One of the most popular instruments and an integral part of the woodwind family, the alto saxophone is a pioneering instrument commonly associated with jazz music.
Like most instruments, there are saxophones suitable for each stage of a player’s career. When it comes to a player reaching the most advanced stage that they can, it’s important to select a saxophone that is capable of reaching all the notes.
So whether you are an intermediate player progressing to advanced and professional playing or a professional seeking an alternative, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the best alto saxophones for professionals on the market right now so you don’t have to look any further.
There is a reason as to why the alto saxophone has remained such a hugely popular instrument and for those who are at a professional standard, it’s crucial that you pick an instrument that will take your playing to the next level.
In this article, we’ll be taking you through the top 5 professional alto saxophones, a Buyers Guide telling you everything you need to know when researching which one to go for and concludes with an FAQ answering the most common questions asked about them.
By the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know about professional alto saxophones as well as be able to make a fully informed decision on which saxophone is the right one for you.
Don’t have time to read the full guide? Read our top pick here!
Lazarro Professional Black-Gold Keys Eb E Flat Alto Saxophone
The best professional alto saxophone on the market right now is the Lazarro Professional model. Its sleek design is different from the traditional all gold design as the Lazarro boasts a beautiful black and gold body.
Made with the professional in mind, this saxophone is great for soloists or band members and comes with an entire kit so you can easily maintain the instrument with little fuss.
A durable instrument that is favored by advanced players and professionals, the Lazarro professional is an instrument designed to last for years to come so you can be assured of consistent quality and clarity of performance.
What makes this our winner? Not only does the Lazarro boast a unique body but its ability to allow you to play the full range of the instrument with ease.
It comes with high quality leather pads so you can play the saxophone with comfort which will enhance your performance even more. The adjustable key height screws means that you can alter the instrument to suit your personal preferences.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick is the Lazarro Professional model for many reasons. Specifically made for advanced and professional plays, the Lazarro Professional saxophone is a beautiful instrument that is durable and made to last for years with continued clear performances.
Made from real brass with a hand engraved bell decorator, the Lazarro Professional is luxurious in its materials and quality.
Enhancing any performance for any genre of music, this saxophone comes with adjustable screws so you can ensure complete comfort when performing,
With 4.5 stars from over 400 reviews, a lot of buyers have commented on the fantastic price point for the amazing quality as you needn’t break the bank for a stellar instrument.
Favored by those who have played the saxophone for years and are looking for a new model to take them to the next level. The Lazarro Professional is beautiful and different, whilst still maintaining a professional exterior and clear and crisp sound.
- Adjustable screws for enhanced comfort
- Great price point
- Durable and realiable
- Soft brass
Our second pick is by Mendini, the renowned brand that is known for its super quality instruments.
The best pick for those transitioning from intermediate to professional playing, this saxophone has a beautiful stainless steel structure making it sturdy and durable. This is particularly ideal for those who play in a professional band and need a saxophone that can withstand a lot of travel.
Equipped with an entire maintenance kit to ensure that you can keep your saxophone in the best condition, the Mendini also comes with 2.5 strength reeds which is good for those trickier pieces.
With 4.4 stars from over 2,100 reviews, the consensus is that the Mendini provides a brilliant sound for the price point.
A great choice if you are part of a band with pads for extra comfort whilst playing, there is a reason why players constantly go to Mendini when looking for a quality instrument that is going to last a long time.
- Stainless steel body for durability
- Equipped with maintenance kit and reeds
- Great price point
- A little heavy but this is not a problem once you are used to the weight
Our third pick is another model by Mendini and is their MAS-BK model. Comes with a 1 year warranty, this saxophone is another black bodied model that sounds as beautiful as it looks.
Like our other selections, it comes with a complete maintenance kit including a case specifically made for the MAS-BK model as well as a tuner so you can be assured of a strong performance every time you play.
The lacquer material feels luxurious as well as the details including faux mother of pearl keys and leather pads for extra comfort.
This is a saxophone that was designed to be seen. Like our previous Medini recommendation, this is a perfect choice for those looking for their first advanced saxophone and wanting to move on from intermediate pieces.
With an average of 4.4 stars from over 2,000 reviews, the MAS-BK model has received praise for the quality of its sound as well as the great price point.
Compared frequently with saxophones that are ten times the price, this Mendini model just proves that you don’t have the break the bank for a saxophone that will last years to come with consistently fantastic performance and reliability.
- Black lacquer body is luxurious material
- Equipped with maintenance kit
- Great price point
- The keys may need some oiling every once in a while
Our penultimate pick is from another quality brand with Glory’s Professional model. Designed with the professional in mind, this saxophone has been manufactured so you can adjust the screws to suit your personal preferences to enhance your performances.
The maintenance kit that it comes with is ideal as it is catered for that model specifically meaning you don’t have to worry about any extra cost and the great price point also makes it a hugely accessible instrument for those on a budget as well.
With 4.4 stars from over 900 reviews, it is clear that Glory is a brand that many people turn to when they are looking for an instrument that they can rely on for years to come.
The sound produced is clear and crisp, meaning that you can expect the highest quality for a long time. Being able to hit the highest and lowest notes with ease makes it hugely convenient as you needn’t worry that this is a beginner’s saxophone designed for basic techniques.
This is a saxophone that has the professional at the forefront and allows you to adjust it to how you see fit.
- Adjustable screws for a custom fit
- Maintenance kit
- Reliable and durable
- Does not come with a saxophone stand
Our final pick is a professional saxophone that looks very unique. The ammoon Alto Saxophone model has a beautiful antique finish in a copper tone for the performer who wants to stand out.
Made from red bronze with water resistant leather pads, the ammoon model is designed to endure all conditions for those who are part of professional bands.
Made to last through a lot of travel, the ammoon saxophone is a durable instrument that will last years of continuous playing. The ammoon is also designed with the soloist in mind and it definitely is a beautiful instrument that is made to be front and centre.
With 4.3 stars from over 100 reviews, the ammoon saxophone is a great instrument for both jazz and classical music making it a hugely versatile asset for the professional musician.
With many professionals favoring this instrument over others that cost a lot more in price, ammoon is a brand that keeps the professional in mind in its instrument design and manufacturing to ensure that you will have quality performances time and time again.
- Red bronze is durable and reliable
- Ideal for soloists
- Great for both jazz and classical music
- Can be a bit heavy but you will get used to it
Best Professional Alto Saxophone Buying Guide
If you are at an intermediate or advanced level of playing, you will probably have an idea of what works and doesn’t work for you when it comes to selecting which alto saxophone to go for.
However, there is a lot to consider when doing your research, especially when you bear in mind that you want an instrument that will last for years.
After all, a professional saxophone is going to be something you will be using on a daily basis and most likely travelling around a lot on tours.
We’ve compiled this Buyers Guide so you can have an idea of what to consider when looking for what alto saxophone to purchase.
In terms of which alto saxophone to go for, always make sure that the exterior is designed and manufactured for professionals to allow for consistently strong performances, what kind of performer you are, what comes with the saxophone and finally the amount that you plan on spending.
Once you’ve looked into all of these factors then you will be able to make an informed decision on what alto saxophone to purchase.
Manufacturing and Design
The manufacturing and design is crucial to making the right decision. In terms of the exterior, you can decide whether you want a more traditional looking saxophone made from gold brass or if something that looks a bit different and unique is more your style.
In terms of the specific materials used, you want to make sure that whether it is brass or bronze that it is durable and will be reliable for years to come. There is no use in investing in a professional instrument if it isn’t going to have the longevity that’s needed.
The last thing you should have to be concerned with is repeatedly having to purchase a new instrument every year.
What Kind of Performer You Are
The next factor to consider is what kind of performer you are. Of course, you probably already know what kind of performances you’ll be partaking in.
Whether you will be a soloist performing jazz pieces or in an orchestra performing classical music, make sure that the saxophone you choose is one that can accommodate the types of performances you will be doing.
Consider whether you will be standing up or sitting down and how long each performance will be on average. You want to make sure that the saxophone you choose will be able to withstand the performances.
What the Saxophone Comes With
Another area to look at is whether the saxophone comes with any maintenance kits including a case or cleaning equipment.
Receiving a case is usually standard because they are designed with their specific model in mind so you can easily travel around with no worries that the saxophone will be damaged.
Some of the models in our recommendations even come with warranty meaning that you can have peace of mind while touring with your instrument.
Although you also know which reeds you prefer to use, most saxophones come with a set of reeds which can be handy when getting used to your new instrument without damaging your usual reeds which may cost a lot more.
Lastly as ever, you need to consider your budget. Bearing in mind not all professionals can start off with an instrument that costs thousands and thousands of dollars, there are plenty of professional standard alto saxophones available for the budding professional.
With each of our recommendations capable of reaching all of the notes with no problems while also having the longevity expected from a professional saxophone.
This will also ensure that you are getting your money’s worth when you are able to consistently give strong performances over a long period of time.
Best Professional Alto Saxophone - FAQ's
Is alto saxophone easy to play?
The alto saxophone is one of the easier instruments to play as it is easy to handle and master the basic techniques.
Due to its modern design, it is on par with the clarinet as being a suitable instrument to learn on and remains a hugely popular instrument to learn.
How long does it take to master the saxophone?
In terms of years, it is entirely dependent on how often you practice per week but on average, it takes around 10,000 hours.
If you have a specific time period in mind, keep that hour count in your head and plan accordingly without burning yourself out.
Can a saxophone be refinished?
A saxophone can be refinished and replated which is usually expected after the instrument has been through a lot of wear and tear.
After years of continuous practice, it is only natural that your saxophone may need some refurbishment and improvements to ensure that your instrument is always in top condition.