Tenor saxophones are one of the most popular saxophone variants.
Bigger than the alto yet smaller than the baritone, the tenor is truly unique and produces a beautiful sound. But how much do they cost?
Tenor saxophones cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the brand, quality, material, and whether or not the instrument is new or used. You can expect a beginner tenor sax to cost just under $1,000, but intermediate and professional instruments will cost much more.
The rest of this article will tell you everything you need to know about the cost of new and used tenor saxophones, so you can better understand what to expect while shopping for a new instrument.
Keep reading to learn more!
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4 Factors That Determine The Cost Of New And Used Tenor Saxophones
Whether you’re buying a tenor saxophone or any other instrument, there are multiple factors that work together to determine the cost of that instrument.
What factors determine the cost of new and used tenor saxophones? Let’s discuss.
New Tenor Saxophones
Purchasing a new instrument can be a gratifying experience.
It’s exciting to own something that has never been used before, especially when obtaining a new tenor saxophone!
There are many pros and cons to purchasing brand new instruments, but they are definitely more expensive than most used saxophones. But what factors determine the cost of a new tenor sax?
Here are some factors that determine the cost of new tenor saxophones:
Let’s expand upon these factors.
The brand is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new instrument. It’s also one of the most significant regarding cost determination.
This is because certain brands are of higher quality than others.
For example, if you buy a higher quality brand of saxophone, this instrument will cost a lot more than a cheaper-made one.
It’s essential to do your research before deciding which brand fits your musical and financial needs.
Instruments are often made in different grade levels depending on your experience as a musician and the desired usage of that instrument.
Here are the most common grades in order from least to most expensive:
- Beginner or student-grade
- Advanced or professional
For example, if you’re a professional musician, you probably don’t want a student-grade instrument, as a professional grade will be of more suitable quality.
However, professional-grade instruments are more expensive than student-grade instruments and will generally be avoided by new learners.
Manufacturers often produce a selection of instruments with different materials, coatings, and finishes.
While most saxophones are made of brass, they are sometimes plated in pricier metals like silver or gold. The more valuable the material, the more expensive an instrument will be.
For example, let’s look at this Selmer Paris Series III Model 64 Jubilee Edition Tenor Saxophone. This instrument costs over $20,000 because it’s plated in gold.
When you compare that model to this Yamaha YTS-82ZII Custom Z Tenor Saxophone, which is plated in silver and costs a little under $6,000, you can see a noticeable price difference due to the material.
Another factor that determines the cost of new tenor saxophones is whether or not the instrument comes with any accessories.
More often than not, people can purchase new instruments in bundles with different accessories. For example, some tenor saxophones come with nice cases, neck straps, and cleaning supplies.
These included accessories might cause a price increase.
Used Tenor Saxophones
If you’re shopping for instruments on a budget or simply want to save money, purchasing a used tenor saxophone might be a good idea, as used instruments typically cost a lot less than brand new ones.
Here are some factors that determine the cost of used tenor saxophones:
- Brand and quality
Let’s discuss these factors in greater detail.
The age of a used instrument will often contribute to the overall cost.
If a used tenor saxophone is old, it might cost less, as age often brings damage and deterioration.
However, if a used tenor saxophone is relatively new, it might cost a lot more because chances are it’s in better condition than an older instrument would be.
Brand And Quality
As with new instruments, a used tenor saxophone’s brand and overall quality will affect the price.
Even used instruments can sell for quite a bit if they’re high quality and made by a good brand.
A cheaper student-grade option will cost less than a more expensive professional-grade instrument, whether you’re purchasing it used or not.
Condition is probably the most important determining factor in the price of a used tenor saxophone.
If an instrument is in excellent condition, it’ll most likely sell for more than an instrument in a more unfavorable condition.
As with new instruments, if a used tenor saxophone is sold with additional accessories, this can often affect the overall price of the instrument.
On sites like eBay, it’s common to find bundles of instruments being sold with the previous owner’s old accessories.
If you’re purchasing a used tenor saxophone that also comes with cleaning supplies or even playing material, this might raise the price just a little bit–but usually not too much, as these are pre-owned items.
Beginner Tenor Sax Cost Examples
Let’s look at some cost examples of beginner tenor saxophones in different price and quality ranges.
To start, observe this Eastar Tenor Saxophone Student Tenor Saxophone by Donner. This instrument is a more affordable option and costs a little over $400.
While you’ll definitely be sacrificing some quality with this instrument, it’s a good option for those who need to purchase a saxophone on a budget.
Now, look at this Yamaha YTS-26 Student Tenor Saxophone, which costs around $3,000. As you can see, this is a more costly option.
However, Yamaha is one of the best instrument brands in terms of quality, and this is definitely a very reliable instrument.
Intermediate Tenor Saxophone Cost Examples
Now, let’s explore some cost examples of intermediate tenor saxophones.
A good option is this Open-Box P. Mauriat PMST-56GC Intermediate Tenor Saxophone, which is currently going for about $2,000.
P. Mauriat is one of the most trustworthy and high-quality instrument manufacturers, and they produce excellent saxophones. This is a very reliable option!
Next, take a look at this Selmer TS411 Intermediate Tenor Saxophone, which costs a little over $3,000.
Selmer is a very high-quality instrument brand, and while the P. Mauriat example is still a very excellent option, the Selmer is a bit pricier.
How Much Do Professional Tenor Saxophones Cost?
Professional tenor saxophones cost more than beginner and intermediate levels. You can expect to pay about $3,000 or more for a good professional-grade tenor saxophone in brand new condition.
While costs vary from brand to brand, expect to invest $3,000-$7,000 for a high-quality tenor saxophone.
Custom instruments often cost even more than that, and if your tenor sax has more expensive details such as gold plating, it might even cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Take the Selmer Paris Series III Model 64 Jubilee Edition Tenor Saxophone example from earlier. This is a gold-plated professional-grade instrument that costs over $20,000.
While obtaining the super expensive options isn’t necessary, you should still expect to pay more than a beginner or intermediate-level saxophone would cost.
Used Tenor Sax Cost Examples
Let’s compare some examples of used tenor saxophone costs so you can understand how different factors affect the final cost.
To start, check out this Yamaha YTS-23 Tenor Saxophone on eBay. This instrument costs a little over $300.
While Yamaha is an excellent brand, this instrument is being sold at quite a low cost as it appears to have some external damage.
Next, look at this Yanagisawa Tenor Saxophone Prima T4, which costs a little over $1,000. This instrument seems to be in better condition than the previous example.
Yanagisawa is also a highly sought-after brand, which makes it cost a bit more than other used instruments might.
Tenor saxophones can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the brand, quality, material, and whether or not the instrument is used.
Generally, you can expect to pay about $3,000 on average for a quality tenor saxophone in new condition. If you’re interested in purchasing a used instrument, a tenor saxophone can cost slightly above or under $1,000.
Hopefully, this article has helped you better understand tenor saxophone costs, so you can know what to expect in your search for the right instrument.