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Mendini by Cecilio manufacture are some of the cheapest beginner saxophones available.

That, along with the ease of which they can be ordered on Amazon, makes them an attractive proposition for beginner saxophone students.

But of course, there’s usually a trade off between cost and quality, so we wanted to dive deeper into this saxophone brand and se what the pros and cons of starting with this horn are.

Is it a good option for you (or your child)?

Mendini by Cecilio: The Basics

Made by Cecilio Musical Instruments in China, these instruments are available in 3 sizes from the saxophone family:

Advantages Of Mendini Saxophones

Of course, the main advantage of this saxophone is the price point.

Instead of spending a fortune on an instrument that you’re not sure to stick with, it’s a low-risk way of trying it out.

It’s by no means a well-known sax brand, but it can still create a good solid sound when played properly.

On top of that, it’s a lightweight instrument and provides an even intonation, especially in the mid-register which is where the beginner saxophonist will spend most of their playing time.

The instrument certainly looks the part: a gold lacquer body and keys, an engraved bell decoration, leather pads and contoured keys with faux mother-of-pearl inlays.

You can also choose from a variety of other colours if you prefer.

 

Disadvantages Of This Instrument

Whilst this instrument is a very cheap beginner saxophone, that can also be it’s downfall; a lower quality horn is harder to play well, which can put off early student musicians before they have a chance to master a basic technique.

Some customers have noted pads coming off easily or not sealing well, which can also lead to more difficulty playing the instrument.

Whilst the ‘comes with everything’ description looks good, some of the accessories are not the best quality. The neck strap, for example, has a plastic clasp that could break easily causing the sax to fall and become irreparably damaged.

Which brings us to another important point: with such a low cost, most damage to this instrument would be uneconomic to fix, meaning that a new saxophone is required.

Compare that to more expensive established beginner instruments (such as the highly recommended Yamaha 280 series) and not only are repairers willing to work on these, you can also get a good price selling them second hand, when it’s time to upgrade.

What Do You Get In The Case?

Mendini saxophones are a nice choice for beginners who want to get started quickly.

These models have a one-year warranty and come packed with:

  • a chromatic tuner & metronome
  • an Ebonite mouthpiece
  • a ligature
  • a box of 10 reeds (2.5 size)
  • a nylon covered hard case with backpack straps and zipper pocket.
  • a cleaning swab
  • a neck strap
  • a polishing cloth
  • also (weirdly) it comes with a pair of white gloves.

Basically it arrives on your doorstep with everything you need to get started with playing saxophone.

Alternative Cheap Saxophones On Amazon

If you’re sold on the idea of a super cheap saxophone that can allow you to get started right away, you might want to compare some other great low-budget beginner instruments first.

Amazon (our go-to place for quick and affordable!) usually stock these alternatives to Mendini by Cecilio saxophones:

Eastrock Alto Saxophone

The East Rock alto saxophone is another well-regarded budget instrument with a solid sound.

The pads are leather and it too comes with all the basic accessories such as a mouthpiece, reeds, mouthpiece cushion pads, cleaning cloth and cleaning rod, a neck strap and a case.

Strangely (as with many of these budget saxophones) it also comes with a pair of white gloves!

One possible downside is the leather pads since they might not be quite as durable as other options.

Ammoon Professional Eb E-flat Alto Saxophone

Despite the name, this is not a common choice for professional saxophonists and, instead, a beginner model.

It comes in a pretty unique red bronze finish which gives it an eye-catching vintage look.

The pads are made out of water-resistant leather and the keys have pretty shell inlays.

Again, this model comes with a mouthpiece, cleaning cloth and brush, straps, and a carrying case.

Ammoon Eb Alto Saxophone 802 Key Type

As an alternative to their popular red saxophone, Ammoon also makes this quality brass edition.

It has a gold lacquered surface that is reputedly long-lasting without fading, and the pads are leather.

It’s natural shell key inlays provide a more comfortable feel for the fingers and, once again, the instrument comes with a mouthpiece, cap, cleaning cloth, mouthpiece brush, brush, 2 reeds, and a case.

Muslady Eb Alto Saxophone

Perhaps the most visually attractive of these beginner horns, the Muslady saxophone is another affordable option for the new starter.

The body has a hand-carved design and is made of brass with gold lacquered keys.

This saxophone comes in various color options, including black and vintage effect.

The pads are high-quality leather for strong sealing and no air leakage with metal tone boosters and high-quality needle spring.

It’s designed for additional stability for the new student and comes with all the saxophone accessories you’d expect.

So, are Mendini Saxophones Good?

The million dollar question!

Well, perhaps the ‘less-than-300-dollars’ question…

Here at Jazzfuel we are lifelong saxophone fans and believe in giving beginners every chance to get to grips with playing as easily as possible.

Do Mendini by Cecilio saxophones provide that?

Probably not, if you look at the full range of beginner options out there, which includes the extremely good value Jean Paul saxophone series and the top-of-the-range Yamaha saxes.

You can’t argue with the price point though, so if you are really looking to just dip your toe into saxophone playing and see if it’s for you with. very little financial risk, this is a perfect instrument for you.

As long as you’re ok with the idea that you’ll need to upgrade sooner rather than later, feel free to give it a whirl!

The Cecilio alto saxophone would be our #1 tip in that case, rather than the more unwieldy tenor or soprano saxophone options.

But keep in mind our top tip for any beginner saxophone: the mouthpiece can make a massive impact on the sound you can create, and the one you receive with any new budget saxophone is unlikely to be great.

So if you’re saving big on a new horn, consider splashing out a little extra on a solid beginner mouthpiece – such as the Yamaha 4C – to give yourself a little extra help.

What other instruments do Mendini by Cecilio make?

Before we sign off, you might have seen this brand pop up in other places too.

Whilst we’re focused on their saxophones, Mendini also make a range of other instruments which can also be found online:

  • Cecilio violin
  • Cecilio drum kit
  • student trumpet
  • Cecilio clarinet
  • Cecilio flute

As with our Mendini saxophone review, these are all extremely affordable instruments which can give the complete beginner a taste of playing.

Matt Fripp
Matt Fripp

International jazz booking agent, manager and host of Jazzfuel.
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