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vi tenor/alto, yss-62 soprano, the martin baritone, muramatsu flute, R13 clarinet
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I have a 5-digit VI alto on trial for a couple of weeks and when I when I opened the case today for the first time I noticed the G key was noticeably resoldered.

IMG_8616.jpg

Does this appear to be a solid repair? Is this a sign that the horn was abused? Also, is this something I should contact the seller about and say "hey, you didn't tell me it had *that* problem.."

Cheers and thanks,
Rick

PS: Upon close inspection, it looks like the A key touch may have also been resoldered.
 

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Sure looks like a repair to me in both spots.

Im no tech so I cant weigh in on the gravity of this repair but I would presume it would, in the least, impact the value of the instrument. By how much, I dont know.
 

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It does look like the key was braised in two places, but the work appears to be well done. The braised area connecting two brass pieces joined together is actually stronger than the brass itself. The length and small diameter of the G touch arm would make it susceptible to being bent and straightened enough times to cause the brass to break which could be the result of "gorilla grip" rather than abuse, but it would be hard to tell. The photo below shows the G key of a Mark VI on my bench undergoing an overhaul/restoration.

Mk VI G key.JPG
 

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If I had to guess, I would guess some kind of major bend right at the broken place, which then cracked or broke when trying to straighten it.

Honestly, I would think it would be more typical for that arm to break down where it joins to the rod. At any rate the brazed joint looks solid from the one photo. Surrounding stuff looks like the horn's got some pretty significant wear on it so this might not be a big impact on selling price, compared to a horn that looks near new except for one broken and repaired key.
 

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It does look like the key was braised in two places, but the work appears to be well done. The braised area connecting two brass pieces joined together is actually stronger than the brass itself. The length and small diameter of the G touch arm would make it susceptible to being bent and straightened enough times to cause the brass to break which could be the result of "gorilla grip" rather than abuse, but it would be hard to tell. The photo below shows the G key of a Mark VI on my bench undergoing an overhaul/restoration.

View attachment 236088
That's the key from a later VI. They deleted the decorative treatment just before the touch which was a weak spot and it saved money as well. I guess that was done in the last major changes in 1967/#140000.
If the silvery joint shown is silver braze it will be fine but brass braze would be the preferred method. However it looks like soft solder at both places to me which if it is, will not take much pressure. That would be a major fault in the purchase of a sax.
All you have to do is take an Exacto knife or other sharp instrument and try to shave off some of the silvery deposit. If you can, its soft solder which you can then prove by putting a propane or butane torch flame on the chips and melting it. Silver or brass braze is going to take a lot more heat to melt.
 

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I guess the big question is this a deal killer? Only the OP can answer that. For techs, how much would you knock off the price if you were considering buying it? I'd buy a properly repaired horn. If I were a collector looking for a museum piece I'd pass on it. I'm interested in what the techs say.
 

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I have the same concerns as 1saxman about this looking like soft solder. If it is indeed soft soler it is sure to break, and really should be re-done properly.
Not a huge job, but annoying because every last trace of lead solder would have to be removed because it wrecks the alloy of hard solders.

I do wonder if it is in this state because a player wanted the G touch extended or shortened, to fit his ergos.
 

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Things break, people need to get over it, certainly does not devalue the instrument in any way.

Your car is typically way more valuable than any horn, if it has a fender bender and is repaired, is the car suddenly devalued because the shade of paint is fractionally different under the right light.....No its not

All I can say, is a recommendation to others, hard solder can be purchased in a brass colour rather than the silver, them at least its not so in your face when one zooms in with a camera at that specific spot.

Steve
 

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Things break, people need to get over it, certainly does not devalue the instrument in any way.

Your car is typically way more valuable than any horn, if it has a fender bender and is repaired, is the car suddenly devalued because the shade of paint is fractionally different under the right light.....No its not

All I can say, is a recommendation to others, hard solder can be purchased in a brass colour rather than the silver, them at least its not so in your face when one zooms in with a camera at that specific spot.

Steve
In the US a car that has been in a collision and repaired is given a "Salvage Title" which lowers the value considerably. Late model cars that have been in a "fender bender" can be a good deal as long as one intends to keep the car.
 

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In the US a car that has been in a collision and repaired is given a "Salvage Title" which lowers the value considerably. Late model cars that have been in a "fender bender" can be a good deal as long as one intends to keep the car.
I agree...I had a couple of great cars with salvage titles and knew the person who did the work. However, its hard to compare this horn in the same way. That damage would in my humble and not a tech opinion never gain a salvage title were it a car.
 

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In the US a car that has been in a collision and repaired is given a "Salvage Title" which lowers the value considerably. Late model cars that have been in a "fender bender" can be a good deal as long as one intends to keep the car.
I dont understand your reply. Big difference to something that has had a fender bender and that of a repairable write off as you are referencing. The two are not the same.

Steve
 

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I dont understand your reply. Big difference to something that has had a fender bender and that of a repairable write off as you are referencing. The two are not the same.

Steve
"Fender bender" which can mean different things to different people was probably a poor choice of words in my comment. There can be many different degrees of body damage as a result of a collision, many of which involve more than a "bent fender". In the case of my late model Camry the damage was done to the right rear corner of the car involving the fender, wheel well, and side of the trunk. It was repaired without a trace and I paid thousands less that the equivalent car with a "clean title".
 

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I guess i do not understdand why you steered the topic a different direction, saxophones dont have titles or certificates to register any damage done to them during the course of their lifetime,

So i refer back to my quote, which infers, cars which are typically far more expensive than saxophones get damaged on a multitude of occassions and are repaired and this does not affect their resale value, clearly exceptions exist to every statement and a repairable write off (salvage vehicle) is one of those exceptions.

Things break, people need to get over it, certainly does not devalue the instrument in any way.

Your car is typically way more valuable than any horn, if it has a fender bender and is repaired, is the car suddenly devalued because the shade of paint is fractionally different under the right light.....No its not

All I can say, is a recommendation to others, hard solder can be purchased in a brass colour rather than the silver, them at least its not so in your face when one zooms in with a camera at that specific spot.

Steve
 

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This is obviously not one of those "almost like new" saxophones that very few players or the extremely rare collector would pay an outrageous amount for...

This repair could affect price, but by significantly less than the variation in price between same condition Mark VIs. So in practice it's not possible to say what effect it has.

If you do buy it, unless you can verify otherwise, consider the worst case of it being soft solder and whether you'd want to "gamble" on that at the price it is sold for.
 

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Let’s say Rick likes everything about the piece. It plays well, feels good or whatever.

Get the thing to a tech. Get a price on all the potential repairs if needed.
Deduct that amount from the amount you were originally willing to offer.
If none of that feels 100% good, move on. You’ll never be happy with it.
If you do buy it. Get the repairs done immediately with the money you’ve set aside.

Please post your findings/ outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi everyone, thanks for the replies!

I will see if the seller will allow me the time to get it checked out by my repair tech. The horn plays very well and, if the price is right, would consider keeping it in the arsenal. I will update at a later time! Cheers.
 

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I think a bigger concern might be that if that is soft soldered, then how much of a legacy of other work is there that has been done by such a clueless "technician"?
 
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