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Buescher Big B Alto Saxophone Original Lacquer Good Condition 324407$ 1,600
This is a 1949 Buescher “Big B” Aristocrat, so named for the ornate engraving of a, well, a Big B on the bell. This horn is in very good condition, and the typical wear around the fine engraving of the B on the bell is not present, which indicates that this horn has led a life mostly in a closet somewhere. There are no resolders or past dentwork to speak of, and it plays *way* better than it should on some very old pads, but you would want to get this repadded to play like it can, which is very, very good!
These horns are undervalued in my opinion. I mean, you can get this one in such great shape with all of its original Snap-on resonators and overhaul it for not a lot more than a Yamaha student model in total- seems like a good buy to me! Johnny Hodges famously played one of these, and his tone is a very good example of the blend of sweetness and power these horns possess.
Conn 10M Tenor Saxophone Naked Lady Rolled Tone Holes Original Lacquer 322571$ 2,450
Great deal on an original lacquer, rolled tone holes Conn 10M tenor. This horn came from a big collection of great American saxophones that I recently bought. I am planning to get this overhauled soon if it doesn’t sell at the lower price with current pads. It was overhauled before I got it, but I don’t like the way the pads feel, and it would be better to just redo it for long term enjoyment. It has a huge, warm, medium dark, powerful tone that fills a room instantly. And the intonation is also great. The keywork is quite fast and comfortable once you get used to it, which only takes a couple of weeks if you are coming from a Selmer.
The only past repairs are some small dents removed from the back of the body tube. Probably from a mouthpiece rattling around in the case with the horn long ago. One in the upper body tube, one near the strap hook, and one near the thumb hook. Also a small one removed from the top of the neck. It’s in very good shape now. It’s uncommon to see a 10M like this with so few repairs and nothing resoldered or seriously damaged and repaired. This is one of the good ones for sure! Engraving is beautiful and crisp also.
Only one available! Get it now.
Just for fun, here’s Dexter Gordon putting a 10M from the same era through its paces. (The mouthpiece is a Hollywood Dukoff, which I also have for sale, if you are looking.) The sound mixing guy who recorded Dex always had to dial him back a lot. There really is no limit to the volume on a Conn 10M tenor.
Conn 4M Curved Soprano RARE Late Example 244750 Matt Stohrer Overhaul Exceptional!$ 6,950
If you want the best, the most beautiful, the rarest, and the highest quality overhaul all in one soprano, then this is the one for you. You can get a ‘normal’ conn curved soprano for a lot less, but it will not be like this. This Conn curved soprano is for the connoisseur, the collector, and the discerning player.
The general rules for buying these, in my view, is to get the latest curved soprano that you can find. I only know of a few individual instruments with later serial numbers than this. You could probably count the total number that were made after this one in the single digits. This is only the second one that I have seen in person, and it is by far the nicest one I have seen. Like every Conn curved soprano it had a couple of key guard feet resoldered, and that is it for past repairs. They look good, and are not at all glaring. The neck is particularly nice. The bell flare and body tube are undamaged.
It just got a complete overhaul and gentle hand polish and cleaning done by Matt Stohrer, Conn enthusiast and my personal favorite repairman for Conn overhauls. Matt’s work needs no introduction, but you can find his website here, and his youtube channel here, complete with several Conn-specific repariman’s overview videos. I got the silver plate touched up in a couple of places where it was starting to show some wear, and I got the gold wash in the bell redone also, though there was still some gold in there to start with. The resonators are the nice, reusable, high-end TenorMadness set, flattened for an authentic look. They look great. An overhaul is a big job, and that’s now done, so this horn is back to factory fresh or better playing condition. Better, because Matt’s pad work feels better than the reso-pad job found on these originally. It’s tight, snappy, and positive under the fingers. Pad heights are just right, and all the little details that distinguish a really good overhaul from a mediocre one are present and correct on this horn.
Playing wise, this soprano is a monster. It’s warm, round, broad, and room-filling, even at low volumes. When pushed, it is almost too loud. It wants to project over a band. The tone is completely different from modern sopranos. Much more warm and medium-dark, almost like a larger saxophone voice squeezed into the small soprano body. The intonation is quite good, and this works well with a wider range of mouthpieces than many sopranos. I used my Bilger Morgan, and it sounds great. But a modern Yanagisawa HR or even a vintage Buescher will all work, so there’s a good range. This is easily one of my favorite vintage sopranos that I have ever played. If you are looking for a new dimension to add to your playing, a curved soprano like this is interesting and stimulating. A whole fresh world to explore. It also looks great on stage, and catches eyes if you’re a full time performer.
This beautiful instrument comes in its original case, also in good condition.
Just for fun, here’s a clip Dave Koz playing his silver Conn curved soprano with postmodern jukebox. Also, be sure to check out Keenan McKenzie’s curved Conn soprano playing in a 30’s swing setting. So great, and tons of fun!
Conn 6M Metro Alto Near Mint Condition Fresh Overhaul Amazing 275392$ 3,575
If you want the very best, this is the one to get. Nicest 6M Metro (predecessor to the VIII stamp) that I have had for sale and overhauled in a long time. Maybe ever. Pre-war, gorgeous original lacquer, Metro neck. Fresh high-end overhaul that feels great under the fingers. Nothing sounds like a 6M. You get the swivel thumb hook too, that only comes on the earlier Artist altos like this. Maximum projection, power, and warmth, while maintaining just the right amount of focus. This is an exceptional alto, and whoever gets it will be very lucky!
Only one available!
Conn 6M Transitional Art Deco Alto Saxophone 247105 Great Shape 1931$ 1,600
I love Conn altos in the 230-260k range, and especially the ones near 250k serial. This 247k is a transitional Conn between the New Wonder II (‘Chu Berry’) and the 6M (‘Artist’) models. It is a true transitional in every sense, and is almost half NWII and half 6M. These special alto saxophones have a tone and set of features found nowhere else, and that makes them especially great in several ways. The bore still feels more like a NWII to play, so the tone is wider and wilder than the later 6M’s (which are also great, but are more focused and a bit less wild). The neck is like a 6M, so you get the improved intonation that ‘slots in’ better – NWII’s have good intonation as well, but it is more flexible than the 6M versions. The bell keys have moved around to the left, but the left hand spatula keys retain their NWII shape, but with improved mechanics. No saxophone has an easier or more direct feel on the low B and Bb that this version of Conn. It’s nice and light and fast, though you don’t have anything like modern ergonomics on those keys, of course. The regular main stack keywork is already mostly updated to the fast and comfortable 6M design. That is very good keywork, and is hardly improved upon in modern horns, so this is a very comfortable horn to play.
It came with special ‘art deco’ engraving on the bell that you only see for a short time around 245-249k serial with Conn altos. This example is original or ‘first’ lacquer, and has not been refinished. It has original pads and even comes with the original warranty and care booklet in the original case.
Tonally, these late transitional 6M’s are an ideal choice for big band or jazz band lead alto. They have almost unlimited projection or ‘carrying power’ as the old advertizements put it. And the tone stays strong and cohesive no matter how much you push it. It’s just a joy to hear one of these in full song. Marhsall Royale and the Basie band all played Conns like this, as did Charlie Parker for a while (among many other horns). You see them commonly in clubs in NYC and all over Europe these days. Nothing sounds like a Conn. This one is priced low for what it is. Superb original condition. Add a good overhaul, and you will have one of the best built alto saxophones ever, that will be dependable and fantastic to own and play for many many years to come. If you like this version in silver, I also have a silver 249k that I just got completely overhauled that is also for sale.
Only one available!
Conn 6m Transitional Art Deco Alto Saxophone 249081 Overhauled!$ 3,250
Just completely overhauled! Price includes the full restoration. Take how it looks in the photos, and make everything perfect and shiny with all new everything and that’s what you’d be getting.
The Conn 6M transitional takes many forms, and this particular original silver plated example is from 1932. It features art deco engraving (a style which only appears for a few years), left hand bell keys, 6M style keywork everywhere except the left hand pinky table, which is New Wonder II style. This is the last iteration before the transitional becomes nearly identical to the 6M, and to my ears these have a bit more of the big tone of the New Wonder II than the transitionals just after it- and in fact around this serial range is my favorite of the transitionals, playing-wise.
This horn plays a bit on some very old pads, but it will need a repad. Physically it is in extremely good condition, with no dents or dings or evidence of past repairs that I can see. The neck is undamaged and shows no signs of past pulldown, and the microtuner is free and functional. The silver plate is thick and unworn, and will shine up unbelievably well, if my past experience is any guide (see Matt Stohrer’s guide on polishing silver saxophones to see what I mean). It comes with its original case in good condition and its original warranty card. These are great altos, built by the finest American saxophone craftsmen in their heyday, and a super clean one like this is a great place to start if you are looking for a fantastic vintage horn that will last you a lifetime for less of an overall investment than most any new horn of even middling quality that you can buy today.
Conn 6M VIII Alto Saxophone 1937 Pre-War Original Lacquer Excellent Condition 282496$ 3,250
This is a beautiful Conn 6M VIII alto with great original lacquer. It comes with a full high end overhaul. If you are relatively new to vintage saxophones, almost all saxophones older than 1990 or so that have been played with any frequency are in need of a labor-intensive process of restoration called an ‘overhaul.’ This does not touch the finish, but it completely replaces everything that needs to be replaced to put the saxophone back to factory fresh mechanical and playing condition. If you do it right, (which is a big if) then the horn can even be better than new mechanically and playing wise. That’s what this horn is getting right now. It costs about $1000+ to have done right, because it involves at least 25-30 hours of skilled labor.
This Conn 6M VII is really the one you want. It is in excellent condition, original lacquer, no resolders, no serious past repairs at all (a few small dings removed). As soon as it comes back from overhaul in a week or two, it is going to be AMAZING! Conns are very consistent from horn to horn once you fix everything mechanically. This one will be no exception. Even on original pads when I got it from a collector, it played really big. It is medium-focused, and very free blowing. Intonation is excellent. Keywork is fast. It comes with a BAM Classic alto case or similar, (we can discuss) to keep it safe when you are not playing it (which won’t be that much of the time, based on how these play!)
Only one available!
Conn 6M VIII Alto Saxophone Pre-War Original Lacquer Very Good Condition Plays Well 294775$ 1,950
This pre-war (from the American perspective, meaning prior to the government order than restricted the manufacture of musical instruments along with anything else made out of brass) Conn 6M was built in 1941, and is the desirable “VIII” version, with the VIII stamp on both the body and neck.
It is in very good physical condition with original lacquer, no dents, and no major or minor past repairs or resolders, with the exception of a repaired dent on the bowguard, which is visible in the photos. It has what appears to be a recent repad, or perhaps an old repad that wasn’t played much after it was done, and Conn Res-o-pads were used. It plays well with a big voice, and although to my professionally-obligated-to-be-picky tastes it is not quite as astoundingly slick under the fingers at these feel when they have been overhauled as the best repairers can do, it is definitely playable as-is and will beat the pants off of most any challenger, especially modern imports that cost a lot more and give you a lot less than this fine example of vintage American saxophone craftsmanship.
Oddly, the lacquer on the neck is more worn than the rest of the horn- although physically the neck is in immaculate condition with no dents or past pulldowns. In the past when I have seen this the culprit is usually a homemade neck bag that was lacquer-unfriendly, or perhaps the owner had a habit during rests to hold the horn with the neck in his hand. Given the lack of wear elsewhere on the horn, I’d guess a neck bag was the culprit here, although I can’t be certain. But again, though the lacquer itself is mostly gone from the neck (and the neck alone), the neck tube is flawless and there are no signs of past repairs of any kind.
The microtuner is free and functional, and all of the original rollers and present and moving freely. The engraving is crisp and clear with no lacquer loss, and the pearls seems largely unworn. The keywork is tight and the body is straight. This is a very clean example of the most desirable vintage of the most desirable variant of the Conn 6M, and it can be yours for less than a new Yamaha YAS-26.
Conn 6M VIII Original Silver Plate Pre-War Rare Version 285404 Excellent Condition$ 2,650
Incredible Pre-war Conn 6M VIII in silver plate. You rarely see silver plated instruments before WWII stopped conn production in mid 1942. This one from 1938-39 is in gorgeous condition with original silver plate nearly 100%. The pads are older. Plan on a repad. The neck is great condition also with no damage. No past repairs. Interestingly, this appears to have been special ordered with a second strap hook, which makes the horn balance like a modern alto. I have never seen this before on a Conn, but I’m certain that this is factory original, as the plating matches and there is no sign of aftermarket soldering at all. Pretty cool!
Only one availble!
Conn Chu Berry New Wonder 1 Tenor Saxophone Burnished Gold Plate Portrait 1924$ 3,950
Conns from the 1920’s like this have an enthusiastic following these days. I’m told that it’s now more common to see a tenor player in NYC playing a Conn than a Selmer, which is hard to believe if true. I have definitely noticed a large and growing amount of interest and enthusiasm for Conns like this over the last 5 years at least.
The way I think about vintage Conn tenors is this. They are all built quite well, and they are all good players once you get them all fixed up and overhauled. So if you have the choice, and budget allows, you might as well buy the nicest one you can to fix up. This is for a couple of reasons. First, resale value will always be better the more beautiful the horn is, and the rarer the finish. Second, you get to experience the satisfaction, even joy, of owning such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship from the world’s greatest musical instrument factory of the 20’s and 30’s, which is undoubtedly Conn. Conn set the standard for musical instrument manufacturing during that time. Its designs were copied by all the other makers, from France to Germany, Italy, and even eventually Japan. They are still being copied today in fact!
If your goal is to get the best, most beautiful, rarest Conn that you can, it would be hard to do better than this beautiful burnished gold Conn New Wonder 1 ‘Chu Berry’ tenor saxophone from 1924. The finish is a bit tarnished at present, because I haven’t had time to get it disassembled, cleaned, and polished yet, but there’s a lot of original gold plate there, and not a whole lot of finish wear. The burnished (bright) gold Conns like this are incredibly rare. Much rarer than the satin gold examples, which are themselves very rare. The engraving is striking. Each burnished gold Conn had the option for a custom portrait. I wonder whose sweetheart this is! Some stylish flapper 20’s lady in any case. This would almost definitely have been pro-owned by the tenor player from a big band. I got the horn from Ohio, if there’s anyone who can connect the dots at all. I have never seen any other Conn tenor with engraving like this, so it has some historical value as well, to me at least.
This tenor comes in pretty good playing condition. It was tuned up before I got it, and I’ll probably spend some more money on pad work before I sell it. It also includes a nice Hiscox case with my favorite, the red interior, which is no longer offered. Much better than the blue for a gold saxophone.
Just for fun, here’s Lester Young on his New Wonder 1 tenor just like this one, also gold plated. The wide, lush, spread, medium dark tone is just gorgeous.
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.
Conn New Wonder 1 Alto Original Burnished Gold Plate Portrait 84738$ 2,950
There are a ton of beautiful altos on the site, but this one stands out from the crowd. It is the heaviest gold plate finish that Conn offered – basically sheets of thick (actual) gold rubbed onto the brass to give you a finish that will last for centuries with minimal maintenance required. Both gold and skilled labor were cheap back in 1920’s America and Conn could afford to invest an extra couple of days’ labor in applying all this gold by hand-burnishing, and engraving such an elaborate scene on the saxophone, and still make a profit. These days, it would be literally impossible to reproduce saxophones like this and market them. They would cost far too much. Just a thin layer of modern gold plate costs like $3500 to do.
So this horn is something very special. Not just as a piece of art, or a piece of exceptional craftsmanship, but as a musical instrument as well. William Morris, the influential artist, famously encouraged us to “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, and believe to be beautiful.” This alto sax just wails as a player, and definitely fits both requirements nearly as well as a saxophone could. The engraving features (probably) Apollo, god of music, with his harp, and an extremely ornate C.G. Conn logo and decoration.
This alto has very good pads, and plays extremely easily on the current, high-quality overhaul. It feels nice and snappy under the fingers, and the pad work is very good, flat and ‘dry’ feeling, which is a sign of high-quality work with rolled tone holes. The tone is pure 1920’s jazz power: wide, smooth, warm, and dark, but very projecting. This horn vibrates under your fingers even at moderate volumes, and is super fun and responsive to play. Low register is easy. Intonation is good, though you can easily bend notes around also. The keywork is vintage, so it will feel weird if you’re coming from a Yamaha, at least at first. But the tone and beauty you get in exchange makes it well worth it.
Only one available!
Conn New Wonder 1 Alto Saxophone Silver with Gold Keys$ 1,100
Bargain price for one of the most beautiful vintage Conn New Wonder 1 ‘Chu Berry’ alto saxophones around. This is satin silver body tube with real gold plate on the keys and in the engraving and other details. These horns look AMAZING when polished up and overhauled, and this one is sure to be no exception to that.
I have it priced very low, so that you can buy it, get it nicely overhauled, and still get a great horn for the money. This should be an easy, uncomplicated overhaul, as Conns are well made and this one is in nice shape. I do also take returns money back with 5 day trial period, so buy with confidence, take to your repair shop, and then make a decision! Marshall Royale and the whole Basie band played these and got that beautiful, wide, warm tone.
Only one available!
Conn New Wonder 1 Tenor Chu Berry Exceptionally Fine Player Fresh Overhaul BAM Case$ 3,150
Do you want the biggest, darkest, most spread and room-filling vintage Conn tone possible? Do you want a gorgeous vintage Conn with original silver plate that looks almost new? Do you want it with a freshly-done high end ($1k+) overhaul, with high-end metal resonators? Do you want a premium $350 BAM tenor case included that fits the horn beautifully and will keep it in top adjustment?
Well, look no further. That’s what this is. Any you should buy it. Right now. You won’t be sorry. I didn’t call it an exceptionally fine player for nothing.
Grafton Alto Saxophone Excellent Original Condition Restored and Playable 10591$ 4,750
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 Original Gold Plate Soprano Saxophone Beautiful Engraving 56362$ 1,500
This is an original gold plated King soprano from about 1922. The engraving is exquisite, as it usually is on gold plated King saxophones, and the horn itself is in very good physical condition. Keyed to high Eb, it currently plays ok on old pads, and the tone is very warm and pleasant. As is typical with sopranos of this age, the intonation is pretty flexible, but given a good ear and voicing it is entirely possible to play in tune- just don’t expect this to do the job for you like a modern Yamaha or Yanagisawa! The trade-off is, as it usually is in my experience, richness of tone for flexibility of intonation, although a large chamber soprano mouthpiece (like a vintage Buescher) will make the job a lot easier. I was playtesting this on a modern Yanagisawa piece though and enjoyed it quite a bit, without any notable intonational problems for me personally. This is from a collection and has old pads. But just the gold plate is worth the entire price of the horn. It’s a super deal. You could easily find this priced double somewhere else. Includes the nice Buescher soprano mouthpiece in the photos!
The original case for this instrument is in good condition and fits it very well.
King Soprano Saxophone Gold Plate Fresh Overhaul Amazing! 99847$ 3,600
Just freshly overhauled!! This got a full restoration, so it’s back to like new mechanical condition.
This amazing gold plated King soprano saxophone will blow the walls down. It is in excellent condition, with nearly all the original gold plate intact. It has just received a full overhaul and restoration, which is not a small job on a 90 year old instrument. It is now back in like-new playing condition and ready to make music for many many years to come.
King sopranos are rare, and were only made in low pitch (regular concert pitch). They tune nicely, and have a big, warm, medium-focused tone that is less polite sounding than a Buescher, and really fills a room with ease. This example in gold plate and in such amazingly good condition is extremely rare. The great depression in 1929 spelled the end of most of the saxophone market, and marked the end of most makers building sopranos in any kind of quantities. So it’s not surprising that you don’t see a King soprano later than this serial. This is one of the very last ones made, and the latest serial I have seen. The later the better is my motto on vintage sopranos generally speaking, so getting a late one also in gold plate is really exceptional.
Only one available!
Martin Handcraft Typewriter Alto Saxophone Original Silver Excellent Condition 98334$ 900
Beautiful original silver Martin Typewriter alto saxophone. Every single key is a has a round pearl button – it’s a wonderful instrument to see! I love how unified it is from a design perspective. The palm keys and pinky table are my favorite. A necessity for any serious saxophone collection. This is also a beautiful player when overhauled, and has a wide, warm, sweet tone that is hard to beat for a 20’s sound. This Typewriter alto is all original – nearly all the original silver plate is present, as is the gold wash. The neck is also in very good condition. If you wanted to overhaul this, it would be bright, gleaming satin silver and look nearly new. Or just keep it and treasure it, or leave it on display as a showpiece. The typewriter was a beneficiary of the 20’s Saxophone Craze – there was such a strong market for saxophones that all kinds of interesting designs blossomed onto the scene. These are rare and hard to find, and this is a great price for one!
Only one available!
Martin The Martin Alto Saxophone Excellent Condition! Great Deal$ 999
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!
New Old Stock Yamaha Purple Logo Baritone Saxophone YBS-62 Mint Unbelievable! Overhauled!$ 9,000
Now comes with a full overhaul!! All new pads and the full deal. That’s a huge added value. It plays EFFORTLESSLY and beautifully, with a warm, complex tone. Take it in a funk direction with an aggressive mouthpiece, and it will bark and cut without thinning out. Take it in a classical direction, and it will do a gorgeous cello-like tone better than any other baritone that I know of. Highly recommended!
This is an amazing chance to get a new old stock Purple Logo YBS-62 baritone saxophone. This sax was originally a display model that Yamaha brought to the USA for a trade show almost 40 years ago. Yamaha sold the instruments from the display, and they sat in someone’s closet for that entire time. This sax came in the plastic in the case, and I had to take it out to take photos. There are maybe a few of the lightest possible surface scratches not through the lacquer, but aside from that, it looks as new as it could be and be from the early 80’s. The tone is beautiful and warm, rich, and medium focused. Intonation is great. Works with just about any mouthpiece. This horn can play the full range from classical to funk no problem and be as reliable as a Lexus day after day, year after year. This is BY FAR the nicest example of a purple logo 62 baritone that I have seen, and the nicest one we are likely to see.
It has the case keys, the polishing cloth, mouthpiece and ligature, warranty booklet, and even a set of removable wheels that attach to the end of the case so that you can roll it if you want. First time I have seen that. If you want a beautiful baritone to play that is really special, this is it. And at this price, it’s about the same as buying a modern 62, so you don’t even pay a premium to get the new old stock. That’s pretty great.
Powell Silver Eagle SE10 Alto One of 18 Made – all options solid silver +Matt Stohrer Overhau$ 12,000
For your viewing pleasure, this is one of the 18 Powell Silver Eagle saxophones made. Powell conceived of an ambitious project to bring back an American-made saxophone of the highest quality. Inspired by the Super 20 SilverSonic, the Silver Eagle reproduces the bore while adding solid silver soldered tone holes and modern keywork. Powell sadly ended their project after making only 18 saxophones, despite high demand, due to the high cost of production. This horn plays like a good super 20 but a little more evenly, and has been completely overhauled by Matt Stohrer. This is the ultimate collectible among modern saxophones, and it is also a burning player. Asking price is just what these cost new, plus a little extra since it got a $1500 overhaul on top of that! It’s not even inflated for the collectibility value, which is probably not smart of me, but there it is. If you want to discuss all the details of this project, I can put you in touch with the people who built it. These were most definitely a new saxophone bore and neck design, inspired by the best King Super 20 SilverSonic altos, both according to them and according to the folks who bought the tooling and mandrels when the project ended. The keywork is modified from tooling bought from B&S, which accounts for the pinky table that sticks out farther than it would on something like a Yamaha.
There is most certainly only one available. This one has all the possible factory options, which only a subset of Powell Silver Eagles had – including the solid silver tone holes and even cryo treatment. Of the 18 saxophones built, I know at least a couple of them were brass bell, and some others lacked other of these features. This is one of the ones with everything, which makes it even more collectible. Includes the original accessories, case, and paperwork.
Just for fun, here’s Matt Stohrer’s repairman’s overview from when he overhauled it.
Selmer Balanced Action Alto 1945 Fresh Overhauled Original Silver Plate Excellent Condition
Get your Paul Desmond tone going with this beautiful, freshly-overhauled, original silver plate Selmer Balanced Action alto saxophone from 1945. This is the sort of alto Desmond played on Take Five, among many other recordings, and it is the sweetest sounding Selmer alto ever made in my opinion. The ‘Balanced Action’ in the name refers to Selmers revolutionary new keywork design that came on this instrument. It probably doesn’t seem revolutionary to you, since every saxophone made today is made in imitation of Selmer’s ‘balanced action’ design!
The upshot is that you get an alto with a beautiful, warm, lyrical vintage tone, but with keywork that feels quite modern under the fingers. That’s what makes the Balanced Action model such a sweet spot for vintage Selmers. The earlier Selmers are great, but the keywork feels more antequated to many alto players, who, as a general rule, seem less interested in vintage tone unless the keywork also feels more familiar. Tenor players are in general more dedicated to tone, and will work with vintage keywork if it gets them the sound the want.
Anyway, it would be hard to find a nicer example of a Selmer Balanced action alto saxophone than this one. It has nearly all of its original silver plate intact, and it has no dents or dings, and no resolders. The bell flare, bow, neck, and body tube are clean and undamaged. The neck is particularly nice. This sax also comes with a recent overhaul done by Jack Finucane, and it feels good under the fingers, with everything nice and snappy and sealing well. You won’t have to put money into this one to get it playing well, and it won’t need more than regular maintenance to play well for a nice long time.
It even includes the BAM case in the photos, so this is really a great deal at this price. Whoever gets this horn is going to be pretty lucky I think. It’s warm and lyrical, medium spread, but with a nice, solid core tone. You can take the sound in lots of directions, from classical (Selmer’s main design idea at the time) to jazz, smooth jazz, west coast, rock, or really whatever. It’s flexible enough to work with a variety of mouthpieces and still tune well. This is a great alternative to buying some boring new horn for several reasons: better overhaul, better tone, much better resale value, better build quality, more beautiful. But mostly for the tone.
Only one available.
Selmer Balanced Action Alto Saxophone Fresh Overhaul! Original Silver Plate Great Tone$ 5,150
This is an amazing, fully restored Selmer Balanced Action alto. It just got a wonderful high-end overhaul, complete with some spot plating on some keys and along the back of the body tube where the silver had begun to wear. This is one gorgeous alto, with the rare British market two-tone finish, and gold wash bell. The spring tension is on the lighter side, like with most Balanced Actions. If you want stiffer spring tension, we could discuss replacing the springs, but right now, it has a light flute-like feel like these originally had.
Tonally, If you want an alto that people are going to want to listen to, this is the one. It plays extremely well, with a warm, powerful voice that is effortlessly lyrical and makes you not want to put it down. It has high-end reusable domed brass resonators and sounds very good on them. Keywork is snappy, and ‘dry’ under the fingers, like it should be. This comes with a new BAM Softpack alto case, or you can swap that for a Cabine for +$100. These British market Balanced’s are my favorite finish on vintage Selmers, and they are few and far between.
There’s only one available!
Selmer Centered-Tone Clarinet Great Condition! No cracks or repairs, big warm tone R5978$ 1,250
Get your Benny Goodman on! Beautiful vintage Selmer Centered Tone Bb clarinet in excellent condition with no cracks or repairs. This instrument has been babied by one owner for several decades and comes to you on consignment. The pads and corks are in good condition, and it plays beautifully with a big, warm, wide, jazz-leaning tone. Nothing is as warm and beautiful as a Centered Tone. You can project over a band and you can bend notes around with ease. I’m not a great clarinet player, but even I sound pretty decent on one of these! Serial is R5978.
Only one available!
Selmer Mark VI Alto 1962 Original Lacquer American Engraved Original Pads 102605
This is a beautiful, original lacquer, American engraved Selmer Mark VI alto saxophone from 1962. It has the matching serial number on the neck, and it has no dents or dings. There are no resolders or other past repairs, save a couple of small dings removed from the back of the bow and a tiny one from the neck. The whole horn is in excellent condition, and it even still plays surprisingly well on the original factory pad job from Elkhart. They really did it right back in the day at the Selmer assembly shop. It feels just perfect under the fingers, and it would be a good feel to copy if you get this overhauled to play seriously.
Just for fun, here’s Phil Woods putting a similar VI through its paces!
The early 100k serial VI altos are my favorite Mark VI altos for tone. This is the exact same horn as a 95k serial alto, so it is the same as a 5-digit, but for a lower price. The tone is medium-dark, powerful, and punchy when pushed, with a good amount of focus. These are the most tenor-like of the Mark VI altos, with a depth and body to the sound that reminds me of a larger saxophone bursting out of an alto voice. This has the long bow, which means nothing really if you’re playing jazz, but if you’re buying this for classical sax, then with a small tip opening mouthpiece and hard reed you will find low B to be a little flat on your tuner. With a jazz setup, I don’t even notice it, and the tone that you get is just fantastic.
If you’re in the market for a great Selmer alto, this makes a much smarter purchase than a new Referene 54 at $6700, because the Reference will be worth 70% of that at best, as soon as you buy it, and less as time goes on, where a beautiful vintage Mark VI will still be worth what you paid for it or more when you go to sell it, if you ever need to. You’re tying up the money in a horn, but it’s money you can get back out, meaning you can own the horn nearly for free, or for the cost of upkeep, which is not the case buying most other sorts of big ticket items. Certainly not vehicles! Plus it’s satisfying to own and play, is built extremely well, and sounds better than a new one. Just for fun, here’s Phil Woods putting a similar VI through its paces (using a Meyer Bros NY alto piece).
Only one available!
Selmer Mark VI Alto 1970 184973 Original Lacquer American Engraved Fresh Overhaul!$ 6,000
This is a sweet deal on a freshly-overhauled original lacquer Selmer Mark VI alto saxophone from 1970 serial 184973. This was a one-owner alto before I got it, and the guy was a pro player in the NYC/NJ area. He took great care of it, and now that it’s freshly overhauled, it is all ready for its second life. If you read around on here, you’ll see that I really love the Mark VI altos from the late 60’s and early 70’s like this. They finally got everything right on the Mark VI alto at this serial, after making incremental changes to the bore, bow length, and neck from 1957-1967 or so. By ’67 the alto hits its stride, and the 1970 is basically the same horn. Because the market is not fully rational, you can get some of the best Selmer Mark VI altos for this sort of price, even with a full overhaul, where some of the earlier serial ones will cost much more. That makes this one a great deal.
If you have the cash, I think you might as well buy the nicest alto you can, and enjoy playing it. Pro altos are easier to play than student and intermediate ones, and the Mark VI is among the easiest vintage saxophones to play and to own. It’s easy to get worked on, well-built, and stays in adjustment well over time. The keywork design set the standard for all modern saxophones and feels great under the fingers. The tone is gorgeous, and the intonation is good. It’s the one horn that does everything the best on average, which is why it is so popular.
This particular alto has a tone that is medium between bright and dark, and is a nice, balaced player. Not brash and bold like a 220k VI, and not dark and laser-focused like a 60k VI. It’s flexible, dynamic, and easy to take where you want it to go tonally with the right setup. The intonation is good, and the pads feel nice and snappy under the fingers, as they should on a good overhaul. The neck is in good condition and the neck ‘fit’ is all perfectly sealing in the tenon, which is one of those small but important things to have done on a vintage horn to take it from good to great. Cosmetically, you can see this horn has been played, and has some honest wear throughout. After all, it was lovingly pro-owned for many years, but aside from that, it’s very nice. The only past repairs are a resoldered foot of the low C guard that popped loose as it does on so many VI’s, and a few small dents removed from the back of the bow, which is now dent-free. Neck is beautiful, bell flare is in great shape. Tone holes are all great of course.
It’s a very good deal on a solid Selmer Mark VI alto. This would be, to me, much preferable to spending $6700 on a new Reference 54 alto, which, unfortunately, will probably need an overhaul on top of the purcahse price in order to play its best. This will go up in value, hold up better to prolonged use, and get you your money back should you ever want to sell it. It comes in the new BAM case in the photos.
Only one available!
Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone 160941 Beautiful Original Lacquer Matt Stohrer Overhaul!$ 7,500
Just overhauled by Matt Stohrer, this is one exceptionally fine Selmer Mark VI alto. It feels better than new, and it plays so effortlessly, with a warm, complex, medium bright tone that is rich and singing. If you’ve been looking for one alto that does everything well, this is it. It gets my highly-coveted ‘exceptionally fine player’ designation. That means is the best of its kind that you can get in a saxophone in my opinion.
The 160k range is excellent for the VI altos specifically, because you get a rich tone and well balanced intonation. If you want one of those life-long, world-class VI altos that also has the world’s best overhaul (that I have seen at least), then get this one. Matt’s work on a VI looks like it came fresh from the factory, and feels like a million bucks. Effortless to play, and dependable to maintain. It has all the little touches that take a horn from good to great.
Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone Original Overhauled Excellent! 165069$ 6,950
This is one of those altos you don’t want to put down. It’s just gotten a complete overhaul / mechanical restoration, which means that it feels and plays like new or even a bit better. I wanted to get this horn overhauled, because I had a really good feeling about how it played even on the original pads that it had when it got here. If you want a VI that will be problem-free for many many years, and plays better than any modern horn on the market, (and will go up in value) this is what you want!
This was a one-owner horn that was well cared-for for decades before now, and now it is getting a good start on a new life with a top shelf overhaul. This thing has a beautiful voice. Medium between bright and dark, rich, and resonant. The late 60’s Mark VI’s are my favorites for all-around Selmer altos, because they do basically everything well. Intonation is good, scale is even, low notes are saturated even at pianissimo, upper register screams. This has the ‘medium bow’ if you’re wondering about such things, which means the low register tunes the best of the Mark VI’s. You can’t beat a Mark VI alto like this for build quality and all-around satisfying playing experience. You get the beautiful, unbeatable tone of a Mark VI, the comfortable key work, the excellent intonation, and the feel of a new horn under your fingers, and all for less than a (let’s be honest) comparatively poorly made new Selmer alto. Plus this holds its value and appreciates, while your new horn is going to be worth approximately half the new price in about one second after you unbox it (gasp).
Comes with the original case, and you can add a great BAM case for a big discount if you contact me.
Selmer Mark VI Tenor from 1973 Saxophone Original Lacquer Overhauled Great!$ 6,350
Just overhauled. This horn plays REALLY well. Super nice under the fingers, great response. Plays, feels, and responds better than most 5 digit tenors out there. If you want the loud, powerful late VI tenor sound, this is hard to beat.
This is a mechanically very clean original lacquer Selmer Mark VI Tenor saxophone with American engraving. This horn has some speckling in the lacquer, as you can see, but if you look at what counts, this Mark VI tenor is in excellent condition. There’s no damage, no resolders, neck is in great condition. It JUST got a complete overhaul / restoration done, and it’s back to factory fresh mechanical and pad condition. (An overhaul takes around 25 hours of skilled work, and represents a big added value to any saxophone.) That means all new pads, corks, felts, setup, mechanical work, neck fit – whatever it needs in order to play like a new horn.
The later VI tenors are excellent players. Better tone and feel for the dollar than almost any other saxophone that you can buy period. And this one is mechanically very nice, which is what you want. If you have been wanting a solid pro tenor that is easy to play and sounds excellent, but is in the mid-range of price for a pro tenor, that’s this. Plus, rather than depreciate like a new horn, this Mark VI tenor will go up in value, and will be easy to re-sell at any point later. Buy it and get playing!
Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone from 1970 American Engraved$ 6,450
This is a beautiful example of a Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone from 1970. It is American engraved and assembled. The entire horn is original lacquer. Except for the neck, which has been relacquered, but still completely matches the horn in look and color. The neck evidently had a dent removed under the octave key, and the original owner wanted it to look as good as the horn, so had the dent removed and the neck resprayed. Anyway, it’s not a big deal playing wise, but I’m lowering the price of the horn by around $1500 to give someone a great deal on an original lacquer VI in excellent condition that is also cheaper than buying just a regular new Selmer tenor sax. Compared to a new Series II tenor, or a new Ref 54 or (gasp) Ref 36, you are saving hundreds to several thousands of dollars and getting a horn that is better made, plays better for almost any style but classical (nod to the Series II and III purists here) and will hold its value or go up in value rather than going down like a new Selmer would.
To keep the price low, I’m selling it with all of its original pads still intact. It actually still plays quite well on the original pads, and seals up with little ‘note like’ pad pops all the way down to Bb. It’s a joy to feel the high quality pad work that Selmer Elkhart did on its original factory setups.
All in all, this horn is in AMAZING physical condition. You very rarely find original lacquer horns that are 48 years old that look so great. It’s a great opportunity for someone to score a really eye-turning VI tenor for a discounted price.
Only one available.
Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone Original Lacquer American Engraved Just Overhauled Plays Effortlessly 195xxx$ 6,350
Full description coming soon! This is an effortless player! A nice, clean original lacquer American-engraved Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone that also just got a complete overhaul. If you’re looking for a nice tenor to play and keep and just enjoy, this would be hard to beat!
Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone Original Lacquer Very Good Condition 164xxx Fresh Overhaul!$ 6,750
Selmer New Largebore Alto Saxophone Silver 13405$ 1,350
Here’s a beautiful silver plated Selmer New Largebore alto saxophone. This alto needs a repad, and the silver has been replated. It’s nearly 100% present now. This will be an excellent alto if you want to adopt it and overhaul it. These New Largebore altos play like a half Selmer half Conn, with a wider, darker tone than other Selmers, but still definitely a Selmer, with a delicate, lyrical ‘French’ core to the sound. If you’ve been looking for a deal on a vintage Selmer, this one will be hard to beat for what you get!
Selmer ORIGINAL Gold Plate Tenor Sax 16164B Coleman Hawkins Al Cohn Sal Nistico$ 12,750
This tenor is an exceptionally rare original gold-plated Selmer Super Sax in very good physical condition. Sporting ornate engraving down to the bottom of the bow in a burnished background, the body of the sax is a matte gold plate finish while the keys and interior of the bell are burnished. Factory gold-plated Selmers are not common, and this is one the few original gold-plated Selmer tenors from this early Super Sax era ever made, and likely one of the nicest still surviving, if there are indeed others still out there. The keywork is tight and shows very little wear- although this horn shows signs of being used, it was well cared-for and well loved.
This horn has recently been given a thorough check-up and plays well. I am a big fan of these Super saxes, and this instrument is a good example of why. It plays with what is arguably the biggest voice of any Selmer, and is one of the few instruments that can give a good Conn of the same period a run for its money in richness. But the velvety Selmer tone is there along with the fatness, making for a uniquely broad and ballsy-sounding Selmer with a lot more power than most horns. The keywork is quite nice and although of an older style ergonomically, those that play these do not find them difficult or an impediment to technical facility.
The serial number is also interesting: although infrequently seen, the B at the end of the serial (sometimes it would actually say “bis”) is Selmer’s way of denoting that they struck the same serial twice on two different instruments! So this is Selmer #16164… B. All in all, a uniquely beautiful and rare instrument with the bonus of a historical quirk.
The last 7 photos are of some of the tenor greats playing similar horns to this.
Selmer Radio Improved Alto Original Lacquer Excellent Condition Getting Overhauled Now$ 4,950
Original lacquer Selmer Radio Improved alto saxophone! This is a rare beauty among vintage Selmers, with a sweetness and beauty all its own. The keywork is comfortable as well, which is why Jimmy Dorsey wanted to keep this style of keywork even after Selmer changed to the ‘Balanced Action’ design shortly after. These are just beautiful players – warm, spread, lyrical, and sweet – most of what you want in a top quality vintage alto. Plus this one is in beautiful original lacquer with minimal past repairs and comes with a fresh, full overhaul! Radio Improved Selmers are very popular these days, and getting more popular all the time, as alto players catch on to the unique tone that you can get on one. This is a great purchase that you will enjoy playing for many years with minimal upkeep, and that will go up in value while you own it. There are not many nicer Radio Improved alto saxophones out there!
Only one available!
Selmer Super Sax Baritone Unique Original Permagold Finish 18xxx$ 7,000
This is a beautiful Selmer Super Sax Baritone saxophone. It is one-of-a-kind according to Selmer’s factory record book. It is the only perma-gold plated Super baritone like this that exists. Permagold is a unique finish that is gold-colored dichromate and that does not tarnish.
If you love Selmer baritones, and you want something cool and vintage to play around on, this would be the thing. I have a very similar Radio Improved baritone myself that I play as my main bari, and I just don’t think you can beat it for tone or response. This horn has medium-aged pads, not freshly overhauled. But someone took really good care of it, because the overhaul feels very good, and the pads are sealing well, so you can play it easily. This horn plays better when I use the neck from my Radio Improved baritone (1100 serial numbers later, so pretty close) than it does with the neck it came with. I am currently getting a neck custom made for this horn that will match my Radio Improved neck. I suspect that this horn will then be a phenomenal player.
It comes with a ProTec Contoured bari case, but if you want the high-end BAM baritone case, I will include one for an extra $600. Given the coolness of this horn, and the extreme rarity factor, the price is quite good I think. I certainly had to pay a lot for this myself, and I’m not making much.
Only one available!
SML Rev D (=Gold Medal 1) Alto Saxophone Original Silver Plate Old Pads Beautiful 11584$ 2,750
Getting Overhauled Now!
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.
Yamaha SILVER YSS-82ZRS Soprano Saxophone Near Mint Condition Stohrer Setup Excellent 3231$ 4,450
Best modern soprano available: Lightest, most resonant, most in tune, most comfortable to play, best long term investment. It’s a modern classic. Yamaha YSS-82ZRS one piece, bent neck soprano in mint condition. This INCLUDES (for free) a whole-day (normally $350), crazy new horn setup by Matt Stohrer, who is one of the best saxophone repairmen around. Plus it’s priced $400 below the new price. That’s a superb deal. This is basically a reissue of the YSS-62RS soprano, and it sounds the same or better (being nearly brand new) once it’s all setup with the right key heights and spring tensions like this one is. This will be collectible someday, as they always have a 6 month wait to buy one on special order and are sold in small numbers.
You can read about Matt’s full new horn setup on his website here (scroll to the bottom) http://www.stohrermusic.com/repair-services/
Yamaha YTS-82Z Tenor Fully Engraved Amazing! Full Repad by Matt Stohrer$ 5,950
WOW! This is one special Yamaha tenor. As soon as I saw it for sale, I had to have it. I have been a fan of Jaice Dumars’ engraving work for years, but I have never been able to cajole him into engraving anything for me (he has another full-time job). When I saw this rare chance to buy a horn he had worked on, it was a no-brainer. Dumars’ engraving combines what he has learned from vintage King, Conn and other engraving, and combines that with his own style and creative flair. The way that the rather uninspiring Yamaha ‘fat starfish’ (sorry, now you can’t un-see that) engraving is incorporated into a coherent larger work is particularly impressive. Also note on the neck, how it’s the unengraved space that makes the pattern!
OK so take a great horn – the 82z Custom by Yamaha, and add to that Dumars engraving, but then add to that a full repad by Matt Stohrer, and that’s what you’re getting here. If you don’t know Matt Stohrer, he does some of the best pad work anywhere, in my opinion. He is always booked up for repairs, sometimes for as much as a couple of years’ time. His pad work is super clean, thorough, and precise. The horn feels great under the fingers and responds right away with a warm, free blowing tone. The intonation is of course great (this is a Yamaha, after all.). It’s the kind of tenor that you just don’t want to put down. And all for less than the price of one of the custom atelier Yamahas new, which is kind of nuts.
Only one available!
Yanagisawa SC-9930 Curved Soprano Saxophone with High G! Rare$ 4,150
For those of you who love to have the best and rarest at the same time, here is my favorite vintage of curved soprano ever made, the Yanagisawa SC-991, but this is in the solid silver neck and body tube version, which is SC-9930, AND it is one of the rare ones that came with the high G key included. This is the first one like this that I have seen, and it’s cool in a nerdy kind of way to have such a rare and fabulous example. You can order a new SC-9930 for $6730, but your extra $$$ won’t get you the high G! Nor will it be the warmer, fuller-sounding version from the 90’s like this with the bell keys on the left. My personal soprano is one just like this but brass, and I think it sounds better than the right hand bell keys version at least by a little bit. I also like the more direct action that you get with the pinky keys on the left hand bell key configuration. We’re splitting hairs here, but hey, if you’re in the rarified territory of exceptional curved sopranos, then maybe that’s your thing too.
Condition wise, this SC-9930 is in very good shape, with no significant past repairs or current problems at all. I have not spent any money on pad work yet, as I’m trying to keep the price as low as possible, and the horn plays fine on current pads. I would like to sell it a little higher and spend maybe $250 on a thorough setup, so you can have that as an optional extra if you want.
Original case and mouthpiece are in good shape as well. There is most certainly only one of these available!