I have always purchased soprano saxes that give a hobbyist half a chance to play in tune. My favs to date are pictured below: Eppelsheim soprillo, Yanagisawa Elimona sopranino, and the Yanagisawa S992 soprano. I also have a Yanagisawa SC992 (curvy) that I just perform with because the audience really likes it; the curvy has sax appeal!
These instruments are not always available and tend to sell very fast when we list them. Besides being gorgeous, they have a very nice sound and an inherently in tune-ness that is really appreciated.
While working on a soprano sax solo in Holst’s Venus there is a high C to side-key F interval that is very challenging. It is to be played in a smooth oboe-esque way with a slight classical vibrato. Smoothing it out is really taking some effort. One of my instructors suggested I just use the sopranino sax and transpose. All of a sudden the interval is from a G to a high C and as such is as smooth as butta.
So I bet my instructor a dollar that our director would not notice I’d switched instruments. Stay tuned.
I’d love to own a soprano sax. I’d be interested if one came up for sale