Antique Saxophones - to buy or not to buy

There are many antique saxophones available online and from music stores. In addition, you might get lucky and find an ancient beauty in someone's yard sale for almost nothing. Saxophone players differ in their opinions about playing old horns. Some point out that the great saxophone players from the big band era played those old horns! They didn't have the newest Yanagisawa professional saxophones to play, and yet they did a great job. So those old ones could have an excellent sound.

A lot depends on how worn out antique saxophones are and whether you can find a competent repairman to refurbish them. If you can get one restored, it's possible that it will have an especially fine tone even though it might not look real shiny. Remember, a lot of people like the look of the patina of age. Another thing people like about the older saxes is that they have ornate engraving on the bell. The saxophones made by Conn back in the '20s and '30s are particularly elaborate.

Other saxophone players feel like you have a better chance of getting a good playable saxophone by buying a new one instead of an antique. It's true that you will have a warranty with a new horn. Not only that, but another drawback with a vintage musical instrument is that the construction and design has changed over the years. You might have to learn a whole new style of fingering to use the keys on an older saxophone. Of course, if you have one that is really old, or just want to collect antique saxes, you might prefer just to keep it as a conversation piece and do your playing on a newer saxophone.

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