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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy a saxophone for my 10 years-old on eBay and I don't know much about them at all. I found this ad and am wondering if it would be a good sax for him.

I can't tell at all, from the pictures, if it will need a lot of work done on it to tune it up so i was hoping someone could help me out and maybe let me know what it could be worth.

Thank you!
 

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well, a tenor for a 10 year old is perhaps a little too large unless the person in question is rather big for his age , having said that a Yamaha 23 is a great horn to start with. This one probably need some money to fix things here and there
 

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He has played the tenor for a year already and he's pretty good with it although he still needs to support the sax when he's playing... Well, seeing as it goes rather well all the same, I guess we decided to stick with the tenor.

What should I expect as an end price for it do you have any idea? I mean, how much should I plan on investing into fixing it?

Thanks!
 

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there is not telling from pictures and the owner says he knows nothing about saxophones. Personally , I think that ebay purchases have to be dealt with much caution, on the other hand Yamahas are usually good horns and hold on well in time.
Look around where you live , best is to buy a horn that you can try before buying .
 

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Look at ebay completed auctions for an idea about the final price. Around $350 - $450 US would be fair. The pads appear to be OK, but there's really no way to know for sure from the pictures. There's no way to know how much you'll have to spend but plan on at least $100 for a few pads an some minor adjustments.
 

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plan on at least $100 for a few pads an some minor adjustments.
Possibly a LOT more. Ebay is not a good place to buy saxophones unless you know a fair bit about them, and have a good repair technician locally.
 

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Thanks! I will keep that in mind... I know someone who bought a sax online maybe from that same place where the one i'm thinking of was but I'll check on that... it needed maybe $200 in adjustments... I heard it can go up to $900 which would totally spoil the purpose of buying a used sax, at least for a beginner..

There may be a Jupiter I could buy around here, not sure which model but it sells for about $600 (I think). Perhaps it would be a better purchase?
 

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Jupiters are not bad horns at all aside for a certain tendency to loose the lacquer easily .

AS far as overhauling a horn is concerned, prices vary wildly. You can be lucky and buy a second hand horn which needs nothing or next to nothing but you have to try it beforehand.
 

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I agree with Milandro about Jupiters in general, but in my experience, they really get good and reliable starting with the 7'' series; I have seen less convincing build quality on the 4** (old), 5** and 6** (also no longer produced) series horns. That said, a used 787 tenor may well be available for $600.

Anyhow and also from experience, I'd still prefer a YTS-23. They're really good horns, not just decent - much better than price would suggest, and very sturdy. Plus, they're relatively light.

M.
 

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I have a Yahama YTS 52 which is a step up from a 23 being an intermediate model . I have had it for 6 years but now have upgraded to a Selmer Mark VII. I have always loved this horn but will let it go. It is not a beautiful one but plays good and easy. It has normal Laquerwear and quite a bit of scratches , no major dents. I just played it using a Otto Link Stm and a Blue Runyon . It still plays with ease from Low Bb all the way to High F# and good intonation with both pieces how ever the Yunyon being much brighter than the Otto. I will sell it for $775.00 includes case / neckstrap and shipping with in the lower 48. I think most will agree that it would be a great horn for any one and will last for a long time if taken care of. If you are interested I can take some photos and send to you. If you have any questions feel free to ask me? Thanks and Good Luck. Email [ [email protected] ]
 

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@Indri: Just looked at the pictures of the horn you linked more closely - I'm not sure this horn hasn't been manipulated, at least as far as the model number is concerned (it's visible in both pictures showing the model number, but more so in the stamped one above the serial). It might be an older model (a YTS-21). While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does make the whole deal appear a tad shady.

EDIT: On the whole, I think highnote145's offer is a good deal more realistic. What's your budget?

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, budget's a bit of a problem which is why i considered eBay... I don't think we can go a lot over $600, some of it coming straight out of my son's saving account. All in all, i guess i should keep looking them. Still thanks for the offer, I know that Yamaha generally don't come cheap, if i'm lucky I may still get a Jupiter for what i can afford although we've rented a Yamaha for a year and it's been quite good.
btw, what's a Jupiter Vito???
 

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A Jupiter saxophone sold under the Vito brand name.

There are Vito made by Yamaha too , cheap and generally (and without good reason) cheaper than the Yamaha counterpart. They are Made in Japan Vito's.
 

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Indri: Since money's tight, make sure you don't waste it - an Ebay deal might entail additional costs you can't judge and avoid in advance. For instance, from the pictures, one can't even tell if the horn in question is original (colors are not helpful either - well, I still think it *might* be, at least it is a Yamaha), let alone the condition the horn's in - except that it has clearly seen some major action. The seller even admits he/she isn't able to really assess the horn. I wouldn't go there, too risky *especially* when the budget is limited. $300 as a starting point if the horn may be junk? No way. If it's a loss, you won't have enough money left for a second go. $300 may not be enough to bring it into full playing shape, either.

I'd go for a safe offer with a known seller of good reputation. I've myself wasted some money by being overly optimistic or not willing to spend enough. For $600, there are YTS-23 in decent (used, but playable) condition out there. I paid more, but the sax is a real player, and I was able to test it before I bought it, so I was sure about what I was getting.

M.
 

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will only recommend the buying of 2nd hand horn only if you have a good tech in your area.
a good horn is one that is properly set up.
set aside part of your budget for a good mouthpiece, fees for tech setup and maybe some private lessons.
thanks for supporting your kid's music.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks! Now that reminds me about the mouthpiece. I read something about it but can't remember quite what it is. Do I have to buy a new mouthpiece with any used saxophone?
 

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No - in case you get mouthpiece with it, you can clean that (or have it cleaned, depending on its state) and use it if it suits you (or your kid, respectively). Your son or his teacher will know what he needs - not every mouthpiece is for everyone. I think it's best to stick with what he's used to at such a state of learning. This may well mean that you'll have to buy a mouthpiece for him this time, too.

M.
 

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Indri, as mentioned above, it is much better if you can see a used saxophone in person before you buy, preferably having someone with you who knows saxophones. If that isn't possible, here's what I look for in pictures on ebay or craigslist type auctions:

Look for clear, up close pictures. Look to see if they provided good, clear pictures of the whole horn.
Look at the cork on the neck. Is it intact and still fairly light colored? Or is it torn and very dark? The darker the cork, the older and harder it is. The condition of the neck cork is a good indicator of the condition of the sax. The neck cork may have been replaced recently, so that is only a general rule. If the neck cork is dark and torn, the horn will be in equally bad condition.
Look to see if you can tell the color of the pads. You will probably only see the edges of the pads. Look for a horn with pads which are still reddish or orange. Brown/dark looking pads are old and hard. They will probably have to be replaced.
Look at the finish. Rubbed away lacquer isn't a problem, but a lot of scratches can mean the horn has been roughly treated.
Look for dents. A few very small dings are not a problem. A golf ball dent is a problem, as the horn probably took a hard jolt when the dent happened, possibly throwing the keys or rods out of adjustment.
Look at the accessories and the case. The cleaner and more intact they are, the better the horn has probably been treated.

That's the basics of what I look at in online ads. The Yamaha YS-23 series, in this case the YTS-23 tenor, are excellent horns. I've bought three of them, two altos and one tenor, in good playable used condition, and I love them.
 
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