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Then, you can decide if it’s the model for you so that you can give yourself an edge over other saxophonists. You may just find you get more gigs when you play the low sax.
Bottom Line Up Front: The Mendini Baritone Saxophone is great for beginners and amateurs who don’t have a ton of money. You may be able to play it for a few months, but don’t expect it to last a lifetime.
What Is the Mendini Baritone Saxophone?
The Mendini Baritone Saxophone is a cheap baritone saxophone model. Mendini is a brand that makes all kinds of low-cost instruments, so it can be a good option for people on a budget.
However, the bari sax is one of those instruments where it’s worth spending a bit more. Still, the Mendini Baritone Saxophone isn’t all bad.
Consider the following details to decide if this saxophone model is for you.
How It Plays
I played both of those saxophones before trying the bari, which gave me a leg up. If you’ve never played any kind of saxophone, I’d recommend avoiding this bari, at least for now.
Once you get some experience on a smaller sax, you can transition to the bigger one. Then, you might not have as many problems with blowing enough air and getting a sound.
The bari sax is in the key of Eb, so playing a C on the instrument will produce a concert Eb. Pretty much any bari you find will sound this way, so that’s standard.
One thing that surprised me is the presence of a low A key. A lot of saxophones only go down to a low Bb, and that includes some more basic bari saxes, but this one lets you play the full range.
The gold lacquer looks great and can help you get a nice sound. You’ll be able to connect the neck to the body, and you can adjust the position based on how you need to hold the instrument.
What Else You Get
When you buy a good saxophone, you won’t just get the instrument. At the very least, you should get a mouthpiece and ligature, but that’s not always the case.
This model comes with both of those accessories as well as a reed. Unfortunately, the reed comes on the mouthpiece, which isn’t the best place to store it since it can collect moisture and develop mold.
Other accessories include a neck strap, tuner, cleaning supplies, and a case. It’s a good choice for players who want to get everything they need in one package.
- Great for beginners
- Decent price
- Easy to play
- Comes with accessories
- Nice sound
- Case is a bit cheap
- No safe storage for your reed
How It Compares to Other Saxophones
If you compare this bari to models from other brands, you may be disappointed. Brands like Yamaha and Jupiter tend to use better materials and manufacturing processes.
As long as you have realistic expectations, this can be a good model to try. It may help you kickstart your baritone saxophone playing.
Where to Buy the Mendini Baritone Saxophone
You should start your search for the Mendini Baritone Saxophone online. Amazon is a great option, but this model may not always be in stock, so you might have to wait.
Another place to check is eBay, which may or may not have one available. You can also do a Google search to see what other listings come up so that you can find a new model.
And that’s the thing, I’d recommend against buying a used Mendini saxophone. It’s already relatively cheap, so buying a new one means you’ll get more use out of it.
Sadly, you probably won’t find this bari sax in your local music store. Since Mendini isn’t a super reputable brand, most well-known music stores don’t carry any instruments from the company.
Even if you think the Mendini Baritone Saxophone will meet your needs, don’t buy it too soon. Instead, consider the instrument, brand, and other factors.
That will help you make sure the instrument is a good option for you. Knowing more about the sax can also help lower your risk of experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Here are some things you should know before you purchase any bari sax, but especially the Mendini.
For better or worse, Mendini doesn’t have a great reputation. A lot of professional musicians and teachers would tell you to stay far away from the brand if you can.
Some would even go so far as to call the Mendini Baritone Saxophone an “instrument-shaped object.” And I can’t say I totally disagree.
While the instrument is fun to play, I wouldn’t recommend it to a saxophone player. My main instrument is the flute, so I don’t need the best sax, but if you do need the best, Mendini won’t meet your needs.
If you’re a beginner, I may or may not recommend this saxophone to you. For one, a beginner should start on an alto or tenor, so let’s assume you’ve played those and want a bari.
The Mendini model is great if you’re on a budget and need something to try. If you can’t borrow a bari from someone, you can see if you like playing the low sax before spending more money on a better one.
On the other hand, if you know you love playing the bari, stay away. You should save up for a better model that will sound good and be easy to play, even as you advance.
Another thing to think about is your goals and plans for music, specifically the saxophone. If you want to make a career out of playing bari, you need the best instrument you can afford.
That means saving up and getting something from a more reputable brand. However, if you don’t want to play music professionally, you can justify saving a bit and buying a Mendini model.
You won’t get as good of a sound as a professional, but you can still learn and improve. Later on, you may decide to upgrade if you find yourself outgrowing the beginner sax.
Ask a Teacher
Before you buy any saxophone, ask a professional. If you take private saxophone lessons, ask your private teacher since they know you and your playing the best.
Your teacher can tell you what models they think will work with you and your playing style. They may even know about used saxophones for sale, so you can get a good model but also save money.
If you don’t have a teacher, join a saxophone group on Facebook or a forum site. You can ask for recommendations and see what others think about the Mendini Baritone Saxophone.
No matter where you buy the Mendini sax, you should consider the store’s return policy. You’ll most likely have to buy the instrument before you can try it, so having the option to return it is vital.
Sure, you might luck out and enjoy the saxophone. However, you might find it’s not as good as you expected, so you don’t want to get stuck with an instrument you can’t play.
Consider how long you’ll have to test the sax and return it to get a refund. Then, you can make sure the instrument meets your needs, or you can return it and look elsewhere.
If Something Bad Happens
As much as you may not want to think about it, bad things happen to instruments. One of the problems with the low price point of Mendini saxophones comes up when they need maintenance.
It’s not uncommon for the cost of repairs to be higher than the value of the saxophone. That means you’d have to spend more than what the sax is worth to get it to play again.
Because of that, it may be worth saving for something better. Then, if something does go wrong, repairs will be worth the cost, and you can keep playing your new saxophone.
Another thing to consider is that you may not be able to insure your Mendini sax. Even if you can, the insurance company might not think it’s worth paying for if someone steals it.
Price vs Value
When looking at saxophones, it can be easy to only focus on how much one costs. The Mendini costs a fraction of the price of most other bari saxes, which makes it especially attractive.
However, all of the problems with its reputation, repair costs, and buying options can negate that. Sure, the price tag seems affordable, but the value is also not that high.
Think about it this way: the Mendini may last you two years if you’re lucky. But a better sax that costs five times more could last for over a decade, so the cost per use on the expensive model is actually lower, so it’s a better value.
Upgrade the Accessories
The Mendini Baritone Saxophone may come with accessories, but that doesn’t mean they’re good. Like the instrument, the accessories you get probably aren’t the best.
I’d recommend upgrading at least the neck strap at first. Soon, you’ll also need to buy some more reeds since the one that comes with the sax will wear out.
Be sure to research the cost of these accessories before you buy the sax. Then, you can get a better idea of how much the instrument will cost overall.
Compare These Baritone Saxophones
You may think the Mendini Baritone Saxophone will meet your needs, and that could be true. I’d still recommend finding a few other models to test and compare to see if the Mendini is actually for you.
To choose these saxophones, I stuck to reputable brands that make good saxophones. I looked for intermediate models, but it was impossible to find models at a similar price to the Mendini.
Still, price isn’t the biggest factor to consider when choosing an instrument. The features, sound, and response are all more important.
Here are a few other models you should try.
The Jupiter JBS1000 is an excellent alternative to the Mendini bari sax. This model features a gold lacquer over a brass body, so it looks and sounds like the cheaper one.
You can adjust the height of the palm keys, which can make playing more comfortable. It also lets you play down to a low A and up to a high F, so you can cover most bari sax parts.
This model also has a nice design that makes the left-hand table keys easy to play. That can help you with your lower notes so that you can play smoothly.
While you won’t get a reed, you do get a mouthpiece and a case to protect your saxophone. It’s a good choice for someone who needs something of good quality without spending too much.
- Easy to play
- Good sound
- Looks great
- Ergonomic design
- Nice range
- Not as many accessories
- A bit expensive
Another model to test out is the Selmer SBS280R. Also called the La Voix II, it has a rose brass finish with a clear lacquer, so it looks unique and sounds a bit warmer than some models.
The keys have a compact design, so they’re all easy to reach. You can play all the way down to low A and up to high F#, so you should be able to play any bari sax part.
It’s easy to play fluidly throughout the range, which is great for more soloistic playing. But it’s also a good choice if you want to play in a wind ensemble, jazz band, or saxophone quartet.
You’ll get a mouthpiece and a case with the model, but you’ll have to get other accessories separately. Still, this model is worth trying, especially if you want a sax that will last for years.
- Looks great
- Nice sound
- Good materials
- Full range
- Fluid sound
- Somewhat expensive
- Not a ton of accessories included
The Yamaha YBS-62 features an annealed bell to help you get a clear, full sound. You can play down to a low A, and the low Bb uses a rocker mechanism that makes it easy to play those notes.
On the other end of the range, you get a high F# key and a front F key to play higher notes well. The mother of pearl keys feel comfortable and look great.
You can adjust the thumb rest to be more comfortable, which may allow you to play for longer periods. The gold epoxy finish looks great and helps you get a great tone.
Like other Yamaha models, this one comes with a five-year warranty. I can’t tell for sure, but I imagine it comes with a case and a mouthpiece.
- Great for professionals
- Easy to play
- Comfortable mechanism
- Adjustable thumb rest
- Nice sound
- Not for beginners
- Quite expensive
FAQs about the Mendini Baritone Saxophone Review and Guide
Answer: People don’t like Mendini saxophones because the instruments aren’t of the best quality. They can break a lot more easily than saxophones from more expensive brands.
The quality of Mendini instruments can also hold back beginners and players with experience. You might think you can’t play when really, a better saxophone would fix whatever problem you’re having.
Answer: Fortunately, you can do a few things to improve a Mendini saxophone, the easiest of which is to get a new reed. You can get the right strength reed from a brand like Vandoren or D’Addario to improve your tone.
Getting a better mouthpiece and ligature may also help you get a better sound. If comfort is a problem, look into getting a harness rather than using a neck strap, so you can distribute the weight more evenly.
Answer: The Mendini Baritone Saxophone can be a good backup sax for when your main one needs maintenance. You can still use it to practice, even if you won’t sound the best.
It’s also a great option if you want to take your sax on vacation. You may need to check the sax, but damage to the Mendini won’t be as devastating as if it happened to your more expensive bari.
Answer: You should play a Mendini saxophone as a beginner or casual player. The instrument is affordable enough to let you figure out if you’ll stick with the saxophone.
Once you gain some experience, you’ll know if it’s worth saving more money for a better model. Or you might decide to quit and learn a different instrument.
Final Note on the Mendini Baritone Saxophone Review and Guide
If you’re looking for something affordable, consider Mendini instruments. A good Mendini Baritone Saxophone Review and Guide, like this one, will cover the pros and cons of this brand.
The Mendini bari sax is great for beginners and casual players on a tight budget. But I’d recommend saving up for something better if you want to be a professional or even if you want to get past the beginner level.
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