Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Possible to get good used alto for $350?

User ID: 0053014
May 1st 5:26 PM
I see some alto saxes in Ebay, and local music shops going for 300-400 dollars seconhand. Is it possible that they are OK, or will they most likely cost me lots more in redoing the pads etc?
mutha potamus May 1st 5:36 PM
I've bought two altos & three tenors off ebay in the last year for around that amount...OR LESS! All 4 of these were Conn Shootings Stars from '56-'59. None of these have needed anything other than at most $50 worth of work to get them in regulation.

I also have picked up a '56 Conn 10M of ebay for $425 (that one needed around $150 to get it in tip-top shape).

I'm currently waiting for a '24 silverplated Conn (New Wonder?) alto that looks to be in excellent shape other than a couple of dead pads. I paid $192.15 (after shipping) for that one...yes, off ebay.

The thing is though, you have to ask questions to the seller about anything & everything you can think of, plus you've got to have an eye to see what's NOT shown in pics & speciffically ask for info pics of those areas.

Anyway, good luck. They're out there to be had.
User ID: 9753653
May 1st 6:47 PM
I payed a total of $230.00 for a gold-plated Handcraft alto in great playing condition. It is my main horn that did just fine last month for graduate school auditions....
mitch May 1st 11:07 PM
i bought a pro-level kohlert '55 alto off of ebay for $100 + shipping. it looks fine and plays very well. it needs a couple of pads replaced but i would have no reservations about playing it in public as it is. maybe i was lucky since i used 'buy it now' less than two hours after it was listed. once i checked out the sellers feedback, i felt like his description was honest and i bought it. in this case, i didn't take the time to ask questions. the seller even included a runyon mpc/lig and a selmer traypack case. i would buy horns like that everyday if i could.
User ID: 0554384
May 2nd 4:12 PM
i bought a frank holton alto sax for about $130. it's about 70-80 years old but someone just put new pads on it and did a very poor job. that was another $150, so about $300 got me a good sounding horn.
User ID: 3145934
May 2nd 10:21 PM
Check out my Martin for $450 or OBO. Thanks, DD
User ID: 0366544
May 2nd 11:13 PM
I won a '48 Big B for $325 Buy it Now less than an hour into the auction. No questions asked. It played fine but I repadded anyway and now it sounds even better. Big B's are an easy repad.
I know, i'm just showing my ignorance......
User ID: 2073324
May 5th 12:21 PM
I won a '21 Conn alto for $340, and it plays exceptionally well, most of the pads even have metal resonators...
David Apolloni
User ID: 8360413
May 5th 12:55 PM
If you are speaking about a top of the line modern horn, you are going ot have to be realistic. On the other hand, there are many fine instruments from the '20's--when all saxes were professional level-- which play very well. You can find Buescher Trutones for around $300. I found one in an antique shop in Wisconsin for that amount a few years ago.
If you can stand the somewhat antiquated keywork and are willing to experiment to find mouthpieces and reeds that work well with the horn, you are all set with a great horn.