Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / 1931 Martin Handcraft Troubador

User ID: 0213374
Nov 27th 10:54 PM
Any thoughts on the 1931 Martin Handcraft Troubador?

I have an opportunity to buy one for a few hundred bucks. It hasn't been played in about 25 years, but looks pretty good. It's silver-colored, but to tell the truth, I don't know if it's silver-plated or nickel-plated. Suprisingly the pads look much better than you would expect, but still I would anticipate having to get everything redone.

I don't know much about saxes, but want to get another sax for my 13 year old son with a better sound. He is currently playing a Vito and has made several honors bands, so I would like him to be able to step up to something better. (But we are on a budget)

It's hard to tell about the sound right now since there are some air leaks, but it's at least as good as the Vito. The Martin was owned by a family member and it would be nice to keep it in the family, but I don't want to put the money into new pads, etc. if it isn't going to be an improvement on the sound. By the way, my son thinks it's cool.

I hope someone knows something about this sax. Thanks.
User ID: 0178794
Dec 3rd 5:52 AM
The Troubadour is about as rare as the preceding 'Typewriter' model, but not as sought after by collectors. Should sound great when set up correctly, but your budget probably precludes spending the necessary dollars. To keep it in your family, maybe no more than $200 would be fair to both. Or, you might like to wait until you see what mine fetches on eBay soon ? God bless
User ID: 9279843
Dec 3rd 6:47 AM
in my opinion the Troubador is not a horn for a developing student primarily because of the esoteric keywork,they are much better suited to an experienced player used to adjusting style and technique to different horns. they are very nice horns,and a great piece for a collection but not really a working horn-my opinion only...
User ID: 0213374
Dec 15th 12:07 AM
Thanks for the opinions, guys. I just spoke to a sax repair technician and player. He said he has only seen a few other Handcraft Troubadors, but that as far as sound goes, it wouldn't be any better than the Vito. He estimates it would cost $350 to $400 to redo it and that if you wanted to do it just to have an older, unique sax it would be worth it. But for our purposes, which are to find a better sax for our son, it wouldn't be the right decision. Sounds like what Thomas says.

I think when we can save up the money, we might get a new Y-52 or Y-62. Or a SuperAction Selmer (that might be out of our price range though). Maybe we could find a used one in good condition. Anyway this man suggests that buying a good, new mouthpiece for $75-150 might do a lot to improve the sound. Does this sound right?

I'd be interested to see what your sax sells for on ebay, Brenton. I'd like to buy it from my sister and keep it until the time comes when we can get it fixed. But if she can get a lot more for it on ebay, I guess it would only be fair to let her do that.