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Old Sax - alto or tenor

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Hi, I'm really keen to take apart a sax and try to put it together again. I am not looking to refurbish/repair or sell on (heaven forbid), I just want to thoroughly understand the instrument. I have enthusiastically read the Haynes manual and I'm on a mission!

Given my skill level, a playable horn would be too risky..... Does anyone have an old one, broken one not worth very much, waiting to be sent to the saxophone stand in the sky, being used as a door stop etc etc?

Ideally I'm looking to spend up to £50 on the basis I can make it worth nothing when I'm done. Or I can part ex a brand new Yani Ebonite 6 for Alto?

Kind regards

Dee
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I have a couple of old saxes lying around, but not at that price. If you think you can stretch a bit, drop me a PM and I'll let you know what I've got. As a tempter, I have an Asian sax for just a bit more than you said, and a couple of very interesting vintage saxes for a bit more again.......
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Thanks Colin, much appreciated. I have several in my watch list at the moment. The most interesting thing about the trawl is the amount some folk pay for no brand (not poor quality, simply no name) that are sold without much info. There have been a couple I thought I'd jump at - the really cheap Chinese ones - that went for more than the new price. They might play great (or not) but the buyer could get the model new with a guarantee. I know they should do their homework before buying, but it still seems wrong.

Given the likelihood of the outcome for me is a sax with no value when I've finished tinkering, I would hate to ruin something that might have years in it for someone to enjoy playing. A cheap Chinese one that's been used as a light saber by an 8 year old would be perfect!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,089
If you buy one that doesn't play and take it to bits, so long as it's complete, I can't imagine it losing much value. Anybody looking for one to do up just need all the bits.
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Very good point, presuming I don't break anything as I go, which is a definite possibility. And if I do lose a few point screws and a spring or two, I'll stuff the bell with a classy plastic plant and use it as an ornament :thumb:
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Don't buy one of those for heavens sake, that's one of them India things, with pillows for pads and liquorice sticks for keys!
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Hi Melissa,

Well I'll feel less guilty about ensuring the demise of that with my poor ability than something reasonable. if it doesn't play when I get it, at least I can't make it (much) worse.......

Dee
 

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hi Dee,

I could say have more faith in yourself, I did attempt to re-pad my Tenor but it failed miserably, well kind of, I had a pad seating problem and did not have the tools to straighten or make up some new rods which was a dire problem.My only thought regards one of these is that as far as I am aware, most repairers would not touch them,I have come across a clarinet of the same manufacturing, the keys were really soft and did not operate properly.

I am sure it would be easier to pick up something cheap yet far superior to one of these. I have an idea, shall pm you.

Melissaxx
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
Don't buy one of those indian "saxes" - the mechanism bears little relation to anything you'll see in Stephen Howard's book and the only thing you'd learn is to never go near one ever again. Even as ornaments they're not that attractive, unless flaking nickel plate and rough file marks are something you enjoy. I once spent an enjoyable afternoon in a musical instrument shop in Kathmandu, giggling in disbelief at the poor quality products they had on offer. I've no idea how the local wedding bands get a tune out of them.. even for the £25 they sell for over there, I wasn't tempted...
You'd be lucky to find anything as advanced as point screws on one of those things, I think the palm keys pivoted on bits of old wire and the "springs" seemed to have little effect.

If you live near Leicester, I've got an east German tenor that's lying around doing nothing, although it's still fairly playable, so maybe not damaged enough for your purposes... :)
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Thank you!

I live in Sussex otherwise I'd be delighted to take you up on your East German sax. I'm not sure if I've overdone the cheap bit in an attempt to explain what I'd like. I'm referring to the newer Chinese horns that are available new for a few hundred pounds. Stephen Howard refers to them in his reviews. I've seen a G4M one and, while it wouldn't be my choice to play, it would be perfect as a cheap project if I could pick one up second hand that wasn't in such great condition.

I will keep searching....
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Thank you!

I live in Sussex otherwise I'd be delighted to take you up on your East German sax. I'm not sure if I've overdone the cheap bit in an attempt to explain what I'd like. I'm referring to the newer Chinese horns that are available new for a few hundred pounds. Stephen Howard refers to them in his reviews. I've seen a G4M one and, while it wouldn't be my choice to play, it would be perfect as a cheap project if I could pick one up second hand that wasn't in such great condition.

I will keep searching....
I'd avoid the cheap chinese stuff. It's made to outlive the warranty. Unless you spend a lot of time sorting out uneven tone holes, replacing all the corks using a decent glue, replacing all the pads and refitting most if not all the springs, you'll have no end of problems. Even when you get it working, the keywork is so poor, that you'll forever be adjusting things.

One of these that I worked on recently was so badly made that a key wouldn't close properly because it was hitting a spring from another key - I had to do some serious filing to get it to close. It also had 3 tone holes that were so uneven that the pads wouldn't seat unless you used gorilla fingers on it. It came with the pads set in the cups at a pretty acute angle to try and compensate. Took a lot of work to get it playing OK. It'll be on ebay soon, and I hope the buyer gets better things out of it than I did.

The East German ad Czech saxes may be a touch crude in some people's eyes, but they're much better made and designed, even if they lack all the adjusting screws found on newer models. And when you sort them out, they sound wonderful...
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,089
The first repad I did was a clarinet, same only simpler and smaller. I've done my old (30ish)Lafleur twice, corton or amati is it? I forget. A much simpler and more robust mechanism than some modern instruments.
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Thanks everyone. I'm really just looking to take something apart though, not play, so I have to compromise. I can't afford to spend too much money. I'd rather spend that on my real saxes! I wish I could take one of them apart, but it would be the stuff of nightmares - like dismembering your own babies.
 
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