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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I'm an absolute beginner. I played trumpet for 5 years up until 8th grade.

I found a guy that is willing to trade for my electric guitar and $50, So about a $200
value on my part.

Here's the Sax in question. He doesn't know anything about it other than that the serial number indicates it's from 1965.
Can you tell what class of Saxophone it is?
http://bakersfield.craigslist.org/msg/2637507741.html
http://contemporacorner.com/serial-numbers/

Seem like a good beginner sax, or should I look for a modern beginner model?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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OK, so you have about $200 cash to spend.

Here's the thing:

90% chance that horn will not play up and down and will need at least $100 of work.

Why ? Because right in the ad the seller says that he/she "doesn't know anything about saxes, but everything seems to work".

That's good news in that all the mechanics may work, but if there's nobody to playtest it, then you can never know if it plays up and down easily and freely...which is what a beginner (or anybody) needs when they buy used.

So...if you don't have an extra $100-150 minimum to plop down afterward...stay away. It's not a great instrument to begin with...but if it WERE in good playing shape, $250 wouldn't be a bad price regardless. And you are correct, it would be a good beginner sax (if it plays w/no problems). But it's a real crapshoot unless you bring someone who plays along with you to try it.

If you can up your budget to $350, drop me a line because I can help you out. (For example...do you think you could get $100 for your guitar if you listed it for sale, as opposed to trading it for something else ?).

But the sub-$300 zone is always risky...quite risky. You likely can only end up w/ something which looks pretty OK but doesn't play...or plays but looks like it has been through a war.

All well-playing instruments have their bottom-barrel price...and $200-250 is below the Alto's bottom-barrel price, even in this sh#t economy.
 
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