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Discussion Starter #1
Just looking for a little advice. I saw a Silver Aristocrat in the 300,000 serial number range at a local music store. It's in very good shape, no structural damage. One interesting note is that it has a large "U.S." engraved below the "Aristocrat" engraving, which leads me to believe it was a military horn. Store is asking $900, but may be willing to deal. Any thoughts on whether this is a fair asking price? Thanks,

LJ
 

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Just like mine...

Sounds potentially a good deal, but is it alto or tenor? Do you know if it has the origiinal snap-in resonators and Norton springs? Could you be a bit more specific about the serial number?

I recently bought a lovely all-original silver Aristocrat tenor from Gayle Fredenburgh (www.vintagesax.com). This is 331XXX and it also has "US" engraved on it in large letters. Gayle said it was an ex military band instrument. (It is a tremendous player, by the way.)
 

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Alto? Tenor? Baritone?

If it's a tenor or bari, that's a VERY good price, especially at "store rates."
 

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900 is a good price for any pitch if the silver plate, snaps, and Nortons are intact. If it is a tenor or bari, it's a great price. If it is decently reconditioned already, I'd pay you a profit.
 

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Hey LJ (that's my name backwards), are you going to keep us guessing? Which is it? I'm guessing an alto, otherwise the price is too good to be true.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry, guys! It's an alto. Yeah, I thought it was probably an ex-military horn. I went back and tried it again this afternoon. The serial number is 336,XXX. It needs some work, however. Actually it could use a good overhaul, so I don't think it's worth the price. Then I made the "mistake" of trying a new Yamaha custom Z, and I was shocked by how incredible that horn was. The store also offered a great trade in price for my Balanced Action Alto. Hmmmm, just might consider that deal!
 

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If there is any flexibility on the price, it still isn't a bad buy if the snaps and Nortons are there. Although Gayle would probably get about 2K for the horn overhauled, I think the casual market is roughly low to mid teens if it is overhauled and complete.
 

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LJ said:
It needs some work, however. Actually it could use a good overhaul, so I don't think it's worth the price. Then I made the "mistake" of trying a new Yamaha custom Z, and I was shocked by how incredible that horn was. The store also offered a great trade in price for my Balanced Action Alto. Hmmmm, just might consider that deal!
That's why it's so cheap. How much do they want for the Yamaha? If the Buescher needs work, you would probably be surprised at how well it compares to that new Yamaha (especially tone-wise) after being put into good playing condition. And of course the store is offering a great trade to you with a Yamaha for your Balanced Action. Guess who will come out on top in that trade? Then again, if you end up happy with whatever you get that might be all that matters. But "look before you leap." Since you asked for advice.

There's no point in buying any horn that doesn't "float your boat," so if the Yamaha does, go for it. It's not a secret that I like the older horns, so take my "advice" with a grain of salt. I did have a Yamaha alto Custom for a few years and thought it was the greatest thing ever, until on a whim I pulled out my old beat-up Buescher TT and realized it blew the Yamaha away in every respect. The point is, I was fooled by the shiny new horn that was in good playing condition.......
 
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