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Discussion Starter #1
Guys
I'm a piano player of nearly 40 years. But when young I played clarinet then saxophone and continued to bring my King 613 Alto out for the occasional rock gig. To be honest the saxophone was not great but somehow it passed.
Anyway I'm Australian and happen to be passing through the USA and spending a couple of weeks in Mexico for work. The Aussie $ is at an all-time high so I will be keeping my eye out for something to bring back. I've been meaning for a long time to purchase a 'better' saxophone than my 613, and probably a Tenor. I believe Conn manufactured in Mexioco for a while and there are some good horns to be had for under $500 - and maybe less in Mexico. Maybe most made their way to the US and I won't see any. But if I do, what models am I likely to see and what should I look out for? My stylistic leanings are towards Rock and Jazz progression Blues.
My work is based not far from Mexico city - yes I will be careful!
Cheers
 

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I may be squawking out of my rear on this, but it doesn't seem to me that a second-world nation such as Mexico is a good place to find "luxury" items like saxophones. High end stuff is going to be in rather short supply and I suspect priced higher than you expect. Best place to find bargains is in a nation with great wealth as it leaves much more room for things to be undervalued. I very much suspect you'll have much better luck in the United States.

I hope to hear back from you [or anyone] if I'm wrong about this.
 

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actually , I think that the best place
to buy a cheap Mexi-Conn is in the States where they will be at the bottom of the pyramid while in Mexico they might be very well the intermediate product
 

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Actually, wait....aren't WE a second-world nation now, too ? I think if you look at things socio-economically speaking...yup, we are.

But I digress.

I do agree that MX will probably NOT be a particularly cherry place for vintage horns. For the most part, of my friends and acquaintances and customers in Latin America....they tend to report that as a whole they are limited to the same cheesy sorta new stuff that the rest of the world has. Thus, I have a pretty robust business with Latin America.
I have a pal from El Salvador who reports that the vintage horns which ARE around look like hell, because there are few and far-between any good techs to keep them up. His longterm plan is to learn to fix horns HERE, acquire tooling here, and then move back home and open shop in San Salvador. He'd have a corner on the market.

I suppose Mexico City would be the place to look. I do not think that because Conn had a MX plant you will find a lotta MX-Conns in Mexico. American corporate notions of yanking production away from domestic labor and plopping it down in countries with cheaper labor and fewer regulations was not intended to particularly open up THAT nation's market to the product (which is priced too expensively for their own people to afford).

You know...I have never looked at eBay Mexico before....when I plugged MX into the search parameters for 'saxophone'...it came up with ZERO returns...nice to know some places haven't succumbed to the devil, yet....

So, as I said, City will be your best bet...but I agree w/ JfW...don't expect a cornucopia.....although I also welcome any Latin American members to chime in (maybe there is a store or two).
 

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I doubt that Mexico is the best place to find saxophones. Things may have changed since the '80s, but back when I was selling camera equipment in San Diego, the wealthy Mexicans would come to San Diego to buy stuff, as they said there was more selection and better prices than they could find in Mexico.

Mexico was the place to go for Kahlua, tequila, and beer, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You guys are probably right. Come to think of it when I was in China a few years ago and needed some computer equipment quickly it was a lot harder to get than I expected since 99.9% of all the stuff is made there now.
But the classical guitar thing interests me. Fader is that through your own expereince and do you have any tips?
Unfortunately I won't be stopping in the states. I guess there is always the opportunity to ship one but there's a few risks of course. Which would bring me back to the same question - what models? But that thread (USA sourced saxophones) would already be here somewhere so I will search.
 

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Other that there are a lot of boutique makers of guitars and you can try before you buy - no tips...um...actually bargain with a goal to pay half of what they are asking in the shops. If you are near the city - you might actually find a craftsman that has a hidden gem. They make neat guitar type instruments in a plethora of sizes and shapes - all nylon string it seems. There are a number of 'big name" factory's and luthiers in Mexico too. Since there are mariachi bands everywhere, you could always ask one of the players...some of them are awesome players.
 

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I'm not sure, it was about 20 years ago when I was in Mexico, but if I remember what I was looking for the most was some shade and dryness. It was super humid and hot!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I'm in Veracruz. Guys I noticed that there are many Conn 16m's available through Ebay quite cheaply. Some reviews I've seen of this model seem quite positive, but they do seem surprisingly cheap. I'd be prepared to spend up to say $800 on a saxophone if it was a 'good deal' and I realise there is some risk taken purchasing an instrument without playing it - but I'm willing to take that risk given sufficient research.
Apart from the 16m (some of which were Mexican made) what other models should I keep an eye out for either here (Mexico) or (more likely) Ebay USA?
Is the 16m a reasonable model and if so why so cheap?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I picked myself up a USA manufactured Conn 16m. Picking it up during my stopover in LA which is also where it happens to be located. It has sheet metal protectors which elsewhere a thread suggested that was a feature of the Mexi conns Howecver it has USA engraved on the bell so I assume that is the more significant proof of where it came from.
 

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not unless it says " made in......."
 

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legislation concerning this is tricky, even though it might seem clear cut it is not that simple. The last series of Kings , for example had, we have learned first had here from an ex King worker, body tubes made in Japan the horns didn't say Cleveland or Eastlake but simply USA on them

read the law as it is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Made_in_USA
 

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