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A little bit of backstory- I work in instrument repair and come across a ton of instruments weekly. I just started in October, but there was a flute that had been sitting on the repaired shelf since early 2018. It was a Yamaha YFL-684, a discontinues 600-series model flute with an inline G and low B foot. I decided just on a whim to look up and talk to the person if I could find him and... he had successfully cut himself off from society and started a literal cult.

I sucked it up and called and to my surprise, he answered. I told him we still had the flute and he said he didn't really leave his commune, but he would pay for repairs or sell it back to us if someone was looking. I offered to buy it and the first offer I made he said "sold"- $500.

So now I replace my student-level Gemeinhardt with a semi-pro/professional Yamaha flute. This comes just a couple of months after I replaced an old Jupiter alto with a custom-EX alto for $2,000- not as great a deal, but still a fantastic price IMO.

What are some of the luckiest instrument purchases you've made? I'm sure I'll see a lot of Mark VI posts, but comes with the territory.
 
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You are not going to like this, but about 20 years ago I walked into a local pawn shop and saw a silver plated alto saxophone that was nearly black from tarnish. It had white pads that were rotting and it stank to high heaven. I was going to dismiss it until I saw the key guards resembled those on my Mark VI. It was marked at $75 but I talked the shop owner down to $50. It turned out to be a 1950 Selmer SBA that I was able to restore and today it is still my main alto. My second best one was a Buffet R13 in like new condition in another pawn shop that I paid $400 for. I still have that one as well. This was before the internet and Ebay that have since enabled pawn shop owners to know how much musical instruments are actually worth---known as "the good old days". ;)
 

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The deal that could have been the luckiest was a '65 Fender Strat in excellent condition for $150.....
Less than a month after the purchase I dropped it on stage and snapped the neck in two...
 

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I once bought a MkVI alto for $300, a MkVI bari for $1200.

There’s more. Those were the good old days in some ways.
 

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A little bit of backstory- I work in instrument repair and come across a ton of instruments weekly. I just started in October, but there was a flute that had been sitting on the repaired shelf since early 2018. It was a Yamaha YFL-684, a discontinues 600-series model flute with an inline G and low B foot. I decided just on a whim to look up and talk to the person if I could find him and... he had successfully cut himself off from society and started a literal cult.

I sucked it up and called and to my surprise, he answered. I told him we still had the flute and he said he didn't really leave his commune, but he would pay for repairs or sell it back to us if someone was looking. I offered to buy it and the first offer I made he said "sold"- $500.

So now I replace my student-level Gemeinhardt with a semi-pro/professional Yamaha flute. This comes just a couple of months after I replaced an old Jupiter alto with a custom-EX alto for $2,000- not as great a deal, but still a fantastic price IMO.

What are some of the luckiest instrument purchases you've made? I'm sure I'll see a lot of Mark VI posts, but comes with the territory.
I think every single horn I have owned (100+) were special in their own way. The biggest bargain for me was a Conn 92M DJH modified Tenor I found locally for $300.
 
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I found a Dan Armstrong Plexi guitar in a Little Rock, AR music store for $150 in ‘75. I trade it many years later for a ‘65 Mk VI alto. I bought my first ES-335 for $300 (new) - it was a second because of red stain bleed on the neck binding. The luckiest purchase was perhaps a BA tenor that I bought for $1200 in ‘82. The seller was Fred Lamberson - I learned a lot from him over the years, and owned some pretty marvelous mouthpieces that he crafted.
 
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Conn 6M for $130, in 1978. Next to it was a King Super 20 tenor, with all the pearls, for $400 (which I didn't buy - what an idiot!)

Conn 12M for $400 in 1978. It had a sticky key, so I didn't buy it. Oops.

Conn 12M for $750 in 1984. Bought that one and it's my long time companion.

Holton soprano for $125 in 1980. Foolishly sold it to a friend for not much more than that a couple years later.
 

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Alto: Selmer Series II - Tenor: Martin Committee III, TM Custom, Keilwerth SX90R - Soprano: YSS-475
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Spring 2020 a friend from Long Island sent me some photos of a Martin Committee III tenor that was at an estate sale, asking price $600. I happily sent the $ + shipping and had it re-padded for about the same. Not an earth shattering deal, but I got the Committee III I'd always wanted for a great price.

Years earlier my roommate at the time (a drummer) found a Buescher Super 400 alto at an antique store for $90, and I told him to buy it ASAP. It was a relac, but the body was in great shape. He wouldn't sell it to me. Still upset about that one.
 

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I swapped an acoustic guitar I found in a charity shop for £30 a an old silver plated alto sax my friend bought on eBay. It turned out to be a 1925 Chu Berry and is now my main alto sax, beautiful sweet tone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spring 2020 a friend from Long Island sent me some photos of a Martin Committee III tenor that was at an estate sale, asking price $600. I happily sent the $ + shipping and had it re-padded for about the same. Not an earth shattering deal, but I got the Committee III I'd always wanted for a great price.

Years earlier my roommate at the time (a drummer) found a Buescher Super 400 alto at an antique store for $90, and I told him to buy it ASAP. It was a relac, but the body was in great shape. He wouldn't sell it to me. Still upset about that one.
I had a similar deal with the same horn- estate sale for $400, back to pc (playing condition) for $200, sold it online for $2,800. Estate sale finds are always fun to play with as well.
 
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Some guy here in SOTW was selling his Mark VI and I agreed to help him get to the minimum of 2600 for his horn. I expected it to go for 3500 or higher so I bid 2601 and went to sleep. His auction ended at midnight our time and I got this 6 for that. Its a good 6 not a great 6 (later serial number) but It was a marked upgrade from my The Martin. So thats the horn that fell into my lap K
 

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I bought a Parker Dragonfly guitar from Musician's friend. It was about $1300 (it was a long time ago and I don't remember the exact price).

When it arrived it was a Parker Mojo MIDI, worth about $5,000. I really wanted the DF so I called MF, and they said they didn't have any more DFs, but I had 30 days to see if I wanted to keep the MM.

So I put the MM up on ebay, made enough money to pay off what the MM cost me, a DF which I bought at another music store, and I ended up with $800 in my pocket.

So I got a free DF and was $800 richer in the end.

Notes
 

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Just a few months ago I bought a Bueschner tenor, 1955, Aristocrat 156, for only $275, plays beautifully & a great compliment to my 10M!
 

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A little over a year ago, I put an ad on SOTW looking for a vintage curved soprano to use with my brass band and would settle for one with limited keywork or otherwise devalued. I wasn't looking to spend too much, as some of these brass band gigs can be rather perilous for horns (think outside parades, second lines and even boat gigs). As luck would have it, Bruce Bailey had just scored a lacquered curved Conn model keyed up to high F, that needed just a bit of work, and he passed the deal on to me. I did the minor repairs and the horn is exactly what I was looking for and has been put to good use since. I consider that a very lucky break. Thanks Bruce!
 

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I found an "M26" saxophone on Craigslist in Brooklyn for $300 a few years back. A little dyslexia and a a guy cleaning out his closet scored me a Connqueror.
 

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I got a Chu gold plated tenor on CL for $150, sold it for $1,350 and the two mouthpieces for $700. Got a new Mark VI alto for $184 in 1964.
 

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Two $25 yard sale finds about 10 years ago. The first was a King Zephyr alto. At the time I didn't have an appreciation for how special it was except the repair guy hugged it for a minute or so.
Instead of having it rebuilt and keeping it I put it on eBay and got $950 for it.
The second was a 1958 Ludwig Las Vegas piccolo snare with a WFL badge on it. Black Oyster Pearl in flawless condition. The chrome and the BOP covering were perfect.
I wasn't wild about the sound so I put it on a shelf and admired it for a couple years before putting it on eBay and again getting $950 for my $25 purchase.

It's about time I made another find like those.
 

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I bought an almost brand new YBS62 locally on eBay for $1800 Australian dollars.
The guy had it for auction with a buy it now of $1800.
It was on ebay less than a minute.
When I went to pick it up he said he felt bad that I just paid the buy it now price as he would have taken a lot less, so he threw in a music stand, a sax stand, about four boxes of 10 Rico brown box reeds, a Yamaha, Yanagisawa and Berg Mouthpieces and then offered me a Yamaha bass clarinet for next to nothing.
I declined the bass clarinet and advised him to put it on eBay for twice the price he was asking me and it will sell straight away.
He did that and it sold within minutes.
The sax even had a purchase receipt in the case from when he bought it 12 years prior.
I kept that horn for three years before selling it on at a slightly less generous price of $4500.
Still a bargain at the time.
 

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April of this past year a Woman advertised a nice Yamaha Advantage Wooden Clarinet for $50 on Facebook. I really didn't need another clarinet as I rarely play it. I emailed her, though, to let her know it was probably worth at least a few hundred more. She replied saying she just wanted to get rid of it. So I jumped on it.

I got there with three twenties and happily payed the extra $60. The husband there informed me he was thinking about getting rid of a guitar, a basic Yamaha EG112C. He ended up throwing it in for nothing. So I have my only electric guitar and the nicest Clarinet I own from one low transaction.

I got a beat up Conn 16m for $40 that came with a very new 4c Mouthpiece. I think he felt he was taking advantage of me. No worries, I do repair work (and it still sits in my inventory awaiting reconditioning)

I saw an add in Craiglist for a local chain of music stores called Music Go Round. They were advertising instruments on special that they simply wanted to get rid of. For $250 I scored a Vito 7131 Alto, a Buffet E11, made in Germany, and for free they threw in a Vito 7214 Clarinet.

I bought a dilapidated 11M from a guy who does storage auctions. Got it for $460 because it needed a crapload of work. It's almost finished.

Nothing too great, but some decent deals there....
 

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selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
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'63 Strat Sunburst for $95 (but in 1969). Recently, a P. Hammig 650-3 piccolo for $250 in mint condition. And a very good The Martin tenor for $400. Also got an Altus 1007 for $650 in nearly perfect shape and playing perfectly, but with plating wear on the keys, which are only plated.
 
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