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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I poked around SOTW a lot last semester during and band season and I got really interested in vintage saxes. The price and the sound drew me in. I bought the below horn for $165. To my knowledge and research I believe it to be a Martin Stencil, it says Ambassador with F.E. Olds & Sons Los Angeles Calif. on the bell

It plays it just doesn't play well. Or at least for me. Who knows, I've been smashing the keys on my YAS-23 for many many years. Maybe over blowing. I just can't seem to control the horn with a semi decent Meyer 5M mouthpiece. But I absolutely love how little effort it takes to play the horn. Cuts key action down almost 3 fold from the moment I press a key to when it seals over the tone hole.

I would like some more opinions of what it is. I could tell you more but I haven't bothered in months so I forgot a majority of what I've discovered. It has also been custom fitted from a previous owner. I don't mind the resin on the keys and I'm sure it can be removed. It also seems to have a okay repad job with a black tar like substance.

A price range would be nice for resale. I'm thinking of jumping ship for a little bit and trying out the Banjo as a new challenge. Have to generate some cash to do that.

http://img46.imageshack.us/g/dsc03314u.jpg/

Neck # is 40562
Serial # on Sax is 40562
I'll keep checking the thread every few hours. Thank you. If you would like a specific photo taken I can get it to you asap.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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21,289 Posts
These came in 2 varieties, Buescher or Martin. I have had them both ways and the keywork is very similar. This one looks pretty beat up and there has been a lot of work done at the Eb tone hole and can be a problem as the holes are soldered on. I can also see that the past holding the "rug beater" is pushed in too. The pads don't look too bad and the addition of key risers may indicate that it has been a player for someone.
As to value, I couldn't sell this one (in good adjustment) for more than about $250. I sell nice working real Martins for about $600 for reference. Although I can't get the photos enlarged (on dial up tonight) it does appear to have Martin soldered tone holes.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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You got it, Broooother. It's a Martin-made horn for Olds. These were the early Olds Ambassador saxes. Pre-war, early 40's.

The body is actually 100% a Handcraft Imperial body. This I know because I once worked on one, then a couple horns later, the other...and I had a keen sense of DejaVu. So, I measured the entire body and neck...keys off, of both. Same body. About 70% of the keywork is the same also...the other 30% or so have simplified mechanisms.

In good shape, these are monster players. It sounds to me like yours isn't really all set-up to go. I might suggest taking it somewhere and investing $200-300 of tech work to get it in better playing shape. But if you just wanna unload it (there have been several of these on eFlay recently) you are looking at maybe $300 or so, IF it plays up and down.

I sell 'em, completely rehabbed, repadded, dents removed, clean as a whistle and regulated up the wazoo...for around $500. Yours doesn't appear to be near that condition, though.

Market value sucks....these are far better horns than a budget Tenor....
 
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