Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 137 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Selmer Mark 6, serial 61,xxx. I've played and practiced on it for 45 years. The does not seem to be as free blowing as other saxophones that I have tried recently, like Selmers in great condition, Yamaha 875 etc even after having the pads checked and deleaked

My semi pro repairman says that the horn is difficult to repair and make leak free because it has a lot of miles on it and mechanism is very worn. He says that to make it play like new would require extensive, expensive work and that I might be wise to invest in newer horn. I am considering the Yamaha 875. I need great playing horn. I feel like the horn is holding me back.

My question is: Can a great old saxophone wear out to the point where it needs to be replaced.

Thank You for any comments
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016-17
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
Bullshxx. Find a new tech. Lemme guess, he'll do you the favor of taking the VI off your hands?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bullshxx. Find a new tech. Lemme guess, he'll do you the favor of taking the VI off your hands?
Thanks for the response. My sax tech is an old friend and is not trying get my horn. I am just doing some research into the issue of an old horn and to make the best decision about whether to replace it with a newer horn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,357 Posts
(...)
My semi pro repairman says that the horn is difficult to repair and make leak free because it has a lot of miles on it and mechanism is very worn. He says that to make it play like new would require extensive, expensive work and that I might be wise to invest in newer horn. (...)

My question is: Can a great old saxophone wear out to the point where it needs to be replaced.

(...)
The keys on your sax will need swedging to take up the free play -yes, it's expensive and maybe your friend is not comfortable with this technique.
However, if you offer your Mark VI a proper overhaul you'll be very happy with the result. Your sax doesn't NEED to be replaced, it needs a proper care.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,100 Posts
My question is: Can a great old saxophone wear out to the point where it needs to be replaced.
Not where it absolutely needs to be replaced, but a horn can get to a point where a hugely expensive rebuild is advisable.

It's not so much the age of the instrument as the amount of wear to anything that can affect playability. Wear to rods and tubes means that there can be really excessive play in the keywork. The quickest fix is to stage the tends of the tubes, but this is often not really a not a long term fix if you want the horn to play as new.

I had this issue with a very well played Conn 10m, and even with one of the best techs in London at the time, he would mentioned that he can do his best but ideally the rods and tubes would need replacing rather than sugaring and then keep bringing it back every few months.

So if it's a horn that would have some considerable value , it is worth rebuilding to make everything not just nice and tight, but nice and tight in a way it will last.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,400 Posts
Your friend is both right and wrong (and we cannot say from sitting here).

A very old horn with a lot of years of playing, use and abuse, MAY be above the capability of someone whom has only been dealing with repadding new horns.

On the other hand, anyone that is a competent technician should be able to do this. The degree of difficulty and work will vary greatly between one horn and the other and indeed one can have an even older horn playing very well after a relatively uncomplicated overhaul or you may have a younger horn that the one you have yourself requiring extensive work.

A saxophone is like an airplane. Regardless of how old and worn out it is everything can be replaced or, if no longer available, even be fabricated and replaced. So, provided you spend time and money you will be able to have your horn in working condition.

The fact that you are asking us means that you yourself doubt your friend’s experience to assess that this horn is beyond repair.

Just to show you what can be done with a horn, I will show you one of the most extreme restoration of a Mark VI. This horn was found at the bottom of the sea somewhere in Cuba. It had been there for years, maybe decades.

The people who found it called it “ El Buzo” ( The diver).

If they could do this, why couldn’t anyone overhaul your horn to near perfection? It took them TWO years to put it back in shape. I am sure that your horn is NOWHERE that bad as this was!

GO to a competent shop and ask a second opinion. If you tell us where you are we could suggest where to go.


And this is what happened!

 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,702 Posts
My question is: Can a great old saxophone wear out to the point where it needs to be replaced
Let me expand on my simple yes statement.

If you were told yes your saxophone can be restored but its going to cost you 120,000 dollars, in your opinion is it now worn out to the point where you think it should be replaced. If you pay enough money anything can be restored.

So the question for you is, what is the most money you are willing to spend to keep it going or what point do you buy another one.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,741 Posts
You should get a veteran experienced second opinion. Could be just too many things have added up over the decades, or it might have a really sneaky leak. Another longshot thought, its well known they changed the MVI neck design over the years, and some have less bite than others. I play a SIII neck with mine, and its bright by modern standards.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,100 Posts
I think you need a pro repairman for this job, not a "semi pro" repairman.
I would argue it's no so much the employment status of the repair person, as how good they are. I think it is possible for a semi-pro to be better than a pro. so I wouldn't be so quick to disparage the OP's current repairman.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,160 Posts
what all those guys said is true. Nothing ever is beyond repair, it's whether it's considered "totaled" or not worth repairing. If your tech can't do it, someone like a Matt Stohrer or Curt Altarac could certainly rebuild it, but is it worth $2k to do? Personally unless you have a lot of sentimental attachment to that horn or think it's the "holy grail" for your sound, I'd likely sell it and look for something else. It's in a desirable serial range so it's going to be worth considerable amounts of money, more than enough to replace with a modern horn with a proper setup, but if it's "your horn" and you love it, then spending the couple grand to get it back to new is probably worth it. That overhaul is probably going to take a couple of months as well, it's a mountain of work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,720 Posts
I would argue it's no so much the employment status of the repair person, as how good they are. I think it is possible for a semi-pro to be better than a pro. so I wouldn't be so quick to disparage the OP's current repairman.
I'm not disparaging anyone, my expanded response would be to retain the services of a highly experienced tech who would have the experience and tools to tackle perhaps a full overhaul in the event that the friend, who the OP says is a "semi pro", could not perform due to limitations such as limited experience and/or tools. When you use the term "semi pro" it comes with certain expectations or lack thereof. Make sense?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
8,275 Posts
With all that, let me say that I fix most things on a sax myself plus I play hard which can mask leaks. I tended in the past to blame everything but a leaky sax for the 'reed' problems I was having. After getting a fairly good (local) overhaul on my 'back-up' tenor, which never had one before, I was amazed at the difference and was able to go up a half-step in reed strength and still play easily with a fat tone.
By all means, get an overhaul on your horn. This is going to cost about $1200 but it will probably be the last major work you'll need on it. Depending on where you live, there are well-known techs all around the country, so maybe you'll be able to drive it to them instead of shipping it. Nobody is talking about any refinishing and no good tech will recommend any such thing. In the past, 'overhaul' did include refinishing but that is no longer done except by special request, and few shops are even set up for it anynore.
My local overhaul cost $700 and included cleaning, minor dent work, minor tone hole leveling, moderate amount of key swedging, a re-pad, of course, and all corks/felts and final adjustments. This horn was not a Selmer Paris which basically adds at least $500 to any major work. I have to get my MK VI done too and I have decided on another place about two hours away for that so I don't have to ship it. Shipping a sax is okay if its done right but its better if you can avoid it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
In the 45 years you have had this horn, have you ever had an overhaul? Are the same pads on the horn that were on it when you originally bought the instrument?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
41,400 Posts
In the NL doesn’t matter which horn you overhaul meaning that is the horn is a Selmer and you want good pads you pay the same as if it were an Amati or a Jupiter.

Thanks for the response. My sax tech is an old friend and is not trying get my horn. I am just doing some research into the issue of an old horn and to make the best decision about whether to replace it with a newer horn.


I can’t believe that any horn is beyond repair it is only a matter of time and money especially if it is a valuable one. I certainly wouldn’t replace it with a new horn and even from a economic point of view repairing this , even with the most expensive overhaul out there would cost you a LOT less than buying a NEW horn.

Again if OP tells us where he lives we can surely recommend a couple of repairers.

There is nothing wrong with repairers who don’t do this professionally as long as they do it well. The friend whom overhauled my Super 20 was not a pro in the sense that he had another job but he did the job in a more than professional way. His overhaul still stands as one of the best I have hand ( and I have had many on horns hat I’ve sold in all these years).
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016-17
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
Thanks for the response. My sax tech is an old friend and is not trying get my horn. I am just doing some research into the issue of an old horn and to make the best decision about whether to replace it with a newer horn.
I apologise, my reply was unnecessarily harsh. Others have said what I was thinking, in a much more charitable manner.
 

·
SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
Joined
·
3,903 Posts
You have a very valuable horn that can be among the worlds best. Do yourself a favor, and source a top-end tech to do an assessment and then follow their recommendation. If you are within the US, you have tons of great choices. Tenor Madness, Aaron Barnard, Matt Stohrer, Mike Manning, KB Sax, and other highend repair techs can all bring this horn back to better-than-new condition. Spend the money for a proper overhaul, ESPECIALLY if one hasn't been done before.

You will be amazed at the difference once the horn is "right."

While I am sure some "semi-pro" techs can do good work, that type of horn is not worth the risk. Send it to one of the best, pay good money, and enjoy it for the next decade.

- Saxaholic
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,571 Posts
+1 for getting a quality overhaul on your horn.

I regret selling my Balanced Action many years ago - sold it for the very reasons you list. It was a worn horn. Now I know better.

Now I appreciate the potential in a horn, and I invest in high quality overhauls for horns I intend to keep and play. I have fewer horns than previously in my life, and they are all in top playing condition. Life is good.

You won’t get top dollar for a worn out looking horn - even if it is a Selmer - and you’ll spend a lot more money getting a lesser horn. $2000 (a generously high estimate, in my experience) in your horn will net you an instrument to enjoy the rest of your life.
 
1 - 20 of 137 Posts
Top