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Discussion Starter #1
i recently acquired a Martin Handcraft C-Melody Tenor here in Manila Philippines. the horn is basically in really bad shape. the first technician i asked said that it needs 3 keys replaced, resoldering, relacq, buffering, new set of pads, springs and a little tuning. the guy said it was probably from the 1920s. a relic that survived 2 colonial occupation (Japanese and Americans), floods, hurricanes, and a set of stupid owners.

i brought it to a technician that services marching bands here in the Philippines, he said that there is a good chance of the horn being revived but not to its former glory, the guy gave me a 70%-80% success rate. the guy asked for $186 for the revival, another guy will look at it this friday.

when i played the horn, it gave out a dark, powerful sound, kinda like some of the old blues records that i usually listen to.

the pictures are at http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?159494-What-model-of-a-Martin-Tenor-is-this

i need the advice of experts here in SOTW for further instructions regarding the revival, specifications and techniques on soldering, cleaning and other things that you guys might think of.

i really want to revive the horn (BADLY), the thought of it being a century old in about a decade really gives me good hopes and passion.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Step one: Buy some wire
Step 2: Make a lamp out of it
 

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The price seems too good to be real. Good quality pads alone could cost something getting on towards that.

There could be over 15 hours work in that, if it is done properly. If it is not done properly, then it should not be done.

It's like somebody offering to restor a vintage car for a few hundred $.
 

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i really want to revive the horn (BADLY), the thought of it being a century old in about a decade really gives me good hopes and passion.
Horns don't have feelings, and they'll never love you back. If you really want a C Melody then comb Ebay for them. They're a dime a dozen and you might even find one in playing shape. As described and as shown, that horn just ain't worth fixing.
 

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While horns may not have feelings, they do have history and they can have meaning.

I think some replies to Marc are based on a misunderstanding. He isn't a fella in search of a C-Melody sax. The day before he walked by that shop, I doubt he was thinking "man, I relally wanna get me one of those old C-Melodies...they're cool".
He stumbled upon this horn in a different manner, and for other reasons, it's inspiring him to consider bringing it back to life.

As I noted in the other thread....I can accept 'intangibles'. So, if for whatever reason this project 'speaks' to you in a way which goes beyond dollars and cents (and logic for that matter)...

....and at worst you are gonna drop $200 on it...

...AND you are willing to accept that after the $200 the horn still may NOT be in respectable playing condition....

....then, as Simso said....stop shopping around, and go for it. You are aware of the risks, you are aware of the rewards (whether tangible or intangible).

If you do proceed with one of those techs, please post back here with the results.....

 

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Marc, save your money and put it away toward a future overhaul for your VII. Or even a new mouthpiece.

You are just going to be throwing your money away. $200 will not fix this thing.

Doc Frazier quoted me $800 for a full restoration on my Conn C-Melody in so much better shape than yours.

Just trying to keep you from completely wasting your money.

Clean the thing up and make a lamp, seriously.
 

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While horns may not have feelings, they do have history and they can have meaning.
Only the meaning we give them by projecting our feelings upon them. This was picked up for what... thirty-five bucks? It's not a forlorn puppy and it's not like it was a family keepsake. It's a piece of junk that would be a complete waste of money to even attempt to get into playing shape. If he wants history, he can find another one that might be worth preserving. As I often say, just because a deal on a vintage horn appears to present itself, it doesn't mean we have to bite. I'd cut my losses on this one.
 

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Maybe it's not about having the best Martin C-mel, but about the before and after pictures and the fun of doing it.

Sometimes the fun is in the journey, not in where you get.

That being said, all advice against repairing this one is very logical and rational, so if what you want is to have a nice 100-year-old C-melody that looks and plays great, you can get that cheap on e-bay + much less tech work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
guys, thanks for all the help, and let me clarify some things

i didnt try to find it, i just walked on a street by chance and found it on a vintage store.

guys, remember when we/you were kids, when your parents gave you a new toy? you'd play with it all the time right? same as a car, the fun is not on seeing the car work. the fun is on the restoring and making it work

i started cleaning it up two days ago and its getting better and better. i scraped some of the black stuff that is covering the horn and gave it to a friend (he's a chem major here) in the university and he told me that it was the lacq mixing with the brass that got messed up, a simple buffering job will do the trick. i lubricated some of the joints and the screws and everything seems to be working. i will not attempt to take them apart. i'll let the tech do it. as for the missing keys. the tech said that we can transplant the keys from his stocks and put it on the horn. screws will be replaced.

JayeSF, ill post the pictures when we are done with the surgery, ill even put some sound clips for you to judge.lol


and everybody, dont be stunned about the price range here in the Philippines, I'm in a third world country. i bought my mark VII for a price lower than $300 and its in wonderful shape. everything is cheap here if you know how to bargain. the hard part is, horns are very hard to come by here. the only ones who plays horns in here are either dead or dying. kids here these days settle for guitars and pianos and violins but not much people put interest in horns such as ourselves. the one who taught me how to play, died almost two years ago. my grandfather.
 

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from what i see as i was cleaning the relic. it was lacquered. i found some old parts of it and i found pins and sprinngs that have been installed seems to be not earlier than 10 years ago. seems that someone tried to restore it. last night i called the owner of the antique shop where i bought the horn, the person who sold him the horn told him that he restored the horn then it was washed down by a flood not 3 years ago, the owner got pissed and sold it instead of trying to save it. (maybe because after giving $200 for restoration, it got busted again). lacq washed down corroded and thats the reason behind the black color. chemist who tested, confirmed it.
 

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Try muriatic acid (diluted) to get down to the silver or brass whatever finish. Beware of frozen rods in the keys ! That can be an almost insurmountable problem to repair or very expensive. Every other problem can be fixed fairly inexpensively on the body. Necks that dont fit or leak badly at the joint is another horn killer that make restoration very $$$. Matching keys from dissimilar horns is very difficult and better to find a key from the same model horn. Good luck. I am not an expert I only have 4 or so years experience and I haven't seen every problem but those stop me to reconsider. BTW I have one just like this that I would sell to you as a parts horn since I cant face the total amount of work necessary to put it into playing condition. C-melody serial # 135xxx
 

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Only the meaning we give them by projecting our feelings upon them. This was picked up for what... thirty-five bucks? It's not a forlorn puppy and it's not like it was a family keepsake. It's a piece of junk that would be a complete waste of money to even attempt to get into playing shape. If he wants history, he can find another one that might be worth preserving. As I often say, just because a deal on a vintage horn appears to present itself, it doesn't mean we have to bite. I'd cut my losses on this one.
You are truly an honor to your username, today....
Curmudgeon.....
 

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It could be lacquer over silverplate....stupid, but it's been done (and still IS, apparently).

Now, the thing is...will stripping the lacquer mess with the plating below ? I dunno...If it can be done, do it, and leave the plating (beyond just polishing it).
If you can get that lacq off, have someone sonic-clean it (if any tech in your area even has that equipment).

I agree w/ Fraser. The hardest part here is going to be finding or making that missing key. I mean, to fabricate one which works well-enuff ain't easy. On top of that, it's a C-Melody, so finding another key which remotely fits is highly unlikely.
I suppose one can alter a Tenor key, but damn...that's a hella lotta work.

And again....I would be SHOCKED if some rods aren't buggered or fused (even though the keys seem to operate).

I think, honestly...getting the body to look puuuurdy is the least of the hurdles here.....
But, hey....you are going for it so best of luck !
 
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