With so many soprano saxophones in the market, it could be confusing for a beginner to decide on one. Of all the saxophones, the soprano saxophone could be a little difficult to understand and learn. It’s not like the alto and tenor saxophones that are a bit easier.
There are different brands in the market which carry soprano saxophones from Yamaha to Selmer to the rest. Knowing your budget and needs will help you decide what brand to patronize. However, keep in mind that soprano saxophones are bit pricier than alto and tenor saxophones.
In our review today, we will help you understand the soprano sax a bit better. And then we will provide you with reviews on 6 of our very best soprano saxophones. We’re pretty sure that after this guide you’d have found your favorite soprano saxophone. Come with us!
- Top 6 Best Soprano Saxophones Of 2019 Reviews
- 1 Yamaha YSS-475II Intermediate Soprano Saxophone
- 2 Allora Vienna Series Intermediate Straight Soprano Saxophone
- 3 Yamaha Custom YSS-82Z Series Professional Soprano Saxophone
- 4 Merano B Flat Silver Soprano Saxophone
- 5 Mendini by Cecilio MSS-L+92D Straight Soprano Saxophone
- 6 Selmer SS600 Soprano Saxophone
- Buying Guide For Best Soprano Saxophones
- Best Soprano Saxophone Brands
Top 6 Best Soprano Saxophones Of 2019 Reviews
Carrying case and replacement reeds
Gig bag, mouthpiece, cap and ligature, care products
Case with shoulder strap
Case, reed, screw driver, nipper, gloves, soft cleaning cloth, music stand
Hard-shell case, mouthpiece, 10 reeds, neck strap, cleaning cloth and rod, gloves, chromatic/string tuner with metronome
Selmer SS600 Soprano Saxophone
The Yamaha YSS-475II comes at a mid-range price point. So, while it isn’t exactly cheap, it is still quite affordable. It is an intermediate level instrument although serious beginners can also start out with the Yamaha YSS-475II. It also makes a perfect saxophone for the upgrade from a budget instrument.
In looks, this is an absolutely gorgeous saxophone with its gold plated finish. The floral etchings on the bell are also obviously carefully done. Moreover, Yamaha also adds these beautiful lever designs in mother-of-pearl to make it more eye-catching.
With the beautiful design of this sax, it will easily stand out in any orchestral band, on stage, or anywhere at all.
We know soprano saxophones can come in a bit difficult to play. Fortunately, Yamaha has made things a bit easier. So, this comes with a Bb key and this helps you to transfer more smoothly from note to note. You won’t lose either pitch or resonance here.
Also, with the high F# key, it’s easy to hit the harder notes as well as maintain them. This is great news for beginners as it makes the YSS-475II a lot easier to practice with. It helps you achieve accurate note progression while tasting a wide range of musical options.
Now, you get a number of accessories with the purchase of this sax. These include a carrying case as well as replacement reeds too. These accessories are high quality as you’d expect from Yamaha. So, you’d love using them.
Construction wise, this is solidly built. Durability won’t be an issue for you here.
Altogether, check the Yamaha YSS-475II out if you want something solid and beautiful that’s playable enough for a beginner.
At a slightly lower price is the Allora Vienna Series Intermediate Straight Soprano Saxophone. It’s a great value priced saxophone that’s great for schools, and beginners on a budget. With its excellent features, this saxophone also makes a great step up option from a budget instrument.
Knowing its target audience, Allora has built this saxophone such that it meets their needs. The sound here is great. Plus, it is also highly playable, making this somewhat difficult instrument a lot easier for younger musicians to learn with.
The construction of this saxophone is obviously excellent. It will definitely stand the test of time. Plus, there’s a carrying case to protect your investment when not in use. You’ll also be able to move this conveniently from place to place thanks to the quality case.
In the looks department, this does well. It’s a beautiful piece with its lacquer finish. You’ll be proud to own a saxophone from Allora’s Vienna series.
Furthermore, the Allora Vienna Series Intermediate Soprano Saxophone comes with a ribbed construction. This helps with the sound to give it resonance and depth. Also, the high F key makes it somewhat easier to hit those difficult high notes.
With this saxophone, you get a gig bag to move the instrument around. You also get a mouthpiece with cap and ligature. There are also care products with which to clean and maintain your saxophone so that it keeps giving you its best.
All in all, we found the Allora Vienna Series Intermediate Straight Soprano Saxophone a great buy at a moderate price. We believe school bands, as well as beginners have a lot to benefit from this instrument.
The Yamaha Custom YSS-82Z is a professional grade soprano saxophone. So, if what you want is unparalleled, professional, high end sound, then you’re making a great choice with this. It is pricey, of course, in keeping with the professional features of the sax. But there’s a lot more to know…
First of all, here’s a sax that’s a performer by nature. It offers an exceptional level of tonal flexibility. And coming at such a light weight, you’d find it easy and convenient carrying this while you play. Of course, this makes the instrument much more playable.
We love the vintage feel the YSS-82Z brings to any occasion. It brings a melodious mix of past eras into every performance.
Furthermore, there are two neck options when you get the YSS-82Z, that is, the curved and the straight necks. The particular one on review today is the curved neck. Now, because the neck is a one-piece neck, it doesn’t come with any joint to the body. So, response is super fast.
The Yamaha Custom YSS-82Z is a truly stunning instrument in all ramifications. You’ve got mother-of-pearl keys here with a bell that’s hand-engraved. Altogether, this sax looks glorious and luxurious.
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s also really playable and Yamaha made sure of that. They added a high F sharp key, with ergonomic keys and an adjustable thumb rest. All of these features ensure that players hit difficult notes easily and also achieve correct fingering with ease.
You’d love how easy maintaining this sax is. Thanks to the pivot screw, you’d only need to do so much to keep your sax in shape.
Lastly, there are a number of accessories included with this sax. There’s a case which comes with a shoulder strap that makes the instrument easy to transport.
Merano makes quality instruments and everyone knows that. However, we’re more impressed with how Merano makes its instruments so affordable. Since not everyone would be able to throw thousands of bucks around for a sax, it’s great to know that there are much less pricey options.
Now, one of such options is the Merano B Flat Silver Soprano Saxophone. It’s one of the most affordable soprano saxophones you’d probably find. However, it’s quite high quality for its category.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect the same high end construction you find on the Yamahas and the Selmers. So, keep your expectations realistic. This is a great beginner saxophone at best, and in our opinion, its features are sufficient for that purpose.
There are all kinds of accessories in this package to help you get started on the instrument. Now, at a sub-$500 price, you’d have to agree that this is a pretty sweet deal.
It comes with a straight body with a nickel plated finish for beauty and a smooth, warm sound. The saxophone also comes ready to help you deliver on those high notes with a crisp quality.
Once you finally break this in, you’ll find this comfortable and easy to play with. It’s not something to wow the audience with. But while you hone your skills in preparation for that day, this will serve.
Here’s another soprano saxophone we found to be ideal for the beginner. It’s a really easy instrument. It’s easy to maintain and comes with several accessories that makes this usable out of the box. Plus, if this ever gets damaged within 365 days of you purchase, you can always get a replacement from the brand ASAP.
The tone from this sax is deep and rich. Plus, it maintains an even intonation over the entire range. This should be more than sufficient to meet your saxophone needs. Plus, the large bore allows even young players to achieve rich sound without much effort.
When it comes to playability, this saxophone shines, as it is really comfortable to use. And with a fast key action, the response is fantastic. So, altogether, it’s a comfortable and highly responsive instrument usable by beginners and young players as well.
As usual, Cecilio includes several useful accessories to make this a fantastic deal. There’s a quality case which is tough enough to protect your investment. And this case also comes with a zippered pocket at the side where you can store other accessories.
In addition to the bag, we are deeply impressed that Cecilio also added a tuner with a metronome. This isn’t something you always find in everyday saxophones.
So, do we love this soprano sax by Cecilio? Of course. We’re sure you’d love it too!
This is a somewhat cheap saxophone for a Selmer. If you know the brand very well, you know that its instruments usually come a tad bit pricey. However, they are easily some of the best saxophones you can ever get in the market.
For a skill level, we’d say this is an entry-level professional soprano sax. It looks really good in the usual Selmer fashion. Well, there are finer looking Selmers. But hey, they are also much pricier so we can’t complain.
This comes with a high F sharp key which is super important in making any soprano saxophone easier to play. The fingering here is also really smooth. So, you’ll enjoy the response this gives you even through the wickedest licks.
Here is one saxophone that comes in nicely tuned. Thanks to Selmer’s careful construction, this sax does not lack in durability or intonation.
Now, keep in mind that this piece does not come with its own reeds or mouthpiece. This saxophone is targeted at professionals after all. And most professionals already have their own predilections when it comes to mouthpieces. So, it’s kinda normal even though it means additional expenses.
In all, this is a sax with a decent quality and is definitely one of the best in its class.
Buying Guide For Best Soprano Saxophones
Let our guide help you understand the soprano saxophone a lot better. We explain the basics in the next few subs…
How’s A Soprano Sax Different From Other Saxophones?
Like we mentioned in the introduction, there are different types of saxophones. Majorly, you have the alto, tenor, soprano, baritone, and bass saxophones. Usually, beginners do not go for the soprano saxophone because it’s a tad bit more complicated to learn than the others.
There are people who think of the soprano saxophone as the Fiat of the saxophone family. You know, they are pretty small in size but quirky with a huge dose of attitude… Just like a Fiat.
Soprano saxophones usually pack a vibrantly defiant voice which can bring a lot to any jazz ensemble or symphonic band.
Another thing you should know about soprano saxophones is that their tone tends to differ across brands. Therefore, it is possible to get two identical soprano saxophones with widely different sounds due to slight variances in manufacturing procedure.
Anyway, as long as you’re patient enough to ask the right questions, you should be able to land the right soprano sax for you.
How Easy Is It To Play The Soprano Sax?
The soprano sax seems like the most difficult of all the saxophone sizes. In fact, most times, even with the best soprano sax, a player might get into a fix trying to maintain a perfect intonation.
As a result, most begin with either a tenor or an alto first. They only progress to a soprano at a certain advanced level of skill.
If you want to get a bit ambitious and begin on a soprano sax, then take our advice and start cheap. This way, if things get too difficult, you won’t have made a major investment.
But that said, why exactly is playing the soprano sax so difficult?
Well, it’s quite simple.
There’s nothing really different about getting a note on the soprano sax and doing same on other saxophones. However, the soprano sax, put in simple terms, simply doesn’t care to help its player with the tune of the notes.
So, with a soprano sax your solo performance or ensemble could come totally out of tune. This is the reason playing a soprano sax is a bit difficult.
Read more: Best Tenor Saxophones for the money
Best Soprano Saxophone Brands
Yanagisawa soprano saxophones come with high quality construction and excellent playability as well. Their curved bell soprano sax models are probably the most noteworthy. These saxophones play so well with a sound that’s buoyant, bright, and with a great projection as well.
Most professional saxophone players tend to request a Selmer first before any other brand. Selmer has shown a dedication to immaculate craftsmanship and amazing sound.
Nonetheless, there seems to be obvious inconsistencies between the Selmer USA brand and the Selmer France brand. This, understandably, makes some professional soprano players a bit indifferent about the brand. The Mark VI model, though is a much loved sax model.
Rampone Cazzani is an Italian sax manufacturing brand. This brand handcrafts its gorgeous sopranos, finishing them with whimsical details.
Usually, their saxophones come with a semi-curved bell in nickel or silver finish. This bell is unique among all the saxophones in the market with its exquisite design.
When it comes to a perfect balance of features, sound, and price, you’ll surely get that with Yamaha. Selmer might have the best soprano saxophones, but Yamaha offers the best value.
So, just how much does a soprano sax cost? Well, the cheapest you’d find will go for $200 at least. And then higher up the price spectrum, prices could hit $5000 or more.
It’s always best to get your budget sorted before setting out to look for your sax. This way, you end up with the best possible deal.
The Yamaha Custom YSS-82Z Series Professional Soprano Saxophone is our best soprano saxophone today. Everything about the sax is nearly perfect. Well, except for price which puts it out of the reach of some folks. That aside, the YSS-82Z sets the gold standard for soprano saxophones in our review today.