Dismiss Notice
I hate the colors. What do I do?

At the far bottom of the page, on the left, is a menu or link that says, "Forum Default." Click on that and choose a different Style.

Help US to Help YOU

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pete, Feb 25, 2008.

Tags:
  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    Update on July 15, 2010:
    I've decided that we should sticky this, as several folks have come by in the past week asking what make/model horn they have and how much it's worth.

    Bottom line, without good pics of your horn, any estimate of the make/model of your horn, it's current value or how good an instrument it is will be anyplace from a little off to an awful lot off.

    I also wanted to put the following links at the top of this post:

    * If you're asking about your instrument's value, please go HERE.
    * If you're asking how old your horn is, please go HERE.

    We now join the original post I made:

    =============

    Dearest reader,

    You've been sent (to) this link because your e-mail, post or PM was lacking in information. We really do want to help you, but we need some more information.

    Please resend your e-mail or repost, but include pictures of your instrument and a serial number.

    I also recommend taking pictures of the following:

    -> Left side.
    -> Right side.
    -> Closeup of any marking or engraving (including the serial number).
    -> The octave key mechanism -- but not so much that I can't see the actual octave key, itself. That's the thing you put your left thumb on.
    -> A tonehole ("valve") or two, particularly of the ones on the bell, if you're talking about a saxophone.
    -> Anything you feel is unique or interesting about your horn.
    -> The neck, barrel, bocal or headjoint of the instrument.
    -> Picture of any major damage that you see.
    -> Low C keyguard, if it's a saxophone. That's the key you'd hit with the pinky of your right hand.

    I do not want or need close-ups of interesting-looking rust patterns or funky mold growing on your horn. (Yes, I occasionally get these.) Pictures of used reeds are not helpful to me and are really only helpful for people that have odd double-reed instruments.

    We also do not need pictures of your mouthpiece or case to identify your horn. Mouthpieces and cases can be bought separately, so pictures of them don't help me much. However, your mouthpiece *can* be worth more than your horn. For questions about mouthpieces, I heartily recommend the Mouthpiece Museum or posting in one of the Woodwind forum's many mouthpiece areas.

    Make sure the pictures are in focus. If you can't see the details in your pictures, we can't see the details.

    Note that you can send me/post links to pictures (Picasa, Flickr and other places are just great) or you can just send to my Gmail account (thesaxinfo-at-gmail.com): I can accept up to 10mb of attachments in a single e-mail.

    Or post 'em in your thread or in an Album here. Just make sure you post/send me the link.

    Here's a few final notes:

    * There are a lot of instruments that are called "stencils". Briefly, that's a horn made by an instrument manufacturer that has a different name stamped on it. (My in-depth article on the subject is HERE.) So, if I tell you that you have a horn that is a stencil of a Conn New Wonder sax, the horn has many of the same features of a Conn New Wonder.
    * A lot of pre-WWII instruments (and a few after WWII) are HIGH PITCH. This means they will not play in tune with modern instruments and, despite what anyone might tell you, a high pitch woodwind cannot be converted into modern LOW PITCH. (My in-depth article on the subject is HERE.) Stay away from HIGH PITCH instruments.
    * I sold saxpics.com some eight months ago (at the time of THIS post). For details, go HERE. And yes, I know a lot of the galleries are offline and the links are broken. For details, go HERE.

    Thanks very much. As I said, I want to help and others here want to help, but we can't do it without the above information.

    Take care!
    Pete
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2010
    Tags:
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    Re: Help ME Help YOU

    Now, while some of the above was posted with tongue firmly in cheek, I do get a lot of e-mails in the form of, "I've got a saxaphone. It was my grandfather's. How old is it and what is it worth?" No other details.

    Just in the saxophone world, there were at least 14 different distinct pitches (Eb sopranino, Bb soprano, Eb alto, etc.), dozens of different finish choices (bare brass, lacquer, silver plate, etc.), dozens of different variations (curved soprano, straight alto, Saxello, etc.) -- not to mention HUNDREDS of makes and DOZENS of models from each manufacturer.

    For clarinet, flute and other woodwinds, there were even MORE.

    Gentle reader, this is where the car analogy works: if you were selling a car would you send a dealer an e-mail in the form of, "I got a Chevy from my grandfather. What do you think it's worth?" A Chevy WHAT? Is it a car, van, SUV or truck? If it's a car, is it a coupe, station wagon or convertible? How many doors? What's the mileage? (Etc.)

    Again, using the saxophone as an example, a really beat up Evette-Schaeffer alto sax made in 1902 might have a value of $0, but a really beat up Evette-Schaeffer contrabass sax made in 1902 could have a value of several thousand dollars. Same shape, different pitches, different values. That's why even "I have an Evette-Schaeffer sax built in 1902" doesn't mean much.

    Considering I realize that a lot of folks don't know much about the instrument they came into possession of, the above is a little note to tell you how you can help me (and the other fine folks on this Forum) help you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2008
    Gandalfe likes this.
  3. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,615
    Likes Received:
    199
    Location:
    Seattle
    Re: Help ME Help YOU

    I buy a lot of used instruments on Craig's List but don't even bother with the few that don't post pictures. If they are that lazy, then they probably aren't that committed to selling. (I was gonna say 'not that bright' but that is kinda harsh.)

    I have noticed that the sellers who post pictures and a decent price sell almost immediately. Recently I've been shopping for a spinet piano for my granddaughter and the offers to sell that include picture, location, and price are usually sold by time I get to them; they are usually sold within a day!
     
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    Re: Help ME Help YOU

    It really isn't so much the selling I'm worried about. It's just the identifying.

    No, I can't tell what kind of saxophone you have, just by you saying, "I have a Buescher sax, s/n 123456." I'm sure there is a serial number chart that matches pitch with number, somewhere, but I don't have that chart, nor does anyone I know. I'm sorry 'bout that.

    Building on what Jim says, yes, you might think that all alto saxophones look the same, so you don't need a picture, but I need one to determine the make/model of your horn and other folks (if we're talking about a sale ad) need to know what it looks like to determine how damaged it is. And just saying, "It has a little dent that doesn't affect the sound" really doesn't help.
     
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    Re: Help ME Help YOU

    Oh. Something that really, really annoys me.

    If you write me an e-mail, I will definitely take the time to answer it -- and if I didn't, it's because I either couldn't understand it or didn't get the e-mail, period (resend it). However, if you have your e-mail account configured to send out the following (or similar):

    You're outta luck. I'm sorry, but this wastes my time and I also don't need your e-mail provider to have any of my personal data.

    Make sure your e-mail account is configured to receive responses from thesaxinfo@gmail.com and saxpics@gmail.com.
     
  6. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    West Coast of Canada
    Re: Help ME Help YOU

    I laughed when I read your first post in this thread Pete. I can soooo relate!!

    I get almost daily emails about obscure brands of horns on my website. LaMonte, Pierret, bass saxophones (usually wanting to buy one, and assuming that I'm a dealer...huh? Must not have looked at my site too closely.) and even the occasional question about Huttls.

    I try to answer them all, but I gotta' tell you, I hate telling people that they have the makings of a great starter kit for a table lamp...As happens all too regularly. EG: "I have a LaMonte alto with no neck and is missing some keys. Can you tell me where to get a neck?".... I spend so much time trying to write a polite response and informing people about what they have (or don't), that it becomes painful. I don't want to hurt people's feelings. Crafting a bad news email is an art form. And good art takes time...
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    Re: Help ME Help YOU

    I used to get several dozen e-mails per day. This has tapered somewhat because saxpics.com has had issues for awhile and they're slowly replacing my e-mail address on all the webpages, but I still get a few.

    Yes, I have shared some of these e-mails with Gandalfe and Ed and the gang. The especially amusing ones are in the form of, "I have a rusted-out hunk of metal missing 90% of its keywork and the neck. It's got the 'Selmer' name on it, tho. I'm planning on listing it on eBay for $5.27 million dollars. Do you think I should put a higher reserve?" like you mention, Helen.

    (I must say, though, when I saw your post I thought it said you talk about "Hutts" and thought you were REALLY into Star Wars. Dyslexia: the gift that keeps givening.)

    A lot of folks have sent me e-mails requesting to either purchase something from me or to visit my "shop" and play my horns. This, of course, is NOW possible (although they're not MY horns), as saxpics.com is owned by the good folks at USAHorn, but it never used to be -- and I made it abundantly clear on my FAQ page that a) I owned maybe three of the horns pictured on saxpics.com b) I don't buy or sell horns and c) I just have PICTURES, not INSTRUMENTS.

    (I've gotten e-mails from SUPPLIERS wanting me to sell horns. That's amusing -- especially seeing the markups. I really don't know how much of a markup, say, Selmer, has, but the markups I was looking at were more than 50%.)

    The most common e-mail I get, though, really is like I mention in the second post: "I've got a saxaphone. It was my grandfather's. How old is it and what is it worth?" No other details. I underscore the fact that I do want to help (see? It's underscored), but I need more information to do so.

    =========

    Note: I moved the DABICO/Huttl discussion to http://www.woodwindforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1269
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2008
  8. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    99
    Location:
    Sometimes I feel like a frog playing a saxophone
    here's a doozy of an email .. with the person answering their own question in the end

    In this case the person had the answer to his question in front of him. But why it was unknown to that person is beyond me ?!?!
    It jsut takes a few minutes of inspection to understand what one has .... rather than that one has to be lead to the obvious.

    ===========
    EMAIL
    Hi i have a clarinet model number 50783 and i cant find anything about it anywere was wondering if u could help me out a little bit and help me find out about this peice

    ==========
    ME

    I have no idea.

    that's like telling me you have a car that is painted red and you want to know the year, make and model.

    if there no emblem it's possible that it is taiwan or chinese
    serial number is irrelevant unless there is a brand associated to it
    wood .. plastic ?
    type of keywork

    only pictures, and detailed pictures could answer that question .. and then it still may not

    =========
    EMAIL

    Its a LaBlance normandy its wood

    =========
    ME

    so it's a normandy ... plastic wood ... any emblems. model 4, 8, 10 ,12 9, 7, ?

    made in 1967 according to my seiral number lists

    ==========
    EMAIL

    o its wood and a model 10


    ==========
    ME


    well check my website ... it has the serial numbers on it
    http://www.clarinetperfection.com/clsnLeblanc.htm#SNNormandy

    1967
    model 10
    they are ebay worth about $100ish

    http://clarinetperfection.com/ClarinetValue.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  9. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    Unfortunately, I am not all that generous with my time, even though I have a lot more of it since retirement. Becoming a clearinghouse for those willing to make a quick buck on eBay is not my idea of entertainment.

    Putting all of that data up on a website is certainly commendable (I have done different things along these lines for Japanese armored vehicles and a game or two.), but it is truly a labor of love, and one that you have to be really motivated to carry through to the end. And, when you start getting crap from people who want to push you beyond limits that you don't wish to exceed, it's a very unpleasant feeling.

    You could limit such questions (always from first time posters, who always have "found" "Grandpa's" old saxophone, and who are just interested in how much it "might" be worth) by not allowing them until the poster has contributed (say) ten postings to the site. Some might persevere under that system, but most will just give up and go away.
     
  10. prosax

    prosax

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, washington
    thanks for all the help!
     
  11. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    At one point, I played around with FORMS on SOTW. A form, of course would look like ...

    * First Name:
    * Last Name:
    * Credit Card Number:
    * Credit Card Expiration Date:
    * Amount you're sending to Pete: $100 (minimum)

    ... and you could set up a rule that says that if any line isn't filled out, you can't submit the form.

    The unfortunate thing about doing that for instruments is that someone might not be able to find, say, the serial number or even know that it's an alto sax. That's why I started this thread: hey, I wanna help you, but I need a minimum of THIS information. I no longer even write out, "I'm sorry. I need more information." I just send 'em a link to this thread.

    However, SOTSDO brings up two points:

    * 99% of the folks that are asking me about their horn(s) are just asking what it's worth.
    * The majority of that 99% say that they inherited the horn from some relative.

    Hey, just be honest and save me some time: if you just wanna know how much your horn's worth and nothing else, just ask that.

    No, I don't wanna know how you got the horn, because I a) don't care and b) couldn't verify it anyhow. And your Mexiconn Eb alto is still worth $50 even if you inherited it from your great grandfather's niece's nephew's hairdresser. If your horn is interesting to me, I'll ask you about it. Truly.

    Now, all the above is ... just me. As far as the WF goes, we do have a posting limitation ... for sales posts, only. The interesting thing is how many people have e-mailed me asking to post stuff for sale without satisfying our posting requirement (25 posts, BTB). Why the limitation? Well, it's because of a variation on what SOTSDO mentioned: we want you to be a member of this community and contribute. After you are, then you can try the sale ad.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2009
  12. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    In addition to occasionally surveying the postings on eBay, I also pay close attention to the way that the postings are written. Over the years, I have noticed the following:

    • "I don't know anything about musical instruments" is code for "I know a hell of a lot about musical instruments, but I want you to think otherwise, dumbass." People who post tantalizing descriptions of "Selmer clarinets" that are actually Georgie Bundy's spawn know only too well what they are talking about. Also, when you see the same name putting up clarinets over and over again, doncha think that they might learn the tiniest bit about what they are selling?

    • "The horn looks to be good" is a dead giveaway. Lay folks don't call clarinets "horns". Also, the weasel words "looks to be good" leaves them all sorts of wiggle room down the road.

    • Any clarinet ad that doesn't come right out and say either "No cracks", "Has repaired cracks" or "There is/are cracks as follows" UP FRONT, not only when someone sends them a directed question, is suspect from the get go.

    • Ads where the instrument is only shown from the back side puzzle me. Just what are pictures of the back side of a clarinet or oboe supposed to show you?

    Of course, I have left the "Selmar" clarinets and the Indian instruments (which seem to have disappeared over the past year) unmentioned. They (and the Chinese copies) are clearly frauds and are instantly dismissed as such. But, there are plenty of non-Chinese, non-Indian sellers who are trying to pull a fast one over on innocents, and abetting them in any way (such as setting a value on an "uncle's" instrument) is something that I just don't want to do.

    And, I have found that when you engage such people (the "nephews/nieces" wanting to set a value on old Uncle Franz's instrument), their story starts to fade very fast. Further proof that they are wanting to use someone else as a fee-free service to further line their pockets.

    So, I hold for the ten or twenty posting limit before you can start fishing about for what that "Selman" clarinet is worth. That should be enough to sort the spelter from the dross...
     
  13. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    I actually need to add a small update to all this.

    First, Terry's comments are completely accurate regarding condition. Additionally, it is EASIER to determine overall condition from photos, but a beautiful photo is not always a good indication of the horn's PLAYABILITY. Take a look at this thread to find out why. This is one of the reasons I have extremely rarely bought stuff on eBay: playtesting the horn is the best indicator of how good a horn is.

    Second, there's another thing I wanted to talk about: PLAYABLE condition vs. OVERHAULED (or "perfect mechanical") condition.

    "PLAYABLE" means exactly that: the instrument can be played. Major damage has been patched up so you can play a scale. This doesn't mean that the horn will play in tune, won't have loose springs or have bad solder patches. It just means that it can play.

    "OVERHAULED" means that the horn is in the best possible mechanical condition: spring tensions are good, it's been swedged, new felt and cork are where they should be, key heights are regulated, pads are brand new, there aren't bad solder globs all over the horn, etc.

    This is also why getting a horn in PLAYABLE condition might cost shop minimum and getting it OVERHAULED might cost a LOT.

    "PERFECT" means the horn is in perfect mechanical and visual shape: there aren't blemishes anyplace on the horn. It's as good as (or better than) new and looks it.

    A further word on "perfect": I have seen a very, very small amount of saxophones that have been overhauled and, during the overhaul, replated (NOT relacquered) and the horn's engraving recut. That's close enough to perfect not to bother with the distinction. I've also heard of clarinets overhauled an keywork replated. That's not necessarily perfect: there are some folks that say a wooden horn can be "blown out" or some such.

    A word that has cropped up in some places is "minty". This word was created (really!) in reaction to people selling junk horns as "mint". "Minty" generally refers to an overhauled horn that is in extremely good visual shape, but it's not 100% perfect.
     
  14. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    How would you describe an instrument's condition that is better than just "playable" but not quite as good as "overhauled"? I think the majority is in that gray zone.
     
  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    "Working, but will need an overhaul soon." "Overhauled 3 years ago." Something like that. Or exactly what you said: "better than just 'playable' but not quite as good as 'overhauled'."
     
  16. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    Another pet peeve. Today, I got another e-mail in the form of:

    (I actually used Steve's quote, above, and ran it through Bad Translator. However, I actually did get an e-mail that looked like this.)

    -- If you're not a native English speaker, I'm not talking to you in the below comments. --

    The person that sent this to me was an adult, native English speaker. As you can see, practically every other word was misspelled and the grammar was slaughtered. It's just word salad.

    Think about this: if I sent you an e-mail response with every other word misspelled and with grammar that looks like it's gone through Bad Translator five times, how much value would you place on my advice?
     
  17. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,751
    Likes Received:
    467
    I just wanted to note that I used this thread three times today. Thank you, past me.
     
Our staff's websites:


Loading...