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Discussion Starter #1
Handcraft 1930’s or 1960’s Imperial. I played the Imperial already and it’s a monster. Haven’t the older one yet. There is a $200 price difference...
 

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60’s Imperials are considered student models if that makes any difference to you. If you like it I don’t think it matters. I have an alto Imperial from the 60s and of the altos I own I like its sound best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
60’s Imperials are considered student models if that makes any difference to you. If you like it I don’t think it matters. I have an alto Imperial from the 60s and of the altos I own I like its sound best.
Yeah, I think I will stick with the “student” model. I think it was rightly called a student model in the 60’s but compared to student models today it’s a pro. The 1914-1940’s saxes I played on are good but you can tell they lean towards a darker sound; you know “low pitch.” Whereas the 50’s-70’s ones you can make them sound anyway you want. I am a Martin guy for life. I admit it “hurts my feelings” when someone is like, that Indiana or Imperial is a student horn. But the feeling changes when the Imperial or Indiana or any older Martin Stencil can blow away their pro Yamaha and the like.

I started playing in 1987 on a Bundy II. I almost want to get one of those again because I think it too is better than the new student horns made today. You just got to find the right mouthpiece / reed combo for the Martin but then you’re good to go.
 

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Depends on which Handcraft it is, and which one is $200 less than the other. Is it an early one without a front F? Is it a tenor? An Alto? I have an old Martin (stencil) Handcraft tenor that I wouldn't trade for a Committee horn.
 

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OK, wait a minute. $200 difference. OK.

How much is the Imperial ?

Because if it the same price point as an Indiana....ditch the Imperial idea.

They really, in the lineage of Martins, aren't all that good. Matter of fact (and I do not mean to insult any Imperial owners), I'd say they were the worst model Martin ever rolled out. Which, yes, still makes them better than a lotta horns out there, but...as I said, not a really good example of the Martin output.

Clunky keywork, and they changed the neck spec so there's a bit lost in the sonic quality.

It should be cheap, even if in very good condition. As in $350 tops for an Alto, $550 for a Tenor. If the asking prices are more, you can do better with your $ than that.

If I were forced to choose between the two - I'd take the Handcraft, actually...assuming they are in equal playing shape and the HC is fully keyed. I agree with Grumps, even a Handcraft splitbell-key horn with front F...is a pretty sweet horn. If it is same-side bellkeys things get even better,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Depends on which Handcraft it is, and which one is $200 less than the other. Is it an early one without a front F? Is it a tenor? An Alto? I have an old Martin (stencil) Handcraft tenor that I wouldn't trade for a Committee horn.
Handcraft is an early one like a 1934 and is the one for $200 more than the 1964 Imperial and these are Tenors.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, wait a minute. $200 difference. OK.

How much is the Imperial ?

Because if it the same price point as an Indiana....ditch the Imperial idea.

They really, in the lineage of Martins, aren't all that good. Matter of fact (and I do not mean to insult any Imperial owners), I'd say they were the worst model Martin ever rolled out. Which, yes, still makes them better than a lotta horns out there, but...as I said, not a really good example of the Martin output.

Clunky keywork, and they changed the neck spec so there's a bit lost in the sonic quality.

It should be cheap, even if in very good condition. As in $350 tops for an Alto, $550 for a Tenor. If the asking prices are more, you can do better with your $ than that.

If I were forced to choose between the two - I'd take the Handcraft, actually...assuming they are in equal playing shape and the HC is fully keyed. I agree with Grumps, even a Handcraft splitbell-key horn with front F...is a pretty sweet horn. If it is same-side bellkeys things get even better,
It is a little more due to it is coming from a retail store. 1934 Handcraft they want $900, 1964 Imperial $700. And the Imperial is one of the best Tenor's I've ever played in 32 yrs of playing. No klunk action what so ever. Sound is amazing. I am reluctant on the older ones because it has more cosmetic wear on it and it feels more klunky that the imperial and the tone (I am told) is darker. I know it is on Low Pitch other horns and stencils for that to be true.
 

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And the Imperial is one of the best Tenor's I've ever played in 32 yrs of playing. No klunk action what so ever. Sound is amazing.
Well there you go. Don't be afraid to make them an offer less than what they're asking.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well there you go. Don't be afraid to make them an offer less than what they're asking.
Yeah, I did. They gave me the 'ol "these are the clearance warehouse ones that have already been marked down as low as they go.....line
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, wait a minute. $200 difference. OK.

How much is the Imperial ?

Because if it the same price point as an Indiana....ditch the Imperial idea.

They really, in the lineage of Martins, aren't all that good. Matter of fact (and I do not mean to insult any Imperial owners), I'd say they were the worst model Martin ever rolled out. Which, yes, still makes them better than a lotta horns out there, but...as I said, not a really good example of the Martin output.

Clunky keywork, and they changed the neck spec so there's a bit lost in the sonic quality.

It should be cheap, even if in very good condition. As in $350 tops for an Alto, $550 for a Tenor. If the asking prices are more, you can do better with your $ than that.

If I were forced to choose between the two - I'd take the Handcraft, actually...assuming they are in equal playing shape and the HC is fully keyed. I agree with Grumps, even a Handcraft splitbell-key horn with front F...is a pretty sweet horn. If it is same-side bellkeys things get even better,
Okay - The handcraft is a Committee I with same side bell keys and front F. I need to play it but they won't let me; that's the only reason I asked on here. Was figuring if enough people had a consensus on "If I were you" to convince me I would just fork out the extra $200 and take the gamble. Would be much easier if I didn't already play the Imperial though.
 

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Yeah, I did. They gave me the 'ol "these are the clearance warehouse ones that have already been marked down as low as they go.....line
Next time don't show them you love the horn so much. But the Committee I is the better horn, and in decent playing shape it's not too terrible a price if sold by a dealer needing no work. Is there a return policy?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Next time don't show them you love the horn so much. But the Committee I is the better horn, and in decent playing shape it's not a terrible a price if sold by a dealer needing no work. Is there a return policy?
yes; 30 day return policy.
 

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Are we talking alto or tenor? If you want a Martin alto, I have some under $1,000 in good adjustment, even a Committee II for about $950 shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There you go. If you don't like it, get the Imperial or wait for a better deal on something else.
Will the Handcraft I be noticeably darker or depends on set-up?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Are we talking alto or tenor? If you want a Martin alto, I have some under $1,000 in good adjustment, even a Committee II for about $950 shipped.
This post was about Tenors. I can get a Imperial Alto 1960's playable for $600. This Tenor Handcraft I is going for $900.
 

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Will the Handcraft I be noticeably darker or depends on set-up?
I really can't answer that for you. But if you get a trial period, just make sure you read the fine print.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Next time don't show them you love the horn so much. But the Committee I is the better horn, and in decent playing shape it's not too terrible a price if sold by a dealer needing no work. Is there a return policy?
Grumps: I switched them out. I have the Handcraft I now in my possession. I will get it out later this afternoon and play on it and come back and tell you my ultimate conclusion.
 
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