Sax players know what they want. They want to play well, on any sax, including the soprano saxophones. But just how do you get the right instrument. We are Musicians, not instrument technicians. We don’t always know everything there is to know about an instrument. It is not our specialty.
What do we know about metal vibrations, key positioning, the size of the bell and how it influences the sound of an instrument? That is tech stuff, right?
Problem is, this lack of knowledge can be a huge obstacle when you are thinking of buying a new soprano saxophone. How are you supposed to differentiate those cheap and poorly made saxophones from the great ones?
Finding a “Good” sax to meet your playing needs is not easy.
Which is why we have created this list of best soprano saxophones for you to review. After some research, and playing of these different saxophones, we have shortlisted the 6 top sopranos and listed them here in this guide.
Top 6 Best Soprano Saxophones For The Money of 2023
1 The Allora ViennaIntermediate Soprano Saxophone with Two Necks AASS-502 – Lacquer
Made by VMI in Germany, The Allora is a fine option for the musician who wants an intermediate soprano sax, one with more playing flexibility, better sound range, but also one that won’t come in on the high range of the price scale. The Allora does just that. Take note, this is a sax that offers a solid build for the intermediate player. It handles well, feels strong and is tight. Plus, It is an affordable step-up instrument for intermediate players. It offers a better tone and play range, a good ergonomic key fit, and the flexibility most experienced musicians want. All at a price point most of us can afford.
Basically, the Allora differentiates itself from others because of its nice tone range. For the player, this translates to improved playing flexibility and allows the musician to reach for those soft notes as well as for those blow out notes (depending on the piece he is playing). This is the stuff that makes a sax player’s skills stand out.
A few of the extras on this sax include the added two necks, the pro-style keys and the high F# key.
One of these necks is curved to give the player those darker tones he wants. Whereas, the straight neck offers a more direct sound. When it comes to the keys, you’ll quickly not that The key set is comfortable and allow you to play more naturally. An added plus here is the high F# key which gives you more flexibility. If you are a Musician looking for a Soprano sax with a warm tone especially in the middle and low octaves, the Allora Vienna works very nicely.
2 Yamaha YSS-475II Intermediate Soprano Saxophone
Yamaha is known for its professional qualities and most musicians know of its quality. Here the Yamaha YSS-475II is no different. It is an intermediate Sax soprano that bases its looks and its feel on the famed custom EX sax. In a similar fashion, the 475II offers excellent tone and intonation. The key set is designed to offer the musician excellent finger response and comfortable playability.
The designed custom style Bb spatula enhances correct finger technique while simultaneously increasing comfort, making for smoother note changes. An adjustable thumb rest offers better fingering manipulation. A big plus on this model is the high F# key for better intonation. The lower vent tube design also reduces noise and offers improved air flow.
3 Yamaha Custom YSS-82Z Series Professional Soprano Saxophone with Straight Neck Unlacquered
Here is a sax with that cool vintage style. The Custom Z soprano offers a brushed brass alloy look with a great playing feel. This sax is reminiscent of the old models made in the 1960s.
The body feels light and the keys are placed in a way that makes finger action more fluid. It plays evenly across all tonal ranges and offers you a fuller range of sound in a brighter more precise way and can be as soft or as loud as you want.
4 Selmer SSS280R La Voix II Soprano Saxophone Outfit Lacquer
The Selmer LaVoix II has a fluid sound and its ergonomic keys allow for quick finger action. The special thing about this sax is the neck which is made to offer a superior response. It works well for musicians who want a specific custom darker or mid-range sound. Plus, this sax comes with all the features of a modern soprano sax. It is lightweight, has a full range of tones and great performance. A plus here is the high G#, the multiple adjusting screws. It offers a rose brass look with a clear finish.
5 P. Mauriat System 76 One-Piece Professional Soprano Saxophone Gold Lacquer
This sax is reminiscent of the old sopranos of the 50s and 60s, it is this P. Mauriat build that produces a warm centered tone that many of the old-time players like. The large bell offers a larger projection of sound as well. It comes in a vintage dark lacquer that is slightly different to the bright gold lacquer. crafted with a one-piece body that produces a tone with a warm. The two included necks to help the player with versatile playing capability. The curved neck allowing for those darker tones, and the straight for the brighter sound some pieces need.
P.Mauriat is known for its “vintage” sound and this new soprano model offers just that. Musicians no longer have to compromise sound quality for the ergonomic key feel of the modern instrument.
6 Jupiter 547GL Deluxe Soprano Saxophone
A distinct feature to the Jupiter 547GL is the fast key action. This is a single-piece like the old models. For a long time, all sopranos were a single piece until someone decided to fit a detachable neck. However, many musicians prefer the sound of the older single-piece sopranos, and that is what Jupiter has brought back in this model.
Solid in tone, and with fewer things that can go wrong, this soprano allows a musician to focus on his skill. The keys are neatly fitted and the tone is excellent. It features a high F# key and a tilting G#-Bb spatula key as well.
Best Soprano Saxophone Buying Guide
We have added a quick buyer’s guide here to offer some hard facts you should think about when shopping for, buying or playing a soprano sax. Keep these tips in mind when you are ready to go shopping.
When purchasing a soprano saxophone you always want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this a reputable brand or designer?
- How long has the company been making saxophones?
- What type of materials and design is the sax made of?
- Is there a case included?
- Does the seller offer a warranty?
Knowing the history of the manufacturer and the popularity of the instrument among other musicians is a great thing to know when buying a new saxophone.
What makes for a good sax? Look at these features:
- Solid brass alloy build
- Ergonomics of keys
- Leveling screws
- Overall finish
- Tone the brand is known for
When a sax has all of these features then you can go ahead and consider the other characteristics to determine if the play fits your needs.
Once you have a few choices in mind, think about the weight. Holding a sax for an hour or two can make you tired, so you want a sax that feels light but solid. Not CHEAP!If it is too heavy, it is going to be hard to maneuver and play. Test out a few options, but go with your instincts (based on research) and you should get a very nice soprano sax.
A soprano saxophone is smaller than the alto or tenor. Even so it should feel good in your hands and the playing position should seem natural.
This is a fantastic lineup of intermediate soprano saxophones. You just can’t go wrong with any of the above choices. There is no right or wrong choice here. They are all great options but personally, I like the deep tones of the vintage sax so I am going with the P. Mauriat System 76. It has that deep rich tone and a wide range of play that I look for. I don’t really care for the brushed finish, but hey, I love the way it sounds.