Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ran across an ebay auction for a Martin tenor that turned out to have a rather simple engraving scheme on the bell that included “Comm. 1”, which I thought was odd (how did they know there would be a Committee II). After some research I found that the serial # indicates it was made after the Comm. II production run started, so that explains that. Key work appears very similar to what you would expect on a Committee horn, except the low C / Eb touches are angled down (which may have shown up on later Committee horns, but I associate it with the Comm. II).

Saxpics has pictures of a similar tenor with a serial number close to that in the auction, but that’s if; I couldn’t find anything at “The Martin Story” site about them. A search here on Comm. I just turns up threads about the Committee, first model. Anybody know the story behind these “Comm. 1” engraved horns?

[Doh - I put this in the wrong place. Somebody move it to the “Martin” folder, please?]
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Doesn't it seem just a little suspicious that no one has seen this model before, and now all of a sudden there are two or three "closet" horns that appear at the same time, with nearly the same serial numbers, and in the same condition?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,033 Posts
The Comm One ran to about 130K and the Comm Two started around 127K so I would assume that those overlapping series One horns were marked Comm.One.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Doesn't it seem just a little suspicious that no one has seen this model before, and now all of a sudden there are two or three "closet" horns that appear at the same time, with nearly the same serial numbers, and in the same condition?
At first glance your question makes sense. However, once you dig a bit deeper, you can see the old thread I mentioned is from 2016 so it is far from all of a sudden. Also, it started when Saxcop (who has earned an excellent reputation on this forum!) sold the horn and later in the thread stated it "... is a real gem. It is one of the best soundings horns that I have ever had and collector grade. I am glad you are so happy with it." Also in the same 2016 thread, Jorns Bergenson reported he had one with the same engraving as well. So it would appear they are just rare which is what one would expect for some left over Comm I's introduced after the Comm II's had come out.
Just wanted to clear the air.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Doesn't it seem just a little suspicious that no one has seen this model before, and now all of a sudden there are two or three "closet" horns that appear at the same time, with nearly the same serial numbers, and in the same condition?
They've been seen, they're just rare. That thread's from a few years ago. And the horn I'm talking about is neither of those, and not in "closet" condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Sorry for the over-suspicion. I guess a few other recent topics got my questioning going? It is pretty odd that they were engraved "Comm I," but the instrument manufacturer's methods don't always make a lot of sense.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician, Forum Contributor 2
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
At least when it comes to tenors, the only differences between the Comm I and Comm II are the bell taper (the Comm I has a narrower bell), the low Bb tone hole placement and the Bb key arm. It is unclear to me how the different bell taper affects the tone and intonation of the horn. I've got examples of both and I don't prefer one over the other.

As said before, the speculation is that there were Comm I's that came out of the factory at the same time or after production started on the Comm II's and that the two models were engraved to differentiate the two.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I've got the horn now and - it's a Martin horn with Martin characteristics. :) I've never handled a Committee One tenor before, so I can't say if it differs much from them, but I've had the alto and it's put together much like that. I'll post some pics later.

It plays on rivet pads & seems promising but it's pretty leaky. Slightly bent in the usual way, but not binding. Couple of shallow dings. Low C key guard needs straightening. Neck fits well, but the tenon screw is missing. Keywork is pretty tight. Overall nothing I see wrong that can't be set right without much fuss.

However, the lacquer's in terrible shape and is flaking right off the horn. That's the most immediate issue, really, because it's shedding lacquer like glitter. I can see it on the pads - can't be helping the leaks. I've already got the keywork off / springs out & I'm going to clean it and see how much of that lacquer comes off. Probably a lot.

Sorry for the over-suspicion. I guess a few other recent topics got my questioning going? It is pretty odd that they were engraved "Comm I," but the instrument manufacturer's methods don't always make a lot of sense.
Well it is odd they would engrave them that way, or continue to make them after the start of the Committee II run in the first place. Could be they were tooled up for the new line & they just wanted to go ahead and get the new model out there, even though they had old stock to finish off. I saw speculation they were made for the military, but they aren't stamped with anything you typically see on military horns. Maybe they were intended for a government contract, it got canceled, and they finished them off for sale on the domestic market.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
And some pics. Had a hard time making the engraving show up, but it's pretty minimal and at least you can see the "Comm. 1" engraved.

 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I’ll probably end up stripping all the lacquer from this. After a bath and scrub it shed a lot, but there’s plenty of cracking / rough lacquer that’s just going to start flaking off. I was hoping it would be in good enough condition a coat of carnauba would stabilize it, but I don’t think that’ll work for long.

Oddly mostly on the right side of the horn; left side lacquer is fine. It’s like the horn got exposed to something caustic on that side. Key work isn’t corroded though, some rust on the springs but all the rods were nice and clean.

Now got to investigate the best way to remove the lacquer. I think it was Mark Fleming who was boiling his horns to remove old lacquer, but I don’t have a big enough pot. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,336 Posts
Thanks for the pics. That is odd, about the left side/right side lacquer difference.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Well it's on the tone hole side of the body, so after cleaning out the neck and seeing what was in there I have to wonder if it wasn't the player who was the caustic element.

Thanks for the pics. That is odd, about the left side/right side lacquer difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
different engraving than the familiar eagle/star/searchlight? looks great. doubtless will blow like all get out.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Incidentally anybody know what the thread gauge is for the tenon screw on these?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
So I remembered I had a Comm I alto, and turns out the tenon screw for that fits the tenor, which is no surprise. Can’t find my thread gauge, though. . . .

Put the horn back together today pending repair etc. & slapped on a mouthpiece figuring it wouldn’t play at all b/c when I broke it down to clean it I didn’t bother trying to protect the pads or corks. Lots of leaks & can’t really play the top third of the horn in the high register but in the low register it blows through the leaks well enough I played it a half hour or so. Big horn. It’s set up with rivet pads, and I don’t know if I’ll even bother with resonators when I repad it. It’s plenty resonant as is.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top