Nov 22

Evan Carydakis

Phil Barone Classic Tenor Saxophone Review

by Evan Carydakis

Phil Barone Tenor Classic
Vintage Gold Lacquer

This came with contoured case, PB HR 7# Mouthpiece, Ligature, Neck Strap, Polishing Cloth.
The Vintage Gold Lacquer is an incredible finish. It is consistent from top to bottom and the engraving stands out with this finish. What gets me the most is that the look of the finish changes depending on what light it is in; Sometimes it looks darker and sometimes lighter. It’s almost organic in that the finish responds to its environment. It really is incredible in that sense.
The classic is unbelievable. It is extremely responsive and firm. The keyboard is not to heavy but not to light, its right in the middle and it was set up that way right out of the box. In my opionion it was just perfect. The palm keys in a great position, left hand stack in a great position and extremely well put together. Side keys, also well placed. Great feel.
Build Quality
Taiwanese horns especially the Phil Barone Models are in my opinion the equivalent in build quality to their European and Japanese counterparts. My tech who is extremely well respected, also commented how well built he thinks my Phil Barone Horns are and that he couldn’t see any major differences in the build quality when comparing my horns to other more expensive brands he regularly sees in his workshop. They are solid, robust, and mechanically sound. The low Bb, B, C , and C3 pop right out of the box and stay that way.


Now this horn sounds incredible. I played Selmer SA 80 Serie II for 15 years and I have been playing for over 25 years, so I have some experience and knowledge behind me. This sound blows me away especially when you consider the cost of this instrument, which means its absolute value for money.  It is extremely centred, responsive, and it resonates and projects. In one word it is a fat sound. Everyone who has heard me on it says the same thing – It’s a HUGE sound. Mind you they are equally surprised to learn its a Barone horn and that it is Taiwanese.
Look it played straight out of the box, from top to bottom. Palm keys speak effortlessly right up to top F#. There are no notes that need special attention as far as tambre, the middle D pops right out with no assistance, and the G# plays in perfect tune. Now that was surprising to me because most tenors I have played, that note needs some venting to bring it spot on in t une. Its a pleasure to play.
I can’t speak highly enough of the way this plays in tune. It gives you absolute confidence from top to bottom.
OVERALL 9.5/10