This horn exudes character and lyricism. It has the ‘that look’ in droves and it sounds pretty much like it looks in my opinion- just one of those horns. The serial number is 87xxx, US engraved and lacquered and it is has lived a lot. It has dings, dents, repairs, blemishes etc. If you are looking for a mint collector’s item this is definitely not it, but it IS a player. It very much has a certain complex sound, I would say a darker core and then a shimmering warm edge on top of the sound, and the very quick response that is typical of this model period.
The neck is not the original but is an earlier VI model with the low octave saddle, possibly European market earlier VI. That is what came with the horn and by the look of it, it has likely been with this horn a long time. I have experimented with late 80k necks on this horn and I have liked this neck better on this one; it has a certain focus and speed that is beneficial and somehow seems to let the proper character shine. I have recently put an old 95k neck on this as well and that is super as well. I will give the buyer their choice of necks, add a little more cost with the 95k neck if chosen.
I am not enamored of the pads and resos, but I’ve gone through the horn and got it playing quite smoothly. I can only imagine how amazing it would be with a proper treatment, but it’s going well at the moment and the pads are not old at all. These mid-late 80k horns are very rarely available now, most who have them are not willing to sell them and everyone is looking for just this serial number. Collector’s condition examples are extremely expensive, so this, given the serial number is a serious bargain these days. If this is what you are hunting, don’t sleep.