Mendini Tenor Saxophone Review and Guide

Do you want to be the next Charlie Parker? You’ll need to learn the tenor saxophone, so consider our Mendini tenor saxophone review and guide to determine if it’s the right model for you.

This saxophone may not have the best reputation, but you should give it a chance. You may just find that it fits your needs both financially and musically.

What Is the Mendini Tenor Saxophone?

The Mendini tenor saxophone is the tenor saxophone model from the brand Mendini by Cecilio. Like other models, this one plays an octave and a major second below the written range.

So while it reads from a Bb below the treble clef to the F or F# above the staff, those aren’t the sounding notes. Instead, the notes sound the Ab at the bottom of the bass clef up to the Eb or E at the bottom of the treble clef.

It’s unclear if this model features a high F# key, but you can still play that note with a different fingering and some practice. That way, you can play most tenor saxophone parts you’ll find.

This tenor sax is suitable for players of all ages, but it’s not the best for advanced players. Of course, this model is much more affordable than some, but that does mean it’s not of as high quality.

You might find the saxophone doesn’t hold up for more than a year or so. And some professional repair techs won’t touch the instrument, or they might charge more than the value of the sax to fix it.


The saxophone features a gold lacquer over the brass body, so it looks and sounds like many other saxophones. It’s easy to get a sound out, and you get everything you need to make that sound.

That’s right, the saxophone comes with a mouthpiece, ligature, and a box of 10 reeds. You’ll also receive a neck strap to support the instrument and cork grease to keep the cork on the neck moist.

This instrument also comes with a polishing cloth to clean the outside. There’s also a cleaning rod to clean the inside, but I wouldn’t store it in the instrument because it can collect condensation that may damage the pads.

But you can keep those accessories in the pockets of the tenor saxophone case. And you’ll have space for the tuner that comes with the tenor as well.


  • Affordable
  • Comes with a lot of accessories
  • Easy to play


  • Not the best for professionals

How to Choose a Tenor Saxophone

Before you buy the Mendini tenor saxophone, you should determine if it’s the best model for you. The Mendini can be an excellent choice for some players, but it might hold other players back.

I’ve shopped for many different instruments, and while there are some differences, a lot of factors are the same. You want to get an instrument that’s easy to play and that will support your playing style.

Here are some things you should consider to make sure the Mendini tenor saxophone is the best instrument for you.

Understand Your Playing Level

First, you need to think about how well you currently play the tenor sax. If you’re a beginner, the Mendini model may be perfect to help you get started quickly.

However, if you’ve played the tenor sax for a while, the Mendini isn’t so great. You may want a model that can offer a warmer sound or more flexibility throughout the range.

As a professional or advanced player, you need something that will help you improve. The Mendini is useful for beginners, but it doesn’t have as many benefits for people with some tenor sax playing experience.

You should also consider if tenor sax is your main instrument or not. If you tend to play the alto sax more, a Mendini tenor may be good to have in case you have to play tenor occasionally.

Consider Your Budget

Along with your playing level, you should think about the average price of a tenor sax. Since it’s one of the bigger saxes, tenor models can easily cost thousands of dollars.

The Mendini is relatively affordable at less than $1,000. But compare that cost your level of playing. A beginner may be able to get away with a cheaper horn.

As you advance, though, you may want or need features on instruments that cost more. You can always get a Mendini to have as a backup, but prepare to spend more on your main sax.

Know What You’re Getting

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your expectations in check with any instrument. However, that’s even more critical when it comes to the Mendini tenor sax.

Sadly, Mendini instruments aren’t of the best quality, so you can’t expect them to last for years. If you go into your purchase knowing that it may not work for long, that’s okay.

You can use the instrument to start learning how to play the tenor saxophone. And when the horn stops working, you can upgrade to something better.

Try Other Mendini Models

If you’ve never played any saxophone and just need something, consider other saxophones from Mendini. They only have one tenor model, but they also sell alto, soprano, and baritone saxophones.

Unless you have your heart set on a tenor, you should compare the other sizes. At the very least, give the alto sax a try to see if it might be a better option for you.

Then, you can still get a saxophone, and you can learn on a small budget. But you don’t have to get an instrument that you don’t love.

Try Other Tenor Saxophones

Alternatively, if you really want to play the tenor saxophone, you can look at models from other companies. They may be more expensive than the Mendini, but you’ll have more options.

You can test a few different models to see if one is easier for you to play than the rest. Who knows, you may find the Mendini is a better fit for you.

But by trying other tenor saxophones, you’ll give yourself the chance to ensure that’s the case. Then, you can minimize the chances of experiencing buyer’s remorse.

Alternative Tenor Saxophones to Try

When looking at alternative tenor saxophones, I looked for instruments with a good reputation. I wanted to choose instruments that weren’t too expensive but that were a good value.

Some of them are very similar to the Mendini, but others are better for long-term use. I made sure to choose models at various price points as well, so you don’t have to spend a few thousand dollars on a sax.

Here are some of the best tenor saxophones to try and compare to the Mendini.

Selmer Tenor Saxophone

The Selmer Tenor Saxophone is an excellent student model, so it’s probably the closest alternative to the Mendini. It has a gold lacquer over the brass body, so you can get a good sound.

There’s a high F# key, so you can play up to that note with ease, making this a good option for advancing players. You also get a mouthpiece and cap, so all you need to purchase separately are some reeds.

This model’s body uses a ribbed construction that makes it durable. That and the reasonable price make the Selmer sax perfect for students in band class or who need to take the tenor saxophone to lessons.


  • Affordable
  • Good features
  • Easy to play


  • Some quality control issues

Jean Paul USA TS-400

The Jean Paul USA TS-400 is an intermediate saxophone, so it’s a step above the Mendini. Because of that, it’s a better choice for someone switching from the alto sax since they already know the fundamentals.

This model has a yellow brass body with a lacquer finish, so it will fit right in with a saxophone section. You’ll also get a mouthpiece and a reed, so you have what you need to start learning.

Everything comes in a sturdy case to use for storage and travel. It’s also not too expensive for a player who needs an intermediate model.


  • Good look and sound
  • A bit of an upgrade
  • Comes with a reed


  • Not for absolute beginners

Jupiter JTS1100SG

If you want a more unique tenor saxophone, give the Jupiter JTS1100SG a try. This model features gorgeous silver plating, so it can sound bright and project well.

Jupiter’s special manufacturing process helps the saxophone sound warm even with the silver. The instrument is also easy to play, so it’s great for advancing students.

It even has contoured left-hand keys that are comfortable to reach. So if you struggle to play other tenor saxophones because of small hands, this could be the right model for you.


  • Great for advancing students
  • Easy to play
  • Looks and sounds good


  • A bit expensive

Yamaha YTS-480

Another intermediate model worth trying is the Yamaha YTS-480. This saxophone has the standard gold lacquer, so it looks and sounds good alone and in an ensemble.

If you don’t quite like the sound, you swap out both the mouthpiece and the neck for something else. That way, you can really customize your instrument to get the sound and response you want.

Yamaha’s new key guard helps protect the lower keys, so you won’t damage them when moving the saxophone. However, it’s not the most affordable model on the market.


  • Easy to play
  • Good sound
  • Customizable


  • Not for beginners

FAQs About the Mendini Tenor Saxophone Review And Guide

Question: How good is the Mendini tenor saxophone?

Answer: The Mendini tenor saxophone is good for certain people. For a beginner model, it’s a decent option, and it’s perfect if you can’t afford to spend a ton of money.
Unfortunately, it’s not the best choice for intermediate and advanced players. At your level, you should look for a model from a company with better quality and more features.

Question: Are other cheap brands good?

Answer: When shopping for a Mendini tenor saxophone, you may come across other brands at a similar price point. Those brands have a lot of the same pros and cons as Mendini.
They can be good for beginners and casual players, but advanced musicians will find problems with them. So instead of comparing two brands at this price, look at brands of all prices.

Question: How’s the tenor saxophone different from other saxophones?

Answer: The tenor saxophone is larger and has a lower range than the alto and soprano saxophones. However, it plays higher and is smaller than the baritone saxophone.
Like the soprano sax, the tenor plays in the key of Bb, so it sounds a major second lower than written. That means you can’t change out parts with the alto or bari sax when playing with other musicians.

Question: Why are other saxophones so much more expensive than Mendini?

Answer: Other saxophone brands, such as Yamaha, are more expensive for a few reasons. First, those brands tend to use better quality materials, which cost more for the company.
They also use better manufacturing processes to ensure the instrument will stay in good condition for a long time. That takes time and effort, which can increase the cost for the player.

Question: How can you make the Mendini tenor saxophone last longer?

Answer: Even though it is fairly cheap, you can extend the lifespan of a Mendini by taking good care of it. Try not to bump the instrument into anything because that can knock the keys out of alignment.
You may also want to upgrade to a better mouthpiece or swap out the reeds for a better brand. Then, you can get a slightly better sound without having to pay for an entirely new instrument.

Question: Can you teach yourself on the Mendini tenor saxophone?

Answer: You may be able to use the Mendini tenor saxophone to teach yourself to play. However, you’ll need to have the discipline to be able to play every day so that you can improve.
It also helps if you can watch videos and read articles that offer tips on how to play the sax. If you have a bit of extra money to spend, look for a tenor sax method book to guide you through the basics.

Final Note On the Mendini Tenor Saxophone Review And Guide

Reading a Mendini tenor saxophone review and guide can help you determine if the instrument is worth it. For some players, the model is perfect, but others may find it limiting.

Be sure to compare the Mendini to models from Yamaha and Jupiter. That way, you won’t risk choosing a sax that won’t help you improve your playing.

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