I'm not saying that an Indiana is a bad sax. But I would not say an Indiana is a vintage horn unless you get your hands on one of the late HC Comm I that were sold and stamped as an Indiana. I don't use the word vintage when I'm talking about saxes. To say an Indiana is a vintage sax is strange for me. "Vintage" is something special for me. But I've been seen that it's often used in USA and UK.How is an Indiana not a vintage sax ? They stopped being produced in the 60's.
Regarding your experience, I am glad you posted that here....ALL vintage horns need to be brought up to good tack in order to serve their owners well. Your story indicates once the Indiana was put in good tack (it was NOT in good tack when you took ownership) it proved to be a reliable, good player.
(This is what murdered the reputation of Holtons back in the early 2000's. The saxpics founder was collecting data on a variety of mfrs then and from that data and experiences created saxpics. Unfortunately (and I literally found these old threads/discussions from back then)...all of the info he collected from a very small sampling of owners of Holtons... were from people who had just acqured their horns as-is, or had had the horns in the closet or attic for a decade or two...and had put no $ into getting them into good playing shape.
Thus all of the feedback/impressions collected on those horns were basically based on horns which hadn't been upkept , hadn't received repads, overhauls, etc.
Sadly, he failed to make that discernment, and proceeded with posting his Holton 'information' on the web.
End of story. Bad information, poorly collected. But it 'got there first', and it was the stake thru the heart of the rep of a number of good sax models.
How is a horn which was last serviced in 1979 ever going to be a sample which can provide an accurate picture of the instrument's qualities and capabilities ?)
Your experience with the Indiana is a common example of what may happen when one delves into vintage horns. I am sure you have had similar experiences with other old horns. Rarely do they arrive to their new owners in very good playing shape. This has NOTHING to do with the intrinsic quality of the model/brand.
It is of paramount importance that the vintage horn be in serviced, very good playing condition. It is unreasonable (and unfair) to expect any horn which is NOT - to be able to perform adequately when compared to a current horn of yours which IS. This seems obvious, but is missed by a lot of people.
Thus, again, a new buyer of vintage has to get that assurance from the seller. OR, have a trusted tech do the work on the horn after the new owner has acquired it.
*Many people ASSUME when a walk-in shop is selling a used horn, the shop has obviously had it go through their repair shop PRIOR to them hanging a pricetag on it.
Do NOT make that assumption. You have to ask if this has been done. Oftentimes older horns are consignment horns, and all the shop does (and I mean even very reputable shops) is take the owner's word for it and hang it on their display wall. Even if not consignment horns, but acquired on a trade-in or something, the store will NOT have invested adequate attention to the instrument before putting up for sale. They want to turn a profit, after all. And having their tech spend 8-9 hours on a trade-in is not gonna give them the most profit on turning the sax around.
So if you find one of interest, INSIST that the agreed-upon sale price includes a complete "play condition" servicing (not just a cursory one) from their shop.
Many "The Indiana by Martin" were made through the years. It was a horn meant for schools, marching bands ..... and they made lots of Indianas. The bent key cups, bent keys, off-center keycups. ..... was something the should have been taking care of at Martin in Elkhart back then. As it was a sax that not been playing much it had origianal pads. And we could also se tha there were no repairs made on sax. My tech told me it was almost impossible the straighten a key cup without leaving marks. Some key cups om the rh stack were off-center and the long Bb side key (in one piece) was also bent. But after new pads, corks, felts, adjustments .... it's a very good sax. I bought it for less money because it didn't play well.
I met a younger sax player that bought an Indiana. It was ok and he told me that the seller had told him that it was tha same sax as "The Martin XXXXX !!!!!! I don't like when sellers is pumping up the value by telling something that is false. He had paid too much for the sax. I felt sorry for him so I gave him a Berg Larsen ss bullet mpc !!!! He is into Rocksax and the BL sounded good on the Indiana.
Is my The New King -68 a Vintage horn? I would say it a good sax for less money. The vintage on this sax is the electroplated (black nickel) body. Why did the give a The New King that finsh?