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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, nice to be joining the forum :)

I'm wondering if you might have a bit of advice please?

I potentially have the option of buying an SA80 Series 1 soprano from 1983. However it looks to me like there is a fair bit of red rot along the top rods, as if it's been lying upside down in sweat for years. I'm curious as to if this is in fact red rot or some other corrosion, simply because of where it is, it's not a tube and it isn't normally in contact with sweaty fingers. That the whole length of the rods are marked seems strange. The rest of the instrument is pretty immaculate.

The seller has a few instruments available, all pro gear, all immaculate and has looked after everything very well from new and this seems to be very 'out of character' damage. Any insight and thoughts greatly appreciated, many thanks.

Alan.
 

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Alan: Welcome to SOTW. If it were me, I’d take a pass on that horn. Maybe it could be cleaned up - maybe not, but it looks like more than the finish is involved and why bother when there must be lots of nice sopranos, modern and vintage, around the world that won’t present that problem. I’m sure someone will claim that will clean up nicely, but I wouldn’t bother unless the horn was gifted to me. And I’ve had better soprano gifts than that one. DAVE
 

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IF you could get it at a bargain price and aren't afraid to take a horn apart and put it back together, you could hand polish those areas and they would over time just turn golden-brown. If the horn was otherwise undamaged I would do that in a minute. BUT it has to be a 'fire sale' price.
 

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Many thanks to you both, I agree it seriously reduces the value of it. On the plus side, I'm starting to get into the repair side of things (a bit away yet though) so could be a great project. I looked at Selmer's spares site and they have Series II parts but don't seem to list Series 1 parts, that could be the easy way to fix it if older parts are available.

I'm still perplexed as to *where* the damage is.

Dave, yes, many others out there but this might come as a job lot with other things if I can get the overall price down :)
 

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The horn was apparently in a case with dampness over an extended period. You would not normally consider replacing the affected keys, just polish them out with metal polish or take it to the shop to have them buff them out. You could spend more than the horn is worth trying to replace keys. If you want it to look more new, have them relacquer the affected keys. This is much more expensive than just buffing them out because they have to replace the pads on the affected keys. Where you have deep pitting you'll have to sand, like on that palm key. There's plenty of brass on the keys so as long as you don't do anything to the body it won't affect sound.
 

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I agree with the “damp storage” assessment. I would also be concerned about the condition of the pivots - are they rusted inside?

The cosmetic part would put me off the sale, but others less finicky would just clean it up, move on, and be perfectly fine.
 

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I'll agree with everyone else, except it *seems* the damage is cosmetic........UNLESS (as Dr G. mentioned) the pivot screws are rusted in place. If there's any chance you could take a screwdriver and see if the screws on the LH pinky cluster start to come out, I'd do that. If they're not frozen/rusted, I think a competent repair tech would be able to clean, remove any rust and re-oil the mechanisms. No, it won't win a beauty contest, but that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. Having said that, I'd still expect a pretty steep discount from the seller because of this. I'm not even going to begin to guesstimate a price, because I honestly have no idea what Series 1 sop's go for. Whatever the reasonable rate would be, I'd expect a good 40% off that.......IF the screws/posts aren't frozen!
 

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I have seen very often on this series some lacquer damage like this. I passed on one lacquered one in worse state than this even it it was really cheap.

I am not sure of the dampness of the storage. The instrument showed what I normall would call acid bleed but also in areas when this is not normal. I tend to think that this may have happend because of some lacquer contaminants.

Anyway, there is nothing that detracts from the great sound of an instrument like this and if you could get it cheap you could have it done (but at what cost?).
 

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The corrosion wouldn't make me nervous as long as all moving parts move, but I'd be a bit concerned with the condition of the pads. If it needs a full repad or overhaul, it may cost you much more than just getting a newer soprano.
 

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Hello. I'd tend to look at this as, what would be the worst case scenario? Frozen screws and rods? G# adjustment screw frozen? Do the pads around the area need replacing? (4/5 pads). There could be a little play in one of the rods from the photo (1mm +). Any of these or all might be pricey to address. Is there any other damage? Can you have a look at the case, particularly in inside, this may give you some clues. These horns seem to go on Ebay between $2000 - $2500 say, so offer the seller half and see what he/she says. They can only say no. Good luck.
 

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If possible, I advice a tech accompanies you to the shop to ascertain the extent of damage (if any) before making a financial commitment.
 
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