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I wouldn’t get very excited, it is certainly a modern , probably Chinese, nondescript saxophone , one of the so many without a name and a serial number.

Even judging from the Pads this is Chinese. Value, second hand very very low. You seem to have a small dent by the bow the Eb guard is also been bumped out of shape.

Horns like these are new around $250 so, you can imagine what they are worth secondhand. Play it as log as it works and is serviceable if you ever get to the point that you need a complete overhaul you may want to sell the horn because it will never be worth any money that you may pay towards an overhaul.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Otto Link STM NY 7
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Every saxophone that is played will need to be serviced at some point in time. The initial cost of the horn does not determine this; nature and time does. Just because a Taiwanese or Chinese company can produce a horn cheaply does not change the tech time needed to service it. For a collector or investor, the question is return on the investment. For a player, the question is how does the horn play? Cheap frequently sounds terrible, but not always. We do not want to admit it, but there are fabulous Selmer saxes out there which play poorly. I had a 1969 Rambler American that I paid $250 to buy it. I never once thought about the price of gas or oil or tires in order to throw that car away. These things had to be done, if I wanted to drive it. So, my rambling leads to this: are you an investor or a player? If an investor, pass on the horn. If a player, then keep it running.
 

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well, if you are overhauling this it will cost you more than it costs to buy another.

The same way that resoling cheap shoes costs more than buying new ones.

This horn is not worth the cost of an overhaul and, unless this was a gift by someone really important to you there is no point in getting sentimental over this horn.

Nothing to do with investing either, is simple, basic economics. Every day we make this kind of choice , the labour costs are now so high in the western world that a lot of things are no longer repairable and the cost of pars is only a minimum part of the whole.

I learned this the hard way years ago when I had to replace a headlight of a car. The repairman suggested I bought one without the electricvs to move the lamp up and down because it would have been cheaper.
In the end that saved me only €15 on an a almost € 650 job, 90% which was labour, not parts.

These day most cars involved in any accident older than 5 years are deemed “ total loss” not so much because they are worthless but because parts and labour highly exceed the value of a similar car.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Otto Link STM NY 7
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well, if you are overhauling this it will cost you more than it costs to buy another.

The same way that resoling cheap shoes costs more than buying new ones.

This horn is not worth the cost of an overhaul.
In your opinion is valid, of course. But if you have never played it, you could not answer the second question. I live in a world where expensive is not always better. How something performs is how I look at it. It is just a perspective. Higher price can be higher performance. But not always.
 

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do as you please, of course, it is your money ( or rather it isn’t even your money but OP’s) , but objectively the chance that this is a great player are very slim.
Next time I se lots of people queuing up at walmart on the illusive (and in my opinion fool’s ) errand that they may be able to buy a great player for $350 I will remember that someone may be investing as much as twice as much to repair what they can buy for half that price. There is a reason why there are so many unrepaired saxophones.
106350
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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I live in a world where expensive is not always better.
I believe this is absolutely true. I’ve always had trouble with the phrase you get what you pay for.

I think however while what you say is certainly true of high and mid priced saxophones, at the very very cheap end (which this may be as milandro says) I think it is less likely.

and I do mean very cheap, <250

but once you get a bit above that then there are real exceptions to get what you pay for.
 

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indeed, there are saxophones worth more than their current value and they are a bargain when you find one in great shape.

I have found two King 615 in near pristine state. They were €300 each and would play way above any saxophone in this category. The were snatched before my eyes in minutes, one was awarded to me and then the seller sold to someone else.

The market doesn’t like them too much (obviously some folks do) but it is not the case with a nameless Chinese (or even Vietnamese) made saxophone .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am buying the horn to re-capture my youth and play with my eleven year old son who plays alto at the moment. I played for about 6 years in my youth. I wanted a cheap horn, I also want to do and learn basic repairs because I find that fun as well. I also found the process of learning about the horns and seeing what was available on auction kinda fun. Like anyone I am drawn to the legendary horns from the 60's and 70's and the prospect of striking gold on a lucky auction sounds neat, though I know its not realistic.

I appreciate you guys giving your time and advice!

Can any of you reccomend a horn to look for?
 

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Can any of you reccomend a horn to look for?
Yes, certainly. Get a secondhand Yamaha 23, 275, 280, 26 or whatever model you can find in good shape. These are easy to repair, easily adjusted, well made, easy to play horns with good intonation and a proven track record. It's often easy to find them for sale in great condition and at a reasonable price, especially if it's a parent selling their child's recently abandoned instrument. And usually easy to sell too.

If you're wanting to go vintage, then I would recommend Buescher. While I enjoy the other famous vintage makers, Bueschers seem to be a little cheaper than most and I think they sound just as good. I have a Conn 10m and Buescher Aristocrat, both from the late 30s, and although they both play about as well as each other, the price gap is substantial. Bueschers are often good value buys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, certainly. Get a secondhand Yamaha 23, 275, 280, 26
You are not the first to speak well of the 23, the internet seems to love this horn! Are there a lot of fakes of this horn? Or can I buy with some level of confidence in the used market?
 

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I am buying the horn to re-capture my youth and play with my eleven year old son who plays alto at the moment. I played for about 6 years in my youth. I wanted a cheap horn, I also want to do and learn basic repairs because I find that fun as well. I also found the process of learning about the horns and seeing what was available on auction kinda fun. Like anyone I am drawn to the legendary horns from the 60's and 70's and the prospect of striking gold on a lucky auction sounds neat, though I know its not realistic.

I appreciate you guys giving your time and advice!

Can any of you reccomend a horn to look for?
All that is great, and I commend you.

There are a couple of intrinsic contradictions within your plan, however.

First off, if you wanna get the horn to restart, and play with your son...then you want to acquire a horn in playing shape off the bat, I would imagine ?

You see, IF you wanna work up your repair chops...then you would need to tool up a bit...so there's investment there (some basic sax repair tools cannot be purchased at a hardware store).

Thing is, you do that, you buy a horn in questionable playable shape...how efficient is your learning curve on repair ? For first time DIY'ers they often gotta return repeatedly to their first few test subjects in order to get them to a decent degree of 'right'.

So my suggestion, if you wanna get playing with your kid...buy a horn in play-shape. For a Tenor, that is really, realistically gonna be a $500 investment. Guaranteed play shape.

You spend less than that...for a Tenor ?

You got what you paid for (sorry Pete, couldn't help myself :rolleyes:)

Then, if the repair bug still has gotch'a...buy a project Tenor for around $150, but some tooling (that'd also be around $100-150 worth) and go at the project horn separate from the player horn.
 

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Yes, I think we have seen many times people buying cheap horns to lear play and refurbish.

It will take some time (and money ) to do both and you’ll probably be better foff with a ready to play horn to learn and play with your child while you learn to repair.

You may be very well served by a Yamaha but they aren’t the cheapest horns around to buy secondhand and , as Pete says, there are many horns that cost way beyond what they are worth as players.

So, find a playing King 615, Conn Shooting star, Jupiter, all saxophones dislike for the wrong reasons from the market. Then buy a horn which only needs new pads. You are not tooed enough (nor have the experience) to address metal work or dents and repadding is plenty difficult for a beginner.

But really if you buy a horn to refurbish and then play, there may be many months between you buying and actually being able to play.
 

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Right...what Milandro said above.

Also...IF you have a respect for '50's-70's horns (plenty of good reason to, when compared to post-1980 and contemporary ones)...definitely stay away from the $250-300 asian jobs.

Yes, yes, Yamaha 23....the default suggestion by many here....the internet loves the model because for almost a generation it basically cornered the market on the student/budget sax of good, reliable quality -

- but keep in mind since around 2000 there have been a good half-dozen other contemporary models just as good and as available nowadays, arguably better in some key aspects (such as action, feel, and tone). IOW, in time other makers caught up to them and IMHO, surpassed them.
Just sayin'....Buffet 100, Jupiter 787, Keilwerth St90, Buffet Evette, just a few which jump to mind as easy contenders, in similar price range, to the 23.

I might also argue/suggest, for a person who appreciates vintage...something like a Conn 16M, King Cleveland, Martin Indiana, etc would be a more satisfying acquisition
 

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I am buying the horn to re-capture my youth and play with my eleven year old son who plays alto at the moment. I played for about 6 years in my youth. I wanted a cheap horn, I also want to do and learn basic repairs because I find that fun as well. I also found the process of learning about the horns and seeing what was available on auction kinda fun. Like anyone I am drawn to the legendary horns from the 60's and 70's and the prospect of striking gold on a lucky auction sounds neat, though I know its not realistic.

I appreciate you guys giving your time and advice!

Can any of you reccomend a horn to look for?
Can't wait until you get past the fun of bidding on old horns and venture into the world of mouthpieces. ;)
 

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Oh, yeah...striking gold on an auction...that likelihood ended round'abouts 2012....as far as 'obvious, familar models' go.

You can still nail a hecka deal on a very good model, but you need to bone up on the reputable models which do not blip most folks' radar....and know specifically what it is you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know its sort of pointing at the fourth wall a bit, but it really is nice to arrive on a forum, get answers and perspective like this. You guys have done me a great service and I appreciate it. Nice to see in this day and age.
 

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Ha, I literally know nothing about mouth pieces save where to stick them. Care to share some knowledge?
Hoo boy you just invited the floodgates to open!

as a relative newby myself I’d advise don‘t, repeat DO NOT, attempt to learn much about mouthpieces. Get a vanilla middle of the road mouthpiece that plays acceptable well with the horn you end up getting, and then practice. Don’t look at other mouthpieces. Practice. Do not get infected or afflicted with GAS, or gear acquisition syndrome, in other words the infinite quest for the holy grail of the perfect mouthpiece that will magically make you sound like whoever your saxophone idol might be. Practice. Then once you’ve practiced enough to totally master your setup there will be time enough to pursue the elusive perfect mouthpiece, and better horn, to your heart’s content and your budget’s distress...
 

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Agreed. Plenty of $125-under Tenor mouthpieces (several of 'em, under $75) which are good, well-performing, user-friendly mouthpieces perfectly appropriate for a re-starter.

No point going down the mouthpiece search road at your (OP) point.

You CAN find a solid Tenor in play-shape for $500-600 (heck I can sometimes provide folks with one for $400-425-ish) ...and an appropriate mouthpiece for under $100.
IMHO just keep it THERE .
(and feel free to buy yourself a project/fixer horn and some tooling if you also wanna explore THAT parallel path...but just remember, the tooling investment will not be insignificant).
 
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