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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am wondering first, is this a chu-berry alto and is this a gold plated one? Can anyone figure this out? It does have the nail file G# and the micro tuner, the serial number is M223xxx. Thanks for any help guys (and gals). God Bless.
 

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It's a Chu. But it's not gold plate -- it's lacquered, and not for the first time: the engraving's a little worn down & It looks like there's lacquer over-spray on some of the pearls (look at the front-F). Probably a fine horn, though, so long as it's not to pricey.
 

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It will still play well. What my motto is, is that I don't care what the he** the horn looks like. As long as I can easeily get a low Bb out of it, what does it really matter!
 

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A gold plated chu will also have more spectacular engraving than a regular chu. Sometimes they even have scenes or portraits engraved on them.

Gold looks, well, like gold. Really yellow and bright. And if there is wear, you will see silver undercoat showing through, as gold plated horns are plated first in silver, then in gold. Sometimes they are plated in copper, then silver, THEN gold. I have a Conn Chu "Artist's Special" model for sale on my website, and it has fairly worn gold plating, if you want to see what one looks like when it has wear.

Check out some pictures of gold plated chu berry altos here: http://www.saxpics.com/cpg143/index.php?cat=640

and some even nicer ones here (although mixed in with some earlier saxes, the horns called "chu" are post 150xxx serial number):http://www.saxpics.com/cpg143/index.php?cat=692
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
What about this one

I see what you are saying about the first sax... I still have no eye for the plating.. This is a 6M alto, is this gold plated?
 

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No, neither are gold plated. A lot of lacquer is referred to as "honey color". Most lacquer is a much darker gold color than real gold. Real gold is almost yellow in color. Also, generally speaking, a gold plated Chu would have really intricate engravings, almost always a portrait scene. This is because these were "Artist Specials" and got extra special attention. I just bought a gold plated Chu off a guy nearby (he had no idea what he had). Its a beauty, I am going to pick it up this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks

thanks guys for all the help.

I got the first one for $275.00, its on the way right now. I have no idea how the pads are but my sax tech gives me such a great deal.

He just repadded a tenor for me and did a lot of body work, dings, dents, resoddered the neck, all for $375.00. Granted i bring him a lot of saxes to get fixed, he always hooks me up. He has over 25 years experience too and all my horns come back really singing.

Can I ask you about this horn, its a conn transitional alto 250,xxx. but I am unsure about the finish.
 

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Looks like there's a fair amount of dark tarnish around the upper stack, doesn't appear "nickel shiny". It looks to me like the finish is a matte silver, which isn't surprising seeing as a lot of Conns from that time were done in matte silver. Its kind of hard to tell though, the lighting isn't great.
 

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He's got another picture here: http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=61473

but it still looks funky to me. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say nickel plate, and the camera's colors are off.

I say nickel for two reasons: 1. almost full coverage of plating, and nickel is much hardier than silver and therefore usually in better condition on these vintage conns, and 2. every Nickel tranny conn I've seen has the minimalist engraving that this one has.

I could definitely be wrong, I am basing it on an assumption that the photo doesn't have good color.
 
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