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Thread: Never Forget Craig's List

  1. #1

    Never Forget Craig's List

    Mostly, people don't think of Craig's List for brass instruments, but that's a mistake. Stuff shows up there fairly frequently, and often at surprisingly low prices. For example, I've been looking for a really affordable Euphonium for a couple of years, and have seen hundreds of them on eBay, but I couldn't see them or try them. On CL, that's no problem. It works best in larger cities, of course.

    I finally found the perfect horn, a recent Blessing three valve Euph, with case and in excellent condition for just $125. It took two years, but in that time, in the twin cities of MN, I saw listings for many dozens of euphs and tubas of all brands. Here are some tips for finding interesting possibilities:

    Search broadly. The Euphonium I bought was listed as a baritone. I've seen others listed as brass horns, band instruments, and tubas.

    Search daily. If an instrument is listed at a low price, it will be gone tomorrow.

    Act quickly. Reply to the ad immediately, and go see it at the earliest possible time. He who hesitates won't be the buyer. If the price is really low, the eBay sellers will snatch it up if you don't act fast.

    Watch for stolen horns. Ask the seller for history and reason for selling. If the story doesn't make sense, be wary. If the owner plays, ask him or her to demo the horn for you. Can't play it? No reasonable story? Skip it.

    Meet in a public place, like a community center or Starbucks. No parking lots.

    If it's a lot of money, transact the sale at a branch of your bank. Don't bring cash. Be safe. If it's just a couple of hundred bucks, though, no worries if the story seems OK.

    Play the thing. If you're not a player, get the owner to demo it. Pull slides. Check valve action. All that stuff.

    Good luck. You could find a real prize at a great price. I did.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Central North Carolina
    Yeah. A quick look on the Raleigh Craigslist shows a Conn 12J tuba in what appears to be excellent condition for $1200, and a Yamaha 321 Euph for $875 (in "very playable but fair condition" -- mostly looks like just cosmetic issues, but you can't tell until you play it), both in Winston-Salem.

    There are one or two others that seem a bit overpriced. I do see these things now and then, but often the tubas are pretty high -- like an Amati that's on there now.

    I got my old Buescher 1924 Eb horn a few years ago for $250 off Ebay -- and a "local" pickup run to Charlotte. Of course, the owner insisted it was pitched to 440 and he could "lip it up" to play in tune. I know he actually believed this as well and wasn't trying to fool me . I still regard it as a great deal. And it now plays at 440 with a reasonable mouthpiece.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 12-24-2014 at 11:20 PM.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (DW 3XL or 2XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE 104, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba (with std US receiver), Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K10/112/14 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  3. #3
    There's a big old BBb bell front, front action Reynolds tuba on the Minneapolis CL right now for $895. Looks to be in pretty darned nice condition.
    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

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