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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm looking on Ebay for an upgrade horn for my grandson to play in high school. I have found a '98 Cannonball Salt Lake City alto in pretty good condition. My 2 part question is this: #1 Is this considered a pro model? (just curious) and #2 in one of the pictures of the gold keys I noticed some tarnish, as the seller calls it, and was wondering if this could actually be tarnish or does Cannonball have a finish problem? I have tried to attach a picture but I'm dumb as hell about doing it so if you need to look at it I can get you the item number. Appreciate all opinions.
 

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Take a look on Reverb, because I think it may be the same instrument. Search “Cannonball chronology” and you will find the sax is among the first of Cannonball’s offerings that it called professional level. I cannot account for what I also noticed about its finish, especially on its key guards. But I have experienced no issues with any Cannonball models that I’ve owned (totaling only 5).

Seldom see an alto model 1998 for sale, but several Cannonball 1998, 98, Global, and Stone Series tenors have been on the site recently. Cannonball made changes (improvements, if you will) to their professional line, but if the alto is as good as the model 1998 tenor, and it is in good playing condition and fairly priced, it should suit your needs. Remember that Asian-sourced instruments rarely appreciate in value, if resale value is any concern.

Be sure to compare it to the as-new Sahduoo alto posted there, also. It does not have the same panache as one stenciled “Cannonball,” but they are both from the same Taiwanese district (as far as I know) and Sahduoo has been making saxophones for various importers long before 1998. That one is, if memory serves, only a year or two old. Taiwanese horns seem in a rapid state of evolution; I find newer pro models play easier and, of course, they will be in better cosmetic condition.
 

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I checked the ad on Ebay and one of the pictures shows a extremely poor "do it yourself" repair of the thumb hook. You should take that into account if you make an offer. It would require a careful cleaning and then soldering a new base for a new thumb hook in that spot. Parts are available from Cannonball. I would estimate the cost anywhere from $25 to $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I saw that too. I had figured that it would need to be fixed. I can take care of that myself, having done solder and sax repairs for 20 years. Thanks for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, good to know. I think with a few repairs and cleaning the Cannonball will work just fine. Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.
 
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