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Discussion Starter #1
Why is it that so many saxes are so horribly abused?

I was looking on eBay at a few intermediate and pro horns -- most of them were less than 15 years old...and some looked as if they'd been dragged behind a truck on a dirt road. I just don't understand how they can get so beat up. I would expect that with a student horn - but it makes me sick to see a great horn that's been abused.

A quality new intermediate horn generally runs around $1500 and up. A new Yamaha (even student model) represents a respectable investment. I don't know many people who would be okay with tossing away a few thousand dollars (even wealthy people treat their possessions respectfully I've found.)

Unless someone is actually trying to mess up their horn, I just don't understand how they can get so beat up...Is it kids whose parents buy them the best horn, then let them abuse it?
 

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It really is no different than caring and protecting any asset. From your home to your car. If you want it to last - you care for it. Accidents happen, but with care and attention - they should not happen often if ever.
 

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Simply put - they genuinely don't know how to look after a horn, and it often never occurs to them that it needs looking after.

Most people have it figured out that if you don't put oil in your car's engine it will seize up and die, and yet those same people will quite happily blow on a horn for years without wondering how the keys move up and down without any lubrication.

It applies equally to student and hardened pros - and it's often the pros who are the worse at maintaining their horns.

Regards,
 

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Imo, this is indicative of our throw-away-society, at least in many areas of the USA. Couldn't agree more with people not knowing or caring about taking care of the horns. This really hits on a sore spot with me about all the "stuff" we accumulate. I'll avoid the rant but will say that I have had battles keeping my kids from accumulating so much "stuff" that they don't have the time to take care of it all or the inclination to appreciate it all. Their friends certainly don't make it any easier.
 

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I also would like to add that, relatively speaking in the world of musical instruments...the Sax isn't a very hearty design, really.

I mean, the bow...the neck...and the bellbrace attaching at two points...and all of those posts...eh...it cannot stand up to a whole lotta hits very well....
 

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I think changes to air quality regulations have not helped the longevity of finishes on instruments. The elimination of many solvents made it difficult to develop suitable replacements for lacquers that required those solvents to make them "sprayable.". Relacquering isn't what it used to be (they just don't make'm like they used to.).

Even with a lot of TLC, many finishes just aren't as durable. Some answers to that problem are to promote nifty black nickel plate or even a pre-oxidized finish like the C'ball Brute to ward off evil effects of corrosive fingerprints. Of course that's just my opinion... I could be wrong.
 

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This may also be a factor of where you are looking - eBay. The sample is not representative. There are undoubtedly a lot of appreciated and perhaps loved horns that are being well taken care of, but they are not on eBay, because their owners like them and are keeping them, or maybe passing them on to a family member or friend. But they are probably largely being taken care of, or just stored in the closet or under the bed.

Older horns, of course, will end up getting out in the market, including eBay, as their owners will have died or become unable to play them.

The newer horns that end up on eBay are likely the ones owned by people who didn't like them or didn't want them, or maybe had them stolen, or who were having hard times and needed money. Or maybe they were school or rental horns. These horns are less likely to get good care.

So I am thinking that of all the horns out there, the eBay horns are more likely to have been neglected or abused, but are also far more visible than the horns that have been swabbed out and maintained and are sitting snugly in their cases in someone's home.
 

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..... Or maybe they swabbed out ... and maintained and are sitting snugly in their cases in someone's home.
... Or are sitting, waiting patiently in quinntheeskimo's living room. :mrgreen:
 
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