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Saxophone/1926 Conn Chu-Berry Tenor Saxophone

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Question
I saw you said you had researched vintage and antique instruments and I was wondering what you thought a 1926 Conn Chu-Berry Tenor Saxophone would sell for? I have my sights set on one to buy, but I'm just not sure what the price should be on horn like that. The lacquer is in pretty good condition, a little worn, but nothing too bad. The bottom bow is not bent at all and there is only one minor dent on the saxophone. It has the nail fial G# key. There is only one re-solder on it on the octave key. It has the original case with it, but no mouthpiece which isn't much of an issue. It will need new pads for sure though. It has Silver-Plate lacquer on the outside body, and gold lacquer inside the bell. They are asking 1,200$ for it though, and I just don't feel confident enough in my own judgment to decide if that is a worthy price or not. If you could help me out that would be great, but if you don't really have an answer that's okay too! Thank you so much for your time!

Answer
The BEST advice I can give about buying a horn is to play it if you can before purchasing. If it is NOT in playing condition or if you are not able to physically hold  it and play it, then be cautious.  $1,200 is not chump change - and if it needs new pads and who knows what else, it could cost you another $200 to maybe even $300. All of this factors in to cost however, if it becomes YOUR horn and you love it, it would well be worth it.

One more thing - if you're buying the horn to 'play' it, then you might consider the mechanisms of a horn built in 1926 are considerably outdated. This factor also plays into the resale value.

I've seen them listed for less, and I've seen them listed for LOTS more. There are several fine examples on e-bay right now.  $1,200 for a solid horn of this vintage in good condition - all things being equal, seems fair. I hope this helps!  

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Eugene Cantera

Expertise

I have been a music educator for over 25 years and have taught on many levels from young children and school agers on through to college level, professional players and senior citizens. My main areas of expertise are saxophone(s) though I have taught many instruments including, guitar, bass, piano, oboe and drums to name a few. I have also done research on horns both vintage and new.

Experience

I have been in music education for 25 years and I have written and published in the subject of professional music education.

Publications
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Marketing and Higher Education Newsletter.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Music Education, Hartt School of Music - The University of Hartford.

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