Review of Sax Dakota’s SDT – XG 606 Tenor Saxophone

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Review of Sax Dakota’s SDT – XG 606 Tenor Saxophone 

Originally posted by Christopher Mickel on


I will be reviewing the new Sax Dakota SDT – XG 606 tenor saxophone. Sax Dakota ( is a new company which is a part of Pete LaPlaca’s PJLA music. I have been playing this horn since May of ths year (2012) and I can say that it is an excellent instrument. Pete and his staff at Sax Dakota have done a great job with these horns.


When I first received my horn, I was very impressed with its appearance. The neck, bow, and bell have a brushed silver finish with the bell having a shiny silver interior. The body is plated with a dark chrome finish which Sax Dakota referrs to as “Black Onyx.” Lastly, the keys are gold plated. After speaking with Pete, I found that all of the Sax Dakota horns are plated. Plating is much stronger than typical lacquer finishes which tend to wear off quickly.

Sound & Intonation

In addition to having an excellent look, the horn plays great. The scale is even from low B – flat to high F – Sharp and above into the altissimo register. I really like the tone, this horn has a big robust sound with lots of projection, I never feel like I am being swallowed up when playing with electric instruments (I use a Drake Ceramic Chamber Tenor Contemporary I with Vandoren V – 16 #3 reeds). Furthermore, the horn is very responsive, I am easily able to play the softest subtones all the way down to low B – flat and I can easily control the tone to create the different timbres I want. One of the best things about this horn is that it is really free blowing. I never get the feeling that the air is backing up on me when I really have to play loud. I have found some horns are very resistant and almost create a dynamic governor which seems to cut me off at mezzo forte. I know some players like this resistance; however, I am glad this characteristic is not present in Sax Dakota horns.

Construction & Ergonomics

The keywork and action are great. The long rods are stainless steel, so there is less chance of bending. Also, the low profile key cups, double bracing on the low C, low B, and low B – flat keys, and black oxide needle springs aid in creating action that is the tightest I have ever played. The keys move and feel great under the fingers. Regarding regulation, the right hand stack is usually the one to go out first on any horn and it the most difficult to get into adjustment. The designers at Sax Dakota have taken the time to include adjustment screws for the right hand stack keys which makes getting these keys into adjustment much easier.

Overall Experience

Overall, I am very happy with my Sax Dakota horn. I have played it on several gigs and it has performed well. The musicians I work with (and others who come to our shows) have been impressed with the sound and look of this new horn. These are high end professional model horns which can easily hold their own with any professional horn on the market. I think players will like their top notch quality and their reasonable price. I recommend them without hesitation and I am happy to endorse them.

By. Christopher D. Mickel, D.M.A.

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