J’Élle Stainer’s Vintage Bass saxophone—model SAX228F—was inspired by the first-ever bass made by Adolphe Sax.
However, unlike Adolphe Sax’s bass sax, which looked quite primitive in comparison, this entry-level bass sax has a number of refinements which make it a good alternative for players considering their first bass.
The features of J’Élle Stainer’s Vintage Bass include:
- The range from low B to high Eb. Although the option of ordering it keyed to high F# is available—as is the option of having it keyed to low A.
- Double bell to body support bracing, with multiple fastening points on each brace. (See photo above as well as below.)
- A triple strap ring.
- A more side-positioned, right thumb rest, which should make it more ergonomically friendly.
- A secondary strap ring—presumably for a harness—just above the bow to body connecting ring.
- Despite its simple keywork, it is strongly built, and has a great sound.
- A height of 51″ (129.5 cm).
With the bass saxophone currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts, there are currently more players than ever looking for these great instruments. Unfortunately vintage bass saxophones are hard to find, and many (most) are not in the best of condition. Ergonomically they can be rather challenging as well.
The new, American designed, but Asian-made bass saxophones, are a hit and miss situation. Some have received great reviews. Others not so much.
This J’Élle Stainer Vintage bass is another option for the player looking for this level of instrument: A “band” instrument in the words of J’Élle Stainer’s Gilberto Lopes. A horn that sounds great, is sturdy, but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you would find on the higher-end instruments.