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Discussion Starter #1
My tech spotted this, cracks in the neck receiver either side of screw 45 degrees about 1/4 " ea.He said it would need new one. I forgot or lets say I was afraid to ask price.Was planning on selling it but it probably kills value,too bad live and learn I guess.How much would it cost to fix ?
 

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The chances of finding a neck receiver for that make and model are quite slim. It could be removed and silver soldered, and then put back on the horn. It is hard to understand why you didn't have this conversation with the tech who pointed the cracks out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is the first dealing with this Tech,he knows I plan on selling horn and I don't want to spend $ I will not get back on sale.I will check on him silver soldering it though see what that costs.
 

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One will have to remove the reciever from the body in order to silver solder the cracks. If the sax is lacquered your'e gonna lose the lacquer on the reciever, the silver solder will need to be tidied up so that an invisible repair is achieved,especially on the inside of the reciever where it will be crucial to the necks fit. It'll also need to be buffed and then re soldered and then re laqcuered. If it niggles then take it to a tech with a lathe who can make you a new one - I would estimate it wouldn't cost much more to get one knocked up. You may even find a donor part from a similar horn. Having said all that My advice if it doesnt affect the way the sax plays is to leave it be.
 

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The critical part of the air seal should happen at the bottom of the neck sleeve, and if it's properly fitted the neck screw shouldn't need much tightening to bind, so the cracks (while ideally they would be repaired to prevent further damage) shouldn't matter unless they're causing some kind of buckling to happen without allowing the neck screw to tighten enough over the (again, properly fitted) neck sleeve. Personally, if I were giving advice with the horn in my hands, and more info than you gave that repairer, as long as the cracks weren't allowing or causing the tenon to buckle in some way, I'd advise you to first get the sleeve fitted properly, then see if the cracks seem to be an issue in terms of the small amount of tightening necessary to stop the neck from moving. As long as everything is sound, you can always inform any buyer of the cracks, and then they can see for themselves by playing that it's not causing untoward effects. Indeed, if your neck tenon's fitted really nicely, and the horn is tight, it'll probably outplay anything else they've tried lately. It is very rare to put a light down a horn, and insert the neck, and find that it's both tight and right and that the neck is well fitted.
 

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I wouldn't worry about value, as these horns aren't truly desirable given the market for them. You could probably pick up a doner horn for a couple hundred or less if you want to replace the receiver with another original part. A decent tech should be able to craft one out of a piece of brass, as one did for me a few years back for one of my horns. It cost me about a hundred bucks, as I recall.
 

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If it has cracks then there's most likely metal fatigue from years of use, so it's probably better to have a new socket fabricated. I did this on a '30s Conn X-bar where the socket was in such poor condition it wasn't worth trying to hard solder up or fit a patch to it. The location of the screw being at the back wasn't helping matters as the weight of the instrument was bearing down on it while it was being carried in its case (in a similar way MkVI baris have the weight bearing down on the Eb keyguard when being carried in the case) and after so many years of being bent and straightened out it had finally given up. It had gone through at least two socket screws but the socket itself had weakened considerably over time to the point of crumbling so it was hardly worth salvaging.

So I turned up a new socket and made it much heavier gauge than the original - also soldered it in place on the instrument with the screw/slot turned round to the right side towards the front (the slot was at about 2 o'clock) to keep it away from the back of the case so considerably reducing the likelyhood of it being flattened.

The slot in the socket doesn't have to go as low as seen on some older saxes which can be cut half way down the socket (and terminate with a hole) as that's too far - it only needs to be cut to the depth where the threaded part joins the socket (around 7-8mm) and no further.

Provided the crook is a good fit in the socket in that it goes in with relative ease and doesn't spin, then you only need about a quarter turn on the screw to keep the crook tight. But do make sure the crook fits well at the base of the socket rather than relying on the screw to make the seal at the top - the screw is only there to keep the crook locked in position, not to seal the joint.

A bit more recently I made a new socket for a Yamaha YAS-275 which had fallen out of its case (the zips weren't done up) and landed on the socket pushing the threaded bit into it so far it would have been near on impossible to straighten it out, so again I turned up a new socket from scratch and made it heavier gauge than the original. As the lacquer at the top of the body wasn't damaged, I only had to lacquer the socket (masking it off at the join).
 

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Have the tech fix the cracks with solder. It should cost less than replacing the receiver ferrule...and although a VT-II Alto only has a market value of about $400...and although it may well be that this particular damage has zero effect on the horn's playability....you are gonna take a hit on sale price if those cracks stay (unless you would just rather chance the buyer overlooks 'em...which they well might.....but in which case is a bit unscrupulous and not like you). It's one of those situations, I know; the whole project might end up a wa$h....but, you wanna sell the horn in solid shape.....

I also say probably a 1-hour repair by a pro, so it shouldn't top $100 (unless you are in the Bay Area in which case you'd be charged $250....)

BTW...these are pretty nice old horns. Despite the odd-looking keytouches, they are pretty easy to move around on, and their tone is beautiful, a real sound of the past....
 
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