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Saxophone/Elkhart 21A built by Buescher Sax

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Question
I just acquired an old sax with a serial number of 89699  21A  and I know it is a second line sax. It is in original condition, with some minor pitting in the lacquer finish.  Is there a way of putting a value on it.  It has an E-Z tone black mouthpiece and comes with the original case. Thanks  Rod

Answer
Hello Rod,
Please go to ebay and look at their pricing, this is the best way to see the value or lack of value in any old vintage saxophone. You have a second line horn. What's a "Second-Line" Instrument? The best way of thinking of a second-line instrument is that they are intermediate model horns sold by a major saxophone manufacturer.  so let's deal with the most common American second-line:
* The Conn Pan-American
* The Martin Indiana
* The King Cleveland
* The Buescher Elkhart
In all the above cases EXCEPT for Conn, the name of the second-line instrument comes from the name of a company that was bought out (for example, the Indiana Band Instrument company was purchased by Martin). In all cases, these horns generally follow the rules for stencils, except that they were actually sold by the companies that produced them -- they just had different names on the bell.  Your sax is great! Second line does not mean student line....Your Buescher Elkhart saxophone is a sort-of a stencil: an Elkhart-labeled horn is an older True Tone model, made with the same old tooling, but made from the 1930-1940's The Elkhart, however, is engraved as such and was available in lacquer. The quality of second-line horns was generally higher than their stencil brethren. It has a different serial number chart than the Buescher. Your sax is good, heck very good, but it's Buescher's second line. Made for the growing number of high school marching bands. There was a higher demand for educational instruments and the big 4 responded by making second line horns. The serial number info for the second line does not match the parent company. Elkharts are fantastic saxophones, made by the same skilled craftsman in Elkhart, Indiana that made the original Buescher's. A sax like yours could be worth, depending on the condition, about $500-$850, in original lacquer. If it's been re-lacquered, it will be worth less, but it's still a great choice for a college or high school sax student, or a part time big band performer. One thing is certain, a saxophone made in Elkhart ,Indiana is going to play and sound great! Please have a professional Band Instrument technician do the once over on this sax to identify any possible problems, you know... bad pads, air leaks, minor dents, the keys should be oiled with a micro oil-er, a sax is really a machine. There are many moving parts that need to be lubricated, the neck cork needs to be greased with a high quality cork grease, and the thumb screw threads will need oiling. I like to oil where the neck meets the body, It's called the neck tenon, oil it, work it round and round, then wipe both sides off with a paper towel. Get a  quartz tuner, and put an Ink mark where A 440 is on the neck cork. Play the concert Bb tuning note, it's a high G for you....This sax is perfect for the blues jams, old saxophones are very cool... I bet the tone is killer! Good luck!
Grant Koeller  

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Grant R. Koeller

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I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.

Experience

Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

Organizations
USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Publications
Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

Education/Credentials
North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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