1950s

Showing all 13 results

  • Buescher Top Hat and Cane Alto Saxophone Super 400 Excellent Condition 317532

    $ 2,450

    Beautiful original lacquer, original pads Buescher Super 400 alto ‘Top Hat & Cane’ model. This is the most deluxe saxophone that Buescher produced, with deluxe engraving, fast keywork, and Buescher’s signature top quality intonation. Don’t miss the little details that take these horns from good to great, like the silver “tone ring” under the bell lip, the underslung octave key, and the raised Buescher logo in the engraving. If you have been looking for an alto that has the sweet, dynamic, moderately-focused Buescher tone, and that looks beautiful, and is in uncommonly good original condition, look no further.

    This alto has no resolders, no dents, and only light play wear on the original lacquer. It has the original case in good condition. The neck is in very good condition. Even on the original pads, this alto still plays surprisingly well. It has the snaps and spuds intact, as well as the gold plated Norton  springs. Everything you look for in a top quality Buescher is here. Just get the pads replaced by the repair shop of your choice, and you will have an alto that sounds bigger, sweeter, and more complex than any of the modern alto options, that tunes excellently, and that looks gorgeous. These are built extremely well, and they stay in adjustment very well down the road. The Buescher Top Hat and Cane altos are the creme de la creme of Buescher altos, and they are quite hard to find in this sort of condition.

    Only one available, and priced quite low to sell quickly. I also have the matching tenor, already overhauled, if you are interested in a matched set.

  • 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 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 Super 20 Alto Saxophone Original with Gold Leaf Fresh Overhaul! 346933

    $ 7,950

    Getting overhauled early March 2019. Price includes overhaul! Email me at [email protected] to reserve it or pick your resonators. Superb example of a King SilverSonic alto with solid silver bell and neck, and gold plate in the engraving, with original gold lacquer over that! Cannonball Adderley tone all the way. These are just about the best altos ever.

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

    $ 5,650
  • Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone from 1957 Relacquer Needs Overhaul Great Potential

    $ 6,500

    If you want a 1950’s Mark VI tenor tone that is dark, focused, and fat-sounding, this would be an excellent serial number range for that. This horn is on consignment, and it needs an overhaul. Basically, you’re getting it for half price of what nice original lacquer VI tenors of this vintage sell for. With a good overhaul, it should play nearly the same, based on past experience getting similar ones overhauled. The neck is in excellent condition, and there is no significant past damage. Just the ubiquitous resoldered low Eb key guard, and a few small dents removed from the back of the bow that are nearly invisible now. Very good player’s VI tenor. Just buy and get it restored, and you will never need to buy another tenor. Neck has the matching serial number. We can swap out the old case for a discounted BAM Classic or something, if you want a more usable modern case for it. If you want to make an offer, feel free. I can pass it along to the consignor. He wants to get this sold.

    Only one available!

  • Selmer SBA Super Balanced Action Alto Saxophone Original Lacquer 1953 53069 Excellent!

    $ 7,950

    This is as close to a new Selmer Super Balanced Action alto saxophone as you are going to find. This thing is amazing. it comes with all original pads, and the original metal Tonex resonators are all still present on the original pads from 1953. The excellent original Selmer factory setup feels great under the fingers. If you are going to play this seriously, you will probably want to get either all new pads (reuse the original resonators) or at least replace some pads. But it does still play surprisingly well on the current 66 year old pads. It has a sweet, warm voice with plenty of power. A bit more spread and warm than a typical 50’s Mark VI would be. Darker than any modern Selmer, but with a nice focused lyrical core to the tone. There’s that delicate thread in the center of the sound that you can grab onto with vintage Selmers that makes them especially pleasant to listen to.

    There are no past repairs, no dents, no dings. No neck damage, bell flare and bow are perfect. The original neck has the matching serial number to the body. The only wear at all is some extremely light scratching on the back of the body tube.

    Great intonation, great ergonomics, beauty, dark honey original lacquer. Gorgeous original Chesterfield case. You really can’t beat this alto if you want something that does it all. Super Balanced Action Alto saxophones are going up, and this is one of the best in the world.

    Only one available.

  • 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.

  • Selmer Super Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone SBA 1954 Original Lac Exceptional!

    $ 19,000

    Update: Just overhauled by Matt Stohrer and new photos coming soon. Original resonators reused on the new pads, and it plays better than new.

    This is as close to a new Selmer Super Balanced Action tenor saxophone as you are likely to find. This thing is amazing. it comes with all original pads, and the original metal Tonex resonators are all still present on the original pads from 1953. The excellent original Selmer factory setup feels great under the fingers. If you are going to play this seriously, you will probably want to get either all new pads (reuse the original resonators) or at least replace some pads. But it does still play surprisingly well on the current 66 year old pads. It has a sweet, warm voice with plenty of power. A bit more spread and warm than a typical 50’s Mark VI would be. Darker than any modern Selmer, but with a nice focused lyrical core to the tone. There’s that delicate thread in the center of the sound that you can grab onto with vintage Selmers that makes them especially pleasant to listen to.

    There are no resolders, no dents, no dings. No neck damage, bell flare and bow are perfect. The original neck has the matching serial number to the body. The only past repair is a small dent removed on the bow, and a few really small dings removed from the back of the body tube that are hard to see. It looks very good now. I tried to make the removed dent look as bad as possible in the photos, but it looks quite a bit better in person. After watching the market pretty closely for the past ten years, I can say with confidence that this is one of the nicest SBA tenors that still exists. If you want to buy it and also get it overhauled by Matt Stohrer as part of a deal, I have an overhaul spot reserved with Matt. His work is among the best I have seen, and he is pretty serious about saxophone repair.

    So that’s what you get. A super nice orignial lacquer SBA tenor with original pads from one of the most desirable years in excellent condition. This horn has great intonation and great ergonomics. It is maxed out on beauty with the dark honey original lacquer. It comes with the gorgeous original Chesterfield case. You really can’t beat this SBA tenor saxophone if you want something that does it all. Super Balanced Action tenor saxophones are going up, and this is one of the best in the world.

    Only one available! If you want to buy a crazy matched set of 53xxx SBA alto and tenor, check out the matching alto here: https://www.getasax.com/product/selmer-super-balanced-action-alto-saxophone-sba-original-lacquer-1953-53069-excellent/

  • 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

    $ 2,150