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Discussion Starter #1
This was a one-owner Dorsey belonging to a professional who played in big bands in Chicagoland.

Re-engraved by Jaice Dumars, Silver-plated with gold-wash bell courtesy of Anderson, overhauled by Chris Funck of Saxquest.

The characteristics of this horn are very similar to my 1936 Radio Improved and 1937 Balanced Action. The neck bores are very close but the Dorsey has the largest diameter followed by the RI and then the BA.
 

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Congratulations. Beautiful job on the restoration. Do you have any 'before' pictures? Was this the Dorsey model alto originally for sale on the Saxquest website?
 

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This is the horn that was posted on Saxquest. Unfortunately the post has been taken down and I don‘t have any before pictures.

It was a relaquered horn and the remaining finish was mostly gone so I went with silver.
 

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Here are some pics of the original owner playing the horn in the 40‘s as well as a pic comparing the three necks: RI, BA, Dorsey.
 

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Here are the neck measurements...

Dorsey neck base to cork tip via over the top 22.1 cm, via the bottom 18.1 cm, and from cork tip to the middle of the octave pip 7.6 cm.

RI 21.7 cm, 17.6 cm, 7.4 cm
BA 21.7 cm, 17.6 cm, 7.5 cm

So the RI and BA are almost identical. The placement of the octave pip is off by 0.1 cm.
The Dorsey neck is longer by 0.5 cm.

Here is the interesting stat...the diameter of the neck base is 2.4 cm for all three. In my original post I stated the Dorsey has the largest bore but that may be splitting hairs. I based this on how easily or difficult it is to fit each neck to the Dorsey. The differences are slight.
 

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Here are the neck measurements...

Dorsey neck base to cork tip via over the top 22.1 cm, via the bottom 18.1 cm, and from cork tip to the middle of the octave pip 7.6 cm.

RI 21.7 cm, 17.6 cm, 7.4 cm
BA 21.7 cm, 17.6 cm, 7.5 cm

So the RI and BA are almost identical. The placement of the octave pip is off by 0.1 cm.
The Dorsey neck is longer by 0.5 cm.

Here is the interesting stat...the diameter of the neck base is 2.4 cm for all three. In my original post I stated the Dorsey has the largest bore but that may be splitting hairs. I based this on how easily or difficult it is to fit each neck to the Dorsey. The differences are slight.
Thanks for the data points, interesting stuff !
I acquired a RI alto last year that I love but the Dorsey model Selmers are scarce, though
not impossible to find as I do see them surfacing from time to time.

Any noticeable differences in sound and response between the 3 you own ?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The tone of the RI is more spread than the other two. It has a beautiful, lyrical singing voice.

The BA and Dorsey are slightly more focused and consistent from the top to the bottom of the range. There is a difference between the two but it is hard to describe. It‘s enough to make me want to switch between the two and it keeps things interesting.

All three horns have been recently overhauled in the last year and are playing on new pads. All three respond well. The RI is a horn I have owned since the late 80‘s so I am used to the keywork. This made adapting to the Dorsey a snap since the keywork is identical. The keywork of the BA is clearly more modern and easy to adjust to when one is used to the older models.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Awesome pic. It is cool to know the provenance of your horn.
 

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The tone of the RI is more spread than the other two. It has a beautiful, lyrical singing voice.

The BA and Dorsey are slightly more focused and consistent from the top to the bottom of the range. There is a difference between the two but it is hard to describe. It‘s enough to make me want to switch between the two and it keeps things interesting.

All three horns have been recently overhauled in the last year and are playing on new pads. All three respond well. The RI is a horn I have owned since the late 80‘s so I am used to the keywork. This made adapting to the Dorsey a snap since the keywork is identical. The keywork of the BA is clearly more modern and easy to adjust to when one is used to the older models.
Thanks for the info. I'd like to pick up a BA alto in the future but I'm really enjoying playing the RI and I agree with your
description .
There was a video comparison of a late RI tenor and a Dorsey model tenor on YouTube but I think the owner removed it .
Again, just a beautiful restoration job on that Dorsey of yours !
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Saxquest made this transaction trouble-free. They did an excellent job advising me on the options for restoration, preparing the horn for the various stages including stripping the lacquer and polishing, coordinating the work between Jaice Dumars and Anderson, and overhauling the sax to factory-fresh condition.
 

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Re: Before After Photos

Thank you so much for the positive feed back. I will pass it on to Chris in our shop. I also wanted to let you guys know we do have a before after photo section on our site. Right now we do not have a lot of examples, but we do have a before and after spread of the alto you are talking about.

https://www.saxquest.com/repair-shop/before-after-gallery
Wow, I'm tempted to have my RI Alto done this way, but … it might cost a small fortune .

Amazing work, though. thanks for the pics !
 
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