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Discussion Starter #1
Good day to all,

I just bought this instrument for $349 online. with 5 mouthpices and waiting for the instrument to arrive. just want to confirm with you guys if i got a good deal for this. actually i am looking for vintage soprano saxophone and i got this one.. base on your expertise, Can you also please tell me what is the advantage and disadvantage of C melody soprano saxophone? I played saxophone but only alto and tenor..

very truly
jojo
 

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I would say it was a good deal. Key of C sopranos in need of overhaul (as that one almost certainly is) generally sell in the range of $300-500, so you paid on the low end. Those 5 mouthpieces though are probably worth what you paid by themselves. Of course the flip side is that someone was probably trying lots of different mouthpiece to attempt to find one that would play in tune because the original piece was lost or broken.
 

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thanks for the response.. once the instrument is in my hand i will test this and i will let you know and ask an advise if ever tweaking needed for the instrument to make it more functional as well as the tone. I know it is a challenge for me to have this vintage saxophone since no one likes, or not so many players like c melody soprano saxophone will that's what i read on some forums.
 

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If seller hasn't shipped the horn yet, I would contact him and ask him to add a protective wrap on each mouthpiece prior to shipping. If he ships them loose, as per the photos, they are likely to get damaged.
 

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he already shipped the instrument. But before that, I already informed him to wrap every piece with bubble wrap to be more safe and he agreed on that..
 

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Re: 23" c soprano saxophone?

Nice find. Looks to be in need of a full pad job plus corks and felts to get playable. Not sure what that amorphous blob is at the top of the first pic.

Advantages - you can read concert key music (guitar, piano, fake books) without transposing
Disadvantages - you can't read soprano/tenor music without transposing

I have a friend with a chrome plated C soprano that looks and sounds beautiful. But it was hard to find a mouthpiece that played in tune. That's probably why yours has five.

Enjoy your new toy!
 

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I won't comment on the value, but without knowing your experience-level and planned use for such an instrument, I'm left wondering why you chose a C-soprano?

When I was 16 years old and discovered that soprano saxophones existed, my Mom bought me a Conn C-soprano and I was on my way. Not too long afterward, I ran into a guy who played in Lawrence Welk's sax section (Orie Amodeo, a client on my daily newspaper route) who counseled me to get a Bb soprano instead. Boy, was he ever right - for many reasons.

If you genuinely want a C-soprano, then good for you. If you are getting into soprano saxophones for the first time and don't understand the concert-pitch issues, then I wish you luck. Oh, C-sopranos aren't much different than the standard Bb's or even the Eb 'nino, but they are odd-ducks in the saxophone world. Now, stand by for the tirade of C-soprano players. DAVE
 

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An interesting thing about these old C sopranos is that the range is actually smaller than a modern Bb soprano. These apparently only go up to concert Eb, whereas a typical Bb soprano goes to concert E (not that any sane human being would ever want to hear that note).
 

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I won't comment on the value, but without knowing your experience-level and planned use for such an instrument, I'm left wondering why you chose a C-soprano?
The C melody and C soprano saxes are great additions to a collection. The fact that someone correctly identifies an instrument as a C soprano, is probably information enough that they know of what they have. Really, the number of stories where somebody honestly mistakenly bought a C instrument, when needing a Bb or Eb instrument, have to be in the tens or less over the last decades?
 

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If you don't currently play soprano, the C soprano is more work to keep in tune than the Bb soprano.

The instrument itself looks reasonable shape except there seems to be some doubtful solder work around the back-side fork Eb key which is not clear and may well require some repairing of some sort.

I think your first stop should be to a repair person who will probably need to replace most or all the pads and corks. Without good sealing pads and the mechanism in proper adjustment, frustration is guaranteed.

I think $350 might be a tad high since significant work will be needed (though it may well be that this is mostly pads and corks) - for reference I recently bought a Holton C soprano, keyed to high F (yours goes to high Eb which isn't a huge practical matter but does affect market value, maybe), in totally ready-to-play condition, for about $1000.

On the other hand, if even one or two of the MPs are good quality pieces in good condition, that would be $100+ worth of stuff right there, and then the deal looks pretty good.
 

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Personally I have enjoyed my C soprano a lot since I got it. I like the lighter weight and lighter tone as well. I use a classical mouthpiece on it.
 

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Jim (musekatcher): The OP asked about the advantages and disadvantages of a C-soprano (paraphrased). The OP may not know much about what he bought. The answer to his question may require a lot of writing, so I kept it brief. I thought that once "jojo" explained WHY he bought it, then someone here (me?) could better address the question without writing a book.

Now I'll write a short book . . .

Sure, if one is collecting saxophones, having a C-tenor and a C-soprano, may make for interesting additions to the collection. But I got the drift that jojo really doesn't understand the use and limitations of concert-pitch saxophones. If you have to ask . . .

I have a "collection" of saxophones but I don't have a C-soprano mainly because I don't want one. Been there, done that, so to speak. I don't have anything bigger than my C-Melody tenor. I have no use for it and I rarely play it. I don't have anything smaller than Bb sopranos (been there, too . . .).

If jojo needs to read music for ensemble-playing, he may have difficulty in finding appropriate parts for a C-soprano. If he can improvise without written music in a small combo, or needs to read off of a piano sheet, then that C-soprano may work for him.

If he just wants a C-soprano, that's okay, too. Most of us realize the pros and cons of concert-pitch saxophones and I was hoping that was evident when I first replied, trying to avoid too much detail. DAVE
 

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I have owned a bunch of C sopranos and as to intonation, I don't find the old C mouthpieces to make a lot of difference. For me, the Yamaha 4C or 3C (not 4CM) are the best. For brands, I find that intonation would be best with a Holton (also to high F), then Martin. Next the Bueschers are OK and I find the Conns to be terrible in comparison. I have put crescents in, lowered bell keys and still find the Conns impossible to live with.
 

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Welcome to SOTW!
I think what you paid for it is fair. Come on guys can you seriously find something to entertain yourself and have a little fun for under $300. OK so he needs to put a couple hundred dollars into servicing it. Play it for what it is because it will be nothing more. Enjoy it and have some fun. It sounds like you’re playing for enjoyment at home anyway.
You have an assortment of mouthpieces to play with but the Yamaha‘s Bruce recommended are pretty bulletproof. And if I remember correctly about $25-$30 cost. That’s cheap on a mouthpiece.
Cheers to you new C and brave adventure! Keep us posted on how it all works out.
 

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Conns (see what I did there?) yeah there are the intonation issues, but with a guitar part of the sexiness of the sound is the fact that sometimes the note needs to be lipped to bring it back closer to the 440 tuning it supposed to be in, and isn't that the mystique that makes the Sax sexy in the first place?
If you are in a situation whereas someone is going to drop a piece of music in front of you and you are expected to site read it and it is in Bb, you may have to be quick on your toes. I'm sure a huge percentage of players have a week or so to work on a new piece of music prior to having to perform it.

Pros, You have a killer Conn NW II C-Mel piece of History to rebuild and be proud of. You have a unique sounding voice with that horn that newer models cannot duplicate. You CAN read the piano/guitar/violin music.

Play that thing, look up everything you can find recorded with vintage C-Mel, learn the distinct voice that it has and appreciate it for what it is and how it sounds.

If you try to make it sound modern and play a modern piece of music with it and try to duplicate that sound, you are going to be disappointed. If you just like to honk around and maybe play jazz with a small ensemble and play by ear, You'll be pleasantly surprised at being in the key of C and the unique "voice" you have with that horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all so much for the response sorry I didn't have sufficient time to response one by one to all of your expert advise, but all of them has been noted with great thanks :) Actually the instrument arrived but it is not playable :( as for the seller description, it is in GOOD CONDITION. so, I message him and argument happened. I ask specific customer service for the online buying site to jump in and help me return the item because the seller doesn't want to accept return but the seller later on accept the return after dealing from the resolution representative. a big lesson has been learned from my side ;)
Actually I am playing saxophone not as good as you guys, that is why I am here to ask your opinion. I played saxophone since I was in high school, until College i played in orchestra. a big thanks for the University because they offered a scholarship for us. I only played tenor sax and alto sax I also played clarinet and flute but very rare. I also became a member of a band in our country as a saxophone player.
Now I have my permanent job but not as a band member, (but still my heart and mind still a musician) I really love playing saxophone it makes me happy and relax.. When I am on vacation, I still played my Alto saxophone at home. last contract, I purchased "VITO" saxophone made from Japan. and that is my second alto saxophone very nice! my friend who is working in cruiseship as a musician, tested it and he was surprised and amazed. I bought it for a very cheap price, and that was also the first time I ordered instrument online. Now I am hunting for a soprano saxophone I want to play it for my hubby and I end up for this model.. but luckily I was able to return it and waiting for the refund.

So that is my story folks. by the way, I will create a new forum.. and ofcourse still asking for all your expert advise guys.. once again thank you all so much for the advise....
 

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We did warn you that it looked un-playable. You're in for a very long search if you are looking for vintage AND cheap AND playable. I've been searching for 20 years, and haven't found such a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Conn Wurlitzer Elkhart, Indiana C Soprano Saxophone 1920s OR PAN AMERICAN Bb SOPRANO!!

View attachment 225366 View attachment 225368 View attachment 225370 View attachment 225372 View attachment 225374

Another one! PAN AMERICAN soprano saxophone for only $301... as per seller, pads are newly replaced but needs a little adjustments of the spring but overall instrument is playable. He needs money for emergency that is why he will sell this one for lower price.

I will let my brother test this instrument before buying. just to make sure ;) Awaiting for his update.

any comment and advise is highly appreciated... thank you so much! ;)

jojo here again!
 

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If it were me I would drop something like $600 to $750 on a known quantity soprano from one of the people who offer horns for sale here, rather than buying a succession of clapped-out el cheapos that we can all tell you aren't going to play worth a damn.

I don't know what's been done to that Pan American soprano, but I am guessing someone decided it was a good idea to buff off all the silver or nickel plate on the body (it wasn't a good idea), then realized they weren't ever going to get it off the keys.

I would assume that you will need to do a complete repad and setup on it. "according to seller all the pads were recently replaced" most likely means someone bought a pad set, stuffed them in there with hot melt glue, found out they didn't have the foggiest idea what they were doing and the thing won't play, so decided to cut their losses, sell the thing, and claim any difficulty in playing is due to "needing some minor adjustment of the springs" whatever that's supposed to mean.

By the time you are done with this, you could have bought a "fairly new" inexpensive modern Chinese soprano that plays from the moment you take it out of the case, and moved from the buying phase to the playing phase wtih a minimum of trouble.

But it's your money and time, use them how you want.
 

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That's neither vintage nor C melody. Perhaps you should start you own thread - "looking for cheap soprano". Now that you dropped the C melody requirement, there are a lot better ways to spend ~$300 on a soprano.
 
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