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I'm torn ...

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
... between reporting this to eBay or just congratulating him on what looks like a nicely refurbished horn.

silver-sax. Particular ad: Martin Dick Stabile Model tenor. Quoting:

Fine condition. Very rare. Only two tenors are known (second horn - on Saxpics.com). Original silver plate (approx. 90-95%; mainly silver plate is missing on the and neck and some places o the bell and bow). Sax keys are gold plated and have engraving (I can assume that is not original, but it is magnificent). There are scratches on the silver plate, uneven surface on some places, but it is almost not visible; white pads with rivets in very good condition. Serial number 20422. case.
First, there are obviously more than two DS tenors out there. I know this because he's selling another one -- and I actually posted 5 of them on saxpics.com. So, no, I didn't say anyplace that there was only one. I did mention "rare," in the sense of "quite uncommon," and, based on info from the folks that owned/played them, that they were a pretty good stencil model.

Second, not only are the gold-plated keys not original, the silver plate isn't either. It was satin silver, not burnished. Not that I'm complaining. It looks nice.

Anyhow, silver-sax is probably infamous for his (I'm just using "his" as proper gender-neutral. I don't know the seller) creation of the King "Super 22". That debacle is on SOTW, if you want all the details.

silver-sax has had a few other beautiful restorations, like this "gold label" B&S tenor (also mentioned on Helen's website) and several Weltklang baritones.

Edit: it looks like silver-sax also sells under the name tagawa99

s-l1600.jpg
 
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Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
So is "he" essentially "making" a new model of horn ... silver and gold where there never was one?
Then claiming the "rare" model at a higher price?


FYI, after all that refurbishing work he simply reversed the neck strap ring instead of replacing it. That is, unless the player played the horn upside down.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
I love his statement:

Sax keys are gold plated and have engraving (I can assume that is not original, but it is magnificent).
He should know that they're not original, since many of the restored, silver plated horn he sells has at least one gold plated key with this engraving. EG: the blue label B&S tenor that Pete already mentioned. Or at a minimum, have the same-style, after-market engraving on the keys, such as this Weltklang bari.

I call BS--and not the name of the sax manufacturer either--rather what comes out of the ass-end of a steer. ;)
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
So is "he" essentially "making" a new model of horn ... silver and gold where there never was one?
Then claiming the "rare" model at a higher price?
Yes, he's making a new model, in the cases of both the "Gold Label" B&S and the King Super 22.

Yes, he's claiming much, much higher prices than what's reasonable for the original horns. The DS horn mentioned in the above ad and the "Super 22" are/were $3500. The horn that silver-sax customized into the "Super 22" is a King Model 2416, according to SOTW. The B&S "gold label" horn was a standard Blue Label that he was trying to sell for $2800. I also remember coming across a Conn that was re-engraved by him. It's on SOTW, someplace. A few SOTW'ers have mentioned that the engraving is a bit poorly done on the "Super 22," at least. I can't really tell.
 
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Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Speaking of which.
I have a Selmer Paris mk VII Gold sax which has extra engraving on the bell keys.
This is VERY RARE and only ONE is known to exist. It's the one that I engrav..... I mean have owned for decades. :)

My VII alto doesn't have bell engraving I was going to get the sailboat on a lake engraving done on it at one time but never got around to it.
That would have been neat. But not a "new" model sax.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
FWIW, I did tell the SOTW admin team about silver-sax selling that DS horn on their website. While I do agree with hakukani, the SOTW mod that closed the "Super 22" thread, that the best rule of thumb is always Caveat Emptor, it's also bad play to sling around BS, as Helen mentions. The guy does have some knowledge about the horns he's trying to sell, after all. He's posted enough on SOTW to confirm that.

I certainly could justify a portion of the prices that silver-sax advertises for if he's doing complete overhauls, re-plating, and re-engraving. It's just that the horns aren't worth that much even after all that.

Again, eBay is not for the faint of heart. Do some research before buying.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
...it's also bad play to sling around BS, as Helen mentions. The guy does have some knowledge about the horns he's trying to sell, after all. He's posted enough on SOTW to confirm that.
Fair enough. I'm not doubting his knowledge Pete, as I agree he knows a quite a lot about about vintage horns. He's had quite a number that I have drooled over these past few years as a matter of fact.

That said, I called BS on the specific sentence he wrote about the engraving, that's all.

As was mentioned here already, whenever buying something online, caveat emptor is the rule of the day.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Fair enough. I'm not doubting his knowledge Pete, as I agree he knows a quite a lot about about vintage horns. He's had quite a number that I have drooled over these past few years as a matter of fact.
Sorry. I guess I dropped a word or two. The reason why I mentioned that silver-sax has some knowledge was because I wanted to take away his potential excuse of, "I don't know what kind of horn this is or what the original is supposed to look like."

In one sense, it really doesn't matter. silver-sax's prices are waaaay too high, so I doubt that someone is going to bid. People try to prove me wrong, tho .... :D
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
We were just talking about this after-market engraved, "gold label"--which we now know is nothing but a blue label with the blue enamel paint removed--that Silver Sax was selling years ago. Well guess what? He still has it. It just popped up for sale again on eBay.

That's the problem when you spend extra on customizing stuff, and then try to sell for an inflated price: you generally don't re-coup your money, let alone make a profit. It's a beautiful horn, but there are far better saxophones around for less, or the same amount of $.

If I was going to spend $2,000 on a horn, I would not be spending it on a pre-unification B&S tenor. But hey, that's just me. YMMV.

If I was in the market for a B&S tenor, I would spend that money on a post-unification-built horn like a Medusa, 2001 Series, or even a Guardala. They are head and shoulders above anything that was built in the former GDR.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
And to prove Helen's point, here's a Dave Guardala tenor that sold for about the same price that silversax is asking for for his "Gold Label."

The above-mentioned Conn is now on eBay, too. $2299. It doesn't have rolled tone holes, so it's definitely a later model. That also means that elaborate engraving doesn't really fit. Aftermarket neck, too.

*Sigh* It's hard enough to do research on real makes and models. Don't throw fake ones into the mix, too!
 

Steve

Clarinet CE/Moderator
Staff member
CE/Moderator
So if I paint red enamel instead of blue around on my Selmer neck's "S" would that make it a rare and highly sought after and thus exorbitant value neck ?

I just saw some pics of a Blue Label alto. Same thing as Buffet had with the SDAs with the bell brace having a large emblem there. Nothing significant and very easily modifiable with a paint brush.

The problem that Helen mentioned is that "your customized work" has no value in a resale. This is consistent with general cars, motorcycles, cell phones, etc.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
> Red enamel
So, you'd have a Grassi, Yanagisawa, or Ditta Giglio-made horn, right? :D

I'm not necessarily sure that "customized work" has no resale value. I've owned two or three cars with engines that were "custom" and that only increased the resale value. Hey, a lot of older VW Beetles ("Type I") don't have original engines and/or are transformed into dune buggy-esque vehicles. The other thing is that, while the "Gold Label," "Super 22," and the "Only one of its kind Dick Stabile" horns aren't necessarily garish or badly done -- I could argue that the Conn is, tho -- and, arguably, the mods would give it SOME value above and beyond stock. It's just a question of how much value.

FWIW, I think that some car body mods -- spoilers, etc. -- can hurt value, especially when they're overly garish.

I have seen horns that have been painted, have stuff glued to them, have extreme keywork mods, have toneholes corked because the owner can't play those notes in tune, etc. I'd believe that these would impact value. I also think I could argue that the three or four eBay shops that buy $vintage_pro_horn and add some non-standard finish ("baked epoxy") are hurting the horns' values. But if you do that to a student/intermediate horn ... I dunno. Hey, one of our members put a new finish on a YAS-23 (I think) and overhauled the heck outta it. If I was in the market for a used Yamaha, I would have picked that up in a heartbeat.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
It now has 1000% more flair. I don't think I can underestimate the importance of that. If it also has a spoiler, then you're talkin'.
 
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