Saxophone Forum


by ChaplainMac
(1 post)
1 year ago

Conn Alto Sax C71607

I have had this Alto Sax since 1982.  I have not played it since around 1983 (since I was 12)and now my 12 y.o. son is trying to get started.  Based on what I have learned so far, it looks to me like it is a 1963 "Shooting Stars" model.  I saw an internet quote of $425.- to "overhaul" this sax (new pads, cork, small dent repair,cleaning & polish, etc.).  The case is pretty much shot, so I am trowing that away, but I think this is a pretty serviceable instrument.  Can anyone tell me more about this instrument and maybe give me a general idea of the current value and if the "overhaul" quote is fair or not?  Thanks, Andy.

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  1. by GFC
    (328 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

    That's a good student horn and it looks like it can be fully serviceable without too much work, i.e. no major damage repair. The quote is in the ballpark for a basic overhaul. Whether it's a good deal or not depends on the degree of skill and care that the tech puts into it. Be aware that the cost of an overhaul and new case could exceed the value of the horn, which may or may not be an issue for you. It's less likely to be an issue if your son sticks with the horn and you're not going to sell it. Your alternative is to take the instrument to a tech who can give an estimate for a play condition restore directed towards specific issues that are identified by inspection and play testing.

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  2. by birdlover
    (40 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

    First off, there are overhauls and there are overhauls. Second, why in the world are you shopping for a tech on the internet? Get out your phone book and find a local tech unless you want to add the cost and hassle of shipping your horn to some guy advertising on the internet. There are overhauls that include new pads only. There are overhauls that include new pads, new springs, and new cork. Not all techs are created equal but unfortunately unless you hang with people that play and have had experience with any given tech you are shooting with blindfolders on. There is more than one type of shooting star Conn. Some were made in Arizona, some were made in Mexico. Shooting Stars made in Mexico, called Mexiconns are to be avoided, their serial numbers begin with an N for Nogales Mexico. The overhaul for 425 bucks sounds like it would include pads only but if they guy says he is replacing cork and springs and doing dent work as well it should cost more than what he is quoting, much more, beware, you don't need a beginner tech learning how to do repairs on your sax. I would start out by finding a good teacher for your son. A good teacher could help your son in choosing the best horn for him or if the sax you have is worth fixing or is even a good choice for a beginner. You might consider renting a sax for your your son who may not even stick with playing over time and then you have just thrown money down the drain by investing in a sax that has little or no resale value. You can go to this site to read more about Mexiconns.

    http://www.cybersax.com/QA/Q&A_Conn_Saxophone_Markings.html

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    1. by GFC
      (328 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

      Conn started making horns in Mexico around 1969-70. ChaplainMac's horn isn't a Mexiconn. If the cost of getting that horn in good playing condition is at all reasonable, the likelihood of getting a better horn for less money isn't great. We're not talking about a junk horn.

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      1. by birdlover
        (40 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

        I didn't say it was a junk horn. I didn't say it was a Mexiconn. Even if it isn't a Mexiconn a shooting star ain't worth much. But as I said I would be wary of anyone claiming to do a complete rebuild for 425 bucks. Eight years ago I had a super 20 alto rebuilt for 500 bucks and that included custom pads and oversized resonators but that was eight years ago. I just had a super 20 tenor repadded but no new springs or cork and it cost 825 bucks by a damn good tech. You could send your horn to some hack with a hot glue gun and get back a horn that may or may not be playable or even worse. The smart thing to do is find a good teacher for the kid which would be the same answer for most questions I see on forums. Other than gee, what's your favorite setup? If people spent less time worrying about their setup and more time practicing they would be much better off. The kid is a beginner, and as such he needs a decent horn that has been set up correctly. An experienced player can make just about anything sound good but that does not help a novice.

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      2. by birdlover
        (40 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

        As far as not being able to find a horn cheaper than a good rebuild go this page and scroll to the bottom, surpise!! And this guy is a great tech with years of experience and guarantees his work. here is the link:

        http://northwoodwinds.com/forsalenorthwoodwindsbrassandwoodwindinstruments.html





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        1. by GFC
          (328 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

          Those horns start at $595, including Conns. I believe that supports my point. ChaplainMac comes out ahead keeping the horn and having a play condition restore, rather than a full overhaul, done.

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        2. by birdlover
          (40 posts)

          1 year ago

          Re: Conn Alto Sax C71607

          That depends on the condition of the horn which is a big unkown. You cannot tell the condition of the horn from a photo. And it isn't a matter of coming out "ahead" it is a matter of the kid having a horn that is playable. For all anyone knows at this point the horn could need a complete overhaul of which a good overhaul done by a competent tech will cost more than 595 bucks. And considering how long it has been sitting unused I think a full overhual is quite likely. ChaplainMac "thinks" it might be serviceable but then he does not have the knowledge to determine that. The condition can only be really determined by actually having it in your hands and physically looking at it, and even then it takes a tech that knows what he/she is doing. The horn itself is likely only worth a couple hundred on the market which may not be fair but that's how the cookie crumbles. I tried a shooting star tenor once and actually liked it quite a bit despite the fact that it was in terrible condition, that it even played at all when it had more leaks than a collander and you couldn't tighten the neck was rather amazing to me. It had a very good tone and the ergonomics weren't bad at all. If it had been in good repair it would have made a fine horn even it wasn't one of the "collectable" Conns. And I love Conns, some of the best horns made ever if you ask me and I have known some fine musicians who agree with that sentiment. It's hard to beat a good Conn. At any rate all this blather is rather beside the point as it isn't helping ChaplanMac any who needs to get the sax looked at, not guessed at.

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