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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody. My 12 yr old daughter started off several years ago with piano. She has since switched to trombone which I love. A few days ago she said she wanted to play alto sax so up to the local used music store we go. They had several altos there,..old shooting star, bundy II, a Taiwanese or Chinese "Alpine" that actually played and sounded real nice. But what stuck out in the bunch was this old Holton 233. serial 220239 It's not pretty to most middle-schoolers but my daughter likes the ratty looks (she has two old student line trombones and both are dark with almost no lacquer left).

Out the door for $210 and I felt like that was a fair deal. It seems like pro horn by the way it's made and we liked the tone. Deep dark and smokey. It played pretty good on newer pads but there is work to do. I spent this morning straightening out the octave rod and hinge tubes that were working but bent up pretty badly. I also worked a little on some regulation and key heights and I will put a light down it soon and float some pads where needed. It has some cool design qualities. I like the octave rocker mechanism and the LH pinky table is as comfy as I've ever played.

The beautiful thing is that if my daughter decides to quit then it's mine all mine.
 

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I have a 241 tenor and I agree with your tonal descriptiors of "deep, dark and smokey" .

When I got it a couple of years ago I immediately started thinking about a Holton alto but
couldn't decide if I should get a 233 or... there's another fancier one who's model number
number escapes me at the moment . Anyway, I couldn't decide so I'm only with the
241 tenor at the moment - stalled, out .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I'm confused with their model numbers and names. I think the 233 is the "Revelation" model or series. The 232 and 234 seem to be more common for some reason. Really impressed with the feel of this horn. Sounds great too. It has plain rivet pads and I wonder if flat resos would have much effect on the tone.
 

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Ok yeah the 233 must be the higher-end one. That _was_ the one I was thinking of .
As I said I dropped out of the Holton alto chase momentarily as I was undecided . Glad to hear another good report.

I think resos would add some punch to that horn. My 241 has plain rivet pads also and I have to use brighter mpcs.
on it to compete with my other tenors in terms of projection .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the 234 may have been the deluxe model (Stratodyne). It seems to be the exact horn except the Strat has rh bell keys and fancier LH thumbrest. I'm not sure of the hierarchy of the 2XX series.
 

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I think the 234 may have been the deluxe model (Stratodyne). It seems to be the exact horn except the Strat has rh bell keys and fancier LH thumbrest. I'm not sure of the hierarchy of the 2XX series.
I believe the Revelation name was dead by the 2XX series--the Factory may have had the name still floating around as a catch all though, but it was at least not prominent. 232 (outboard/rh bell keys) and 233 (inboard) were made at the same time---at least with some overlap. There's a catalog scan somewhere that shows this. Stratodyne 234 alto was later...again outboard bell keys. I've never seen a 231 alto if they exist except for a 1942 ad (see link below), but there are 230s around. I own two 232s and a 241 tenor.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?70892-Holton-Saxophone-Serial-number-registry/page33

see post 655 for 231 ad

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?48586-quot-Modern-quot-Vintage-Holtons/page9

Bunch of 2XX info
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I suspect the 232 was a little more expensive than the 233? In addition to bell key orientation they appear to have different octave mechanisms and cosmetic differences (bell guards and braces). I love the G# pinky spatula mechanism on these.
 

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I think the 232 did cost more, but only like $5.00 or so. I used to have an ad that showed the 232, 233, 241, and 271 bari prices. They were contemporary models. I was going to post some pics, but all mine are photobucket, so issues....
 
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