This list is part of a collection of posts about music stores that specialize in wind instruments. There are what I call "wind instrument megastores" which are stores that sell it all "wind-related." They have good selections of both brass and woodwind instruments. But if you are into saxophones, here is a list of 7 North American saxophone dealers you should visit in 2022.
If you're into other woodwinds, click HERE for a good list of flute, clarinet and double reed instrument dealers. If you're into brass, I haven't forgotten you, either. Click HERE for a good selection of brass dealers.
There is also a good list of mega-stores that have great selections of brass and woodwinds.
You can get to that list HERE.
But if you've come here, it might be because saxophone is your first love. If so, you're in luck. Here is a list of 7 saxophone specialty shops you really need to visit in 2022.
KB Sax - New York
This isn't a big store at all. But size isn't what's to like about it. It is a boutique store for saxophonists. Specifically, Kim Bock (owner) specializes in making necks for Selmer Mark 6 saxophones and the like.
If you're into saxophones, you need to make a special trip just to meet this guy. His web site is rather unassuming. But he buys and sells classic Selmer saxes along with a selection of specialty mouthpieces.
In my estimation, the main attraction of this store is Kim himself. He is one of the most friendly and accommodating guys in the business. And you'd be surprised who you might actually run into in his store.
Don't be surprised if you bump into some of the sax greats out there.
I will say that the day my wife and I were at his store, he took the time to walk us down to the subway station and make sure we got on the right train so we didn't get lost getting back to our hotel. That's service.
Detroit Wayne Music Studio - Eastpointe, MI
This is one of these unassuming little music places that you might not even notice had you not been looking for it. But it's worth a stop in just to say hello, if nothing else.
The owner of the place is a very humble and personable guy. And he knows his stuff, too.
I happened to be in the area one day, and while trying saxophones, I mentioned that I had picked up (long ago) a reallycheap soprano sax from Woodwind and Brasswind. And I said to him that (no offense to WWBW, by the way, because it was REALLY cheap) although it played well when I first got it, the keywork was really soft and had gone way out of adjustment over the years I had used it.
So anyway, while I was trying saxophones in his shop, he asked me if he could get a look at my soprano. I fetched it from the car.
And what this guy did to that little horn in a half an hour blew my mind. It played better than new. All the leaks fixed, the key action tuned to perfection.
I asked him what I owed him, and he said, "$20, because it's such a cheap horn I'd feel guilty to charge you more."
He was right. It was a cheap horn. There was only so much he could do. You can't fix the metal in the keywork to keep it from going out of adjustment.
But he is one AWESOME instrument technician.
Above, you can see that he stocks a whole collection of vintage horns. But he is also a dealer for P Mauriat and for Dakota saxophones.
And his prices are very competitive. He's got some good mouthpieces in stock too.
His hours are a little truncated. He's open 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and Saturdays, 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
He also has some brass in stock as well as a few flutes, clarinets, oboes and the like.
Pop in and see some of the cool things he has in his store. And if you do, tell him you found him on the Wind Improv site. (Thanks!)
Midwest Musical Imports - Minneapolis, MN
This store is listed here because they do saxophones. But they are also (primarily) listed in the post on "other woodwind instruments" because their specialty is clarinets and double reeds.
But yeah. If sax is what you do, they'll give you some good stuff to play with.
The Horn Connection - Los Angeles, CA
This outfit seems to have a good selection of both new and vintage horns.
But you'll have to call, because they don't have a website. Not at the present time, anyway.
But they have saxophones. LOTS of saxophones.
They also have some brass, too.
And don't forget. If you're anywhere close by, it's ALWAYS worth a stop in to see if you find that magic vintage horn you've been looking for.
Sax Alley - Windsor, CO
These guys specialize in saxes, with a good inventory of many vintage horns. They also have a good selection of new and vintage mouthpieces.
They also stock unusual horns such as sopranino and bass saxophones.
These guys have a reputation as excellent repairmen, too. And very knowledgable in helping you find a horn that fits your needs.
I stopped into Sax Alley in search of an alto sax. I am so glad I did. I had been looking online for a sax, but the service I got at Sax Alley was beyond expectation. I was able to discuss my needs, see and touch the saxophones Tim was describing. Tim was fantastic. I got more out of a 15 minute visit than i have out of over 10 hours of online reading and searching. In fact, you just can't get service and info anywhere near this valuable online. I agree with others. This is THE place to go in Northern Colorado.
Sometimes it's a blast to visit a store that sells it all. But if you're looking for something specific, it's often best to deal with a company that specializes in that one thing. If you're looking for a sax, check theses guys out. Especially for vintage horns.
USA Horn - Union, NJ
This place is a woodwind dealer - saxes, clarinets and flutes. But to be fair, what makes it make this list is the saxophones.
Don't get me wrong; they do sell some good flutes and clarinets. But they specialize in saxophones - new and vintage.
You looking for vintage horns? Check them out. Buescher, Conn, Dolnet, Bundy; Martin, SML and Selmer Mark 6, Reference 54 and Super Action 80 horns.
If you're looking for new
These guys are dealers for Eppelsheim, Dakota and Jupiter as well as all the standards.
Mouthpieces? As their site says, "we have too many brands to count!"
But what do I mean by "unusual" saxophones?
Well, you can get the different models of Keilwerth - the "shadow" (black nickel plate); The Berkley Virtuoso brand tenor in gold plate or silver plate. Or how about a solid silver Yanigasawa sax?
They also stock the bronze Yanigasawa. The silver plated Yamahas. And on and on.
And they have excellent customer service. Definitely the place to look for your next horn if you're anywhere near that area.
Saxquest - St. Louis, MO
New saxes, vintage saxes, and antique saxes.
That's right. This saxophone store has a museum built right into the store. For instance, check out this Grafton saxophone - at their museum at the shop.
IF you're looking for a new sax, they sell most of the major brands - Eastman, P. Mauriat, Yanigasawa, Selmer, Yamaha and the like.
They also sell their own "saxquest" brand, which seems to sell well and has a good reputation.
Looking for vintage horns?
These guys have a huge inventory - Buescher, Conn, King, Buffet, SML and Selmer (of course).
They also have a collection of vintage mouthpieces. Because if you're going to play a vintage horn, you'll usually get a better result playing it with a vintage mouthpiece. They have Conn, LIebman, Buescher, Meyer and plenty of Otto Links.
These guys are serious about vintage horns. Worth a look.
And don't forget the museum.
Roberto's Winds - New York, NY
This guy does deal in some cool vintage horns. In fact, he has a page on his site called "the Mark 6 room."
In the showroom at Roberto's Winds, new and vintage share the same space - one big happy saxophone family.
If you're looking for a vintage horn, these guys seem to have a bunch. And if you're looking for new, you'll know that if you get it here, it will be set up perfectly.
This shop has long been listed on the Best Saxophone Website Ever, in their post called "14 sax shops to visit before you die."
And for new horns, they deal with the usual brands as well as brands like Borgani and "RW" (which is their "house brand").
No doubt I've missed some.
I can imagine there are some other gems out there that I'm not aware of. If you can let me know about them, I just might add them to the list.
Sax is kind of like its own language. Check these stores out for their unique personalities.