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Hi, I'm from Quebec so sorry if there are some mistakes. I am currently playing on a Boosey and hawkes 400 (I know it's crap) and I'd like to get something better. I have the possiblity to buy a tenor Dolnet bel-air 1960 for around 200$ BUT ... it would cost me 500$ to make it playable. Should I buy it or not? Here are some pics of the sax. And how much do you think I could get out of my tenor Boosey (very good condition)



Thanks a lot
 

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A playable Belair for $700.00 is definitely worth it. They are very good horns with a nice big sound like a good Conn Chu Berry. A little more idiosyncratic than other horns perhaps but well worth the effort IMO. If you decide not to take it turn me on to it.
 

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I got a silver plated "dollie" bel air tenor, and it's a real player.

Smooth like an early buescher 400

On usahorn.com you'll find a belair which gives you an indication of it's value.

Grtz. Sebo
 

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olaiiio, out of curiosity, what is the serial number on that Dolnet and what were you told that dated it to 1960? I'm curious because I've not seen any reliable Dolnet serial number charts.

Welcome to SOTW by the way.....
 

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hornimus said:
olaiiio, out of curiosity, what is the serial number on that Dolnet and what were you told that dated it to 1960? I'm curious because I've not seen any reliable Dolnet serial number charts.

Welcome to SOTW by the way.....
The only more or less reliable indication of my horn is the one I got at saxpics.com

serialnr. 41xxxC dates my belair tenor around 1950
 

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The only more or less reliable info on manufacturingdate of my horn I got from saxpics.com.

My silverplated belair tenor has serialnr. 41929C.
This dates it about 1948/1950.

I managed to find the sax' first owner just before he died.
He told me he bought it new at age of 20.
This was in 1948.

Maybe on of the members can use this info for some use 9 I am thinking for instance of Uwe ).
 

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Mine:
 

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Be very careful that is not a high pitched horn. If nothing else, you should be able to check C# with a tuner. One of our more knowledgeable members had a real fiasco with a HP Dolnet.
 

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Olaiiio
I second other comments incl. Saintsday's.
Is it a tenor or an alto? tenors are better in my limited experience (ergos, intonation) but pls check intonation before you buy (if you can play it).
Yr price sounds OK. Price of the Bel Air tenor at USAHorn doesn't reflect the real marketprice IMHO -- that one is more of a collectible given its condition (it's a bloody good player too, I've t/p it).
 

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Provided that the Dolnet is Kosher intonation-wise , the altos are very good indeed.
A Bel Air alto is beautiful horn to play and can have a nippy action. The Tenors are very good too but they are on the heavy side and their keywork is noticeably less ergonomic than a modern horn, but that is a price that most Vintage horns player are willing to pay.
Of course the ones that one should be on the look out for are the M70's, the most modern and special horn that Dolnet ever built.

700$ is not a lot of money for a good saxophone!

There is no reliable serial chart and, my guess is that many horns were produced and were left unsold throughout the period of the WWII (probably hidden from the Germans who would have used the metal) and found their way to the market after the war making a very difficult to ID the horns exactly (and would explain the HP like the one I bought :( which were definitely in use in Marching Bands al late as the late '70 in Holland and Belgium)
 
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