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Buescher True Tone Alto Saxophone 1 Neck 196723 Silver Plate Fair Condition$ 375
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 silver plate is in fair condition. It has the desirable #1 neck. It’s a great serial range for the True Tone. This is priced low to sell quickly. At this price, I’m just looking for someone who is willing to adopt it and do it justice with a nice repad. It deserves to make music again!
Buescher True Tone Alto Saxophone 83005 Original Silver Plate$ 275
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 silver plate is also in reasonably good condition. This is priced low to sell quickly. At this price, I’m just looking for someone who is willing to adopt it and do it justice with a nice repad. It deserves to make music again!
Buescher True Tone Curved Soprano High F Original Silver Excellent Condition 215581$ 2,000
Conn 4M Curved Soprano RARE Late Example 244750 Matt Stohrer Overhaul Exceptional!
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 rule 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 Transitional Alto Gorgeous Original Silver 246729 Original Pads$ 2,350
Conn 6m Transitional Art Deco Alto Saxophone 249081 Overhauled!$ 3,450
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 couple of 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 wider 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.
It has just gotten a complete overhaul, and it looks crazy stupid fine! 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 shined up unbelievably well with a gentle polish! 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 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 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 $350 BAM tenor case included that fits the horn beautifully and will keep it in top adjustment?
Well, look no further. That’s what this is. Any you should buy it. Right now. You won’t be sorry. I didn’t call it an exceptionally fine player for nothing.
Conn New Wonder II Curved Soprano 220xxx Late Example! Original Silver High F Fresh Overhaul!$ 4,250
Conn New Wonder II Transitional Alto Saxophone Original Silver 237954$ 1,150
King Zephyr Tenor Saxophone Original Silver Plate Excellent Condition 202108$ 1,950
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!
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 +$100. These British market Balanced’s are my favorite finish on vintage Selmers, and they are few and far between.
There’s only one available!
Selmer New Largebore Alto Saxophone Silver 13405$ 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 SBA Super Balanced Action Soprano Saxophone 1950 Silver Plate Great Deal! 44228$ 4,700
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 $400 below the new price. That’s a superb deal. This is basically a reissue of the YSS-62RS soprano, and it sounds the same or better (being nearly brand new) once it’s all setup with the right key heights and spring tensions like this one is. This will be collectible someday, as they always have a 6 month wait to buy one on special order and are sold in small numbers.
You can read about Matt’s full new horn setup on his website here (scroll to the bottom) http://www.stohrermusic.com/repair-services/
Yamaha YAS-875S Alto Saxophone Original Silver Plate M1 + G1 Necks Overhauled! Excellent$ 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!
Yamaha YSS-82ZRS Soprano Saxophone One Piece Bent Neck Silver Plate! BRAND NEW$ 4,750
Available new by special order anytime. Email me at [email protected] to order. The Yamaha YSS-62R and 62RS are the most desirable vintage sopranos pretty much. Yamaha made an upgraded reissue of this soprano, with improved keywork but the same bore. It’s simply the best.
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!