Old Dog New Saxophones’ Charley Krachy

January 09, 2020 I Profile

Dogged Determination

By Kasia White

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is a common saying, but for Charley Krachy, a seasoned business manager and saxophonist, those eight little words changed his life after hearing them from a hiring manager at the end of an interview.

“As he was walked me to the door… he literally said that” Krachy recalled with a laugh. “So, I got out on the sidewalk, and I said to myself, ‘It’s time to start your own thing and be your own boss.’ That was my motivation.”

“I said to myself, ‘It’s time to start your own thing and be your own boss.’”

A few months later, in 2018, Krachy founded Old Dog New Saxophones, a musical instrument company that sources high-quality saxophones from an established Taiwanese manufacturer.

“Gu Tai is the company that I’m representing,” Krachy said, noting that he did a lot of research before partnering with the overseas horn manufacturer. “They’ve been in business about 30 years. They were making saxophone parts for other companies, and about five years ago, they decided to make their own line.”

But before Charley reached out to Gu Tai and asked to be its East Coast representative, he did his homework.

“If I was going to put a lot of resources into starting a company, I wanted a quality product,” Krachy said. “So I ordered some of their horns, and I tested them, and I had friends test them.”

What was the response? “It’s all been positive. I have not had any negative feedback,” Krachy said. “The quality equals the horns you can buy in this country.”

Fast forward to today, and customers can purchase professional alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, as well as mouthpieces and accessories such as reed holders and stands, on the store’s website and at Ford Piano in Jefferson Valley, New York, located about 50 miles north of New York City. “Ford Piano is an established fourth-generation piano rebuilder, and they have a beautiful piano showroom in the Jefferson Valley Mall, and I have a display there,” Krachy explained. “People can walk in that store and buy a saxophone.”

The saxophones range in price from $1,500 up to $3,000, and each one is hand-hammered by skilled craftsmen more than 500 times in order to produce an excellent timbre, according to the About page on Old Dog New Saxophone’s website.

“These are really nice horns,” Krachy added. “Gu Tai just made a titanium alloy soprano. Not a lot of people are doing that. It’s a nice light horn. I have an artist in Sweden who is a professional musician but apparently has an issue with his shoulder, and he’s going to order this horn from me because it’s so light and manageable.”

Another endorsee Krachy mentioned was Joe Giardullo, a soprano saxophonist and composer who is known for his work with Joe McPhee.

“I’ve never endorsed or recommended any modern soprano saxophone — until now,” reads a letter by Giardullo that’s featured on the company’s website. “The first time I played this titanium alloy, one-piece soprano sax, I knew it was a pro-level horn. Then I learned it is a pro-level horn at intermediate price. If you are considering your first soprano or a new horn upgrade, be sure to check this GT titanium alloy, brushed or matte finish soprano from Old Dog New Saxophones.”

As Old Dog New Saxophones continues to strengthen its portfolio of endorsees and garner interest, the man behind the operation is hyper-focused on building up its inventory.

“I want to grow this business,” Krachy said simply, “and I’m learning as I go.” MI

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