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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently put a wanted ad out in a local Website. Looking for vintage saxophones that needed repair. I was looking for a cheap horn that I could repair, and it still have some resale value. A few days after I put the ad out I got an offer for a Conn 12M Bari Sax. Which has been relacquered (doesn't bother me to much). However I am not sure of a few things.
These are the messages I got.
Just got back in to town. The bari goes down to Bflat. I’ve included a few pictures to give you an idea of its condition.
1st Message
I have a late 30’s vintage Conn 12m bari. It’s been relacquered, and somebody in the past has leveled some of the rolled tone holes with a file. There are a few dents, nothing major, and it actually plays with some effort. If you’re interested, let me know and I can shoot you some pictures. I’ll be out of town until Sunday.

Is that something to be worried about?
I am betting it needs a complete overhaul.
Is that something to worry about?
 

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Conn 12M

Most Conn 12Ms sell for $600-$900 on ebay and are usually from the late 1950s - early 1970s. If you can put this one back into good playing shape, I believe you could more than that due to its more desirable vintage. As far as playability, I don't believe the leveled rolled-toneholes will be much of a hindrance. There is dust on the pads so this 12M probably isn't played much. When I purchased a rarely used 12M it took regular playing to break the pads back in. I would suggest this before changing pads that aren't ripped.

Best of Luck,
Brian
 

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Carbs said:
How could that be a deal breaker?
it shouldn't be. there are people who are of the opinion that horns need to meet certain criteria in order to worthy of owning.

the reality of it is that the saxophone is 70 years old and over that time certain repairs may have been done in a certain way that would now be seen as less than ideal, such as filing a rolled tonehole to level it.

that said, if the insturment in question were a museum quality horn with an asking price of 3 grand it would seriously devalue the instrument, however if the your talking about a 300 to 800 beater, if a filed tonehole is your worst problem your pretty good.

from what I can tell it sounds like you are looking for an insturment to learn repair etc.... a 12m bari is not a very good place to start. it will require certain techniques, knowledge and very specific tools that are likely out of scope of what you are looking to do. (you will need dent rods to properly level the remaining rolled toneholes)

start with a beat up yet playable yamaha 23, if your goal is to teach yourself, don't start with something you actually might want to play as you'll probably screw it up (i know i screwed up a bunch of stuff when i was learning), people spends years and years and thousand and thousands of dollars to acquire the basic skills and tools required to do a decent repair job.

the 12m sounds and looks like a worthy project my advice woudl be to get it (if you can afford it) and shelve it till you can really do a good job on it.
 

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Carbs said:
How could that be a deal breaker?
Because you've confirmed the horn has a history of bad repair jobs done by hacks. If the rolled portion of the tone hole has been filed off, it's missing at least that much depth to it; and perhaps much more. How this might affect key alignment and pad leveling, who knows. I just wouldn't take the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Before I can go anywhere near the Bari, I have to sell my Alto. Otherwise I don't have enough cash to even touch the Bari. I would probably not even get close to the Bari, I would take it to the local repair tech to have it loo ked at and see the damage. I probably wouldn't touch the horn except to play it.
 

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I wouldn't touch that horn. WAY too much work to be done. The dents in the body of that horn completely kill it for me, not to mention the filing of tone holes. The pictures aren't very good but if it's a 30's conn, that lacquer is the wrong color.
 

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I agree with Grumps on this one. If the tone holes are filed, it would be a non-starter for me.

Any chance of playing it?
 

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Those are some nasty dents, too. And without a removable bow, they could be near impossible to reach. Also, the holes could be filed beyond possible repair.
 

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"Plays with some effort"... yeah, I bet. <honk>

"Dents but nothing major"... yeah, if you work in an auto body shop.

Those filed tone holes are just the toxic icing on the cake.

Just say "Thank you, no".
 

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It does sort of look like it made a couple of touchdowns in the marching band.
 

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Grumps' point is very important. A 1930s 12M will have had rolled tone holes: how do you file these?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here is what he e-mailed me.

It came that way. My plan was to have it restored, but have not been able to put aside the thousands it would take to do the job right. Actually, for a horn its size, the dents are very minimal and very fixable. They in no way alter the way it plays, they’re just rather unsightly.



The main issue with the horn is the damage to the rolled tone holes…which again does not alter the way it plays, but does affect the originality of the instrument. And even those can be restored. But to make it a perfectly playable instrument it would just need to be adjusted, regulated, and probably replace a few pads.
 

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Carbs said:
Here is what he e-mailed me.

It came that way. My plan was to have it restored, but have not been able to put aside the thousands it would take to do the job right. Actually, for a horn its size, the dents are very minimal and very fixable. They in no way alter the way it plays, they';re just rather unsightly.

The main issue with the horn is the damage to the rolled tone holes&#8230;which again does not alter the way it plays, but does affect the originality of the instrument. And even those can be restored. But to make it a perfectly playable instrument it would just need to be adjusted, regulated, and probably replace a few pads.
What you really need to do, judging by all of your other posts, is ignore the bari, sell the altos on eBay, and get one acceptable for college.
 
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