Don’t forget to check out the CMusic saxes, the saxes in Chris Heins Horns Compact and Wallander’s WIVI band VST.
Tony Ostinato has some interesting videos featuring the WIVI instruments.
WIVI instruments are based on actual modeling. Despite their names, Audiomodeling and Samplemodeling use samples with extremely sophisticated scripts. Wallander has a great “try before you buy” demo. Just remember that the interface you get with the budget package IS NOT the interface in the demo.
Samplemodeling has split into two companies, Audiomodeling and Samplemodeling, the former selling SWAM based instruments (proprietary host) and the latter Kontakt based instruments. The Samplemodeling and Audiomodeling Saxes are the holy grail, mainly because of the number of elements that can be controlled. They’re also somewhat expensive, but the packages includes multiple instruments. Audiomodeling’s bundle includes bari, tenor, alto and soprano. Samplemodeling leaves out the soprano. They require a “mod” controller and won’t make a sound until you move the controller that you have designated as the mod wheel. The biggest issue is controlling all the parameters that make a sax performance sound real, ideally, with a breath controller.
The one company that I would avoid is Fable Sounds and their “Broadway Lites” product. I never warmed up to the sound, I’ve found intonation issues and the company itself is a disaster. Overpriced and lots of promises …