The most significant differences between student and professional horns are in the mechanics and materials. They are undervalued. The Series II is a much better horn, and the Series III is a good horn as well. Because they are not businesses with a storefront, your recourse in the event of a misrepresented instrument is limited at best. If something seems "fishy," go with your gut and keep looking. Never bid on an on-line auction that does not have photos either in the listing or available through e-mail, and ask specifically for photos showing any damage or wear. They were lacquered at a later date. Early in production, Colonel C. G. Conn sold his instrument empire to pursue politics. There are several professional shops throughout the United States that specialize in the Saxophone, and many of them will not sell a horn without giving them a full professional setup or overhaul. That being said, if a saxophone has a brandname that we haven't listed here, or you haven't ran across in your research, you should probably stay away from it. If the horn has no country of manufacture, be very wary. alternative to a new horn. Sometimes people forget (sometimes on purpose) to tell you that it says "Bundy" after the "Selmer," or "Cleveland" after the "King." Pristine examples bring top dollar. The neck also needs to be the correct one for that horn. Your decisions about purchasing a saxophone should include this information, but should not necessarily be limited to it. The Zephyr is a killer! Pictures in an auction can be very misleading. Obviously, gold plating is most valuable. That being said, there are some great playing relacquered horns out there, and some that are done so well that it is actually really hard to tell if the horn is original or relacquered. Can you tell me more about it? Some possible clues of a relacquered horn are: It's hard to see, but this 1950 Selmer Super Balanced Action alto has been relacquered... notice the shallow engraving on the top part of the bow. Silver plating is easy. The Aristocrat horns are usually fairly inexpensive and reasonably easy to find. This is usually the friendliest place to buy a sax. Do you know any specific information such as manufacture date? It's no wonder that Selmer chose the Buescher company to produce their American counterparts. Here we have a Selmer intermediate alto horn, made in the key of Eb. The Cleveland models(Cleveland is stamped on the bell, and that is the city they were manufactured in) are considered by many to be the best vintage Super 20s. When on-line auctions began to materialize, this became painfully eveident, and the huge disparity in prices began to equalize. For saxophonists today, these old horns can offer a unique. The Eb/C mechanism is genius; the articulated low C#/Bb mechanism should be on all horns. If you do not know how to play saxophone, you may be at a disadvantage when purchasing a horn, especially a used one. By now, hopefully you have made some determinations about what you would like to look for. I can't emphasize enough how traumatic it is when your instrument is stolen. There seems to be more demand for the “five digit” horns, and some snobs reject the higher numbered examples. I never trust an Internet add or auction that doesn't explicitly detail damage, with pictures. The keys are usually made of brass or nickel and are often covered with mother-of-pearl where your index, pointer and ring finger touch. Wholesale products are those that are intended to be value-added, meaning they receive some treatment by the final seller that enhances their overall value. The later examples have better intonation in the upper end than the earlier examples. Horns were often sold the same day they were listed. With literally thousands of choices, a used horn can usually be found in your desired quality and price range. C melody $ 800 Also, you may or may not get the needed accessories included with the instrument. Used horns are also easy to find. I have found that most of the action in pre-Balanced Action horns is just talk. Selmers are great horns, so people who have bad ones know that someday, somehow, someone will unwittingly buy it or trade for it. Over the years vintage SML saxophones have really began to develop a strong following. This variability and price inflation may be one of the hardest problems you'll face when you go to buy your horn. MODELE 22 750 – 4450 Sopranino $ 2100 (I will address student models in detail later.). (This is one good reason why it is good to buy horns from a Professional Saxophone Shop like Saxquest because they will fix many of these inconsistancies.). There are, no doubt, other considerations which I omit here. Tenor $ 7000 Its not quite like it was in the days before the Internet, when most pawn shop owners saw a saxophone as a saxophone and that was it. Lacquered horns will never have this appearance. Also, if your saxophone was to be stolen, you know you could go to your local Yamaha dealer and get another identical horn. Your 1st stop for Saxophone Resources-The Oldest and #1 Rated Online Resource for Saxophone Professionals and Enthusiasts including historical information, tips and tricks, and more. : I bought it in high school in 1972 and it has been sitting in the case since then. From the Committee on, they are almost always lacquer. I think the Kings have strong upside appreciation potential. Yeah, it's gold all over it. When you are first starting out, it's not the sound of the saxophone that matters, it's how it looks. This pushes the dent back up, but also distorts the lacquer where the dent is. Alto Magna $ 2300 This reflects their general misunderstanding of used instrument values and quality. If you open the case and detect a foul odor and find green deposits all over the horn, chances are this horn isn't the one for you. The 6M alto; 10M tenor; and 12M baritone are the famous “naked lady” horns. Are there resources locally to try them, or do I need to look outside of my area? I can pay great prices for YSS-62 and especially for 62R sopranos in lacquer or in silver plate. There’s nothing on this Earth quite like one of these at full song! A common trap is for parents to blindly go to the music store and take the first offer given to them for any price. Generally, the best way is to use common sense. $2400 add 15% for silver neck Tenor $ 5000 Tenor $1400 Used horns are not always going to be in perfect condition when you go to look at it. In our opinion, this really doesn't affect the sound at all. .I’ve seen a couple of Committee models with sterling silver necks. Within this category, there are three different types of businesses: non-specialized single-store retailers, specialized single-store retailers and non-specialized multi-store retailers. I suggest an extreme level of caution when buying horns from national dealers. Here is a link the SML section in the online museum to help you better aquaint yourself with what a good vintage SML should look like. Deduct 10% for lacquer, add 30% for gold. The defining trait is that USA Selmers do not say "Made in France" or have any other French writing on them. Ultimately Ebay might be best for establishing the ceiling price for a used instrument. I can always buy Yamaha baritone saxophones, like YBS-52 and YBS-62. SUPER 11951 – 18700 Selmer also released the Mark VII starting in 1975. I suggest an extreme level of caution when buying horns from national dealers. Tenor $ 3500 Just look for any abnormal distortion in the finish. Seller: Well, what would you like to know? The only down side of these horns is the action, which can be a little cumbersome compared to a modern horn, especially the Bb spatula key cluster. There is always someone coming out with a new saxophone, and needless to say we haven't been able to try everythig. LOW PRICE Cleveland King Super 20 Alto Sax w/ Sterling Double Socket Neck - Serial # 346914 Contact Us Vintage Martin Typewriter Alto Sax in Great Original Silver Plate - Serial # 99635 If you are on a limited budget, or are not afraid of the research and legwork involved with a used saxophone, that may be the way to go. Mark VIs come with a lot of hype, and they can live up to it, but you should definitely try to play several of them before you buy. Yanagisawa also produces new sopraninos that are absolutely fabulous. It just means that you need to ask the right questions and make sure you know what you are buying. Two words always apply with any on-line purchase... Mail order from online sites is the method in which most horns are sold on a national level. Soprano $ 2200 Mark:  Does it have a round, serrated tuner mechanism on the neck? onn produced some marvelous instruments during the saxophone craze in the 1930's, they could not beat the improvements in action and feel offered by the refined Balanced Action model. Seller: It says "Made by something...."  uh maybe Conn? These horns are very good, and have an extremely dedicated following. Horns which in our opinion you should stay away from are: Belmonte,  Antigua Winds, Jupiter, El Dorado, Olds Parisian, Conns after the M was dropped from the serial number, Grassi, Conservarte, and most of the Chinese-manufactured horn. : It has gold-colored rods. I do buy YAS-23 and YTS-23 student saxophones if they are in good condition, with the understanding that margins are very thin on used student altos, so I can’t pay a lot for them. Some repair technicians use these non-resonator type pads because they are cheaper than the other type. Let your good judgment guide you when it comes to these businesses. Without this vital information, the person selling this used horn has a great advantage over you. Even professional saxophonists must deal with this problem on a daily basis. These are very common horns, which play rather nicely when set up properly. Straight soprano $2000 The Conqueror series (26M and 30M) have very elaborate adjustment mechanisms and solid silver key touches. : Why yes...  there are flowers all around the name, and they go down to the middle of the bell. Tenor $ 2400 They are more likely to be plated (instead of lacquered) and have much stiffer brass. Used horns are not always going to be in perfect condition when you go to look at it. Add 20% for gold plating. Tenor Zephyr $ 2400 Unfortunately, there are very few good deals to be had on Selmers, as most music stores and pawn shops know what a vintage Selmer is and how much it is worth. Just because David Sanborn plays a 144,000 series Mark VI alto and a Dukoff mouthpiece doesn't mean that you have to. The newest horns on the market are all strong competitors and deserve to be tried on their own merits. Also, try a chromatic scale slowly from the lowest to the highest notes so you can check for leaking pads. Tenor $ 3000 The Mark VI is a little harder to nail down. Don't let that person be you! Common student models include the King 613 and Cleveland models, Selmer Bundy II, Evette Schaeffer, Olds Parisian, Vito, Armstrong, as well as later Buescher Aristocrats and Conn M series horns, which started as professional models. Used Saxophones. Engraving is uncommon above 275000. We have full understanding that our experiences with these new horns may be different than other players. $3,299.99. It just depends on the individual shop. ARISTOCRAT 270XXX – 290XXX The bari had been mistreated badly while in the thief's possession. On some horns, especially those manufactured by Martin, the tone holes are soldered on instead of drawn from the metal of the body. Selmer is really living on hype now more than anything. They play rather nicely. These horns featured a refined action (although not "balanced" like the Selmers), and some unusual keying features. Another feedback-boosting tool some sellers use is buying or selling lots of inexpensive items specifically to receive good feedback. We will go into greater detail about these items as the section progresses so you can try and determine if the horn's current owner is telling ou the straight story on the saxophone in fro, nt of you. Your tastes will even change as you evolve as a player. It needs to be in good condition in order for the sax to play well. The Mark VI is a truly great saxophone, but you must reserve judgment until you play it. Be weary of "cash only" deals. In the business of saxophones, this can be devastating since there are so many variables in the condition and playability of an instrument. Once again, it is always good to check out a Pro-Shop like Saxquest, because they have a ton of knowledge, and the horns they sell are guaranteed to play. Usually these professional setups are considered part of the sale, because these shops know that you are buying more than just the Saxopohone. Add 20% for gold and 40% for gold with “artist” engraving and mother of pearl key touches. Alto $1800 Hopefully after reading this guide, you will be better equipped to determine these important facts. Student models generally use more rigorous materials, such as nickel-silver rods, stronger bell braces, side-rod configurations, and heavy-duty lacquer. This comes from inserting the neck into the horn, then putting the mouthpiece on afterwards. Here are the ways to determine if a horn is what they say it is: This is a hard determination to make without the experience of seeing a gold plated horn, although a good way to tell is to compare the color to any gold jewelry you may be wearing. Many musicians, young and old, successfully use eBay not only as a place to find new Musical Instruments and equipment, but as a way to help fund their passion. All of the Martin horns have a sweet sound, and a very lush lower end. Music store web sites are the on-line representation of an existing storefront, or chain of storefronts. I think these are often overlooked and underpriced. Horns began appearing in Internet classifieds at the prices they were selling for in the real world. So while student saxophones may not be quite as well built or artistic as pro horns, they get the job done, and can take you really quite far. They have also snatched up a lot of big name saxophone artists as endorsers along the way. The sax is then pushed gently down onto the ball and rocked back and forth. You’ll be unlikely to find them in anything but lacquer. There’s a real oversupply of alto horns. The down side of purchasing from a store like this is that prices will be higher than other non-specialized stores, or individual dealers with little or no overhead cost. Selmer AS42MW EB Alto Saxophone - Professional Brushed Matte Finish $2,499.00 New Mendini Black Nickel Plated Gold Keys EB Alto Saxophone Sax Tuner Case CAREKIT How do you know? Many times the seller is uninformed and misrepresenting the instrument they are selling. : No...  it just comes out to a piece of cork. Add 15% for silver, 25% for gold. Music stores and national saxophone shops can be good resources -- but remember, you must exercise caution when getting information, because you are seen as a potential customer. Most music stores will also rent saxophones if you would like to try one out. It can never hurt to ask too many questions! In my case, it was multiple instruments, and there was no way they could ever be replaced. Just be careful, and don't take unnecessary chances. BALANCED ACTION 21751 – 35800 You will be able to see lines, or splits in the lacquer along the side of the neck where the metal was bent out. It was designed by my good friend and legend Santy Runyon. Here is a link the SML section in the online museum to help you better aquaint yourself with what a good vintage SML should look like. Buying horns over the Internet poses another level of complexity since you are relying on a written description or electronic photographs. There are dealers who use eBay exclusively to sell their instruments; so much so that they don't even bother having a web site! Apparently the thief never put 2 and 2 together to figure out that it was originally my horn. Here is a link the King section in the online museum to help you better aquaint yourself with what a good vintage King should look like. It'll probably say something like "Pattented 1914" and have an A by it. Keilwerth saxophones have developed a strong, devoted following, and have even stolen away many devoted Selmer players over the years. Mark:  Hi, I'm calling about the sax you have advertised in the paper. We presonally love old Selmer horns, but there are some people out there who really don't like them. MODELE 26 4451 – 11950 If you don't see what you're looking for today, check back in a week or less, our inventory changes that quickly. Another problem found on many horns is a lack of consistency in quality from the manufacturer. If you are an intermediate player with a modest budget, you can look into intermediate model horns such as the Selmer USA models, or Yamaha 52 series, or you can try and buy a used, vintage horn such as a Conn M series, or Buescher Aristocrat. 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