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I'm an alto player (1929 conn), and want to buy a used tenor. I want the tenor sound, Shorter, Rollins, Ervin, just wanna wail with sunshine, like a Selmer Mark VI, but I cannot afford this. Suggestions for a budget of around $1000? Also a mouthpiece?
 

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VI's are overrated, particularly in the tone dept. If you want that big ol' vintage Tenor sound, there are better choices...

$1000 ? You have tons of choices ....

Late-model, non-Lady Conn 10M or a much older Tranny or NW I or II....a King Zephyr.....a German Kohlert from the '50's or '60's....an older JK or JK stencil....a Beaugnier-made Vito or Noblet....Holton 241 or Revelation.....Buescher Aristocrat or even a later model 400....Dolnet....Martin Searchlight or Handcraft Imperial.....

....off the top of my head....
 

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VI's are overrated, particularly in the tone dept. If you want that big ol' vintage Tenor sound, there are better choices...

$1000 ? You have tons of choices ....

Late-model, non-Lady Conn 10M or a much older Tranny or NW I or II....a King Zephyr.....a German Kohlert from the '50's or '60's....an older JK or JK stencil....a Beaugnier-made Vito or Noblet....Holton 241 or Revelation.....Buescher Aristocrat or even a later model 400....Dolnet....Martin Searchlight or Handcraft Imperial.....

....off the top of my head....
cool thanks for this man. much appreciated this helps! I may be able to get a hold of a free old Beuscher True Tone, that i'd have to repad and everything. You think this would be good?
 

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Well....the Buescher True Tones were good horns...some would shy away from 'em because they'd be considered too archaic....but I have no problem with pre-'40's horns, personally.

The thing is.....if it needed new pads and some other work, she might start getting into a $700 range of repair. In this instance, some would argue that the 7 bill$ could be used better. Sorta depends on what year (serial #) the True Tone is, as well. They could be excellent players, really and older Bueschers tend to hold their value better than other makes.

You have some advantages compared to other folks because you already have an old horn....so the (reputed but most of the time false ~ more the result of the mental inflexibility of an individual) issue of ergos and key design is something you are already waaaay past.

I forgot to mention mouthpiece....this is very dependent upon the horn. Many a vintage horn does better with a large-chamber, low-baffle mouthpiece. Some are great at taking whatever you slap on 'em...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well....the Buescher True Tones were good horns...some would shy away from 'em because they'd be considered too archaic....but I have no problem with pre-'40's horns, personally.

The thing is.....if it needed new pads and some other work, she might start getting into a $700 range of repair. In this instance, some would argue that the 7 bill$ could be used better. Sorta depends on what year (serial #) the True Tone is, as well. They could be excellent players, really and older Bueschers tend to hold their value better than other makes.

You have some advantages compared to other folks because you already have an old horn....so the (reputed but most of the time false ~ more the result of the mental inflexibility of an individual) issue of ergos and key design is something you are already waaaay past.

I forgot to mention mouthpiece....this is very dependent upon the horn. Many a vintage horn does better with a large-chamber, low-baffle mouthpiece. Some are great at taking whatever you slap on 'em...
great thanks for this, really helpful! It looks like I can just snag this thing so i guess i'm probably gonna go for it. right now I use a selmer c star for my alto, its just what ive used for years and am used to. but for this tenor i want that deep tenor sound different than the paul desmond kind of tone out of my alto, but still be able to scream. any suggestions on brand and sizes for the tenor? You have been very very helpful thank you.
 

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Keilwerth "the New King" ...i stopped playing a mark 6 for a year cause o this horn.... can be had for 1000 ...........or less
 

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Yes, any JK New King or New King stencil is always a good choice and can usually be had for around $700 these days.

A C* Selmer mouthpiece isn't a bad choice for a vintage Tenor....it will produce a sorta middleground tone between edgy/bright and dark, though. If what you wanna do is really punch the dark, low overtones of the horn...the Meyer 5 or 6 is always a good choice. A Link Rubber or Vandoren V16 Medium is also appropriate for that, and they will tend to blow darker than the Selmer c*.

In a less-expensive alternative, the Hite Premier sorta does most of what the aforementioned three do, at about 1/4 of their price (but it's plastic).

I would say if the Buescher TT isn't a very old one, go for it. Quite honestly, most techs should be able to do very a substantial amt. of work on a horn for around $500...so as long as she isn't a basket-case, you might have a good deal there.
 

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If you're playing on a 1929 Conn alto now then vintage ergos should not be a problem for you. If you're looking for that fat vintage sound you can't go wrong with either a 10M or a True Tone. You'll probably need to bump up your budget to find a really nice one, though.
 

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Thanks for this, very much! Everyone this has been very helpful! Do you guys think there to be a big sound difference between the vintage tenors and post 60's tenors? Just curious. I think Shorter played a vintage horn, but a lot of the other guys played more modern ones...
 

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gabesax: I seriously doubt if anyone in the audience will know whether or not your tenor is vintage or modern (other than the shiny-factor, and even then, I have vintage horns that are gorgeous and shiny). I love my True Tone alto and soprano; I'm betting that a tight and well-regulated TT tenor will play just fine. DAVE
 

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gabesax: I seriously doubt if anyone in the audience will know whether or not your tenor is vintage or modern (other than the shiny-factor, and even then, I have vintage horns that are gorgeous and shiny). I love my True Tone alto and soprano; I'm betting that a tight and well-regulated TT tenor will play just fine. DAVE
thanks.....DAVE
 

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Post '60's isn't really the right era to draw the distinction. The change in horn tone came in the '70's, when the Japanese horns began to appear in the west. So a post '70's horn will generally have that 'vintage' tone as well. Shorter played a number of horns over his career. The first one he ever recorded with professionally happened to be a Conn-Made George Bundy stencil...basically a NW.

Again, you have a '29 Conn...so compare that tone to a contemporary Yamaha or even a Yani, and the difference is obvious. It'd be the same with a Tenor. Is it a big sound difference ? I think so. I think the 80's completely changed the paradigm of the saxophone tone. I also think this is why vintage has become so popular over the past decade or so....they just sound better, period.

As noted, if the TT isn't a really, really old one...that horn will kick some #ss if you can get her set up nicely.
 

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Post '60's isn't really the right era to draw the distinction. The change in horn tone came in the '70's, when the Japanese horns began to appear in the west. So a post '70's horn will generally have that 'vintage' tone as well. Shorter played a number of horns over his career. The first one he ever recorded with professionally happened to be a Conn-Made George Bundy stencil...basically a NW.

Again, you have a '29 Conn...so compare that tone to a contemporary Yamaha or even a Yani, and the difference is obvious. It'd be the same with a Tenor. Is it a big sound difference ? I think so. I think the 80's completely changed the paradigm of the saxophone tone. I also think this is why vintage has become so popular over the past decade or so....they just sound better, period.

As noted, if the TT isn't a really, really old one...that horn will kick some #ss if you can get her set up nicely.
Really thanks for this man. I will be seeing the tenor in a few days so i guess i'll see then. This will be my horn and mouthpiece for years probably so your help is very much appreciated.
 

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I may be able to get a hold of a free old Beuscher True Tone, that i'd have to repad and everything. You think this would be good?
You can't argue with free, but True Tone tenors don't really get the love that the altos and sopranos get, and aren't nearly as mouthpiece friendly. Hopefully it will be a later model (after serial number 199,XXX) with a front F key. If not, you might want to think about installing one if you use that key for altissimo when you get the horn fixed up.
 

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gabesax, if your budget is $1000, you're not far off from some of the ROC-made makes that are widely discussed on this board. I would look into the Barone and see if it's near that price (I name that brand only because you can research it here, and I have seen its pricing at $1400 or so, though that may be out of date, I have no idea). Most of the better ROC makes are very comparable to modern Selmer, and some of them play better than modern Selmer (especially if you prefer a slightly more flexible pitch center than is generally characteristic of the Series III) -- and definitely many of them will crush a Yamaha 62 (for e.g.) on character and tonal complexity. I also saw a make hyped on this board, recently, with a model at $1400 or so, whose keywork appeared to be very similar to P. Mauriat (that doesn't mean that they'll play like PMs, it's only a clue that the *general* quality may be similar).

It's very unlikely you'll find anything (unless an ROC used) that is truly like a modern or vintage Selmer in the right condition at $1000. Vintage American doesn't have a bigger fan than me, but worthwhile tenor models in proper condition will not be in the $1000 range unless you find one where the seller doesn't know what s/he has, and those with keywork that approaches modern-keyboard Selmer for overall slickness will be quite a bit more.
 

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Well....the Buescher True Tones were good horns...some would shy away from 'em because they'd be considered too archaic....but I have no problem with pre-'40's horns, personally.

The thing is.....if it needed new pads and some other work, she might start getting into a $700 range of repair. In this instance, some would argue that the 7 bill$ could be used better. Sorta depends on what year (serial #) the True Tone is, as well. They could be excellent players, really and older Bueschers tend to hold their value better than other makes.
Really there is no need to pay $700 for an overhaul of a pre-ww2 Buescher:shock:.
I recently sold an overhauled sax from the 1920's to Germany for less... instrument included.:doubt:

[Besides I don't like selling via ebay because the prices are so low, but before Christmas... sometimes you have to swallow the pill. ]

But... an overhaul can also be affordable and of the same quality as of those famous master technicians with the mentioned price-rage. It's always a questions of confidence, to whom you commit your instrument and it doesn't depend on the price, it only depends on the good feeling you should have.
 

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Really there is no need to pay $700 for an overhaul of a pre-ww2 Buescher:shock:.
I recently sold an overhauled sax from the 1920's to Germany for less... instrument included.:doubt:

[Besides I don't like selling via ebay because the prices are so low, but before Christmas... sometimes you have to swallow the pill. ]

But... an overhaul can also be affordable and of the same quality as of those famous master technicians with the mentioned price-rage. It's always a questions of confidence, to whom you commit your instrument and it doesn't depend on the price, it only depends on the good feeling you should have.
I have no doubt you don't intend it, but you're actually insulting the people who do charge $700 and upward (to $950 and more) and who earn their keep. I can tell you as a repairperson that that are some who do. Not that many, but some. I can also tell you that the gap between that handful of top people and the rest is large. If you think it's not you're mistaken. There is an occasional unknown person whose work impresses me, but that is very, very rare.

Re the link to the eBay auction, that's about as good as you can really do, re the OP's desire; it's a legit Yanagisawa, the neck looks to be very current, the seller's feedback is 100%, etc. I would bet it plays OK. When you buy from eBay, it always pays to double check that the seller understands how to pack a horn. I get shipping damaged horns even from wholesale distributors regularly.

You probably get in at a bit over $1000, after shipping and servicing, if you get the Yana stencil at $900 but that's (likely) a good value.
 
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