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Discussion Starter #1
Dear wonderful SOTW staff,

Im now looking at a tenor, SBA 47xxx, good player, a bit on a darker side. Is $6500 a fair price? I should mention that its Original lacquer

There is also a Mark Vi, 57xxx, good player, very balanced, appears to be an older relacquer as there is about 10% remaining. Potentially factory, as there are no dip marks, no heavy buffing and the colour is correct to mid 50's. $6200, is this ok price?

Both have good setup, no work needed. Both have been extensively used. I'm really torn here, is the price ok and fair on these? Is there one thats favoured over the other in general?
 

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If the SBA is in fact original, $6500 is a great deal. This is of course assuming original neck etc. Is it American or Euro assembled? What are the past repairs? How many re-solders? Current market trends for an original SBA are $9000 up to $18000 depending.

When you are talking about price of these old selmers every little detail counts significantly.

The MK VI for $6200, old relac, is more in line with current market trends price wise. Again, it depends on the details though.

Ultimately, we need pictures and more information to truly help you make an informed decision.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If the SBA is in fact original, $6500 is a great deal. This is of course assuming original neck etc. Is it American or Euro assembled? What are the past repairs? How many re-solders? Current market trends for an original SBA are $9000 up to $18000 depending.

When you are talking about price of these old selmers every little detail counts significantly.

The MK VI for $6200, old relac, is more in line with current market trends price wise. Again, it depends on the details though.

Ultimately, we need pictures and more information to truly help you make an informed decision.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Thank you!
The SBA does not appear to have re-solders or any past repairs. It is in decent cosmetic condition (just well used). There is one minor ding on the bottom, but nothing that bothers me.

The 57xxx, has a few repairs from dings on the bottom and a re-solder on the low C (not well in my view) and can easily be made better by a good tech and cleaned up.

Neck is original on both horns, and is in good condition. Neither horns has any major physical issues on the body. I have played about 15 Mark VI total, and this one is well balanced.

With the exception of a few dings on the VI (that could be cleaned), they are both in well used condition. Pads are OK on both and setup is excellent in my view. The SBA is just a good horn.

From what I understand, the price for SBA AT $6500 is a steal ?
VS $6200 for a VI is fair market value?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forgot to note - pictures are rather hard to obtain, don't have a camera unfortunately and the seller appears to be busy with other arrangements to take pictures (busy law practice), I completely respect that. I should mention that he is not actively selling, its more of an arrangement via mutual friend.

Both horns have about 10-15% laq remaining. I personally did not think that the VI is a re-lacquer but the seller confirmed that there are a few spots on the bell / the engraving that makes him think that either just the bell has been re sprayed or the entire horn. There is no evidence on the horn (just the bell) or keys that its been buffed or re-sprayed. Not on key cups / not on the joints. That is the reason for assuming that it has been done at the factory.

My apologies, I'm not sure what the difference is between French vs US horns. Its a darker (honey ish) finish not the "bright" yellow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Buying a house is much easier than choosing a horn, at least for me. The choice is not obvious and its so hard to decide on a companion for the next XYZ years.

Luckily for me, The seller is a gentlemen, he just left me in his house, and said just close the door when you are done. They left for dinner. I was able to play both side by side, for as long as I needed, and this made the decision even harder, they are both good horns and I can see myself owning either one. But to actually choose one is very hard.

Here are my thoughts on both horns :
SBA is darker, free blowing, a bit tight on the upper end, perhaps even stuffy, but this could be due to my hard rubber mouthpiece or even myself.
VI- even all around, versatile and responsive. really wants to play ballads (hahaha).

I'm still contemplating prices, money is not an issue, but neither myself or the seller are education on the current market and fair value of horns. Just want to make sure there are no hard feelings either way down the road.
Thank you for you time and help on this.
 

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A SBA tenor for that amount of money is really cheap.

All things being equal ( none of which we really know much because of pictures or even less sound), that would be the best choice.

By the way, it is not the Staff that answers your query but the members.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Dear wonderful SOTW staff,

Im now looking at a tenor, SBA 47xxx, good player, a bit on a darker side. Is $6500 a fair price? I should mention that its Original lacquer
Very fair to you, maybe not so much the seller! :)

Dear wonderful SOTW staff,

There is also a Mark Vi, 57xxx, good player, very balanced, appears to be an older relacquer as there is about 10% remaining. Potentially factory, as there are no dip marks, no heavy buffing and the colour is correct to mid 50's. $6200, is this ok price?
OK, yes. I had one of this era and got rid of it as I didn't like it much though.

Dear wonderful SOTW staff,
Is there one thats favoured over the other in general?
Personal choice, but as the SBA is a better deal it would be difficult to choose if you actually preferred the MKVI. Although you could probably buy the SBA and flip it quickly if you did actually prefer the MKVI


By the way, it is not the Staff that answers your query but the members.
Sometimes we do! :)
 

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cheers :)

of course most administrators are members too
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you! My apologies, not staff but Members!

Appreciate the input on the price. Should i offer $7,000 for the SBA if i decide to purchase it? Would that be fair to both?

Im impressed with the VI, its such a great horn, so alive!
In my view, it takes a lot to get the SBA going, much effort, but its a beast
 

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If you don’t know which to buy, then the answer is “Neither”.
 

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In my experience SBAs and early Mark VIs are so close in sound, I’d go for the SBA. If it’s stuffy, it may need some repair. Sometimes aftermarket necks can clear that up but I would bet it’s a leaky pad up high on the horn or leaking at the neck. The leak at the neck tenon seems to be common in old Selmers. I’ve had that problem.
I wouldn’t pay more than he’s asking.
 

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Thank you! My apologies, not staff but Members!

Appreciate the input on the price. Should i offer $7,000 for the SBA if i decide to purchase it? Would that be fair to both?

Im impressed with the VI, its such a great horn, so alive!
In my view, it takes a lot to get the SBA going, much effort, but its a beast
Much can depend on the conditions of that particular horn. It may or may not be a dud ( even a SBA may have been made on Monday morning or Friday afternoon) but it may also need some work.

Any small leak somewhere crucial may kill an otherwise very good horn.

As for price, ask what you friend wants, then act according to your conscience. Maybe he simply want the horn to live on in your hands and he may not need all the money that he could get from it.

Good Luck!
 

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Get the SBA, no brainer! Like Whaler said, the early VI and the SBA aren't that much different, but $6500 would be a decent price for a relac….if it's original buy it and then figure out what to do with it. I own a 47XXX SBA and it's a really nice playing horn!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Get the SBA, no brainer!
I would like to politely disagree, it is a brainer.

I think its best to get the one that's best for you. It could well be the SBA (which is a better price) but horns form this era don't seem to be consistent plus it's down to personal preference.
 

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Since he left you in his home with both horns, perhaps he would also allow you to take the SBA to a tech to be evaluated/serviced on your dime (it shouldn't cost much from the sound of it) so that you have a better idea whether it's the horn or the set-up (or lack thereof). Sure, the SBA is the better deal, but it sounds like you really like the way the Mark VI plays. Having the SBA properly set-up might make your decision easier?
 

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If you don’t know which to buy, then the answer is “Neither”.
I agree. I realize you said the price isn't an issue, but even if I had $7000 of fun money burning a hole in my pocket I'd have a really hard time spending that kind of bread on an instrument that didn't blow me away. If you're looking for an investment it sounds like the SBA is the winner, but if you're looking for a sax to make your own...your budget affords you almost all the options, so keep looking.
 

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I would like to politely disagree, it is a brainer.

I think its best to get the one that's best for you. It could well be the SBA (which is a better price) but horns form this era don't seem to be consistent plus it's down to personal preference.
I agree with your point, your response was better thought out than mine. If it's me, I buy them both at that price and then figure out which one I like better over time. But you're right, you never know what the horn is like until you play it!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you All! I should clarify, that both horns are fantastic, and i will purchase one of them, they are both really great, and i see myself playing either one for years and years. Im sure if he had only one of them for sale i would have purchased it immediately, but since there are 2 horns, both excellent and somewhat similar, this makes the decision very hard. (I know, 3rd world problems).
Both have excellent setup, no leaks or issues, he keeps them in fantastic shape and is a very knowledgeable and forthcoming player. SBA is Original and Mark VI is a factory relaq (dark honey). Both have original necks.

Purchasing both (if both are available for sale) have crossed my mind, but i can only play one horn, and dont need 2 of them. I should note that neither comes in original case, both have walt johnson hard cases, if that reduces the value.
Ultimately, I wont feel comfortable selling one later for various reasons.

I think i will offer $7000 for the SBA then and accept the $6200 for the VI, If i understand the current pricing structure / market for these horns correctly based on feedback here (thank you all! ). Just need to figure out which one do i get.
 

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To my way of thinking, purchase both, sell the SBA for a profit, and nearly pay for the Mark VI. Even if you don't make much (or anything) on the SBA, you'll have it for awhile, perhaps over time your preference will become clear. Can't lose money on prices like those.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So i took the day off work and got another horn to play test, 49xxx, it is a re lacquered horn (since this seems to be the most value determining factor), no buffing and the engraving is very crisp, the person selling it has had the horn from the 70's. Amazing player! Price is $6,000. Setup is very interesting very high keys, and selmer pads with oversized (or Jumbo) resonators.
Went through Berklee, then NY and LA music scene, retired in the early 2000's. Play perfect as is. Comes with a case that smells like an ashtray, but i love it!
 
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