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I think I may have asked this in years past, but I don't recall what I was told. It seems obvious that there is a valid reason(s) for hiding serial numbers. On the other hand, I don't think I have a reason to care. Is it a matter of establishing the era of a horn? Maybe the "whole number" is irrelevant; like knowing whether it was assembled before lunch on a Tuesday, or after lunch on a Thursday. Everyone does it, so according to the numbers of people hiding sax serial numbers, it must be the right thing to do, right?

-OR-

It's like 1,000 flies congregating on a pile-o-poo. It must be awesome 'cause everyone's doing it, right?

I have some questions to post about my VI alto, but I figured it best to learn the reason for keeping the serial number a secret, before posting pics. What am I missing? Should I keep a piece of tape over the number when in public, out of fear that someone will see it?
 

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You know, people ridicule this practice but the answer is pretty simple, really:

You post a photo of entire serial number, and someone can then claim 'that's my horn that was stolen'. In this day and age with photoshop and various other programs, forging an image which would appear to confirm such a claim ain't very hard.

Quite simple, really...yet for some reason, this topic always brings about debate and a lot of snark to boot....(which you have already initiated, yourself)
 

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You know, people ridicule this practice but the answer is pretty simple, really:

You post a photo of entire serial number, and someone can then claim 'that's my horn that was stolen'. In this day and age with photoshop and various other programs, forging an image which would appear to confirm such a claim ain't very hard.

Quite simple, really...yet for some reason, this topic always brings about debate and a lot of snark to boot....(which you have already initiated, yourself)

And honestly, there's no practical reason for a buyer to need to know what the exact serial number is. If you can provide the general range so the buyer knows the era it's from, that should really suffice. And like you said, dumb stuff can happen if you're too transparent in this regard.
 

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I wondered about that too. I assumed it was about theft. Who knows how many hands a 60 year old horn has passed through. I don't know the provenance of my horns. I did buy one from a kid I met in a parking lot. He said it was his but he didn't play anymore. True? I don't know. I hope so because I'd never knowingly by a stolen horn.

-edit- I got the 10M on eBay about 10 years ago so who knows where it's been since 1957. I do know where m clarinets came from. I was there when my dad did some horse trading at Kline's Music in Sacto. This was in the days of the CB radio craze and he traded a couple of new CB radios for my 150 Anniversaire Buffet R-13. The ancient plastic Martin Freres clarinet was sold to him by a repair tech he knew by the name of Sam Castro. This was in the early 60s. I think he bought my TT alto from Sam also. Wish I still had that horn.
 

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Should you put tape over the serial number while playing in public? Of course. It’s the only way to keep the Illuminati from activating the thought control chip that was injected into your bloodstream with your polio vaccination. You’ve been warned.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I have some questions to post about my VI alto, but I figured it best to learn the reason for keeping the serial number a secret, before posting pics. What am I missing? Should I keep a piece of tape over the number when in public, out of fear that someone will see it?
Anyone who does that rings alarm bells for me. I wonder why you are hiding it? Was it stolen?

People don't do that regarding number plates when selling cars so this has always had me wondering.
 

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Anyone who does that rings alarm bells for me. I wonder why you are hiding it? Was it stolen?

People don't do that regarding number plates when selling cars so this has always had me wondering.
I don't post full serial numbers in ads, for the reason given above. No sense inviting a claim. Inhibits copycat ads, too.

I frequently see individual ads for cars with their license plates obscured. I know there are reverse search engines but, really, anyone answering an ad is going to learn the name of the seller. Maybe auto theft rings want to narrow their search for valuable cars by anonymously learning the owner's address?
 

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Should you put tape over the serial number while playing in public? Of course. It’s the only way to keep the Illuminati from activating the thought control chip that was injected into your bloodstream with your polio vaccination. You’ve been warned.
Good one! But it has happened and there are unscrupulous characters out there who will do it again. Frequently, we can't really prove how long we've had a horn or when we got it. OTOH, how would a crook manage to contrive evidence that he had bought it at some point? The same thing happens in the gun world and covering part of the serial number is standard over there for the same reasons. Your chances of getting into a situation like this on a sax? Probably very low.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Good one! But it has happened
Ah that's what I hadn't realised. Iwasn't aware it had actually happened. But in that case I would imagine it must be becasue the legitimate owner had not bothered to keep the records that nayone would normally do, ie proof of purchase, insurance details etc.

OTOH, how would a crook manage to contrive evidence that he had bought it at some point?
Exactly. This is why I don't worry about telling anyone the serial number of my TH & C alto (which is 57345) or any of my other instruments.
 

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Sorry, but does anyone have eyes with microscopic vision to be able to see a horn's serial number while someone is playing it onstage? Are people here saying playing in front of a few dozen people is the same as posting close-up photos that are easily accessible by anyone anywhere in the world who has a laptop and internet access?

License plates on cars are also a bad analogy. No one's going to see a license plate and claim the car was theirs (stolen from them) based on the license plate. There is a public repository (e.g., DMV) that shows whose name the car is actually registered to, as well as the previous chain of ownership and transfers. Is there a similar repository for horns?
 

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Many thanks, when I get a minute (or twenty five...) I'll merge all the threads
If you start down that rabbit hole, you'll never come back. I just clicked on "New Posts" and got a "Curved or Straight", soprano post; One asking how I feel about Rovners; a Vintage vs new Otto Link post; and quite a few other well-worn topics. Sometimes I read them just to see if anyone has changed their position on Kenny G, or Synthetic reeds. It'd be a disaster if they were all merged...

Besides - I think we should just let Milandro continue to police the site for repetitive threads...His results provides a nifty service that keeps me from having to use the search tool.



As I think about this, I wonder if it's too early to beat the Christmas rush and start picking sides on the Kenny G holiday album now....
 

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...Are people here saying playing in front of a few dozen people is the same as posting close-up photos that are easily accessible by anyone anywhere in the world who has a laptop and internet access?
You are right. That would be ridiculous. The main reason people hide serial numbers is for auction sites like Reverb.com and eBay. Those auctions go out go all around the world, inviting fraudsters. Most people in wouldn’t even have a clue as to where the serial number on a saxophone is.
 

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I like Kenny G's Holiday album, and I like David Sanborn's Holiday album on soprano. Neither one is 'hard bop', just good music.
 

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Well, you were smart not to post the serial numbers of the Kenny G album here.
 

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Not ridiculing at all. Google and Facebook are already mining data for firearms. I learned of this from someone who said they only took photos of his guns to catalog them for insurance purposes. He kept the photos on his Google drive but never uploaded them publicly. Yet when he did a search related to the name on a particular model of firearm it returned a photo of one of his pieces.

So yes - I believe this and I for one hesitate to put any info about myself on the world wide web that doesn't need to be there. My opinions excluded.
 
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