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Hi,
How do you classify a saxophone as "vintage"? I have a 1983 Yani 880 and would like to know if it's vintage or not...???

Thanks guys,

POWELLnSELMER
 

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If you want geeks to part with lots of money, then just put the word 'Vintage' on it and you'll get lots of money. You can sell a freebie supermarket plastic carrier bag for lots of money - it happened! It was advertised on Ebay as a 'fashion item' or something like that.
 

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In the world of antiques and collectibles (Which is anything from Ephemera to Trains, planes and automobiles), "Vintage" is anything with some age which can't be described as an "Antique"-that is anything not at least 100 years old.
 

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My take on this is that any thing made in a style that pre-dates the current style could be considered vintage. In the very late 1970's many sax makers went more to a Selmer Paris style design. And this is still prevalent today. So I consider any horn made in the older left-handed bell key style as vintage. Also, older models not currently in the line of model ascension could be considered vintage. This would include, but is not limited to, Mark VI, VII and earlier Selmers, Couf and other Keilworth stencils made before the modern Keilworth run, all "true" (actually made by that company) Martins, Bueschers, Kings and other American and European brands that are know longer made and are not Selmer copies. You could also almost conclude that any American horn made in Elkhart is vintage. But I wouldn't go quite that far yet.

I don't consider an SA80 as a vintage horn since the series is still in production. I also don't consider Asian horns as vintage but the very early Yamaha 61 series comes close.

But of course, this all just my "humble" opinion. ;)
 

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My opinion is that horns that were made before 1975 all the way back to 1920 or so are "vintage". Anything before that would be "antique". And horns made after 1975, like your Yani, are modern horns (but not contemporary, for sure).
 

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I'd say that "vintage" would mean "of the era",
and that there should be some characteristics that define it that way, so I'd agree with what enviroguy says as a rough principle. But, for example, if it was acknowledged that contemporary Yanis were of inferior quality, and that the last good ones were built in the 1980's, I think you could also use the term vintage in that context.
 

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I'm pretty sure that this coversation has taken place before.

My definition of "vintage" (remember, I used to have a website called, "The Vintage Saxophone Gallery") is:

* It's a recognized professional model (i.e., not a "DC Pro" or some such)
* It's not built anymore
* It retains a significant portion of its original value

I don't mind extending the definition to, "It has to be older than ___," but that's really hard to enforce. So, do you want horns pre-Yamaha 61 to be called vintage? That's 1970's. Wait. The Leblanc System horns were still around, then. Aren't those vintage? The Mark VI was available, too.

(Heck, the Mark VI was available up until 1985 for the sopranino. 1981 for the bari and soprano.)

When did that last Super 20 roll off the line? Late 1990's?

I really don't think you can include or exclude a horn based on keywork. Hey, the keywork on the S80 Serie III is an improvement based on the Mark 7, which was based on the Mark VI, which was based on the SBA, which was based on the Balanced Action -- and that 1935 horn's keywork really isn't that dissimilar.

The main problem with the "vintage" moniker is that we assume that "vintage" means "valuable". There are very, very few saxophones out there that are worth more than modern horns. That's not to say that they aren't good horns, they're just not really valuable. That's why I say, "retains a significant portion of its original value".

Now, here's a problem: a lot of manufacturers made horns based on the A. Sax patent -- direct copies, really -- until the 1930's. We're talking horns missing keywork and rollers. "Vintage", "Antique" or "Old"? Generally, just "old". As far as collectability goes, probably not worth your time.

OH. BTB, the "automated manufacturing techniques" were around in 1914. Conn had some pretty big pieces of machinery to do that.
 

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For what it's worth, I don't think that all old horn are "vintage" - some are just OLD. "Vintage" to me, connotes something of particularly great character for it's period - whether it's wine, cars, or horns. Many old Selmer Mk VIs (especially sops) are merely average, hence NOT "vintage".
 

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yes it is a funny idea the one of Vintage, and like all things which involve the use of language, they are variable in time and space (what we meant until yesterday won't be the same tomorrow and what Americans mean can be easily interpreted differently somewhere else by different people) it is impossible to determine it by decree, ultimately the answer to the problem is simply the way in which most people would use a certain expression. As it is, now, in most places in the world, most people would call something made prior to the '90 " Vintage".
 

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Pete said:
My definition of "vintage" (remember, I used to have a website called, "The Vintage Saxophone Gallery") is:

* It's a recognized professional model (i.e., not a "DC Pro" or some such)
* It's not built anymore
* It retains a significant portion of its original value
.
Hey thanks Pete. I think this expresses it about as well as possible.
 
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