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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 $1500 off the price because it has a new coat of lacquer. That’s a great deal.
Only one available!
Conn 4M Curved Soprano RARE Late Example 244750 Matt Stohrer Overhaul Exceptional!$ 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 $1k, which is crazy. This horn is pre-war, if you’re looking for that, and it has rolled tone holes. By ‘transitional’ in the title, I mean that it was made very late in the New Wonder II (or ‘Chu Berry’) run, and it has some features that anticipate the 6M or ‘artist’ or ‘naked lady’ or ‘lady face’ (I could go on. Conn nomenclature is kind of convoluted.) It’s basically a New Wonder II, but it has the raised high E side key and a few other small changes like palm key shapes and possibly a different neck though I’m not sure about that.
It includes the case in the photos as well.
Only one available.
Selmer Centered-Tone Clarinet Great Condition! No cracks or repairs, big warm tone R5978$ 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!
Yamaha YAS-875S Alto Saxophone Original Silver Plate M1 + G1 Necks Overhauled! Excellent$ 3,450
This beautiful Yamaha Custom alto saxophone just got a complete high-end overhaul. It looks beautiful, and it feels and plays better than new. These 875’s are wonderful players. My first pro tenor was the 875S like this, and I quickly bought the matching alto and played them for years. This one is professionally setup better than you get on a new one, with faster action, and everything mechanically tight and ready to go for the next many years. The silver is nearly 100% present, so it looks close to new. The only past repair is a resoldered octave key touch on the body, where it must have popped off at some point. Interestingly, this alto comes with both the original silver M1 neck, AND a special silver plated G1 neck! You could complete the set and order a new silver V1 neck from me if you want to.
This is a great modern alto with a dark, complex tone and lots of interest to it. It works great for jazz and commercial music with a high baffle mouthpiece, because the darker tone stays fatter with the bright mouthpiece, and no other Yamaha has a darker more round classical tone than the original YAS-875. The EX is a wonderful saxophone, but it is brighter and clearer than the 875, so many folks who have come through the shop have preferred the fullness of the original Custom 875.
Only one available!
Yanagisawa A880 Alto Saxophone Fresh Overhaul! Great Deal 113836$ 2,500
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, 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 horn has a fresh full overhaul done very nicely, and it feels like a new saxophone under the fingers. It has all new pads, corks, and felts, and it is mechanically tight and really great overall. That’s about a $1k job to overhaul a modern alto like this and do it right, so that’s a big added value for you. It means the horn will not need any significant work besides occasional checkups for many years! The only real past repair on this is the bow guard that was unsoldered to remove a dent at some point. It was done well, and it looks very good. Neck is in great shape, bell flare and body tube are undamaged. And under the fingers, it feels dry and snappy and fast.
The 880 is such a great horn. I have one of these myself in my little collection of my favorite altos of all time. The reason it stands out is that it has some of the warmth and complexity of a vintage saxophone, while handling like a Lexus and tuning super easily.
I’m also including the nice contoured case with this one. It has backpack straps and is nice and light for carrying.
Only one available!
Yanagisawa SC-9930 Curved Soprano Saxophone with High G! Rare$ 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!