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I have a Martin Tenor Handcraft Imperial ca.1934-1936 SN 109XXX. My question, is it worthwhile to have the horn completly redone. Strip, buff, relaq, new pads and springs and set-up. The cost factors I am finding run between $ 750.00 to $ 1,000. The horn plays but needs pads and springs.

Thanks for any input.:space4:
 

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I have a Martin Tenor Handcraft Imperial ca.1934-1936 SN 109XXX. My question, is it worthwhile to have the horn completly redone. Strip, buff, relaq, new pads and springs and set-up. The cost factors I am finding run between $ 750.00 to $ 1,000. The horn plays but needs pads and springs.

Thanks for any input.:space4:
I like the look of original laquer on my horns, so I would just have the pads that need replacing replaced. Springs don't usually need to be replaced, so again, just the ones that need to be. If approached this way, it shouldn't cost more than a few hundred at most.
If, on the other hand, you really want a shiny new looking old horn, then I don't think you will come out a winner as far as value of refurbished horn vs. the cost of changes plus original investment. Oftentimes relaquering an old horn will hurt the value more than help.
 

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I like the look of original laquer on my horns, so I would just have the pads that need replacing replaced. Springs don't usually need to be replaced, so again, just the ones that need to be. If approached this way, it shouldn't cost more than a few hundred at most.
If, on the other hand, you really want a shiny new looking old horn, then I don't think you will come out a winner as far as value of refurbished horn vs. the cost of changes plus original investment. Oftentimes relaquering an old horn will hurt the value more than help.
Thanks for the imput.
 

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Depends. I got one of these as my first saxophone....back in the day....and it still had the original felt pads in it. Not leather. I had it redone ($500 back then) and it basically became my horn of choice until the middle of college. It out played my Super Action Series II tenor I had.

It really depends on how the body is. Lacquer? Who cares. I think mine has maybe 50% of it left? It sounds great. The ergomics of it though.....not so good. It's basically my backup horn or one that I use for teaching when I forget or leave my Mark VI at home.
 

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Depends. I got one of these as my first saxophone....back in the day....and it still had the original felt pads in it. Not leather. I had it redone ($500 back then) and it basically became my horn of choice until the middle of college. It out played my Super Action Series II tenor I had.

It really depends on how the body is. Lacquer? Who cares. I think mine has maybe 50% of it left? It sounds great. The ergomics of it though.....not so good. It's basically my backup horn or one that I use for teaching when I forget or leave my Mark VI at home.
Thanks, I have had this horn for over 20 years. Resale not an issue. Body if fine no dents or dings just normal ware and old laquering some of which is worn off. Could the horn not be relaguered? How would that look?
 

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Thanks, I have had this horn for over 20 years. Resale not an issue. Body if fine no dents or dings just normal ware and old laquering some of which is worn off. Could the horn not be relaguered? How would that look?
The horn certainly can be relaquered. Depending how well it is done, some of the engraving may be lost- the better the job, the less engraving lost.The less metal lost, the less alteration in the original tonal qualities of the instrument. It will look real shiny and purty-like.:) If it is totally rebuilt, as in corks, springs, pads, dent removal, swedging, etc, it should play like new. I guess, for $1000.00 on a horn you've had for 20 years, it would be a good investment, assuming you will be playing it alot. The horn itself is a good enough, pro-quality model to justify the cost and effort. I love my 4 Martins.
 

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I understand the dilemma. I picked up a Martin Indiana tenor years ago for cheap. It sat broken and sad in my basement. I sent it out a while back to have re-habbed, it was overbuffed, broken key guards, side Bb key.. it was a mess. After some issues, which I won't go into here, I got it back. In pieces. It's purple with gold keys, black roo pads, but the keys are off the body. Had my tech look at it, small rods etc are in a baggie, no springs, pads are the wrong size (too thick) so they have to be replaced. Was going to run me about $700. For a horn I have never played, I couldn't see spending the cash. So it sits in it's case in my garage waiting for me to decide what to do. The money I had set aside is going to a new video editing PC that should make me some money, then maybe I will get it finished. I just couldn't rationalize spending the money on something I had no idea if I would like it. and since it's purple, the re-sale value wouldn't be much except maybe to a Minnesota Viking fan.
 

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I understand the dilemma. I picked up a Martin Indiana tenor years ago for cheap. It sat broken and sad in my basement. I sent it out a while back to have re-habbed, it was overbuffed, broken key guards, side Bb key.. it was a mess. After some issues, which I won't go into here, I got it back. In pieces. It's purple with gold keys, black roo pads, but the keys are off the body. Had my tech look at it, small rods etc are in a baggie, no springs, pads are the wrong size (too thick) so they have to be replaced. Was going to run me about $700. For a horn I have never played, I couldn't see spending the cash. So it sits in it's case in my garage waiting for me to decide what to do. The money I had set aside is going to a new video editing PC that should make me some money, then maybe I will get it finished. I just couldn't rationalize spending the money on something I had no idea if I would like it. and since it's purple, the re-sale value wouldn't be much except maybe to a Minnesota Viking fan.
I paid about $ 300.00 for it back then. It had new pads. Played it on and off since. Just picked up an alto which I am playing more. Half of me wants to fix the Martin and the other half wants to just play the alto which is the horn I started to play 50 years ago. I only play for myself. The old eyes and fingers don't work like they used to, but when it's right it is soo sweet. Just like the good golf shot in a round of 100 plus.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bill,

Just noticed your from S. Jersey. Spent many summers in Wildwood/Cape May, lived in Philly till 12 years ago.
 

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As you may have ascertained...relaquering generally isn't big around here. Usually because the cost is prohibitive, really. Now...are you SURE you can get all that done for $1000 or under ? Because that's hella LOW for a relaq alone...not to mention an overhaul thrown in.

I think you may wanna reconfirm this with the tech. If it's really $1000...go for it. IF the tech can do a reputable job, that is...and not buff the body into oblivion and do a lousy lacquer application.

I really like the Handcraft Imperials...although in the family of Martins they don't fetch much, market-wise. So if you were doing it to sell it, it'd be a money-loser. But if your intent is just to give your beloved horn a nice rehab....go for it. (If you really wanna make the thing POP, visually....you can even have Sherry at artisticengraving.com do a re-engrave afterward for around $200).
 

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Thanks JayeSF for the thoughts. The prices were found by doing web searches. I don't know the quality of the tech's involved. I've started to think about either fixing it enough to play better, selling it and putting the money with what I would have paid for the rehab and buying a Barone Tenor. The members of this site seem to like the horns and have good things to say about them. Also it would be neat to have a sax with my last name on it. (we share the same last name) The last option is to put the horn down and just play my alto.

Thanks again
 
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