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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My aunt had this sax hanging in her home my entire life. When she passed a couple of years ago it was one of the few things I wanted. I finally got curious today and after a little cleaning I was able to make out the model; maker, etc. and with a little research here I am with this limited info. From the list I saw this sax was built in 1929.
There is R L on the bell.

Any and all info or links about this beautiful piece of history are much appreciated!
 

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Holton's have a dedicated fan base and their Rudy Wiedoeft models are more than admired.

 

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My aunt had this sax hanging in her home my entire life. When she passed a couple of years ago it was one of the few things I wanted. I finally got curious today and after a little cleaning I was able to make out the model; maker, etc. and with a little research here I am with this limited info. From the list I saw this sax was built in 1929.
There is R L on the bell.

Any and all info or links about this beautiful piece of history are much appreciated!
Nice family item to enjoy. May your aunt RIP.
Many of the RW pasted articles and pictures have not been re-posted. The new owners of the site "It's still in the works". Still there is much information to be had in the Holton section. Just keep in mind this is ongoing research. 20 years worth so earlier information may not be as accurate.https://www.saxontheweb.net/search/42305/?q=Rudy+Wiedoeft&o=relevance

I assume what you have is a alto? Be kind on the cleaning. Learn how to disassemble it and clean. Cleaning assembled is dangerous to its health.
Post some pictures if you can. I will help you with whatever I can.
A 1929 would be between serial numbers 33896 and 36654.
Here's tidbits for you to enjoy.
Paul Cohen's article on the Holton Rudy Wiedoeft Models
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice family item to enjoy. May your aunt RIP.
Many of the RW pasted articles and pictures have not been re-posted. The new owners of the site "It's still in the works". Still there is much information to be had in the Holton section. Just keep in mind this is ongoing research. 20 years worth so earlier information may not be as accurate.https://www.saxontheweb.net/search/42305/?q=Rudy+Wiedoeft&o=relevance

I assume what you have is a alto? Be kind on the cleaning. Learn how to disassemble it and clean. Cleaning assembled is dangerous to its health.
Post some pictures if you can. I will help you with whatever I can.
A 1929 would be between serial numbers 33896 and 36654.
Here's tidbits for you to enjoy.
Paul Cohen's article on the Holton Rudy Wiedoeft Models
Thank you for all of the info! I will definitely be reading all of it. I do not feel comfortable taking it apart though...so I'll have to look into that. Maybe just try to polish up some of the outside...? Some 2000 sandpaper perhaps? Its never been tickets touched and it's a (beautiful) mess. Tarnex (away from delicate areas?)
I do believe it's an alto from what I've read, and the serial # is 35457. Here are some pics (sorry for dupes, I'm exhausted and new here...) I've loved this sweet old sax for 51 years and hope to love it another 51. I wanted to play the bari sax in school but it was bigger than me (I was 13) and was talked into a clarinet and ended up bass clarinet. I wish to this day I had been talked into a smaller sax and not discouraged from the sax entirely.

Thanks again,
Tanya

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice family item to enjoy. May your aunt RIP.
Many of the RW pasted articles and pictures have not been re-posted. The new owners of the site "It's still in the works". Still there is much information to be had in the Holton section. Just keep in mind this is ongoing research. 20 years worth so earlier information may not be as accurate.https://www.saxontheweb.net/search/42305/?q=Rudy+Wiedoeft&o=relevance

I assume what you have is a alto? Be kind on the cleaning. Learn how to disassemble it and clean. Cleaning assembled is dangerous to its health.
Post some pictures if you can. I will help you with whatever I can.
A 1929 would be between serial numbers 33896 and 36654.
Here's tidbits for you to enjoy.
Paul Cohen's article on the Holton Rudy Wiedoeft Models
Great articles, I chuckled because one mentioned KC, MO. The sax and my family are from KC.
 

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Please don’t put any sandpaper anywhere near this saxophone’s surface. The sax needs to be fully disassembled and put together by someone who absolutely knows exactly what they are doing.

This is a great horn of some historical value (although niet unique or extremely monetarily valuable) and it will take some effort to take it back to playability and to improve its looks, a full restoration will do justice to this way more than any amateur restoration could aspire to do.

The Wiedoeft model is a very special model of greater mechanical complexity than most contemporary saxophones, its rebuilding and regulation is not something that one could easily undertake.

I think that in its almost 100 years nobody did anything to this horn , there is a very good chance that without the proper knowledge even only disassembling will add damage.


Repadding the saxophone would also add to the problems because, I think, you would have to do this by using pads as close to “ original” as possible.


There is also another interesting thing, there is a name of a Willem G Something could you please spell it or show a better picture? This may have been a noteworthy player
 

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OP, what you have there looks to be a gold plated Rudy model with special engraving of an owner's name.

Please for God's sake do not attempt to polish it, if you think sandpaper is the right way to go about that!!! In fact, you have already damaged the finish considerably around the serial number and on the bell - that silver color is the underplating underneath the gold, and I can see scratches all around the serial number. Please stop with the abrasives. Gold plating is very thin and very soft.

This is not an instrument of extremely high monetary value, but it deserves very careful and delicate treatment. That plating is already somewhat deteriorated. A qualified professional will know how to improve its appearance without ruining the finish.

These are pretty good saxes and they're musically well worth having an overhaul, though the resale value is unlikely to exceed the cost of having it put back into nick. As a family heirloom, that's not going to be important to you.
 

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Everything Turf said, above.

Now...IF your desire is to make it a clean, playing sax again, that can be done if you are willing to invest $500 in it.

IF, however, your desire is to just clean it up and make it look nice, which would also arrest the nasty stuff likely going on inside the key barrels (there are steel rods inside the long keys, likely those rods need to be cleaned, as do the key mechanics).....then that can be done by a professional for perhaps $200 or so.

The result would be...it will look much better, it will be clean, and there will be no more deterioration or mucking up of the mechanics. If, in this state, it is then treated with care (either left of in a safe, climate-controlled place as decoration or put in a new case and stored in a safe, climate-controlled location) the horn will remain in a healthy state should you, or another family member at some time...care to sell it or decide to make it playable.

Quite honestly, if you invested $500-600 in it to get it cleaned and playing, you would be able to recoup that investment if you sold it. IMHO, if I had one of those in my shop, and I refurbed it, complete pro overhaul....and the gold plate ended up looking 'pretty good' (I think it will, BTW) I believe I could get $800+ for it.... fairly easily.

FROM this point on, @tanyalin ...please...do NOT do any more DIY/home cleanings to it. Do not disassemble it yourself, unless you are very mechanically inclined. This is not a good 'first sax to work on' candidate at all.

You can ask around locally if there is a repair tech with a good reputation who you can perhaps get a quote from (just be aware, if you can do that - 99% chance they are not gonna know what this model is and are going to say it is not worth putting any money into - not because they are correct, but because 1) most techs are clueless about 90% of all vintage horns and 2) Holton saxes were more obscure to begin with)...

....or if you like, PM me as I can do either option a) or b) for you (I am a huge Holton fan and this IS a pretty rare Weidoft model given the gold plate, I'd love to help you on this one, Not being a shark here, just offering my expertise).

You landed in the right place by asking your question on this Forum.
 

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The neck is messed up. There should be an adjustable bit with a cork on it that slides on tje neck. Someone has put a cork on the end of the neck to replace the missing bit. It may alter the intonation.This horn will need a lot of work.....
 

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The neck is messed up. There should be an adjustable bit with a cork on it that slides on tje neck. Someone has put a cork on the end of the neck to replace the missing bit. It may alter the intonation.This horn will need a lot of work.....
Agreed, but sanding the gold plate off should NOT be the first step.
 

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Agreed, but sanding the gold plate off should NOT be the first step.
Yes, exactly. Everyone knows the wire brush comes first............. ?

Kidding. OP, please don't do that. JayeLID mentioned being "mechanically inclined". Even if you are "mechanically inclined", you need to know saxophones.
 

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The neck doesn't look like a huge deal. Indeed Holtons sometimes had their version of the microtuner, which was nothing nore than a second tube which wrapped around the end of the neck and could slide back and forth by means of a thumbscrew tension ring. A lotta Holtons lost those long ago. Looks like someone may have soldered on a fixed replacement.
Should be attended to but it may not be too big a deal....
 

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to: tanyalin

I have a 1957 Kohlert alto saxophone on my bench which I have been trying to disassemble for over six weeks. The saxophone, very much like yours, has long been neglected. If your horn was a common piece of junk then you could afford to 'ruin it' without a great loss. Your horn - very much "Needs & Deserves" the attention of an experienced, competent technician if it is to be salvaged and returned to a sax-worthy condition.
 

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Great articles, I chuckled because one mentioned KC, MO. The sax and my family are from KC.
St Louis was a big area for music. KC not far behind. All the fun part of the history.
Well Tanya you have a RW alto. Thank you for posting pictures. This helps us help you.
Not rare or worth much in this condition as noted above. Very respectable pro grade saxophone.
So ouch one.....Officially you've made everyone here cringe on cleaning this sax. Myself included. BIG OUCHIE where you scraped around the serial number. Do not touch anything would be my best advice. Parts bend if you're fiddling with the keys when in this condition. The wrong cleaners will damage the internal parts even more.
I'm suspicious this sax is silver plated. Was it hanging in a smoking room or near the kitchen? The pearl keys have a thick patina like the body. Don't worry if you can't tell. Just don't clean anymore to find out. If it actually is gold plated it's definitely worth restoration.
Take some time to learn about what you have looked at for 51 years. Like who was William C. Yeager ? What can you tell us about him ? That is the name correct ?
Do you play a saxophone now. If not this is no beginner sax. Still it's very worthy of proper care. The members who commented above are some of the most knowledgeable around. Heed the advice.
No need for me to repeat solid information. Including sending it to Jayelid for restoration. Handling vintage goods is a lost art. Go see Jayelid Not some local yokel.

G.
 

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Here is what a silver plated RW looks like cleaned up.
8158
8159
8160
 
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The neck doesn't look like a huge deal. Indeed Holtons sometimes had their version of the microtuner, which was nothing nore than a second tube which wrapped around the end of the neck and could slide back and forth by means of a thumbscrew tension ring. A lotta Holtons lost those long ago. Looks like someone may have soldered on a fixed replacement.
Should be attended to but it may not be too big a deal....
For our OP this is what the correct neck / mouthpiece assembly looks like.
8173
8174
 

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The fit is close tolerance and the clamp actually seals well.
 
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