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Beginner Typical "newbie" stuff..........

Soupy

Member
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58
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Wallingford, CT
Hello folks!
I belong to a number of Forums, some of which I "know what I'm talking about" and some not so much.
I understand what it's like to see the "same ole questions" come up time and time again, and appreciate those folks within a Forum who are patient and helpful, in spite of the repetition.
In the case of THIS Forum's focus, I am a complete and utter ignorant person, compared to most of you who live here on a regular basis. I HAVE been doing research (my homework) and I am learning bits-n-piecies
about the world of Saxophones. I even have an old one (Alto) that I was "given to try" yesterday, but it is in NO way "ready to play" (even to my own inexperienced eye) and I question the investment of repairing and refurbishing it, to make it so.
Here's a link to a brief video I did yesterday, to illustrate what I've received, and what I'm up against:


I would LOVE to find a Yamaha Alto or Tenor Saxophone for around $500.00 but that ain't gonna happen (based on the research I've done so far). The cost of getting the Alto Sax in the video up to playing condition is what............likely between $500.00 and $1,000.00 right? So this becomes a situation where I should probably give back the instrument I've been loaned, and buy an entry level instrument.
Like anything else, I have learned to buy conservatively on the first venture, in the event that I don't "take" to what I'm trying (golf, Saxophone, Mandolin, whatever). I see the Etude EAS-100 and wonder if that Sax is a good "starting point" for now? Yeah, some call it a "throw away" (lack of parts for it? Non-repairable?) but some who talk of it, seem to think it will get a student going (like me) and give enough positive feedback so as to not stand in the way of the newbie's appreciation for the instrument.
Let's face it. At MY age (57) I'm not about to become the next Grover Washington, and I know it. I'm just interested in playing it for the sake of it. I have no delusions of grandeur. Frankly, I'm thinking it might be a great way to quit smoking, since I will have to blow into it, and I can't smoke while I'm doing that (lol).
Any thoughts, sugggestions, ideas are welcome!!

-Soupy
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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Welcome to the caffe Soupy.
I am sure some of bargain hunting department will chime in soon.

In the meantime, why not introducing yourself in the Doorbell section?
 

Soupy

Member
Messages
58
Locality
Wallingford, CT
Like water skiing, I just jumped in, strapped on my skis and told the guy in the boat to "hit it!!"

-Soupy
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Looks like a Martin stencil from the 20s/30s. It also looks in pretty good condition. I'd get it to a repairer and see exactly what needs doing to bring it up to playing condition.
 

jimmylh

Well-Known Member
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Warner Robins, Georgia USA
Welcome to the forum. I started my saxophone journey one year ago at 61. I see two paths for you to get started. Either you take that sax to your local repair guy and get it in playing shape, or buy another sax. Trouble is, if you buy another one, it might need a repair guy too. Even brand new saxes often need setting up and tweeked by the repair guy. I would suggest getting an estimate for that one first. Once you get one ready to play, seek out a tutor and take some lessons. You will thank yourself later.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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Berkshire, UK
I agree Nick, but when you look at the Horace for sale (Buescher stencil) the neck has that "grooved" Octave guide
 

Soupy

Member
Messages
58
Locality
Wallingford, CT
Martin or Buescher stenciled, I agree. So does Tim Moran, a local Saxophone shop owner who believes it is an older 1920's horn that would likely have great tone if refurbished, because of thicker brass and, and, and.

He mentioned to me that the stop that has the cork in it, was MEANT to be blocked off. Something about a stop that wasn't needed or typically used or something like that.

He stated that if I was interested, he'd be willing to give me $100.00 for it, and would refurbish it, and re-sell it, and that it would likely turn out to be a fine instrument. For "me" to pay to have it done, to keep it, I'd have to shell out $1,000.00 or so (perhaps less, but "he'd have to see it" which makes perfect sense).

He encouraged me to take a serious look at an older horn that he finished refurbishing recently that "plays and sounds like a dream" but has "lousy finish." It's apparently "clean" but looks old. Wants only $400.00 for it, with the Horace as a trade-in.

I'll see if the guy who "loaned" me this horn would like me to have it. If so, I'll trade it in on something that is worth the money, and not buy a Chinese-made "throw away."

Here's another question: you know that pad that's on the neck? How is that actuated/played?
What's it for???? Key change?

-Soupy
 

jimmylh

Well-Known Member
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1,010
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Warner Robins, Georgia USA
Martin or Buescher stenciled, I agree. So does Tim Moran, a local Saxophone shop owner who believes it is an older 1920's horn that would likely have great tone if refurbished, because of thicker brass and, and, and.

He mentioned to me that the stop that has the cork in it, was MEANT to be blocked off. Something about a stop that wasn't needed or typically used or something like that.

He stated that if I was interested, he'd be willing to give me $100.00 for it, and would refurbish it, and re-sell it, and that it would likely turn out to be a fine instrument. For "me" to pay to have it done, to keep it, I'd have to shell out $1,000.00 or so (perhaps less, but "he'd have to see it" which makes perfect sense).

He encouraged me to take a serious look at an older horn that he finished refurbishing recently that "plays and sounds like a dream" but has "lousy finish." It's apparently "clean" but looks old. Wants only $400.00 for it, with the Horace as a trade-in.

I'll see if the guy who "loaned" me this horn would like me to have it. If so, I'll trade it in on something that is worth the money, and not buy a Chinese-made "throw away."

Here's another question: you know that pad that's on the neck? How is that actuated/played?
What's it for???? Key change?

-Soupy

The pad on the neck covers one of the octave pips. There are two. The other one is on the body of the sax. It's operated by the octave key using your left thumb. There is a lever at the top of the horn that pushes the neck lever. Others can chime in on this. If this horn is so old it doesn't have all your modern keys, you may want to learn on something else. Just a thought to keep in mind. The other guys here can tell you more about vintage horns than I can.
 
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Nick Wyver

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The only keys it doesn't have that modern ones do are the high F# and the alt top F key. It does have 2 keys that modern ones don't have - the rh G# trill key and the forked Eb.

It's still a Martin.:tongue-out:
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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Burnley bb9 9dn
The cork is in there probably to hold the pad shut because of a leak or broken spring. A minor repair. All the notes are needed on a sax.

Neck cork is 5 mins of a job. 15 if you've never done it before. Materials $10 tops


Like all things, get a second opinion. @jbtsax

You have there a collectable classic. How come a lesser horn serviced is 400 but yours would cost 1,000 to service?

In used car deal terms. A vintage Bentley in need of a little simple tlc for a Ford pickup freshly serviced.
 

Soupy

Member
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Wallingford, CT
I do agree that offering me $100.00 for the Horace seems a bit low, if it is such a "classic" and "well made" instrument (as he said). If he figures on spending even $500.00 to refurb it, and then turn around an sell it for a Grand........I think I'd want at LEAST $250.00 for it.

-Soupy
 

jbtsax

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Tim Moran is a NAPBIRT member and an excellent repair tech with a good reputation as a "straight shooter". Here is what to ask him. What is the make and model of the sax he has "refurbished"? What does "refurbished" mean? Was it given all new pads? Did it get a mechanical overhaul with tonehole leveling, key fitting, etc.?

Ask him what a "Play Condition" would cost for "Horace". Ask him if he needs all new pads. This will make a big difference in the cost to make him play well. The answers to those questions will help us to help you make an "informed" decision. In any event, I would not put a dime into someone else's saxophone if it is simply on loan to you.

Another option to see if the sax is for you would be to rent a quality student sax from a music dealer for a few months. The rent usually goes toward the purchase price, and more importantly it allows you to try it out without making a big upfront investment. Some folks rent to buy time to look for a great deal on a good used sax. Good luck.
 

Soupy

Member
Messages
58
Locality
Wallingford, CT
Renting with option to buy (having a percentage of the money for the rental go to the end cost) sounds like a good idea. I'll ask Tim the questions you proposed. The "loaned" instrument was likely "loaned" for two reasons..........one because I said I'd like to learn the instrument, and two because he (the guy who loaned it to me) didn't have the money to invest in having it fixed for himself or his kids. He's a father of eight kids, and they are like the Von Trapp family. They all play a variety of instruments and do performances all over the place. Interestingly enough, none of the kids plays a Saxophone on stage, but I figure they might, (two of them play Clarinet) if the Saxophone was repaired.

What is "NAPBIRT?" I'm assuming it is some sort of builder/repair/player organizational thing?

-Soupy
 

jbtsax

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What is "NAPBIRT?" I'm assuming it is some sort of builder/repair/player organizational thing?
-Soupy

The National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians. See why we don't use the full name.
 

jimmylh

Well-Known Member
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1,010
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Warner Robins, Georgia USA
I'll add the one drawback of rent to own. You will pay full list if not more in the long haul. I rented my first sax like a lot of folks to see if I liked it. When I confirmed I loved playing, I turned it in and bought one.
 
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