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Discussion Starter #1
Serial #92466, it's a straight body silver soprano from some time between 1926 and 1928. The horn is in playing condition and sounds incredible, though it might need new pins and a couple of pads changed. The original gold laquer on the bottom of the bell has worn away but the original engravings of the company name are still clear as day. I was just wondering how much one of these horns would go for in terms of sale value as I am looking to sell it since I don't play it very much.



Pictures are tricky to take with silver horns, this was the only good one I got.
 

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It's gold plating which has worn, I would imagine.

In great playing shape ? No significant dents ? pads are good ? Body straight ?

About $900-1200 or so, I'd say. If I were selling it, that's what I would ask.

Mind you...it's a buyer's market right now (given the economy, perhaps forever). So patience will be a virtue on this one. I mean, if you gotta unload it FAST for some cash, a $700-750 pricetag shouldn't allow it to last more than a couple of days....
 

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It's gold plating which has worn, I would imagine.

In great playing shape ? No significant dents ? pads are good ? Body straight ?

About $900-1200 or so, I'd say. If I were selling it, that's what I would ask.

Mind you...it's a buyer's market right now (given the economy, perhaps forever). So patience will be a virtue on this one. I mean, if you gotta unload it FAST for some cash, a $700-750 pricetag shouldn't allow it to last more than a couple of days....
how much would you purchase a horn like this, I'm wondering, given you're a retailer.
 

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Aaaaah.....welllllllll.....

If it played up and down, I wouldn't even be interested, honestly.....

If it had shot pads but was otherwise in pretty good shape....around $600-700. If it had shot pads and body nasties (like a bend or significant dents or was growing grass)....$100 less.....

If it had a lotta buggered rods (i.e. frozen).....I would have the seller pay ME....:|

If I were selling one with good pads in solid shape, and it had been broken down and cleaned/polished, serviced/regulated and all; and it playtested very well, up and down....I'd expect to get $1300-1400 for it, depending on other variables.....maybe $1100 if I was desperate to turn it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had it worked on after I bought it. I paid a pretty good price for it, cost me 300, the condition was rough and dropped about 600 dollars just to fix it, and I still think a couple of the upper register pads need to be replaced though the tech who did it did not believe so. I think ultimately replacing the 3 sound hole pads on the upper register as well as the palm key hole pads for the upper range will greatly improve the sound and tuning of the horn as it seems to be a tad off in those areas more so then on the bottom end. The body is straight now, it had a bow in it when I got it due to the age and the poor case design that it was stored in, and now seems to be fine. The gold laquer on the bell has worn away yes, there are a couple of hints of it's existence around the trim of the bell. It has a very smooth and mellow tone to it though, kind of more oboe-like in terms of tone.
 

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That was the vintage paradigm of Soprano sound....not much related to the nails-on-blackboard tone of today. Most older Sopranos are significantly darker than contemporary ones.

Changing pads will not, in and of itself, improve intonation. Setting key heights might. Then again, those oldy (pre-1940's) Lil'Horns tended to have those sorta issues. A tonehole need not be off by much on something as small as a Soprano to start messing with how it intones.

Nevertheless, sounds like you have done right by it...and I'd say you should be able to get your $ back, maybe an extra $100-150 out of it....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I definitely want to get the pads replaced that were not done, because it seems there is some slight leaking in the upper section on some of the pads that is causing problems with playing near the top of the register. A great horn that I don't want to get rid of if possible, but if I can't get it fixed up to be a more playable horn, I will sell it and get a tenor or a baritone since ultimately one of those I could find myself playing more of since those kinds of gigs seem to be more widely available and having an alto and a clarinet as well, I got options.
 

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I think that is a wise choice, if for no other reason than of all straight Sopranos from the vintage american makers, Kings are the least prevalent. Also...it sounds like it is around 70% there already.

Putting another $150-200 into it to make it play better, then keeping and using it, is a fairly logical thing to do.

If you want a solid vintage Tenor or BigHorn, PM me... as I have many for very low pricetags. So, perhaps you can end up with the best of all worlds.
 

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I figure between $800 and $900 on eBay. And believe it or not, I don't think having it worked on will increase the value that much on eBay. At least on vintage sopranos, this seems to be true.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah I want to keep it since it's a pretty nice horn, but I am also not really playing any of my horns much these days due to life things such as work and whatnot, though I would not mind joining a band so I have a reason to pick up my saxes again and play more. Shoulda taken up that offer to play in an Earth Wind and Fire tribute band when I was 17, I'd have a full arsenal of saxes by now :D

I think once I can afford to get it worked on I will do so, then I will assess whether I want to keep it or sell it. I think the tone is one of the things that draws me towards this soprano in particular, despite the fact that I bought it on a whim because it was damaged. The work that has been put into restoring it has been fantastic and the last finishing touches would make it a far more road worthy sax to play. Things like the spring pins feel really worn and stiff, something that should be addressed due to their age, the last of the pads and possibly a polish are all that's in order for this horn. I thought about polishing it myself, but I don't want to dismantle all the spring pins and accidentally break one or two trying to put it all back together as polish can damage the pads apparently and the whole body needs to be done, including the sound holes.
 
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