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Discussion Starter #1
GREETINGS!
Despite my best efforts, I cannot convince my 56-year-old husband to again take up the tenor sax he played back in high school.
We have decided it's a waste to just have it sitting around in its case. It was still sounding good and in working order when he last played it a couple of years ago. I'm guessing it's probably a 1950s vintage or older, as he got it used in the mid-1960s.
It has an elaborately engraved TAM logo in the front of the bell. On the bottom of the back is a JK logo with a crown on top. Below that it says MADE IN GERMANY and the serial number 31603.
It is gold-plated (or gold color-plated) with some serious tarnishing, which we can have repaired if it's worthwhile. There are also some small (finger pad sized) dents in the bottom. The upper keys look to be mother-of-pearl, while the others are the same metal as the horn.
Any thoughts on what we've got here?
Thanks very much,
Karen the Piano Player
 

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Hello Karen a (few) picture (s) is worth a thousand words! :) Welcome on the forum!

Having said that your sax is probably one Keilwerth Toneking series III (probably with the lucite keyguard ). These saxophones have normally rolled toneholes and turn up in various degrees of preservation very regularly all over Northern-Europe.

I am afraid that if you horn is in poor general conditions it won't be worth a great deal of money and the best place to sell it is in Germany on the ebay. Buyers from other countries would find it too but the best market for these saxophones is still the German one.

this is a search done today on German ebay for Keilwerth
http://instrumente.shop.ebay.de/i.h...p3286.m270.l1313&_odkw=keiwerth&_osacat=21758
 

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Hi Karen ! Indeed it is a Julius Keilwerth New King horn. Am unclear..is this a Tenor or Alto ? Your message says one thing, thread title the other (?).

It was sold in Portland, OR originally. Interesting story on the name TAM:

The TAM instrument line was created by the now deceased Don Wunn of Portland OR. He owned a music store and imported various brass and woodwinds from European makers. These were contracted and built as stencils - built by reputable makers, but no name engraved on the instruments when shipped to the US. According to Oregon Symphony Tuba player John Richards, Don used the name TAM because it involved all straight lines to produce the engraving, which would be relatively simple. Later the engravings became more elaborate. TAM was the name of Don's dog. Don Wunn Music ceased operations in 1978. (Sourced from Neil Sharpe)

Your serial # puts the horn at '59-'60. http://drrick.com/Keilwerth.html That's a GREAT era for Keilwerths !

It likely looks something like this ? (my GF's '57 TAM):



Although yours may have a clear guard, not a charcoal one:

http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2068

Now, if yours has a metal keyguard instead of the plexiglass one, then it's a Series IV New King.

http://www.saxpics.com/?v=gal&a=2080

Regardless, these are GOOD horns...professional grade. Ones can be found on eFlay and the like for around $400-500 needing work. Once which is all set up nicely to play, and in solid condition (i.e. no bad dents or structural problems, good pads all sealing, action & keyheights adjusted, felts and corks good) has a market value of about $700-900.

I am gonna take a wild guess here that probably $300-400 of tech work into it can get it back up into good playing shape, just based on your description of the horn.

They are nice and dark-sounding horns. A lot of low overtones, nice rich spread, very smooth and lyrical. Really....old German companies had that sorta big, deep tone down very well back in the day. An old JK stencil is a great horn.

If you decide not to proceed with fixing it and want to sell it as-is, please PM me. I'd be very interested.
 

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hey JayeSF nice photo!

I´ve never seen one of those with a plexiglass key guard!... they look bizarre! (good...) that should have been a very strange looking horn for the time...

thanks
 

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Thanks - I actually had a machinist about 20 miles south of me make reproduction ones for my GF's horn. In doing so...since I never liked the fact that one could see the key felts thru the original clear Plexiglass.... I asked him to make them out of "smoke" color (they are translucent but dark ~ they pretty much obscure the felts and a bit of the keys....I think it looks better that way than the original clears).

The Plexiglass ones didn't last too long....I'd imagine they eventually cracked, as the originals which still exist on horns which still have them are usually not in great shape. JK went to a sheet-metal version afterwards (chromed steel, I believe). Those look good also, albeit different:



Then they abandoned the deco/wing design on the series IV's.

The Conn Connstellation altos also had a Plexi keyguard....I think that was the only other sax that utilized that idea....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for the information! Next step, I think, is to take the horn to our local music store to get their estimate of what it will take to get it in top shape.
It is indeed an ALTO, not a tenor, if that makes a difference to you, JAYESF -- and it does have the clear plexiglass, which appears to be intact.
Are you in San Francisco?
Again, thanks,
Karen
 

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Hi Karen,

If you are fixing it up to sell you have to consider the return you'll get on your investment. You may be better off selling it as-is with nothing more than a play condition done to it so that potential buyers can give it a blow. There are people here who are very familiar with the market and can probably advise you on how to get the best return on a sale. If you are fixing it to keep, that's a different story altogether. Good luck, that should be a nice playing alto!
 

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True, indeed. A New King Alto in spot-on good playing condition has a market value of about $500-600. Again, you see ones (once in a while - they aren't all that common) which need work go for eFlay prices of about $300-400 for Altos, as they cost less than Tenors. So if it ends up costing more than $200-250 worth of tech work/repair, it becomes sort of a wash if your intent is to sell it afterwards.

So it's similar to my Troubador (pic in post #5 ~ 'Troubador' being another stencil name, like TAM). Both new King III's. I'd still be interested, definitely.

Yes, SF = San Fran....as opposed to...Santa Fe....;) Are you in the Bay Area ? I can recommend some good techs who's prices are sane.....
 

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yes, no question about having been fixed before selling, if that is what you are aiming at, sell " as is"

A list of other horns with a lucite keyguard must include the mighty Klinsor Hammershmidt
 

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prego, non c'è di che! ;) :)
 
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