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Posting here on behalf of my son, who is 16, but already a decent and dedicated player. He’s been playing alto for a few years now, having moved from a Vito to a Yani 902 (great horn). His teacher plays a tenor (Mark VI), and my son would like to try a not-too-expensive tenor to get a taste and see if he prefers it to the alto. He recently tried a YTS-23 and a 1973 Super 20. Being used to the Yani, he was more drawn to the Super 20 than the 23. But the King costs CAN$3000 (we’re in Victoria BC). That’s too much for our budget. He liked the playability and the character of the King, and generally likes the vibe of the older classic horns, since he’s also into jazz from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

So essentially we’re looking for the best classic horn we can get for around US$1000. Doesn’t have to be pretty, just a solid well-made player. Based on my own research, and reading through the forums on this site, I’m thinking something along the lines of a late 50’s/early 60s Conn 10M. Here in Victoria, there aren’t too many classic horns to choose from and they don’t come up too often, so unless we get lucky with something local, we’re probably going to roll the dice and get something through SOTW. Son’s teacher says “get a better Yamaha, like a used 575, or an older 62." This is sound advice I know, and we might go in that direction, but in the meantime if anyone could recommend a good bang-for-your-buck vintage tenor for around $1000 or lower, we’d appreciate it. Cheers.
 

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Martin Indiana Deluxe - well within your budget, pretty easy to find, and a pretty good playing horn. Member JayeLID frequently has ones for sale. His website is www.2ndending.com. (I am not affiliated with him in any way, but he seems to enjoy a very good reputation here.)
 

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there are many horns which would qualify for the purpose and much depends on the definition on “ vintage” that you want to apply.

I am a Super 20 owner myself and I can sympathize with your son wanting something like that.

Maybe it could be possible to find a late Super 20 called model 2416 they go for very little money generally .

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...-King-Super-20-and-model-2416-new-information

good luck!
 

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there are many horns which would qualify for the purpose and much depends on the definition on “ vintage” that you want to apply.

I am a Super 20 owner myself and I can sympathize with your son wanting something like that.

Maybe it could be possible to find a late Super 20 called model 2416 they go for very little money generally .

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...-King-Super-20-and-model-2416-new-information

good luck!
Good advice. Also you can look at a Zephyr as well.
 

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Sure, Zephyrs are very good too but in my neck of the woods both ( single or double socket) will be way more expensive than Op’s budget would allow.

The real bargains in King’s territory have to be the 615 (or the older Cleveland model).

Nobody really cares for them while they are not at all bad, with the caveat of having an older type of mechanics and having been made as a horn targeted to the non professional audience.


 

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I’d also vote for a Yamaha 52 or one of the intermediate horns. It will be tough to find a 62 in that price range. I’ve bought Buescher Aristocrat Series I horns in that price range too, but if you don’t know your horns well, vintage horns can be a minefield.




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Sure, Zephyrs are very good too but in my neck of the woods both ( single or double socket) will be way more expensive than Op’s budget would allow.

The real bargains in King’s territory have to be the 615 (or the older Cleveland model).

Nobody really cares for them while they are not at all bad, with the caveat of having an older type of mechanics and having been made as a horn targeted to the non professional audience.
I've seen later Zephyrs go for around $1k US here in the US at least.

Though I agree, really any student/stencil/etc type Vintage horn would yield the best bang for the buck.
 

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Zephyrs sound a lot like Super 20’s, IMHO, and are very free-blowing. But some find the Zephyr pinky table to be quite a bit heavier. Best to have your son play any horn before buying, if possible, or make sure there’s a return policy if not.
 

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We will be listing a 60s Conn 10M on junkdude.com this weekend. It is in great playing condition and nice cosmetic condition as well. Might be able to get it listed today, but probably tomorrow or Sunday.
 

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Finding a good tenor for $1000 is challenging, but doable--if you're not in a rush. You'll see some amazing deals on the Marketplace here, and eventually you'll see something in that price range. More typically, though, a good tenor is going to be more like $1600. But you knew that. I would suggest keeping an eye out for an old Beuscher, or maybe one of the earlier Yani stencils.
 

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Finding a good tenor for $1000 is challenging...a good tenor is going to be more like $1600. But you knew that. I would suggest keeping an eye out for an old Beuscher, or maybe one of the earlier Yani stencils.
I agree about the price, but I know how costs balloon with shipping, customs, unanticipated repairs, etc. So we're trying to anchor at $1000 and as you say be patient.
 

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I’d also vote for a Yamaha 52 or one of the intermediate horns. It will be tough to find a 62 in that price range. I’ve bought Buescher Aristocrat Series I horns in that price range too, but if you don’t know your horns well, vintage horns can be a minefield.
Yes, I also think the Yamaha is the safest bet, though more expensive. I myself play guitar and know the potential pitfalls of older instruments. But it seems everyone on this site knows the deal: a good older instrument has a special aura, you just want to pick it up and play it. And even if it's not perfect, if you can work around its faults it's ok.

But yes we don't know our horns too well, so we're trying to learn as much as we can and then get lucky with something.
 

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Could always try to get a vintage Conn on eBay for about US $350 and then spending $600 - $800 to fix it up at your local dealer. The Conn 16M Shooting Star is believed to have the same body as the 10M, but with fewer features. I have a 16M and have been very happy with mine since I got it fixed up. I don’t know the prices in BC. (I have a US Production model from the 50s, not a Mexico production one from the 60s).

But before you do that, you might want to take a drive to a music shop in Seattle to try out some of the vintage stuff to see if it works for your kid. There are a lot of vintage horns that are superior for Jazz, but very few that are as easy to play as a modern Selmer, Yani or Yammy. I am told the youth of today like fast fingering.....you are probably not going to get that with Vintage stuff for under $5,000

I know a shop in the Portland area, but that would double your drive.....probably not worth it.
 

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Why vintage? I like vintage saxophones - have several. But if the idea is to test the tenor waters, why not just buy an inexpensive new tenor from a trusted source? That’s what I did a few years ago when I thought I should at least try to get interested in tenor.

Rather than deal with a used horn and risk being discouraged with the test because of the possible problems associated with vintage quirks and other function-issues, I contacted Dave Kessler in Las Vegas and had him ship one of his house-brand new tenors.

After deciding tenor wasn’t my voice, I had nothing to blame but myself. The horn was a good one and nothing about it turned me off except the tenor voice and size.

Obviously, if I decided that I loved tenor, THEN I could begin THE SEARCH for a great vintage tenor - much like you and your son will most likely do if he ends up really wanting one. In the meantime, the boy will have a serviceable, decent tenor that will serve probably 90+% of players today. DAVE
 

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I agree about the price, but I know how costs balloon with shipping, customs, unanticipated repairs, etc. So we're trying to anchor at $1000 and as you say be patient.
You might get your wish if you can be patient enough. I think it's wise that you're anticipating some repair costs: if you do find a desirable tenor for $1k, it very well might need some work.

Just a thought: if you're planning any travel to major cities in the near future, that might be your best option to try out some horns in person, find something acceptable, and avoid shipping costs. You wouldn't be the first to plan a family vacation around a trip to the sax shop.
 

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I tend to agree with Dave Dolson. I make a living doing mechanical overhauls and complete restorations of vintage saxophones and love them as much as anybody. That said, I am familiar with well used saxes that are 50+ years old and have never had an overhaul. They often have issues that require more than a typical "play condition" to be a dependable instrument. Ones that sound like a good deal, after getting an estimate for what it costs to put them into top playing condition may not be such a good deal after all. YTS-23's sell for an average of $700, and YTS-52's for an average of $950. Another idea might be the Chateau student model tenor made by Tenon sold by Music Medic. They cost $1160 set up by the sax pro shop with no sales tax and free shipping.
 

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If you want vintage, Martin Indiana, Conn Shooting Star, King Cleveland are all quality "student" models that should be in your budget, as others have indicated. Also, maybe an old American-made Vito, or non-Selmer french horn. There are also some decent Italian horns from the mid-20th century that can be had pretty cheaply.

And I second the recommendation of www.2ndending.com. Jaye knows a ton about vintage horns, including all those mentioned above. He specializes in rehabbing models like these that are overlooked by collectors and selling them for very reasonable prices. I've dealt with him on several occasions and he's always been totally honest, transparent, and generous with his knowledge.

Good luck!
 

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best values in vintage sax are Bueschers and Martins. (after a good tech has given it the once over.) like an Aristocrat or Committee. or maybe a 400 around the Selmer buyout.
 
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