Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the factory ceased production in the year 2000 it would be helpful if someone with specific knowledge could write a brief history before memories fade & all records are destroyed.
I seems that Grassi targeted the student & intermediate market with their products, with the possible exception of their final offering, the "Professional 2000".
The "Leader" & "Prestige" apear to be intermediate quality horns; but, as others have stated, the "professional 2000" lived up to it's name......a final gesture of defiance perhaps from Ida Maria Grassi & manufactured for fewer than twelve months.
My "Professional 2000" is as good as anything that I have ever owned (the best products of messrs. Selmer, Conn, Buescher, R&C etc.)....however, another subscriber to this site has an apparently identical horn which is less than good.......stamped "Model 2000".
Any ideas anyone? He & I live too far apart (England & America) to enable us to conduct a back to back comparison.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The mystery of nomenclature deepens...it would appear that the "Model" model of which I wrote had leakage problems, which have been rectified resulting in a first class horn...up there with the "Professional 2000"....could it be the same horn built at a different factory perhaps?
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
I have been engrossed in email debate with my overseas buddie Bb about these Grassi 2000s. Interestingly, we have determined now that some of the 'Professional 2000' designated Grassis do not have a high F# key. Was it an option? Also the Captain found one on ebay that not only did not have the high F# but the keys & rods were either nickle or silver plate. I think the former. That horn was stamped "Professional 2000". The Grassi 2000 I own (designated Model 2000 rather than Professional 2000)has all the bells and whistles of a pro model (ribbed construction, high F# key & gold laquer keys & rods)but is not designated as such. My serial number also pre-dates the one on ebay as well as the Captains by about 2 thousand. Was the 'Model 2000' later stamped as the 'Professional 2000'? and if so why the absence of high F# and the nickle keys on the later professional model on ebay?

Grassi made saxes for years and there must be someone out there that was affiliated with Grassi that would have the answer to these questions. Inquiring minds would like to know!:?
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It would appear that little is known, or cared, about these excellent horns. I have been emailed with the following information, which will have to stand unless anyone knows otherwise. It seems that the model "2000" was intended as an intermediate model with the "Prestige" being the top of the shop. For reasons that are unclear the "2000" turned out to be a first class horn, for some reason better than the "Prestige"....consequently the "Model 2000" was redesignated the "Professional 2000" & took it's place at the top of the heap depite being less expensive than the "Prestige". It must be remembered that the factory at this time was winding down to oblivion; so, any port in a storm perhaps....who knows?
 

· Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2013-2016
Joined
·
7,856 Posts
I could be wrong about this...but I believe that Elizabeth Ervin, who was a saxophone professor at the University of Arizona, was involved with Grassi in some way. When I went to school there, I remember hearing rumblings about this but I'm not 100% sure. She's now an administrator there, so someone might write her and ask her.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Captain Beeflat (or anyone else), maybe You can help me with this one.

I have the opportunity to buy an Ida Maria Grassi but I'm not sure of which model it is. The seller can't find any model namne engraved on the sax but I have what I think is the serial number and some patent numbers:
"40896, Italy: 17.433 c/70, USA 358.195"
The sax has nickelplated keys, and the seller think it's about 12 years old. It also says "Made in Italy" on the sax.
I will try to attach a picture...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
reply to FRB

From what I can see in your pic, this was the Grassi "Standard" model, ie student model, before they started producing the 2000/prestige models. They are MK6 copies, not terribly well built, particularly the left hand pinky is very heavy and not articulated. I have a tenor of the same model and it's ok. Not sure where you're based, but unless you try it and are happy with it, I wouldn't pay very much for it. You would probably do better with a newish Jupiter alto or some other Taiwanese student sax, they have improved greatly, have all the facilities and good feel.
Hope this helps,
MMM
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FRB...Apologies for not responding earlier to your question....I am no expert, having only tried, & own, a Professional 2000.
If the horn in which you are interested does not have this number stamped on it then it is, most certainly, not a Pro 2000.....also the nickel keywork raises doubts.
Grassi, in general, have a reputation for making mediocre student horns...having said that, I have played some pretty good student horns. Honestly, I would tend to be cautious, or wait until you can find a Professional 2000.....there again, not all of those models may be as good as mine...I just do not know. Sorry to be so vague...but I would prefer to be honest. Best of luck.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Grassi History

Guys,

I have started to make contact with various sax addicts in Italy (I'm Italian)and I'm trying to find out more on these saxes. I have also a contact at Lewington's (one of the nephews) who will try to find out as much as he can about these saxes. Unfortunately Selmer fever has always reigned in Italy, so not many people payed attention to Grassi (only in recent years Borgani since the new Jubilee models, has started to make inroads in the Italian pro market). Grassi was always known as a maker of student line instruments, by the time Grassi got interesting, most pros weren't listening!

My next step will be emailing Rampone & Cazzani: I have just been told that the Grassi factory was across the road from Rampone's, so chances are some of Grassi's layed off workforce may be working at R&C!!!

I may have mentioned this in another reply, the main differences between the 2000 and the Prestige were (according to Lewington's catalogue 1990) the latter had a top F# and articulated left pinky table (for easy fingering between low C#/B/Bb). Also the sops were straight and (I'm guessing now) one piece.

Give you an update as soon as I find out more,
Manlio
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
Thanks Manlio, the Grassi Professional 2000 horns are being grossly underrated. Everyone I know that owns one and this includes former Mark 6 owners wouldn't part with them. Mine just says Grassi 2000 but I have been playing it more and more lately and you can add my name to that list. We all will be very interested to hear what you turn up.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well done indeed Manlio....When at Rampone & Cazzani, ask for Claudio Zolla (The Managing Director) he is a most helpful chap. I recently bought from them a "Custom" gold plated R1 tenor & he sends me a Christmas Card every year....cannot imagine the MD of Selmer doing that!
Good to know that someone from the area, & speaking the (beautiful) language, is digging for information.
By the way, Don Mackril, a dealer in Edgeware, London still advertises new Professional 2000 and Presige Grassis; so presumably they are still in stock.
Best of luck Bb
 

· Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
10,062 Posts
Captain Beeflat said:
...By the way, Don Mackril, a dealer in Edgeware, London still advertises new Professional 2000 and Presige Grassis; so presumably they are still in stock.
Best of luck Bb
Wow, they are not inexpensive:

New Grassi Pro 2000 Alto Saxophone £1,015.00

About $1850 at current exchange rates.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
I read this quote from Paul Coats on another forum in response to a request for imfo about the quality/value of Grassi saxophones>

"Grassi saxes were a line Conn was importing at one time for a 'high end' line, since Conns had become, at best, student models. Roger Pemberton was promoting these for Conn."

Paul


I did not know that. Perhaps this imfo will lead to answers to the question many of us have expressed here.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alan. Good information, well done. Any idea of exactly when Conn imported them? ie. When they looked like Conns or when they looked like Selmers?
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
That's all I know, it's a saxophone repair forum and the thread has yet to yeild more imfo. Maybe someone here knows how we can contact this Roger Pemberton, he could be the man with all the answers or we could just contact Conn now that we know they were affiliated with Grassi at one time.
 

· Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
10,062 Posts
The A Train said:
That's all I know, it's a saxophone repair forum and the thread has yet to yeild more imfo. Maybe someone here knows how we can contact this Roger Pemberton, he could be the man with all the answers or we could just contact Conn now that we know they were affiliated with Grassi at one time.
Maybe post a request in the "name players" subforum, or contact Jody Espina at Jody Jazz. He has pictures of Roger on his website and might know how to contact him.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top