Saxophone Forum


by skyfreak
(5 posts)
16 years ago

Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

Howdy folks, sorry in advance for the long, rambling post, but I think a bit of detail is in order so I can get some different opinions. After a 15-year "hiatus", I decided to start playing again. I started taking private lessons recently after finding a Mark VI tenor (113xxx) on e*ay. I've had an early-model Series II alto since I was in junior-high band, but always found it more difficult to play out with others. I find a tenor to be more suited for my playing style when playing out with others. The pics of the tenor showed excellent lacquer wear, probably 95% if I had to make an amateur evaluation. The description said it was newly-repadded (although probably not by a competent sax technician and only a small ding an inch under the neck strap ring the size of a sharpie head. Other than some moderate aging, the horn was described in excellent condition. I received the horn, and it looked to be in the condition described. I played it, and it played great! Now I haven't played too many MkVI's...only 2 or 3 from what I can recall. This horn blew big and easy. The lows had a nice resonance, and the highs were not shallow. The mids were rich with harmonics...the action still very nice and lively. In short, I fell in love...both with the horn and with the notion that I owned a Mark VI tenor! I took it to my local sax technician to have it setup, and they noticed immedately the neck joint had been re-soldered. There is definite lacquer discoleration there, but I didn't notice it for a prior repair. I noticed the plastic cap is hard to insert and remove, but the neck fits nicely. At this point, I'm starting to feel taken by the seller as they didn't describe a prior re-solder in the item description. I left the horn at the shop and went to contact the seller. After describing my dillema, the person I spoke to said they needed to contact their boss and would be getting back to me the next day. They did contact me the next day, only to tell me there's nothing they were going to do...CAVEAT EMPTOR. They said I waited too long to tell them (it was 20 days from the time I took delivery) and had already left possitive feedback saying the horn was as described. Now I definitely feel cheated and taken... I contact American Express and tell them I'd like to dispute the charge because the item's condition was misrepresented. They are opening an investigation, but the rep I spoke to feels strongly that it will go in my favor. But for now we wait... Meanwhile, I have my first lesson with my old sax prof. For the sake of privacy, I'll only say that he's an accomplished performer and pedagogue and well-respected for his virtuosity on the sax. He's got a nice Mark VI (83xxx) tenor that's probably as good as they get. He's also played on literally hundreds (if not thousands) of different horns...vintage and modern. He believes the Reference to be the horn of the future (he's blown on 54's but not a 36)...most of his younger students are playing them...and he thinks it's the best thing Selmer has put out in 35+ years. He looked at the horn and commented that he would not have noticed the repair either unless it was pointed out to him. Well, that made me feel better. He then tried it out...blowing overtones in true Joe Allard-fasion. He tried both his jazz rig and classical rig, and said he really loves the horn. He said it's in the upper 10% of Mark VI's he's tried and thinks with a good pro setup could be even better...rivaling his own, even! So here's the dillema: do I call AMEX and cancel the dispute, even though the used-instrument dealer (worse than used-car dealers) gets away with misrepresentation? Do I just let AMEX run their course and just go with their final decision? In today's market, I overpaid for the horn, but two years from now it will be a steal, even with the repair work. If the dispute works in my favor, I'll have enough money for a new Reference (probably 36) with a custom setup...with some cash left over. But, I do believe this Mark VI wants to be loved...and I just may be the person to love it. Thanks!

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  1. by franciante
    (6 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

    Man, just enjoy your sax, if it sound good, then dont worry about anything else, dont risk the possesion of your sax, just keep it and enjoy it

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  2. by landrusax
    (44 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

    Its hard to find a great horn, regardless of condition. A re-solder doesn't make it play any different, it just causes a little cosmetic flaw. I have a friend that used to say to me, "Are you going to look at it, or PLAY IT?", I always think about that. The guy was a jerk, but oh well, you're lucky everything else was fine with it. You know you have a great horn so why bother fighting over a few bucks? I have played many of the new reference horns, yes they are good for a new horn, but they are no mark VI. Good luck

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    1. by Dark Eyes
      (138 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

      Landrusax gave excellent advice. A little cosmetic damage is not going to cause the horn to explode. All that matters is the sound. All other things you can adjust to. Good luck with your new horn. Cheers, Dark Eyes (unloved thesis)

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  3. by ps
    (35 posts)

    16 years ago

    Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

    Hi. Maybe the guy you bought it from didn't know about the repair work. Or did he say he WAS aware of it? You say you ended up with a very good horn. That's a big plus. And the repair work doesn't affect playability. Another plus. I'd be tempted to let sleeping dogs lay. But then, it just burns me to think the guy got away with mis-representing the horn, if that is indeed the case. Just flip a coin, I guess. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Good luck with your future endeavors.

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    1. by Sax Mom
      (964 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

      If it were me, I'd contact AMEX and tell them I changed my mind, and am no longer wanting to dispute the charge. Then I'd contact the seller, and tell them that even though the horn was not quite as represented, I realize that people make mistakes, and that I hoped their mistake was an honest one, that they did not know about the resolder when they sold you the horn. Then I'd let it go. Then enjoy your Tenor, and forget about the resolder (at least until you try to sell it)!

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      1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
        (767 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\

        Good technicians can notice things like that, but it doesn't mean they misreprented the horn, it means that your tech may be highly competent and recognized signs of repair that you or they did not. That horn's been around for about forty-five years and has been used, it isn't going to be perfect. Whatever you do, AMEX will probably agree with you as you are their customer and CC companies tend to do that. However, if you take that course that won't be the end of it as the dealer will certainly take action against you, afterall, the way they see it you stiffed them on payment and still have the horn.

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    2. by skyfreak
      (5 posts)

      16 years ago

      Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

      After much consideration, I've called AMEX and cancelled the dispute. They've put the charge back on my account. I'm going to call the merchant tomorrow and tell them that I hope they made an honest mistake, and I'd like to keep the horn. Thanks to everyone who gave some good input. My wife pointed out that if I had to give up this horn, I'd feel very sad. I guess one could say we've already bonded. I suppose we all have our flaws on the outside, as long as our core rings true we're doing alright. SF

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      1. by iosis
        (2 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

        I think you should post the dealer's name so that others may be forewarned in regards to future business they may be considering.

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        1. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

          here is the deal, the way I see it... you saw pics of the horn on ebay, you got the horn, and used it for a few days, finding it's a pretty good horn and you made no reference about being mad about buying it at this point. it was past 20 days by the time someone (not you) noticed the wear... and now you're pissed and whiney about it. those are the facts as I see them. You're just benig a big baby at this point and are trying to start something that's not there. You have (as you admit) a great horn, that's in good condition, and you seem to have been happy about it before this little thing came up. The seller may not have even known about this, and in fact, you could have re-sold this and not have known much about it if you didn't have it looked at. Also, my tenor needs that done to the neck... and from what I've heard it's not a big deal to do or anything that will wreck anything. but anyway, man up and just admit you have a great horn and leave the poor ebay person alone! as far as iosis, you're an idiot and barking up a tree just to cause a stink. Leave the poor ebay person alone! I doubt it's something they knew about, and I'm also pretty sure that the pics they posted would have shown the neck and top area of the horn... why do people on these boards like to make a huge deal out of things? must be that time of the year!

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          1. by Sax Mom
            (964 posts)

            16 years ago

            Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

            Chiamac, Skyfreak had already decided to cancel the dispute. It was resolved. Why bring it up again and call him whiney?

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          2. by skyfreak
            (5 posts)

            16 years ago

            Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

            I saw the pics of the horn, true. The pics did not show that level of detail, and you make a huge ASSumption that the pics would have shown the neck joint in that kind of detail. The seller indeed did NOT know about this (as you pointed out), and this indicates that the seller did not take the instrument to a qualified technician when the repad job was done. The seller took the horn to a band-instrument repair shop, and in addition to the amateur repad job, the shop either did not notice or failed to inform the seller. It is still the seller's responsibility to accurately describe the instrument's condition...including any prior repairs. Indeed, from what you have heard, you believe that having this particular repair done is "not a big deal to do or anything that will wreck anything." Such a statement is quite an over-simplification. The repair in question can be a really big deal, particularly if performed by an amateur. And even if the repair is a high-quality job that does not "wreck anything", it can certainly wreck the resale value of the horn. Look at the Mark VI listings on Saxquest: anywhere from $4,500-$11,000; why such a big spread for horns that are all very good players? (Saxquest would not sell a Mark VI that is not a good player). If a $7,000 horn will only fetch $5,500 with a prior repair like a neck joint re-solder, I think it is a rather big deal not to disclose the repair, either out of ignorance or out of malevolence. Chiamac, you called me "whiney" and "a big baby". You called Iosis an "idiot". Why do you feel so badly about yourself that you feel compelled to call people names? If it helps you feel better about yourself, you can call me any names you'd like! I choose to refrain from such child-like behavior. SF

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          3. by chiamac
            (586 posts)

            16 years ago

            Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

            this isn't child like behavior, I'm just calling things out as I see them. (the same way everyone does, I just use different words to get my point across.) re-read any of my comments in my above post for my feelings the matter of this thread. Thank you.

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          4. by iosis
            (2 posts)

            16 years ago

            Re: Mark VI woes...feeling conflicted :-\..UPDATED!!

            chiamac, The original post describes the seller as a "used instrument dealer." After you buy an expensive saxophone from a dealer that has had undisclosed repair(s), write back and let us know if you still have the same opinion.

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