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Yes, a relacquer does lower the value of a horn. This is due to several reasons:
1) One is that the relacquer process, especially if not done well, can change the character of the sound of the horn. Different finishes, or even the way that the same manufacturer's metal finish is applied (temperature, cure time, etc.), affects the way that the metal resonates.
2) Another reason is that the relacquer is rarely as good appearance-wise as the original finish.
3) Also, the relacquer - even if done to a high degree of quality - rarely looks the same as the original. Case in point: The Mark VI in the video that I posted, the relacquer is not particuarly 'bad', but it has much more yellow hue highlights than the original Mk VI's (especially the earlier horns up through the mid 1960s). The original horn had a finish with more depth, and a deeper copper/bronze hue.
4) And also for the reason after the original finish is stripped off and the horn is relacquered, it simply is no longer all 'original' anymore.

No, there's no way to go back in time and make the horn into its original glory in terms of appearance or value. Mechanically, though - there is a lot of room to restore the horn to original, or in some cases even better-than-original playing condition.
In post #1 you couldn't tell if this was a relac, but by post #18 you have gained some expertise. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Hey all. FUNNY BUT TRUE STORY:

In the past 34 years that I've been using internet I've noticed an odd, though not surprising pattern if you're familiar with human sociology. Even as far back as FidoNet (late 1980s) and IRC (internet relay chat - 1990s) I've seen the following pattern:
New guy will post to a forum.
He'll get EXACTLY 3 great responses.
And then 'that guy' comes along with some nonsense. It might be some snide, nonsensical rhetorical question such as "why would a sax player who hasn't played in awhile want to buy a sax"? Yeah, you know, one of 'those' guys. HAHAHAHA!! Then they won't let it go, and will keep coming back with other nonsense. And then sometimes you might see one or 2 other knuckleheads come out of the woodwork.
Why would you spend whatever they are asking if you haven't played tenor in 20 years?
.
Alright, now back to the regularly scheduled programming.
In post #1 you couldn't tell if this was a relac, but by post #18 you have gained some expertise. :rolleyes:
Mr. Saxcop. Read the following sentence out loud to yourself:
QUESTION 2: Does this look like the lacquer which was original to 72xxx series Selmers, or does it look like a relacquer?
Now answer the following: Where in that group of words is the noun, verb phrase, subject or predicate which indicates "I can't tell if this is a relacquer"?
It's called a 'question', saxcop. People ask them, for example, in instances when they want a second opinion before possibly spending three or 4 thousand dollars. The following fact might shock you, but as it turns out, I am a human - and it is possible that my original belief that the horn was a relacquer could actually have been wrong. SHOCKING, right !? You should consider trying the whole 'ask question' thing. You'll learn a lot more that way.

Thanks again for your other input about the horn. Take care and be good to yourself.
 

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Feel free to re-read my comment above:





Maybe you're a Selmer fan

“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo NO SAX. But I can only show you the door horn. You're the one that has to walk through it go play it. You have to let it all go.

It's dangerous, the mind has trouble letting go. I've seen it before and I'm sorry. I said what I said because... I had to."


HAHAHAHA
Nope, no selmer fan…I wouldn’t know the difference between horns unless it is stamped. The herd is for you….Well almost 😆
 

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QUESTION 2: Does this look like the lacquer which was original to 72xxx series Selmers, or does it look like a relacquer?

What was the reason you asked that question and worded it that way?
I could see if you wanted a professional opinion that explains exactly how they can tell the difference compared to your thoughts, which seems like you weren't sure.

My take on SaxCop was ... why spend that much money on a VI, if you're just getting back into playing the horn?

The VI is just another well made horn with ergonomics that many like, especially our left little finger.
Some like the sound qualities they can produce on it and if the scale is Wunderbar, they are useful.
Awe, legend and tradition?
Accomplished Players buy horns because they work for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Seems like someone is butt hurt that they didn't win that auction.
It's kind of hard to make the case that I was "butthurt" that I didn't win that auction, when all I was going to do was stick the horn in the closet, and clearly I've pointed out that for me the Mark VI is not the greatest horn in my opinion, as I stated in my earlier comment.
... For 3 grand I would have bought it and stuck it in the closet just to have around.
BACKGROUND: ...The last Mark VI that I owned was a 105xxx series,
Nah... If I wanted a Mark VI, I would have kept one or both of the ones that I already owned and got rid of many years ago. If something comes along for cheap (a Mk VI for less than $3,500), sometimes you just buy it because it's on sale.
 

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Though, just FYI, after including the auction premium (15%) plus sales tax (6%), the final price would be $3,645.73. That's not too bad for a horn in reasonable condition.
The price might be about right for a re-lac Mark VI tenor, but there's no way to tell what the playing condition of that horn is from looking at it in that video. It could range anywhere from being in perfect playing condition, needing no work (highly unlikely), to needing a complete overhaul. Just no way to tell without closer examination, a check for leaks, etc.
 

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It's kind of hard to make the case that I was "butthurt" that I didn't win that auction, when all I was going to do was stick the horn in the closet, and clearly I've pointed that for me the Mark VI is not the greatest horn in my opinion, as I stated in my earlier comment.



Nah... If I wanted a Mark VI, I would have kept one or both of the ones that I already owned and got rid of many years ago. If something comes along for cheap (a Mk VI for less than $3,500), sometimes you just buy it because it's on sale.
Seems like you wanted it pretty badly to be willing to pay 3500 bucks for Something you were gonna stick in the closet. Bad enough to come here asking questions about some basic stuff that really was pretty obvious to anyone that knows anything about vintage horns.

There’s a decent chance one or more of the people that outbid you found out about the horn from your post. Then when you lose the auction you Trash Talk the item. Classic
 

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The price might be about right for a re-lac Mark VI tenor, but there's no way to tell what the playing condition of that horn is from looking at it in that video. It could range anywhere from being in perfect playing condition, needing no work (highly unlikely), to needing a complete overhaul. Just no way to tell without closer examination, a check for leaks, etc.
I’m confident that @johnishere70 already knows that. He just wants to see if anyone else does.

Yeah, that’s it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
QUESTION 2: Does this look like the lacquer which was original to 72xxx series Selmers, or does it look like a relacquer?

What was the reason you asked that question and worded it that way?
Sorry, your question is not making sense to me.
Since the horn looked like a relacquer to me
I asked "does it look like a relacquer",
because I wanted to know if it also 'looked like a relacquer' to others.

I wanted to know if the lacquer looked original to the 72xxx series (1957) Selmers,
so I asked "Does this look like the lacquer which was original to 72xxx series Selmers".

I don't think my question could be anymore straightforward or specific than that.
As you may or may not be aware, production runs can and do often change. This is true of cars, horns, and most anything as that is manufactured. The same model (horn or car) from one year, era or period - can be different than that same model from a different year, era or period. Suppliers of metals, suppliers of finishes (lacquers), the specific formulation of finishes, and sometimes - particularly in the case of products which are manufactured by hand for a good part of the process - even personnel changes can all create differences in the same model Mark VI in this case.

I am intimately familiar with post-1963 VIs, since I've owned and lived with two of them. I've played 1955 thru 1960 horns, and I know of several small differences between those horns and the later horns. But, again, after 20 years I allow for the possibility that maybe I was just remembering wrong when I thought that the Mark VI in the video was too yellow to be original. This is notwithstanding the obvious other specifics of a relacquer job, such as the finish density, the application of finish on certain areas (such as solder points and tone holes), the clarity of the engraving and serial/code number stampings, imperfections generally, and a few other details.

I could see if you wanted a professional opinion that explains exactly how they can tell the difference compared to your thoughts, which seems like you weren't sure.
I'll say this as humbly as I can, I wasn't looking for a "professional" opinion of "how they can tell the difference", because I had no belief that there was anyone here in 'this' forum who worked at the Selmer factory during the years of production of the Mark VI. "Freddy" (Freddy Ramoudt??? I don't remember for sure if that was his name) did work in the Selmer factory for many years starting at some point in the late 50s I believe he said. He not only showed me some of the dies that they were using to make some of the Selmer horns, we also went over some of the finish formulations. So, unless someone here had more experience than Freddy, I don't think it would any more helpful than the information that I already know. I simply wanted a second opinion since I haven't been looking at these horns for over 20 years. Simple as that.

(The reason I was at the Selmer factory, back in 1985, is because I was building my own horns [for myself only] at that point. So, I wanted to see some of the die types they were using. I was gigging there (Paris), and the factory was only about an hour drive (up the A14?? I think) from where I was staying (at the Hotel Americain over on Rue Charlot... can't forget that place it was wild) just west of the city, so we drove over there.)

My take on SaxCop was ... why spend that much money on a VI, if you're just getting back into playing the horn?
Firstly, it's interesting that you attempt to defend a comment that you don't know exactly what his intent was. But, if you take his comment in context of his other comment(s), that paints a clearer picture. Secondly, I'd find it difficult to defend a comment which asked "why spend that much money...", when he didn't know how much money I might have been spending. I'd be remiss if I didn't also point out that he was aware that I previously played/owned Mark VI level horns - as such, does it make sense to presume that a Mark VI player, which means likely a professional, would be happy coming back to playing and doing so by buying a Bundy?? Moving on.


Awe, legend and tradition? Accomplished Players buy horns because they work for them.
Soooo, are attempting to make the case that it is not true that:
....for many people it's kind of a follow the herd thing.
I'm confident, just based on your writing and diction, that you are not that naive. We both know full well that as it pertains to cars, fashion, buying "Gucci", AND Selmer saxophones - there are plenty of people who 'follow the herd'. And it is my opinion that while there may be less sheep (herd followers) at the "accomplished" professional level, they do still exist. I personally know first hand pianists who play Steinway, saxophonists who play Selmer, and violinists who play Stradivarius only because of tradition. Some will actually even tell you so bluntly. Others?.... Well, not everyone escapes the Matrix.
 

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Hey Johnny, many times someone will come on this forum for the first time asking about the purchase of an expensive item. Its not a bad thing to raise a question if that's a prudent decision. That may not have been your question, but I've seen this dozens of times on this forum. Many could benefit from the discussion that might ensue. The forum is a resource for sax players and not necessarily just for your particular situation in the moment. Yet you have taken this somewhat personally. That's Odd.

Your original post along with a video, that so obviously shows a relac, would lead any reasonable person to believe that you couldn't tell it was a relac. You even explained how it was obvious in point #3 of your post #18. I found that odd as well. I doubt I'm the only one that noticed that. I think your just bothered that I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
The price might be about right for a re-lac Mark VI tenor, but there's no way to tell what the playing condition of that horn is from looking at it in that video. It could range anywhere from being in perfect playing condition, needing no work (highly unlikely), to needing a complete overhaul. Just no way to tell without closer examination, a check for leaks, etc.
Yes, like I said earlier, not a "bad price". Not great, but not bad. But, remember, this was a 72xxx horn (1957). A LOT of cats would LOVE that horn (and be willing to pay a little more) just based ONLY on that aspect alone.

But, yes, I did drive up to take a look at it before the auction. Mainly to make sure it wasn't counterfeit. You might be aware, but there are some VERY good counterfeits out here nowadays. Anytime you have big ticket items, such as Mk VIs that can sell anywhere from $5K to $20K, you'll have attempted fakes in the market. I didn't take my mouthpiece. That 20 year old reed, and my lip after 20 years wouldn't have accomplished much. But, as it turns out - I stopped evaluating horns by playing with the mouthpieces way long ago. Put on the neck, finger the horn and listen. That will suffice in most cases. (And before anyone wants to debate this issue: Just like a sommelier can acquire a very discreet ability to detect very subtle differences in palate, character, overtones, etc. after many years of experience - you can detect these same types of qualities in the sound of a horn and the way the metal vibrates if you listen to your horn long enough... without a mouthpiece on it.)

[And for the record, also note that in situations such as this, taking a mouthpiece really doesn't matter because it's a professional level classic horn - in this case a Mark VI. If you play it with the mouthpiece and it sounds great, are you still considering buying it at the auction? Yes. If you play it with the mouthpiece and it sounds horrible, you're still going to bid to buy it at that auction. Because it's a pro level classic horn, you're most likely going to overhaul it anyway. If this were a brand new horn at the music store, that would be a different story.]

I'd describe the sound and playing condition of that horn (the Mark VI in the auction ) as "grade B-". If you're a working professional, you probably wouldn't have liked it as is. For casual gigs (not recording), you might have left it as is with just a few minor adjustments. The sound of the horn was kind of what I expected for 1957 horn: A little more open (less boxy) than some of the mid-1960s horns. Kind of a dry martini sound; the middle harmonics of the sound are a bit jagged (uncorrelated/unbalanced), and you hear more mid-tone and higher partials with that horn. I'd describe the amount spread of the tone in the lower register as "medium" (not very broad) as compared to some newer larger bore horns (say Keilwerth just for contrast of a large spread). The lower stack keys were relatively tight, the upper stack and left-hand side keys? Meh. Just adequate.
All of these sound characteristics are of course dependent on which particular mouthpiece. Though, for the record, a different mouthpiece can change the 'quality' and 'quantity' of the sound, but has less (not 'zero', but less) affect, in my opinion on the 'character' of the sound of the horn itself.
 

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Yes, a relacquer does lower the value of a horn. This is due to several reasons:
1) One is that the relacquer process, especially if not done well, can change the character of the sound of the horn. Different finishes, or even the way that the same manufacturer's metal finish is applied (temperature, cure time, etc.), affects the way that the metal resonates.
2) Another reason is that the relacquer is rarely as good appearance-wise as the original finish.
3) Also, the relacquer - even if done to a high degree of quality - rarely looks the same as the original. Case in point: The Mark VI in the video that I posted, the relacquer is not particuarly 'bad', but it has much more yellow hue highlights than the original Mk VI's (especially the earlier horns up through the mid 1960s). The original horn had a finish with more depth, and a deeper copper/bronze hue.
4) And also for the reason after the original finish is stripped off and the horn is relacquered, it simply is no longer all 'original' anymore.

No, there's no way to go back in time and make the horn into its original glory in terms of appearance or value. Mechanically, though - there is a lot of room to restore the horn to original, or in some cases even better-than-original playing condition.
Relacquering has always been an interesting topic to me. It's been debated for years what kind of effect, if any, relacquering has on the SOUND of a horn. I have my own opinions on that, but one fact can't be denied: There's a price range for relacquered horns, and another price range for "original" horns. The more desirable the serial number, the greater the disparity between relacquer and "original" prices.

I think of relacquer jobs as either "destructive" or "non-destructive." A destructive relacquer might be where a LOT of metal has been buffed away to the point where the engraving is all but obliterated. Or, it's destructive to buff down the tone holes so that their physical height is reduced measurably. Or maybe it was buffed in such a way as to introduce play (wobble) into the keywork. All bad.

But the vast majority of relacquer jobs I've seen have not been destructive in that way. I've owned relacquers and "originals" over the years, and, to me, there was nothing the relacquers lacked when compared to "originals." But I'll say this - An astute buyer and decent player can pick up a NICE deal on an excellent horn by buying a good relacquer. As I've said, relacqers cost less across the board. If you know what you are doing, you can pick up a fantastic horn at an attractive price. There are players who insist on "original." That's fine - Just be prepared to pay a few to several more thousand bucks. Simple as that.

By the way, I keep putting the word "original" in quotes. That's because I'm pretty sure there have been MANY horns that have been bought and sold as original, but were not. Sometimes a relacquer job is obvious. Sometimes not so much.

Relacquering has fallen sharply out of favor in recent times. But back in the day, it was part of your overhaul, and techs knew how to do it reasonably well. AND a horn that was relacquered during normal service was probably a good horn that was well played and well loved. Show me a pristine horn from the 1950s, and I might wonder about that!

Anyway, interesting topic. Many opinions. That's just mine.
 

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I made no attempt to defend what SaxCop said. I only stated my thoughts of what his words meant to me.
Best of luck in finding a horn.

"I personally know first hand pianists who play Steinway, saxophonists who play Selmer, and violinists who play Stradivarius only because of tradition".

Playing a Strad only because of tradition?
Name 5 fiddles that sound like the best from Cremona from days of old?

"I stopped evaluating horns by playing with the mouthpieces way long ago. Put on the neck, finger the horn and listen". :unsure:

Over and out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Your original post along with a video, that so obviously shows a relac, would lead any reasonable person to believe that you couldn't tell it was a relac. You even explained how it was obvious in point #3 of your post #18.
3) Also, the relacquer - even if done to a high degree of quality - rarely looks the same as the original. Case in point: The Mark VI in the video that I posted, the relacquer is not particuarly 'bad', but it has much more yellow hue highlights than the original Mk VI's (especially the earlier horns up through the mid 1960s). The original horn had a finish with more depth, and a deeper copper/bronze hue.
4) And also for the reason after the original finish is stripped off and the horn is relacquered, it simply is no longer all 'original' anymore.
Hmmmm. Let's evaluate. A man "explained how it was obvious to him in point #3 of his post #18" that this particular horn was a relacquer." Yet, he asked others whether they also thought it was a relacquer. If he already obviously was aware of the technical aspects which demonstrate a relacquer job, what phenomena could possibly explain why he would ask others for their opinion?
DUDE! It's called a freakin second opinion before you spend $3- or $4 thousand dollars. It ain't that deep. Move on. If you spent as much time practicing and learning as you do arguing, you might be on that Grammy stage right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Relacquering has always been an interesting topic to me. It's been debated for years what kind of effect, if any, relacquering has on the SOUND of a horn. I have my own opinions on that, but one fact can't be denied: There's a price range for relacquered horns, and another price range for "original" horns. The more desirable the serial number, the greater the disparity between relacquer and "original" prices.

I think of relacquer jobs as either "destructive" or "non-destructive." A destructive relacquer might be where a LOT of metal has been buffed away to the point where the engraving is all but obliterated. Or, it's destructive to buff down the tone holes so that their physical height is reduced measurably. Or maybe it was buffed in such a way as to introduce play (wobble) into the keywork. All bad.

But the vast majority of relacquer jobs I've seen have not been destructive in that way. I've owned relacquers and "originals" over the years, and, to me, there was nothing the relacquers lacked when compared to "originals." But I'll say this - An astute buyer and decent player can pick up a NICE deal on an excellent horn by buying a good relacquer. As I've said, relacqers cost less across the board. If you know what you are doing, you can pick up a fantastic horn at an attractive price. There are players who insist on "original." That's fine - Just be prepared to pay a few to several more thousand bucks. Simple as that.

By the way, I keep putting the word "original" in quotes. That's because I'm pretty sure there have been MANY horns that have been bought and sold as original, but were not. Sometimes a relacquer job is obvious. Sometimes not so much.

Relacquering has fallen sharply out of favor in recent times. But back in the day, it was part of your overhaul, and techs knew how to do it reasonably well. AND a horn that was relacquered during normal service was probably a good horn that was well played and well loved. Show me a pristine horn from the 1950s, and I might wonder about that!

Anyway, interesting topic. Many opinions. That's just mine.
Agreed. While I'm of the opinion that a relacquer can actually cause a very, very slightly perceptible change in the sound of a horn 'sometimes', I'm also cognizant of the fact that it has exhaustively been demonstrated the placebo effect, as well as similar thought aspects. If you take two Mark VIs, one original and one relacquered, let a player play them side by side blindfolded, there is NO DOUBT that very often he couldn't tell the difference. Yet, if you tell him he has a vintage original horn in his hands, even if it's actually a brand new horn, he just 'feels' different with it. At the end of the day, even if there is no perceivable sound difference, I suppose you could make the case that if it does nothing other than make him 'feel' better about the horn he's playing, that counts for something.

At my age I'm not too hung up on original lacquer or not - though as a young man (teenage years) admittedly I did kind of favor the vintage look horn because I was playing vintage classic jazz (in many instances [back in 1983] playing with cats who were actually on some of the Blue Note [and Motown] sessions from the 60s). As a seventeen-year-old fresh-faced kid up on the bandstand with those geezers, the LAST thing that I wanted was to make matters worse by coming up on stage playing "Along Came Betty" with a BRAND NEW NEON BLUE SAXOPHONE! hahahahaha
 

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Really, the only way to figure this out once and for all is to take an original lacquer horn - well set up and in ideal playing condition - play that a while. Record it, hook it up to a spectrum analyzer, WHATEVER... Then relacquer it and set it up PRECISELY like it was before (good luck with that!) and run the same tests. Ugh. Well, that will never happen. All we really have to go on is there are relacquered horns that play very, very well. You just have to try before you buy, but that applies to everything.

If you do show up on a gig with a blue horn, just be sure to wear the white gloves that came with it!
 
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