I have a martin concertone sax serial number192869, low pitch A.  What is its value?  Its in great shape with original case that is kinda beat up.


The Concertone was a stencil saxophone produced by the Martin company. I've seen a few of these and a bunch of the various Martin stencils. At the time this horn was made, the US was going through a transition. We were coming out of the first world war, the economy was booming, and jazz was the new pop music of the day. The result was the saxophone became as popular as the electric guitar is now, if not more so. There were many companies who wanted to make instruments but didn't have the means. Thus they would outsource to the factories. This is a process called stenciling. This is very prevalent in the music business even today. So if you wanted to go in to the musical instrument business all you had to do was to call a factory, tell them how many horns you wanted to buy and what name to put on them. When your check cleared the Cynthia line of saxophones would show up on your door step.

This benefited the manufactures as it allowed them to produce instruments that were pre-sold. Also they often based the "stencil" horns on previous versions of horns they had produced as their main line. Thus the stencils would not get the most modern features and sometimes the factories were able to use up some of the parts they had from previous models. It was a win/win for everyone and the customer benefited by getting a horn for a slightly lower price than one with with the big names on it.

The Martin made instruments are great horns. More than likely the sax you have is based on the Handcraft model. This was Martin's meat and potato horn of the time. Meaning they made and sold a bunch of them. The Martins were known as jazz horns and have a big beefy tone. Classical players preferred the Bueschers, while the jazz players of the 1920's liked the Martins and Conns. The only draw back the Martins of this period suffered from was they were not as ergonomic under the fingers compared with the other makes. However Martin would eventful correct this problem.

Something all Martin saxophones suffer from is the soldered on tone holes. By the 1920's most all saxophones manufactures had adopted the Powell system for creating the tone hole chimneys. This is a process by which a small hole is punched in the body and then a ball the diameter of the chimney is placed under the hole and then the ball is pulled upward. This forces the brass to rise up and creates a seamless chimney. However all manufactures that used this process had to pay a royalty to Mr. Powell until the patent expired in 1939. This caused the prices of saxophones to rise. Martin never embraced this process and continued to create their chimneys the old fashion way by cutting the hole and then adding the chimney later. This can cause problems as saliva and other chemicals can attack the lead in the solder causing the chimneys to leak. When I work on Martin saxophones I have to be very careful to check every tone hole and insure nothing is leaking.      

If you try to date the horn using Martins serial number list it won't make any since. The stencil horns were based on where the person who ordered them want the serial numbers to start and stop. They were not always sequential and most of these records have been lost to time.   

As far as value, its very difficult on these as the value is only what 2 people agree to pay. Plus you didn't tell me if it was an alto or a tenor sax.  I can say Martin stencils may sell for between $150 to $400 depending on the condition. If it was an actual Martin Handcraft from this same time it might be worth a bit more. If there are repairs necessary than that would be subtracted from the value.

If you want you can send me some detailed photos to my e-mail and I'll might be able to tell you a bit more. My e-mail is

Charles Harris  


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Charles Harris


questions regarding equipment, performance, repairs, lessons, etc. Almost all saxophone related questions.


I am a professional member of N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instruments Repair Technicians). I have been repairing saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and brass instruments since 1993. I perform in several professional groups covering genres form classical, jazz, and rock.

N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

St. Petersburg Junior College (AA) University of South Florida.

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