Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I've been doing some research on a Garage Sale Sax that I found. Story after my question...
I have a confirmed 1931 Martin Master "Typewriter" that is in unplayable condition. It probably needs a full restoration. Is it worth the $1000+ repair bill?


Ok, the story.
I played sax in junior and senior high school for about 5 years (this was more than 20 years ago). While playing, my dad and I bought a few horns, old, just for fun. At a recent garage sale that my wife was having at my house, she nearly let an old sax go for $50 since it doesn't have a cork on the neck, it's old, etc. Luckily I jumped in and told the guy we'd "google it" for a fair price. After a little research, this old horn revealed itself and naturally, I couldn't sell it.
So after some internet research, I'm left wondering if it is worth restoring? I'm a lover of old things - and old music. I recently picked up my old Bundy Alto Sax to play a song at my wedding (it was the most painful 4 mins of my life :| ) so I'm not opposed to keeping the Martin. I'm really interested in hearing it.

So anyhow, your thoughts?
Thanks much,
Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Sounds like it might be a labor of love. I say do it. Sounds like you really want to anyhow. Have you taken it to a tech? Might not be as bad as you think. Start with the minimum to get it to play. By then you'll probably be on the hook.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Wags, I haven't taken it to a tech yet. Been looking online for reputable restoration shops. Found a few that look promising. Would love to find a good tech in New Orleans.
I may take your advice on doing the minimum to get it playing....
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,319 Posts
I have a '29 silverplated one I got for $200.00 about 10 years ago. It cost about $50.00 to get some pads replaced and it plays great. Yours looks like a nice horn. I love the tone of it- nice and rich- and I can make it sound like Coleman Hawkins or King Curtis. It sounds great with a Link or a Dukoff.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
12,711 Posts
Those are weird animals but have a reputation for great tone if you can get used to the key layout.

I would not do the minimum if you plan to play it. Any good horn is worth a good job if its a player.
That is not to say I would drop a grand in it but it deserves quality.

EDIT: ....I just read your post better. No it is not worth 1000 plus a complete rebuild.
If you were already in love with the horn then it would be worth it IF it were worth it to you.

I sincerely doubt that You will never recover that investment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,802 Posts
The way I read it, he already owns the horn and is guessing that it may cost $1000.00 plus to overhaul it. Though you may be correct, Phil.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,034 Posts
Possibly worth it but you need to shop around for the repairs. For example, I have a Typewriter Bari that I have about $950 into with good pads, a typewriter alto with good pads and excellent silver plate that I have for sale for $950 so that should give you an approx. value on it. Great sounding horns and they have the high C# adjuster and front F. Some don't have the rear alternate Eb.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,715 Posts
It looks as if it has been well looked after...just old and unused. No damage.
In all probability it just needs taking apart cleaning & oiling....possibly pads & a few springs. That should not cost too much for such a superb sounding & attractive horn.
If your hands are pretty average sized then the keywork is no problem....the pearls are in all the right places.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,715 Posts
Great sounding horns and they have the high C# adjuster and front F. Some don't have the rear alternate Eb.
Forgive me straying from the topic for a moment but what on earth is the high C# adjuster?
My 964XX Typewriter has the front F, no forked Eb & as far as I can tell, no high C# adjuster.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
12,711 Posts
The way I read it, he already owns the horn and is guessing that it may cost $1000.00 plus to overhaul it. Though you may be correct, Phil.
No, I think you are.

That being the case Id still be researching a less expensive way to get it up and running. It may or may not be possible depending on what it needs.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,033 Posts
Anybody care to post their impressions of New Orleans sax techs here, I'm sure the OP would be grateful to learn from your experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to everyone for your input.
To clarify a few points in the discussion: I do already own the horn. I've had for about 20 year but it has gone from attic to attic to garage and was almost let go for less than $50 (my wife cleared that up for me ;) ).
So I will be looking at the local restoration techs (someone mentioned Steve Goodson). I'm hoping to have her in playing condition before long...

Does anyone have any experience with New Orlens techs?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,034 Posts
The high C# adjuster started with the Handcraft series III. It works with the octave lever whenever the B or A keys in the left hand are not depressed. It closes the small C>C# pad to flatten high C# and to some extent D. On later Martins, it had a screw adjustment but earlier ones need to be bent to adjust. I adjust mine to close about 70% of the way and it seems to work on most horns with most mouthpieces. If it does not close enough, C# will be really sharp and if it closes too much, it will almost sound a C. Most vintage soprano brands have this and modern sopranos have the double pad key arrangement for the same purpose.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Me
Joined
·
2,057 Posts
Forgive me straying from the topic for a moment but what on earth is the high C# adjuster?
My 964XX Typewriter has the front F, no forked Eb & as far as I can tell, no high C# adjuster.
Lewis, as Bruce explains above, it was a mechanism to slightly flatten the open C# when the octave key is used - but it doesn't seem to have been on the 'C' typewriter like yours, and not on my even later Martin 'C' (sadly, probably not implemented on any C's...)

As Bruce also says, it's on modern soprano's, if you look under the front-F key on your soprano you'll almost certainly see a 'double-stacking' cup, so that the hole is smaller when the octave key is in use, neat little mechanism !
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,033 Posts
\
So I will be looking at the local restoration techs (someone mentioned Steve Goodson).
Long history here. General consensus is keep on looking.

Don't bother posting his name for opinions as you will get this thread locked.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,319 Posts
Lewis, as Bruce explains above, it was a mechanism to slightly flatten the open C# when the octave key is used - but it doesn't seem to have been on the 'C' typewriter like yours, and not on my even later Martin 'C' (sadly, probably not implemented on any C's...)

As Bruce also says, it's on modern soprano's, if you look under the front-F key on your soprano you'll almost certainly see a 'double-stacking' cup, so that the hole is smaller when the octave key is in use, neat little mechanism !
I don't seem to have the octave mechanism on my tenor either unless I'm looking in the wrong place. The smaller cup of the C mechanism doesn't move at all and there doesn't seem to be anything that would want to move it closed abit.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top