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I have the opportunity to buy a Buescher True Tone C-melody sn 94xxx (1921), low pitch, for around 730 US$. The condition of the horn is great, with new pads. The finish is silver. Is this a fair price?

Thank you for your help!

-Trygve
 

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It's not much for a good saxophone, but it also depends on how much/often you are going to play it. I don't us mine often enough to justify the investment.
These could be a little picky on mouthpieces
 

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I have a nice 1925 Buescher C-Mel that I would have difficulty giving away, let alone trying to sell it for $700+ (which I tried to do a while back). They are not popular.

A good alto or tenor does everything a superb C-Mel can do - and better, unless you want to emulate Frank Trumbauer or Rosy McHargue. I’d ask that seller to pay me to take it. DAVE
 

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Have you played it? Are all the pads new? I had a Wurlitzer Buescher stencil which I enjoyed, despite a few issues. I could not have gotten $700+ for it. But it was a stencil. I also had a King from the later 20s with better ergos and intonation. Not built like the Buescher however. I guess it depends if you are having a fling with the the C Mel or if this is serious. When I was following the C Mel dialogue on SOTW a few years ago it seemed the two camps were those who wanted gutsy tenorish Cmels (Buescher, King) and those who wanted the best horns, in terms of intonation and ergos (Conns). Many seemed to think Martins were the best (harder to find of course) but that were altoish. Holtons were a dark horse, unfairly maligned, and Couturier a whole terra incognita.
Sorry, more than you wanted I'm sure. C Mel's are fascinating and I'm glad for the time I spent with them. Those who think they are just a bizarre oddity miss a big piece of sax history, I think, when this instrument was in Everybody's parlor. It was cool to HAVE a sax, not just listen to one. Regarding the initial question, if it had had a real repad and is well set up it's not a bad price. At the same time you won't make money reselling it. Experts may correct me.
Lastly, remember that that NZ company that tried to revive the Cmel went out of business a few years ago. Not sure how the Cmel world is getting on now.
 

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Sorry, forgot one point: Buescher was very late in adding front F, not until well after 100,XXX as I recall. Long after Conn and Holton. That drastically affects value. If this one had the button G# and no front F, your resale market is limited unless it is gold plated, engraved etc.
 

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I have the opportunity to buy a Buescher True Tone C-melody sn 94xxx (1921), low pitch, for around 730 US$. The condition of the horn is great, with new pads. The finish is silver. Is this a fair price?

Thank you for your help!

-Trygve
As mentioned, does it have the F key? Complete with original case? This is about the max even for a fresh rebuild. But, if you know you want a C-melody, I think the Bueschers are the best, and 600-700 isn't too much for one in great shape, original case, and the front F key.
 

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I would say with good pads and very clean, $500 would be tops on one that early. I think the front F appeared around 200,000. These are US prices so if you are elsewhere, you may need to pay a bit more.
 

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I have the opportunity to buy a Buescher True Tone C-melody sn 94xxx (1921), low pitch, for around 730 US$. The condition of the horn is great, with new pads. The finish is silver. Is this a fair price?

Thank you for your help!

-Trygve
Enjoyable instrument. I have this type of Conn. https://youtu.be/f9f8_3cCGJo
Fair value depends on how you look at it. How old are the “new” pads and was the work done by quality tech...not the owner? Get proof of repair.
Repairable horn $200 + $500 For repad = $700. Looking at the value this way seems fair. Case,Mouthpiece ? As Bruce mentioned good players can be found under $500. You will have to be patient in your search though.
As a suggestion PM Mr Dolson on #3 post. Dave’s good people maybe you two could work a deal.
Good luck fishing and please post your trophy when acquired.
PS🐷
 

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Sorry, forgot one point: Buescher was very late in adding front F, not until well after 100,XXX as I recall. Long after Conn and Holton. That drastically affects value. If this one had the button G# and no front F, your resale market is limited unless it is gold plated, engraved etc.
Yes, a Buescher this early (1921) would have a button G# and no front F - it wasn't until around 200,XXX I think that all True Tones had the front F and roller G# (some earlier ones had them as an option, but not really before 150,XXX). This would lower the value a bit - most people look for late 20's C-Melody's and those from the early 20's don't go for much. The silver is a plus but $700 is high, even with new pads - I'd think $500 would be more reasonable.

I had a bare brass Buescher C-Melody (I think it was 1924?) with new pads that I sold a few years back for around $400, so with silver plate instead I'd say $500. The only ones I've seen go for more are silver or gold plated Conns from the late 20's (New Wonder Series II or "Chu Berry" models).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi everybody, and thanks for your information and help.

I haven`t played it yet, but I`ll visit the seller in the weekend to try it, and I will then decide if I`m gonna buy it. I have no plans to resell or make money on it, I just think it`ll be fun to have a a «special» and old saxophone with a different sound than my other. The case is not original, but I think the mouthpiece is. It has no front F, I think.
I live in Norway, and I haven`t seen many of them in the norwegian market. I’ve seen some of them on ebay for a much lower price, but they seems to be in a bad condition. It will also cost a lot to ship a saxophone from the US to Norway. Usahorn.net are actually selling two buescher C`s from the early 20`s for 1200 and 1250 US#.

-Trygve
 

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The reason I have a C-Melody is because I wanted one, not that I needed one or hoped to ever turn a profit on it - I don't buy saxophones with a profit-motive. So, if your only reason is because you want it, and it is in good shape, and in your hands for a test-play, by all means buy it. I've done that many times and don't regret most purchases I've made. They all pleased me, in a way.

I still think it is priced too high, but who am I to criticize the price of a saxophone, especially one I wanted? Been there and done that, for sure. Please let us know how it all turned out for you. DAVE
 

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I bought a Conn C Melody at an antique store in Nebraska in the 80s for $42. All original everything, with the original mouthpiece, it doesn't play. If I had it professionally overhauled I'm sure I'd have at least $700 in it. Meanwhile it sits in my closet for over 30 years. I think it's pretty cool though, it'd make a very groovy lamp. 3 way bulb with B, C and G being the switches.
 
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