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Getting back into Sax after 35 years..

commking

New Member
Messages
2
Learnt at school, played for a couple of years after.. and stopped. Now 35 years on I'm dusting it off and getting back into it.

I pulled my old student tenor sax out of the attic - it's a "Lafleur" but needs work. Pads need replacing, and it needs a really good clean (it has a silver finish not brass). It seems an expensive job (so the local music store tells me) - so I am unsure if I should do that, or go buy a new sax.

New ones seem cheap on eBay (I assume there is a reason for that) that's cheaper than replacing pads on the Lafluer) - and a decent Selmer is perhaps not worth the money at this point given I don't know where this journey will take me.

So I'm looking for some advice here - will a fixed up Lefleur be better value than a cheap new sax from Ebay??
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,928
Hi & welcome.
Sentimental value hidden away in the cost I guess....
But in truth the real cost may well be getting into the territory of something new that will be a superior horn.
Ebay is not a good start though.
You need a firm quote on the cost of the repad then decide if you are willing to increase your budget over the top end of the repad cost and see what's available from that price point.
I'd get that quote independently (if you haven't already) then go searching from reputable dealers with budget in mind.
Yamaha carry a really good reputation for quality horns at the lower end of the market and are especially popular as a used buy (which means even that can cost a few bucks but looked after the residual value remain high). Though I'd say if you buy used, you need to be careful that you aren't looking at a repad on that sooner rather than later.
But it's not just Yamaha, the choice is huge in comparison to 35 years ago.
There is a chance of grabbing a used bargain or you could look at new for a genuine 'in your face' upgrade over the Lafleur.
Keep checking in....there are some good people on this forum that will help you with further questions.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,812
Hi welcome
There are various members here who will be able to advise on the merits or otherwise of repadding the old sax. There are also various Australian members who can probably advise about outlets in your area and also possible techs who could do any work you needed doing to your sax. .
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,648
I like Amati and B&S saxes. They were available for many sax players back in 60's and 70's. My first tenor was a "Powertone" (made by Amati for Bossey & Hawkes). Today chinese (P.R C) made brands have replaced european saxes as pow priced alternative. I bouhgt a G4M tenor (Yani copy) the other year. Not bad but I prefer an Amati or B&S made sax. I think the tone is better. And they are also better built. But the ergonomic is better on a modern tenor. Yamaha are good but expensive. And my YTS 25 had problem with the keys/rods.

If it's just new pads, felts and corks I think you should have your "Lafluer" fixed. Maybe you can find a hobby sax tech that can do it?
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,660
Lafleur were stencil saxes made by eastern European manufacturers.
If it's this model, then maybe it would be better to look for a newer one.

 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,648
Lafleur were stencil saxes made by eastern European manufacturers.
If it's this model, then maybe it would be better to look for a newer one.

Lafluer was/is a brand that belonged to Boosey & Hawkes. Beside Amati and B&S, Hammerschidt, Beaugnier and a manufactor in Italy mad Lafluer saxes. https://www.saxophonepeople.com/sax...n-italy-made-for-boosey-and-hawkes-26312.html
 
OP
commking

commking

New Member
Messages
2
Over the phone, I was advised (by the shop) a full pad replacement would cost around A$1500-A$1800 (US$958 - $1150, or UKP775-930). It's a labour intensive job and I get that. I guess I'd have a better instrument at the end of the day than a brand new Chinese sax which costs less than that? Is that correct?

I'll take my old sax to the repair shop for them to look at and see what they say. It's just a pain as it's on the other side of the city and they are only open weekdays - I'll need a day off work but it does seem to the best place in town to get repairs done.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,812
Over the phone, I was advised (by the shop) a full pad replacement would cost around A$1500-A$1800 (US$958 - $1150, or UKP775-930). It's a labour intensive job and I get that. I guess I'd have a better instrument at the end of the day than a brand new Chinese sax which costs less than that? Is that correct?

I'll take my old sax to the repair shop for them to look at and see what they say. It's just a pain as it's on the other side of the city and they are only open weekdays - I'll need a day off work but it does seem to the best place in town to get repairs done.
Ouch - hopefully one of the techs on here will advise about that pricing... I know it's a major job but the seems on the high side
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,928
£775 would buy a decent used alto over here n the UK. I just googled and it would seem at a glance that $1500 - $1800 is a decent budget for a used horn, albeit not considered proffesional.
Look at this little gem

I would...:sax:but I missed whether you are after tenor or alto.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,560
Lafleur were stencil saxes made by eastern European manufacturers.
Lafluer was/is a brand that belonged to Boosey & Hawkes. Beside Amati and B&S, Hammerschidt, Beaugnier and a manufactor in Italy mad Lafluer saxes. https://www.saxophonepeople.com/sax...n-italy-made-for-boosey-and-hawkes-26312.html
Exactly, Lafleurs were made by a lot of makers. Most I have seen were actually made by quite respectable factories.

(And BTW.....a Weltklang put into good playing shape = a quite respectable horn. A good deal better than a lot of new stuff out there.
Having refurbished around 40 of 'em, I know this.
Oftentimes factory inconsistencies are easily correctable on the tech bench, and once addressed, the horn will be set).
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,560
Here's what I suggest, @commking...don't jump the gun and immediately assume the horn needs to be replaced. Your phone call with the music store is worth very little, they have not seen the horn, there's no indication it 'needs' a full repad.

This thread can quickly devolve into folks throwing out their favorite $1500 suggestions of available saxes here and there...which really digresses from your current situation....and likely isn't what you came here for.

So....FIRST:

1) post some photos of your sax here. This way we can identify who may have made it.

2) if possible, get the horn to a tech and get an estimate on repair. THIS advice comes with BIG asterisk:

do NOT pose it like this: "I am a beginner....what does it need ?"

(that's kinda like a Gazelle walking up to a Lion and asking "are you hungry ?")

Because more often than not, a tech, when confronted with an old horn.... will simply reply: "everything, complete overhaul" and quote a price which will knock you backwards.

A better way to pose it: "I would like to have it serviced to bring it into decent playing shape, so I don't have to fight the horn to play it. I have a budget of XXX or so. Is this something you could do ?"

Because now you have established your hope/expectation, before the tech has established their position. Thus begins a dialogue, a dialogue which might/should address taking care of priority issues vs. secondary ones (those which can be addressed in a subsequent servicing, etc).

3) IF the quote comes back more than, say, $550aud.....then some will argue that's the point of consideration where perhaps buying a different horn is an option which comes into play.

But anyone who says this right now, is making a premature statement.

Whether a Weltklang or an Amati or an Orsi or Malerne/Santoni....or whatever else it may be.... it still might be a quite decent old Tenor worthy of some servicing, and quite appropriate for a restarter/beginner.
 
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ESJohn

Member
Messages
179
My King Cleveland alto is also a "vintage" student sax that I used in high school. They can be easily purchased for around $150-$175 or so. As it is one purchased for me by my parents way back when (the sentimental consideration), I kept it and have probably invested $300 in it over the past year (including a new case, reeds, mouthpieces, etc). We also spent some money on it when my son played it for a year during his school years. I gave serious consideration into purchasing a new sax, but my instructor told me not to do so as it was built like a tank compared to the student models of today.
That doesn't mean I wouldn't like a new one, though. I hope someday to purchase a bari. I think you'll come out fine using the advice that those above me have written.
By the way, we are glad to have you among us!!
 

hedgehog

I love singletrack.
Subscriber
Messages
260
Welcome! Have fun, no matter which way you go with the repair or replace issue.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,789
I agree that several close up photos would help the techs here assess what the sax might need. That said, it is difficult to tell looking at a photo how hard and dry the leather on the pads has become over time. Sometimes they look fine, but are nearly impossible to work with or try to regulate alongside new pads with fresh leather and felt.

JayeNM and I sometimes disagree, but I have the greatest respect for his skill and experience. We just come from different backgrounds. For the most part I don't recommend doing "patch work" on older saxophones that haven't been serviced or cared for for many years. When the majority of the pads in the upper and lower stack are no longer serviceable, I recommend that all the pads be replaced at once to start "fresh". Part of my training in repair was to emphasize the importance of making the instrument not just play at the time it leaves the store, but making it "dependable" as well. In auto repair this is called "preventative maintenance". On some older saxes that means replacing all the parts that wear out. ;)
 
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