I rescued this from a local music store. My tech thought it was a pre-war model, and pointed out that the serial number was quite low. But actually it's a 1955 model, which is what I suspected (according to the martin story website.) What I didn't realize was that it appears to be a replica of a Handcraft Committee. I did try a variety of old Martin altos at this shop, some with old pads or different resos, this one had really old pads but sounded and played well anyway! So had the tech put in a fresh set of pads without any resos as he suggested. After playing around with mouthpieces for a bit I found it played in tune and responded properly with a medium chamber mouthpiece (as opposed to a large chamber.) I am happy with a Morgan 7M with regular Rico reeds for now, but an off-the-shelf Meyer 7M worked too. This sax was neglected probably due to it's looks, someone decided to 'customize' it by taking the lacquer off the bell, and possibly the neck too. But I am not sure if the neck is original. It's a Martin neck but it's hard to read the serial number on it, and since the neck doesn't fit well (too tight) and had to be crimped slightly by the tech to get it to work at all, I suspect it may not be original. Either way, it plays in tune for me but I do find the intonation of C and C# and around there to be a little quirky sometimes. What I really like about this sax is it has a rustic, tweedy quality, the tone and pitch is very flexible, and it just has so much character. The brass smells sweet and earthy inside the bell (why don't new saxes smell so good?) It sounds like a tenor in the low notes and a soprano in the high notes, so it can really scream or sound low and lush. I got the original case too, complete with a little brass plaque of a feathered-headed Native American which the alto fits very well inside and does not shake around at all. It is truly a pain to remove and fit the neck. I always have to be careful not to bend the octave key mechanism. So I mostly leave it on when I can. I had some problems with sticky pads (I guess because they are new) especially with the side octave vent pad, the bis key pad, and also g sharp, but I have been using Yamaha pad treatment papers and they have been helping a lot. I wouldn't call it a looker, but it's definately a keeper!