So, I was recently gifted two horns. One is a 1936 Conn 40B, which is really neat and functions, but also needs a bit of work. It's a bit hard to play on for a returning player after 20 years, although I am getting better.
The other horn is an Elkhorn by Getzen 390, and I'm pretty sure it's from 1990. It's shinier and much newer, but the third valve sticks (some dent or protrusion into the casing), and two braces need to be resoldered. It had a munched bell that was mostly straightened at some point in the late 90's.
I got a quote from my shop on the Getzen for $230, which includes: Ultrasonic cleaning, valve work to fix dent in 3rd valve, brass soldering in 3 places (2 braces and 1 slide pull nub), and remove/replace valve adjusters + port valves.
Money is tight for the moment, and I want to be smart about this. I'm having a hard time deciding if this is worth it. I know the 390 is regarded as a good student horn, but I'm also finding that they're pretty readily available for not a lot more than the cost of these repairs. I like the shop and want to give them the work, but I'm wondering if this money could be better spent on a more intermediate horn that I can grow into. I don't have better pictures of the damage, but here it is next to the Conn.