1950s

Showing all 12 results

  • Buescher Top Hat and Cane Tenor Saxophone Fresh Overhaul Factory Relacquer 300849

    $ 3,300

    This highly-desirable Buescher Top Hat and Cane tenor is in excellent condition, AND it just got a complete restoration, which means an overhaul of everything that can be done. That’s like a $1000-1500 value added right there.

    This looks like original lacquer, but is actually a factory relacquer job done with basically no buffing or changes to the brass of the horn. Probably just a chemical strip, hand polish, and re-spray. It looks really good, and plays great too!

    The Top Hat and Cane is easily the most desirable of the Bueschers, and it is one of the most beautiful vintage saxophones also, with the raised metal Buescher logo, the castle engraving, and all of the little design touches that set it apart. I personally love the silver ‘tone ring’ underneath the bell flare. A lot of work to add; not very visible, but they did it anyway. And there are details like that all over the horn.

    This is a great all-purpose tenor. It is warm and full sounding – nice fat upper register, responsive low register. Intonation is very easy. And it works with a wide range of mouthpieces. A lot of those beach band 60’s tenor solos are on Bueschers like this, but you can just as easily play jazz or classical repertoire on them. You’re saving about $1500 off the price because it has a new coat of lacquer. That’s a great deal.

    Only one available!

  • Conn 10M Tenor Saxophone Late Example Great Deal! Needs Repad

    $ 950
  • Conn Connstellation Alto Saxophone 28M Excellent Condition Original Lacquer 338006

    $ 2,750

    The Conn 28M will always have a special place in my heart.  It represents the last time one of the great American saxophone manufacturing companies tried something wholly new, and although the horn never really found a market and not many were made, they are fantastic instruments that besides being unique and historically interesting, play *really* well.  

    These saxophones were redesigned, utilizing many ideas from Allen Loomis (Conn’s resident saxophone visionary) and Hugh Loney, with input from Santy Runyon, with the aim of creating a saxophone that had extremely slick keywork and a very balanced scale.  The keywork, although familiar under the fingers with regard to placement and layout, is mechanically quite different from any other saxophone and has been built from the ground up with the goal of reducing mechanical friction. There are no pivot screws anywhere on this saxophone, instead the long rods have a very long hinge rod with the middle machined down so only the ends touch.   The G# has a very unique torsion mechanism to provide a G# feel that is smooth throughout the range. The side keys are designed so that the angle and distance of travel is the same for each key. There are adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks as well as the left hand pinky table. The bell keys are on the left side, and the pants guard/bell keyguard is a large acrylic plate that was designed with the idea in mind of allowing the horn to vent properly regardless of playing position or clothing choice.  The octave mechanism has three pips (octave vents), one on the neck and two on the body, which has the end result of a very clear middle D and no hiss on the A or G#, as well as excellent intonation. The keywork in general is very light, and the pearls are larger than usual for Conn and a little flatter. The overall feeling is of a very light horn, extremely slick, easy to play, excellent intonation, and very even throughout.

    The one downfall of this design is the pants guard, which is fairly brittle and often broken.  Although nowadays there are excellent replacements available, this one has its original guard is about as good condition as they come, fully present with only a few small cracks radiating from around the screw holes, which is common.  However none of the cracks are large and it is not broken in two or missing any pieces, which is not common! And believe it or not, I have experience shipping these so you can rest easy knowing I will remove it for shipping, wrap it separately, and it will arrive to you in good condition.  

    This instrument plays quite well on older pads, with a strong, moderately bright, cheerful voice.  The clarity of the tone is notable, and it is a lot of fun to play with a unique look and feel and timbre that would lend itself easily to classical, big band, or small group jazz.  The lacquer is original and nearly flawless, with no evidence of past repairs or dents or resolders of any kind. It is also a unique and interesting piece of saxophone history, in exceptional condition, and whoever owns this instrument next will have a lot of fun being its steward for the next generation.  

  • Conn Connstellation Alto Saxophone 28M Very Good Condition Original Lacquer 335771

    $ 2,350

    You could be forgiven for thinking that because there are two original lacquer, very good condition Conn 28M “Connstellation” saxophones on my website at the moment that these are somewhat common, but I assure you that is not the case!   I will copy and paste the general statements about the 28M from the other description, with the unique description of this particular instrument’s physical and playing condition at the bottom.

    The Conn 28M will always have a special place in my heart.  It represents the last time one of the great American saxophone manufacturing companies tried something wholly new, and although the horn never really found a market and not many were made, they are fantastic instruments that besides being unique and historically interesting, play *really* well.  

    These saxophones were redesigned, utilizing many ideas from Allen Loomis (Conn’s resident saxophone visionary) and Hugh Loney, with input from Santy Runyon, with the aim of creating a saxophone that had extremely slick keywork and a very balanced scale.  The keywork, although familiar under the fingers with regard to placement and layout, is mechanically quite different from any other saxophone and has been built from the ground up with the goal of reducing mechanical friction. There are no pivot screws anywhere on this saxophone, instead the long rods have a very long hinge rod with the middle machined down so only the ends touch.   The G# has a very unique torsion mechanism to provide a G# feel that is smooth throughout the range. The side keys are designed so that the angle and distance of travel is the same for each key. There are adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks as well as the left hand pinky table. The bell keys are on the left side, and the pantsguard/bell keyguard is a large acrylic plate that was designed with the idea in mind of allowing the horn to vent properly regardless of playing position or clothing choice.  The octave mechanism has three pips (octave vents), one on the neck and two on the body, which has the end result of a very clear middle D and no hiss on the A or G#, as well as excellent intonation. The keywork in general is very light, and the pearls are larger than usual for Conn and a little flatter. The overall feeling is of a very light horn, extremely slick, easy to play, excellent intonation, and very even throughout.

    The one downfall of this design is the pantsguard, which is fairly brittle and often broken.  Although nowadays there are excellent replacements available, this one has its original guard in decent condition.  There is one repaired crack (visible in the photos) and the common small cracks radiating from some of the screw holes.  I would anticipate, absent any further damage, that this keyguard will last and should not present any problems- although I will furnish you with contact information for obtaining a well made (and somewhat more durable) replacement should you ever need it.  And believe it or not, I have experience shipping these so you can rest easy knowing I will remove it for shipping, wrap it separately, and it will arrive to you in good condition.

    This instrument plays quite decently on what appears to be an older repad with plastic domed resonators, with a strong, moderately bright, cheerful voice.  The clarity of the tone is notable, and it is a lot of fun to play with a unique look and feel and timbre that would lend itself easily to classical, big band, or small group jazz.  The lacquer is original and in good condition with some playing wear and a few stand scratches near the low C#, with no evidence of past repairs or dents or resolders of any kind. It is also a unique and interesting piece of saxophone history, in very good condition, and whoever owns this instrument next will have a lot of fun being its steward for the next generation.  

  • Grafton Alto Saxophone Excellent Original Condition Restored and Playable 10591

    $ 5,500

    Ah, the Grafton “plastic” (actually its acrylic) saxophone.  Famously played by Charlie Parker and David Bowie, crafted by an English company, designed by an Italian, it is, according to sales literature of the time, a “tone poem in ivory and gold”.  

    This particular example has actually been repadded by some enterprising repairer (I say it this way because they are notoriously challenging to work on) and it has been done rather well.  It plays, as you may or may not expect, very much like a saxophone and there is not much in the playing of it to convey that the instrument you are playing is wholly unique, with new methods of manufacture and the completely singular keywork mechanisms that its injection molded acrylic body required.  It is comfortable under the fingers, responsive, weighs about what a normal sax weighs, and plays with a warm, if somewhat uncomplex, tone. It is in fact quite an amazing instrument when taken as a whole, and the experience of playing it leaves me with wonder and respect for the company that made it.  

    These are famously known for being delicate, and not many have survived to this day.  This example is in quite good shape, with the only body repair that I can see being the bell to body brace looks to have been shored up with epoxy where a crack was forming.  There are some small hairline cracks near the tenon receiver, but they are minor and do not appear to be spreading. The finish on the keys is original, and the neck is in very good shape with no evidence of past repair or pulldown.  The keyguard is complete and undamaged, and it comes with its original Dallas case.

  • King SilverSonic Alto Saxophone Super 20 Fresh Overhaul 346xxx Plays Like Crazy

    $ 7,950

    This is the King to get if you want all the bells and whistles AND you want the most modern version of King keywork. It lacks only the side/palm key pearls to be virtually the same as the coveted Series II SilverSonics, and it plays the same as those, but with more comfortable left hand spatula keys.

  • Sold Out

    King Super 20 Alto Saxophone Full Pearls Series II Orig. Lacquer Exceptional Player! 339676

    $ 5,650
  • Martin The Martin Alto Saxophone Excellent Condition!

    $ 1,150

    Here’s a beautiful The Martin Alto that has no dents, no dings, and no past repairs. It looks like it has some original pads still intact also. The patent stick is still on the body tube, and the horn is ready to get an overhaul and play really well. I’m pricing it low, as if it were a relacquer, because the lacquer is over the engraving. The engraving is very sharp though, so this may be a case of the factory engraving first, then lacquering, as the rest of it looks clean and original. So you save several hundred dollars on it for that reason, but for all intents and purposes, playing wise, it’s in beautiful shape and will be a real gem with a good overhaul.

    Martins have among the thickest brass of any saxophone, and they are built like tanks. The whole horn feels solid and sturdy, and it was built to last! It’s the only saxophone I know of that came with a 50 year warranty from the factory! Pretty crazy! The Deco design unity of this horn’s keywork and braces is delightful. From any angle, it’s a coherent object – thought through from the cork through to the bell flare.

    The Martin Alto’s (Committee III) are among the best saxophones for the money that you can possibly get. Quality per dollar spent is hard to beat. This is one beautiful example, and it’s priced to sell.

    Only one available!

  • Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone 1958 Original Lacquer Excellent Condition 75703

    $ 9,000
  • Selmer SBA Tenor Saxophone Silver Plated 47611-3

    Selmer SBA Tenor Saxophone 47xxx Original Silver Great Player Super Balanced Action

    $ 12,000

    Here is a gorgeous Selmer Super Balanced Action tenor, built in 1952.  It has its original silver plated finish, and it is in very good condition.  The Selmer Super Balanced Action tenor is among the most desirable tenor saxophones ever. And for good reason. It’s the horn Coltrane famously played for many years (up until around 1965), and the horn Branford Marsalis and many others play today. It has the classic Selmer tone that, whether you know it or not, is already in your ears from all those classic Blue Note era recordings. Hank Mobley on Soul Station is one for me among many others.  Point being, if you’ve heard a saxophone on a famous recording, you’ve likely heard one of these. And that is no accident- these saxophones are sublime.

    This saxophone has been overhauled at some point in the past few years and was recently given a tuneup, and it plays very well, with the broad and rich Selmer tone that these are so known for. The only damage is a scratch inside the bell flare, probably from a clip on microphone. The bell flare is just a little uneven in that spot when you look at the light reflecting on it. Super minor, but I’d rather you are pleasantly surprised by the horn’s beauty than disappointed at a flaw you didn’t notice.

    The keywork is comfortable and intuitive, owing to the underlying design started with the Balanced Action and honed with the Super Balanced Action that was so inspired it remains the basic template for all saxophones made to this day.  The intonation is excellent (this is one of the later long bell tenors- the early short bell tenors are known for needing a bit of extra attention to low note intonation) and the response is quick and lively, and as the best Selmers do it lends itself easily to any style of music- which is one of the things that sets Selmers apart from the rest.  It is an ability that is in my experience rare among saxophones, and nobody does it better than Selmer.

  • SML Rev D Alto Saxophone Silver 11584-3

    SML Rev D (=Gold Medal 1) Alto Saxophone Original Silver Plate Old Pads Beautiful 11584

    $ 1,750

    SML, short for Strasser-Marigaux-LeMaire, is probably the best known small French maker of saxophones.  They produced high quality instruments with a unique blend of features that ended up in what I like to think of as a perfect blend of Selmer and Conn- a very French tone, but big like a Conn.  

    The SML “Revision D”, which was not an official name but rather one given by collectors to the model run with this particular set of features, is a professional handcrafted French saxophone whose features include rolled toneholes, a switchable automatic G#/C#, double sprung octave mechanism (which is an excellent feature preventing slow octave changes and should be standard on all saxophones), a 4 slot neck tenon receiver (again, an excellent feature that should be made standard, this time one that applies pressure more evenly around the neck tenon for a more secure fit less likely to develop leaks), and adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks.  In fact, the Revision D is very much like the model that came after called the Gold Medal, and shares the same bore. The only features that the Gold Medal has that this horn doesn’t are the rocking octave thumbrest (which isn’t actually so great and is often times disabled at the request of the player) and the adjustable felt bumpers for the low notes, which while nice is not a game changer in any way.

    This particular horn is in very good aesthetic shape, and currently wears old pads and will need an overhaul although it does play a little bit as-is.  The original silver plating is in very good condition and seems to be almost unworn, and the neck shows no sign of past damage or repair work. There is some evidence of past dentwork around the lower stack F# and G# toneholes, which were both unfortunately filed a bit for levelness at the time the dentwork was done, I am guessing.  However the filing does not go through the roll, and should not impact playability or repairability, and the dentwork is not noticeable until you get close. If it weren’t for that, this would be a nearly pristine SML, and this flaw serves mostly to bring down the price without having much of a real-world effect on ownership.

    These SMLs have a fantastic sound, unique in their blend of refined yet powerful, and possess excellent craftsmanship.  Not very many were made- about 15,000 total of all sizes of the horns considered to be their best- and they hold up very well over time.  

  • SML Rev D (Gold Medal 1) Tenor Saxophone Original Lacquer 11774 1954 Needs Overhaul

    $ 1,950

    This original lacquer SML Rev D tenor saxophone is the same as an SML Gold Medal 1 Tenor. (The Rev D is what won the ‘Gold Medal’ so that they named it ‘Gold Medal’). This horn needs an overhaul, but it is original lacquer and it is in good condition with no dents. The neck receiver and one foot of the Eb key guard have been resoldered, and some dent work is evident on the back of the body tube (by the serial number, thumb hook, strap hook, and under the D palm key foot). There are no dents now, and the horn is ready to be overhauled. When these horns are all ready to go, they just sound fantastic, with a Selmer-Conn sort of tone – lyrical core like a French saxophone, but big, wide, and lush like a Conn. Palm keys stay nice and fat and full sounding, and don’t thin out, and the tone is nice and medium dark. It brightens up beautifully with a bright mouthpiece, giving you the sort of sound that many players are going for on Conns, but with the SML keywork and other special features that set these horns apart. This has rolled tone holes and is currently original pads. It was one owner until now. Once it’s all overhauled, you will have a top notch pro tenor that feels good under the fingers, tunes well, looks great, and sounds extremely good. I have an SML much like this in my collection, and it’s one of my favorite horns. They usually sell for much more than this price, even with old pads. I have seen a few go for more than twice this price on eBay not too long ago.

    Only one available!