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Hello all - I've an opportunity to purchase a Martin Tenor, serial number 176,xxx, in what looks to be excellent condition, with (I think) original lacquer. The only problem is that neither I nor the seller has any real idea of what an appropriate price is. Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Ammon
 

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I've owned three The Martin tenors...I'd say $1500 for a private sale (as opposed to buying from a dealer who could vouch for the lacquer, condition, and could fix something they might have overlooked.)
 

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I'm assuming your tenor is a "The Martin" tenor and not a Magna, and in which case I would say in good working order 1100 to 1500 is not a bad value for it. Magna would add a good 30% to that value, Handcraft would subtract probably 15to20%. Hope that helps....heh not a expert on Martins, just saying what I've seen them for...=)

- Pat
 

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The SN range is a very desirable one hence I'd say if lacquer is indeed original and requires only minor adjustments, something around 1500 to 1800$.
Online dealers will ask 2600$ and above for something like that. Of course a private seller can't aim for the same.
Lacquer can be very tricky on Martin tenors.

Great tenors those, don't miss it !
 

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If your paying top dollar and you care about vintage value then have someone check out the lacquer. A horn of that year with much play on it should have some significant wear. Martins have a reputation for loosing lacquer.
 

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An original lacquer The Martin should, as far as I understand, be engraved through the lacquer. This is easy to spot against a horn that is (re)lacquered over the engraving. Check out as many pics of Martin horns as you can to get a general feel for the colour of the lacquer too.
Check out the tone holes to see if they've been filed and as well as any visible solder leaks around the toneholes (but you won't always be able to see them).
See how much play there is at the end of the hinge tubing, look for dents and check the neck hasn't been pulled down and that serial numbers match for the neck and body.
What's the condition of the original case like?
If the horn is in good original condition then I think around 1500-1600 (at most) but not more.
Martins haven't hit jackpot price tags yet and for a lot less you could pick up one off ebay, get it properly rebuilt and have a cracker-jack horn.
What the lacquer looks like sure ain't going to make it play better.
But if you like lovely, original condition horns, then pay whatever you want.
just my 2 cents.
 

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Check out www.worldwidesax.com. He has a number of Martin Tenors and these will give you a good standard of comparison. Dealer prices will be higher than private transactions because a reputable dealer will make sure that the horn is in top playing condition.

For another perspective, Ebay prices for Martin Tenors in this range of serial numbers and going with the description you're provided, generally have averaged between $1200-1600.00 over the past couple of years, with the majority in the $1200-1300 range.

Or course, with Ebay horns, it's reasonable to assume that one will have to spend additional money to put the horn in top playing condition. I believe that the general rule of thumb is between $300-500.

Given your description that the horn is in "excellent condition" mechanically with the original lacquer, a price somewhere between $1500-1800 would seem reasonable.

But the bottom line is how you like the horn. If it feels right and sounds great, that's it.
 
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