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What's The Best Deal On A Horn You Ever Got?

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Art jr if I recall correctly. It was a collaboration between Gus Buescher and Harry Pedler after they had retired from their respective companies. I think '33 or '38 is the vintage.
In the last year I picked up the following:

1953 King Super Tenor w/Sterling Neck and side pearl keys for 800.00 in nice shape.

1975 Selmer MK VII Alto for 450.00.

2002 Buffet R-13 Bb & A Clarinet Set for 800.00 in Mint new condition.

1980 Yani S6 Soprano Sax for 150.00. Had been repadded and recorked in wonderul playing condition.

Each of these deals were posted as such on Craigslist and the Recycler. There was no need to deal. I simply dropped by, paid their asking price and left. None of the instruments were hot. The sellers were not aware of the current going prices for these instruments. Perhaps I should feel guilty?


Private woodwind instructor
Saxes: Martin Indiana alto from sidepipes on SOTW for $100. It came with a fresh repad and only needed regulating. Sweet playing little horn.
Late 50's Martin/Pan American tenor $199 off ebay. Had it repadded and it would be a monster in the right hands.

Clarinet: 30's vintage Ledoux Artist, $40 at an 'Antique' shop. It only needed pads and plays as well as many R13's I've tried.
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'Good Deals'

I have stumbled on to a number of remarkable deals for musical instruments over the years...some of these I still own...some I do not.

1920's Buffet / Evette Soprano Sax - $ 100 (Still Have)
1940's Selmer Balanced Tone Clarinet - $ 20 (Still Have)
1920's Conn 'Chu' model Alto Sax (GOLD Plated) - $ 325 (Sold)
1963 Selmer Mark VI Alto Sax - $ 150 (Still Have)
1940 Selmer Balanced Action Tenor Sax (Silver Plated) - $ 975 (Still Have)
1960's DABICO Baritone Sax - $ 100 (Sold)

But here is the real find of the bunch...

1920's Martin BASS Sax (Silver Plated) - $ 250 (Sold)
Another smokin' deal !

I just snagged a 1918 ([HASHTAG]#44249[/HASHTAG]) New Wonder Tenor in finish #2 (Silver w'gold bell, heavy engraving) for a bargain price of $95.00 at a local antique store. Needs everything, pads cork and some dent work. But who am I to complain. :emoji_relaxed:


Staff member
Should be pretty horn. Intonation could be an issue but you never know with these horns. Nice sound generally.


Old King Log
Staff member
My two killings were my 1920-ish Conn alto (gold plate) for $25.00 (which I still have) and my 1960's vintage Mark VI tenor for $400.00 (my wife's doing, actually). Since I hate tenor sax playing, I sold the thing for a tidy profit, and bought a new Yamaha Model YBS-62 with the proceeds.

My great fish that got away was a Conn bass sax, which I had on a rent to own contract back in the 1970's. I turned it back in when I was done with it, instead opting to buy a sailboat (I was seeing a girl who played a green 'cello and who liked sailing) and save the monthly payment.

Had I held on to it, it would have cost me all of $600.00...
'78 Mark VII that I still own in great shape, $1500 in the early '80's.
Seems like a better deal now.
and a great playing ss Berg that I got from Merlin.


Old King Log
Staff member
$400 for a late 1960's Mark VI tenor. Perfect condition, hadn't been played for many years. I held onto it for a couple of years, then sold it and bought a like new YBS 62 and pocketed the difference.

$25.00 for a Conn alto in the artist finish (gold plate overall). Had to lose the gold plating when I had it rebuilt, but it's still a very sweet horn in silver plate for a total cost of $725.00.

And then there are all of the clarinets...
I've picked up a few good deals, always manage a profit though.
1979 Yani 800, picked up for $200, needed a repad for around $300. Sold for around $700.
1925 Conn Chu C-mel. Picked up for $100, sold for $150
1926 Conn chu berry Alto, relaq. bought from E-bay for $250, sold after repad for around $600. Repad ran me around $200.
Selmer Signet Clarinet, cost me $100, and altogether have $120 in it. Plays fine.
Martin indania got from Sidepipes on SOTW in a trade.
Armstrong student flute got from sidepipes also in a trade.
WWBW Straight Soprano Sax, got for around $200, sold for $250.

Not great profit, but still reasonable for the time I owned the horns.
Hey, it's Carbs. Nice to see you. Enjoy the forum.
thanks Pete
Carbs: Good to see you. Welcome to a civil forum. DAVE
Thanks Dave
So what was the story on this instrument? Did you not like it?
The instrument was fine their was nothing really wrong with the horn. I probably should of kept it, seeing as I will probably be buying a soprano sometime over the next year. But I got a case of gas, and it had to be sold.
In addition to my Buescher TT soprano, I also bought my Mark VI tenor in 1979 for $250. And no, it's not for sale.
My best deal ever is a Buescher True Tone alto, #24643 (1914?) which I paid EUR 20 in a pawn shop. It needs complete overhaul (which I'll do myself) but still, I would call it a steal. At an auction I could by a KING Voll-True II alto silver plated, in mint conditions but octave key missing, for EUR 100. Apparently someone was almost ready with a full overhaul (pads are new) but he had to part from the instrument and forgot to put back the last key. Last, a Buffet BC20 Bb clarinet for EUR 120 (it needed repadding). Considering it is 10 years that I am fiddling with woodwinds, I would say that for me sheer luck kicks in once every 3.3 years....


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I found this 1950 silver plated Selmer SBA in a pawn shop marked $75, and I talked the owner down to $50. Of course it didn't look like it does in the photo at the time.

SBA polish 103.jpg


Staff member
I'm sure you put a lot of work into that, but that was still a steal. I have never owned a SBA, but I did have a Balanced Action for about 12 years. A very sweet and mellow horn. Since I was mainly playing rock 'n' roll at the time I ended up trading it for a Mark VII (also long gone due to my small hands).
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