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Discussion Starter #1
When I was 13 in 1957 my parents bought me a Vito V-xxxx alto sax. I loved that horn but stupidly hocked it after my first year of college. (I picked up a tenor in 1990 and started over!) I have owned a number of vintage Vitos (including a model 35) and Noblets, satisfied my nostalgia and now own none of those. I have read a lot of the history of Leblanc, Vito, Beaugnier, and Selmer. I have had a Mk VI tenor, tried Bueschers and Conns and Keilwerths, but have settled on Martins from the '50's for my best current sound.

Recently I tried a YAS-23 alto and was much impressed. Then I had the opportunity to buy one for $225, set it up, and alternate it with my Martin Committee III. It is lightweight like my old Vito, and the high F# and G "pop out" in the same way. The tube could be descended from Vito! When I look at the horn I see that Yamaha adopted the Selmer set-up and ergonomics, but hints of Hovenaghel (Leblanc's accoustician and designer of the Rationale and big bore clarinets). The heavy steel springs are similar. Maybe some of the posts are similar; I don't have an old Vito here to compare them.

My question is: how much technology, tools and dies, and other stuff did Vito give to Jupiter and then Yamaha, and even share with Yanagisawa when production of Vito saxes shifted from the US? Is Yamaha the inheritor of Leblanc and Noblet? What does Yamaha owe to that heritage?
 

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No, Yamaha has, nothing to do with Leblanc had had its roots with Nikkan Gakki which was the company that originated both Yamaha and Yanagisawa.



Also they asked KHS Jupiter (which had traditional ties with the Yamaha company because they were the Taiwanse importers.

KHS has lineage traceable in the ’30.

https://usa.yamaha.com/news_events/...etion-of-10-millionth-wind-instrument_us.html

“..It all began in 1963, when the Japanese company Nikkan established a wind instrument factory in Saitama, Japan. Yamaha contributed financial and technical assistance, marking this early venture as the beginning of Yamaha wind instruments. In 1965 the first wind instrument to bear the Yamaha name, a trumpet, was produced, and the company displayed trumpets, trombones and saxophones at the 1967 Chicago NAMM show. Nikkan and Yamaha merged in 1970, and Yamaha opened the world's largest wind instrument factory in Toyooka, Japan the same year..."


“..



1930

Wan-Wu was established in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

1945

The company was renamed to KHS after WWII.

1950

KHS Enterprise was established and registered, in Taipei, Taiwan.

1954

KHS KHS Investing Co., Ltd. was established.

1956

In LuChou, we were starting making harmonica products.

1957

Wind instruments were made.

1966

KHS Trading Co., Ltd. was established to export bananas and import musical
instruments, PE gears and equipments for school.

1969

1969 Taiwan Yamaha Musical Instruments was co-founded by KHS and Yamaha for piano production.
KHS Enterprise was divided into three entities:
wKHS Musical Instruments Co., Ltd. produces and exports wind instruments and percussions.
wKHS Investing Co., Ltd. manufactures and sells motorcycles.
wKHS Trading Co., Ltd. is the agency importing musical instruments form YAMAHA. "
 

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My question is: how much technology, tools and dies, and other stuff did Vito give to Jupiter and then Yamaha, and even share with Yanagisawa when production of Vito saxes shifted from the US? Is Yamaha the inheritor of Leblanc and Noblet? What does Yamaha owe to that heritage?[/QUOTE]

Remember that Vito is nothing more than a name that Leblanc US have had engraved on saxes made by several different manufacturers. One of those was Yamaha. This is something that both Yamaha and Yanagisawa did in the 1970s - probably to build volume - to offer "stencil" horns.

There never has been, to my knowledge, a "Vito" entity making saxophones; only stencils from manufacturers who also produced under their own names. So there has never been any "technology, tools and dies" for "Vito" to sell to anyone.

Yamaha certainly have done competitive analysis of other manufacturers' instruments. This is a standard feature of Japanese industrial practice (any good manufacturer, really). If the YAS23 was first designed in the late 60s (my guess) then certainly instruments from Beaugnier and Leblanc would have been considered, as those were significant players in the market at the time, as well as Bundy (don't know where late 60s Bundy saxes were made - was it a former Buescher facility now owned by Selmer US, or what? doesn't really matter for the subject at hand anyway) Selmer Paris, probably the remnant Conn/King/Martin products as well (those 3 were still limping along in that period).

So if you see features on a YAS23 that look similar to a Beaugnier, that is by far the most likely way they got in. A saxophone is a pretty easy product to reverse-engineer; the tolerances are wide and there are no exotic processes involved, and the tooling can be pretty inexpensive to get started with. Really, the choices about what features to include, and the design choices around those features, are going to be 99+% driven by marketing and manufacturing cost.
 

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They have never hidden their ties with bot NIkkan Gakki and KHS
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I just found this video of Eugene Rousseau describing his involvement with the development of the Yamaha sax. -- TMgrwGNJUzo -- It is as I suspected. Rousseau began playing LeBlanc saxes in France and knew Houvenhaghel well! When he began work with Genichi Kawakami, president of Yamaha, it was because Vito Pascucci (from which Vito saxes were named) was a friend of Kawakami!

And yes, there was such a thing as a Vito sax, an American built French Leblanc/Noblet/Beaugnier. This was the sax that Jupiter and then Yamaha worked from. So, from what Rousseau says, Yamaha saxes today are a long way and a far cry from the Vito sax I owned, but the heritage is in there. My yas-23 reveals it to my ear.

Before Vito died he said that all the equipment for building the Model 37 were in his possession in Kenosha, and someone could build that again, but it won't happen. One reason being that the ergonomics from LeBlanc were not as good as Selmer's. BTW on other forums here the relationship between Leblanc/Noblet/Beaugnier and Selmer is described: the factories were across the street from each other and many employees worked both sides of the street.
 

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It is rumored that Yamaha got the idea for their uniguard from Couesnon saxophones.
 

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Well, I just found this video of Eugene Rousseau describing his involvement with the development of the Yamaha sax. -- TMgrwGNJUzo -- It is as I suspected. Rousseau began playing LeBlanc saxes in France and knew Houvenhaghel well! When he began work with Genichi Kawakami, president of Yamaha, it was because Vito Pascucci (from which Vito saxes were named) was a friend of Kawakami!

And yes, there was such a thing as a Vito sax, an American built French Leblanc/Noblet/Beaugnier. This was the sax that Jupiter and then Yamaha worked from. So, from what Rousseau says, Yamaha saxes today are a long way and a far cry from the Vito sax I owned, but the heritage is in there. My yas-23 reveals it to my ear.
It is not a secret that Dr Rousseau was a student of Charles Houvenagel. Dr Rousseau recorded his Saxophone Concertos album on a Leblanc System horn; it’s pictured on the back of the album. So yes, the Yamaha saxophones have a direct line back to Leblancs.

I thought that was common knowledge. It’s certainly not a secret.


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My question is: how much technology, tools and dies, and other stuff did Vito give to Jupiter and then Yamaha, and even share with Yanagisawa when production of Vito saxes shifted from the US? Is Yamaha the inheritor of Leblanc and Noblet? What does Yamaha owe to that heritage?
Remember that Vito is nothing more than a name that Leblanc US have had engraved on saxes made by several different manufacturers. One of those was Yamaha. This is something that both Yamaha and Yanagisawa did in the 1970s - probably to build volume - to offer "stencil" horns.

There never has been, to my knowledge, a "Vito" entity making saxophones; only stencils from manufacturers who also produced under their own names. So there has never been any "technology, tools and dies" for "Vito" to sell to anyone.

Yamaha certainly have done competitive analysis of other manufacturers' instruments. This is a standard feature of Japanese industrial practice (any good manufacturer, really). If the YAS23 was first designed in the late 60s (my guess) then certainly instruments from Beaugnier and Leblanc would have been considered, as those were significant players in the market at the time, as well as Bundy (don't know where late 60s Bundy saxes were made - was it a former Buescher facility now owned by Selmer US, or what? doesn't really matter for the subject at hand anyway) Selmer Paris, probably the remnant Conn/King/Martin products as well (those 3 were still limping along in that period).
[/QUOTE]

Several things here:

1. The first Yamaha student saxophones were the YAS-21, which came out alongside the 61. The YAS-23 came out in the late 70s alongside the 62.

2. Vito never gave any equipment to Yamaha, neither did Beaugnier or Leblanc. That would be ridiculous for them to do since Yamaha was already in the musical instrument manufacturing business and certainly knew how to produce tooling for manufacturing. I can’t speak to anything prior to Yamaha buying Nikkan Gakki, but I’d doubt it. If they had, those horns would look very similar to Vitos or Beaugniers and they don’t.

3. Bundys were, of course, produced at the former Buescher factory in Elkhart, based on the Buescher design. Not that it matters, but I thought I’d throw it in.

4. The Vito horns made in the US were made from Beaugnier parts but assembled in the US to avoid taxes. Selmer did that too. If Vito Pascucci had the Model 37 tooling (which, BTW, would have been huge. It’s not like he could throw it in the back of his garage.) he was probably talking about the tooling to assemble the horns.

5. The horn “Yamaha worked from” would have been a Leblanc System, not anything made in the US. Thing is, they already had their own designs (which you see in the 61) and Dr Rousseau added to them with the knowledge gained from Mr Houvenagel (which you can see in the 62). They weren’t “working” from anything. I agree that they may have made competitive analyses, probably from Selmer for the 61. Everything filters down from the pro horns to the student horns; student horns generally are cheaper to produce and have features built in for durability (like nickel rods).






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