Alto Saxophone Showdown

Mike Brown plays through a handful of our most popular alto saxophones.

List of saxophones played (in order of appearance):
Selmer Paris Reference 54
Selmer Paris Mark VI
Yanagisawa AWO10
Cannonball Vintage Reborn
Conn-Selmer Premiere PAS-380V
Eastman 52nd Street
Keilwerth MKX
Signature Custom RAW XS
Yamaha YAS-82Z
P.Mauriat PMXA-67RUL

Mike is using a D’Addario Select Jazz Alto mouthpiece.


lukasalihein says:

Playing it in a bunch of different keys is counterproductive for sound comparisons…wish he’d just played the same key on every horn. =/

Carl Wilson says:

You should do a saprono sax showdown.

Mannygreen15 says:

What happened to the tenor video?

Данило Дижак says:

Cool Video!! Waiting for TENOR SHOWDOWN!! Here i liked more Yamaga YAS 82Z, Mark6, Yani W010

Lee Stewart says:

The P. Mauriat sax is a PMXA 67, not a PMXT 66 as you have labeled. The PMXT 66 is a tenor.

Andrew Turner says:

Gosh the reference 54 sounds so smooth, mellow, I love the tone

Preston James says:

Do y’all have a store in the u.s

Something Q says:

I wish he included the Selmer series II

jamie james says:

Hi, not sure what the chances are of you guys reading this, but I think we would have better understanding of tonal differences between saxes if they were all samples were played with the same notes. Differences in sound character between octaves really does affect our first impressions!
Secondly, I think having the make/model of the sax on screen during the whole sample would make it much easier for people who are skipping between saxes in the video. Just my 2 cents 🙂

Luciana Cerolini says:

Amazing once more! So handy! Can you do a live video sometime?

gousax2 says:

Do you know the title of the title of this music ?

Anayeli Piscil says:


Allen Green says:

you are flat

Adam Doyle Music says:

Thought they all sounded great… I personally own the cannonball but would be happy with any of these!

mrgmblue says:

You should probably do them all in the same key so that you can have an accurate comparison. Some keys straight up sound weird because of the timbre of certain notes when you play in weird keys.

Dimos says:

Can we see some classical players try a few saxes?

Brad Aiken says:

Can we get a video like this for the baris?

Gabriel Nekrutman says:

Nothing like Donna lee going around the cycle lol

Pizza Rollz says:

Hi mike I was interested in upgrading to professional alto
saxophone. I love a bright sounding sax with a very warm lower tone my prices are around the 1000 range none higher than 2000 what’s your advice

Bryan Ortiz says:

How come you guys took down the Tenor showdown vid?


Keilwerth the best sounding IMO

David Wise says:

Geat video – nice playing. They all sounded good – personal favourites were the Raw XS, Eastman and Yamaha – but I’d be happy with any of them.


0:27 Selmer Referenece 54
0:48 Selmer Mark VI
1:07 Yanagisawa AWO10
1:28 Cannonball Vintage Reborn
1:45 Conn-Selmer PAS 380PAV
2:07 Eastman 52nd Street
2:25 Keilwerth MKX
2:43 Signature Custom RAW XS
3:05 Yamaha 82Z
3:27 P. Mauriat PMXT 66 RUL

Carl Wilson says:

The Mark VI was the bench mark. Yamha and Yani 2nd. I will be getting a YAS82zii soon.

Ody Deviantoro says:

i like the sound on yamaha , its more bright and soft

Nick Webb says:

Nice video- although maybe a quick thing at the end about the one you personally preferred, about how “Free blowing” they were in comparison maybe?


I like the first two Selmers the best, that Mark VI Paris sounds amazing!

gousax2 says:

thank you for your answer Sunny

Sr Brunovsky says:

Selmer Reference 54 – Very muffled sound, love it or hate it really
Selmer Mark VI – Classic Mark VI sound, very smooth sound but not too muffled.
Yanagisawa – Very crisp on the high register, low notes are kinda brash
Cannonball – LOT’S of projection but still somewhat smooth sounding (low notes too brash)
Conn-Selmer – Classic 50’s Jazz sound, crisp with lots projection too (my favourite)
Easman – Very similar to Mark VI
Keilwerth – Also similar to Mark VI but with a very nice certain zing to the sound. Some notes are terribly off tune though
Signature Custom – Nice smooth sound with some crispness on the high register. Very balanced!
Yamaha – Just another way too brash default factory made saxophone. A lot of notes sound very off tune. Should be good for funk and pop, but definitely NOT smooth jazz!
P. Mauriat – Crisp and smooth, like it a lot (another favourite)

Jorge Delgado says:

This is great, thanks so much…. It seems that Yamaha 82Z is a little bit out of tune in 3:17 and other parts… Playing this horn, his face looks like he is working too hard, maybe trying to overcome the horn resistance… Can you please ask Mike if it is the case? What did he feel while playing the 82Z?

Kharl Rivera says:

Save the best for the last, that P mauriat sounds amazing!! For me its the best.

Erl Fantilaga says:

Do a tenor sax one

정범진 says:

I heard that there is going to be a new yamaha sax, Yas-380, a higher model of 280

Allen Green says:

especially on the Yamaha YAS-82Z

Apostolis Paspalakis says:

The Reference 54 and RAW XS sounded the best in my opinion

Carl Wilson says:

Cannot aford a Mark VI.

Rob Stutchbury says:

My favourites are conn selmer, keilwerth, yanagisawa but it’s one player playing one tune with one setup

BlasJohnny says:

You sound great the Yanagisawa it sounds nice and bright and clean what do you think The Love The Silver Selmer

Jason Lange says:

The Conn-Selmer was my favorite. Sounded like it was meant to play jazz pieces from that era.

Robert Duis says:

Mike Brown => You use D’Addario Select Jazz Alto mouthpiece. Like to know which of these many Alto Saxes you would love to get as a present on your birthday yourself?

Shao Mane says:

That Mark VI put that dead reference 54 to shame.. :/

Larnie Puke says:

Great – cant wait to visit the shop – hopefully this year from Brisbane – Australia

Joshua Teague says:

Do you have any special comments for the Eastman? Ive been looking for a new horn lately and am leaning toward that one…

Luciana Cerolini says:

Yes! I agree, can you do it on tenor?

Ricardo Moraes-Pinto says:

To my taste, the Keilwerth is tops, even if it is not the top-of-the-line SX90-R, followed by the Mark VI. On the Japanese front I prefer the Yamaha. The only chinese that I liked is the Eastman. Now… how is the mechanics of these instruments, as compared to each other?

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