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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi SOTW,

I'm new and I made an account just so I can get some advice on how I should be pricing my late father's saxophones. I don't play nor do I know much about saxophones until recently from what I've found by doing research. From what I've read on this forum, this community might be the best place to get advice.

Background:
My father passed away recently and he left his mother (my grandmother) behind. He had a few antique saxophones laying around. From the research I've been doing on my own, I've found out that they were 2 Mark VI's (tenor and an alto) and one CG Conn Transitional "Chu Berry" tenor from 1927 (Guy from Sam Ash helped me date it). I believe the Mark VI's are all owned by him but the Conn might be previously owned. I knew he played the saxophone but he never played for me. With me taking over my grandmother's finances, I've decided to maybe sell a couple of them. Although I'm not in need of money right now, I would like to get the most I can for them.

I've taken them to a couple of people that fixes saxophones and from what they have told me, the Mark VI's are in pristine condition with original lacquer. I know selling them on eBay is an option, but I wonder if anyone knows of the Facebook group called Saxophones and Saxophone Equipment for Sale is worth posting on as well as here. I've even brought them to Sam Ash and they've taken picture and sent it back to corporate but still hasn't gotten back to me yet. I doubt i'll be selling it to Sam Ash anyways. Maybe anyone can recommend me a place in New York City that I can go to for antique saxophones?

I hope the pictures I've taken are good enough and I am willing to take more if needed. I hope Dropbox works and if there's any questions please feel free on shooting me questions.

CG Conn Chu Berry SN# 236367 [FAT Dec. 8th, 1914] (Also printed 1954 on it) - Re-lacquered
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hbeuguie956b18s/AADs0EirekKLV8EA4RPWr9lqa?dl=0

Chu Berry Mouthpiece and Neck
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2mqthu5yugm06hz/AABEJSoP0p6z_5HXDzU6qD9ka?dl=0

Mark VI Alto SN# 192945 (dated 1971) - 100% original lacquer
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/63tbktihlbiyyk1/AACDmm_WtnTInBAdwYOj8qgsa?dl=0

Mark VI Alto Neck and Mouthpiece
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mdy0ypcv9ojizwe/AADdW0XaejA0k8uWUjE8Uy41a?dl=0

Mark VI Tenor SN# 183820 (dated 1970) - Close to 100% original lacquer
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wzgtng34hkmgnbb/AABZriIgGt6JQqH3CJHCUlJYa?dl=0

Mark VI Tenor Neck and Mouthpiece
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0cu00lfz35f0xgy/AADsAt9aOvA5VUpCVmVqlQzda?dl=0

Selmer Neck Strap? - I'm not really sure if it's an original selmer neck strap
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jec7vorif9i8rbv/AAAWllhlId44lL5SYwtL4y2Aa?dl=0


Lastly I've posted this mystery saxophone that no one can figure out which brand it is. Seems like an unfinished Rampone but the guy from Sam Ash says he could be wrong.
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?223664-Can-anyone-identify-this-saxophone

Thank you guys for taking your time to read this. I know it's long and I hope I'm not breaking any rules on this thread. Please notify me mods if I am.

Edit: Sam Ash Picture

Mark VI Tenor:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n1s6boewy2a8ppr/AADC1BOLmkiJVwGIyGmE8k5La?dl=0

Conn Chu Berry:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/id0qz7blb8lpawe/AABboSjg_2ywL3LKvcxqkmzAa?dl=0
 

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Hello, welcome to SOTW. I am sorry to hear about your late father. Judging by the horns you show us, it looks like he had some pretty good taste.

I'm going to let others with more experience price the horns, but I'll offer a couple tips:

(1) Take the dealers'/sellers' quotes with a giant grain of salt. They're more likely than not inclined to give you a wholesale quote, which can be, unfortunately, anywhere from 10-50% of what the horn is actually worth. Horns like the ones you show can easily sell for retail on the internet. With enough help/advice from people here, you should be able to get your maximum dollar.

(2) We'd need to see more pictures of the mouthpieces. If you can, take the ligatures off the Otto Link, and then take pictures of the front, back, and sides. No need to spend too much time doing this- a simple smart phone snapshot here and there will do the trick. If there's writing/engraving on the mouthpiece that the camera can't pick up clearly, decipher it and type it online. You'd be shocked how much the value can jump depending on what's on (or not on) the mouthpiece! Having said that, if you want to get the maximum buck, I'd advise you to sell the mouthpieces separately, unless you want to sell everything quickly and wouldn't mind taking a discount so that the potential suitor buys both the horn and the mouthpiece.

If you want a place in NYC to swing your horns by, try Roberto's Woodwinds. They have an entire room specifically dedicated to Mark VIs (and other high end vintage horns). Again, get a second (and third!) opinion on whatever quote a dealer gives you.

Good luck, and once again, sorry to hear about your father.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you daonlybg for your words and advice. I will definitely try to go to Roberto's Woodwinds but I saw on yelp a couple of bad reviews on their exchanges on buying antique saxophones so it sorta turned me off a bit. But no harm in trying. Would anyone recommend me buying insurance on these saxophones, even though i'm trying to sell them? it's been a little crazy lately and money is a little tight but if the majority thinks I should buy it then I will. Again, thank you for your kind words and hopefully someone can help me price them so I can see if I'm getting a bad deal for them.
 

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in general you should have home owners or renters insurance that should cover all your possesions.
 

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If you want to talk to a vintage horn dealer that won't steer you wrong call Dave at Junk Dude Music. You can find his contact info at www.junkdude.com. He's a straight shooter and he really knows his stuff.
 

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There was a thread recently with a guy in New Zealand asking about selling a mint silver plated Mark VI tenor. First he sold it on EBay and it went for $3000 or so then decided that the price was too low and didn't honor the deal. Don't be one of those. I saw that it sold for $4700 even though for some reason he thought it was worth $8500 or something like that.
I would think you would be better off selling to a private customer avoiding consignment or EBay fees.
Any of grandpa's old friends or maybe guys he played with locally interested? Local colleges or teachers. I would say if you got more or less $4000 for the alto and $5000 for the tenor you'd be way ahead of the game. They aren't in the most desirable range but condition will make them more valuable.
The $4700 sax sold on eBay ends up being a little over $4200 after all the fees. I'd rather see your grandma have the money.
 

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You must be pretty young to call a couple of 1970 era horns 'antiques', lol. 'Vintage' is the term you want to use.

Anyway, the MKVI horns are worth quite a lot. I think whaler has it about right for a private sale. But if it's true they still have the original pads (which I would doubt), they will likely need new pads which a buyer would take into account. You're in NY, so take the horns into a shop and find out what work, if any, they need, as well as a valuation. Keep in mind an 'insurance value' will be on the high end. Once you have that info, you can decide how to price them. Also have the shop check out the mpcs; they could be valuable as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys for your help. I will try to speak with dave at junkdude some time this week.

Whaler, yeah i completely agree. I'm not really into eBay and with all the fees, I feel like I rather sit on it until I can find the right person and price. I don't want to be one of those people pricing it too high but I've brought them to someone that said he would price them at $6000 for the alto and $7500 for the tenor. I guess he priced them too high because the market seems a bit down of late.

JL lol sorry I guess vintage is a better word. But the 1927 Chu Berry might be more fitting for antique I guess. Anyone can give me a ballpark on how much I should sell it for? and is SOTW a good community to sell these? anyone heard about the Facebook group called saxophones and saxophone equipment for sale?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
question, do you guys have problems seeing the pictures on my drop box? and are the pictures i've taken good enough?

the guy i went to get it appraised told me to sell the neck/horn/mouthpiece separately to get the most value in it. would you guys recommend that as well?
 

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I don't want to be one of those people pricing it too high but I've brought them to someone that said he would price them at $6000 for the alto and $7500 for the tenor. I guess he priced them too high because the market seems a bit down of late.
I wouldn't say the market is necessarily down. I just think the guy priced them pretty high. Ask him if he knows anyone who'd buy them at those prices- $6k for a '71 alto and $7.5k for a '70 tenor is a bit much. I would value the alto at $4.5-5 and the tenor at $6.0-6.5, assuming the horn is good to go (i.e., doesn't need an overhaul).

JL lol sorry I guess vintage is a better word. But the 1927 Chu Berry might be more fitting for antique I guess. Anyone can give me a ballpark on how much I should sell it for? and is SOTW a good community to sell these? anyone heard about the Facebook group called saxophones and saxophone equipment for sale?
I think people in the community would use the word "vintage" either way. I wouldn't necessarily trust the Facebook group you're referring to. I'm part of it (under a different screen name), and there are a couple people who know what they're talking about, but there are a lot more who do not. Take everything with a grain of salt...

...having said that, the FB group might be a good place to find buyers.

the guy i went to get it appraised told me to sell the neck/horn/mouthpiece separately to get the most value in it. would you guys recommend that as well?
Mouthpiece- definitely sell separately.

...the guy actually told you to sell the neck separately?
 

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Im in total agreement of the above post.

I dont know who you talked to but if you are selling horns you need to sell the necks with them...not the mouthpiece, but the neck definitely.

A lot of people wont touch a horn without the original neck. Not having an original neck dramatically lowers the price and audience of the horn. The guy is nutz for suggesting such.
 

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the guy i went to get it appraised told me to sell the neck/horn/mouthpiece separately to get the most value in it. would you guys recommend that as well?
Please don't sell the necks separately from the saxes. I may actually cry. The guy that told you that doesn't know what he is talking about. Selmer saxophones lose value without the original necks with matching serial numbers. Selling mouthpieces separately is fine, but if you have the original to the horn you might as well throw them in with the deal.
I can see the Dropbox photos. Those saxes are in mint condition and should go for a good price.
I guess granny didn't let grandpa go out and play in many bars with those.
 

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Beautiful horns! I don't know what the Conns are selling for these days, but the Chu is a great horn that a lot of players really like. It kind of looks like a relac (which would lower the value a bit), but hard to tell. If it's original lac, then it has been treated very well and not played a lot over the years. The Chu should sell easily at the right price. The MKVIs are the ones that will bring in the $$$.

As to selling the necks separately: Hell no!!!! (don't even think about it)

Selling the mpcs separately: Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
sorry for the late reply guys, it has been a little hectic lately. I personally want to thank everyone that has helped me with this. i might have heard wrong from the saxophone guy. i'm going to start trying to sell those 3 soon. hopefully I would get some good value for them and help my grandmother and my finances for the time being.

both necks don't have serial numbers on them. but i found that a lot of mark VI's necks don't have sn on them. maybe i'm wrong. if there's any of you guys or friends that are interested, please feel free on contacting me. hopefully some of you live in nyc. i don't really want to ship it because something might happen to it on the way and i don't want to be blamed for devaluing it.

one more thing, the Chu definitely needs overhaul. should i just pay for it or just sell it as is? would $1000 be too much even without the overhaul? and the alto mark vi needs re-padding. should i just get that done or should i let the guy buying it do it? the guy said it'll be around $70-$80 which i can afford right now.
 

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one more thing, the Chu definitely needs overhaul. should i just pay for it or just sell it as is? would $1000 be too much even without the overhaul? and the alto mark vi needs re-padding. should i just get that done or should i let the guy buying it do it? the guy said it'll be around $70-$80 which i can afford right now.
Let the buyer choose who does the work and the details.

If someone is offering a repad for $70-80, you can be assured that it is not a quality job - not on a good day, not even at a friends-and-family price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
oh man ok. i want to bring some work to this guy because he was very helpful and honest with me. but if you say $70-80 re-padding job is shotty then i will definitely reconsider. thank you.
 

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Yes, there is a BIG difference between replacing the pads, and all the work that goes into replacing all the felts and corks, adjusting the action, and ensuring the horn is free of leaks.

Anyone investing in a good horn will likely budget many hundred of dollars (> $400) to get it in top playing condition.
 

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the Chu definitely needs overhaul. should i just pay for it or just sell it as is? would $1000 be too much even without the overhaul? and the alto mark vi needs re-padding. should i just get that done or should i let the guy buying it do it? the guy said it'll be around $70-$80 which i can afford right now.
+1 to what Dr G said. You're better off selling the Chu 'as is' and I would say $1k is about right, but I'm not totally up on where the market is on those horns right now. The fact is, someone who bought it and put another $1k or so in it for an overhaul would have a great tenor for only $2k (not a bad deal, for the buyer or the seller).

If your tech is talking about replacing a few pads on the VI, then that $70-$80 price might be reasonable. If he's talking about a complete pad job for that price, it is very suspicious. Way too low. Probably you'd also be better off selling the VI as is. Getting it overhauled, you'll only increase the sale price by the price of the overhaul, at best. Better to let the buyer decide what they want to do in terms of fixing the horn up. At least that's the 'common wisdom' around here and it seems reasonable.
 

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Get some really good high resolution photos, even of the pads. Original pads can even being a strong selling point meaning the horn is a virgin to being messed with by some hack.
 
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