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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone.

It's time to make a report of my CONN New Wonder's Saga.
I sent my beloved horn to:

Lance O. Burton or MartinMods or Solutionremarketing (Ebay ID)
Address:
6219 170th Pl SW
Lynnwood, WA 98037
(425) 743-1192

(putting his address here is legitimate since he is dealing with instruments from many people. Every dealer shows his address openly)

I sent him my wonderful horn (see pics) which was overhauled here in Germany and got some modifications for better play comfort. I had some difficulties with the LH pinky table and was about to sell this great horn for good money. I already had a deal with CE Winds to buy a Professional DSV (Dark super Vintage) in a dark lacquer. As I heard from the mods Lance O. Burton was doing and saw that some SOTW members have sent him their horns I got tempted to do the same. The idea of getting my great sounding collectors horn better playable make me enthusiastic.
I also saw martinMods on eBay (buyers be aware) with the ID SOLUTIONREMARKETING offering the mods. I contacted him through eBay and he offered me a deal "outside" of eBay platform (my bad! never do that. I lost the eBay buyers protection). A complete package for 400U$. I got confident in him. He spoke some German, was kind in communication, had already some SOTW colleagues as customers... this all brought me to cancel the deal on my CONN (sale was fix) and also the purchase of the CE Winds DSV although Brian and Mark invested time on the deal and I think the order from Taiwan was also fix.

After I sent my sax in August 2009 I saw only 1 picture of the sax. At that time the lacquer was still there. A nice old lacquer.
This horn had a history.
I bought it from Carl Gordon from New York. He owned it for decades. In the WW2 Carl was a 12 years old boy and bought this horn from his Clarinet teacher Gerardo Iasilli (he was a NY Maestro and composer of some Sax books, do a research) and started learning sax. During the war Carl played this sax in the bars since the Jazz players, adult men were all in the front fighting. Carl (who moved to Florida after selling me the sax in 2004) attached some rollers in the sax case and used to ride the bike towing the sax that way. What an idea! nevertheless the sax NEVER got damaged and endured the decades on the stand in his fancy maisonette Apartment in New York until I bought it from him for 1,100U$.
Here in Germany this very same sax crossed the country two times, two shippings to 2 different technicians. Overhauling, mods ...again, not a single scratch happened.

Than the last time (August 2009) I sent it in a huge package back to its origin... the glorious "Sax-Land" USA. I shipped it to Lance O. Burton in Florida and the sax arrived there again intact.
But after 3 months Lance Burton moved to Seattle and sent a picture of his small car packaged with instruments on the top. At that point I realized my sax was in real danger.

The sax lost parts, was stripped of its historical lacquer. I don't care if it was double or triple lacquer, if Lance "butcher" Burton liked it or not, it was MY sax and I loved that lacquer.

Now after years of struggling to get back the instrument he sent it back. Stripped, the new Pisoni pads disappeared, cups corroded, cannibalized. Parts have been taken for other horns. The F#s hole removed and not replaced what suggests this part is now in a Bari which was been restored by him.

The technician who examined the sax said it is not repairable, possible but too costly. It would be better to buy a new one, would be cheaper than making of these "mortal rests" a playing tenor sax again.

I wish to make a statement here...

"What Lance O. Burton did is not only a crime against me, it is a crime against the spirit among musicians. The spirit of colleagueship. Musicians shouldn't cheat anybody but specially their fellows not.
This man did a crime against a US Heritage of the sax industry transforming a "state of the art" USA made sax in a "state of misery" art of butchery."

This man doesn't have any respect for himself and for nobody else. Getting money in advance to destroy private proprietary.

Be aware. I don't wish you to experience the same nightmare.

now, that my sax is dead I will weep and I will overcome but Lance O. Burton, or MartinMods or SolutionRemarketing (eBay ID) is for me a "Sax Murder" and guilty of this butchery.

To my colleagues who still have their horns after years under his custody, I wish good luck. The chance of getting the instruments back in a good shape are currently low.



here the first pics to compare the shape before and after the "expertise work" of Mr. Lance "Butcher" Burton...


here the sax still by me in Germany, prior to shipping to Mr. "Solutionremarketing"





barely believable but it is the same sax after a waiting time of almost 3 years.


 

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Wow! I though that I had a bad story...That's crazy, it's amazing to me how these guys stay in business. The guy that ruined my horn is still malpracticing sax repair in NYC and I hear new horror stories all the time, it just never ends apparently.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/MKVII fanatic/Forum Cont
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I hope everyone sees this. this is the act of a real lowlife; brings to memory some other old similar dealings from the past with a well known dealer who did a lot of the same. we finally made that one face the music and be held accountable. it's a real shame. what goes around comes around and in the end he will pay. karma

my sympathies, so sorry about your horn.
 

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Un-F'en believable!!!
Although a bit of "commentary" there, proof to back it up.

There has to be recourse for this.
Do you have pictures of the missing F#, and of the whole horn?

I presume you kept a record of the serial number & that this is the same horn?
Hoping against the odds that this might be a different horn & yours is still safe 'somewhere'.

I feel your pain & anger.
Best of luck.
 

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Did you receive any explanation with the return of the sax?

Are you sure it's the same sax?
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Is it me or does the arm under the bis key look different between the two pics?
 

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Pardon my skepticism, but those keys are not the same ones shown in the before photo. The arrangement of posts isn't even the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Un-F'en believable!!!
Although a bit of "commentary" there, proof to back it up.

There has to be recourse for this.
Do you have pictures of the missing F#, and of the whole horn?

I presume you kept a record of the serial number & that this is the same horn?
Hoping against the odds that this might be a different horn & yours is still safe 'somewhere'.

I feel your pain & anger.
Best of luck.

yes, it is unfortunately the same horn, the same serial number otherwise I wouldn't cry loud here.
The same horn stripped of its glorious lacquer, "stripped" of the F#s tone hole, the nice mods made here in Europe also disappeared, it means Steeve Goodson goldplated thumbrest and the Low C and D#s pinky bottons which costed me alone 150U$ and now are for sure living in another horn.
Also the Octave neck mechanism was also not sent with the sax.

The horn now is by xxxxxxxxx sax technician and the pics I have of the sax came from Eric, my relative who had the official rights on the horn.
He has been dealing with Lance Butcher Burton since December 2010.
Eric kept putting him under pressure until he sent the sax beginning of Mai, again after crossing some redlines.




Eric holding the neck, which was sent without the Octave mechanism...





neck before "butchering"

 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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I have to admit, I'm with Merlin on this one. Just look at the arm for the 'A' key pearl... they aren't the same. Still doesn't excuse what has happened, but there's more to this story somewhere.

Good luck CONN-hunter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pardon my skepticism, but those keys are not the same ones shown in the before photo. The arrangement of posts isn't even the same.
you may be right since he stated in Nov 2010 that he lost some parts of the horn. They Low C and D#s bottons are definetely not of my horn but the body is (same serial number)
more pics coming.

For some of you this issue seems to be new.
Please. make a quick research.

for the new colleagues or maybe you missed the issue in the past here, have a look...

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?156310-WARNING-Lance-Burton-At-MartinMods-Will-Not-Finish-Or-Return-Our-Saxophones
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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The marks on the keys you guys are noting are different are silver-solder flux marks that have not been cleaned. They are indeed not the original keys, but I think that this was part of the "mods" to replace keywork- just unfinished.

The un-silver solder flux marked keys and posts in the background are definitely Conn New Wonder.
 

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A LOT of different work on the upper stack. Right up front the first horn has a different B arm (look at the curve by the touch; smooth arc on the first, stylish right angle edge on the other). The first horn also has the A touch riding on the same rod as the B; and there's a post to separate the two. The second pic has the A touch on a completely separate solid rod (with a "bridge" connection to the upper stack octave mech portion) and so that post is not there. Both those keys and associated tubes/rods/ et al are simply different pieces altogether. There's no indication that a post was removed- though that might be as a result of surprisingly good workmanship... something evident no where else in the second picture.

The two neck pictures also have different ferrules (the returned one has a groove, the "before" one is smooth).

More pictures may well clarify all this- and there may well be a completely understandable explanation- but they really do appear to be pictures of completely different horns.

Conn Hunter has already seemingly been through the wringer- before a public witch hunt (either way!) a calm examination of what's up is probably appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
some parts seem to have be replaced and other parts just destroyed or removed.

The patch on the place of the F#s hole is horrible.



taking out the F#s hole.

for what??? the only explanation is to use the tonehole on a Bari he was working on, making toneholes for it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
anyway what I know is:

I sent the horn in this shape...



and Eric got it back in this shape...




the serial number Eric has is the same.

now, I can't say from here if the neck is the same. anyway not the same shape as I sent.





that is why I am expecting better pictures from Don Trimble and Eric Maldonado to understand better... what belongs to the horn, what is the horn and what is not.

can you get now the sense of the word butchery people? I think "Jack the stripper" is back.
 

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I have the same nasty looking patch where there used to be an F# tonehole. Fortunately for me, that was the only part of the body he cut out (he was going to build a new tonehole etc to make it feel more comfortable). My horn was functional when I sent it. The problem I had was a spread octave which I thought would be taken care of by his neck modification. Now I have no idea whether the intonation is better or not: there are no pads anymore, virtually no springs and rollers missing. Lance actually had the nerve to ask if I'd put pads in yet or not. When I told him I couldn't afford it, he mocked that I should have been more patient and waited for him to make his world class pads. I have no idea what happened to my pads or springs or rollers or F# mechanism or the original pips.
Lance also had the nerve to post on his blog that it was MY fault he didn't ship my horn back to me because I had the responsibility to pay for it. I have emails (a number of them) that show how many times I offered to pay whatever it cost just to recover the horn. That's an old school gangster trick: break someone's prized possession and then make them pay to get it back or they'll never see it again. I paid him up front for the work ($500, I even asked if the problem was needing more money for supplies which I was prepared to pay for) and it took roughly two years to get my horn back - with only the neck tenon being done. I never even asked for my money back.

BUT ... seeing these photos makes me think I got away unscathed.
 

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What a mess. It's another sorry tale where Lance has failed to deliver. I don't understand how you'd expect major modifications to be done without damaging the lacquer? I don't see that as being possible.
Lance seems to invent new wasy of doing things as he goes along and seems oblivious to the concerns of the horn's owner or how long it takes. After three years it isn't anyway near finished. The bits he has soldered haven't been cleaned up. It looks like he worked on it for a bit, got stuck or fed up with it and moved on to something else. Other people's horns have been left in a similar mess.
Lance doesnt' seem to acknowledge any problem. A horn like that after three years shows a big problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have the same nasty looking patch where there used to be an F# tonehole. Fortunately for me, that was the only part of the body he cut out (he was going to build a new tonehole etc to make it feel more comfortable). My horn was functional when I sent it. The problem I had was a spread octave which I thought would be taken care of by his neck modification. Now I have no idea whether the intonation is better or not: there are no pads anymore, virtually no springs and rollers missing. Lance actually had the nerve to ask if I'd put pads in yet or not. When I told him I couldn't afford it, he mocked that I should have been more patient and waited for him to make his world class pads. I have no idea what happened to my pads or springs or rollers or F# mechanism or the original pips.
Lance also had the nerve to post on his blog that it was MY fault he didn't ship my horn back to me because I had the responsibility to pay for it. I have emails (a number of them) that show how many times I offered to pay whatever it cost just to recover the horn. That's an old school gangster trick: break someone's prized possession and then make them pay to get it back or they'll never see it again. I paid him up front for the work ($500, I even asked if the problem was needing more money for supplies which I was prepared to pay for) and it took roughly two years to get my horn back - with only the neck tenon being done. I never even asked for my money back.

BUT ... seeing these photos makes me think I got away unscathed.

I am also very sorry for you dear Sebastian. I think the toneholes of our horns are on a CONN Bari right now.
 
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