Major Restorations

Major Restorations

Transformations of Art & Labors of Love.
None are for sale.

They all have very happy homes.

 

"Our Finest Works, Past and Present"

This page is a chance for us to feature some of the favorite jobs over the years. This is perhaps 10% of the work that passes through WWS. Sometimes our finest work is done on the least likely of horns... it doesn't have to be a five digit Selmer to be a fine sounding sax.

Timeline:

A silver restoration can take 5-7 months from start to finish; and few were over the course of 3 years.

Cost:

To do it justice, you'll need to budget $3000.00; some could be up to $5000 ...and a rare one: beyond.

Folks see my restorations and think I push that kind of stuff, but I don't. I like to see people keep their horns as original as possible. If you like the sound now, I suggest you keep your current finish, even if it's ugly. If you look at a lot of the classic players horns, they weren't too pretty. I usually only do silver and gold resto's on horns that have been relacquered or otherwise compromised already.

Ol' Sarge Wisdom: Is a Silver Restoration safe to do?

"I thought I'd post my answer to an email I received on this very subject:
          I do own a few of my own silver restorations... so I can say after owning and playing them for years, they definitely are a better horn, in every way after the process. my favorite is my selmer mk vi. it came to me relacquered and rusty. I knew it could never be as good as it once was without adding back the weight it lost after it had been relacquered and the only way to do that is by plating it. We only chem strip the relacs, so no buffing is done. yours sounds like it has been buffed and relacquered twice (that's how they look when the engraving is "barely visible")... this makes the metal thinner and therefore the sound is brighter. There are no exceptions to this, it's physics. The heavier horns like keilwerths and sba's play darker and fuller when they are at their original weight. I can verify that you will gain back a fullness and a warmer tone if you decide to add silver plate to it.
         Lastly, anyone who says that a silver restoration has any negative aspects to it, can not be talking about the sound. Regardless of whether they think it adds to the value or not, the sax will play better. Most of the nay-sayers are all about how it's no longer "original", etc. But if the sax has been relacquered, it's no longer original anyway, so adding silver does restore it and it does make it better. Plus it gets a brand new total rebuild, so it will be better in all aspects.
That's my take on it.
Regards, sarge"

Use the links below to jump by brand.

 

 

***Featured Restoration***

The Forever-Featured Restoration

Martin 'Handcraft - Typewriter' Alto- 1929

11/2012-11/2016 GOLD RESTORATION

This cool project was for a client whose father played this one. During metal prep I learned this classic Martin was once silver!...later buffed up, and "re"lacquered...well, it was technically the first-time lacquer coat but it is the non-original finish. It underwent massive metal prep with precision surface work to make it the glorious show piece that you see. There is no other sax to my knowledge that has ever received this much attention to detail. Did you notice that it took nearly 4 years from start to finish!?
The original plans were drawn from vintage Martins as inspiration to enhance the elaborate engravings (custom) and the shiny gold-plate finish!
This is a craft with tedious love built in, and many helping hands. Masterly engraved with enhancements by Sherry Huntley, even she will never forget this one--and that's a craftswoman who has seen 1000s of them! -- The keys, the glimmer, the beauty. I hope you enjoy these photos, our story, and the plating work and countless hours.
What you can & can't see are these details:
-Gold Springs upgrade
-Gold flat springs (custom made, prepped, polished, plated)
-WWS Felts (Custom sized/made, colored to customer's [red] request)
-Gold plated resonators (Custom design, polish, and plating)

MORE PHOTOS BELOW (and coming soon)

 

Sound Files of the actual sax:
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    edited-ALTOsSoundFile.martinGOLD, selmer80ii, Comm3
    8:58
  2. 2.
    ALTOs-Martin_Typwriters-Silver99k_vs_Gold-Restoration_92k
    10:27

Here's one of the several grateful notes that the owner and I exchanged near the end of the project:

Chadd, I can’t thank you enough for that audio presentation.  Yes, there is a clear difference and it really does stand out.  It’s like having lightly packed tissue paper in your ears with the other two compared to the Typewriter’s greater clarity, less diffused and  muffled sounds of the other two.  I can best describe the difference as simultaneously hearing multiple and parallel sound waves vs. a tightened closer band of sound wave from the typewriter. And, there is no tininess that I can detect either, just a purer, cleaner sound.

As you probably noticed, I also spent a lot of time polishing the inside of the key holes, removing excess solder and roughness.  The attention I gave to the interior surfaces along with the added thickness and “molecular bonding” of silver and gold to the brass (compared to lacquer) along with the medium resonators is a big part of this, BUT, an equal contributor which you failed to mention is the unbelievable attention to detail, fit, and “fashion-to-perfection” effort that you put into this horn. You are one in ten thousand and this project is a once in a lifetime Mona Lisa.

Scott  

Buescher 'Aristocrat I, "The Aristocrat"' Tenor- 1938 , #282k

This is a special project for a customer in Australia. Serial #282,803. It was his grandfather's sax, WWS saw it only as a relacquer, but I found silver hidden underneath the tight areas. This sax was silver to start with! We planned a very special project as this was right in the middle of when we moved WWS to the new location. This caused a long time from start-to-finish, but it allowed us to setup and invest in our new tooling to get such a restoration to an even higher quality of output.
Upon arrival, this sax was thoroughly (!) used, dinged, pitted (underneath finishes). It became a very extensive project. It easily will have 2-3x the normal amount of hours put into this type of restoration. Dare I say, I even had to stop myself from trying to make everything perfect; there would have been no way, nor enough hours to do so. Thus, we left a few distinct "beauty/age/use marks" to remember her years of loving service.

Buescher 'late "Aristocrat"' Alto- 1960s

This is a total silver "custom" restoration, for a customers son. Our customer played this sax in school and wanted to give it to his son, but totally customize it first, so we prepped it and sent it to Anderson silver plating for silver and gold plating and to Sherry at Artistic engravings, for a complete custom engraving.

I'm just getting started installing black Kangaroo pads, with Pisoni domed metal resonators. I'll finish up with a Premium rebuild, incorporating lots of Teflon and Ultrasuede on the moving parts, to make the action smooth and fast... and tech cork and synth cork for quieting.

She's finished now. this is a fantastic horn. the sound is big, open and warm. the looks are incredible. WOW.

Buescher 'Aristocrat I, "The Aristocrat"' Tenor- 1937 "Art Deco", #272k

Rare early version of the Aristo, with the small bell for a more focused, sweeter sound. Beautiful Art Deco engraving. Think Johnny Hodges tone. Serial # 272,xxx, built about 1937. No major damage ever done to it. Neck looks great and has a matching S#. I am going to remove a couple small dents/dings and do a Satin Silver Resto on this one, then when it's back from Anderson Silver Plating, I will do a complete rebuild/repad with metal backed Buescher style pads and snap the reso's back in. It just returned from Andersons. New pics above.

I've just finished her up, really quite beautiful. Beautiful is really the right work for the tone produced by the small parabolic bore. I would say it's a compact, or centered tone that is very warm and rich.

You can see the "just finished" pics. Nice.

Buescher 'Aristocrat I, "The Aristocrat"' Tenor- 1930s

Above is the before shot of this weeks silver restoration project. This is a customers horn and it was in good condition overall, but had been relacquered. This is the ideal candidate for one of my silver resto projects, the sax is not beat, just needs to be restored to it's former glory and adding silver plating can give them back the sound they were intended to have. I don't like to remove original lacquer and wont take a project anymore, unless there is 25% original lacquer or less remaining, or it has been relacquered... but the right horn can come out absolutely beautiful, sound stronger and have more resonance once a relacquer is removed and the new silver adds to the weight of the sax. In every case the resto has opened up the sound, like taking a blanket off or something.

In this case, i removed a few small dents and then had it Chemically stripped, no buffing is done at all. Then Anderson Silver and Sherry Huntley of "Artistic Engraving", work together to prepare it for it transformation.

I've got the springs back in, the pads installed in the keys and the sax reassembled now. i will be spending the next few days adjusting and regulating the whole sax.

Buescher 'True Tone' Bass- 1920s

Check out this restoration of a Buescher Tru-Tone Bass Sax for a customer. These things are beasts! Justin and I both had to take an end and disassemble her. Once we unsoldered the bow the removing dents work was started...
I ordered the metal backed Buescher replacement pads, so while we wait for them, I'll get started on the dent removal and Justin will be polishing like crazy....

ok, all the dents are out of the bow and bell. these big guys sure get a lot of little dents. In the words of Little Charlie and the Nitecats, "That's BIG" wood.jpg (209606 bytes) Justin "Wood" is wearing out his fingers....

.Various repairs and dent removal. ...and the keys are getting plated now... polished silver on the left, is being plated with 24 carat gold, on the right.
She's finally all done and playing as big as she looks. here are a few pics

there is really nothing quite like a Bass sax, but they aren't for everybody... they are big, heavy and take an immense amount of wind and embouchure to play.

Buescher 'Aristocrat II - "Big B"' Alto - 1950s

10-16-04 - Buescher "Big B" Aristocrat Alto: This beauty came to me from a customer, who had a fair looking lacquered one, that he wanted silver... so here we are, the lacquer stripped and sporting new silver.

I prepped it and sent it to Anderson's for a satin and polished silver finish, with a 24 carat bell interior.

This is a Premium rebuild, so i'm using lots of Ultrasuede and Teflon... I'm putting in Music Medics "Saxgourmet" black Kangaroo pads and snapping the original reso's in place.

and she's all done... a really warm and fat sounding alto and so pretty, you can barely look at it.

Buescher '400 "Top Hat & Cane"' Tenor - 1945

Custom Engraved Restoration

Here is without a doubt, one our finest works, a Buescher 400 Top Hat and Cane: these are the finished pictures, there are pics from the beginning of the reassembly below

This incredible sax has been custom engraved to Randall Pennington's specifications, with Sherry Huntly's Artistic Engravings, Silver plated as well as 24 c. Gold plated inside the bell and has been totally rebuilt with our Premium Repad, with Prestini Black Goatskin Pads and Solid Silver Resonators. Click on the pics above for a more detailed image, or click here for backside, bell, gold inside bell and back engraving, key engraving and Bell Keys.

Conn 'New Wonder I' Bass - 1920s

Silver Restoration:

A gorgeous bass sax upon completion, but it needed major love in the prep work. As you can see, it had to be fully disassembled. Rumor has it that you can't even fit an assembled baritone in the silver tanks, much less a bass!

Conn 'Connqueror 26M' Alto- 1942, #307k:

Resurrection 8/2011- was drilled to a wall:

The 1945 Silver Conn 26M VIII was a WWS Stock horn for sale after our Resurrection and Rebuild. This sax went to its new home where the owner will boast to his friends about how much his sax has survived...and, plus, it's a 26M!

Chadd resurrected this sax. Another Project of Love. PS-he's crazy...in that good way.
Sometimes it's just worth the duty as saxophone lovers; SO... this sax has been to Hell and back... and survived!!! It now bares battle wounds that are a visual challenge but not going to officially change the sound of this being a 26M.
Check out these photos below!!!

 The Bad: this was rescued from some bozo who decided to literally screw it to the wall! They put 3 holes in the bell/bow and bent the bell out of place. Another Tech worked on this one to get them filled but one did 1/2 a resto on it. They were filled with brass, soldered as necessary, and silver plated to seal the deal--and removed the bow and bell to align the body again (this is what needed done the frist time). also {sigh}, palm keys Eb & D were lost and are now standard 6M parts. We elected to silver plate them to match).
We will most certainly had to re-Gold the bell with 24K gold too. I bet this sax would take a month from start to finish and it was just about that (had a mental break in the middle to rest. heehee). Good thing these have a richer sound than 6Ms (in our opinion) and are worth playing, even with battle scars. Notice the hole repairs, the previously Lacquered Gold bell ...needed 24k Gold to be right!

Conn 'Connqueror 26M' Alto- 1940s

Here we have one of the finest altos in sax history, a Conn 26M. It's owner, Bo Pep, has had it for many years and it had been relacquered along the way, so Bo wanted to bring it back to it former glory, with a complete silver Resto and a Premium rebuild. Initially, i told Bo that we were only doing 2 restos a year, but now, i think one a year is more realistic, due to ever rising prices. Enjoy the "after" pics of this beautiful alto!
The following is a letter from Bo:

Sarge,

The tired old Lady I sent to you was so different than the one you returned, I had to ask her for a positive ID when I took her out of the case. She showed me her serial number and sure enough, it was the same Lady, but you would never know it.

She is drop-dead gorgeous, easily the best looking sax I've ever held and these old fingers have held many. But, as the old saying goes, "Beauty is as beauty does," and WOW does this beauty do it! All the keys are tight, low and light as a feather and I totally forget I'm holding a mechanical device as I'm playing - it's all fluid sound, just as it should be. At times I feel as if I'm not moving my fingers at all, just 'thinking' the notes coming out of the horn - a beautiful experience only made possible by perfect spring tension, perfectly seated and height adjusted pads.

You are truly a master and I'm certain that every horn leaving your hands is going on to lead a better, more musical life. There are not many of you around anymore. My 26M Lady and I are deeply grateful for your expertise and it's been a pleasure exchanging emails throughout the process.

(An unusual thing happened after I took the alto out of the case and put it on the double stand next to my 30M - I heard an odd whimpering sound. It was my Lady tenor crying over the fact that I had chosen the alto over her for the face lift and restoration. "Maybe next year, my dear," I said.)

With much gratitude and pleasure,
Fraternally,
Bo

Conn '10M' Tenor- 1936

A customer has been waiting for our 10m to get back from it's restoration at Anderson's and it's finally here.

Serial #272,xxx, made about 1936. Very little of the original finish left, but in excellent physical condition, minimal dents, no previous repairs. Rolled tone holes, big 10m sound. I plan to send her to Anderson Silver Plating for a Satin silver Finish, with polished highlights and a 24 carat gold bell interior... and while she's in Elkhart, Sherry will re-engrave the lady too. When she's back, I'll totally rebuild her with Tan Prestini pads and flat metal resonators... and a full Premium Upgrade, to enhance her old design and make her feel smooth and fast. SOLD

One of the modifications the customer wanted on this horn was a strap hook system that would allow more flexibility... so we co-opted the king zephyr three hook concept and it came out nicely, this will allow for much better balance.

She's 95% back together and it stopped raining for a minute, so i thought i better get some nice pics...

THIS ONE ENDED UP HAVE A RICH SMOOTH SOUND THAT ONLY THE PRE WAR CONN'S CAN GET. FABULOUS SOUND

Conn 'New Wonder II - "Chu Berry" transitional' Baritone- 1930, #239,12x

I bought this Mulligan era Bari in rough condition, but was very aware of it's potential, so i scheduled it for one of my silver restorations... here are a couple before pics

I just finished the Silver restoration and rebuild on this beauty for a customer. It is sold to our good friend Randall, in Japan.

I am going to do a somewhat customized Conn style rebuild on her. Prestini tan lambskin pads and medium sized flat metal reso's with a rivet in the center, just like Conn equipped them, but with a better quality pad. I will also be adding Ultrasuede, Teflon and Techcork to improve the feel of this old gal.

She's all back together... What an awesome bari!

Conn 'New Wonder II "Chu Berry"' Tenor- 1928, #211k

IN PROGRESS 2014-2017 --- Custom Project:

OK!, this great sax that has seen better days. These are great players, so I wanted to make it someone's perfect gig sax! AND improve the cosmetics! Slightly abused, but nothing major. LET'S MAKE IT AWESOME.
Ser.# m211,xxx. another great "Chu" in original silver, with gold wash bell (in good shape) with nailfile G#, rolled tone holes, everything we love. Overall it's in good condition with minor wear only on a few key tops and rods! Upon initial inspection, there was one main 'damage story' in its past: the lower edge looks to have taken a knock, the bell-to-body brace needs resoldered, the rear body tube will need aligned to the bow (de-soldered damage), and address the front knock, address dents to the high palm keys, messy solders, remove the unnecessary lyre holder, The Front F rocker arm went missing but I'll fabricate a replacement of some sort (if not, replace it with a spare one!).
Now, if you've never played a Chu, they are stunningly powerful tenors...big fat sound top to bottom. Ergos are not that great, but I know a lot of players that play them in spite of the 20's design and would never switch to a Selmer.

WWS SPECIAL CUSTOM PROJECT - "The Super Gigger":
~White Roo pads to be dyed RED.
~Resos: to-the-max sized Silver Resotech resonators--3mm shy of the tone holes!
This will be a stunning sax cosmetically, but I want it to make the guitar
players turn their ears! Other ideas:
~New Selmer Thumb hook?
~upgrade the octave KEYWORK (See progress photo).
~NEW case
~I even plan to include extra pads for your future needs! I'm just thinkin' of ya and
not wanting you to have to solve the RED pads at a later date. You're welcome.
Yes, that means Custom WWS Red Roo pads.
~selmer key guards???
~fabricating keywork?!?!?!? ... "project"...
$TBD
At its current rate, it will end up on "Our Finest" for the, dare I say, fun things we're doing!
Item #:WWS5.6S0.01.241.4-0

Conn 'New Wonder II - "Chu Berry" transitional' Tenor- 1930 Art Deco - special 239k

10M Bell Guard on a Chu

This is another customers horn, that needed some TLC... a Total Restoration in Satin Silver, with gold plated bell interior, as well as a complete rebuild and re-engraving by Sherry Huntley.

So, it needs springs and lots of little adjustments, and of course a really good set of pads...

She's all back together and i had my first play test today. she started off very nice, but by the time i've done three days of playing, testing, checking for leaks and clamping the keys nightly, i'll be sure just how good she is...

I tried to keep this one looking as original as possible, but used the finest stuff on the rebuild, top of the line Prestini, No Stick pads, flat metal resos, with center rivet, Tech cork, Synth cork, Teflon and Ultrasuede.

BTW, this one turned out fabulously, both looks and sound.

Keilwerth 'SX90' Alto- Straight

One of three projects for Randall Pennington. It came to us in lacquer and retuned to Randall in Japan, as one of our finest works. Silver and gold plating, custom engraving, with Sherry Huntly's Artistic Engravings virtually everywhere, and a premium repad. Best sounding alto I can recall and so beautiful it is like a piece of art.

Martin 'Committee II' Tenor- 1939 , #130k

1939 Martin Comm II tenor ser. #130,xxx. These are the most beautiful sounding Martins of all the various Martin models. Fat, powerful, sweet, lush, warm and versatile. It is in really good condition considering it's age. This old re-lacquer has lots of little spots in the lacquer, but no pitting in the brass. It doesn't look like it was even buffed, the engraving is still very clear. There are very few dings or dents, but a good bit of the lacquer is gone, especially on the solid nickel key touches (yes, Martin originally lacquered over the nickel keys and rods, on all Comm II's). So this one is a really good prospect for a Silver Resto.

I'm in the process of doing one of my Silver Restorations on it, then when it's back i will do a total rebuild and install all new stainless steel springs.

it's just back from andersons and is stunning...

Martin 'The Martin Tenor' Tenor- 1956 , #195k

Serial 195xxx, made in 1956. Lacquer is about 75%. Body and neck are excellent, no major dents. Includes non-original, but fairly good case. This sax is in such good physical shape, that i have decided to send it to Anderson Silver Plating and turn it into a beautiful Silver version. I can't think of a horn that sounds better in silver than the Martin Tenor and this is a very good vintage for them too. I decided to make this one a screamer, by maxing it out with Saxgourmet pads and oversized flat metal resos. i will start by hand polishing her with anti-tarnish cream polish, then i will begin installing all new premium stainless steel springs.  Springs are in!

Now she's looking good... the body and keys are hand polished, the Ultrasuede, Synth cork, Tech cork, Saxgourmet pads and oversized flat metal resonators are just about finished up, next comes re-assembly.

She's all back together and, as promised, this one really wails! fantastic volume if you push her, or warm smoky tone with a Dukoff Hollywood...

 

Martin 'The Martin Tenor' Tenor- 1956 , #198k

I JUST FINISHED THIS BEAUTIFUL "THE MARTIN TENOR" AND WAS THINKING ABOUT KEEPING FOR MYSELF, WHEN A GOOD CUSTOMER AND FRIEND IN JAPAN BOUGHT IT BEFORE I COULD SNEAK IT INTO MY STUDIO...
Originally a lacquer model, that was relacquered, very carefully, with no buffing, but to really make it superb, I chem stripped it and did S# 198,xxx 1956, a really good year for TMT's. i put in Music Medics "Saxgourmet" black Kangaroo pads and Noyaks reso's and this thing is a monster. it has huge sound, is full of lush overtones and can crank out R&R just as easily.

This custom project now resides in Australia, what a beauty!

Selmer 'Super New Largebore' Tenor- 1930 Gold Plated 13k

Named: "Goldie" for her exquisite shine. Here is another beautiful sax I am the second owner (outside of the family). It is 99% original Gold Plate and in excellent condition. Serial #13k dates it to about 1930. Whatever the closest step is to 'MINT', this sax is it. The only silver I see showing through is on the octave thumb button. This is a special sax with a backstory: bought new and gigged with in the Ozzie Nelson Band of Rutger's University while the player used gig money to pay his way through school (too bad we can't do that anymore!).
This is very unique era for Selmer because the "SSS" for the Super lineage was not on most of the early saxes, and actually mostly only on altos vs the tenors. See: Saxpics.com for more reading pleasure. Goodson's reviews will put these as the first saxes to start sounding like the Selmers we think of today. Check the Sound File. You will hear the spread power of the early Selmer. The popular VI Sound is very warm, subtle and smoother.
It arrived with the original wood case in rough shape. I recommend keeping it with the sax but using another main one. On arrival the pads are tan with large, light-domed, metal resos (like 1940s-50s selmer) that may be original! I will fully rebuild this sax with my French Standard Rebuild but substitute in metal resos like it originally had; shine it up by hand, and sell it for the next loving home. Let's talk about cool resonators! Gold Resotechs??? It will go for:
SOLD
Item#:WWS22.0S0.13.1071.3-0

Sound File of this actual sax (2 Tenors, 3 Mouthpieces):
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    TO EDIT TENORSx2-3MPCS-MarkVi_GOLDNe
    4:40

Selmer 'Mark VI' Alto-1974, #222k:

Matte Restoration + Rose Gold Highlights

Here we have a customer's horn lined up for our Silver Restoration. Mr Z wanted his long time baby to get that sparkle back. Here's what Chadd's got planned for her:
--Major WWS Prep work--Re-Engraving by Sherry Huntley--Andersons for Silver:-Satin Body, Shiny Keys and Engravings--then back to WWS for a Full Rebuild, new springs, special Rose Gold Highlights and Bell. "Mmmm..." Check back in a few months to see her return.

--The bow showed heavy dent repairs, pictures don't do justice. See unlevelness? It gets somewhat smoothed out, then more to do...  The backside had 'freckles' too. with some diligence, elbow grease and wishful thinking they are a faint memory now.
--...Hmmm, better ...closer ...ok...noticeable (moderate) progress
--+30 pieces at about 1hr each to Prep. Then the body sections finally got their much needed attention too.

Selmer Mark VI Tenor:

Project from 1-2008

We restored this one to it's former glory by stripping, silver plating and totally rebuilding a 5 digit MK VI that had been relacquered with epoxy lacquer and the tone compromised.

All done and playing great. removing that epoxy lacquer really opened up the horn and helped it to really vibrate again.

Selmer 'Mark VI' Tenor- #189k

Fully Engraved - Gold plate touches

A Silver Restoration project is back from plating and it's time to do some custom gold plating and rebuild it for the owner:
The engraving is just superb and next i will embellish it with gold highlighting, in key spots...
Here's a before and after shot of the neck octave arm here's the finished neck. i have the engraving on the body all gold plated now, i just need to take some more pics.
This unique Selmer is all done now and came out just beautiful. One of a kind.

1963 Selmer Mark VI Tenor:

Shiny Restoration

Here's a really nice MK VI that we restored in the European style. No engravings, just the Selmer logo stamp, clean and beautiful.

Selmer 'Mark VI' Tenor, #143k

Matte Restoration

This is a customers sax and it came to us relacquered and needing much TLC. So I prepped it, removed scratches, removed dents, cleaned up previous bad soldering work, buffed out small imperfections and sent it to Anderson's Silver Plating for plating and Artistic Engraving's for re-engraving. It came out beautiful.
Here, She's about halfway together. Just to be clear, i never do re-lacquers, and i usually only do my silver resto's when a sax has already been relacquered... it's the only way to add back the weight and beauty again.

This customer checked out our Rebuilds page and added the Premium Rebuild to this package. It really does make the action much smoother and faster.

It's all done. This one has a fabulous Getz like sound, like when he was doing the "Latin jazz" sound era, using my hard rubber mouthpiece... the sound is full and warm, but has a good crispness to the top. Just great!

Selmer 'Mark VI' Tenor, #104k

This week i'm finishing up on one of my silver Restorations. This sax came to us relacquered and needing much TLC.

So i Prepped it, removed scratches, removed dents, cleaned up previous bad soldering work, buffed out small imperfections and sent it to Anderson's Silver Plating for plating and Artistic Engraving's for re-engraving.

 

She's coming together. Just to be clear, i never do re-lacquers, and i usually only do my silver resto's when a sax has already been relacquered... it's the only way to add back the weight and beauty again. The finished product is beautiful and plays like a dream.

Here is The Owners comment on the MK VI restoration:

Hey Sarge-
You did a fantastic job and I don't mean just the way it
looks, the horn has never played better and the sound is thicker and
better than before the plating. Now that my injury is healing I can
really enjoy the horn. I can hit all the notes easy and the pad job is
top notch. The action is quiet, smooth and even. I am already thinking
of buying back my old Conn 10M and having you do it also.
Thanks, Teddy Yakush

Selmer 'Super Balanced Action' Tenor-1952, #48,3xx:

Project from 12-2005

I just finished up this Silver restoration, a 52 SBA from our stock. This one sold right away, as SBA's are becoming quite rare and are so very nice. 1952 Ser. 48,3xx, makes it a mid 1952 model. It is preserved very well and has no solder repairs or noticeable dents, but it was kindly relacquered about 40 years ago, with very little buffing. This makes it a great candidate for one of my silver restorations, so i will prep it and send it off to Andersons Silver Plating Co., for bright

It took less than 3 months this time... it's back and Holy Cow, it sure looks nice.

Ok and here's some pics of the finished product. the first day of testing / fine tuning sounded wonderful...

12-05: She's in her new home now... good thing she was paid for, or i might have added one more to my collection.

Selmer 'Mark VI' Tenor- 1964, #116k

This is a customer horn, great serial number--116k, but it had been relacquered... so we decided to do a silver restoration on her, which would allow removing a lot of scratches and add back on the weight that was lost through previous buffing, in fresh new silver. I prepped her and sent her to Elkhart, for re-engraving and silver plating.
The previous rebuild had left it in pretty goofy condition, so I did an authentic French style rebuild, with my premium teflon and ultrasuede upgrade. The customer wanted Saxgourmet pads and selmer plastic domed reso's.

 

the pics aren't as good as usual, because it's rainy outside and i had to take them inside with a flash.

She's all finished now, has an awesome tone that is full and powerful, the keys feels so smooth opening and closing... and she looks absolutely beautiful.

Selmer 'Mark VI' Tenor- 1953, #83,6xx

I bought this mk vi to restore and resell, but fell in love with it, so it lives with me now... Serial # 83,6xx made in 1959, i guess i don't need to add to the Legend about the 5 digit MK VI's, suffice it to say they are considered the best in the world and often command prices in excess of 7000.00. Made in France, the body and neck are in very good shape and looked beautiful after Sherry Huntley re-engraved the original engravings, and Anderson Silver Plating applied bright shiny Silver. The neck has no serial number and a lot of early mk vi's had none, but i'm convinced by size , shape and match to saxes finish when i got it, that it is original. I put in all new Stainless Steel springs and did a faithful French Standard repad, with extra ultrasuede and teflon and i even had a complete set of original MK VI plastic domed screw-back resonators, i used. The finished project is one of the finest playing and sharpest looking mk vi's i have had the pleasure to work on.

This classic mk vi is no longer for sale, but i will try to find another good candidate and do this type of resto again sometime. (It landed in Sarge's Collection)

Selmer 'Super Balanced Action' Baritone:

"The Angel"

This job was for a very good customer in Japan, who wanted another Total restoration, in silver with massive engraving, then a premium rebuild. This one got the full treatment. It had been buffed and poorly re-plated, so Sarge disassembled it... the neck was unsoldered and rounded out and the Eb tonehole and many dents were all removed, then it was sent to Anderson silver plating for chem-stripping and extensive engravings and expert silver plating, satin body and bright keys. Finally, Sarge did a total Premium Rebuild with Prestini's Hermes" treated pads and Solid silver Resotech resonators and using Teflon, to reduce friction, Synthcork for quieter and longer lasting bumpers and Ultrasuede, instead of felt, in key places. . It's a long process, anywhere form 3 to 6 months, but the results are always magnificent. look below:

Our friend Robert, from Goldmasters came today and 24 carat Gold plated the bell, bell to body brace and crook brace. These were hard to reach parts that were soldered onto the body, that could not be dip plated and he has done a beautiful job on a very difficult project that required masking off and carefully detailed work.

Sarge also measured every tonehole and custom ordered a set of solid silver flat resonators that cover 90% of the tonehole.

And I thank Randall, for this nice review of my services

From: Randall Pennington

Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2004 8:54 PM
Subject: The SBA bari sax review...at long last...
Hi Sarge,
Now that summer vacation has fully begun, I just wanted to tell you about the SBA bari you restored for me earlier this year. As you know, I have a pretty imposing set of horns (some of my very best are on your page of bests!). One of them is a custom made JK bari, a MK VI low A and of course the SBA. Recently I started playing bari full time in my salsa band too, so I have been trying out all 3 baris to see what works best.
Well, the SBA has won, hands down....the sound is exactly what I needed for the tunes I we do and the action is just perfect. The work you did on this horn is as good or better than what you did on my Buescher TH&C tenor. This horns simply screams, grunts, wails and honks!
I couldn't ask for a better restoration than the one you gave it. It is worth every cent I payed.
Next is the beauty of the horn...it is absolutely stunning from the plating and gold accents and inner bell plating that you had added later, to the elaborate engraving....my many thanks to your wife for helping with the drawing for the angel in the bell!
I just performed with this bari at a salsa festival and virtually every member of the Cuban band that was doing a sound check before us, when they saw the horn as they were leaving the stage, literally ooohed and aaahed when they saw the horn. And they were all BRASS players! One guy came up to me after our performance and told me he wished they could find a bari sax for their band. They liked the sound that much!
This is not the first time that horns you have restored for me have gotten kudos from non-sax players.
I don't know what else to say that I haven't said before Sarge. I love what you have done for my horns....I couldn't be happier!
Looking forward to getting another masterpiece done in the near future....
Kindest regards,

Randall Pennington
Fukuoka, Japan

1955 SML Rev D Tenor, #13,2xx:

A customer bought this one last year and we sent it off to Anderson silver for a beautiful resto. Serial# 13,2xx indicates circa 1955, one of the very last made before the Gold Medal model was introduced. so, this one is sold, but i thought you might like to watch as she comes back together...

She is back together and I just started playing her. I like too do a three day play/test on my rebuilds, so that i can check it with the light each morning, play it, then clamp the keys down until the next morning. This really helps get the pads seated and the horn off to a good start. The pics of her all assembled (it was Sspring, so you know... flowers; via the-Sarge.)

This SML has a huge, rich voice, impeccable intonation and isn't bad on the eyes either.

SML 'King Marigaux/Gold Medal II' Tenor- 1970s

A customer in WA state got me going on this restoration a few months back... it one of these fabulous playing, King Marigaux's, built by SML in France. The owner wanted to make it something really special, so i prepped it and sent it to Jason DuMars for all over body engraving and then off to Anderson Silver Plating for the works. As usual, it took about 3-4 months, but the result is beautiful.

The new stainless springs are in. The new pearls are in. The Premium Repad with Saxgourmet pads and flat metal reso's are in... All back together and playing like a house a fire, this thing is a powerhouse... not to bad to look at either.

 

SML 'Revision D' Tenor- 1950s/60s, #10k

This is another of our restoration jobs. It came from a customer who had this lacquer model in poor shape and we prepped it and had it silver plated and re-engraved. it really came out beautiful...
Those are the original engravings... Sherry Huntley, of Artistic Engravings did an excellent job re-engraving this one.

Bob, fom Goldmasters, did some custom gold plating and that put the icing on the cake... All Done!

SML 'Gold Medal II' Baritone- 1977, #25k

SML Strasser Mariguax Lemaire Baritone: This beauty got the full restoration treatment. It had old brownish lacquer, so we got it mist stripped and silverplated at Anderson plating, re-engraved with Sherry Huntly's Artistic Engravings, then did our premium repad. This is one of my finest works. What a big, strong sound! Huge tone production...enough to get you thrown out of most orchestras!

SML 'Revision D' Tenor- 1956

Just finished, the final phase of this total restoration, with Anderson Silver Plate and Beautiful re-engraving by Sherry Huntly.

here's how it all started:

1-23-03 Total restoration begun, with new Anderson Silver Plate, on SML Gold Medal Tenor. This is a 4-6 month process, but here are some BEFORE prep pics. There were some repairs that needed to be done, the Eb keyguard and tonehole had been smashed and pushed into the body, we fixed that. The strap hook was worn on the top inside, so we flipped it. Part of the prepping is removing a many dents as possible and we are still going over it for those. We got a crease and a dent smoothed out pretty nicely in the Bell rim. The sax has to be prepped and sent to Anderson plating for a beautiful silver and gold plate and then finally back here for a premium repad. Part of the fun of making a primo horn is a little customizing... here we added a comfy Selmer thumb hook.

Now that it's back, we will do our Premium Total repad and make it play better than new. Using Black Goatskin pads, with gold foil, Noyak oversized reso's, and synth cork and ultra suede for quieting and bumper materials.

She's all done and I hope Big Al doesn't HAVE TO SNEAK THIS ONE IN THE DOOR AT MIDNIGHT, SO HIS WIFE DOESN'T GET JEALOUS! Seriously, this SML has a great big, warm and distinctive sound that I can only describe as FABULOUS!