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Great to be back after a long delay, I'm thinking of buying a vintage sax, my concern is it has a patch at bottom of the horn. The rest looks to be in fine condition. Should I be concerned with future issues or resale value? Thanks!!!
 

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Unless it’s a really desirable horn I probably wouldn’t buy it. That patch is at a peculiar place amd the bow looks as if it has been dented and worked on a lot. Even more so, it appears as if it might be a relacq.

But I’m no repair man so take what I say with a grain of salt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That was my other concern, being a novice at purchasing vintage, is the relaq. Does it devalue the instrument? Thanks for your thoughts!
 

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That kind of patch is used when a horn has been buffed so hard that they actually open a hole. You couldn't give me a horn that had that kind of abuse but I have to admit it is possible that it would play okay. I would just rather take my chances on a new Chinese horn.
 

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Great to be back after a long delay, I'm thinking of buying a vintage sax, my concern is it has a patch at bottom of the horn. The rest looks to be in fine condition. Should I be concerned with future issues or resale value? Thanks!!!
Definitely, and it should be your concern of how much you pay for it, too.

Probably plays ok, but that patch would lower its value.
 

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My guess is that in straightening out some severe dents the metal cracked there thus the patch. It probably will not affect playing. A relacquered horn with a lot of past dent work and a patch should go for a bargain price.

Looks like Buescher 400 to me. There are a lot of these out there. You can probably do better, but I don't know how much you can get this one for. If it plays and you can get it for $400, I'd probably go for it. If they want $1800, I'd walk.
 

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Yes it will lower the value of the instrument, by quite a bit. This may have been on a wall somewhere at sometime, or the brass may have cracked from being overworked. Very doubtful that it is from over buffing. If it plays well, then pick it up for a killer price, or walk and find another horn. If you buy it cheap enough, then you should be able to sell it for the same amount later. I wouldn't get it to resale.
 

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'Very doubtful that it is from over buffing'

Think what you want but I've seen this first-hand.
 

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Unless it’s a really desirable horn I probably wouldn’t buy it. That patch is at a peculiar place amd the bow looks as if it has been dented and worked on a lot. Even more so, it appears as if it might be a relacq.

But I’m no repair man so take what I say with a grain of salt.
Good advice.

Here's what likely happened. 1) it was literally a 'spike' injury. Someone actually screwed or nailed a hole thru it to mount it somewhere.

Or, just as likely:

2) The sax took a serious hit and the bow twisted/collapsed on itself/kinked. I would imagine if one looks closely they will also see that there was some prior damage at the bellbrace into either the body tube or the back of bell.

....or the brass may have cracked from being overworked. Very doubtful that it is from over buffing. If it plays well, then pick it up for a killer price, or walk and find another horn. If you buy it cheap enough, then you should be able to sell it for the same amount later. I wouldn't get it to resale.
My guess is that in straightening out some severe dents the metal cracked there thus the patch.
Bingo. Bingo.

With utmost of due respect...IMHO that area is NOT where someone would 'overbuff' to the point of actually thinning the metal to a degree where it'd be structurally unsound.

....to do THAT, a person would literally have to LEAN on the horn with all of their weight onto a buffing wheel and hold it there until the bow became so HOT that you wouldn't be able to hold it. Also, why in the world would someone overbuff that area of the horn ? There would never be any need to, really.

So a probable scenario = the bow 'kinked' or 'ridged' right along a line at the center of that bow curve. The same way a badly pulled down neck will ridge. Then when someone tried to bring it back to round, just like a bad repair on a pulled down neck, they tried hard (badly) to make that ridge vanish, and the ridge began to split. Perhaps the initial damage even had already caused a fissure at that ridge.
The repair may have either revealed it or exacerbated it.
So they covered the fissure with a patch. Just like you sometimes see on patched necks, except (in keeping with their string of bad decisions) they chose a round patch instead of an oval one.

Then relacqued.

Unless the sax is a Buescher THC being sold for around what Turf suggests its value to be, or is not a THC but is being sold for $150 and plays very well, take a pass.

I mean, structurally the repair is probably fine.
Patches are usually VERY structurally sound.
Functionally, there is likely NO ill effect to the horn's performance.
I even suppose the new owner could get decades of good use out of the sax if it has been set up correctly.

But it has almost no market value any longer outside of being a parts horn. It would have MORE market value had it been a neck patch. But a patch down there is just too unusual to escape a serious market price downgrade.
 

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Does being a "relacquered saxophone" lower the resale value? Certainly. Does it lower the price you can buy it for? Yes. If you keep it. No problem. If you end up selling it. No problem. You can get back about what you paid for it. I don't understand why we keep having this conversation. The "big bad terrible relacquer" is a myth kept alive in the saxophone community by the constant retelling of a few anecdotal stories of poor repair work that get passed on adinfinitum by folks who have never seen such work first hand. The fact of the matter is that for years players could return their Mark VI saxes to the factory to be made to look like new by this process. If Selmer Paris offered this service for the saxophones they made, can it really be that terrible a thing to do?

Except in extremely egregious instances of incompetence, buffing and relacquering a saxophone does not change the instrument acoustically nor how it plays. Suppose the toneholes have been over buffed. It takes a 20% change in the height of a tonehole to affect the pitch by 10 cents. A much greater pitch change can be made by slightly changing the height of the key opening. In some instances where keys and posts are overbuffed there can be mechanical keyfitting issues, but these can be corrected.
 

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I think the importance of the relacaquer has become relevant in the era of The Collector, where original condition becomes a major issue in buying and selling - vis a vis trading and investing. Personally one of the best horns I ever owned was a Balanced Action Selmer Tenor which had been relacquered who knows how many times and actually had drips of lacquer coming from the lower tone holes.
 
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