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Discussion Starter #1
One of my best friends (20+ years) has been begging me to gig in his new band. Only issue is: he plays some pretty swank locales. This means my go-to/favorite alto (a chu-berry that looks its age) may not be welcome; due to its looks.

I don't get that whole thing, but I guess it's his band, so its his call.

To further entice me however: he has offered 1/2 the money on either refinishing the chu, or on a new horn (student-line I would assume; considering current market on pro-line horns BUT he didn't specify that I couldn't go "big-dog" with my choice)

What would you do? (for the record I AM NOT leaning towards re-lacquering the chu at this point)

What would you do it with? (meaning, what modern horn would be close to a chu)
 

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I would buy a clean used instrument. I don't think you have to buy brand new...just something that's more...presentable (that's what it sounds like you're shooting for). That way, you'd only be out a few hundred bucks (matched with his $250 or so). Just my $.02.
 

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Let's see the Chu! When did you last clean/polish it?

Nothing wrong with this!



BTW, that gold plate Chu is available: http://vintagesax.com/alto.html

Might your band leader be open to splitting the cost of it? :twisted::mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, I wish!!!!????.

I'd say mine @ 30-40% finish. I will try to get some pics to post.

My problem is I went for a good sounding/playing horn more so than a good looking one. Apparently the sax community is the only one that doesn't go for refinishing? My buddy is a trombone player and has had his ax (King 3b) redone at least twice that I know of. 1st time was in college when I helped him use black auto paint to cover the bell, etc. Now its just gold lacquer, so I don't know when the second job was done, but its pretty, and he still sounds good to me on it?

I'm not really trying to re-start the original vs relacquer debate, (honestly!?) What I am more interested in: What modern horns are comparable/good ones that aren't the price of a good used car? I figure if I'm going to get one, I might as well buy new (can let my son play it if I don't dig it). I will be buried with my chu one way or the other...
 

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What an unusual thread. The first thing that occurred to me is to ask the bandleader what finish he would like on the horn that he's paying half for. Does he want standard gold color or does he think silver is classier? How does he feel about some modern finishes like black nickel or rose brass. Perhaps he could look at some pictures and pick the horn that he likes the looks of best. Send him to Phil Barone's site and have him choose your next horn.
 

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Just saw your post after I posted mine. Seriously, ask the bandleader what he wants the horn to look like. Then call up Phil and tell him what you're interested in and see what he can provide. I don't think you'll be disappointed in the horn. Your bandleader will be pleased and you're getting the horn at 50% off!
 

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I'm with Dr G . . . for the price you'd pay for a new Taiwanese/Chinese-made multi-brand saxophone, you could probably find a REAL player similar to your Chu (Bueschers, Conns, The Martins, Cigar Cutter-Selmer) maybe) with a decent finish. Gayle's vintagesax site is always a place to look.

But MY bottom-line would be that I'll choose what I play in public, not a trombone player even if he may be my friend. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now there's and idea as well: I would assume gold lacquer since it would be me, him on trombone, and another mutual college buddy of ours on trumpet/flugelhorn, and both their axes are golden. The rest of the combo is percussion/electric and maimly gloss black.

I guess the issue really lies in the fact that he isn't cogniscent/doesn't care about the "originality" of the horn finish, he just wants one that will look presentable up close, since a lot of the venues he plays are high-dollar ones (i.e. country-clubs, etc) I will be the first to admit that I like the chu now, though I've questioned refinishing it before (again, I'm going to be buried with it so I am not worried about a resale value).

He's developed a clientele that really doesn't know/care jack about real music, but they PAY WELL, which is why he can make me this offer (I mean aside from the fact we've been friends and played together since college over 20 years ago). I'm weighing all my options, but haven't decided. What I'd like to hear before I make my final decision: what are the good, reasonalby priced options on the market now?
 

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What's the budget?
 

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What I'd like to hear before I make my final decision: what are the good, reasonalby priced options on the market now?
Besides the Barones http://www.philbarone.com, the Bauhaus-Walstein horns have gotten very positive comments on this forum. Palo Tung at http://justsaxes.com has them. He's in Northern California now. Also Russ Becker has them. He's in Connecticut. http://www.russbecker.com
Also consider T.K. Melody http://www.viking-instruments.com/TKMelody.aspx
And check out Kessler & Sons (see ad banner at top of page).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You know, after hearing all this, I think I should have asked that question first...
 

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Wow!!! It's incomprehensible to me that an audience member could give two ****s about the finish of a horn!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Dr. G and MMM; I think before I go any farther, I need to know how much he is williing to go half on.

We both have regular day jobs that pay pretty decently, and gigging has been more of a stress release than anything. Some of his clients are high-dollar companies, so they really do pay him well. His total take off of one gig could buy a fairly decent new horn, so him making the half offer isn't all that much of a burden to him, especially since it isn't his main income source, more like his "play money"

Will get a nice round figure then check back...
 

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Ran', I would take this as a Golden opportunity...
 

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....Only issue is: he plays some pretty swank locales. This means my go-to/favorite alto (a chu-berry that looks its age) may not be welcome; due to its looks.

I don't get that whole thing, but I guess it's his band, so its his call.
....
I'm not sure I understand, you're anticipating problems with the managers/audience of theses venues or he doesn't want you playing that horn?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Actually I have, complete with the "SRV" mailbox lettering.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, So I checked with him and he said he's willing to do a grand, (since its me).

When he initially asked me to play, his next statement/question was something like:

"Dude, I know you like it, but you're not going to play that ****-looking thing are you? These are some high rollers we're playing for, and you have to have your sh*t together."

I thought that meant my chops...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Full disclosure: I have another chu I just supposedly purchased off ebay and is on the way. I probably should have mentioned that before now...
 
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