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Discussion Starter #1
walking through the streets of Manila here in the Philippines, i saw an odd looking antique shop that sells a horn. from what i saw, it was black, covered with molds and nobody loved it. i bought it on impulse not knowing the brand and year it was made (thinking it was antique). When i got home, stunned. i saw "Martin 29xxx Low Pitch" inscriptions at the bell reads "the martin,elkhart, IND", the color is a mystery. the thumb rest at the bottom is brass but when i scratched the bottom part to find the serial number, it turned out to be silver.

can someone identify my new horn? by the way, i bought it for an equivalent of $55

it needs work. let me rephrase that, it needs resurrection.
 

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looks like a c melody to me
 

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Looks like a Handcraft, with a lot of missing bits... resurrection is an understatement, but than again, if someone restored a "Katrina victim", you can put yourself into a "Manila maimed Martin". Good Luck!
 

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It is a Handcraft series II from around 1922. I agree that it is a C Melody. Measure the body without the neck and if it is in the 24-26" range, it is a C Melody. Since it is missing the low C# key, it is probably destined to be a lamp or parts donor.
 

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Yes, that thing will never play again. I cannot imagine how fused the rods must be.....

If it could only tell its tale....I wonder if it made it over that way in wartimes.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
its about the same size as my mark VII alto

i brought the horn to a saxophone technician that services marching bands here in the philippines. from what he told me, there is a good chance of restoration...the horn needs a new set of pads. cork and three keys. i played it. i gave out a nice dark, powerful tone (kind of a blues quality sound, john lee hooker style).he said that we can do something about the pads and the cork, but the keys are another story. we can put keys that are of another brand (just like a transplant surgery).

everything needs to be resoldered and springs need to be replaced. another thing is the color. the tech asked me if i want to keep the color, seems to me that the black color might get a more "relic" effect. and we could re-lacq it colorless for protection. or we could buffer it and risk the quality of the sound.

i intend to restore it. i got moved by the "katrina story". i know it needs a lot of work but the effort and the love i will pour in will be worth it if i can breath new life and soul to the horn. thanks for the replies and identification
 

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Discussion Starter #8
my question is this, will i buffer it to bring the real color out or let it stay the same to let the "relic effect" take its place.

i agree with JayeSF if only it can tell the its tale,surviving two colonial occupations. bombing of manila (same condition as in warsaw). floods and hurricanes and an old foolish owner
its a miracle it survived until now
 

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"Technically speaking it didn't. It's pretty much dead, someone just forgot to give it a decent burial. "

thus it will need a miracle to resurrect it...hope it goes well, if not. it would really be a nice wall decor for my room
 

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if you are happy to put money in this apparently hopeless project do so, although everybody else ( including me) is telling you otherwise, it is you money after all. In my country it would be madness to even think of doing up a horn like this because it would cost at least double of what buying a perfect horn like this on the market would cost.

If I ask a tech around here if the horn can be salvaged I could find someone who would say yes even though it would never be worth half of that money (because they want a large sum of money to go from your pockets into their pockets).

Unless the tech is doing this for nothing, in my opinion, this horn is perhaps just about worth the cost of the materials and fabrication that would go into it.

This is a similar model, albeit a Gretsch stencilled Martin, which was altogether in near perfect state and that probably looked better than you horn will ever do and for less money.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...uuufeASO0zI48XoT%2F8%2B%2Fw1I%3D#ht_500wt_997
 

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if you are happy to put money in this apparently hopeless project do so, although everybody else ( including me) is telling you otherwise, it is you money after all. In my country it would be madness to even think of doing up a horn like this because it would cost at least double of what buying a perfect horn like this on the market would cost.

If I ask a tech around here if the horn can be salvaged I could find someone who would say yes even though it would never be worth half of that money (because they want a large sum of money to go from your pockets into their pockets).

Unless the tech is doing this for nothing, in my opinion, this horn is perhaps just about worth the cost of the materials and fabrication that would go into it.

This is a similar model, albeit a Gretsch stencilled Martin, which was altogether in near perfect state and that probably looked better than you horn will ever do and for less money.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...uuufeASO0zI48XoT%2F8%2B%2Fw1I%3D#ht_500wt_997
thanks for the advice. but honestly, here in the philippines, services of technicians here costs next to nothing. the first guy asked for $ 200 and the second guy will do it for less than $ 100...
i know the quality of the work will not be comparable to those in the US and in europe but the though that in less than 10 years, the horn will be a century old clearly gives me a rush...

i know its idiotic to keep pushing for the revival, im not going to make this as my main horn by the way. this is just a back up. my main horn is a mark VII

judging from the money i spent. and will have to spend. the purchase + the revival will cost me around $300., comparing it to the ones in ebay, $300 - $800 is a hell lot more.
 

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the horn that I just pointed out to you was 475$ and was in gorgeous state, this horn, in my opinion will never be as nice as that
 

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Discussion Starter #14
milandro, thanks for the opinions and suggestions...i keep it in mind...im on the hunt for an alto now. pref, a mark VI, maybe ill find one someday
 

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Marc, your heart is in the right place, but as the guys mention, this one will never give you a return on your investment of time and energy. That said, there is nothing more satisfying than saving an old horn from certain doom. I suggest you challenge yourself a little to see if you really want to do this:

It appears to be silverplated from the photos and the black tarnish. Is this correct? If so, ask your tech to oil the hinge rods and see if they can be backed out or if they are fused to the keys as JayeSF mentioned. If they can be loosened with oil, a little heat, and some patience then pay only for this service.

Once the horn is disassembled, get yourself a bottle of silversmith's polish (Hagerty's is a common brand here in the states), a bunch of old T-shirts, cotton swabs, tooth brush, and bunch of good old fashioned "elbow grease". Flip on your radio or TV and start polishing. It will be tough, dirty, painful (you will poke yourself on those old springs a bunch) and will seem like a neverending task, but you will eventually get a good look at what this old timers really looks like under the dirt and tarnish.

If you can't disassemble the horn or can't invest that much time in it, at least do the inside and outside of the bell. Either way this will give you an idea of just how much work is ahead for this horn, and remember this is just the cosmetic stuff! You'll then have a better idea of what it will really take to get her going. I've done cosmetic work on quite a few horns then take it in to my tech for the REAL work. It feels great to uncover an old gem, but there have been a few that ended up needing too much. Those ones now sit in my garage on shelves.

If you get this far and still think you want to do this, I have a couple old c-melodys beyond repair and there may be a Martin stencil in there. If I so happen to have the keys you need (long shot) and you want to pay shipping for them, I'd be happy to pass them along.

I know I shouldn't be encouraging you, but it can be a lot of fun. Just don't get carried away dropping money into this guy!
 

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It will be an interesting experiment, for sure. I wonder what the tech's definition of 'restorable' really is.

But...as has been noted...technically...ANY basket-case sax CAN be put into playing condition as long as all of the parts are there (even if they have fused together). So, if you did find a tech who is actually willing to give it a go, and at most you'll drop $200 on it...eh, as I said, for the sake of experiment...you can do it.

(I do wonder, however how the tech is gonna deal with the missing key, exactly ?)

I am all for intangibles. Sometimes things just speak to you, or make an impression in a certain way, which defies logic and such.

I guess I am still skeptical that something as far-gone as this can ever be made to play decently again. The other thing to keep in mind is....do you have any use for a C-Melody ?
 

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Drop the horn and back away...NOW! Seriously, if it was a tenor, maybe, (but not likely). The best thing you can do now is take it around to restaurants that have old horns and stuff nailed to the wall and see if they'll give you $50 for it.
 

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im not going to make this as my main horn by the way. this is just a back up. my main horn is a mark VII
One is a C-Melody, one is an Alto in Eb. How would one be a backup for the other. If you want a backup for your alto, just get another alto.

I have a early/mid 20's model Conn C-Melody I got at an antique dealer for $50. I have been told by Doc Frazier that after restoration it might be worth $1200 + b/c of it's desirability (to some - not many.) Even knowing this I am unwilling to spend the money just to (maybe) make a few hundred.

Also, my horn is in much better shape than yours. Still, it sits in the case most likely to never be played again, but who knows...
 

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i know it needs a lot of work but the effort and the love i will pour in will be worth it if i can breath new life and soul to the horn.
As I stated in your other thread in regard to repair, horns have no feelings and will never love you back. Your emotions, as well as your money, are better spent elsewhere.
 

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Junk it! Where are you going to find the missing keys? You may find another Martin C Melody for parts but I bet it will be better than the one you have. I paid about $300 for my Martin C Melody with no dents, new pads, original case and it is GOLDPLATED.
 
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