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Quinn is STILL Trying for a 5 Figure Sale ...

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Yeah right...Good luck with that...I suspect that bass and his 6 figure conn-o-sax :eek: will be enjoying each others' company for a while to come yet. :emoji_rage:
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
Full disclosure, Quinn is a friend of mine and I think he is a very savvy person. I hired him at Microsoft to create documentation for us when he finished his doctorate. He is published many times over.

That said, I asked him about his prices and he told me the overseas collectors usually get an item like this. It makes a lot of people unhappy but then it is the same with other exceedingly rare items in the world of art. I personally don't fault him for getting top dollar for his investments and I have purchased a number of instruments from him. He stands behind his horns too. Look at his rating on eBay; it's even more impressive when you realize how many people he's sold to world-wide.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Gandalfe said:
Full disclosure, Quinn is a friend of mine and I think he is a very savvy person. I hired him at Microsoft to create documentation for us when he finished his doctorate. He is published many times over.

That said, I asked him about his prices and he told me the overseas collectors usually get an item like this. It makes a lot of people unhappy but then it is the same with other exceedingly rare items in the world of art. I personally don't fault him for getting top dollar for his investments and I have purchased a number of instruments from him. He stands behind his horns too. Look at his rating on eBay; it's even more impressive when you realize how many people he's sold to world-wide.
I hope my flip comment wasn't taken the wrong way. I've got no problem with a seller asking anything he/she wants for something. I remember something I read online a while ago that went somthing like this: a horn is worth whatever the buyer and seller agree to in price. (That was a really bad paraphrase, but the meaning is there.) My comment was meant to reflect my view that at those prices, buyers are harder to find.

As saxophonists we often complain about the costs of gear, but overall we have it quite good. I used to work occassionally with the string bass player of the NB Symphony when he played jazz gigs. I don't remember the cost of his ax, but I know that it was well over $20K. His bow alone cost more than a new student model alto or tenor sax.

I've read so many comments from people who say stuff like: "Musical instruments should be in the hands of musicians who can use them, not in the hands of collectors. Collectors drive the prices up to the point where average musicians can't afford gear." I don't really see that being the case for most things. Sure, a $10 5-digit VI is out of the range of most working musicians, but there are many other horn options out there for the average-working sax player.

If we think about the Stradivarius violins, many, if not most, are owned by wealthy collectors who loan/lease/whatever them to high-level performers and prodigies. Perhaps in the future we will see this happening with the coveted horns of today.

I truly believe there is a non-monetary value in musical instruments that transcends their financial worth. They are a part of history, and as such, hopefully some will be preserved, whether in museums or private collections, so that a some point in the future their historical importance in today's world isn't lost.

OK...Enough of my pontificating. :geezer1: :geezer2:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
I actually say, "More power to him!"

Quinn's had a couple horns in my calendars, so I'm definitely not anti-Quinn, as some posters appear to be on SOTW (for the $100K Conn-O-Sax). I also posted the bass ad here, not really to comment on the price -- I don't care what it is because I ain't buying -- but because it's a very pretty bass and it's pretty uncommon to see these.

However, if we wanna discuss price, I've seen a few of these for sale on eBay in equivalent condition for ... considerably less. Heck, a new S80 is $16K at usahorn.com. A Keilwerth SX-90 is $14K at WWBW. Hey, Jim can tell us how much he paid for that Eppelsheim. All three are arguably better horns.
 

SOTSDO

Old King Log
Staff member
CE/Moderator
Since we're still living in a capitalist environment (and since the only folks who seriously want to change that are the ones who are in the "have not" category), it seems only right that the "what the buyer and seller are satisfied for as a price point" method be used. There will always be those who are wanting something but who don't have the tin to make it happen, but that's just life. If a "collector" is willing to pay way more than anyone else, and if the seller is getting what he wants, then more power to both of them.

One thing that's behind all of this is the perennial wish for Selmer to start producing the Mark VI again, maybe not at the same price point but at least to the same specifications. I've owned Mark VI horns, and while they were more than adequate, the vagaries of life and the acceleration of prices will keep me from ever doing so again. There are other horns that are more than adequate and that cost far less, and that's good enough for me.

In the case of a bass saxophone or a contrabass saxophone, the case for making it "more affordable" is more or less moot in the first place. In 99.99999% of the cases you might make, there is no need for such a beast. For the miniscule opportunity that someone would find outside of dixieland, saxophone choirs and very old arrangements, it's just not worth the cost, maintenance, and storage and transportation issues to have one. Far better to long for a baritone and settle for that.

Playing bass sax is also a bit on the exhausting side for any extended period. You can use a stand (and tear up the horn in the process) and avoid some of this, but you can't use a stand to transport the thing.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
Helen said:
I hope my flip comment wasn't taken the wrong way. I've got no problem with a seller asking anything he/she wants for something. I remember something I read online a while ago that went somthing like this: a horn is worth whatever the buyer and seller agree to in price. (That was a really bad paraphrase, but the meaning is there.) My comment was meant to reflect my view that at those prices, buyers are harder to find.
Actually, it wasn't taken the wrong way by me because I feel I know you. But it was more of a pre-emptive thang for those who like to ride the negativity bandwagon.
SOTSDO said:
Playing bass sax is also a bit on the exhausting side for any extended period. You can use a stand (and tear up the horn in the process) and avoid some of this, but you can't use a stand to transport the thing.
I've seen people use a stand and have even seen pro's lean the stand, tipping on two of four points, towards the player with great effect. The case for my Eppie looks as large as a coffin but fortunately has wheels.
Pete said:
However, if we wanna discuss price, I've seen a few of these for sale on eBay in equivalent condition for ... considerably less. Heck, a new S80 is $16K at usahorn.com. A Keilwerth SX-90 is $14K at WWBW. Hey, Jim can tell us how much he paid for that Eppelsheim. All three are arguably better horns.
The Eppie was a custom job with special engraving, custom stand, low-A, and three Zinner mouthpieces. Still it cost almost a quarter of the price listed below. And, I think I can say this without anyone disagreeing, the Eppie probably sounds better both in intonation and voice.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Gandalfe said:
Pete said:
However, if we wanna discuss price, I've seen a few of these for sale on eBay in equivalent condition for ... considerably less. Heck, a new S80 is $16K at usahorn.com. A Keilwerth SX-90 is $14K at WWBW. Hey, Jim can tell us how much he paid for that Eppelsheim. All three are arguably better horns.
The Eppie was a custom job with special engraving, custom stand, low-A, and three Zinner mouthpieces. Still it cost almost a quarter of the price listed below {"above" -- Gandalfe threads his messages differently}. And, I think I can say this without anyone disagreeing, the Eppie probably sounds better both in intonation and voice.
25% more ($20K) or 25% less ($12K)?

Again, not that I'd be able to afford one. FWIW, I remember the Eppelsheim contra is pretty well priced, in comparison to the Orsi. Dunno what the price on the J'Elle is.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
SOTSDO said:
Since we're still living in a capitalist environment (and since the only folks who seriously want to change that are the ones who are in the "have not" category), it seems only right that the "what the buyer and seller are satisfied for as a price point" method be used. There will always be those who are wanting something but who don't have the tin to make it happen, but that's just life. If a "collector" is willing to pay way more than anyone else, and if the seller is getting what he wants, then more power to both of them.
Exactly my point.

One thing that's behind all of this is the perennial wish for Selmer to start producing the Mark VI again, maybe not at the same price point but at least to the same specifications.
While I'd be all over a Mark VI for $250, I still don't necessarily think they're teh best horns since sliced Kenny G, either.

As I mentioned elsewhere, if Quinn and others CAN CONSISTENTLY get prices for their Mark VIs that are well above what the Reference 54 costs, Selmer will have no choice other than to reintroduce the Mark VI, because otherwise they're competing with themselves.

In the case of a bass saxophone or a contrabass saxophone, the case for making it "more affordable" is more or less moot in the first place. In 99.99999% of the cases you might make, there is no need for such a beast. For the miniscule opportunity that someone would find outside of dixieland, saxophone choirs and very old arrangements, it's just not worth the cost, maintenance, and storage and transportation issues to have one. Far better to long for a baritone and settle for that.
I somewhat disagree.

IMO, a bass is probably a better animal to have than a baritone, all things being equal -- and if you can find one that plays in tune. You really could play all your bari sax parts on bass, but you can't play all your bass parts on bari (I've played more than one jazz chart scored for bari, but had bass sax range). You'd need some transposition skillz, too, or transposition software. I think the contras are excessive, but they're still kewl. I'd take one.

However, most of the stuff I've played easily fits in a bari's range and I don't have to play with the fingerings to get (most) baris to play properly in tune. Yes, I do know that modern basses don't have as much trouble as the Conn New Wonder I played, but I've heard of "some": Gandalfe and Groovekiller need to write FULL reviews of their Eppies!
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
I haven't checked recently but I think the Selmer bass sax is 14k or so. One year wait. I suspect that the design is pretty close to this horn. Not as out of line as some other horns I've seen listed on ebay by various sellers.
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Selmer prices are up a lot recently. Their new bass sax is very good, but early Selmer basses, even the Mark VI era basses, are very problematic. Visually, the old ones look like the new ones except for the high E, F, and F# keys on the new ones. I think Selmer changed the bore recently and it worked. The new Selmer light bass sax case is a disaster, however, with virtually no padding where it's needed most - at the neck receiver.

And with the small bore and the baritone-like mouthpiece, the Selmers sound a lot like a baritone saxophone.
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Selmer prices are up a lot recently. Their new bass sax is very good, but early Selmer basses, even the Mark VI era basses, are very problematic. Visually, the old ones look like the new ones except for the high E, F, and F# keys on the new ones. I think Selmer changed the bore recently and it worked. The new Selmer light bass sax case is a disaster, however, with virtually no padding where it's needed most - at the neck receiver.

And with the small bore and the baritone-like mouthpiece, the Selmers sound a lot like a baritone saxophone.
That's interesting. I figured they were still using the old design.
 

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I don't pay much attention to bass saxophones but have enjoyed them when well-played by others over the years. I have heard a number of them and for the Selmers I've heard in bands where I've played, they lacked the deep resonance of the older Conn/Buescher tubes. And it just wasn't me that heard that - most everyone with whom I discuss this agrees.

At the previous year's NAMM Show, I came across the International Woodwind new bass saxophones. They looked exactly like the old Conn/Bueschers - and sounded just like them when the rep played one. It had that same booming, resonant bass voice that I've admired over the years.

At this year's NAMM Show, they had the older-style bass saxophones alongside the new-style basses that looked like the Selmers. There was a distinct difference between the older and the newer - the tube and bells on the new-style bass sax were smaller in diameter - this was clearly visible.

This was the first time I'd seen the two era-styles side-by-side. No, they weren't originals but I have no reason to believe they weren't pretty close to the original concepts. If I were in the market for a bass sax I'd opt for the vintage models OR the IW older-style design. Oh - good luck to Quinn and his auctions. DAVE
 

Ed

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
So are Benedikt Eppelsheim's horns based on the older tubes?
 

Dave Dolson

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Ed: I have no idea . . . I know about those horns (tubax, soprillo, etc.) but have not seen or heard one in person. I doubt if there is much similarity among all the various brands and designs.

I have the Saxophone Journal CD featuring the Epplesheim basses and listened to those "groaners", but wasn't all that impressed with them.

Before spending any dough on a bass sax, I'd have to be convinced that there is something better than the original Conn/Buescher design and I acknowledge that I'll probably not have the opportunity to see them all in one room, let alone play them all.

My interest is theoretical - I'm not in the market for any of them, having passed on an opportunity to buy a nice TT a while back (as has already been posted elsewhere). DAVE
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Well, I don't have the experience of playing dozens of basses, but I found the Conn New Wonder bass to be an intonation nightmare and I've read a lot to indicate that my experiences were par for the course.

FWIW, I'd be more than willing to sacrifice a good bit of whatever Conn/Buescher mystique there might be for the intonation of a modern instrument, particularly if I was going to pay megabucks for a horn.

And I don't think the tone is worse on the Keilwerth, for instance, or the Eppelsheim and, as far as the Eppelsheim is concerned, there's more of an argument that the tone of their Eb Tubax and Eb contra are different from vintage contras or the Orsi contra, as the bore is considerably different.

The IW horns, if I remember reading properly, are copies of a Conn or a Buescher. However, I also seem to remember reading that they're a bit flimsy. Additionally, if they're direct copies -- other than some sheet-metal differences -- it might be better to buy the vintage horn and get it overhauled. Prices might be competitive.

Eppelsheim's bass may have the main body tube based on a Conn or Buescher -- I really don't know -- but the neck and crook design are so intensely different looking, I'd be willing to bet that the whole horn is more or less something that Benedikt cooked up himself.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
Vintage American Bass vs Eppelsheim Bass

Doesn't our own Gandalfe have both a TT and an Eppelsheim?

Jim...Are you out there? What are the differences? Do you know?

Or am I having another :confused: brain fog moment :?:
 

Groovekiller

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Eppelsheim's designs are based on nothing that has come before them. Thankfully, he has designed each instrument from the ground up, eliminating the problems that earlier designs incorporated.

The Eppelsheim bass sax starts out larger than old Conns and Bueschers. I'm not speaking for Benedikt Eppelsheim, but I believe that adjustments in the bore of the first 1/3 of the instrument have solved a lot of problems.

Also, the tone holes on Benedikt's bass are enormous near the bottom of the horn. I have heard that Conn/Buescher used smaller keys because larger pads were not available. That's hearsay, and actually hard to believe, but the Eppelsheim has a better scale.

The Tubax didn't need huge keys because its bore is similar to that of a baritone saxophone. However, it does have THREE automatic octave keys, not two, and these don't include the new altissimo valve. The extra octave vent seems to help the intonation of octaves in large saxophones. The Tubax is an incredible instrument.

The Soprillo ventures into dangerous territory because as an instrument approaches the plucked frequency of the reed (usually a very high pitch), all acoustic rules go out the window. Yet, the Soprillo works in the hands of a skilled player. Check out Nigel Wood's recordings and videos on the Eppelsheim website or Soprillo.com
 
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