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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks all for reading, your input is appreciated.

I am new to the sax and I want to buy a Martin tenor in good shape (please see listing, below).
I am just worried
about needing to put (600- $1200.00) into this for an overhaul after I get it. Can
anyone eyeball this listing for me and lmk what they think? Some marks
on bottom but is that a problem at all? Judging from the other Martins I have seen this
looks in good shape. However, no one has bitten on ebay, most likely because
everyone likes a deal...OR are there just too many unforeseen things that
can happen when you buy vintage? Any thoughtful advice is welcome....I have heard
a few players on these and I really like the sound.

http://r.ebay.com/ccJTSz

Best regards,

Ave B and 3
 

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Many of the seller's prior sales were musical equipment, but no horns. The seller didn't list condition, but, he makes claims that it was recently serviced, and gig ready. Also, he didn't allow a trial period for returns. Some auctions do that to back up the "gig ready" claim. I'll let the Martin experts weigh in on value, but at that price, I'd expect it to play perfectly, with no additional expenses needed.

Also, check out this link for lots of new-to-sax questions: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?110774-Useful-Information-for-New-Members
 

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That is a relacquer. Martin engraved their horns AFTER lacquering them, and horns found with the lacquer in the engraving (which is the case with this example) are dead giveaways that it is not sporting the original finish. These are superb horns, among my absolute favorite, but this one is overpriced considering the non original condition and vintage.
 

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Any item is returnable on Ebay as item not described. It doesn't matter if they have a return policy or not. I agree its a relac, but appears to be a good one. I would ask a followup question about if all the pads were replaced? ask him to name the repair shop. Call them. As far price goes it is priced fairly if it is as described.
 

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I think it is overpriced for a relacquer. For the same money you should be able to find an original lacquer and then do your overhaul. I doubt the repad it has will satisfy you since it is made for the sale and it will be playable at best but not enjoyable and fulfilling. Wait a bit and find yourself an original lacquer.
 

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Yes it's a relac but a fairly good one because the horn was not buffed too much, which is why the engraving is still fairly sharp although filled in. The pads do look new or recent as much as you can see them, but having closeups of them so you can see them better and see what resos they have is something I would definitely ask for. Asking who did the work also is a good idea so you can find out if it was a reliable shop or just some flybynight. Other than that from what I can see it looks good. The only thing he showed is the wear on the bottom of the bow, but you might also ask if it had any repairs or solders to posts or keyguard feet.

As to the price and the idea that a relac is not worth that price I disagree with what some have said. It depends on the individual horn. Lacquer, as most all here should know does not make the sax sound better because that is dependent on the interior dimensions of the body, neck, bell as well as the placement and condition of the tone holes as well as the pads and resos. The springs, keys, rods, etc effect the mechanical features of playing. All of the aforementioned can be just as good on a relaced horn as on an original laced one. Proof of this is that my 1945 Martin tenor, which is a lousy reclac that was buffed too much, but had everything else in good condition and working order, plays noticeably better than all of the original lacquer Comm IIIs my tech has had for sale at Sax-On for the past 8 years. I A/Bed them and it wasn't just me who said it. On of these was in fact a closet case horn with totally original unblemished finish and the original sticker on the bottom rear of the body tube.

My point is that if you do find an original lac Martin for something like $1300, it most likely will need pads and perhaps more, which will end up costing you $600 or so more. The only thing you'll gain is the dubious feature of what some people consider a preferable finish because it is "pretty" and more collectible. My sax cost me $1600 and I didn't need to spend more than $50 to get it adjusted and play ready and it has played like a monster for 9 years now with only the usual adjustments now and again. Also, I bought it off of Ebay from somebody in Miami and clearly I couldn't play it first. It just turned out to be a really great player.

So you have to decide what is more important to you, the original full vintage look or the sound of the horn, and you can't know that unless you play it before buying. But the original lacquer is no guarantee I can tell you with proof. So $1600 for that horn, if the other things I mentioned turn out o.k. and is a good sounding player, is the going rate. And if those things check out you can always make him an offer for somewhat less and see if he bites.

Good luck.
 

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First let me say that I absolutely love my early 1950's Martin Comm III tenor. My horn is in original lacquer and I purchased it with a full overhaul about five years ago. I would stay away from a relacquered horn unless the price was so good it didn't make sense to pass on it. If your patient you'll find one in original lacquer for about the same price as this horn but expect to put an overhaul or re-pad on it. Your overall expense will be higher but in the long run you'll have a horn that's been through less wear and tear and I feel it will most likely retain better value. These horns are not very expensive relatively speaking so I would recommend that you buy original lacquer if you can. In the end, the sound is everything. Good luck...
 

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The point about the relacquer is NOT about how it fallaciously impacts the sound and structural integrity, it is in reference to the devaluing of the horn it creates in the current market vs. the price being asked.
 

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Hi Guys. That's my horn for sale. I originally purchased it from Junkdude. He did a complete setup on it, including changing the pads. It is a relacquer, but its a damn good one. The opinion is that the relacq is a factory job done early in the horn's history. It's a great player. Hit me up if you are interested or have any questions.

BTW, that's the horn in my avatar.
 

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One more thing. Ebay is going to bend me over in fees. If anyone on this forum is interested let me know, and I will post the horn for sale in the proper forum, and reduce the price by $150.
 

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There you go. I own 3 Martin Comm tenors. Yes you can find an original lac horn for around 1200. It will need an overhaul at 800-1000. So you will have over 2k into your original lac horn. So if this horn is overhauled the price is fair.
 

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Resale value (relac) aside, if Junkdude did that Martin, and the lacquer is doing its job (unlike most original Martin horns where the lacquer comes off easily), then that is a LOT of horn for $1500 to your door.
 

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With Martins, there are many concerns that need to be addressed. First, with any sax, you can't expect to sell it without describing and showing the neck. With a 'The Martin', it doesn't have a typical neck clamp, so the neck tenon has to fit the collar exceptionally well. You also want to know that the neck is in perfect condition and has a matching number.
I'd say this sax will have more problems than it should. The stack keys I can see look way too open, and the reflections in the lacquer show some dents from rough usage since the overhaul. In my view this is about a $900 sax. I would be looking to spend around $400 on it, and I would not be interested in going to that trouble on a buffed horn.
 
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