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Discussion Starter #1
In response to my post in the marketplace to trade my P. Mauriat alto, I have the choice between a relaquered martin committee alto in good playing condition, serial number 171xxx for an even trade and a buescher true tone tenor plus $200 with new snap ins and springs, serial number 238xxx. Both from a dealer.

Can't quite make up my mind yet. I'd like some opinions on both of these saxes.

Also, I don't gig or anything but enjoy learning and playing (standards) with BIAB and Aebersold.
 

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Jamey Aebersold is fun and everything he preaches can be taken to any level of playing. Actually he approaches music from a very simple standpoint, but it is very effective. But anyway back on topic.

What type of P. Mauriat do you have? I know several pro's who have been using Mauriat's, Cannonball's, Jupiter's, and Antigua's as their main horns and sound phenominal on them. Chris Hemmingway is currently using a Cannonball alto. Kenny Blake has been using an Antigua tenor with his Mark VI alto and soprano during gigs. Both sound...much better than me, but I don't think that has much to do with the horn. I'm curious as to what you do not like about your P. Mauriat as they are really good horns.

I do not have experience with the Committee, but if it is a relacquer I would take caution before I trade for it. A bad relacquer can effect playability and will effect resale. Play it up and down with a tuner in hand. Throw everything you have at the horn and if you are satisfied, go with it.

Of the three horns you've mentioned, MY first choice would be the Buescher True Tone. These are considered to be one of the best horns of the 20's. Actually the TT is the horn of choice by many modern saxophonists as well. Please keep in mind that the horn will feel much different than your modern P. Mauriat. The keywork is neither better nor worse but rather a personal preference and you must decide which you like better. Not all of these had the auxilary F key. If you like using the front F, you will have to have a tech solder on the key for you. This will cost around $100 and may effect resale value.

Please keep in mind that even though you are not a gigging musician now, things change. Take time with all three horns and decide which suits YOU the best. Try to imagine which horn you would rather be playing if you were gigging 5 or 6 nights a week. It is a stretch, but it will help you make a wiser choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply!

I had the PMSA 67 with the straight tone holes and the dark finish with the green keys. I also bought the jazz VI neck.

I've learned a lot from SOTW about the chances you take with buying a relaquered horn. So that may rule out the martin alto. I no longer live where I can get advice from other sax players so a lot of my practice ideas come from this site. I enjoy the Aebersold and BIAB. I can gauge my progress with reading and understanding how to play through chord changes. It is my goal to be able to gig or play in front of willing listeners withing a few years or so.

I am a little familiar with some of the vintage horns having played a few at L and L's in Maryland. I currenlty have a Martin Indiana tenor that is, to me, amazing. It needs some work but plays for me as I can get around the problems. I'm actually afraid to get it fixed fearing that it won't sound as good. Perhaps I'm just paranoid!

I actually liked the P. a lot. It sounded nice but I just wasn't playing it after I got the tenor and felt bad about that. I like the Indiana so much that I want to try another vintage tenor in my practice rotation. My interest in the The Martin Alto was for its reputation for having a fuller sound.

I sent the P. for the trade. It will take about a week to get there so I have a few days to make a decision. I've been leaning toward the TT though.
 

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SuperAction80 said:
Of the three horns you've mentioned, MY first choice would be the Buescher True Tone... Not all of these had the auxilary F key. If you like using the front F, you will have to have a tech solder on the key for you.
A 238K Buescher True Tone tenor will have the front F key. If it's lacquered don't take it. It won't be orignal. If it is original, it more than likely will have silver plate. Another thing to keep in mind, is that when you see folks gushing about True Tones, it's usually in regard to altos and sopranos. You don't see a lot written about the TT tenors, but arguably, they may just be more rare. However, a TT tenor I tried just didn't want to gel with a high baffled mouthpiece, though others might have different experiences.

Just wondering, as I'm in Maryland as well... what did you get to try at LL Music?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Grumps,

The TT is actually laquered with about 80% left on it. I use a NY Link 6*. How should that work out on the TT tenor? Perhaps I should look a little further into his inventory before settling on the TT.

L and L (Gaithersburg) has a very friendly staff. Perry Contichio was a big help. They didn't mind that I was learning and wasn't/not a good musician but they brought out everything! I played a bunch of Cannonballs, Alto/Tenor; SA 80 alto; Conn Chu in silver; King Super 20. I've been back for reeds and saw other vintage saxes but didn't stay and play them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Grumps said:
A 238K Buescher True Tone tenor will have the front F key. If it's lacquered don't take it. It won't be orignal.

I would like to keep my budget to the alto plus $500-$600 max.

What may be a better option between a 90% silver plated TT 254xxx or a 99% (likely not original) silver plated Conn Wonder 68xxx.

I know the best way to know is to actually play the horn but I'm not in the states for a while and the euro rate is outrageous.

Your input is helpful.
 

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Sorry, I must have been half asleep and misread the original post and thought that the TT for trade was an alto. Grumps is correct though regarding the lacquer not being original. The horn would have originally been bare brass. Honestly, I think that your best bet would be to keep the P. Mauriat. An after market lacquer TT can be had on ebay in good shape for less than $500. Taking the original cost of the P. Mauriat into consideration, I would only trade it for a Silver or Gold plated TT in pristine condition. Please keep in mind that this is my opinion based on the current market values of the horns in question. By all means though, if the True Tone is a screamer and fits you like a glove, don't let resale get in between you and the creation of good music.

After reading your second post, I would suggest putting some money into repairing the Indiana Tenor (which by all means is a decent horn) and keep the P. Mauriat alto. This will allow you to work on both alto and tenor and that will increase your versatility when you feel that you are ready to gig. Don't feel obligated to split your playing time evenly between both horns. I spend most of my time on tenor, but still manage to squeeze in alto, soprano, clarinet, and even bass guitar.

If you feel that you have a few standards and chord progressions under your belt, by all means start looking for a local jazz club that has open stages. Professional musicians typically host these events and it is a good way to test your skills, meet some really cool musicians, and recieve free tips and lessons. I like finding as many of these open stages as possible. Actually, I've landed a few gigs this way. I will usually take a small notepad and write down any tip that is told to me. What better way to get where you want to go than by talking to people who are already there?
 

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PommesFrites said:
Perhaps I should look a little further into his inventory before settling on the TT.
If you're trading with a dealer, you'll always end up on the short end of the stick. They're in business to flip a profit on a horn and any trade they'll accept will do just that, and then some. Don't use the high value of the euro as an excuse to be had. I'd sell the PM separately, and not settle on any horn.
 

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Cannonball (Chris Hemmingway)

SuperAction80 said:
Chris Hemmingway is currently using a Cannonball alto.
Chris sounds awesome on his Cannonball. He must have picked up a new one because his old one was at Germann's getting rebuilt.

I looked at it laying in pieces on his side bench and remarked that I heard good things about these horns and Jim replied yeah but this one needed some work... I then asked if it belonged to Chris because Chris's bare brass Cannonball had all sorts of homemade risers on the keys and the like and they were not there for good looks. We had a good laugh.

I too some lesson's with Chris last winter. Good teacher and a nice guy.

HUTMO
 

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HUTMO said:
Chris sounds awesome on his Cannonball. He must have picked up a new one because his old one was at Germann's getting rebuilt.

HUTMO
I ran into him at a nightclub in Lawrenceville. He was playing a silver alto with an underslung neck. I thought that it was an Old Conn or Super 20, but the rest of the mechanism was definatly modern. I finally asked him what kind of horn it was and he said that it was in fact a Cannonball. I've been looking for the model with the underslung neck design, but have not yet found it.

I did see an episode of "Live from Studio A" on WQED where Chris was playing a horn similiar to the one that you've seen at Germann's. May have been the same horn. And yes, Chris is a great guy and is one of the local legends along with Eric Defade and Kenny of course.
 

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The P. Mauriat is a great horn, and it's probably true that you'll come out way behind money-wise if trading with a dealer. The question is whether you'll like the vintage horn better, keywork and tone. I'd be inclined to keep the PM and maybe try out some different mouthpieces and/or necks to improve the sound.
 
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