I've seen a decent amount of forum posts lately talking about how its not too difficult to find a Mk VI tenor in good condition for about 5 grand.
The thing is, I'm still in high school, and though I don't have the commitment or desire to play professionally, sax is definately not something that I could see myself dropping, and it's been one of the most important things in my life for the last 6 or 7 years. Right now, a relative is offering me quite a bit of money for a tenor... and I definately don't see myself saving up for a mark VI when the expenses and debt of college comes rolling along.
Basically, I can justify (barely) allowing said relative to put up 5 or 6 grand, but the only way that I see to find a consistent list of mark VI's that I know will come in good condition is through sites like robertoswinds.com , which have them listed for up to 18k and generally no less than 8k. Ebay also seems like a viable option, but its usually impossible to have any notion of what condition the sax will be in if its listed at 5k on ebay. Plus, with the current listings, the only saxes in my price range are at really high model numbers. I'm not one to follow the myth that the quality of a mk VI depends on the model number, but when I see horns with the model number into the 200k range (first link), it makes me worried. No, I don't by any means need a sax this extravagant, but I can tell you that I do play quite a bit daily with the setup I already have, and I will definately continue for years to come (not to mention that the value of a vintage horn doesn't exactly go down as years pass).
Heres the deal. Anyone know a better place to buy a MK VI than ebay, without spending a huge amount of cash for a horn that I won't be able to play first? Does anyone have any tips for scanning sites like tenormadness and ebay for saxes, without the worry of not seeing and playing the sax in person first? I know this isnt the first thread i've posted similar to this, but I'd really be glad to have some good quality advice rather than critique of my desire for a sax that arguably would go to waste on someone like me, who isnt exactly a pro, but desires to get there someday.
Heres another, nicer looking mk VI. It says its from 67, looks like its a "closet horn" from my understanding of the term. The only thing is that it doesn't show the model number, so theres no way to confirm the date it was made, and like many nice horns on ebay, its up for only a small window of time.