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Buescher True Tone Alto Saxophone 202609 Original Gold Plate Very Good Condition$ 950
The Buescher True Tone alto saxophones are excellent instruments for a wide range of playing. They have great intonation, and a beautiful, warm, round tone that works great for classical alto or concert band, or any setting where you want to have a big, beautiful, ‘sweet’ alto saxophone sound. This example comes from a collector who sold it to me together with a few other choice True Tones. It has old pads, so it needs an overhaul. As such, I have it priced really low for what you get. This horn should be amazingly beautiful when polished up and repadded, and it will be a reliably great player for many many more years to come. The original gold plate (yes, real gold, not lacquer finish) is almost all intact, and looks amazing. Just to get an alto sax gold plated in today’s world would cost you around $3k not including the sax! This is a great serial range for a true tone. Many of my favorite playing Bueschers have been around 180-220k serial. This horn is looking for someone to adopt it and get it going on its next life. Saxophones really don’t wear out if they are cared for. This one has spent decades in a collection, and it is now ready to be repadded and loved and enjoyed.
Only one available!
Buescher True Tone C Soprano Rare Original Gold Plate! Old Pads 86473$ 2,150
Buffet R13 Golden Age Clarinets Amazing Factory Gold Plated Silver Keys Fresh Repads 1967-68$ 5,500
This is a unique pair of factory gold plated silver keys golden age Buffet R13 clarinets. Bb and A, in original case. Every. Single. Thing. In the case is gold plated – the reed trimmer, the ligatures, the screwdriver. It’s deluxe. Serials are prime 96525 and 89682. Both of these just got repadded with nice cork pads. No repairs, no significant wear. These were babied. Wow do they ever play great. Asking price is cheaper than one boring new R13. Original gold plated keys R13’s from 1966-67 are extremely rare. These are the only two you are likely to see. Includes everything in the photos – the beautiful Lifton-made Buffet double case with zippered cover, two Couf Artist mouthpieces with gold plated ligatures, the works.
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 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!
King Alto Saxophone Original Gold Plate Old Pads Beautiful Engraving 105999$ 1,200
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 is the vintage soprano you should get!
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!