Saxophone/Baritone Sax


Hi- I have a Baritone Saxaphone, old. It is Stamped with:

The Commodore
Elkhart IND USA

I do not find a serial number on it.

Do you have an idea of its worth? Someone I know wants to purchase it. It is old looking but in good working order when my son played it. It has a new case.



Thanks for the question. I get questions like this fairly often. The Commodore line of saxophones were manufactured by the Martin band instrument company. Not to be confused with the Martin guitar company. The two companies have no relation whatsoever....

The Commodore is what we refer to as a stencil brand. This means the company that commissioned it did not have the means to manufacture the instruments so they contracted with a factory that did, in this case Martin, to build the instruments for them. So instead of stamping the Martin name on the instruments Martin used the other companies name and "stenciled" on to the body. Every major band instrument manufacture did this to some extent as it was a good way to increase production and sell more instruments. When looking at a stencil instrument it was fairly common for them to share many features of the manufactures primary models, however there would be small difference in the key layout and other minor details so it didn't look exactly like the manuafactures primary instruments. Often the stencil lines would be based on some of the companies older designs that may be out of production or discontinued. This gave the manufactures the opportunities to use up some older parts that might still be in inventory. So it was a win-win for everyone as the manufacture was able to increase production. The company that created the stencil was able to buy instruments at a much lower cost than the primary brand, and the consumer got an instrument at a much better price that was in essence a very close copy to the manufacturer's primary product.

As far as value that's going to be difficult to pin down without actually seeing the instrument or atleast photos. The value of these can swing wildly depending on the market, buyer, time of year, direction of the wind, phase of the moon, etc. Without seeing it, I don't feel comfortable placing a value on it. The biggest challenge with Martin saxophones was they never switched to using drawn tone holes. What this means is the tone hole chimneys were attached to the body by first cutting a hole in the body and then the chimney were soldered on to the body. What can happen is if the instrument is ever damaged or develops any type of corrosion the solder holding the tone holes can break and a leak will develop that makes it difficult to play and it can be very difficult to detect and repair. In the 1920's a method was created that "draws" the tone holes from be body material itself thus there is no need for solder and the instruments are much more stable over time. Martin never switched to this new technology when it became available in the 1920's and continued to manufacture their saxophones the old fashioned way until they were eventually bought out in the late 1960's and saxophone production was discontinued. Thus the saxophone will need to be carefully looked over by a qualified tech who is familiar with vintage saxophones and Martin's in particular. The value of these can swing wildly depending on the market, buyer, time of year, direction of the wind, phase of the moon, etc. Without seeing it, I don't feel comfortable placing a value on it.

What I would highly recommend you do is take this to a qualified technician in your area. I recomend you go to (The National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians) and do a tech search for someone in your area. Call and ask to speak directly to a tech. Make sure they are familiar with vintage saxophones and arrange a time they can look at the horn and evaluate it. If the store does not have a tech in the store and has to send it off, you need to find a different location. If the honr needs any repairs the tech can let you know and give you an approximate value and quote any repair that might be necessary.

If you would like to send me some photos, I would be more than happy to look at them and that might tell me a bit more. You can send them to my e-mial at

Thanks and I hope this helps.

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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