If you have been searching the market for a high quality beginner alto sax, then you have most likely been drawn to the LJ Hutchen Eb alto saxophone for a few reasons. Firstly, you were probably attracted to it because LJ Hutchen is a pretty well-known name in the industry, and secondly because of the price tag that reads less than $400.
But is the LJ Hutchen Eb alto saxophone with the plush-lined case a good deal for your money, or is it a purchase that you will later come to regret? Those are great questions, and that is exactly what we are going to discuss in this review.
First of all, let’s break down what you are actually getting with this saxophone. This is an Eb saxophone made by LJ Hutchen, which is a company that has been creating professional-level musical equipment at an affordable price for over a decade. This brand is very popular among teachers who need new instruments for their students, mostly due to the inexpensive price tag, but also because it is considered a very up-to-par instrument for even serious saxophone players. Since most players learn to play on an alto sax before venturing into tenor, baritone, or soprano models, the Eb alto is a perfect instrument for instruction… though it should be noted that there are also a LOT of professional musicians who specialize in the alto sax as well.
One good thing about this saxophone is the fact that it has heavy duty bracing built into it, which helps to prevent misalignment if the instrument were to be bumped or dropped. Of course, no instrument is indestructible, but this bracing does offer some extra security, especially if the saxophone is going to be used by a beginner.
Another feature that you will most likely find appealing on this model is the ergonomic thumb-rest. This thumb rest is situated for use by your right thumb so that it will be easy for your fingers to reach the appropriate keys on the instrument without experiencing discomfort or fatigue. This is definitely a plus for both beginner and intermediate saxophone players, as playing this instrument can definitely tire and cramp your finger muscles after a while!
Another feature added to this model that will benefit beginner players, especially the younger ones, are the strategically placed pinky keys. It is important to note that not all alto saxophones are built the same way, and this is one example of how this instrument is a bit different from others like it. These pinky keys are designed with small hands in mind, so beginners and young musicians won’t have to struggle to reach them (which can definitely make learning the instrument more tedious and frustrating). Of course, the pinky keys are not so compact that they will cause you to be impeded if you have larger hands, so this is a definite plus as far as the design of the instrument is concerned.
Of course, you can expect your LJ Hutchen saxophone to be built with high quality parts, including durable, treated pads. Saxophone pads are a very important part of every saxophone, because they are responsible for covering the tone holes, which seal air in the horn. LJ Hutchen pads are actually specially treated to resist both every day wear and tear AND the buildup of moisture… two factors which can play a big role in the failing of saxophone pads. It also comes with a case and a strap, so you will have everything needed to start playing right away. The strap is a factory strap, so at some point you might want to consider replacing it with a padded strap for additional comfort… but the case is high-quality, and will protect the instrument whenever you are not playing it, which is a definite bonus!
Overall, this LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone with Plush-Lined Case has as great reputation among musicians who are looking for a sub $400 saxophone, either to get started with or so that they can upgrade from a low-quality beginner model. On both of these counts, this instrument excels and accomplishes what it promises. While you may choose to replace this model after a few years if you want to go on to a higher-priced model or brand, there is no doubt that it will serve you faithfully in the interim. In fact, one of the highlights of this instrument is its well-known propensity for durability. You can definitely count on it lasting you many years, especially if you take good care of it and are careful not to damage it in anyway.
It is also good to remember that the mouthpiece makes a big difference too, and while this product ships with a good mouthpiece, it is always nice to know that, by spending an extra $100 at some point on a better version, you can drastically increase the sound of ANY saxophone, including this model. To know that you can upgrade and improve the sound without having to buy an entire new instrument is definitely something to keep in mind, as it could very well make this model more fit for even professional musicians who need a high-quality, durable instrument to rely on, or even a backup for another sax.
This saxophone is also a great choice for someone who usually plays a different kind of sax, but would like to have an Eb alto around in case it is needed.
In the end, you are going to be impressed with this product…especially when you consider how affordable it is, and when you consider what all you are getting for your money. To get everything that you need to play in a HIGH QUALITY saxophone for under $400 is a VERY good deal, and the quality does not disappoint when it comes to the LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone. With the added value of a case and a strap, you will definitely not be let down with this purchase.
Enjoy the travels on your musical journey!
~Piano Lesson Girl,