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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at one of these for a backup.

Looks like quite a few pads will need to be replaced. Other than that, and the usual adjustment, it looks in pretty good shape. Finish (I suspect these were some of the first epoxy finishes) quite good from five or ten feet away. No big dents or bends.

If I get the horn, I'll do the work on it myself, so the factor of "repairs cost more than the horn" won't be a factor.

Anyone want to comment on what a fair price ought to be? I would be buying it from a friend, so I am not looking to get a screaming bargain, just a fair price.
 

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Despite the continuous attempts to get more ( I can see right now a couple which are not getting ANY interest at twice their price) , these Directors (even if made in the US) have a very low market value, irrespective of any consideration to the contrary by people whom repair and sell them, they generally change hands over here for not much more than €250.

Like many other horns they fall in the category that you describe while only a decade ago were often sold for close to €1000 in shops. I see a shop trying to sell one for even more than that, they won’t.
 

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My understanding is that that the Mexi-Conn’s are know to get out of adjustment rather easily....so expect ongoing maintenance.....with a partial pad replacement needed,I think that US$250 - US $300 would be more than fair.

It turns out that I have analyzed a Mexi-Conn for my son’s Middle School in the last 2 weeks. My advise was to give it to the local music store as a gift for spare parts.....good way to keep up the relationship with the local instrument store. I think that if that sax were given to a student who didn’t know how to adjust it, it would turn into a rather frustrating instrument to play.....and the student would not understand why they couldn’t play the sax properly.....bad way to start off a sax experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My understanding is that that the Mexi-Conn’s are know to get out of adjustment rather easily....so expect ongoing maintenance.....with a partial pad replacement needed,I think that US$250 - US $300 would be more than fair.

It turns out that I have analyzed a Mexi-Conn for my son’s Middle School in the last 2 weeks. My advise was to give it to the local music store as a gift for spare parts.....good way to keep up the relationship with the local instrument store. I think that if that sax were given to a student who didn’t know how to adjust it, it would turn into a rather frustrating instrument to play.....and the student would not understand why they couldn’t play the sax properly.....bad way to start off a sax experience.
I think the one I'm considering may be "one of the good ones" since the guy I would buy it from has been playing it pretty steadily for many years. I just cast an eye over it briefly and the mechanism looks pretty much identical to a 10M, metal seems heavy and stiff. I'll look more carefully soon. Unfortunately the SN has been obscured by corrosion and I am not sure I'll be able to figure out what it is.
 

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There are lots of horns with a bad reputation which may or in most cases may NOT be based on any factual things.

One thing is for sure, because there are so any of these things floating around the last horn that I would consider is one with all the minuses , one of which would certainly be that metal has been corroded to the point that you can no longer read the SN.

There are lots of things like these Bundy, Vito, Jupiter... times in which anything would go are gone and have left these horns in need of an owner.

If you want to do a favor to your friend, it’s alright but if I wanted a horn for €250 I only have to look around for a month and would find one (much less if it it was an alto).
 

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Ok so you like it and willing to give it some TLC. A 16m is worthwhile even a M built one.
To answer the FMV question.
Get better information to at least date the instrument plus or minus couple of years.
Find any recent closed listings (sales) comparative in condition. Cosmetic and playing. Must be as close as possible!
If no comparables are found. Then identity and compare to reasonably similar grade instrument of same age (Bundy, FE Olds, King)
Case included? Condition?
Consider regional location and how long items took to sell.(Desirable?) time of year(Xmas? Tax time?) all paints a picture. Use good judgment! Yea one sold for $20k at the South Pole and it only took 5 years to sell.....
Average the prices realized , tossing out the high and low outliers.
Subtract 32% and you’re in the ballpark.
A little work and you will have a FMV bottom line without guilt between friends.
My guess, low $125 high $195.
Good luck
 

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I would not pay a lot...of course Id have to see and play it...but I would not pay a lot simply because they are hard to move and trade for a decent price.

It may not be deserved but its been the word on the street for a long time. Im with Milandro on this one.

I would think they are worth more than 250 euro in good playing shape but then he knows the horn market better than I do.

I was thinking more like 300 to 350 but I may be wrong...of course Im talking USD which is not far above what Milandro is discussing.

In any case I sure would not drop 5 bills on a Mexi-Conn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are lots of horns with a bad reputation which may or in most cases may NOT be based on any factual things.

One thing is for sure, because there are so any of these things floating around the last horn that I would consider is one with all the minuses , one of which would certainly be that metal has been corroded to the point that you can no longer read the SN.

There are lots of things like these Bundy, Vito, Jupiter... times in which anything would go are gone and have left these horns in need of an owner.

If you want to do a favor to your friend, it’s alright but if I wanted a horn for €250 I only have to look around for a month and would find one (much less if it it was an alto).
One thing that might not have been clear is that I already have a very fine tenor, a Conn 10M, and I am thinking about this Mexi-Conn as a backup to that. So it's not really a case of needing an instrument and having a tight budget. The keywork being very similar is a positive.

As to the corrosion, it's weird; the vast majority of the brass surface looks almost as new, but there are these little pits in a few areas and a couple of the pits just happen to lie right on some of the digits of the SN. In general, though, I would call the condition "very good used" except, of course, that many pads and corks will have to be replaced.

I gave it a play yesterday, sounds pretty much like a 10M to me; keywork a bit clunky (I am guessing that a good going-through with oil, grease, and new corks/leathers/felts would help that). Surprisingly it played all the way to low Bb wtih some effort - yet some of the pads are cut completely through and sealing on the felt.

I will see what my friend is willing to part with it for.
 

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The irony is -these Mexi-Conn's sound great and intonation is no more of a problem than any other make/model. Construction wise they generally leave much to be desired though!
 

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Having refurbed over 50 Mexico-made 16M's....a few things:

1) They do not go out of regulation due to 'soft keys' or the like. I have not found the keys to be soft, I have not found them to lose regulation once properly set-up.

2) They are the exact same body and neck tube specs as the Elkhart 16M's (which mean they are the same body specs as the 10M's, actually). As a matter of fact - interestingly enough - the design survived beyond Mexico; when Danny Henkin started moving production back to the US in '84, then UMI took over in '85...the 16M started being fabricated at the Armstrong plant...exact same specifications, exact same horn, again US-made. Until around '91.

3) They indeed do from time to time show shortcomings in fabrication...stuff like key play, misaligned keys and fulcrums, stuff like that. Basically, the precision of assembly stuff.
Thing about that is: it's all correctable by a competent tech. Some key swedging, some post-knocking, some key spine bending, some key aligning.....stuff like that.

A: so an N-serial Director Tenor, in 'not-playing-but-no-significant-nasties' shape, complete with neck and case...is worth around $225-250. When I work these up to good, clean playing shape, I can tend to get around $450-500....although that is less than they are actually worth as Tenor Saxes.
So there are your current US market value points, give or take 10%....

For $500, with those corrections made, they are a lot of horn.

It may not be deserved but its been the word on the street for a long time. I'm with Milandro on this one.
At the end of the day, this seems to be the case. Mexico-Conns seem never to be able to shake their arguably unfair/inaccurate rep.

Given the soft market on second-shelf vintage models these days, they are no longer worth MY while to work up because the profit margin ends up being so low. Used to be able to get more for 'em. Which is too bad, because back in '07-'11, I would do a lot of Shooting Star horns (alto and tenor) and they would sell quite quickly and their owners would be happy with what they got.
 

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FWIW... My son-in-law purchased a 'Mexi-Conn' tenor from JayeLID a few years ago.
Feels good, plays great, and has NOT gone out of adjustment.
Just as with cars, don't let a couple 'lemons' represent an entire brand/make/model. 😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
FWIW... My son-in-law purchased a 'Mexi-Conn' tenor from JayeLID a few years ago.
Feels good, plays great, and has NOT gone out of adjustment.
Just as with cars, don't let a couple 'lemons' represent an entire brand/make/model. ��
I also have the impression that there were several generations of Mexi-Conns, of different levels of quality control. As I understand it, Conn moved production (of some? all?) of saxophones to Nogales, Ariz., then to Nogales, Mex. Well, that probably meant that in January they were making them in the Arizona side of town, then spent a couple weeks moving equipment to the new building on the Mexico side of town, then re-started building. I think that what would have affected product quality would not have been making the horns on the other side of town, but would be much more about plant management and parts purchasing.
 

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OP.. As you can see by the responses, it doesn’t make a difference if you think the Mexi-Conn is a worth buying or not, most are putting the value somewhere in the neighborhood of US$150 - $250.

I personally own a USA made Conn Shooting Star Tenor and a Selmer Mark VII. I understand the problem with switching tables and palm key configurations...so it makes sense to have a Mexi-Conn as your back up horn.....but only if you are able to do your own maintenance. This horn probably has more value to you than others.

With that said, it is the consensus that that a Mexi-Conn horn is not worth more than $250 in the market. Simply based on what you have stated in your postings, the horn is NOT tuned up nicely and not in good mechanical condition. (It is not just a matter of replacing a few pads...so I wouldn’t say it is good shape) US $200 is probably more than fair. $150 wouldn’t be unreasonable. US$250 is overpaying for that horn, and your friend is most likely on the better side of the deal.

If your friend wants more than $250 for the instrument, he/she is being unrealistic about the market and the condition of the sax.

If you had to hire a tech to bring that sax into good playing condition, you could easily pay $400 - $900 for the service. Your have already mentioned that the sax needs new pads, corks, felts and a good greasing...This is not what most people would call a good way to start a relationship with a sax of questionable quality.
 

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Eventually they may shake the reputation.

I also recall when you could not give away the later 10Ms with the underslung octave system...60's horns I believe.

Now they sell for around a grand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
"...most are putting the value somewhere in the neighborhood of US$150 - $250..."

Well, that is about where I was.

I know that resale of a Mexi-Conn is darn near nothing, but if it plays OK and it's cheap, since I have the tools and skill to get it playing better, why not?

Fortunately, no dent work is needed, as that's something I cannot do.
 

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If you can do the work its definitely worth it...you have played the horn. A few pads with your own labor is a cheap investment. If it does the trick for you grab it.
 

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It's important to acknowledge purchasing sources in these values. Low ball values of less than $300 U.S. might be appropriate for an auction. The purchaser is unsure of actual condition and is taking a risk subsidizing it with the assumption of repair costs factored in to the price. But for a purchase from a source that enables the buyer to actually try the item and determine its condition first hand the price could be as high as $500+ U.S.

Jayelid provides excellent guidance on this topic with first hand and very current knowledge. In my humble opinion his experience would stand as the consensus for this topic given the sheer volume of his interactions with the Mexican manufactured Conn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, as an update, I brought the little devil home. I won't say exactly what I paid, but I feel it was a fair price, considering a few extras that were thrown in, and that I was dealing with a friend so wringing every single last dollar out of the transaction was not an objective.

As to the horn itself, as I noted before the pads are pretty much toast, and the action needs a general going over and regulation. But the more I mess around with this horn the better impressed I am. It appears to be basically a New Wonder with nickel plated keys and sheet metal key guards. I would not call the action "refined", but it is solid, positive, and clean working. Key springing is appropriate, in other words there aren't some keys that are real stiff and some too soft. I cannot imagine, closely inspecting and playing it, that it's going to go out of adjustment any more or less than any other Conn tenor. it sounds like a Conn 10M to me. I don't have my high quality 10M next to it to do a direct A to B but I have been playing Conn tenor saxes since 1978 so I have a general feel for what they're like.

Gotta strip it down, do a good cleaning, and measure for pads next.
 

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Well, as an update, I brought the little devil home. I won't say exactly what I paid, but I feel it was a fair price, considering a few extras that were thrown in, and that I was dealing with a friend so wringing every single last dollar out of the transaction was not an objective.

As to the horn itself, as I noted before the pads are pretty much toast, and the action needs a general going over and regulation. But the more I mess around with this horn the better impressed I am. It appears to be basically a New Wonder with nickel plated keys and sheet metal key guards. I would not call the action "refined", but it is solid, positive, and clean working. Key springing is appropriate, in other words there aren't some keys that are real stiff and some too soft. I cannot imagine, closely inspecting and playing it, that it's going to go out of adjustment any more or less than any other Conn tenor. it sounds like a Conn 10M to me. I don't have my high quality 10M next to it to do a direct A to B but I have been playing Conn tenor saxes since 1978 so I have a general feel for what they're like.

Gotta strip it down, do a good cleaning, and measure for pads next.
Exact same body and neck tube specs as a 10M. That's why it sounds like one :bluewink:
 
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