Saxophones Legit "The Martin Tenor"?

The Lick

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I just purchased this "The Martin" Tenor off of Facebook for 1350$ but I have never seen Martin engraving/lettering quite like it which is giving me some misgivings. It is s/n 311XXX which puts it around the late 60's, it looks like a "the martin" but I'm hoping to see if someone more knowledgeable than me has an opinion.
12988
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12990
 

Pete Thomas

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I had a The Martin tenor and it looked exactly like this one. Bigger images would be good to see if the engraving is standard, but even if not it doesn't indicate a fake.

I don't believe anyone has ever down a viable fake of a vintage horn.

One thing to check is the soldered tone holes, those are prone to need fixing after so many years because the solder can lose its integrity and cause leaks.

But you got a great horn there. Bigger pictures would show if it's a relacquer, but it probably is given the age and looks, but if it's original lacquer and blowing well I'd say that is a real bargain.

If it's a relacquer it appears to be a good one, then it's a a fair price.
 
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The Lick

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I dont have the horn yet its getting shipped out to me today! According to the seller he bought it from the original owner who never really played it. According to him its original lacquer, case and mouthpiece, aside from 2 minor dents it looks almost new! I cant wait to play it
 

Pete Thomas

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I dont have the horn yet its getting shipped out to me today! According to the seller he bought it from the original owner who never really played it. According to him its original lacquer, case and mouthpiece, aside from 2 minor dents it looks almost new! I cant wait to play it
Well that sounds like a great deal. I had a sneaking suspicion it might be original lacquer as the engraving does look good albeit not very large photos.

But my point about the soldered tone hole chimneys is still important, I believe it can be age related issue not necessarily over-use. But original lacquer in that condition is wonderful. The thing to watch out is the lacquer on those horns was not as resilient as it is today and can were very easily. If you want to keep it looking that good be very careful, e.g. wipe it down and keep in the case.
 

Pete Thomas

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Haha will do! Thanks for the advice on the tone holes. On that note do you happen to know of any techs near San Francisco who would be familiar with working on Martins to get it looked at?
Not sure about SF, @JayeNM will probably know somebody. But just down the coast a bit you have Palo Tung at Santa Cruz (just saxes.net)

He is for sure one of the very best and knows vintage horns.
 

Phil

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Looks right to me. I dont think there are people out there faking Martins. Too difficult. The lacquer is in amazing condition so I dont know if its original but mine looked that good and it was a 54. Martin did alter their engravings over time so I would not worry too much.
 

sizzzzler

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From the look of the engraving on my searchlight alto, Martin seemed to let the engravers get on with it so long as they approximated the theme.
Congratulations on the Martin.
 

thomsax

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Any pictures of the neck? Yes, this is a late "The Martin Tenor". Wurlitzer onwed "The Martin" and sold the the brand, and maybe the machines/tools? , to Leblanc, Kenosha, WI in 1971. It's always interesting to own a late sax from a legaendary model. No stencils were made and the kept the design/construction to the bitter end. Just a few details: The late "The Martin" have adjustable key bumpers. It was just on the Magna model. No adjustable right hand thumbrest. A small adjust screw (for the octave key) on the neck as well. These saxes were/are popular among "Rocksax" players. The Stratocastor and Marschall amp best friend! Still used by "pro" on the road. We are talking good quality!I think Joe Arnold (Stax, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Albert King, Bobby Bland, Van Morrison ...) is on a late "The Martin". Good luck with your Martin. There are some guys in IA that are very good on old Martin saxes.
 

thomsax

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Fantastic sax. But a sax like this needs a better case. I use to store the neck in a case/cover. Let us know how it's playing.
 

Phil

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Good looking horn...and yes if you travel a lot with your horn something better than a coffin case is advisable. If it hangs out at home its not so much of a big deal. If its a Martin case in good condition its actually worth something to people who are purists so dont just toss it.
 

thomsax

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I was wrong about the keybumpers. Not adjustable, but you can use key felt bumpers. On the old "The Martin " cork is used. A Hiscox case is a good choice for a Martin Committee with the bell keys on left side. I have to fill up with some foam.
hiscox.JPG
 
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The Lick

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Took it to Lee at saxworks and he said it had leaks all over the horn which I noticed when I tried to play it. He said it might need a full repad which is discouraging especially since prices seem really high in the bay area rn. That being said from what I was able to play I think it will be a beast once it's set up properly, so at least I have that to look forward to haha. I travel back and forth fairly often to New York for school what other cases would you recommend?
 

Phil

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I dont know either from personal experience but Lee is reported to be good.... he is also reported to be quite expensive.

Id get a second opinion about a repad vs an adjustment.

Do the pads look shot?
 
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