Tiny bit of back story:
I am an assistant in a horn repair shop in a large music store. I've been helping go through instruments that have been collecting dust on shelves for years and determining what's salvageable. I've played saxophone for 20 years so brass, while familiar to me, is rather new territory.

Today I pulled down a large case with no tags identifying what it was, just a hand written tag saying "Display Only" and covered in a half inch layer of dust (barely exaggerating). I opened it up, and lo and behold, a Mercedes Bach Marching Baritone! At least I believe that's what it is. I can't actually find anything online collaborating that this instrument exists at all, or is legit.

I looked it over and saw why it's "Display Only." Whoever last worked on it years ago looks like they did a number on it. The 3rd valve is an absolute mess - completely threaded stem, dings throughout, and the soldered on bit at the bottom was hidden in the depths of the case (I gently squeezed it back into place, see pix). Basically, the valve is trash and isn't salvageable. I managed to find one of the end caps in a misc box of parts, and a key that would fit if the stem wasn't wrecked, but no replacement valve.

Does anyone know where I can find a replacement valve for this, or if it's even worth it? I'd hate to have to place this on the junk shelf since other marching baritones can fetch $2k in good condition, but at this point it's in danger of sitting on a shelf for another 10 years.


Active Member
I guess from your post that you are from the US. the marching baritone is not widely used in the UK, so I doubt there is much experience of it over here. I would post the question on Tubenet, they are more American based and might give you an answer,
Good luck

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I might have missed it but did you say what make and model was marked on the Bell? I couldn’t make anything out on the photos but there is something there.

I would not write the valve off. Some clever person might be able to salvage it, but if not then compare it to some second hand spare. It looks like a non compensating instrument, some times the third and first valves look the same and that might help with spare parts. The valve set might be common to other instruments by the same manufacturer or even common to more than one manufacturer - some companies, in some parts of the world, just manufacture valves.

As above USA based forums like Tubenet are your best bet, and if all else fails then you might like to sell it on the likes of eBay for spares or repairs. Good luck.
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