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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
off e-bay. They spelled saxophone wrong so it wasn't coming up in most searches, and no one bid! It has an insect engraving with wreath, which I've never seen before. This is an early one with no front f key.

link to auction

The pad that I can see from the pics looks white, so maybe they are original white kid pads? The condition looks very good. I am getting this for a friend and hes going to have it repadded. He is a good player but mainly plays Selmers although I convinced him to get this Martin that we found browsing the net the other night. :)

Can anyone identify what kind of mouthpiece that is in the photo?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Grumps said:
It ain't an Indiana. It's an early Martin Handcraft without the front F. It more than likely had its finish stripped/buffed in the past and it will need a complete overhaul.
Okay, thanks. Do you think it was a good buy? He wants to overhaul and play it. I didn't notice it had been buffed, but the engraving looks ok. Should it turn out as a nice player?
 

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I wouldn't want an alto without a front F, so I'm not really one to ask. Some wonderful horns were made back then. You could have a gem there, but there are so many strikes against it. I'm not going to say you overpaid, but for me, it wouldn't be worth sinking a few hundred more in just for a chance that it might be a good player. That's a really, really old horn, and for just a hundred or two more, you could have gotten something a bit more advanced and perhaps even with silver plate; and still of a vintage flavor.
 

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When you get it, take a good luck at it. If it's not an Indiana, you would be in the right to request a refund from the seller, who advertised it as an Indiana.

It could have potential to be a great horn. I like the front F, too, but it's not entirely necessary.
 

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I got a 30's vintage Handcraft off Ebay a few years ago, paid a little over $200 for it. Has a very sweet, mellow, rich sound. Relaq'd with a recent overhaul, really got lucky that it did not need any adjustments or repairs - played perfectly straight out of the box. I usually expect to add about $100 in repairs/adjustments to any horn I get off Ebay, even ones advertised as "ready to play."

Did you overpay? Only in the sense that, after you overhaul it, you probably won't be able to sell it for what you've sunk into it. Kinda like buying a new car and driving it off the lot. OTOH, if you're not planning on selling, then you'll have a nice sounding freshly overhauled horn for a reasonable price.
 

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It is a Martin HC for sure. I had watched that one and I am pretty sure it is a bare brass model which has not been lacquered. Those are the original pads and someone has tried to polish it. One option is to disassemble it, shine up the brass, put it together and tout it on ebay as a "rare bare brass Martin Handcraft". There are a lot of people who crave nekkid horns. I agree that the cost of the overhaul is going to go way over the value. This appears to be a series I with the thinner tone holes and even the series II doesn't have the front F and high C# adjuster. Resell it. I have about 10 Martins now and they are great horns but the early ones are just OK.
One thing to think about is that a lot of horns are missing the neck. You may be able to sell the neck for what you paid for the whole thing!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
jealousy

I'm slightly jealous of him, this looks like a really beautiful instrument that will make a fine player. It's one a kind with it's 'wreath and wasp' engraving and original brass patina.

I spent $1325 now (so far) total on my POS (thats its name) 55' Indiana with a slightly bent bell, non-original neck and other signs of abuse. I'm getting it back this week and I'll just happy if it finally plays. But, it introduced me to the world of Martins, and now my friend is going to reap the benefits (I hope!)

There are photos of Charlie Parker playing the same Handcraft model Martin without the front f key at Carnegie Hall in '47, they are at the Library of Congress website. :D
 

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coolsax2k7 said:
I spent $1325 now (so far) total on my POS (thats its name) 55' Indiana with a slightly bent bell, non-original neck and other signs of abuse.
That is a complete waste of money. Sorry. Are we talking alto here? Because you could probably have gotten your hands on a primo The Martin Alto for that. Couple hundred more for a tenor. But I guess you already have a Committee alto... still... why did you put that kind of money into such dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Grumps said:
That is a complete waste of money. Sorry. Are we talking alto here? Because you could probably have gotten your hands on a primo The Martin Alto for that. Couple hundred more for a tenor. But I guess you already have a Committee alto... still... why did you put that kind of money into such dog?
Well I've made a lot of stupid mistakes in my life to say the least. I did finally get the Indiana playing right, I posted another thread about it yesterday. It started as $600, then $450 for pads, but the tech did an incomplete job and then closed up shop, then it needed another $350 or so to get it playing better. When I discovered the beat up Indiana in the music store it was my first time really trying a Martin, and it sounded so unique and special and also I didn't really know what it's actual value was, all I cared about was buying it. I didn't have enough money after the first $1000 spent to just toss it and buy another horn, so... anyway the Indiana got it's name changed, it's no longer POS. It plays fine after the last trip to the shop, and is going to be my backup alto.
 

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coolsax2k7 said:
Well I've made a lot of stupid mistakes in my life to say the least.
And we all have; especially in regard to buying and selling horns. I've also put money into horns that didn't seem to make economic sense either. Relating these experiences is a good thing, so hopefully others can learn from our mistakes; or at least make informed mistakes...
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The HC came today. The body is original bare brass and in good shape. The craftsmanship is very good and the metal is really thick. The action is not as slick as my '55 Indiana but seems workable and still quick. It looks very antique, like from grandpas era, lol. It needs pads but from the few notes I could get out it sounds sweet. It came with what looks like the stock mouthpiece and ligature too, in a decripid old case (not sure if it's original.) The engraving is just slightly polished away. Since the bell is a little lighter, someone must have polished it. But when I put my fingers inside and outside the bell and feel the thickness it feels like the metal almost twice as thick as my Indiana's, so it makes little difference.
 

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Thats original and even has the period white pads and a nice patina thou someone has had a go with metal polish but you can soon remove the white with a toothbrush.
Nice old horn
Dave
 
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