Thursday, March 10, 2016

Selmer AS-400 Alto Saxophone Review

 Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Cover


Today, I will be reviewing the Selmer AS-400 alto saxophone.


INTRODUCTION

The 400 Series saxophones from Conn-Selmer are a reflection on our company's commitments to advancing product design and supporting music education. The 400 Series are saxophones loaded with features, such as a full ribbed construction, double bracing on the lower keys and a rose brass neck, which will prepare the student to advance. The angled left hand key stack also provides an easier reach for younger musicians.

While this focus on features and quality is significant by itself, the 400 Series is also designed to keep students in band and interested in playing.

“If we deliver quality student instruments that are well designed for the student to play,” says Bob Lichty – Category Manager for Woodwinds at Conn-Selmer, “then the student is that much more likely to continue on in music. And study after study shows how kids who participate in music are more successful, get better grades and benefit from it in all aspects of their lives. New, exciting, well-designed, quality instruments are fun for us to design and deliver, because we know we are helping music education.”  

When I prepared for this review, I wasn't sure what to expect from the Selmer AS-400 alto saxophone. My experience with student and intermediate instruments is limited, my main point of reference being the 90's Vito saxophone that I use as backup horn.

I was however excited to find out whether or not saxophones marketed towards students and advancing saxophonists had made any advancement in the few decades that separate the two horns, and also how the Selmer AS-400 compared to my 1976 Selmer Mark VII, and other professional saxophones I've had the chance to evaluate in the past.

This is also the first saxophone made in Vietnam that I have ever had the pleasure to evaluate. Although the popularity of horns coming from Taiwan have exploded in recent years, thanks to affordable prices, quality construction and aggressive marketing, Vietnam manufacturing has not caught up yet.

Without revealing too much, let's just say I was very impressed by the quality and features this alto brings to the market. Let's take a detailed look at this wonderful alto.


~



VISUALS


The Selmer AS-400 alto takes on the classic two-tone appearance of student and intermediate instruments with its clear lacquered brass body and nickel plated keys. Posts, key guards, and neck octave key are also nickel plated. The lacquer and plating is evenly applied, and leaves nothing to be desired.


Selmer AS-400 Front


The key touches are made of synthetic material, but feel comfortable under the fingers. The material has a perceptible grip to it, and the concavity feels natural and comfortable on all keys.

Both thumb rests are made of plastic, and while it isn't anything fancy, they're both properly shaped and positioned. The octave key thumb rest has a slightly textured surface which will ensure a good grip.

The bell-to-body brace uses a semi removable three point system that ensures a strong connection between body and bell, but is less likely to dent the body should a strong impact on the front of the bell occur. The inside of the brace features the letter "S", in the style of Selmer USA's logo.


Selmer AS-400 Back


Engraving on the Selmer AS-400 is limited to the bell, but the floral pattern looks surprisingly good for an alto in this price range. Cuts are deep and shapes attractive, even if a bit generic. Engraving gives a saxophone a premium appearance, and although it won't make you a better musician, a good looking instrument is always nicer to own.

The right side of the bell is stamped with the Selmer USA logo and model of the horn.


Selmer AS-400 Bell Engraving


Selmer AS-400 Bell Stamp


The upper octave key, on the neck, is nickel plated like the keys and boasts a stamped "S" in the style of the Conn-Selmer company's logo again.


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Neck Front


While not as fancy as some professional saxophones can be, the Selmer AS-400 is an attractive horn, that boasts an appearance moderately superior to what you would expect from a student alto.


~


ACCESSORIES

The horn shipped in its case, wrapped in shipping paper inside a plastic bag. The neck received the same treatment and most accessories were individually wrapped in plastic bags. All keys were held shut with strategically placed cork and foam pieces.

In addition to this, the heavy cardboard shipping box uses an ingenious design based around polystyrene blocks that limit movement during shipping. Needless to say, great care has been taken to make sure the Selmer AS-400 would arrive safely at its destination.


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Open Case Packaging


The alto comes with a complete set of accessories, to get anyone started with playing saxophone: a warranty leaflet, mouthpiece, cap and ligature, cork grease, a Rico #2 reed, a swab, a neck strap and a shoulder strap for the case.

I was very impressed with the quality of all of these. The pull-through swab is made of a material that does a fine job at absorbing moisture, and features a two sided weighted cord system that makes it incredibly practical to use. The particular design of this swab makes it possible to use inside the horn, neck and even the mouthpiece. As for the neck strap, although it is rather basic, it will be more than enough to get anyone started. The foam padding provides a soft cushion against the back of your neck. It is easy to adjust and has no stretch to it, which makes it more stable. The open hook is coated with rubber, which will protect the saxophone's strap ring from wear.


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Accessories


The included plastic mouthpiece features a horseshoe chamber, straight sidewalls and straight floor with a small rollover baffle right at the tip. In this regard, it is close in design to a Selmer Soloist, although these are made of hard rubber instead of plastic. The plastic cap and ligature included with it are basic, but the latter is heavily nickel plated, which should translate in exceptional durability. The concave thumb screws of the ligature make it easy to use and provide a secure grip when fastening it.

The mouthpiece tip opening is .067", which would be equivalent to a Selmer C*. Despite the small tip opening, I could get a convincing jazz tone out of this mouthpiece, and it played well in all registers paired with a hard reed (the #2 Rico reed included would be way too soft to use on this mouthpiece) This is such a great mouthpiece, that it's made me reconsider my current choice. I truly enjoyed how its geometry colored my tone and how it responded despite the limitations of the small tip opening (if anyone has recommendations for straight sidewalls, horseshoe chamber mouthpieces, feel free to comment on it).


Selmer AS-400 Mouthpiece


Although advanced saxophonists will most probably just ignore it in favor of their prized vintage or boutique alternative, the mouthpiece included with the Selmer AS-400 would be a fantastic choice for beginners and high school students. After a few years, advancing students could simply have a mouthpiece artisan open up the tip opening if they feel that they could benefit from the modification. This possibility is a more economical alternative to buying a new piece, and could very well extend its life way past high school and college, depending on personal preference.

Listen to a short demonstration of the mouthpiece below. I recorded this casually, so that I could listen back to a recording of how the piece sounds. I think it's a good representation of what it is capable of though, hence why I'm including it here. I was using a Rigotti 3 Light which unfortunately was still way too soft for me, so please excuse the few squeaks and weirdness going on.





The rectangular hard shell case feels and looks like a very well-constructed accessory, especially considering the price of the Selmer AS-400. The ABS exterior is textured and, although it has a small amount of flex (compared to my Hiscox Pro-II), it feels like it will do an appropriate job at protecting your saxophone. The recessed and matching raised areas on the back and front of the case, respectively, for easy stackability - something schools will definitely appreciate. The case is mounted with large rubber feet on the side opposite of the handle, and bottom of the case.

The red and gold "Selmer" plastic badge, in the front, is simply glued into a recessed area of the case. I wish this got an upgrade, as, out of the box, the badge had already started to peel off. A small metal plate, mounted with rivets would have ensured the "Selmer" logo would remain attached throughout the life of the instrument, rather than fall-off after a few weeks. This of course does not impact the case's ability to protect the saxophone, or any of its other features, but it's a shame that such a great case would lose its branding so quickly.


Selmer AS-400 Case Front


The large aluminum edging, steel latches and D-rings (which you can use to attach the included shoulder strap) seem to be made of good, sturdy materials that will last a long time and be unlikely to break easily. The handle is basic, but it's curved design makes it easy on the hand and, again, I don't imagine it breaking any time soon either.


Selmer AS-400 Case Latches


The interior of the case is lined with two types of foam: the form-fitted interior shell is made of a rigid, shock-absorbing material, while the areas that come directly in contact with the instrument are covered with a softer type of foam. The entire surface inside the case is lined with soft plush fabric.

Compared to my Hiscox Pro-II, the rigid foam definitely feels like a lesser quality material (but this isn't surprising considering the price of the Hiscox case is 1/5th of the total cost of the Selmer AS-400). I think it will still do its job of absorbing accidental impacts though, and will guarantee your saxophone remains unharmed by the rough environment students and pros alike find themselves navigating.

Besides the main compartment reserved for the saxophone itself, you'll find a form-fitted area for the neck, a clever vertical slot for the mouthpiece which is fitted with a hard plastic surround, and an accessory compartment of generous size. You'll be able to carry quite a few things in this case.


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Case Open empty


Conn-Selmer went over and beyond to provide accessories of remarkable quality that will get anyone started without requiring any additional purchase. The quality of the case, mouthpiece and accessories included with the Selmer AS-400 represent an incredible value.



~


SETUP

The first thing I did, right after I had finished the photo shoot for this review, was to check for leaks, in a dark room, with my leak light.

The Selmer AS-400 is setup with professional quality leather pads, and metal resonators. Hot glue is used throughout the saxophone instead of the more traditional shellac. There are pros and cons to using either materials (and it seems to be a somewhat controversial subject), but hot glue tends to be messier to remove than shellac, and make it harder to fine tune during installation, or afterwards.

Most of the pads did not meet with the tone holes evenly all around at the same time, sometimes touching the back, front or sides first. While this is not something dramatic, as long as the pads seal when using a light touch, it however means that leaks may develop more rapidly as the pads wear out unevenly.

The pad job was good overall, but there were a few too many leaks to guarantee the saxophone would play at its best. The F palm key and G# key, had barely visible leaks, while the A pad leaked more seriously. The biggest leak came from the right hand F key. This pad did not seal at all unless an unreasonable amount of pressure was applied to the key (see picture below). A leak this serious would drastically impact the whole range of the horn, up to middle F, and most notably the bell keys.


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Leak


I can only assume venting (how high the keys sit from the tone holes, and the relationship between all of them) is fantastically set up, as intonation couldn't be better on the Selmer AS-400, and the response from the horn is stellar (more on this later in this review) despite the few leaks.

Timing was another part of the setup that was surprisingly good. Many keys on the saxophone move together, and this interaction is something that needs to be carefully adjusted to guarantee good pad seal, as well as to avoid any lost motion which would result in poor mechanical response. There was next to zero lost motion, even from the trickier areas of the saxophone (like the left hand stack, 1+1 Bb fingering, octave mechanism, etc.).

The action on the Selmer AS-400, set through spring adjustment and key height was another remarkable aspect of the setup. The action feels very positive and precise, without requiring too much pressure which can cause muscle strain in the long run. Compared to my Mark VII and its aging setup, the precise movement of the keys and positive feedback from the springs raised my level of confidence in my finger technique.

Neck tenon fit, or how tight or loose the neck fits into the receiver part of the saxophone body, was very good as far as I could tell. Inserting the neck into its receiver gave a small amount of resistance, and it could still rotate with a little effort once in position. Once inserted, the receiver screws needed little pressure to lock the neck in position. This is exactly how you want the neck tenon fit to be setup.

The vast majority of companies today can not afford to setup instruments perfectly directly off of the assembly line. This is true of student, intermediate and professional saxophones alike. Considering the retail price of the Selmer AS-400, the setup is surprisingly good despite the few oversights.

While this is a testimony of the value of this alto, you'll need to keep in mind the small issues mentioned above when purchasing from a retailer that does not setup new saxophones. One of the best reasons to buy a new saxophone from a local dealer is that many of them offer new instrument setup services. The value of this service is definitely worth considering when comparing prices to online retailers.

If you do buy the Selmer AS-400 from a retailer or dealer that does NOT set up new instruments, I would strongly recommend bringing your new alto to a competent woodwind technician to make sure it seals well. Adjusting the pads and corks is really all that would need to be done here, and it should be an affordable job that would guarantee that you're getting the most out of the alto.


Despite a few leaks, the Selmer AS-400 is set up with quality materials, superb action, timing and tuning. Making it seal and play perfectly should be a walk in the park for any saxophone technician worthy of the name.


~


ERGONOMICS / CONSTRUCTION


Conn-Selmer definitely put a focus on ergonomics as well as mechanical features when developing the Selmer AS-400, in order to make the alto as easy to play as possible, even for younger musicians. Many of these features used to be reserved to professional horns. This instrument, aimed as a step-up for students and developing saxophonists, stand out from the crowd thanks to its numerous features, and attention to details.

Let's start with the neck. Unlike the body of this alto, which uses yellow brass, the neck is made of rose brass. Other than the tone quality attributed to the material (whether neck material makes a substantial difference or not is a matter that won't be debated here), rose brass, with its high copper content (90%) is less susceptible to corrode and develop red rot, a type of corrosion caused by the buildup of acidic deposit.


Selmer AS-400 Neck Side


The left hand key-stack, pictured below, is angled to allow easier reach. Compared to my Mark VII, it is only slightly more angled, however, it sits significantly higher, and closer to the other left hand keys as a result. It also uses a much more compact design. This makes this intricate part of the instrument considerably easier to reach and operate. Combined with the excellent setup, achieved specifically here through proper spring tension and impeccable timing, navigating the pinkie table is effortless and definitely more enjoyable to use than on my personal horn.




The placement and height of the palm keys were typical, and I felt very comfortable reaching them despite the fact that my personal alto has key risers installed on them. Similarly, I did not have to adapt to the shape or position of the octave key as it is closely based on a traditional design.

The tear drop style front F key has become popular in the last few years, and it is nice to see it implemented on the Selmer AS-400. Although the simpler, more traditional design wouldn't be a deal-breaker, the tear drop style will make it slightly easier to transition between registers.

At the bottom of the horn, the most noticeable feature is the double bracing of the Bb and B bell keys, low Eb key, but the articulated C# is also worse mentioning.

The advantage of the double bracing on the lower keys is twofold. With the keys depressed, pressure is distributed to a larger area of the key cup thanks to the addition of a second arm, which will help with pad seating. It also makes these keys stronger and less likely to go out of adjustment through rough handling of the instrument inside and outside of its case (which is something that is likely to happen in a school environment, even with responsible students).


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Double Bracing


The low C# on my Vito backup horn isn't articulated, and many older saxophones lack this feature. It always throws me off when switching from my Selmer Mark VII. The articulated C# mechanism simply closes the C# pad if C# is depressed at the same time as B or Bb. This makes executing more technical passages in the low range easier, as you don't necessarily have to shift your finger on the left hand pinkie table, and, if you do, timing is more accurate.


Selmer AS-400 Series Student Alto Saxophone Review Bow


The low C/Eb stack features a slightly elongated C key, but overall stays very compact. If there's one thing I would change on my Selmer Mark VII, it is where and how the C and Eb keys are positioned. I've always had to be extra careful when playing very fast passages through this area on my alto. In comparison, the right hand stack on the Selmer AS-400 is clearly superior. It is attached significantly higher on the body of the instrument, as well as closer to the right hand keys, which feels significantly more ergonomically sound.

Some student and intermediate saxophones from a decade or two ago, like my backup Vito, used rather soft metal for the keys. While it surely helped keep these instruments affordable and lightweight it unfortunately meant that they were more likely to get out of adjustment and require regular visits to a woodwind technician. This is definitely not the case with the Selmer AS-400 as far as I can tell, which feels very solid.

The Selmer AS-400 uses a full-ribbed construction. What does this mean? Keys are attached to a saxophone by posts. Ribbed construction employs plates of brass onto which posts are soldered in groups. The unequivocal advantage to using this design is that a ribbed body is less likely to badly dent, as the brass plate will distribute any force from impacts over a larger area than if the posts were attached directly to the body.

The other reason, and one of the feature of the Selmer AS-400, is that ribbed construction dampens the vibration of the body, because of the added weight. I'll let Bob Lichty, Category Manager for Woodwinds at Conn-Selmer, explain why this has been implemented in this alto:

One of the challenges when students move to professional saxophone is that often times the student horns they started on were SO easy to play, as far as resistance goes, that they have not built up proper breathing technique or been prepared for everything a professional horn will put them through. The Selmer 400 Series saxophones use a full rib design to have more material on the body to help build up breath support.

Ribbed horns can also tend be darker and fatter sounding, all else being equal, but so many factors come into play regarding how a saxophone sounds, that it is not always as straight-forward as that. This is the reason why we will be going over how the Selmer AS-400 plays and sounds in the following section.

Worth mentioning is the fact that this design increases the weight of the horn as there is more metal attached to the instrument. While my Mark VII, another alto using ribbed construction, weighs 5.31 lbs (2.41 kg), this saxophone weighs 5.66lbs or 2.57 kg. This is really not much of a difference, but lighter horns tend to be easier to handle for small kids. Either way, it would advisable for young saxophonists to avoid using a neck strap in favor of a harness or something like the JazzLab Sax Holder.


The Selmer AS-400 puts a focus on ergonomics, and professional grade mechanical features. The overall construction, position of the keys, great action, as well as the double-bracing and articulated C#, not only contribute to how smooth the alto feels under the fingers, and how tough it is, but will also help keep this horn into adjustment.


~


TONE / RESPONSE / INTONATION

Quick note: some of the attributes I'll be covering in this section can be somewhat subjective, however I've tried my best to keep an open mind.

I have to admit I wasn't expecting anything mind-blowing from the Selmer AS-400. After all, what could one expect from an alto that retails for less than $1,300? If you've been reading the article so far, it will be clear that this saxophone has surprised me in more than a few ways, rivaling professional models. While all the features previously covered in this article make a significant difference, and are definitely worth considering when looking for a new horn, tone, response, and to a lesser extent, intonation, are arguably the features that truly matter.

Throughout my evaluation of this wonderful alto, I've mainly compared it to my vintage Selmer Mark VII, because my backup Vito had significantly inferior feel, response and tone (which speaks volume of the quality of the Selmer AS-400). Simply said, there is just no comparison between these two horns. The Selmer AS-400 utterly destroys this 90's Vito of mine, which sounds thin and colorless in comparison, and feels nowhere near as nice to blow and handle.


~ Tone ~


It seems that one of pitfalls of many new saxophones on the market (at least those that I have tried) is that they're designed to impress on first contact. They usually have a big boomy low end, and an abundance of bright overtones, which initially sounds very attractive and impressive. After a while though, they reveal themselves to lack in subtlety and complexity, especially in the rich middle frequency spectrum. This is not the case at all with the Selmer AS-400, which is a very balanced horn, with a rich singing voice and particularly even timbre throughout the range.

Compared to my Selmer Mark VII, the Selmer AS-400 is slightly more focused, yet slightly darker sounding. I wouldn't say that my VII has a spread tone (the Viking M60 I reviewed previously was more spread sounding) but the core of the Selmer AS-400 is more centered. This is especially noticeable in the medium high frequencies of the spectrum (around 3 to 5Khz), which are emphasized, thicker and more resonant, all over the range of the instrument. The Mark VII has a more airy, less forward tone around this range of the frequency spectrum.

My personal horn has a more vibrant top end, with more complex harmonics to manipulate (more on this later in this section) than the Selmer AS-400. However, these two instruments sound frighteningly similar in the midrange, where, in my opinion, the magic happens. In this regard, I feel this alto has captured some of what made Selmer Paris saxophones so popular.

The lower frequencies of the spectrum, all over the range of the horn, were less present than on my Mark VII. As you will be able to hear in the audio and video demonstrations at the end of this section, it doesn't mean that the Selmer AS-400 sounds thin, but the resonance of the horn is more pronounced and centered around the middle frequencies, which makes for a forward sounding instrument. As a result, the Mark VII has more weight to its overall tone, and this made it easier to fill a room, at any dynamic.




~ Response ~


Resistance, or the amount of back pressure felt when blowing through the horn, was another aspect of the Selmer AS-400 that was amazingly even throughout the range. From low Bb to way up high in the altissimo register, the feedback from the horn remained consistent. Voicing adjustments were required to navigate the different registers, like on any other saxophone, but on one hand I feel that this alto did not need modifying the air stream as drastically or as often as on my Mark VII, while on the other hand, the consistent feedback from the horn facilitated finding the proper adjustments.

The Selmer AS-400 felt more resistant than my Selmer Mark VII, and the few leaks on the saxophone I received for review most probably influenced this aspect to some degree. However, it's safe to assume that even with a perfect setup, the amount of resistance of this alto would still be slightly more prominent.

A saxophone with more resistance demands proper air support, but naturally focuses a saxophonist's air stream more compared to a more free-blowing instrument, as the back pressure serves as something to blow against. This point of reference also makes it easier to play with good intonation.

In order to achieve fast response, and tonal uniformity through the whole range, a more free-blowing instrument, like many vintage saxophones are, will require more expertise and control over tone production mechanics, as it will lack this point of reference. It will also require more work from the diaphragm, and more precise voicing, as well as throat and tongue flexibility.

The downside of resistance is that it can make a saxophone less flexible, and I certainly felt the difference between my Mark VII and the Selmer AS-400. Although it requires more embouchure and air stream control, the VII allows easier manipulation of tone and inflections. I wouldn't say that the Selmer AS-400 feels "locked-in" either but it has a slightly more restrictive feel to it.

This also influences dynamic modulation, or playing nuances. While my Mark VII seem to ever-increasingly accept more air, there is a ceiling past which the Selmer AS-400 will stop giving back what you put into it. The same thing can be said when playing softly; I can easily navigate the area between just air coming out of the horn and a whisper quiet tone on my horn, but it was slightly more delicate to perform at this dynamic on the Selmer AS-400

This all could be mitigated, to a certain extent, with a particularly free blowing mouthpiece and reed setup if desired.

You should also keep in mind that this review is all about focusing on the details; you will be able to hear in the video demonstration below that playing softly and dynamic modulation are areas where this alto performs splendidly, despite my comparison with the Selmer Mark VII.


Selmer AS-400 Left Hand Stack


~ Intonation ~


The Selmer AS-400 plays incredibly in tune, although I had to push my mouthpiece very far in on the neck. Combined with the increased resistance, it was considerably easier to play in tune, and more precisely adjust intonation, on this saxophone than on my personal horn.

Playing octaves with good intonation (as much as my skills will allow me to), was considerably easier on this alto than on my Mark VII. The altissimo register and palm keys also had significantly better intonation.



~ Demonstration ~


Watch the video below for a quick demonstration of the Selmer AS-400 alto. I'm using a James Bunte Model 42 in a .074 tip opening, a Rigotti Gold 2.5 Strong and BG Super Revelation. The audio was recorded through a pair of Artur Fisher RM-5 ribbon microphones, arranged in a stereo Blumlein configuration, through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

I play a few choruses on "Take the Coltrane", then something a little more abstract where I play longer tones, up and down the horn, with a wider dynamic range to illustrate some of the points raised in this review.

Opening in YouTube and watching at the highest quality will give you the best sound.





Listen to a back-to-back comparison of the Selmer AS-400 and my Selmer Mark VII altos in the two audio clips below. I was standing at about 8 feet from my pair of RM-5 ribbon microphones in order to capture the resonance of the room and instruments.

As you will surely notice, although there are tonal differences between the two horns (let me know if you can hear them), this isn't night and day. If you didn't know what horn is being played in the first audio clip, you'd be hard pressed to tell that it isn't marketed as a professional instrument, even with the audio sample of the Mark VII as comparison. This is once again a testament of the Selmer AS-400's amazing value.

I was informally experimenting with some ideas on the standard tune "How High the Moon" here, so please bear with me.


Selmer AS-400




Selmer Mark VII





Conn-Selmer makes no compromise as far as tone, response and intonation are concerned with the Selmer AS-400. This alto saxophone sounds like a professional horn, and while the slightly higher resistance may feel restrictive to advanced saxophonists used to playing vintage instruments, the back-pressure makes this alto a very precise instrument and enhances control over dynamics and tone production.

~


CONCLUSION

If you've been following The Diligent Musician, and have read other gear reviews published on this website, you'll know that one of the recurring goal is to focus on being as fair and objective as reviewing musical equipment will allow, something that can be quite challenging at times.

My approach was no different throughout my evaluation and review of the Selmer AS-400, and I feel confident to say that, while it is marketed as a step-up instrument for students and intermediate saxophonists, this alto is undoubtedly way more than that.

Sure, this saxophone may not look as fancy as some other models - no vintage lacquer, elaborate engraving, mother-of-pearl key touches and other bells and whistles - but everywhere it counts - construction, tone, response and intonation - there were no corners cut.

I was quite honestly shocked by the quality of construction, the feel and sound of this saxophone. Not only do I feel that it represents one of the best quality to price ratio I've encountered, but it surpassed the expectations I had of instruments in this price range by a wide margin. I would have no reserve recommending the Selmer AS-400 to beginners, intermediate saxophonists, parents looking for a high quality and durable instrument, and even more advanced musicians looking for an affordable instrument that makes no compromise. If I didn't own an incredible Selmer Mark VII, I would be completely satisfied playing the Selmer AS-400 as my main horn.

When I mentioned how impressed I was by the Selmer AS-400, Bob Lichty told me that throughout the development of the 400 Series saxophones, the main goal was to support music education. Mr Lichty feels that Conn-Selmer's responsibility in this context was to provide students with instruments that work the way they should and sound great, so they would not get frustrated and quit, as well as provide them with instruments which would let them build strong and proper foundations, or as he candidly said:

Why would I ever do a disservice to our future musicians with anything other than a product that I would play myself? 

The Selmer AS-400 accomplishes the goals set by Bob Lichty and the Conn-Selmer company, and, in my opinion, surpasses them.


~


This wraps up our review. If you have any question, or remark, please don't hesitate to take them to the comment section below. I'd like to thank Bob Lichty and everyone at Conn-Selmer for their contribution, help and patience.


The Selmer AS-400 alto retails for as low as $1,299 ($2,150 list price) and is available through a wide variety of online retailers, as well as local dealers. To learn more about the Selmer AS-400 alto saxophone, check out the product page, 400 series brochure, or contact your local dealer.





Categories:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © The Diligent Musician

Design by Anders Noren