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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys!
I'm a newb and this is my first post so if I'm not in the right place forgive me. I am also a beginner player ( Havnt really played since I was a kid, 20 years ago.) So, I have a sax left to me by an uncle. I checked the usual places trying to figure out who the maker is and the closest I have seen was the King. On the bell is Carl Fischer Inc. New York Inc.. It is hard to read from the pictures. The serial number is 95xxx. Now for my many questions, and I appreciate anyone who can answer any of them.

Who in your opinion is the maker of this Sax?
Is it for sure a soprano? It's about 90% the size of a modern soprano that I compared it with at a music store.
If so, is it the standard Bflat?
What is your overall opinion of the condition? ( by the way, it plays, and for a tiny sax it blows loud with an amazing growl. I'm impressed by the sound volume and quality, even with ragged pads. )
What year do you think it was made?
Value? (assume I overhaul it down the road (should I?)).
Does it take the same pads as any other standard soprano?
I've noticed some nice comments about the King soprano. What about them is more appealing than the others? Is it the sound, playability, etc?

Any other comments or suggestions are welcome. Pics are below if I did it correct.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Thanks again guys!!!
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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I believe it's a Buescher. I'll let others comment on value. Haven't been watching old curvies.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Who in your opinion is the maker of this Sax?
Without any doubt, that is a King (your thoughts were 100% correct). King was the only manufacturer to use those type of key cups. Not to mention the spatula key cluster...the bow brace...the bands attaching the neck/body/bow/bell.
Is it for sure a soprano? It's about 90% the size of a modern soprano that I compared it with at a music store.
Yes.
If so, is it the standard Bflat?
Yes, but whether it's High Pitch or Low Pitch is unclear. Normally it is stamped on the body tube, but not on yours.
What is your overall opinion of the condition? ( by the way, it plays, and for a tiny sax it blows loud with an amazing growl. I'm impressed by the sound volume and quality, even with ragged pads. )
Just based on how it looks, it seems to be in good shape. Bare brass with a lovely patina and dent free (or at least I didn't see any quickly looking over your pictures).
What year do you think it was made?
Most likely the 20's. If the serial number corresponds to those of King (they rarely do), it would put it somewhere from the mid to late 20's (so in this case it might be an exception to the rule).
Value? (assume I overhaul it down the road (should I?)).
Honestly I can't help with that one. I don't see too many curved King's come up for sale (can't say I'm often looking for them though!).
Does it take the same pads as any other standard soprano?
Obviously the sizes are different, but standard pads should be A-OK.

As far as getting it overhauled goes...I'd say it really depends on what you're planning on doing with it.
You could take it into a local tech and have them get it in good playing order...sometimes all it takes are a few new pads and a good tweak here and there to get an old sax semi-reliably playable again.
Or you could go the whole 9 yards and get it completely overhauled.

It really boils down to how much you want to use the sax and how much you're willing to spend on it.
 

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King for sure. I have had some and they are really nice warm playing horns with good intonation. Due to the condition, I would put it at about a $400 horn. No high E/F.
 

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I figure it backwards from a really nice horn. Assuming that it would be worth $1,200-1,500 in really nice shape. I deduct about $400 for a refinishing and about $600 for a good repad/overhaul thus the $400 value. For someone just needing a playing horn but not a nice finish or top level adjustment, it would probably be worth about $750 in playing condition.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Well, I stand corrected. I learned something today.... Just living up to my tagline. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One more question. Regarding finish and refinishing. I was under the impression that the original finish, if complete, added value to the horn. I think I will do the overhaul, it sounds as thought the sax is rare enough, and plays well enough, that it should only increase in value over time, especially if the condition is improved. So, I am ok with that. Can you take a look at the pics again, and just based on your opinion, or others that may chime in, should I have it refinished or just cleaned up and polished. Thanks again for all of your feedback.
 

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Have we decided whether this old horn is HIGH PITCH or LOW PITCH? I don't know if King made HP instruments or not. But your original post said the horn was 90% the size of a modern soprano and that makes me wonder . . .

So, I suggest you test it against a known source (a tuned piano, other proven saxophone, etc.) before you get into overhauls. If you prove to yourself it is in tune (LP), THEN do the overhaul only and leave the finish alone except for a cleaning. DAVE
 

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Have we decided whether this old horn is HIGH PITCH or LOW PITCH? I don't know if King made HP instruments or not. But your original post said the horn was 90% the size of a modern soprano and that makes me wonder . . .
Doh! :faceinpalm: :silent:

Good catch.

Pete H wrote in an article on pitch (on here of all places), that H.N. White only made LP instruments.

A quick look at some older ads would definitely support that, some specify: Low pitch, American Standard A-440, and another (non sop) ad says: Built in Low Pitch Only.

On the finish, I would also be inclined to leave it as-is. Mild cleaning is alright, but polishing to make it shiny isn't necessarily a good way to go. Unless you have to remove verdigris or the like, keeping a bare sax shiny constantly removes the protective layer of oxidation that builds up, and removes a little material each time you polish the sax (hopefully I don't sound like a broken record...I've said this a few times lately).
 

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Yep, polish it up well, Brasso, paste metal polish (Wenol) and then maybe some car wax. Do a repad and recork springs should be OK. You will have a fun player. When you get into it, PM me as I have some things I do to these Kings to make them easier to use. You need to add some cork from the G# lever to the body or that lever just goes forever and is annoying. Also but bending the palm Eb up a bit and a cork to body, you can operate the Eb without opening the palm D. Then you can use the stack fingerings for high E, F and F#.
When they mention original finish, bare brass gets a pass as it is easy to gold lacquer without buffing so you would have a "first finish". Since you are doing it yourself, just polish up the brass.
I agree that all Kings are LP.
 
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