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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, my name is Stephen & I am a long time lurker but first time poster.

This may be simple or it may not. I've just started playing again after a 6 year sabbatical & the band I'm playing with are impressed & want me at every gig which is awesome but it does present one problem. My old KHS is not a reliable old girl but its sound is magnificent which begs the question rebuild or replace?

Here's what I have;
A near on 45+ year old KHS Tenor (sorry not sure of model etc. as I can't find any markings) which has a very troublesome G# key/pad & a few other little inconsistencies. It's scratched in a fair few places but worse than that is the tarnishing & oxidisation happening on the back of the body. With the Otto Link Mouthpiece & Rovner Ligature it sounds beautiful & looks like a loved & well used old girl but the upkeep doesn't seem to be helping its issues.

What I'd like;
I've always been a fan of Yanagisawa & Julius Keilwerth however given the beautiful experience I've had with the KHS I also have a soft spot for Jupiter. I want something at least of the semi-pro variety (I'm not good enough or wealthy enough to look at a full pro or custom) so I need some guidance on what to look for. If I do decide to replace I have a budget of $2000.00-$4000.00 AUS$.

So I need advice, opinions, ideas or just help in general as to what the best course of action. Do I keep the KHS & try to get it up to scratch because I won't get something as nice (sounding) for the money or do I replace & keep the KHS as a spare?

Thanks in advance,
Stephen
 

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Keep the KHS, they don't make em like they used to. Keep it as a back up and try a few of the horns you mentioned above, if you can afford it go for the one that fits your budget and sounds the best for you. With your budget you should be able to find something really nice.
 

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I think replacing would be best personally, although finding a horn that matches your horn's sound may be difficult since you seem very close to the KHS.
I'm not sure of the WA shops but I'd spend some time playing various saxes (used and new), I'm sure they'll be a great horn for you that would be a better workhorse.

45 years old? I'd be curious to see some photos of this vintage KHS in its gnarly glory :cool:

V

PS I mean to say keep the KHS but get a new horn for the immediate future
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is absolutely no way I'd ever sell the KHS. My Mum & Dad bought it for $500 from Cash Converters after a close friend & mentor (who later passed away from cancer) spotted it. It has way too much sentimental value to ever get rid of it! I'll take some snaps of it when I can ;)

It's hard because Theo's only stock Sterling & whatever used stuff turns up & apart from that nobody seems to keep much worth looking at. That's why I'm looking for opinions on what are good, meaty sounding & nice feeling horns.
 

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HMy old KHS is not a reliable old girl but its sound is magnificent which begs the question rebuild or replace?
When you put it this way, I'd definitely say get it fixed! EVERY horn needs work at some point and most will reach the point where an overhaul is necessary. A good tech can put your horn into 'like new' playing condition (maybe better than 'new', since most new horns are not set up perfectly). At least take it in and see what is needed. If it's only a couple of pads and some key adjustment, you won't have to spend much. Bottom line, if you really like how the horn sounds, it's worth getting it up and running.
 

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KHS is indeed another name for Jupiter. I understand the fact that you are affectionate towards your old horn but keep it as a memory and invest the money into something else unless you want, for sentimental reason, revive a horn that is only your first horn and a nice memory, but it will never be worth any of the money that you sink into it.

With your budget you can buy yourself a lot of horn, to love and cherish in the 45 years to come. Good luck!
 

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Milandro makes a good point. In terms of value, a Jupiter isn't worth putting much into getting it fixed up. I was going on what you said about the "magnificent sound" quality, etc. However, I guess I'd have to add "compared to what?"

If you want a really top quality vintage horn with wonderful tone, look to a Buescher Aristocrat (pre-late '50s), Conn 10M, or Martin. These are well within your budget, but make sure you either budget for getting any horn you buy fixed up or buy it from a dealer who can guarantee good playing condition.
 

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I agree that you do not have much to choose from in the way of music shops in the Perth area so may I suggest you have a look at secondhandsaxes. com.au
 

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Although it is true that KHS-Jupiter don't have much resale value, as I understand it the intent isn't to repair the sax for resale, but to put it back into good playing condition. With your budget it would seem entirely possible to have the KHS repaired and purchase another sax, especially if the other sax is used (secondhand). If it were me, that is most likely what I would do, but then I'm a Jupiter fan too. In the few years I've been involved with music and saxophones I've learned there are a lot of wonderful people here with great advice, but in the end the decision of what to do will be only yours. As Milandro said, good luck!

Steve D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Steve D & JL, the old girl will definitely be getting a spruce up down the track but there are very few (read: nil) reputable repairers in Western Australia that I am aware of so until I find someone I trust I am just keeping her going myself.

Falcon I have looked & that site & emailed Philip already receiving a reply but thank you anyway.

Milandro you have covered my thoughts exactly but I wasn't sure as to whether reviving an old horn is a better investment (sound & quality wise that is) than buying a new horn. I've never had a new horn so thought I'd ask here.

Slightly different tack here, what brands relate to good value for money? Keep in mind that I'm looking for solid quality, consistency of product & a big meaty sound to go with the soul/rock/pop that I play.
 

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Reviving a horn for sentimental reasons is one noble thing to do but you have to ask yourself if it wouldn’t be just better to keep the horn of your youth as is and remember the good days, put ist somewhere safe where you keep all your good old memories that you don’t need to use everyday.



THEN take your money and invest into something that, good though your horn is, it would never become even if you put all the money in the world in it.

In other words, nice though it is ( one of my best musical friends, an older gentleman plays , wonderfully, on his humble Jupiter alto) you cannot turn this into a better saxophone than it is.

You can, with your budget, buy almost anything which might take your fancy though.

Of course buying a secondhand saxophone is more cost effective on the other hand one might want to buy a new saxophone and for the pleasure of owning something new. Two different philosophies.

You could find almost any vintage horn within reach. Buescher, Martin, Conn, King, Selmer are all the holy grails. With a little patience you could buy any of those. ALL need to be tested, you cannot buy a vintage (or even new) horn based on face value!

So you need to go out there and try them all. You will come across something that speaks to you. If you don’t just let it go and wait.

You might want to consider buying a new horn.

Yanagisawas, as you say, are great, probably the best built modern saxophone, although not my favorites with the exception of the curved soprano which is definitely one of my favorite saxophones.

Keilwerths are spectacular. Their newest horns, the MKX, have to be one of the best horn out there ( you won’t find this secondhand), I love the Antique Brass finish. Not cheap though and maybe just about within financial reach, it is cheaper than their SX90R which you can find secondhand.


You could decide to try a Rampone & Cazzani R1 Jazz. These are great horns too, full of character and , secondhand, they are very conveniently priced.

I could give you a list of all the names in the world, after reading my list you will be no wiser than you are now. You will just have read a couple of names that you hadn’t thought of yourself but still, it will mean nothing if you don’t try them all yourself.

Good Luck!
 

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Why not get in touch with SOTW member simso, from MIRWA (Musical Instrument Repairs Western Australia), with an address in Clarkson ? He may well have an instrument to suit you. If not, he'll have some good advice, based on his local knowledge.
 

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Slightly different tack here, what brands relate to good value for money? Keep in mind that I'm looking for solid quality, consistency of product & a big meaty sound to go with the soul/rock/pop that I play.
See the second paragraph in my post (#7) above.
 

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Why not get in touch with SOTW member simso, from MIRWA (Musical Instrument Repairs Western Australia), with an address in Clarkson ? He may well have an instrument to suit you. If not, he'll have some good advice, based on his local knowledge.
If he was doing his job, it would be a simple quote to get it in good playing condition.
cheers, Mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks milandro, you've given me some new names to look at/for, some great experience based advice & confirmed some of my own thoughts & views. Much appreciated.

Mark I completely understand what you're saying & in the short term that may be exactly what I do but I think the long term answer is still replace, am I right?

Mike T thanks for the lead on a repairer in WA, I've emailed them & will see what they say.
 

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...there are very few (read: nil) reputable repairers in Western Australia that I am aware of so until I find someone I trust I am just keeping her going myself..
No matter what you do (get this sax fixed or get another horn, or both), if you want to play on a regular basis, in time you'll need a tech. Most horns that get played on a regular basis will need a bit of minor work on occasion. It's usually a good idea to take the horn in for a check-up about once a year. I've gone 2 years on my main horn and after that amount of time it generally needs some minor adjustment and maybe a new pad or two. So be sure to find a tech at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I did have one JL but during my last year at school (2nd last year of playing before starting again recently) he passed away from cancer. What he didn't know about woodwind, that's playing, performance, maintenance & history was simply not worth knowing. I'm on the hunt for a new tech now though.
 
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