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I recently acquired a Saxophone in an estate sale auction and am having some difficulty identifying it. I don't play Sax but could see that this horn had been played and should be rescued from life in a closet or as a wall hanging. The engraving says "Cleveland Musical Instr." and under that "Clev. O." This is similar to an earlier post ( https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?246076-Cleveland-only-no-other-engraving) but the serial number has no "C" prefix or any other markings, just the number 106666 (I know, but you don't get to pick the serial numbers do you?) If it seems worthwhile I'll get it cleaned/adjusted and in the hands of a suitable player. The serial number appears to be late '20s so I'd think it was worthy of rescue. Thanks in advance for your help,

Ross

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Hello Ross. Yes, this is a Cleveland alto sax, likely made before King/HN White acquired Cleveland Musical Instruments and incorporated them under the King banner.

It is from the 20's, somewhere between 1919 and 1925, see my screenshot below.

Worked up they can be nice enough players, but the issue with these is that the cost of refurbishing one far exceeds the value of what a refurbished one can fetch on the used market.

As it is in the pics, with a neck included, it is worth perhaps $75-100, assuming it doesn't play. In completely refurbished condition it would be worth $400-500 absolute tops, although likely more around $275-350. Taking it to a tech for a cleaning and repad would run around $400-750, depending on where you are located.

Here is some info on King/HN White history:

http://www.hnwhite.com/hnwhitepage.htm

my screenshot is from an excerpt about half way down the page.

If it tugs on your heart a bit and you would really LIKE it to be something other than a wallhanging or garden ornament, PM me and we can discuss. I could probably do a refurbishment of it for around $300-350, providing there are no hidden nasties, to get it looking nice and playing again.
 

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This is an early instrument probably made before or just after the Cleveland Musical instruments merged into the King Company in 1925.

http://www.hnwhite.com/Cleveland instruments.htm

“.Then in 1925 Mr. White bought the Cleveland Musical Instrument Company. Mr. White saw the Cleveland brand as the perfect fit to cover the growing school band market which demanded high quality instruments at a low price. The Cleveland brand, along with American Standard were marketed to marching bands and schools. Both were about 40% less in price than a "King.”..."
 

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:)

...

Olross, rescuing this or any other saxophone is a very noble thing to do but there is a little detail that involves the price of a restoration and the value of this instrument.

Unfortunately the market value of these instruments is lower than the cost of a restoration even at the best of times.

Which makes this a good horn for a collector or someone who wants to have a go at restoring instruments BUT if anyone would want to buy it and have it fixed it would cost considerably more than a better horn in playing state.

So, unless you have a special reason to invest money in this particular horn I would advise against restoring it and just leave it as is and keep it. It won’t go bad but it will also not appreciate in value in time.
 

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Thanks for the great info and the quick response! Still some gray area though, if it were a pre HN White horn would it have the "pointy" cups as described in the previous post? Also if pre then it's a bit odd that it has a period correct HN White case and a King mouthpiece. I was attracted to it not from the appearance but from the fact that you could tell from the pictures that this thing had literally had the plating played off the keys. At any rate I'm satisfied from your responses and my research that it's probably a good sounding vintage 20's era horn with not so great articulation (for lack of knowing the correct term for playability/finesse). There's a local shop I'll approach for an estimate of what it would cost to make it playable as is and go from there, Thanks loads!!!

Ross
 

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Some early Cleveland saxophones had King serial numbers, for some reason. I'm pretty confident yours is from 1928. Definitely built under H.N. White ownership.
 

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I have its twin, although s/n 49k. Currently it's in pieces while I wait pads- I wanted something replaceable for my first repad.

I had the same question: if these are pre-king, why the king style key cups? It looks a lot like a voll-true I to me, any chance they're later stencils using leftovers?

Similarly to the OP's, key silver has been played off in places. This came with a heavily played Henton mpc (the one with the metal table).
 

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these early Kings with opposite bell keys (right or wrong , this is irrelevant) have a very low commercial value, not so much because they play badly ( especially the sopranos were very good) but such is their market . The truly desirable Kings started with the Voll True II.
 

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I think the Voll true II and the very similar early Zephyr , were the first horns which are really sought after among the King Horns, these early ones, where I am often fail to sell and if the do they sell for small potatoes
 
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