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I am looking for some information on a Brittani curved soprano saxophone. A friend of mine has offered me one for sale and i'm just trying to find some information on it. It has Brittani engraved on the side of the bell and the number 9013 stamped below the thumb hook. There is also a 'made in Italy' label between the thumb hook and the number. The horn is one piece that does not have a removable neck. Any information would be appreciated and, in particular, is this a horn worthy of purchasing consideration?
 

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Photos, photos !

Orsi and Borgani, particularly, made a fair amount of fixed-neck curved Sopranos back in the day, and that serial # can dovetail with both mfr's...which isn't to say it wasn't made by someone else.

Visual clues might help to identify.

In regards to your last Q....try it, and if you like it.... and the price is right...buy it. Generally something like this (unless it's really something uncommon) will run about $800-1000 in very good condition.

Vintage Italian horns are good players...their reputation has been coming up in recent years as more people own 'em, as opposed to foolishly buying new asian-made budget horns. They are a good in-between choice for a Soprano....more expensive than offshore crap, but not as expensive as a good-level Yama or Yani.
 

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If there is no letter by the serial number this has to be a Borgani and probably also a rather late one I would say somewhere in the '80, write them to ask.


Jan Garbarek plays on a A.Santoni Parè curved soprano (that I think is a stencil of one of these two) , he says that the horn has unsophisticated mechanics but a very good sound
 

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Good one, Milandro...yes, the prefix letter on Orsi's.

The Borgani ones I have had are brighter than the typical Italian horn, even back from the '60's.

A number of Caravelle Brittanys are those French-Italian hybrid Malerne-Rampone/Grassi (?) sorta horns...apparently body by Malerne with some Malerne keywork and some keywork Italian....assembled in Italy. That serial # could also be a Malerne #. Hard to really give a firmer attribution w/o a photo of the horn...
 

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yes, one days someone should be finding out about the relationship between Italian and French brands, especially Alfone Rampone and Rampone & Cazzani (I tend to exclude Grassi from all of this if not , maybe, the first two three years of the production because they came very late in the saxophone making 1960).
 

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The only reason I threw them into the mix is because of the 60's Grassi horns I have seen with R. Malerne pinky tables.....the first time I saw that, I was scratching my head for quite a while. When I saw it 3 times, I knew sumthin' must have been going on, once upon a time.....
 

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For the very early Grassi production they might have outsourced the keywork and used it for only a very short time before they got their own.
 

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Yes, I have a curved Brittany soprano, purchased new from Marshall Music in Torrance, CA, probably in the late 70s or so, when they were more of a band instrument store. When new, I found it had variable intonation, but that was improved a lot by sealing the pads with liquid carnuba wax, a la Fox bassoons at the time. It looks good but I don't use it hardly ever, especially since I also have a Selmer Series III soprano. The serial number is 6780.
 
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