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Discussion Starter #1
I recently acquited a Huller alto that needed a considerable amount of work. I just got the horn back from my repair tech -- Eric Beach at Chuck Levin's in the MD/DC area -- and it's very impressive. Great sound!....big, dark, full. And, Huller's level of craftsmanship is equally impressive. Overall, this is a really great alto!

I've already found some historical information about the Huller company.

I'm curious if anyone has been able to find out any serial number info. I'm especially curious if the 2 left-most digits of the serial number could be the year of manufacture. My horn's serial number is 363xx. Below the serial number is the letter M. There is also the number 870 by the neck sprocket. Given the Conn and Holton-inspired design features of this horn, I could see it being made in 1936.

If anyone has more information about Huller, please let me know. I'm very impressed with this horn and, for me, it's a great discovery.

Thanks, Roger
 

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I recently acquited a Huller that needed a considerable amount of work.
Thanks, Roger
What was Huller incarcerated for? :D

Sorry, I couldn't resist :D .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh man! Thinking faster than I can type..... Anyway, that got your attention. ha ha ha
 

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There is also the number 870 by the neck sprocket.
This is the pitch: an octave above concert A at 435Hz ("Diapason normale", a French standard used until 1939.) Some of the Hullers are marked 880 (i.e. an octave above A=440). The 870 ones seem to be more common. How do you find the intonation? I had an alto marked 870 which I sold to a collector: I could play it in tune with the digital tuner set to 440, but it required slightly more embouchure adjustment for the low notes than I was willing to bother with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
At first check, intonation is not too much of a problem. Some notes need adjusting.

Roger
 

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At A=435 the intonation on mine was really excellent. With the tuner set to A=440 it was still definitely good for a vintage sax, but it took some effort to keep the bottom end from being flat. To be honest, I think I'd have got used to it fairly soon: mouthpieces with smaller chambers helped. I was quite pleased with a Rousseau Studio Jazz, if I remember correctly.

This is the one, by the way:

http://s177.photobucket.com/albums/w237/sax-ony/Huller alto/?albumview=grid

Serial number was 362XX, with 870 on the crook tenon receiver.

I don't think your serial number theory is correct, by the way. A few years ago, I had a Huller alto, serial number 170XX. The design was somewhat less advanced than the the 362XX horn, but its features would put it no earlier than the late 1920s - certainly not 1917!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've written to Erik Greiffenhagen (Morgan and The Mouthpiece Guys) about my situation with the horn. Erik made my 6C mouthpiece at Morgan and it's possible that he may know about Huller saxophones.

I'm going to see if Erik might be able to make some modifications to my mouthpiece -- regarding length and chamber volume -- to enable the horn to play better at 440. Erik really knows his stuff about mouthpieces. If anyone can help me with this horn I'd expect it to be Erik.

I've had a good amount of experience with vintage saxophones and intonation problems they can have with some kinds of modern mouthpieces. Both mouthpiece length and chamber volume have to be taken into account in order to arrive at a good intonational match between a mouthpiece and a particular vintage saxophone.

I'll let you know what Erik suggests and how I come out with this horn.

Too bad about the serial number theory. It was too good to be true! ha ha ha

Thank you again for you help! Your info about 870 is very important.

Roger
 

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Both mouthpiece length and chamber volume have to be taken into account in order to arrive at a good intonational match between a mouthpiece and a particular vintage saxophone.
...and a seemingly reliable rule of thumb, which I learned here, is that length has more effect on the high notes, and chamber size on the low ones.

I'll let you know what Erik suggests and how I come out with this horn.
Do, please - it will be fascinating to hear what an expert makes of it.

Thank you again for you help! Your info about 870 is very important.
You're very welcome. In fact, unbeknown to you, I am returning a favour. It is because of your recommendations here and on the Clarinet Board, that I decided to buy a Couesnon Monopole Conservatoires clarinet!
 

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FYI. you might want to re-start this thread over in the "B&S, Guardala and G H Huller" forum. There's a fair amount of info on Hullers there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you Xax! I missed that section. I added a message just now to an existing thread in that section.

Let's continue over there......

Thanks everyone!

Sax-Ony -- Glad to hear about the Couesnon Monopole. Please send me a private message and tell me more about how your CM is working for you.

Roger
 

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Since Saxismyaxe has kindly moved this thread to the right place, perhaps we should continue here after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you!

The latest news is that Erik does not think my 6C needs any modifications after all. So, I'm going to take the horn back to my repair tech and he'll see if he can make any adjustments (like key height) to help the problem areas. Overall, the horn's intonation is not all that bad with 440 tuning. It's rather like playing a Selmer again. ha ha ha I've become spoiled with Bueschers.

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd like to circle back and let folks know how the Huller is working for me. Man, I really love this horn! Its naturally full and dark sound really does it for me. I first used a Klassik string lig on it and it sounded fine. However, I was looking for even more resonance so I switched over to an Optimum (with plate #1). This lig really brings out the Huller/6C's sound. Intonation is pretty decent. The palm keys are sharp but I'm adjusting to that. My repair tech is going to check that out soon and see if he can do anything to help. As it stands, the horn works perfectly fine for me in an ensemble.

Truly, this is a great find!

Roger
 
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