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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
OK well, based on my experience I gotta chime in here.

there is NO difference...as in zero, zed, zilch....between how an RTH 10M performs and how a post '47 non RTH performs...if serviced and set up identically.
Some changes were made....for example the key finish and going to a double-socket neck, lacquer color, etc...but....and here is the skinny:

specifications of 10M's in all of the places it mattered (as far as tone, blowing response go) ...are exactly the same. Body tube, neck tube, tonehole placement, etc. Only thing that changed is the rolled holes, then later, the removal of the Lady engraving, then a bit later the change to an underslung octave key (which resulted in the body pip moving to a different location and a new octave mechanism).

(People might, and have, argued that the build precision changed...so while specifications and design did not (in any way that mattered), the pre-war ones were 'made better'.
It's an interesting theory....but not one that I have noticed. I have done over 100 refurbs of this model, from 30's ones to 70's ones....I have come away with no impression that say, '48-59 ones.... were built more poorly than pre-war ones).

Soooo...IF....your reasoning leans towards buying RTH because 'they sound better'....that is, in my experience.... b-u-n-k.

Does this mean I am saying folks who claim this are liars ? No, hardly.

I believe what it indicates is: there was variability from horn to horn in vintage horns, more so than modern (generally speaking). So...yup...pick up one 10M...play it, pick up another one side by side, play it....and in fact a discerning player may find a difference. But the difference comes from variables other than the RTH and Lady.

The differences come from the fact that they are two different 10M's, and add to that the HIGH likelihood that they have also been set up differently and may NOT be in exactly the same play condition as far as leaks, etc. So people try two or four, not set up the same, not in same playing shape, very likely NOT at the same time and next to each other or in sequence....and they conclude that the tonehole surface is the variable which results in the differentiation of performance and sound.
And agin, those very FEW players who actually DID try them side by side, set up exactly the same and in exact same tack, are simply experiencing the 'natural variability' between one individual horn and another.

10M's are classic models...but having refurbished around 100, all eras....their prices today (particularly RTH ones) are outrageous, period.

To the degree that I state: an RTH Lady 10M in good, serviced, playable shape... is NOT a $3000+ Tenor sax.
I reiterate - I like these, they are classics. But they are not worth $3000, they just aren't.

So...to answer OP....NO, 'springing for' the RTH versions....

...is absolutely NOT worth it (unless to you...being able to say "mine has RTH's"...is worth $750-1500 in and of itself).
Thank you so much for all of the info. Right to the point!
 

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In my own experience of owning a RTH 6M, the alto version, and being able to have some playing on a later STH 6M, they sounded the same. But the STH was not well set up. It felt and sounded like the same instrument to me, but needed an overhaul. And it made me appreciate my own horn which is tight and crisp. I am not sure you can make judgements from Youtube as this depends on so many other factors like the player, mouthpiece and mic.
 

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All great advice above. I have a 1935 rth and it's been with me since mid 80's.
Absolutely keeping for ever as it is capable of anything I could ever need in a tenor sax.
The Conn tenors are true American icons like Strats, Les Paul's etc etc and for this reason the price of a decent one is going to get higher.

Actually, as horn players we are very very lucky to be scooping these up sub 1500 in even a playable condition. When you see what guitar and keys guys need to fork out to pick up a decent vintage specimen .
The real problem is that there are perhaps too many "survivers" that really have been abused to the point where they don't work properly.

If OP buys wisely it won't be regretted.
 

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So...yup...pick up one 10M...play it, pick up another one side by side, play it....and in fact a discerning player may find a difference. But the difference comes from variables other than the RTH and Lady.

The differences come from the fact that they are two different 10M's
^^^ This ^^^

When I was looking for a new-to-me horn a couple of years ago, I played 5 or 6 different 10M's. The one I kept as my main horn has straight tone holes. A couple that I tried rolled tone holes, but I just liked this one specific horn slightly better. I had heard that RTH were "better," but I think it comes down to the whole specific horn in your hands, not just one aspect.

Hope you find a horn you enjoy playing!!!
 

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Hello, this is my first time on this forum and a first buying my own saxophone for myself. I am in high school and looking into getting a 10m, been saving up for a while and watching the market. I'm having a hard time deciding if it's worth to shell out the extra coin for a 10m with rolled tone holes. Also i've played some old American saxophone and I'm comfy with the ergos. Is it worth it? I would love the advice!
I know someone who had both and thinks the 50's Conns with straight tone holes project better. If it sounds good, it is good. I love King tenors from the mid 40's to mid 50's FWIW. Nice ergos, great intonation. Some might say the Conns are bigger sounding but the Kings certainly are loud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I know someone who had both and thinks the 50's Conns with straight tone holes project better. If it sounds good, it is good. I love King tenors from the mid 40's to mid 50's FWIW. Nice ergos, great intonation. Some might say the Conns are bigger sounding but the Kings certainly are loud.
Right now I am playing a king 615 from the 90s (I think). Are there any king tenor saxophones that you would recommend? Thank you!
 

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Right now I am playing a king 615 from the 90s (I think). Are there any king tenor saxophones that you would recommend? Thank you!
Of course Super 20.
Best bang for bucj an Eastlake early horn will give you everything a late Cleveland had at a lower price. If money is a problem buy a Zephyer but they may not feel as good as a Super 20.
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Of course Super 20.
Best bang for bucj an Eastlake early horn will give you everything a late Cleveland had at a lower price. If money is a problem buy a Zephyer but they may not feel as good as a Super 20.
Of course Super 20.
Best bang for bucj an Eastlake early horn will give you everything a late Cleveland had at a lower price. If money is a problem buy a Zephyer but they may not feel as good as a Super 20.
NIce! Super 20s have been peaking my interest. I have also been looking at Zephyers but from what I hear they can some intonation problems...
 

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NIce! Super 20s have been peaking my interest. I have also been looking at Zephyers but from what I hear they can some intonation problems...
If you think Conn 10Ms are too expensive (you said in another thread that you couldn’t find one at a fair price), you’re in for a similar shock when you find a good Super 20. A good Zephyr could be a great way to go, Buescher Aristocrat tenors are good too.
 

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NIce! Super 20s have been peaking my interest. I have also been looking at Zephyers but from what I hear they can some intonation problems...
The only Zephyr problem that I know of MAY regard the first series but not specifically in term of intonation.

Super 20 aren’t cheap and if price is a factor that look no further than the 615, cheap as chips, good horn.
 

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The Zephyrs are really good horns and can be had for pretty reasonable prices. My Zephyr's intonation isn't as good as my 10M, but my 10M is pretty exceptional in that regard.
 

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Only one mention of Bueschers in this thread?!?

The 1950-1955 Aristocrat 156 tenor with simple engraving (that is, without the fancy Big B engraving) is exactly the same instrument as the Big B at much less cost.
The key action is fine, the tone superb, and the intonation perhaps the best of the vintage tenors. I owned a Martin Comm, a 10M, and the Buescher 156 at the same time. All of them were excellent, but after much use, I chose the 156 as my keeper, and sold the other two.
 

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That said (my previous post), you can find some superb stencil instruments (made by the same manufacturers in discussion here, but originally made to a lower price point and without the brand name that pushes up the price).

Here are some examples:

1950's Pan American is essentially a 10M. Then Conn drops the Pan American name and calls the same sax a 16M in the late 1950's. Still American made until perhaps 1968. JayeLID (already active in this thread) can tell you more.

The 1950's and 1960's Indiana is a Martin, and plenty of people use these quite enthusiastically. Martin built its 'second tier' (lesser expensive) saxes to a high standard compared to many other manufacturers' stencils.

The 1950's Kings (often identified by their engravings: Acorn, Clock Tower, Cleveland) are nearly the equal of their Zephyr (and the Zephyr is both a predecessor and a co-existing tenor to the Super 20).

The Buescher stencils of the 1950's 156, called Elkhart Band Instrument Co., are very viable instruments as well. Heck, even the Selmer Buescher Aristocrats of the 1960's and their Bundy 1 stencils (both a bit simplified from the 1950-1955 Buescher 156) are still very bold and playable horns.

Condition is everything. A freshly repadded and well-setup stencil will outplay a lesser condition 'name brand' sax every day of the week (and twice on Sunday)!

As you can see from this thread, every major name tenor (and many of their less-expensive stencils) has its adamant following. In good condition, any of the tenors named in this thread will do the job for you, and continue to satisfy you as your abilities grow over a lifetime.

Finally, If you eventually work your way up to playing often in public, you will want a stencil or one of the other less-expensive models in this post as a backup horn, fully usable if and when your main horn needs repairs.

Good luck! Enjoy your choice, and play the whey out of it!
 
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