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My son is a flute player who just got into Jazz Band in Jr. High. I am looking at two used saxes both in good playable condition with mild wear. One is a 1989 16m Conn for $750 (includes a concert mouthpiece) and the other is a Yamaha YTS-52 for $1150. Since this is his doubling instrument, we are wondering which way to go. Any input would be a help!
 

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Can the seller of the Conn confirm it's an '89 ? How do they know that ? What is the serial # ?

The price is high for a 16M, especially a late-model one (if it's '89). I regularly sell older ones in great playing shape for around $500-600. Those being pre-'80's ones. An actual '89 probably has a market value of $100 less or so....
This is why I ask.

The Yamaha is also overpriced. A 52 in good playing shape has a market value of around $750-850 or so.

Now, if both horns have recently been completely repadded and regulated, and are free of dents and such.....you can generally add another $150 to their market value. But if not, they are both a bit overpriced.

IF the 16M is actually an '89.... the 52 is the better horn, hands-down.

But...if the 16M is actually older, then it may well be that the 16M is the better horn....
 

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The price on the YTS-52 is pretty normal fare for storefronts around here. Yes, on-line they can be had cheaper any day! But at music stores, that is pretty close to what they still sell for. Beaugnier-built saxes are the same way. On-line prices: $400-$950. Store front: $950 to $1400. I'm sure many other brands are too. But, one thing a store has, that on-line does not (this, coming from a guy that has bought all but one instrument on-line...and it's since been sold!), is personal customer service and face-to-face relationship w/the shop. Sometimes that can be worth the "convenience fee" .
 

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The serial number indicates an '89, making it built in Indiana after the move back from Mexico.
 

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The 52 is the better horn, then.

I don't disagree with Nissan...the $1150 is a store/shop pricetag. Store pricetags are grossly inflated above actual market values. There's a "convenience fee", sure, and far be it from me to dis' the concept of buying from a local shop, because I think that's awesome. However, an 70- 90% markup over actual value :tsk:.....is not awesome.

You didn't say this was being sold at a store...so we dunno if it is a private seller or a store.

If the horn is in really good shape, no dents, all pads sealing up and down, and the store will run it by their tech one more time before you walk out w/it....and it comes with a return policy....all of that might warrant $1150.

But if the horn has any significant dents or its pads are sorta iffy....no way in heck is that a reasonable price.

If the horn is being offered by a private seller, then at tops $900-1000 is what is a reasonable price to pay.

If the 16M had been a pre-mid '70's one, I would have gone for that. But those late 16M's are not in the same league as a 52. Conn was nary even a shell of their former glory by then, sadly.

Best of luck !
 

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Thanks for the input. We went with the Yamaha. It was being sold by our favorite intown tech on consignment and he not only put the dent free horn in tiptop shape, he threw in a year's worth of free repairs and some accessories. I know it may have still been a bit over market but it did come with assurance because Jerry is a dream to work with. After playing the Yamaha, Conn, and a vintage D & J side by side, by son really loved the Yamaha. With your input, it seemed the best decision. Thanks again!
 

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That's always worth a lot, having a tech yo trust and free repair to boot ! ...I would say that was money well-spent, then.

I hope he enjoys the horn.
 
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