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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, i've been playing saxophone for a couple of years and now i'm about to buy an alto sax, i could use some help to choose from these different options. The first two are my top 2 to choose.

-Conn New Wonder 130xxx made in year 1924, recently padded and full service. $550 dollars (it's the only one sax i can test personally)
-King Zephyr, 200xxx made in year 1937, it has the triple ring for the strap and i suppose it also has the double ring on the neck. $550 dollars
-Ida Maria Grassi 13xxx I was told it's a professional model, but for the serial number i think it's one of the first models and are not so good. $400 dollars.
-The Martin Imperial (not serial number yet). $350 dollars.
 

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What are you playing now? If it's a 'modern' horn these older ones may have ergonomics that you find awkward and uncomfortable.
 
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haha yeah me too... would love to have a Chu Berry but they're harder to find
Whoops I’m sorry I thought you meant New Wonder II (aka Chu Berry) in your original post. So that’s what I meant with the reverb.com price I mentioned. I don’t know much about New Wonder I, perhaps someone else can chime in. But if you have the internet, don’t most online sellers ship to Mexico too? (I bought a guitar amp from a Mexican seller on reverb a few years ago…)
 

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These seem like great prices to me. In Europe you do not see these vintage horns set up for those prices.

Are those older New Wonder's, as someone pointed out, a little more demanding to play, in terms of tuning, ergos, etc. I have a 6M which I love and play every day, but I notice the difference when i switch to my modern horn.

The price for the Zephyr is amazing to me. But if its not set up at all, it could turn out costly.

So if the New Wonder is just overhauled, and you are certain about this - some horns are listed as overhauled when a seller has done a fix themselves - it sounds like a good bet. But it seems very cheap to me for a set up horn?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
These seem like great prices to me. In Europe you do not see these vintage horns set up for those prices.

Are those older New Wonder's, as someone pointed out, a little more demanding to play, in terms of tuning, ergos, etc. I have a 6M which I love and play every day, but I notice the difference when i switch to my modern horn.

The price for the Zephyr is amazing to me. But if its not set up at all, it could turn out costly.

So if the New Wonder is just overhauled, and you are certain about this - some horns are listed as overhauled when a seller has done a fix themselves - it sounds like a good bet. But it seems very cheap to me for a set up horn?
Tomorrow I'll take a look at the Conn in the workshop where the owner took it, and I've taken my saxophones there too, so i will test it and hope it to be in the right conditions to make the deal. The owner of the Zephyr stop responding when I asked him about the general condition of his horn, so, guess he was trying to sell a not full working horn, which it's not bad but he should have been specific about it..thanks for helping me
 

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Conn NW II Soprano, NW I Alto, 10M Tenor, NW I C Melody & Allora Bari.
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I have a NW I and like it. If I was to nick pick it, I wish the B key and Bis key were a little closer and G# key was a little bigger. And $550 is an ok price for one.
 

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I have a NW I and like it. If I was to nick pick it, I wish the B key and Bis key were a little closer and G# key was a little bigger. And $550 is an ok price for one.
People complain about the B and Bis on 6m too, but I haven’t noticed any issue. (But also I believe I’ve seen people talk about having it adjusted so maybe that’s an option?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a NW I and like it. If I was to nick pick it, I wish the B key and Bis key were a little closer and G# key was a little bigger. And $550 is an ok price for one.
Thanks man, I heard of some modifications with some kind of hard clay to enlarge the B key so it gets closer to the Bis key, it's also removable, so if you want to sell it and the future owner doesn't like it, you can take it apart.
 

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Although I mostly play Conns, out of that selection I'd pick either the King or the Martin. The Conn pictured has a weird probably non-original finish and those are so readily available in good gold and silver plate that I wouldn't pick that particular one. I will point out that the issue with distance between front F, B, and Bb is really only an issue with the New Wonder tenors, not other Conns.

Keep in mind that unless previously modified, neither the King nor the Conn will have the connecting link between G# and the bell keys, so you'll probably want that added (a low cost job). I don't know if the Martin has it or not. I have a Committee Handcraft, which I believe is a few years earlier than the Martin shown here, and it has that link only on one of the bell keys. (I added it for the others, can't remember the exact mechanical details right now).

That Martin is almost certainly fitted with solid nickel alloy keywork not the plated as on the Conn, and that is stiff strong and durable.
 
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