Saxophone Forum


by davidwhiggs
(3 posts)
2 years ago

American Standard High Grade Alto Saxophone Model # B301 - Value?

I just acquired a vintage alto and was hoping to get a rough idea of its worth. It is silver color with pearl buttons, and has all its original parts, including the neck, ligature, mouthpiece cover, two music clips, leather neck band, etc., and what I presume is the original purple-corduroy-lined black case, still with the key that locks it! The sax is tarnished of course but not dented, and seems to be in good working condition. All keys work with smooth action, pads seem OK (I used to play, so I can at least just that much). I have no knowledge regarding vintage instrument worth, and hope someone could help with some guidance about its age and approximate worth. Thanks very much. -- Dave

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by Saxquest
    (306 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: American Standard High Grade Alto Saxophone Model # B301 - Value?

    Hi Dave-

         American Standard was one of the basic model saxophones sold by the HN White Company from about 1927 through the mid 1940's. The American Standard was introduced as an affordable alternative to the higher end models (Voll True or Zephyr, depending on what year you are talking about). There is no serial number chart that I know of for these instruments so its difficult to date it beyond this range. You can read more about the American Standard line of instruments offered by HN White on this web site in the museum section. There are several publications represented here with American Standard instruments. One of them is at the direct link below:

    http://www.saxophone.org/museum/publications/id/78

    As for value, they don't bring much in today's market. The keywork is fairly antiquated by today's standards and the intonation is not all that great. You should expect to get a couple hundred for it on the open market if its in decent condition. If its in rough shape, its what I like to call an "Applebee's wallhanger".

    Best of Luck and I hope this information is useful!!

    Cheers,

         Mark Overton
         www.saxquest.com
         www.saxophone.org

    Reply To Post


    1. by davidwhiggs
      (3 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: American Standard High Grade Alto Saxophone Model # B301 - Value?

      Mark --

      Thanks very much for the information & speedy reply! It hadn't occurred to me that there might be helpful info in the 'museum' section.

      I understand this isn't the highest quality of instrument, but it does seem to my layman's eye to be in great condition for its age, other than the tarnish. No dents, good action, working pads, etc.

      A few quick follow-up questions, so I don't midleed any buyers, if you don't mind:

      • It is actually silver-plated, not just silver in color?
      • Is this the same thing as what's known as a 'white' saxophone?
      • The case looks just like the one in the catalog you referenced, and I would assume it adds a little to the value?

      So in sum: it's circa 1930s, not a top-line model, but looks like it was well-taken care of, and pefectly playable if one isn't too picky.

      Again, I appreciate your help.

      Cheers,

      -- Dave 

      Reply To Post


      1. by Saxquest
        (306 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: American Standard High Grade Alto Saxophone Model # B301 - Value?

        Hi Dave-

        Yes, its actually extremely well built. Its a shame that the market isn't stronger on this saxophone because as far as build quality is concerned, its far superior to a lot of instruments being made today. The sound on these is actually quite good. These American Standard saxophones have a nice warm tone, not a lot of volume, but lots of warmth and color. The biggest issue is intonation. If they just tuned better, they would be far more usable by today's standards. The antiquated keywork is certainly usable, but Selmer changed everything when they came out with the Balanced Action in the mid 1930's and the saxophone world hasn't looked back since.

        My estimate of a couple hundred was assuming average condition and that it needed pads. If its exceptionally well preserved, that would help and it could sell for as much as $500 to the right person. If it were repadded, it could bring as much as $700-$800 on the open market but you're really just getting the overhaul money back out of it at that price. Its also a saxophone that I don't recommend to students. This would be a great saxophone for the hobbyist to pick up and maybe try doing some repair on their own.

        To answer your questions: 1. It is actually silver plated. The body is brass and the silver is a thin coating over the brass. See the 1924 Buescher video in the video section to see how saxophones were manufactured back in the day. 2. Its not the same thing as a 'white' saxophone. Your saxophone is generally referred to as "satin" silver or "matte" silver. The instrument was bead blasted to give it a slightly rough finish before the plating was applied. 3. Sure, having a good condition original case does add to the value a bit. But, not a lot unless its a particularly collectible saxophone to begin with.

        Cheers,

             Mark Overton
             www.saxquest.com
             www.saxophone.org

        Reply To Post


        1. by davidwhiggs
          (3 posts)

          2 years ago

          Re: American Standard High Grade Alto Saxophone Model # B301 - Value?

          Thanks, Mark! You've been most helpful and I appreciate your taking the time.

          -- Dave 

          Reply To Post