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Acorn Cleveland Alto, Vito Tenor
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hope I am in the right place -- please redirect me if not.

Did something today for the first time -- I bid on and won an auction, on the shopgoodwill.com site. Very unusual behavior for me. Anyway, the item is a Vito-labeled tenor, serial 011xxx. Under the serial is stamped 'JAPAN'. I have a list of Vito serial numbers which indicates the horn was manufactured in the late 70's or early 80's and is probably a Yamaha. It has the big, one-piece key guard over the low C and bell keys which I think was characteristic of the YTS-21. Can anyone verify or refute that?

Condition is unknown -- hopefully not a basket case. Doesn't look bad in the pics, but I know the rim of the bell is not round. Posting said that "all the valves work". ahem So, this may be a new adventure. I am friendly with a local instrument tech.

I have just recently, over the last 6+ months, started playing again after a half-century break. Played a Buescher 400 baritone in high school, have a Cleveland alto now.

Dave

Musical instrument Insect Wind instrument Art Reed
 

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Acorn Cleveland Alto, Vito Tenor
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, sparq and JD. Yes, I am aware of the gamble I have taken. I am hopeful that purchase cost plus the cost of getting the horn into GPC (good playing condition) will not be prohibitive. I doubt I will be doing any of the work, except perhaps for picking out a mouthpiece. Pretty sure that eventual total will be worth the expenditure. A bit worried that the horn was "dropped on its head (bell)" at some point. Well, I turned out OK, so I am confident it will, too. :)

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to Sig and adam.
Y'all have recommendations for a mouthpiece? (In case the one it comes with is unusable). I am currently playing alto mainly with a Meyer 7M (.081") large chamber and a 2.0 reed. Feel like I should start with smaller tip relative to alto, but don't understand how to relate alto openings to tenor.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, the rough equivalent of the standard issue Meyer for alto, on tenor is a hard rubber Link.

You could try about a #6 new Vintage Slant Link, about $200. I have one and I like it very much, though personally I'm a Meyer man on tenor.
Hmmm. I didn't pay much more than that on the horn! (with repairs still to come). Can't one get a standard Tone Edge Link for about $100?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Id give you a break on an Orion tenor piece if you wanted. Otherwise there are a lot of choices. Hopefully the horn wont eat too much cash.
Very kind of you! I will keep it in mind; probably for future, though. Went to the website for the 1st time; really like the orbital and astronomical images!

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, but the scuttlebutt is that the standard TE doesn't have enough baffle and sounds woolly and blah. I've never tried one myself so take that for what it's worth.

At a minimum the plastic Yamaha 5C would get you off the ground and running.
Yes, I'm thinking that if the included 'piece doesn't play, a Yamaha 5c or 6c will be the first stop. The old King 'A' that came with my Cleveland didn't play for me. Not its fault. shrug
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
OK, well, yeah it's a good model. It will most definitely NOT play up and down smoothly, though, so do be prepared for $200+ worth of repair work (if you are lucky).

That's the thing about auction horns....even IF the seller claims it plays, it needs work 90% of the time.
For a horn which seller made no claim of playability...again, expect that you will have to invest in making it so.

A reliable workhorse horn, very very popular...a bit soul-less, IMHO compared to an old King, Buescher, Conn, etc.

But again, very respectable.

In cleaned and serviced shape, no significant body issues, playing up and down, with case - these have a current market value of around $700 (yes, really...folks who claim otherwise have NOT been keeping abreast of current values).
So if you are one who gauges success based upon "only invest a total of what it is currently worth"...then there's your yardstick.
Thanks for your observations. Yes, I still see postings from people who bought good horns a couple of years ago who can't imagine that current prices are way more now. And yeah, if my "investment" goes over $700-ish I have lost the wager, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Wow! Just got notice that the shipping process has been started. Didn't expect any action today. They are using FedEx, but probably the 20 mule team service level, so it absolutely, positively WON'T be here overnight. :) Hoping the package doesn't sound like a box of rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
That horn will outperform anything you can get for a lot more. I wasn't exaggerating when I said I preferred mine to some other very pricey horns. Dang that thief. When you get yours rebuilt, be sure to get the key openings set to factory specs.

I am envious.
Can I do a search on YTS-21 key heights or something like that, or should any tech have them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Wild guess - I bet about a .100" to .105" tip opening would suit you on tenor... Perhaps with a 2.5 strength reed. The tip opening does not tell the whole story when it comes to resistance, but that ballpark would likely suit you. You'll definitely need to do some trial and error.
To my untrained mind that seems kinda big. I guess I'm afraid that the larger air volume needed for the tenor might tax my still-newbie-ish lungs. But I have no reference, except to note that a Yamaha 4C piece is about .67".
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Given you play a Meyer 7 on alto, and a large chamber to boot, a similar size on tenor should be fine. In Otto Link sizes, that would be 6* to 7*, or 0.095” to 0.105”. In other words about 20% larger than alto. I play a 6 or 7 tip on alto, and a 7* on tenor, this gives me an equivalent feel between horns.

Also, I play a hard rubber piece on alto, and a metal piece on tenor, so the size in my mouth is similar. A Link STM (metal) is only a little above $200, but you may have to try several to find a good one. The trick to getting a good sound, speaking as one who made the adjustment to tenor coming from alto, is take more mouthpiece in and loosen your chops.

Good luck getting your new horn into playing shape, sounds like you are well on your way to having a whole new set of tonal colors to play with!
Thanks for that reference point. Note that I don't claim to play the Meyer 7 (or any mpc) well, and it was probably a premature stretch to get it this soon. But curiously I now favor it over the Windy City Jazz Classic .075" I was using before that. Yes, I am looking forward (perhaps way forward, depending on the initial condition of the horn) to making some tenor noises.

Tenor was actually my introduction to sax, having been moved from clarinet in junior high (7th grade). They gave me the horn and a fingering chart. That was it. So I think I never developed a proper embouchure. In 8th grade I was switched again to baritone. Couldn't do the low notes very well, but played that all through high school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
My remark about losing the wager was simply to note that the cost of purchase + Good Playing Condition servicing on this sax could exceed the cost of an arbitrary sax already in GPC. It's a risk I decided to take. If it ultimately means I spend more money, then so be it. As you said, it's not a concern as long as it meets my expectations. Frankly, I could more than double the purchase expense before I get into the price range of an already playable horn.
Yes, I should have contacted the store to ask about packing, but I didn't. I learned today that it will be delivered tomorrow. Quicker than anticipated; good, it means a shorter period of anxiety! 😓 Actually, I'm not anxious, rather a little excited. I bought a box of reeds today, just in case the horn is "playable out of the box".
I will post something about the arrival, but don't expect a live stream! 🙄
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
Well, what you'll get on this question is a lot of, I play this, and so and so plays that, and yada yada. My first question is what do you want to sound like? What's your sound concept? There is where you have to start. Once you've done that then you need to identify the attributes of a mouthpiece that will facilitate that sound. That is; what baffle it should have, what chamber should it have and what tip opening is comfortable for you. Then you can narrow it down to a few specific mouthpieces. Good luck.

I suppose the real answer to the "how do I want to sound" is "I don't know". Originally I wanted to sound like Paul Desmond on alto, but the mouthpiece I have become comfortable with doesn't sound like that. Not sure who it resembles, (maybe a bit like Adderley?), but I have decided it doesn't matter. Wife says I sound pretty good, and she's the only audience I will likely ever have.

So: tenor sound? I like the Getz sound (I suppose he's the tenor analog to Desmond). Not really familiar with recent players, though I have watched a couple of Bob Reynolds' videos; he sounds pretty good. I appreciate Sonny Rollins, love to hear him play, but his tone isn't my favorite. Initially, I'm concerned with just producing a saxophone-like sound, which is why I was tending toward more of a beginner-type 'piece.
 
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