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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently bought a Noblet tenor on eBay for 600 dollars (you can find the eBay link here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Nob...Domain_0&hash=item565727e671&autorefresh=true ). The listing said that the pads were in ok shape and maybe a bit worn, but when I got the horn and played it, it became apparent that I will need to overhaul it, and that this will cost me 700 dollars. I believe the seller offers a 14-day trial period after which I can return it.

Should I spend the money and get it overhauled, or should I return it and look for another Noblet tenor? I've heard good things about these horns and that's why I am looking for one. The serial number on mine is 9924.

I was also looking at this listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BEAUGNIER-N...489?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51ab43d589 . It looks to be in much better condition than my horn and has been overhauled, but it has a lower serial number and the low Bb spatula keys look to have worse ergonomics than mine, although they are by no means horrible.

Thanks!
 

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You have a few options.

IMHO, these are fantastic horns. What you have there is the same horn as the Vito Special...with the right-side bellkeys & redesigned keywork people refer to as 'modern' keywork. Beaugnier/Noblet did not make many of these; I believe these were the last horns the company produced before ceasing to exist. IMHO they are some of the best.....and one worked up into good playing shape is really worth around $1100. Back in the salad days, they could fetch $1400g in great shape.

The second one is nice, too...it is the model which preceded the one you bought. It has the transitional egg-shaped pinky table.....not quite as snappy as the design you have, but better than the trapezoidal table which preceded it. These are good, for $900 ....ask the seller straight out if they will attest to the fact it plays up and down fine (th description doesn't quite specify yes or no). If it does, $900 is a fair price.

Next...did the first seller misrepresent ? :| That depends on your perspective. IMHO there is nothing in the auction description which says the horn is guaranteed to play up and down and need no further work.

On the other hand, neither does it specifically say the horn does NOT play up and down. Some may argue his wording suggests that it plays.

This is TYPICAL eFlay stuff....fuzzy, grey descriptions with enough CYA words in there to argue the seller did not deceive. People can be left to interpret them in a number of ways.

To a hopeful buyer it = playing horn.

IMHO....if I purchased a horn described thus, I would NOT expect it to arrive in playing shape (however, I have been doing this stuff for a long time)

To a crusty buyer it = horn which one should not expect to play up and down.

IF you specifically asked a question and the seller specifically replied that it does play OK...then THAT is straight-out misrepresentation and you have good reason to argue.

With that said, I am also going to assume (based on my own experiences) that perhaps the tech who gave you the estimate was aiming for a nice profit. I have been refurbing for 7 years; most of the time horns I get when taken to techs who I do not know, came back with high estimates and a scope of work which (while nice) was unnecessary.

So with those 3 things in mind....

Option 1) : return horn for full refund and try again.

2) : if you generally like the condition of the horn (physically/aesthetically i.e. it isn't grungy or dented or the lacq isn't really in bad shape), go to another tech and tell them you have $400 to invest in work on it; can they get it into decent playing shape for that amount of money ?

If so.....contact the seller, respectfully tell them the horn does not play as they portrayed it would; however, for a few hundred you can take care of that on your end and be satisfied with the transaction if they would be willing to partially refund $XXX to put towards the work needed. Offer to provide a scan of the tech's estimate.

Oftentimes a seller would rather issue a partial refund rather than take the horn back for a full refund.

3) Eat it and just shell out yourself, although I strongly suggest you walk into the next tech and right off the bat tell them what you want to spend. If you can get the work down to $500-600, and you can shell that out....it is still a worthy investment.

I refurb a lot of Noblet/Beaugnier/Vito horns...they are really, really good. Really Good, these are the best of 'em.
Given the market these days, $600 should get you one which needs only $300-500 repair.....
 

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You got the horn at an 'overhaul for sure' price - I'm baffled at what you expect to get for $600..... Why don't you take it to your repairman and see what he thinks? I bet I could play it as-is, and for sure if I have a couple hours with it. Noblet had a good rep when they were making instruments. That horn looks pretty straight. Chances are a good tech could get it playing for you fairly cheap, putting off that overhaul for quite awhile. Can you play it at all? How does it feel in your hands? You should really think twice about sending it back - you may never find another one in that condition for $600.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know the tech very well and he's a great friend... his name is Travis Ranney and he's done all the work on my horns before, including a 500 dollar overhaul on my Evette Schaeffer that was completely unplayable, and now it plays like a dream. Most of the work he does on my horns is done while I watch and is 20 dollars tops... a lot of time he'll do the work for free while I watch. He's a great guy, I can't recommend him enough.

I'm going to see him tonight, so I'll let you know how it goes. I'll get an estimate on how much it costs to put it in playing condition. A lot of the keys "stick" and will not come back up when you push them down. Anything below a high D is pretty bad, and it is essentially unplayable below a middle D. You can play a low Bb, but the sound only lasts for a tenth of a second. :p

Just based on the high D, I have every reason to believe this horn is as good as a Mark VI. I'm excited to get it in playing condition.
 

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I sorta agree with 1saxman...for $600 for the top-shelf Beaugnier.....you should not have expected to receive a horn that plays. The more I look at the auction the more I see that the seller provided a lotta pics. I still feel he used some weasly semantics, however. I mean, saying the horn has a great sound and then hearing from you that some keys are not even free....eh...

I am a bit confused, though, because you initially said

when I got the horn and played it, it became apparent that I will need to overhaul it, and that this will cost me 700 dollars
..... then just now, you said that you will bring it to your tech and get a price (?)

Who gave you the $700 quote ? Had you taken it to someone already ?

Or did I misunderstand something ?

If you know your tech well and have a long relationship, he should be able to bring it into playing shape for $500 unless there's something seriously nasty and hiding (rusted rods, major brace impactions, split seams, damaged holes, etc)..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The 700 dollar figure was just a general quote my tech gave me for a complete tenor rebuild.

I took it to him and he said I should return it. There were huge leaks, the body tube was bent (it wasn't creased though and he was able to fix this quickly), and there were a host of other problems. The dealbreaker was that the neck was not the original neck and was much too lose on the horn, and he could not do anything to make it fit.

Since the sax is in unplayable condition, will I get my shipping refunded?
 

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+1 with 1saxman.

That neck is clearly a Noblet neck. Maybe not the original.

People that get so bothered by minor sax problems should only by new or fully overhauled. If the amount of money you paid for this horn is alot of money to you, than you should not be an ebay buyer.
 

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I agree with saxcop on the neck...there's no doubt it is a Noblet neck, unless someone went to a great amount of trouble switching out a Noblet neckbrace to make it look like one (look at your 2 auctions, the horns have necks with identical braces). Of course Noblet-branded horns sported a few different Tenor models over their 20+ years of existence, as you have already identified 2 of them; but there were at least another 2 models off teh top of my head......so indeedy, it may be the neck is from a different model Noblet.

I understand your decision, however. For me, a guy who has refurbed several hundred horns, nothing there sounds particularly horrific in the repair dept....bent tube no big deal, repad no big deal, dent removal no bid deal, having to replace the tenon or receiver to make the neck fit ?.... no huge deal, although it's a $100 repair. But I can see, and cannot argue with you, that the horn has more issues than revealed in the auction.

eFlay's policy is that they do NOT require the seller to refund RETURN shipping. So, it is sorta up to the seller whether he wants to do that or not. On the very occasional horn of mine which arrives to the buyer damaged, I usually will reimburse for return shipping, but then again I am a nicer guy than most folks ...um, usually :|
 
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