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Sax Tech In Amherst, NY

Discussion in 'Saxophones' started by Helen, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    I'm looking for the name of a good, reputable tech in Amherst, NY who could give an estimate value on a Martin tenor, circa 1920s.

    I received an email the other day from a woman who needs to sell the sax in order to help pay for the funeral costs of her husband. Both she and her husband were in the US Military.

    I haven't seen pics of the horn, but based on her description, the horn is original and needs a total rebuild. No description of finish or past repairs.

    If anyone here could help her out, I would really appreciate it. Please post the name of a tech who I could send this woman to.

    Thank you!
  2. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    [MENTION=156]Helen[/MENTION] : Well, I lived in Buffalo, NY for about 17 years ...

    J & E Music. They overhauled my Conn New Wonder tenor about ... 30 or so years ago. They used to do repairs for the Buffalo Philharmonic. They're in East Amherst.

    EDIT: I also can recommend against a few shops ...
  3. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    Thanks Pete!
  4. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    This is the name of a tech in Amhearst I got from the NAPBIRT tech locator. I can't speak to his ability.

    Joseph Clouse
    J & E Instrument Service 8030 Roll Rd
    East Amherst, NY 14051
    Business Phone: 716.688.0013
    Business Fax: 716.688.0013
    Email: jeinst@aol.com
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    The weekly award for not reading the thread goes to JBT!

  6. jbtsax

    jbtsax Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    I actually did read your response Pete and inferred that the information was quite dated. I provided the specific answer to Helen's query which was " the name of a good, reputable tech in Amherst, NY". You just happened to name the shop he works in. I'd call that a draw. :)
  7. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    Thank you JBT! I appreciate you check for me. Apparently the are semi-retired and only work Tue-Thurs. I will call them in a bit and talk to them and make sure I'm not sending this woman to someone who won't give her a quick once over of the horn, or worse yet, will do it, but charges a boatload of cash for it.
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Joe was the name of the guy that worked on my horn, so I think this might be "Joe, Jr." or he's fairly old :).
  9. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    I just talked to Joe. I think he's the original Joe. He didn't sound old, but he didn't sound particularly young. He is phasing into retirement, and his shop has gotten out of retail altogether already. Now his repair shop is open only Tues, Wed, & Thurs.

    He was great to talk to, and a really nice guy. I have forwarded his contact info on, and the woman who contacted me will now be able to make an informed decision about the Martin.

    The bad news however, is that Joe was telling me that in that area the Martin will likely be a hard horn to offload. Most people are looking for a Selmer VI or SBA, or King Super 20 sound if we're talking vintage. I told him that I own a VI, a King Zeph--Sarge and I both agreed that this one sounds better than most 20s--and the Martin has a different sound.

    I like the Martin sound, and if it weren't for the finger killing ergos, I would use it more. Specifically, the left pinkie cluster is a bear. Since I got sick my fingers are not working the same as they did before. I used to have no problem with the left pinkie cluster. Now, it is impossible for me to be smooth on those notes when using the Martin.

    There is something special about the Martin sound. What it is I can't tell you, but when I play my Handcraft, you just know that that's what you're hearing.
  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I was kinda-sorta not trying to answer beyond the original question, but I was kinda thinking, "Old Martin Handcraft? Well, if it's gold-plated with engraving madness, maybe it'll have good value, otherwise check eBay for sold prices ... which are about $500."

    I rather liked my Martin Committee "III" tenor's sound. I just didn't like the intonation. I also seem to remember owning a Martin C melody. It didn't leave a big impression on me.
  11. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    Yah, I was around the $500 range in my head too: notwithstanding any gold plate or anything noteworthy about the horn.

    As far as the sound of the Committee III vs. the Handcraft, I can only speak to the 2 I have very good personal knowledge of. I have what was a trainwreck of Handcraft. (Story here is anyone is interested.) After being in pieces for 20 years, this Phase 2 tenor is arguably the richest sounding tenor in my 8+ strong tenor stable, which includes some heavy hitters like: a killer Mark VI, JK Toneking, a killer Zeph, as well as a Hohner President.

    There is just something very special about my Martin that is hard to describe. The sound is darkly unique, but still has some overtones which are not found in my other tenors. It's almost as if you can hear the weight of the metal.

    A good friend of mine has a Committee III tenor that I had the chance to play again just 2 days ago. It doesn't have nearly the sound, tone, and not nearly the volume of my Handcraft. The Committee III's tone is similar to a Zephyr.

    As far as intonation goes, I know Pete you and I differ wildly in our opinions on the old timers in general. My Martin Handcraft plays 100% in tune over 100% of the horn's range (as does my Committee III bari and my Zephyr tenor). I have no problem with tuning when I play my friend's Committee III tenor either. I'm not 100% in tune on all notes, but I could pass if I needed to. If I played it for an afternoon, I would be used to compensating for the horn's idiosyncrasies and it too would be 100% in tune for me.

    Of course all of these are my experiences, while YMMV. The late Sarge Stransky and I had a number of conversations about playing vintage horns. These conversations happened while I was in his shop trying out a few of his horns prior to rebuild. I was looking for another tenor ATT. We discussed how to play them; why some people have no problems being able to play any of them; why others can only play one or two; etc. The uptick was he jokingly said to me I had chops of steel. ;) I don't know if that's a compliment or not. I'm going to assume it was, since I was play-testing unrestored, vintage tenors he had in his attic to try and find my next tenor.
  12. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    I love Martin horns

    the only person in NY that I know that I can recommend is here
    Steve Coz
    Huntington, Suffolk County, New York 11724
    1 631-258-8658

    But I don't know if that's close to where you need to be.

  13. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Suffolk County is about 500 miles away from East Amherst, NY.

    Amherst, NY is outside of Buffalo, NY, which is next to the Canadian/US border -- or, if you prefer, it's on the shore of Lake Erie. Suffolk County is on Long Island, NY, which is near New York City, which is on the Atlantic coast. Of course, everything is in driving distance, if you have the time and can make arrangements over water ...

    #1 thing people complain about if they're from anyplace in NY that's not New York City is that most people think that a) all of NY state is New York City and b) that NY is small. It's the 27th largest state, behind Iowa.
  14. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

    So it's not unlike many states in the US, or Canada, or elsewhere
    if you pick a city from one corner and one from another corner .. a long distance.

    Michigan is like that. Monroe to Ironwood is roughly 675 miles away.
    Not a trip I would normally take especially for sax repair.
  15. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Not exactly.

    If I tell someone that I'm from New York, they automatically think I'm from NYC. I've had some ask me about taxis, Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and such. Hey, if someone tells me he's from Texas, I don't automatically think he's from Dallas or something.

    Arizona's a bit of an exception -- and I'm sure that you can find others -- more than half of the AZ population is in either the Tucson or Phoenix metro areas. The Phoenix area includes Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, and several other cities.
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