Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Current production Buffet

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mostly alto guy
User ID: 7782093
Jun 1st 1:03 PM
Any notes on the Buffet S3 Prestige alto? Info on these is hard to find, almost as difficult as the horns themselves.

mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Jun 23rd 2:01 PM
I can answer my own question now. Without a doubt a great horn, but clearly meant for legit work. If you can find one, play it.

I'm buying one.
User ID: 0136334
Jun 23rd 6:22 PM
OK, M-A-Guy, where did you find one? Have you compared it with an S1? Are there any letters in the serial number???? C'mon, spill!
User ID: 0777594
Jun 23rd 8:34 PM
And what did it cost? Inquiring minds want to know...
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Jun 24th 11:24 AM
I've been to saxophone Mecca, the JK factory in Nauheim. The S3 bodies are made in Paris by Buffet and finished in Nauheim. I don't remember any letters in the serial number, but I can say it was 442, as they all are now. Beautiful to look at and to play, can be had for less than an SX90R. I played a demo model that hasn't been offered for sale due to a finish flaw, and it was heavenly. It plays better than my S1 (which has no leaks but admittedly needs an overhaul to play its best) and as well as my Anniversary alto, but it's a completely different experience. Seriously, if you do legit work, you should try one.
User ID: 7301983
Jun 24th 11:53 AM
MBushaw was probably asking whether there was an "A" or an "E" at the end of the serial number, indicating American (A=440 Hz) or Euro (442 Hz) tuning. If there is no letter, then I think it's Euro tuning.

BTW, I would think that sax Mecca would have been Elkhart,IN or Paris, France.
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Jun 24th 12:59 PM
Yes, I know what her question was about, that's why I said it was 442. I guess Mecca is different things to different people. I can support both Elkhart and Paris in that regard. After all, I have two French horns and an old American Selmer.
User ID: 9586293
Jun 24th 4:18 PM
m-a-guy that's 'HIS question..' guess I'll have to start typing with a little more bass in my voice. Or was it just my whiney questions?? Oh dear, now I've got all sort of identity questions stirring.
Yes, the question about serial letters was leading towards the 442 question. My S1 alto has an 'A' and sings in 440 (though I don't think it would have trouble playing in the 442 crowd, but that's just my opinion).
m-a-guy, please contact [email protected] and tell him of your journey. This first-hand info needs to be documented on hs sight!
User ID: 2818304
Jun 24th 10:47 PM
Uh ... that's [email protected] ...

I got the e-mail, though. Thanks!


I've got some intonation questions when you actually get the horn:

* Using a digital tuner and tuning dead on at A=442hz (making it simple, just tune an F# to A=442hz, rather than a G [concert Bb]), what's the overall horn's intonation? Some notes flat/sharp? How much?
* Using a digital tuner, repeat the process, but this time tune to A=440hz. Is the horn still in tume? What notes are off?

As afore mentioned, Boosey and Hawkes says that the only difference between their American and European S1/S3 horns is that the American horns have an A in their serial number and that there are "certian modifications to the neck". According to Boosey, their only horn that's been ONLY A=442hz was the S2.

IMHO, I think Buffet never really made any modifications, but that's, well, downright cynical :) I can say that Buffet generally includes different size barrels for their clarinets.

Finally, I find it somewhat amusing that the S3 that MAG is getting is from JK, because MAG describes the horn as "a body from Buffet, but with keywork later added by JK" -- which is the exact opposite of what JK used to do: they sold sax bodies to whomever and then those folks would slap keywork on 'em.

I am disappointed to find out that the sculpted Eb/C keys of the S1 and early S3's have gone away, however.

License to Blow
User ID: 8841313
Jun 25th 5:36 AM
I have two all copper altos A & E that was manufactured in late 1985, both have the sculpted Eb.C keys of the S1.

Drum roll please..........
User ID: 8868883
Jun 25th 5:46 AM
Pete, re keys, back to what was left in the parts bin I think! And perhaps when there aren't enough bits, they will finally jack it in.
License to Blow
User ID: 8841313
Jun 25th 6:16 AM
Finishing with a CYMBAL CRASH....

The difference is the tenon receiver and the neck.
The bottom of the "A" tenon receiver starts right above the high F# tone hole while the "E" starts right below the high F# tone hole making the tenon receiver intergrated part of the high F# tone hole. That is why there is a notch in the neck's tenon on the "E". This notch is not required on the "A".

The actual tube and bore, and all tone hole placement appear to be identical(thumb rest and octave key in exact location).
A couple of key rods and couple post near the tenon receiver are modified for the lenght adjustment including the octave mechanism lenght.

MAG is right... The ultimate legit horn with a rich and full voice no S-1 has.

Same engraving on both "A" & "E" as the S-1 but has engrave(stamped) Prestige instead of S-1. No S-3 stamping on both.
"A" serial 35xxx
"E" serial 36xxx
mostly alto guy
User ID: 8917553
Jun 25th 7:41 AM
So why is there a notch in my SI "A"?
User ID: 9607473
Jun 25th 11:46 AM
L-T-B, an S1 and a Prestige (S3)! Do you also have an SDA? I remember the SDA as very fast, and my S1 (32XXXA) doesn't feel nearly as good as my memories of the SDA (although I believe the sound may be better on the S1).
Oh, I'm talking Alto. and my S-1 also has the notch, but I have never seen a Prestige.
Saxpics- Sorry about the email mixup. Next time I'll just have 'em send it to [email protected]
License to Blow
User ID: 9161143
Jun 25th 12:06 PM
My memory recalls the action more fluid on an SDA.

I find myself at times hitting the bell key arms on the S1.

My "A" copper does not have a notch on the neck. I can not put the "A" neck on the "E" horn.
User ID: 0777594
Jun 25th 1:24 PM
What are fair prices on a Prestige alto and tenor in good to excellent (but not mint) condition these days?
mostly alto guy
User ID: 0122954
Jun 25th 3:15 PM
Price on the current production alto is less than an SX90R, but there is sadly no tenor being made.

Used Prestige/S3s are hard to find, seemingly much more rare than S1s, at least for sale. My guess is people like L-T-B are never going to sell theirs, and I can't say I blame them.

L-T-B, how much for both of your altos?
User ID: 0777594
Jun 25th 3:20 PM
I have a friend with a Presitge sop, alto, and tenor who may want to sell one of them to me, so I want to know their fair market values. I have a sop Prestige from the mid-80s. Heavy, heavy, but nice fingerwork!!
Marcus Melody
User ID: 0896204
Jul 2nd 5:59 AM
BTW, there is a Prestige alto for sale on eBay

No pictures & in french...
User ID: 9467593
Jul 2nd 12:18 PM
My French isn't good enuff to understand the eBay posting. Can anyone translate? A couple of good images would be useful here too.
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