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Saxophones Antique or new, that is the question

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Peeps, I need help! I haven't been on here for a while, been busy, which is nice, but now I need some help. My loverly wife has decided to buy me another Alto. For my birthday. I am looking at a selmer cigar cutter in excellent condition, but I can get a new Yam for the same price, so what do think guys? Should I go for Antique or new? Oh the added problem is that I live in Cyprus, and the island just doesn't have any repairers worth their salt. So I'm thinking, if I buy the Selmer, and it needs some TLC from a repairer, the chances of it being any good when it comes back is debatable.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Buy a King Super 20, that way you get the best of both worlds.....antique sax with modern ergos...sorted:thumb:
 
Messages
509
Peeps, I need help! I haven't been on here for a while, been busy, which is nice, but now I need some help. My loverly wife has decided to buy me another Alto. For my birthday. I am looking at a selmer cigar cutter in excellent condition, but I can get a new Yam for the same price, so what do think guys? Should I go for Antique or new? Oh the added problem is that I live in Cyprus, and the island just doesn't have any repairers worth their salt. So I'm thinking, if I buy the Selmer, and it needs some TLC from a repairer, the chances of it being any good when it comes back is debatable.
I think you just answered your own question,as an owner of a Selmer Cigar Cutter i would not part with it, but older horns can be problematical and work on them can be expensive
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Zoot, thanx man, that's useful, have you had any problems with yours? If so what am I likely to come across in the way of problems?
 
Messages
509
Zoot, thanx man, that's useful, have you had any problems with yours? If so what am I likely to come across in the way of problems?
not really had any problems apart from finding a sax tech anywhere close to me who understands vintage horns but,it really depends on what you want the horn to do.
if you are looking for a solid well laid out horn with a great action,and a really gorgeous tone then go for it
it is great for jazz and will handle jazz and contemporary music but i had to try a lot of mouthpiece, reed combos to get the right balance and it sometimes feels like i'm using a Rolls Royce to go dirt tracking.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,999
Is there any way to find out the repair history of the Cigar Cutter which was made circa 1931? If it has had a quality mechanical overhaul in the past 10 - 15 years and has been carefully maintained, it may be a reliable sax with a unique sound compared to today's models. Unfortunately older instruments that have not been overhauled are subject to the same wear and tear as other mechanical devices---especially if they have had a lot of use. Think of an automobile or motorcycle made in 1931. Completely restored and well maintained they would be a delight to own. Alternately they could be an undependable deep hole to keep throwing money into.

Without knowing the history of the Selmer or having an experienced tech's appraisal of its condition, I would say go for the newer sax and be safe.
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
JB, thanx, it is for sale at Howarths, I spoke to the Manager there, and he said it had been overhauled by them when they got it, just afew months ago. The photo's of it look good, it looks like it has been treated with great care and love.
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Zoot, that sounds great , I think I may just go for it then, as you have just described my ideal Sax, thanx Buddy.
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Nick, funny you should say that, I have just been looking at them, and a friend of mine has one that he let me try. I have to say I WAS impressed. The only thing is that it's more like £600! And I just don't think I could run to that. Thanx for your input tho.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,791
I would consider:

Make shure the old sax is worth the money!
If there have been major dents, how were they repaired?
If the sax has new pads, are they in same thickness as the original.
How is the sax setup/regulated? I think it should be ”factory setup”.
Straight body and no damage on the rods and keys.
Mouthpieces? It can be hard to find a mouthpice to work on an old sax.
What kind of music are going to play on your sax? Classic, jazz, blues-rock … . Older saxes are not so loud as new ones. They were designed and constructed to be played in the music of those days.
If you’re used to modern design of the keys, it can be hard to get used to older saxes.

Thomas
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Thomas, thanx, I am quickly leaning backwards again now, and as I have just had a conversation with a friend who has an old Beucher, and the kind of things I want to use my sax for, i .e. It will be my main sax, he said something along the same lines. So it looks like the new model for me after all .
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I've got a mix of vintage and modern saxes - I really like the vintage ones, although they're more trouble to play than a modern. Living where you do, I'd suggest getting a modern sax. You can buy a Yanagisawa or a Yamaha, and the chances are it'll play brilliantly out of the box, and not need any attention for years. An don't listen to any of the misery-guts who say that a modern sax has no character. 'Character' in the sound comes from the player.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
An don't listen to any of the misery-guts who say that a modern sax has no character. 'Character' in the sound comes from the player.
And modern players have no character ;}...
Jonf has a point about geographical issues, but you say "another" alto. What is the first one?
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Jon
Thanx for that, I think you may be right, I'm just about sold on the idea of new Yam now, it would be nice to own an antique sax but I fear it would be unwise in my particular circumstances.
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
I have a Yam 275 that I have had for years, but it has got to the stage that it needs a lot of TLC and repairs. I only bought it as a stop gap until I could afford something better, but it was such a workhorse that I never got round to replacing it. now it is starting to play up (excuse the pun) on a regular basis. i.e. I was playing the solo in the Hazel O,conner number 'Will You' on a Gig, and it just wouldn't allow me to growl on the top E or F# I eventualy sorted it, but it was quite embarassing at the time, there was just a silence where the notes should have been. Luckily the other guys I was playing with and the singer, knew I could play it with my eyes closed so they just thought it was funny. However, that was just one of a few examples of dodgy moments, so hence the quest for another sax.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
I have a Yam 275 that I have had for years, but it has got to the stage that it needs a lot of TLC and repairs. I only bought it as a stop gap until I could afford something better, but it was such a workhorse that I never got round to replacing it. now it is starting to play up (excuse the pun) on a regular basis.
My advice is to start chasing. If you can have a good playing Cigar Cutter for a reasonable price, go for it, but invest some money on your 275 to have it fixed too. It is always good to have a reliable spare.
A Cigar Cutter I owned was one of the best horns I ever had, but it required some attention.
 

Tadpole

Member
Messages
36
Ok, Thanx Guys, you were all a great help, I have considered long and hard but in the end I went for safe, and bought a new Yam. The Selmer would have been nice, but anything at all that needed doing to it, just wouldn't have been safe in the hands of any repairers here. So thanx for all the input, I just knew I could rely on you guys to tell it like it is. Thanx
 

Paul Warner

Member
Messages
312
Don`t think you`ll regret it, Tadpole. Never used to rate the Yamis in my early days. Now I really love `em. Rock steady dependability, and they let YOU speak.
 
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