Best Saxophone Brands of All Time

The Saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax or Antoine Joseph Sax, around 1841. Adolphe Sax patented this invention by 1846, by categorizing it into two groups of seven instruments each. The saxophone today is probably the most widely heard and played solo instrument in jazz music. This instrument has a top quality with a low register, middle register, with also an exciting range of colors.

We’ve put up models in a variety of styles to meet your individual needs. Below are 10 of the best saxophone brands of all time.

Following are the Best Saxophone Brands of All Time

10. Conn M Series

Conn M Series Top Best Saxophone Brands of All Time 2017

Conn is probably the oldest manufacturer of the instrument in the USA and among the first company to try its hand in the production of the saxophone in early 1888 in Indiana. The first saxophone brand produced by this company was the “Conn New-Wonder” and was introduced in the 1920’s.

Its horns were commonly are known as the ‘naked lady models’ due to their shape resembling that of a woman on the bell. The Conn M series was played by famed saxophonists like Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Harry Carney, saxophonists Dexter Gordon and baritone saxophonists Gerry Mulligan.

9. Buescher 400

Buescher 400 Top 10 Best Saxophone Brands of All Time 2017

This model first introduced by the Buescher was the True Tone of a saxophone, which was followed by the Aristocrat series by early 1930’s. By 1941 Buescher had introduced its most popular saxophone model, the Buescher-400 which featured a recognizable ‘a cane and top hat’ that was engraved on its bell. This saxophone also is unique by the rear low-B and Bb keys, its flared bell and an underslung octave key that is similar to the model King Super 20. player Johnny Hodges performed using this model all throughout his music career.

8. The Martian


The Martin was introduced in 1945, this saxophone line bears its name engraved beautifully on its bell. It’s arguably the most sought and the best designed Martin saxophones the saxophone features wire key covers, an adjustable right-thumb hook and tone holes that add up weight to the saxophone. This model was used by famous saxophonists like Louis Jordan, Art Pepper, and many countless R&B and blues artists.

7. King Super 20


The King Super 20 was made in Cleveland, Ohio, the early Super 20 models were characterized by their ability to help major pearl keys, and they had double-socket neck and a proper designed underslung octave key. By 1947 they added silver bells to act as an option on the saxophone. Manufacturing of this model continued consistently up to 1965 until the company got sold. The early king Super 20’s are the most sort for and desirable models of saxophones since after them the quality of materials used to manufacture the next models degraded.

Many great and famous saxophonists including Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, Charlie Parker, Yusef Lateef and James Moody used this model for their music career.

6. Selmer Paris Mark VI


The Mark VI saxophones were manufactured and designed in France and assembled in the territory where they were shipped to different countries where they were redesigned from country to country.

Many design changes also were made in the 20-year duration of production that led to inconsistencies in the brand. With that said this saxophone is still widely considered as the best saxophone ever produced, where many other modern makers have emulated its ergonomics and design.

This saxophone is also considered to be the sought after, most popular and mystical saxophones of all the vintage makes. The Selmer has been used by many great saxophonists including Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, Stanley Turrentine and countless others.

5. Keilwerth SX90R


The Keilwerth was developed in 1989 due to the high demand of the SX90R used for tenor, alto and baritone purposes. The SX90R model is usually in a shadow black nickel, nickel silver, gold, or in vintage finish, where it offers a distinct unique visual and sound interpretation. The saxophone is characterized as a versatile instrument that has a big sound that’s specific to classical genres or jazz. Its palm keys are movable, hence allowing its player to lower or raise them in their comfort.

4. Yanagisawa 991 and 992


Just like the Yamaha saxophones, this model features a ‘rocking-table’ mechanism for the left pinky keys making maneuvering through notes too easy. These saxophones are best known for their effortless comfort and playability to their players.

The alto saxophone seem to have gained more popularity than the tenor sax as is evident by the number of artists who play them, they include Mark Gross, Antonio Hart, Tia Fuller and Bruce Williams.

3. The Modern Selmer


Released in 1999, the Selmer Series version III was manufactured as a versatile saxophone with improvements in intonation, timbre, and flexibility that made it possible with advancement in technology.

The Selmer Reference Introduced in 2001 was a rotation on vintage Selmer makes, but improved the saxophones’ capabilities. The tenor sax is based on the ’36 Balanced Action, the tenor and alto are based on the ’54 Mark VI. The rich sound and their vintage aesthetic have made these saxophones to be among the top and very popular options of saxophones among professional jazz saxophonists.

2. Yamaha Custom Series


Across all the manufacturing spectrum, Yamaha, without doubt, makes it to the top by making some of the most impressive and high-quality instruments. Yamaha saxophone is perfectly engineered and a small difference will be between saxophones of the same line, and unlike many vintage saxophones that were manufactured without modern technology. Yamaha introduced the Custom Z and Custom EX in 2002 as an additional professional option to their YAS-62 model. The Custom Z is a brighter horn and designed for jazz players while the Custom EX was designed for the classical saxophonist. Both are incredibly easy to play.

1. P. Mauriat PMXA


The PMX model tops on our list. It is one of most popular and sought for saxophones in the market today. This saxophone is an incredibly constructed instrument that boasts with rolled tone holes with no soldering which results to a better intonation and response, an enlarged bell that’s shaped like a hand and with vintage look. You will always find more consistency in this saxophone more than another saxophone in the market today.

Whether your style is like that Clarence Clemons or unique like Branford Marsalis, these saxophones are here to make you music your talent to the world. When purchasing for a saxophone, it is advisable to know which saxophone is right for you.

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