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Hi, I am still waiting for my MK6 which is still in the shop for having an overhaul.

I usually sell my horn within 5-6 years, because I just love the feeling of hunting for new /different vintage horns. The one that I currently have is probably the best / strongest sounding that I have in the last 2 decades, and it's been more than 6 years since I bought it. So I am experiencing my first time taking my horn for an overhaul.

This probably doesn't happen very often, but have you ever experience / heard the horn actually sounds better or worse after a nice/top professional overhaul ??
 

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One of the reasons why I tend to avoid partial jobs on old horns is that if you keep on bandaiding a horn that needs a full repad and mech overhaul, when you finally get to do it, you feel a huge change. You'll notice a difference. Possibly you'll panic and go "oh they ruined my horn" or "it's so shrill and bright" or "out of tune/iffy intonation" if you were compensating for a hron full of microleaks caused by a combination of dry old pads, unlevel tone holes, worn mechanism and such.
 

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In a word, YES! I've had a couple of horns overhauled from neck to bell and the difference was notable immediately. If you've really got a good tech doing the work then I would expect you'll be pleased. But as Juan says, you may have to make some adjustments along the way due to compensating for minor problems in the horn. All in all, I think you'll be impressed. Good luck!
 

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By the time a horn needs a complete overhaul it's likely playing pretty stuffy and you may have been compensating in various ways as the poster above states. When I finally took my MarkVI to the right guy it came out sounding like new from the factory. Generally you can expect a somewhat brighter sound, freer blowing.





:glasses7:
 

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I bought my 6M from an antique dealer who had no idea what she had. Got it for $300. Unplayable. I finally got around to dropping it off to a tech, about 30 minutes ago. The tech lives 15 minutes from me and his shop is filled with unique vintage instruments. (Horns I was tempted to play.) I can't wait to get it back.

The horn will definitely play better than it did because beforehand I could hardly get two notes out due to stuffiness and missing pads.
 

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I usually evaluate each horn. If some of the stack pads are shot, it is best to do the whole horn. Example: if the RH F pad is bad, it is hard to get the action of the F# and Bb (1+1) correct and thus the whole RH and possibly the LH stacks need adjusting. The expensive and time consuming part of work is taking the sections apart and adjusting corks. This will need to be done on used pads as well as new ones so why not just do the whole thing? Palm, side keys and bow and bell pads are easier to do as they don't work other pads on the horn. The exeption is horns with a good pad job where some pads have worn because of moisture and often I will just change the ones that wear the fastest: Low Eb, Palm and RH side keys. A new set of pads will always improve a horn if properly done. If it is a back-up horn or one in a collection, old pads may be OK. I have a few Martins from the 30s with original pads that actually play 95% and the cost of replacing them would be a bit much.
Remember that it costs the same to redo a stencil horn with bad lacquer as a minty 6M.
 

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I've had my horn overhauled in the past, and it's usually a pretty darn big difference, especially hittin' those notes in the lower register, as the leakage is definitely minimized. I definitely recommend overhauling the horn as frequently as necessary/practical - your horn will live a longer life because of it.
not to mention cheaper way to go... If you have a good relationship with your tech and take your horn to the same place to do repeated maintenance, you'll be likely to spend less money in the long run. I know how I have customers that I and only I overhaul and maintain their horns (as in they always bring the horn to me) and they get special treatment and pricing (faster turnarounds, way cheaper prices) for 2 reasons: I don't have to "guess", I know what I've done on them horns and what I need to adress as for wear or occasional damage, and I reciprocate the confidence they have in me by giving them a good discount.

What I referred in my first post is that if you play on a wearing instrument (or on a worn instrument) up until it absolutely needs everything redone, most likely you'll feel a big difference that may cause you to have to adjust back from the many compensations you had to do to play that horn. We've seen more than one "maestro resonators (resotech, whatever) ruined my vintage MK VI sound" or alike threads... :mrgreen: (that said, I hate maestro resonators!)
 

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I hope you didn't have them re lacquer it - then all bets are off.

If it's just a mechanical overhaul - my experience has been that if you have a great tech do the overhaul, the horn will play great. If you have a marginal tech do it, then it will probably not play very well.

I firmly believe that a great horn is a great horn, and it can play very freely even when its leaking like a sieve. If your horn played well when you brought it in, then it should play great when you get it back - otherwise, there's something wrong with the work.

Hi, I am still waiting for my MK6 which is still in the shop for having an overhaul.

I usually sell my horn within 5-6 years, because I just love the feeling of hunting for new /different vintage horns. The one that I currently have is probably the best / strongest sounding that I have in the last 2 decades, and it's been more than 6 years since I bought it. So I am experiencing my first time taking my horn for an overhaul.

This probably doesn't happen very often, but have you ever experience / heard the horn actually sounds better or worse after a nice/top professional overhaul ??
 

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Lemme put it this way: IF your ax comes back -not- playing a LOT better than before, you need a new repair tech.

There is -no- substitute for a horn with properly fitted, tightly sealing pads, at an appropriate height for your style of play. Not to mention keywork/action that is setup right, too.
 

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Lemme put it this way: IF your ax comes back -not- playing a LOT better than before, you need a new repair tech.

There is -no- substitute for a horn with properly fitted, tightly sealing pads, at an appropriate height for your style of play. Not to mention keywork/action that is setup right, too.
+1 to that! I've had my MK VI tenor overhauled twice (over about 25 years) and each time it was like getting a new horn. It played much, much better. I also had a Buescher alto overhauled and it was like night and day. The horn played noticeably better after the overhaul.

In terms of sound, I suppose a good player could force a good sound out of a leaky, stuffy horn, but it would take a lot less work to do so if the horn was put into top playing condition.
 
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