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Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby tubajones93 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:03 pm

I found this Mirafone for sale online. The marking on the bell is 6808. I'm not really familiar with the model marking so I'd like to see if anyone has some knowledge.

The horn looks to be in pretty rough shape. Serious dents, potentially re soldered in spots at first glance. Is this worth looking at, if so at what kind of price range?

Photos : https://imgur.com/gallery/DUuue" target="_blank" target="_blank
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby Stryk » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:26 pm

BBb 186 made in 1971.
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby Dan Bradley » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:53 pm

That number is indeed the serial number.

Some other indicators are the "f" in Mirafone vs. the "ph" in Miraphone, which verifies the time period, but also indicates that the horn was made for the American market. I have a 1974 186CC, which looks pretty much identical, except it's in like-new condition, unlike this horn. It's a little sad to see such a beautiful instrument so gnarled up. Hopefully it is from use and not abuse. It's hard to know if the horn plays well or not without trying it due to all of the damage. It has the beautiful s-linkage valves. What are they selling this for? If it's like $2k-$3k, it might be worth getting and putting in $1000 of refurb work. Definitely a classic instrument!

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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby The Big Ben » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:58 pm

tubajones93 wrote:I found this Mirafone for sale online. The marking on the bell is 6808. I'm not really familiar with the model marking so I'd like to see if anyone has some knowledge.

The horn looks to be in pretty rough shape. Serious dents, potentially re soldered in spots at first glance. Is this worth looking at, if so at what kind of price range?

Photos : https://imgur.com/gallery/DUuue" target="


If it plays well and the valves are not noisy, $1000. If it doesn't play well, it may have air leaks somewhere from the dents and poor handling. If it doesn't play well and/or the valves are noisy, pass it by. Horns get like this from abuse. The cost of having a *good* tech refurbishing this is too high to make it affordable. Pay more for a better one right from the get go.
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby Dan Bradley » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:03 pm

It sounds like Big Ben knows what's up. If it is indeed a BBb, then I imagine that this was likely a school instrument that was beat to hell. Too bad.

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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby the elephant » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:54 pm

Keep in mind that if this is in NOLA (one of the pics implies that) that a lot of horns stolen during Katrina in 2005 are still being sold off on Craigslist in the NOLA and Baton Rouge areas. I have been disappointed in this manner several times in the past, and have also had some sales end up being attempts to rob me. Avoid horns for sale in the New Orleans area unless you *know* it is legit and SAFE.
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby tubajones93 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:25 pm

the elephant wrote:Keep in mind that if this is in NOLA (one of the pics implies that) that a lot of horns stolen during Katrina in 2005 are still being sold off on Craigslist in the NOLA and Baton Rouge areas. I have been disappointed in this manner several times in the past, and have also had some sales end up being attempts to rob me. Avoid horns for sale in the New Orleans area unless you *know* it is legit and SAFE.


Thanks for these helpful responses. While I would like to see this horn refurbished back to life, it looks to be in very poor shape and I am concerned by the sellers lack of knowledge about the horn & response of "it's in good condition" and "she looks bad but sounds great" when I asked about the valve action and any potential leaks.

There are just too many red flags.
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby scottw » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:37 pm

I have to say, my 186 from the same year was in a lot worse shape than this one. At the time I spent around $500 to get it in shape--literally!!--and another $500. for a Mirafone nickle silver lead pipe [red rot]. It wins no beauty prizes, but it plays very well, weighs 15 lbs. and sounds excellent. Yes, beware of NOLA scams, but if it checks out [ask the police if that serial number shows up on reports?] and you can buy it for a couple thousand, it may well be worth buying. If you don't like the sound, you can usually get +/- $4000 if it is good playing condition.
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby Cameron Gates » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:32 pm

I think we are ignoring the elephant in the room: the bell ring. It is a hot mess and should probably be addressed.

I would be shocked if having the bell alone rebuilt with a new ring would be less than $1000. Shocked. How much would a Chinese replacement bell be? $1000 with install? Maybe more I’m guessing.

Be careful.
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Re: Opinion on horn found for sale

Postby Stryk » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:44 am

Mine was a lot worse than that. A shop took out most of the dents, straightened the bell and leaded the places the bell was torn. Back then I think it was $250 - double that for today's price. Very well worth it - they are good players.
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