Beginner saxophones usually range in cost from $800 to $2,700. Intermediate, or step-up saxophones usually range in cost $2,000 to $3,000 and entry level pro saxophones (still largely played by advanced students) around $3,000 and up.
There are several things that determine the overall cost of a saxophone:
- Common model - The alto and tenor saxophones are played most commonly with the baritone in most concert and marching bands. The soprano saxophone is more popular than ever particular in the jazz and pop music fields.
- Material - On a student saxophone, the materials will be geared toward durability and to be able to make a quick sound for a beginning player. Depending on the model, most intermediate saxophones will have metal resonators, handmade features, ergonomic keys and more!
- Condition - New or used, as well as any needed maintenance can determine the cost of a saxophone.
- Brand/Manufacturer - Not all saxophones are built the same. Unfortunately, some saxophone manufacturers use low quality metals, which most of the time results in an instrument that cannot be fixed.
- Case - Quality saxophone cases can range from $75 to $300 and should be considered when looking at the whole cost of the instrument.
- Features - Metal resonators, double braced key arms, ribbed key construction, high quality pads, blue steel springs, adjustable key felts, are features found on many intermediate saxophones that can determine the cost.
- Mouthpiece - A student saxophone will come with an inexpensive plastic mouthpiece that has a larger airflow which is easier for a student to play. A hard rubber mouthpiece is usually suggested for intermediate and professional saxophone. A hard rubber mouthpiece will result in a more professional sound, maintain accuracy and consistency in focusing air into the instrument. Metal mouthpieces are also used on occasion mostly in the jazz and pop music fields.
- Service - Some organizations offer service after the sale, including maintenance of the instrument, school delivery and support of the school and community.
In most cases, saying "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is" can be applied to musical instruments. In other words, "you get what you pay for". While there are many deals available to musicians of all levels, there are instruments that are poorly manufactured and not appropriate for making music or bringing to a band class. It is wise to ask from a private instructor, music educator or reputable music store for guidance in selecting the best instrument for your musical needs.