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Discussion Starter #1
I've read many posts here regarding pricing of these models and I'm not sure how to go about shopping for one. I've read a number of "How much is this worth?" type threads and have seen replies with anything from $50 to over $500.

What would you say an overhauled one in excellent condition (95% finish) is worth? Or one that looks excellent but needs an overhaul? In other words, how much would you be willing to "invest" in TT in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition? My wife is a pianist which is why I'm interested in a C-mel. It would be nice to just look off her music. I only play as a hobby (played in jazz band in HS) and the only time I'd play in public would be at church. lol

Also, I've read that pretty much any tenor mouthpiece sounds great on this horn?

Thanks for any advice! :)
 

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If I spent $500 I would expect to have one that plays "out of the box". (I've bought 6 c-mels in the past 4 years). I just bought a decent True Tone for $350. It needs some work and $100 with a tech would get it playing well. I wouldn't have paid more for it and I personally have a limit in the $300 area unless I was buying from a very reputable source. You just can't see all the blemishes for a sax you're interested in by looking at pictures. Bruce Bailey and cmelodysax are sellers of c saxes I would trust.

I would not agree that all tenor mouthpieces sound great on this horn. Your taste will lead the way to the right mouthpiece for you. A number of tenor mps will never work - the intonation will be seriously off no matter what you do.
 

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As a C melodist for 15+ years myself, I say "experiment!" Try alto pieces, tenor pieces, as well as the available C pieces made today. Most don't cost much.

Buescher Cs are useful because they're capable of fuller, more tenorish tone when pushed, as well as the gentler alto type sound. The Conn, which I mostly play, is tough to push. Its lower register is more fragile.

I might go $600 for a very nice condition, freshly overhauled C. Only if it's gold plated or a late serial rarity (like my 1936 Naked Lady Conn) would it be more valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies!

I guess I'll just cut to the chase. I can hide behind my computer...lol

Judging by your response, I think I didn't make a very good purchase. I just bought this on ebay and I'll get it Friday. They accepted a lower offer over the phone and I'm wondering what experienced buyers here would've paid for it. I'm not sure what the nickel finish does for it in terms of value, but I really like how it looks! In the end, I think I'll have a horn I really like and a price I'm comfortable paying (budget was $1000), but I hate to think I overpaid. I know, I know...I should've posted this BEFORE buying. :tsk:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Buescher-True-T...&otn=2&po=LVI&ps=63&clkid=8273178835019029210
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Well, it's one of the nickel finished horns, which are a bit unusual. Not certain that adds to its value, but it does give you a different look than the usual silver horn.

It's a Type 2 version, notable in that it has the typewriter button for G#, instead of a roller G# Type 3 or 4 that would generally be easier to play and bring a few extra bucks as a result. Neck has been pulled down, you can tell by the kink in the lower neck support just after the man in the moon brace.

If it was advertised to be in playing condition "out of the box", I might have gone as high as $400, because I always assume anything off of eBay requires a complete overhaul. It's an unfortunate fact that there's a whole lot of these out there in non-playable condition, and it's not a popular type of horn to begin with. The cost of repair usually is greater than the value of the instrument, and you have to want a C-Mel in playing condition to pay anything for it -- there's just not a lot of demand.

Tenor pieces work well on it. A Selmer soloist seems to do quite well, but I use an F on it, not the usual C#. I have a Morgan C, but it's so dark that it's pretty lifeless. I did attempt to try the Aquilasax C (still have it if someone's interested), but alto-diameter pieces won't fit this horn at all without surgery to the neck.

I paid $475 last year for mine. A type 3 with the roller G#. I ended up putting another $825 into it for the complete overhaul ($600) and replating the interior of the bell (gold wash, $225), so total out of pocket was $1300 -- which is why I always assume "needs adjustment or a few pads" really means a complete overhaul.

It's fair to say I wouldn't recover the investment if I turned it back around on eBay. Lucky to get half that for it, and it truly is playing and looking like new. That said, it was worth it to me, so I figure I paid a fair price. I have a better horn than a new Aquilasax for less than half the price.

I've attached a couple pics of mine -- before and after overhaul and some minor plating work.
 

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The listing is still active.....

What did you pay anyway, you obviously didn't pay 1k and I doubt anything near the buy it now price. I kinda dig the nickle finish right now, the bari I got last year is nickle, I think the patina they end up with is pretty cool.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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The listing is still active.....

What did you pay anyway, you obviously didn't pay 1k and I doubt anything near the buy it now price. I kinda dig the nickle finish right now, the bari I got last year is nickle, I think the patina they end up with is pretty cool.
I assume you made an offer, but it hasn't been accepted. Were I to offer a price for this, given the listing, it would be in the $200 range.

I did buy a NOS Berg SS bari piece from them very recently. They're legit as far as I can tell. If you can get some sort of description of the playing condition of the horn, it would be easier to make a judgement on the price. As I mentioned before $400 tops in playing condition needing nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it's one of the nickel finished horns, which are a bit unusual. Not certain that adds to its value, but it does give you a different look than the usual silver horn.

It's a Type 2 version, notable in that it has the typewriter button for G#, instead of a roller G# Type 3 or 4 that would generally be easier to play and bring a few extra bucks as a result. Neck has been pulled down, you can tell by the kink in the lower neck support just after the man in the moon brace.

If it was advertised to be in playing condition "out of the box", I might have gone as high as $400, because I always assume anything off of eBay requires a complete overhaul. It's an unfortunate fact that there's a whole lot of these out there in non-playable condition, and it's not a popular type of horn to begin with. The cost of repair usually is greater than the value of the instrument, and you have to want a C-Mel in playing condition to pay anything for it -- there's just not a lot of demand.

Tenor pieces work well on it. A Selmer soloist seems to do quite well, but I use an F on it, not the usual C#. I have a Morgan C, but it's so dark that it's pretty lifeless. I did attempt to try the Aquilasax C (still have it if someone's interested), but alto-diameter pieces won't fit this horn at all without surgery to the neck.

I paid $475 last year for mine. A type 3 with the roller G#. I ended up putting another $825 into it for the complete overhaul ($600) and replating the interior of the bell (gold wash, $225), so total out of pocket was $1300 -- which is why I always assume "needs adjustment or a few pads" really means a complete overhaul.

It's fair to say I wouldn't recover the investment if I turned it back around on eBay. Lucky to get half that for it, and it truly is playing and looking like new. That said, it was worth it to me, so I figure I paid a fair price. I have a better horn than a new Aquilasax for less than half the price.

I've attached a couple pics of mine -- before and after overhaul and some minor plating work.
Wow, what a beautiful sax!

Can you tell me what "neck has been pulled down" means?

I don't plan to sell it so I'm not too worried about resale value. I'm guessing you don't either with all that custom work. The seller assured me it was "completely overhauled" and ready to play out of the box. They have a 100% feedback rating (over 100 transactions) and a 7-day guarantee so I felt pretty comfortable with the purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I paid $650. I did everything over the phone so they probably just forgot to delete the listing. They couldn't even find it when I called. lol. The store sounded pretty busy in the background and she had to put me on hold several times.

I called around my local shops and was quoted between $400-500 for new pads, adjustments, etc. Since the horn was $650 and had all this done already, I thought it was a decent deal. Now I'm not so sure...

The listing is still active.....

What did you pay anyway, you obviously didn't pay 1k and I doubt anything near the buy it now price. I kinda dig the nickle finish right now, the bari I got last year is nickle, I think the patina they end up with is pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Really?!?! Don't pads alone (without installation) cost this much?

I assume you made an offer, but it hasn't been accepted. Were I to offer a price for this, given the listing, it would be in the $200 range.

I did buy a NOS Berg SS bari piece from them very recently. They're legit as far as I can tell. If you can get some sort of description of the playing condition of the horn, it would be easier to make a judgement on the price. As I mentioned before $400 tops in playing condition needing nothing.
 

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Wow, what a beautiful sax!

Can you tell me what "neck has been pulled down" means?

I don't plan to sell it so I'm not too worried about resale value. I'm guessing you don't either with all that custom work. The seller assured me it was "completely overhauled" and ready to play out of the box. They have a 100% feedback rating (over 100 transactions) and a 7-day guarantee so I felt pretty comfortable with the purchase.

The neck was damaged and literally bent down towards the body of the horn. This usually happens when putting a mouthpiece on it while it's still attached to the sax. This means that it's more susceptible to the same damage in the future and could cause the neck to split open if it happens again. Doesn't affect the playability unless the metal cracks from fatigue. Something you'll need to be cautious of when you're putting the mouthpiece on the neck.

It appears to be a good seller from feedback and my own experience with the seller suggests that they're pretty honest. That said, take this horn to a pro or repair shop and let them look it over when you get it.
 

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Really?!?! Don't pads alone (without installation) cost this much?
You'll note I didn't have any custom work done -- just an overhaul. If you got it for $650 ready to go and needing nothing, you'll be fine. This is a matter of personal preference, rather than financial gain, and as you'll note my final bill was $1300 to put my horn in $600 condition.

On the other hand, if it shows up needing $600 in work after paying $650, send it back. Pads alone don't cost that much. It's really all in the labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Maddenma, this makes me feel a lot better about the purchase. Except for the neck...I'll have to be extra careful with it. My local shop says they will inspect it for me for free so I'll have them take a look. They didn't seem to be very fond of the C Melody saxes however. I called two other shops and same thing. Maybe I need to send them a couple of the links from this sub-forum. :)
 

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Thanks Maddenma, this makes me feel a lot better about the purchase. Except for the neck...I'll have to be extra careful with it. My local shop says they will inspect it for me for free so I'll have them take a look. They didn't seem to be very fond of the C Melody saxes however. I called two other shops and same thing. Maybe I need to send them a couple of the links from this sub-forum. :)
Take comfort...nickel is a fine finish, currently, when available, is highly regarded....probably the most durable finish.
Also, with regard to price, my silver/gold key-work/goldwash bell TT, in A1 condition, would not be available at the price you paid.
I have three C tenors....all in use, & I hope that you have as much pleasure that I continue to enjoy with mine....even if we play at diametrically opposing venues.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Take comfort...nickel is a fine finish, currently, when available, is highly regarded....probably the most durable finish.
Also, with regard to price, my silver/gold key-work/goldwash bell TT, in A1 condition, would not be available at the price you paid.
I have three C tenors....all in use, & I hope that you have as much pleasure that I continue to enjoy with mine....even if we play at diametrically opposing venues.
Thanks for the kind words...I can't wait to get it!

Does the nickel finish have have any effect on the tone? Or would it sound the same as the TTs in silver or gold finishes?
 

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Thanks for the kind words...I can't wait to get it!

Does the nickel finish have have any effect on the tone? Or would it sound the same as the TTs in silver or gold finishes?
I may have poor hearing but I believe that the finish is on the outside whereas the sound travels down the inside......no difference whatsoever.
If finish makes anything other than a minimal difference then please explain the Grafton. :bluewink:
 

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I assume Susan still has Rod Baltimore doing her sax work. He should get it going okay.
 

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I may have poor hearing but I believe that the finish is on the outside whereas the sound travels down the inside......no difference whatsoever.
If finish makes anything other than a minimal difference then please explain the Grafton. :bluewink:
Oh, I came across one of the threads here and someone wrote that polishing the silver, even on the outside, effects how the horn sounds. Thought maybe adding a nickel finish would as well.
 

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Why beat around the bush on this. Two hundred bucks is the going rate even if it plays for one in this shape and spending $650 is an incredibly poor investment. Since the seller hasn't taken down the auction, I would rescind your offer immediately. Since you didn't go through Ebay, and only have an oral offer extended by telephone it shouldn't be too hard to do. Get out of this deal now while you still can.
 
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