At last, The Orpheo Tenor Sax Review …

Click here for a review of the Orpheo Pro 301BB Tenor Sax...

Well, 75% of it, but it’s coming along nicely !  If ever I needed more proof that the front page of the blog is too "cluttered", with far too much info on one page, the fact that no-one seems to have noticed the curious link in the Blogroll titled  provisional Orpheo review  is probably proof enough…

So there it’s been for a while, and, now it’s probably at 75% complete, I’ll invite comments and criticism. Just remember that it has a few more changes planned, and the odd bits in grey (gray) are in need of expansion…

Because of the need for loads of pictures (more to come…) it’s better formatted as a separate – full width – web page, but comments gratefully (and graciously) accepted here.  Enjoy – click here to read the review.

Click on any of the pictures to see them in greater detail !

This entry was posted in Eb/Bb saxes, Humour & Techie. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to At last, The Orpheo Tenor Sax Review …

  1. Lewis Pelham says:

    Typically, comprehensive, well written, thorough & entertaining review…it was worth the wait. Much time and thought went into that.
    If I did not already have too many tenors I would be very tempted; almost worth it for the high G alone….always a dodgy note!

  2. Helen says:

    That’s a great review of the Orpheo tenor Alan. Congrats on your new horn.

    I had a chance to play one of the Steve Goodson-designed tenors last year. It was a seriously kick-ass horn. It was the copper, Sax Gourmet Model, that was also produced by Orpheus.

    I’m curious, what made you chose an alto over the curvy soprano as your second purchase? When do you expect this new horn to arrive?

  3. Mal-2 says:


    I totally agree with your preference of matching a bright mouthpiece to a dark neck (and I presume, horn). It is so much more versatile than trying to tame an overly bright horn with a dark mouthpiece.

    I like the review! It’s too bad I have no money to buy anything other than the Aquilasax C-mel. 😦

  4. alan says:

    And cometh the Orpheo 201BB alto, this morning, early, very early (yawn…)

    Hiya Helen, I didn’t answer your question until the alto was in my hands, it was out of the box so fast that I’m sure the van-man must have heard it playing as he drove away…

    Well, since the Martin Magna went, there’s been something missing – i.e. a very respectable alto.  Steve’s nickel Aquilasax alto is fine for normal use, but just lacking that little “something” when pushed.  The Orpheo alto is all that, and much more.  Used the mellower neck (good choice, missing pad in the #1/bright neck, no trace of glue either !), and it really flies.  Excellent compromise, heavy but bright sax, mellower neck, and ‘big sound/edgy’ mouthpiece.

    So the answer to your question is that I’ll get far more out of this alto than I ever could out of a sop.  So far I’ve tried it with a Couf, Saxscape, Berg and Lawton.   The difference in sound and response across all those is (quite frankly) amazing – so it’s pretty much a (very playable) blank canvas – the way I like ’em.

    If I liked the Orpheo tenor, I just LOVE the alto – but why are saxes so bloody heavy these days ?  😕  This really was a NEW alto, the way it was wrapped and corked down just proves that the Orpheo tenor was a demo/return – and it seemingly hadn’t been unwrapped for a checkup, well, at $450 ?  I’ll do an extension to the tenor review, but now for some breakfast, and give the neighbours a little relief (harmonics are a killer, really, the G3 key is just as useful as on the tenor, yeah !) 😀 😀 😀

    btw – I don’t think either of the Orpheo’s are of Chinese origin (no white gloves…) They are good enough to be Taiwanese, but SG seemed to hint (somewhere on his forum) that the Vietnamese factory “he’d used” had Taiwanese management and expertise. Hmmm… – so now the Taiwanese have circumvented the Chinese by utilising even cheaper Vietnamese labour costs ? We seem to be on some kind of spiral 😆

  5. JonF says:

    Glad it’s turned up Alan. Even more pleased that it’s clearly a belter. Although I think of myself as mainly a tenor player, it’s always good to have a decent alto.

    Thing are looking up with my recent US purchases as well. Got the Getzen going, great sound, good and strong. Pretty decent ergonomics too, I particularly like the nail file G# The Martin is semi-sorted, still needs a little work but will play now with the addition of a rubber band to boost a knackered spring. Haven’t had chance to blow it yet (it’s still at work) but will let  you know how it plays soon.

    Happy playing.

  6. alan says:

    Jon – yes – I do follow your comments on Pete Thomas’ forumI do comment now and again – and I’m afraid it’s really getting to the stage where I must fix up (and sell) all my spare ‘uns…   Getting past a joke, and ‘projects’ don’t seem to sell at all well on ebay.

    btw, with the Orpheo alto, I was able to pay the VAT/duty over the phone BEFORE the sax actually arrived at the Poole depot, so it came in and was delivered to me  the same morning.  No delays…  Well, except for two days in Customs, lazy buggers.  I phoned up Parcelforce and insisted they put a ‘trace’ on it at the Coventry hub , and guess what ?  Out it popped  about an hour later, hmmm…

    Only problem is it weighs far more than even the Martin alto’s.   The Orpheo alto is almost ‘vintage tenor’ weight.

    Ah – I just commented on Pete’s forum, and I now seem to have gone up in status from “Junior Member” 😆 to “New Member” – that’s better, it was so embarassing being a “Junior” at my age 🙄

  7. Rob says:

    Good Martin Tenors can really have a strong sound. I agree on matching the mouthpiece and horn; my preference is a brighter mouthpiece for the darker neck, but hey’ve I’ve heard it the other way around, too. Great website.



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