Is this saxophone totally ruined?

by Cade Haynes
(New Mexico)

I am a trombone player and have never played a reed instrument. Well, one of my parent's friends remembered he had an alto sax and wondered if I wanted it and wanted to learn it. I said yes but I'm worried about the condition.

Well when i opened the case,it was so musky, it smelt like Carlsbad Caverns and the instrument had droplets of water everywhere and the case was super wet.
He had two cloths stuck in the bell the first one, when i pulled it out was moist and the second one..... I threw it on the ground and it splattered and water came out. I'm pretty sure all the pads had rotted off. I couldn't bring myself to hold it up and get all the moisture all over me and also it smelt so bad, i couldn't stomach it.

Is it salvageable?

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May 06, 2012
totally ruined sax
by: Ajerrynonymous

from your description this sax is no doubt not playable but is definintely not ruined. the big question is if it is worth restoring to playable condition. no one can answer this question without knowing more about the instrument. what brand is it? is it an old silver plate? what is the age of it? is it student grade or profsessional grade? you may have a valuable instrument or just a conversation piece. answer these questions and i will give you an opinion.

May 14, 2012
Is this saxophone totally ruined?
by: Dominic

I have been playing sax, clarinet and flute since 1951.
I have been repairing instruments since 1978.
My last major concert was for a host of pretty impressive guests, including former President Bill Clinton.
When he was in Boston with Senator John Kerry for a fund-raising event for Senator Ted Kennedy.

I played in the 22-piece John Payne Saxophone Choir at the Park Plaza Castle.

Security was so tight,
the Secret Service did background checks on each musician and we had to leave our instruments at
the door to be searched by White House staff.


Mold spores never go away and every time you take a breath they go in your lungs and stay there forever causing respiratory sicknesses.

I own a music store and when people come in to sell or trade one like that I close the case instantly and tell them why I do not want it even for free.
for more info


Dominic S. Cucinotti
SUITE # 710
SALEM, MA 01970

web site:


May 24, 2013
by: S Perry

Dominic S. Cucinotti is correct but if it is a great instrument it can be cleaned of the mold. However it will need to be totally dipped and taken apart as well as getting new leather pads. On the other hand it may be a rare find but needs tlc. I would never risk a health problem if you dont plan on taking the refurbishing on. Probably cost $300 bucks,
Call a pro and ask if they would be interested in chatting ABOUT IT as well as how they would want it taken to them, IE dipped in bleach in a tub etc,..
Good Luck

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