DownBeat Jazz Magazine

A recent newcomer to the saxophone market, P. Mauriat Saxophones are made in Taiwan with imported French brass and other high quality materials.

The saxophones are available in two price ranges -- the student/intermediate horns, which are finished in standard lacquer, and custom class professional horns, which are available in dark lacquer or matte-finish lacquer. The pro horns are also available with rolled tone holes.

I tested the custom class alto and tenor saxophones. Both horns had a dark lacquer finish, which is the company's most popular model. I personally like the look of these horns -- the antique-like dark lacquer finish is well-done and has a vintage look down to the wear pattern around the posts and tone holes.

The Custom Class alto has a solid, well-made feel and, with the dark lacquer finish, produces a slightly dark sound with a meaty center. The response is good throughout the horn -- especially the upper register -- which makes the altissimo seem effortless. The scale is right on so I was able to lock in the ptich immediately. I played the horn on a gig and it sounded like my Selmer Mark VI. The other sax players on the gig noticed the horn -- its sound and antique finish -- and commented positively. The pads are quality leather pads that seat extremely well. The matte-finish models are designed to have a sound that is slightly brighter.

The Custom Class tenor sax is outstanding. The horn produced a big beefy sound with a fat low end. It delivered a smooth, responsive sound in the low register similar to old Conns and Keilwerths. The mid-range notes were fine, the upper end from about high D on up is free and easy all the way, and the altissimo screams. It has been my experience that when a horn has this kind of ease in the upper range, something down low isn't right. However, the P. Mauriat tenor is solid throughout. The weight of the horn is on the heavy side, but it's worth it. (Pete BarenBregge)

Factory Tour-