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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been interested in picking up a VI if I could find one that plays real well, for a good (non-hype) price. I don't care if it's a relacquered sax, or if the original finish is badly worn, or if its manufacture/SN is within a collector-coveted range.

My buying decision would be about the TONE, and whether the VI is not so worn from decades of use that routine maintenance is not sufficient to get it in playing shape.

So what price would be a good deal? An excellent deal?

On a tenor?
On a bari?

Thanks!
 

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I would say pay attention to the intonation , not just tone . You know you'll get a good tone but intonations really can vary ( alledgedly ) . Also a good tech should be able to fix up most issues - a horn that has had decades of use , might have had such because its a killer horn . Good luck.
 

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I won't advice on price because you are in the States and that's a different world when it comes to buying a second hand saxophone, you are blessed with a larger market and a lower prices than us outside the U.S.

Mark VI's are not at all rare both in Europe or the U.S., their status of collector's items is based on a legendary sound (true for some and less true for most) and the fact that many of the great players use-d them but not really based on rarity if that was the case you should pay way more for other much rarer and equally good saxophones like SML for example.
200.000 assorted Mark VI were made, and that is hardly scarce although not common.

I can find them at any time advertised locally in Holland, mostly by shops or professional sellers but not unusually advertised by private sellers. Lately I have bought two altos , the price was reasonable.

These days there are a lot of folks out there in need of a cash injection and they are prepared to sell their saxophone for a much more reasonable price than you would have paid a few years ago. It is just a matter of having the cash ready and react quickly when one of these horns comes by.

If you find one advertised locally phone, agree to a price beforehand, go there as quick as you can, have the money ready (if you are scared that someone might rob you make an appointment somewhere safe........it never happened to me but the thought has crossed my mind that someone would wait for me with a gun instead of a saxophone knowing I have a large sum of cash on me! ). Ask for a receipt if remotely possible, say you need one for insurance purposes.

If you buy on line you have to factor in the possibility of repairs and the fact that you never know if everything is to your satisfaction. I wouldn't worry too much about intonation issues which are mostly cause by the player himself (unless someone has tampered with the key height ).


Mark VI baritones have been made much longer than other VI's because there was never a Mark VII baritone, so, maybe you can find one that hasn't been mistreated although being baritones mostly played in marching bands in the U.S., the chance that they have survived unscaled is minimal. So, for a baritone, expect damage, if you find one undamaged you are very lucky!

If you don't mind a later serial number definitely get one late, for some reasons people think that saxophones are the only industrial product (because they are industrial products, even when they are so called " hand made") which was born perfect and gradually became , purposely, worse as production numbers rose . This is , of course, against any logic but so is much of the legend around these horns anyway.

Good luck!
 

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Nothing like conflicting information ! In my experience of playing different mark VI's i have noticed a big variation in intonation - if you're spending the bucks its just another thing to be aware of .
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice, folks!

This would clearly be a local, try-before-I-buy scenario.

Where I'm going with this, is that I just listed my nearly-mint Reference 36 tenor on local Craigslist, and a person replied saying he has several vintage horns to trade but is "cash poor", and interested in a trade. I'm wondering if it is possible that my completely overhauled Ref 36 with only a couple tiny scratches and a smidge of acid bleed might fetch a decent "non-collectors" Mark VI even up, either in a tenor or in a bari. If it's not likely I could score a VI even-up, what are some other high-quality vintage horns with decent ergos that would be a fair trade? A Super 20 in real good condition?
 

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Yes, I would say a super 20 in real good conditions or a late Mark Vi could be object of a swap.

In this instance you have the upper hand since he has reacted to your ad and has no cash. Cash always gives you an edge and when you voluntarily go for a swap you admit you are more interested in what the other part has to offer. I would say go there and aim as high as possible.
 

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Thanks for the advice, folks!

This would clearly be a local, try-before-I-buy scenario.

Where I'm going with this, is that I just listed my nearly-mint Reference 36 tenor on local Craigslist, and a person replied saying he has several vintage horns to trade but is "cash poor", and interested in a trade. I'm wondering if it is possible that my completely overhauled Ref 36 with only a couple tiny scratches and a smidge of acid bleed might fetch a decent "non-collectors" Mark VI even up, either in a tenor or in a bari. If it's not likely I could score a VI even-up, what are some other high-quality vintage horns with decent ergos that would be a fair trade? A Super 20 in real good condition?
This individual wants your horn. As milandro said...that gives you the upper hand. If he/she said that they're "cash poor," it stands to reason that they're expecting to do a one for one swap. I would shoot for an even trade. Just my $.02...
 

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If it's not likely I could score a VI even-up, what are some other high-quality vintage horns with decent ergos that would be a fair trade? A Super 20 in real good condition?
A Reference for a Super 20 is a step down in ergos, but for the "vintage factor" would be considered a step up in value. If you want a MarkVI you are going the right route. Sell your horn and keep your eyes open.
 
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