Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I am new to this forum and saxophones and would appreciate some help identifying the following saxophone please. The seller also does not know much about saxophones either but the horn is described as follows:

"60yr old saxophone in good working order that used to belong to my dad. It's a New Yorker tenor saxophone, serial number 5800."

The serial number is 5800.

I have found a previous post on the forum but I am not sure if it is the same or similar model.
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?69087-Tenor-Saxophone-Super-New-Yorker

The asking price is about $350 when converted from local currency but I'm sure the item has been relisted several times so the buyer would most likely accept offers.

I do not have the option of viewing the sax, so must assume that it will need an overhaul.

Please can I have your opinions on possible make, model, value and if it is likely to be a decent horn or a lemon?

I have a few pictures from the advert that I will upload.

Thanks!

View attachment 218456 View attachment 218458 View attachment 218460 View attachment 218462
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,878 Posts
Welcome.

In my experience almost all the horns with flashy American reference like “ New York” are not American.

This is most certainly one of them.


In years gone this would have been identified as a “ Malerne” , but further discoveries revealed that many so called Malerne were probably made by Santoni. at least from some point onwards there was a conspicuous co-operation between these companies (and maybe others too).

The Eb-C combination is absolutely of this type that led many to call “ Malerne!” but when we started noticing this on Santoni horns, things got more complicated. That left hand plateau is common to many Italian saxophones made in the ’60.

Anyway, $350 is a no brainer, because of the presence of what appears to be a tonaline mouthpiece, this saxophone is certainly worth that kind of money but be advised that an overhaul can easily cost more and in fact surpass the value of this saxophone if you’d wish to sell it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,878 Posts
If you decide to buy it, enjoy your horn.

I don’t know how easy to find a technician or how expensive they are in South Africa.

In the NL overhauling this horn will cost a minimum of €300 (and average of €500) the combined price would buy you a Yamaha tenor in playing state or at least two new Chinese horns.

This is the reason why this market segment is perishing by the day.

However if you have it restored or restore it yourself (if you can) the charm of an old horn a very different experience ( for better or worse) than playing a modern horn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I am playing a long game here.
My son (13) has a natural gift for music and has recently started on the alto sax having moved over from the recorder but also has just passed ABRSM voice grade 4 with distinction. He has fallen in love with the saxophone and I have every reason to believe he will pursue it as a life long endeavor. With this in mind I am looking for a special something to surprise him with for a birthday present one day when the time is right. I thought a nicely restored vintage saxophone could be that special something and this one caught my attention as the price seemed decent and it is likely that a cheeky offer might be accepted.
It looks like the sax comes with two mouthpieces and I suspect labour costs in SA will be lower than NL.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,878 Posts
Labor costs may very well be lower, but materials may very well cost a lot more due to import taxes, and in the end the total cost may be determined from the fact that there may be a lot less business to support their business with and therefore the fee asked by the technician being higher.

Also, you may very well be in love with this old saxophone but your son may not and his instructors of bandleaders may very well hate it (for good or bad reasons we have been there many times before with fathers buying horns that the tutors don’t like).

The ergonomics of this saxophones are not bad but they are certainly very far away from a modern saxophone.

If you want to buy this saxophone, do, but in my experience many try to give a rational explanation (My son will be using it in future, so it is a good investment...) to something that isn’t (you like it and that’s that).

The best saxophone for your son will be something that he will choose ( he plays it) and that his instructors will also help to choose. Don't do like those fathers whom impose the car of their dreams to their children. They have different dreams.

Two mouthpieces sound good, maybe the white one is a Tonaline and can be sold for as much as the sax will cost.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and perspective. I guess it will be safer to err on the side of caution and walk away from it.
Still tempting to offer 2/3 of asking price though.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,878 Posts
you may very well luck out on the mouthpiece and then get the horn for free.

Perhaps this is a good idea for yourself? Not buying it for your son doesn’t mean that you can’t buy it for yourself!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,878 Posts
you need a hobby and you know you want this...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
I agree with Milandro - I don't think it is a particularly good idea to surprise your son with a vintage tenor saxophone. He may discover that he loves alto but that he doesn't really like playing the tenor, or he may not feel comfortable with that particular sax. Or his teacher may want him to stick to one size saxophone at present. Choosing a saxophone is quite a personal thing - I have taken an instant dislike to some saxophones (this may not have been rational, but it was how I felt at the time), and as a beginner, I exchanged my lovely vintage instruments for modern ones because I found them a lot easier to play (other people would disagree, but that was my personal experience). So I think your son has to be involved in choosing his saxophone.

And why not get a saxophone for yourself? - it would be the start of an exciting, sometimes frustrating, but very satisfying, journey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I've been toying with the idea of trying my hand at a wind instrument. I currently try very badly with acoustic guitar, so could easily add a second instrument to be bad at!
Food for thought!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
25,993 Posts
My kid learned to play on alto and after he had a couple years under his belt, a friend of mine gave me a Martin stencil tenor from the 30's that I had fixed up for him to play. He loved that old horn. Still does. And me too.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,998 Posts
So...chiming in here.

I for one, would not have difficulty ascribing this to Malerne, as long as we understand what that means: i.e. the caveats that Milandro noted in his first post. While 10 years ago it was the assumption that a single factory produced these (and I was in the group who assumed that as well)....the likelihood, or at least a reasonable theory, again thanks to subsequent info which has trickeld in and again thanks to MIlandro...is that there were likely a number of European makers (French, Italian mostly, not so much German) who more or less assembled horns from sax parts made by one or two 'mother' factories. Not that different from what happens today in asian manufacturing.
Thus you see horns of the post-war era up until around the '70's with similar keywork, necks, detailing. We even know that Grassi equipped their own made bodies with this 'generic European' keywork early on.
That Santoni was likely a 'mother' factory of these parts is pretty plausible.

That Malerne in fact had a factory is indubitable, and that this horn looks exactly like what horns with 'Malerne' engraved on them looks like - is as well.

So, we can call it what we want, these were the second tier 'band instrument' sax makers of the day, and it's likely there were a few of them. I would say "Malerne-esque" is a fair label.

$350 a good deal ? I am afraid not, although I understand that in South Africa there is probably a dearth of vintage Euro and American saxes. Nevertheless, although in nice shape and with a nice history...that horn here in the US fetches $200 tops. One in guaranteed playing shape only gets around $400 these days.

It needs work, simply given the fact it was sitting around unplayed . Again, I do not know what tech prices are like in South Africa, but it is a fair assumption to say it needs at least $250-300usd of work (that would be lowballing it).

Now it could be a neat project if you are a tinkerer. Keep in mind of course, to tool yourself for a cleaning and repad job (let us leave aside any more serious mechanical endeavors such as tone hole leveling and key swedging) will likely cost you $300usd+...

So the question becomes, is it worth that investment ?

a) if you want a project that keeps you out of trouble, and maybe one to include your son in....then it's not bad money spent. Could be a great dad-son endeavor.

b) if your goal is to get a good-playing sax into your kid's hands in a timely manner, then you could very likely put $600usd equiv. into something else which is already set up to play and would serve just as well.

I mean (no gratuitous plug intended), I sell some second-tier Tenors in the $450usd range, so with ship to SA that is at $600 then whatever customs you'd pay on top. I would imagine that there are closer options to you than me in the US, too.
So say buyer accepts $275usd equiv, and a tech determines it needs $375usd of work (quite plausible). You have yourself a vintage sax in good playing shape, but you will have invested significantly more in it that its market value (if that matters to you).

Final thoughts:

~ These ARE solid horns, and they sound GOOD, and for a student Tenor (when put into good working order) they are OK to navigate around (i.e. the young player would NOT be 'handicapped' by having this horn).

~ I like your idea. I think it WOULD be a great gift to furnish your son with a vintage Tenor, even though he is on Alto for starters....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Mine started on an EM Winston alto. It wasn't very good. Got a Buescher alto and it was fine. Also, got a Conn Shooting Stars and it was ok. Then, he decided to play tenor. His first was a King Cleveland from the bay--needed overhauled. Then, he stepped up to a Buffet Superdynaction. Really nice horn. Then, he really wanted and got a P Mauriat r66, and for graduating from HS, I got him a Mark VI. In that time, he also go a Sam Ashe brand bari, then a Phil Barone Bari, and a Barone curved sax. Finally, he go a nice straight sax which I don't remember the name of. So, as you can see, it doesn't get any cheaper. They've got him through his masters degree, still needs his doctorate. Can't find a job with just his masters in composition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Go for it! My dad surprised me with a c melody, traded it for a true tone alto, and I've been an old horn addict for life! Kepte out of trouble
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,950 Posts
It’s been listed for a while what’s the hurry. Go find a service tech. You’re going to need one for that alto anyway. Ask the questions on the repair issues in advance so you know what to anticipate in expense. Be generic about the description of the horn. That way if you do not aquire this particular unit your information should cover another option,”Tenor”. I would try to walk away with at least three repair type options. 1)A clean,oil and adjust (Tune up). 2)A full re-pad. 3) And a full rebuild.
You mentioned that you cannot review this in person so I assume it’s some form of a online purchase? Get clarity on return policy. If it’s a burned up piece of junk and you really don’t like it can you return it?? The mouthpieces give some added value if they’re not damaged. If the seller is not willing to offer some type of return policy and better information on its play condition I would have no problem offering half the listed price. There’s more fish in the sea.
You’re a great dad by giving your kid opportunity to explore. What’s the worst that can happen you end up with it? Sell at a loss? The value is what you get out of the experience. Both you and your son....priceless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I spent the weekend mulling over these and have decided to leave it for now.

This chat has been very enlightening and I fear may have sparked a new found fascination with this lovely instrument. Oh dear time to get a second job!

It has become apparent that this is a decent horn but nothing special and I could potentially be opening a can of worms. Even with the mouthpiece potential it appears that there is no demand here and the most likely scenario is I won't recover my costs.

I'm not in a rush, my son has a Yamaha YAS275 in almost new condition, which should keep him busy for a good few years and there is likely better options to be found.
I need to find a technician, so will heed the advice given in that regard and make inquiries on the various levels of repair and maintenance.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,950 Posts
Griffcat, never hurts to ask questions first then buy...
loads of information on this website and members more knowledgeable than I am. Keep asking and searching.

As for the birthday present....?? Anyone have a suggestion?
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top