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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up an alto sax many years ago for free. I played years ago in school and thought I might pick it up one day.

Well I never did but my nephew has and I was wondering if it's worth fixing up this old horn. It's solid but needs pads springs and a bit of key alignment.

What would the value of the horn be?

The horn is a Pan American serial # P18345
 

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Pads, etc. will probably cost you at least $300 and if the case is bad, some more money. If it needs all of this, it is probably worth less than $100. A photo would help.
 

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bruce bailey said:
Pads, etc. will probably cost you at least $300 and if the case is bad, some more money. If it needs all of this, it is probably worth less than $100. A photo would help.
I agree with bruce... a friend of mine is wanting to sell his shooting star for $650 , pads are old but playable and he never get offer more than 400 bux so yeah...

I dont think its worth the money unless it has a real sentimental value for you...

If you have the dough...you better get something else that you can sell for almost the same money when you want to sell it in the future. But for this at least you have to get a decent 6m. (I am suggesting 6m because we are in conn sub category)

As with this horn...well...i;ll keep it if I were you. You said you got it for free anyway...so it should have some sentimental value or memory...dont throw it away, a horn has value althought its not monetary value. I always feel sad to see a vintage horn got discarded in un appropriate way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well it's not in too totally bad shape, I found a serial number list and it looks like it's from 1925?

Anyway a few of the pads are shot, but it will play barely. The biggest issue is the pad and cork on the neck is shot and the keyholes have cut donuts on a couple of pads.

My nephew is in his high school band, freshman I think and has so far played Alto and Tenor through junior high but he saw it when they came to visit and has taken quite a shine to it and thinks it's really cool. He really likes the engraving.

He's in his high school band and I guess just having his own horn instead of a school horn is a big deal at his age. He sat up messing with it cleaning and messing with it all night and all the next day. His dad says he hasn't seen him that focused in years.

I was thinking of having new pads put on and having it gone over so it plays like it should and handing it to him for his birthday.

Not really looking for value so much as wanting to know if it's a decent horn that he can play that isn't going to drive him away from playing trying.. :)

Can you re laquer an old horn like this?

I'd really be spending the money on my nephew more than the horn, if ya know what I mean, just don't to hand him a boat anchor so to speak.
 

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I would reconsider if it is for a HS kid. Some don't like the looks as everyone else has a modern horn and these are not that easy to play as the keywork is not modern and they have more resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, well the different keywork and the different looks is what he likes about it, maybe just because it's different he thinks it's cool. But being harder to play than a modern horn might eventually override his enthusiasm.

Well I'll think about it and maybe go see what costs look like. Any recommendations in the Dallas area for someone to look at it?

BTW are these old horns solid brass?
 

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The horn may have more resistance, but it will probably be louder than any of the new horns that the other kids are playing.:twisted:

It takes a little bit to get used to a horn like this, but if he likes the tone, he'll figure it out. I never understood why everyone thinks that kids will make fun of the look of the horn. Back when I was in High School, everyone thought my New Wonder looked cool. They are different compared to a modern horn and they do stand out. People will notice that, but I don't think it's a bad thing. Maybe I had an odd experience.:?

If your nephew likes the look and feel of the horn, and if resale is the last thing on your mind, go with the overhaul. Please just make sure that there is either an "L" or "A" by the serial number. If there is an "H" then the horn is high pitched and is useless for ensemble work. I would also make sure that there is an aux F key on the horn. If the key isn't there, a good tech can solder one on the horn, but this will add to the cost of the overhaul. Sometimes us younger players get inspired when we play on a horn that's 80+ years old. The Pan Am's were a secondary stencil line for Conn, but they were pretty well built. Do you have a pic of the horn?
 

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TxRider, Don't relacquer this horn! If it's worth anything now, it will in all likelihood be worth less if you do. Besides, the boy's already in love with it. If you are sure that it is from ca.1925, get it to where it plays well and he'll be beside himself. I'm no Connmeister but i guess that would be a split bell key horn, right? :cool:
 
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