes it light and easy to maneuver while playing. Besides, the premium steel spring brings about a sensitive response while playing.

To crown it up, Kaizer offers a lifetime warranty alongside a 45 days free trial period.


Selmer - Paris Reference 54

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The name Selmer is associated with reliability, quality and superb performance, which is what Selmer (one of the top wind instrument brand), is known for. Little wonder this is the top tenor saxophone for professionals all over the world.

This high quality wind instrument was inspired by Mark VI as it features its legendary acoustic properties alongside brilliant and superb intonation. This is the first choice among jazz players as it can produce excellent resonating music at any register.

All essential parts of this sax were created a unique alloy of brass and copper. This makes the instrument produce a rich and warm tone. It also features a kid leather pad alongside plastic which serves to boost the tone and give players added flexibility. It comes with a vintage appearance which enhances the dull lacquer and the brushed finish.

Even with a little blow, this instrument gives out an incredible sound with fantastic projection. On a full blast, get ready to experience a rich, stable and superb projection, blazing forth like a wounded lion.

The user will find it easy to control and play. It is an excellent wind instrument to have if you want to experience all register.


Glory Black/Gold B Flat

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For everyone out there who does not want to spend too much on getting a professional sax, Glory Black tenor sax is a good choice. It was made with beginners and student in mind with lots of fabulous accessories to make it worth your time. It was nicely built with quality materials which make it durable and reliable, guaranteed to last many years to come.

Glory Black/Gold sax comes with a gold lacquer finish which gives it a perfect finish. It is one of the top tenor saxophone brands as it stands out in aesthetics. Besides, the unique finish ensures it is strong enough to withstand heavy corrosion use.

Finished with hand engraving, Glory Black/Gold sax is lovely. Imagine the vigor and ability that will overwhelm you while performing your wonders with this piece of alluring instrument. The best part is the many accessories like nippers, screwdrivers, carrying case, ten reeds, and gloves that come with it.

Weighing approximately 16 pounds, it will not produce fatigue and is very comfortable. With the metal thumb rest and correct sound hole, your hand can rest comfortably bringing out the best in you.


Jean Paul - TS-400 – Our Overall Best

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Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate player, Jean-Paul tenor Sax is a superb choice. You will be amazed at the classic tone, the perfect key placement and overall, how it will bring out the best in you. You can trust this product as it is the output of one of the leading musical instrument brands.

This beautiful sax comes in a solid yellow brass body powerful key for ease of use alongside strong brace which aids its durability. This is accompanied by various accessories like cork grease, gloves, Rico reeds, and swab mouthpiece, which all comes in the carrying case.

Jean-Paul is meant to give you superb intonation in a good range with all the excellent features like the strong bell and tapered pivot keys, making it pretty easy to use. Blowing this wind instrument is easy, and it offers a great intonation even at the lowest register.

The durable case can either be transported by hand or used as a backpack. Hence, going around with the instrument is pretty easy. It comes in a set of Bb keys that gives the tenor sound full richness.


Selmer - TS44

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If you are a professional player in the market for a high quality sax, try this Selmer TS44. It is one of the classic series by Selmer directed at pros. If you love playing at home, in a musical assembly or church with a comfortable instrument, Selmer TS44 is a good companion. The horn is made from authentic Henri Selmer Paris mouthpiece and neck.

The body features a fully ribbed design alongside Pisono pro pads as well as blue steel springs. This improves durability, making the reaction time superb. This high-end wind instrument features many outstanding features that are typical of a professional saxophone. While familiar with the jazz band, you can never be disappointed with this sax.

This wind instrument gives a fantastic projection even with minimal effort. By all standards, Selmer TS44 is a professional sax, and not recommended for beginners. Even with this, it is reasonably priced for everyone and gives out a pleasant tone which we love.


OPUS USA By Ktone

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If you are in the market for a budget-friendly saxophone without sacrificing quality, OPUS by Ktone is a good option. It is the perfect component to bring out the genius in you and present you as a professional player to your audience.

It is a Bb Tenor Sax with High F# key and also features a USA mouthpiece. Even though with a reasonable price, it has essential features of a high quality sax. Hence, going for this wind instrument, you get the complete package with all you need to play and build your skill on the sax.

It was made with high quality body and keys to enable it to stand the test of time. You can be assured of years of beautiful intonation and solid projection from OPUS Gold tenor sax. Users get access to essential accessories like gloves, set up cleaning cloths, neck strap, and the case.

Above all, we love that it comes with a 1-year warranty making it completely safe and reliable to buy. It weighs 16 pounds; hence; you get to play comfortably for long without fatigue.


Yamaha YTS-62III

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Last on our series of the best tenor saxophone for professionals is Yamaha YTS 62III. For decades, this brand has been a favorite among veterans and band directors. This is not surprising as the unit offers superb quality at an affordable price. The Yamaha YTS 62III was introduced decades ago, and since then, it has experienced various modifications to enable it to suit the need of Yamaha fans all over the globe.

Some interesting modern feature that characterizes this high-end musical instrument is the new 62 style neck. This new, improved bore is slightly narrow which gives a swift response and puts you in charge of your music. With this new style neck, you get to experience fast air flow which gives rise to a firm tone. It also features a new engraving with detailed finish giving it a beautiful appearance.

One of the things that make Yamaha YTS 62III stand out is the clear response you get through the low range which comes as a result of a proper seal of low B to C#. This sax is the ticket to having a great experience while dazzling your audience with your skill on the sax.


[Buyer's Guide] What to Consider Before Choosing

In choosing the best sax, there are many factors you should consider. These factors will influence the tone that the sax gives out and how easy you will find it. A few of the important ones are:

Size

Tenor sax comes in various sizes with some big and others small. In choosing the most appropriate tenor sax, it should sit perfectly on your body without a bulky feeling. However, bear in mind that tenor sax is usually bigger compared to alto sax.

Mouthpiece

This is the part that links the neck to the body of the instrument. This is the portion where you introduce wind into the device which converts into sound. The mouthpiece attachés to the sax through a cork which can be adjusted to the desired setting. Bear in mind, however, that the shape and size of the mouthpiece has a significant role to play when it comes to the sound that comes from your sax.

Neck

This is the part of the wind instrument that determines the quality of sound coming from your sax. This is because the materials, size, and shape of the neck influence the type of sound that comes out. It is conical in shape and can be made from different materials.

Some necks are made with brass, the material that forms the bulk of the sax. While In others, it could be made from copper or sterling neck. There could be gold or nickel plating on the neck as well. You, however, have the liberty to replace the neck of your sax to explore various tones that comes with various types of necks.

Body

This is the part of the sax between the bell and the neck. It houses the key and could be ribbed or non-ribbed. The material used for the body could be brass, gold, nickel or silver. The material, however, determines the durability of the instrument and how well it can stand against rust and other things that could depreciate it.

Weight

Different brands make tenor saxophones and come in varieties. Hence, you have to be careful in selecting. However, your aim should be an instrument that is light and comfortable, which will not cause fatigue or strain.

For beginners, we recommend going for a very lightweight instrument. This will help you concentrate on learning the sax without the distraction of the fatigue that comes from its weight. With time, as you build up your skill, you might go for heavier ones since you are gradually getting used to it.

Keys

The keys on tenor sax are programmed to flat Bb. These are small in size and cup-like metal. They could be padded, and also used to cover or expose the tone hole.

The formation of keys on all types of sax is pretty much the same. However, bear in mind that some wind instrument in this category might have a little more key than the standard. This explains why some saxophone comes with a high G or a low F.

All in all, with extra keys or not, a standard tenor sax will enable you play the essential note with ease. The essence of the extra keys is to add melody and spice to the tones you can get.

Materials

The most common material used in making this wind instrument is brass. Some sax could however come with parts made from metals or alloys like bronze, sterling silver or copper which, usually, is an exception. The typical saxophone will be made of brass. Brass is the most recommended material because it is hard, rigid, durable, resistance to rust. It also gives the instrument a sparkling touch.

Pads

Saxophones come with pads that are carefully placed inside the instrument’s body. For you to get a quality tone, make sure the pads are shut in properly. Pads are parts of the device meant to be replaced over time. Be sure that you chose pads of equal dimensions for optimum performance. If pads of equal dimension are out of reach, we recommend going for ones smaller to the original size. This is better than going for bigger pads which will not give a tight fitting.

Warranty

In getting a tenor sax, it is good to have peace of mind about the quality of the wind instrument you are going for. Notwithstanding, saxophones are an expensive and significant investment. Hence, it is a good idea to choose a sax that is guaranteed by the manufacturer. With this, you get to be able to replace any faulty part with no extra charge.

Conclusion

Getting the best sax for your career should not be a big deal. We have explored the top eight Saxes in the market with recommendation as to the best one.

Our top choice in this review is the Jean Paul TS-400 tenor Saxophone. This is because of the detailed finish that it enjoys as well as the wonderful tone it produces. Besides, it has essential accessories and is ideal for both beginners and intermediate players.