Great Player

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  • 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!

  • Sold Out

    Conn 30M Connqueror Tenor Saxophone 1936 Relacquered Plays Great! 275847

    The Conn 30M. If you’re reading this, you probably know what this is already. It’s the more deluxe version of the best vintage tenor by Conn, the Conn 10M. The 30M is a 10M plus lots of keywork upgrades including ‘permadjust’ screws throughout, rather than traditional adjustment materials between key linkages; solid silver key touches on spatula and side keys, and a newly designed pinky table and neck octave key. This is the saxophone geek’s dream horn. It is also one of the best sounding tenors ever produced, without any doubt.

    This particular example is refinished, obviously, and then it got a recent overhaul done by the good people at SaxAlley in Colorado. They used a wide, flat pad that looks like a Conn Reso-pad, but is solid throughout, so it feels snappy and positive instead of the soft, squishy feel of a normal reso-pad. This is an improvement. There is some kind of dark leather sealant on the pads that makes them look weird, but hey, they are sealing well, and the horn feels quite good under the fingers, so I’m not going to mess with success here. The response is quick, and the tone is saturated throughout. The low register is particularly nice. Subtone and ballad playing is very easy, and this Conn 30M can play softly while still sounding full and rich. There is really no upper limit to the volume. You’re the only limiting variable here.

    If you’re looking for a great player’s tenor that is much cheaper than a normal 30M even though it is in good playing condition, and that sounds great all-around, then this may be the horn for you. It came to me in a pretty worn old Conn case, so if you want to upgrade the case, I’m happy to cut you a good deal on a new case for it. I like the BAM Classic for Conns, as the foam is great quality, and the cut out in the interior allows the bell keys to fit without a whole lot of squishing necessary.

    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 30M 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 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 II Chu Berry Alto Saxophone Relacquer 1930 Good Pads Great Deal 236664

    $ 800

    This is a Conn New Wonder II Transitional alto saxophone from 1930. It is probably the best playing alto per dollar spent on the site, because it has good pads but has been refinished. The new coat of paint it got made the price go down, but didn’t hurt the playability. This horn came to me playing well on its current pads. It hasn’t been freshly overhauled, but it does play on the current setup. That makes it a great deal, because you get the beautiful big, warm Conn tone for under $1k, which is crazy. This horn is pre-war, if you’re looking for that, and it has rolled tone holes. By ‘transitional’ in the title, I mean that it was made very late in the New Wonder II (or ‘Chu Berry’) run, and it has some features that anticipate the 6M or ‘artist’ or ‘naked lady’ or ‘lady face’ (I could go on. Conn nomenclature is kind of convoluted.) It’s basically a New Wonder II, but it has the raised high E side key and a few other small changes like palm key shapes and possibly a different neck though I’m not sure about that.

    It includes the case in the photos as well.

    Only one available.

  • King Super 20 Alto Saxophone 1950 Full Pearls 308k Original Lacquer Fresh Matt Stohrer Overhaul!

    $ 6,000

    King altos are the best altos ever. This one has beautiful original lacquer and looks great, with the only past repair being a resoldered key guard foot. It just got a full, fresh, high-end overhaul, done by Matt Stohrer. This means it got about 30 hours of highly-skilled labor done to make the mechanism all factory fresh, and to replace everything that can be replaced so that it is back to new playing condition and pad wise. Matt is something of an authority on vintage King repair You can watch his repairman’s overview of King Super 20 saxophones here. I’m tempted to wax eloquent about what a proper overhaul includes, but think of it like rebuilding an engine or replacing a transmission, and you’ll have the right idea. It now performs great and will be ready to go for many many years to come with only regular maintenance needed.

    This King Super 20 alto is from just about the most desirable year, 1950, which is the same version of Super 20 that Cannonball Adderley played on Kind of Blue and Somethin’ Else. It is in great shape, with no serious past repairs at all.  This is the ‘Series II’ which has the best combination of beauty, features, and key work of all of the Super 20 altos. You really can get the Cannonball Adderley vibe going on one of these (with lots of practice) better than almost anything else. Cannonball played almost exactly this serial alto on Kind of Blue. This plus a Meyer 5 or Ted Klum NY Model plus a soft reed and lots of guts is what you need for what I consider to be the benchmark for good alto sound.

    Why do I say that Super 20’s like this are the best altos ever? The overall combination of tone, beauty, and ergonomics. For me, great tone that you get from these full pearls Super 20’s is pretty hard to beat. It’s warm, full, rich, and projecting, but without any hint of shrillness or thinness. Cannonball’s tone, I always think of as a tenor saxophone reincarnated in the body of an alto, and that’s pretty much what a Super 20 alto like this is. It feels like the tone is coming from a bigger, deeper instrument, but in the alto register, which is really remarkable.

    Just for fun, here’s Cannonball on his Series II Super 20 playing one of his classic ballads, Dancin’ in the Dark.

  • Yamaha YAS-82z Alto Very Good Condition Plays Great Just Serviced

    $ 3,150

    If you want a modern alto that is tried and true and that will do it all, the Yamaha 82z is the horn for you. This one is nice and clean, original lacquer of course, and it has been very well cared-for since new. It just got all new sprung-open pads, so most of the pads are new, and all of the rest of them are in great shape, so this horn is ready to go for a long time with only minor regular maintenance to keep it playing its best (much like a new Yamaha). If you want a brand new 82Z, I can also sell you one of those that also has the GetASax new horn setup already done on it!

    As for this one, it’s a smart purchase. When you buy a used modern horn, as I have often said, you are buying not just the cosmetic condition, but also the pad condition. This one is playing great, all nicely setup, and ready to go for a long time. You won’t need to drop $500 on getting the pads replaced like you would on many other used Yamaha YAS-82Z altos out there. It’s a turn key purchase, and you get a horn that is reliable, dependable, and that sounds and responds extremely well.

    For comfort of keywork, easy intonation, tone, playability, versatility, and build quality, it is really hard to beat the Yamaha custom saxophones. This should be a great pro alto for someone, or a great step up alto that you never need to upgrade for a serious student. There’s really no reason to ever buy a student alto if you can afford a used pro alto like this. The pro horn is easier to play and holds its value extremely well over time. Buy it now and get playing!

    Only one available!

  • Yamaha YAS-82ZB Rare Black Lacquer Excellent Condition

    $ 3,250

    If you want a modern alto that is tried and true and that will do it all, the Yamaha 82z is the horn for you. This one is nice and clean, original BLACK lacquer of course, and it has been very well cared-for since new. Black lacquer is an expensive, special order item from Yamaha, making it way rarer than the standard lacquered brass finish. I love the look of the engraving cutting through the black lacquer down to the brass. It is probably the most beautiful finish option that Yamaha offers, and it really turns heads. It also makes the horn more valuable, and makes it easier to sell down the road, should you ever want to. With a used pro horn like this, you can always get almost all your purchase price back out when selling, because pro saxophones don’t wear out if maintained, and new ones keep getting more expensive all the time.

    This YAS-82ZB alto sax just got a bunch of new pads, so most of the pads are new, and all of the rest of them are in great shape, so this horn is ready to go for a long time with only minor regular maintenance to keep it playing its best (much like a new Yamaha). If you want a brand new 82Z, I can also sell you one of those that also has the GetASax new horn setup already done on it!

    As for this one, it’s a smart purchase. When you buy a used modern horn, as I have often said, you are buying not just the cosmetic condition, but also the pad condition. This one is playing great, all nicely setup, and ready to go for a long time. You won’t need to drop $500 on getting the pads replaced like you would on many other used Yamaha YAS-82Z altos out there. It’s a turn key purchase, and you get a horn that is reliable, dependable, and that sounds and responds extremely well.

    For comfort of keywork, easy intonation, tone, playability, versatility, and build quality, it is really hard to beat the Yamaha custom saxophones. This should be a great pro alto for someone, or a great step up alto that you never need to upgrade for a serious student. There’s really no reason to ever buy a student alto if you can afford a used pro alto like this. The pro horn is easier to play and holds its value extremely well over time. Buy it now and get playing!

    Only one available!

  • Yamaha YAS-875EX Alto Near Mint Condition Plays Great V1 Neck

    $ 3,250

    The Yamaha 875EX is a top of the line professional Yamaha Custom alto saxophone that just gets the job done. It is a precision machine with top of the line intonation, response, and keywork. The tone is clear and medium bright and round. You can, of course, play any style on one of these, but they are very popular among classical saxophonists, because the round tone, when darkened up with a darker mouthpeice and reed, sounds very cello like and gorgeous. Plus the intonation makes classical and quartet work almost absurdly easy compared to most other saxophones. Some programs even require this model! This one has the desirable V1 neck, which seems to be Yamaha’s most popular neck version yet.

    This particular example is in beautiful condition with only very minor wear from normal use. This is merely cosmetic, as saxophones do not really wear out if properly maintained. This 875EX comes with a thorough playing condition job included in the price, so that you receive it in excellent playing condition. The pads are in great shape, and the whole instrument is in excellent condition without any damage or problems at all. There are no past repairs or hidden problems either. It’s a nice, turn-key purchase for one of the finest saxophones made today.

    Only one available. If you want a brand new 875EX, I would be happy to get you one, and all new horns purchased through GetASax also include a thorough new horn setup and a full Yamaha warranty.

  • Yanagisawa A880 Alto Saxophone Great Deal 113836

    $ 1,850

    The Yanagisawa A880 is one of my favorite modern altos. It combines Yanagisawa’s superior build quality, ergonomics and intonation, with a tone that is warmer, more complex and wide than later Yanagisawas. It plays beautifully and feels great under the fingers, with fully modern keywork. It’s an excellent choice for a top quality modern professional alto in good playing condition that is priced quite reasonably. This one has a mix of pads and plays well on them. There’s some wear in the lacquer, of course, but it’s not bad. Saxophones don’t really wear out, if you maintain them, so this horn has many decades of usable life left it, despite having a bit of wear in the finish just from regular use.

    I’m also including the nice contoured case with this one. It has backpack straps and is nice and light for carrying.

    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!