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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I was hoping I could get some help regarding my daughters B&S blue label alto sax serial no 1379 (pretty sure it was made before the unification of Germany. We bought it off her previous saxophone teacher and she has been playing it for the last 4 years. About 9 months ago we had a full service and were told it was all fixed. Just this last week her newest teacher has said that it has a leak somewhere and there is an issue with the guard? affecting the D key? (you might have guessed by now I know nothing lol). We live in Australia and it seems that her school band teachers don't know anything about this brand and are pressuring me to buy a new Jupiter brand saxophone. I love the B & S it sounds amazing to me but am I in my ignorance making school band harder for myself by continuing on with the B&S?
 

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No way a new Jupiter would play better than your B&S.
It's a rock solid instrument with a great tone. Just fix the leak and the guard issue and forget about buying another one.

It it's marked "made in gdr" it was made before the unification of Germany. Otherwise not..
 

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No way a new Jupiter would play better than your B&S.
It's a rock solid instrument with a great tone. Just fix the leak and the guard issue and forget about buying another one.

It it's marked "made in gdr" it was made before the unification of Germany. Otherwise not..
Thanks for your input :) If it says "Made in Germany" would it be after the unification? I wasn't sure as it had a low serial number. Also I had it serviced about 9 months ago (cost approx. AU $500) would it be likely to have these issues again so soon? I'm wondering whether I should get an opinion from another service person or should I go back to the one that I used previously? Its a bit of a minefield when you don't know much lol.
 

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Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
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Sounds like the instrument got damaged - very common with students.
If the instrument is damaged then you'll have to get it repaired - bent keyguard and a leak.

These are common ailments with students and any musical instrument.
So I recommend that she take into a shop and get it fixed. It should be as good as new afterwards.
 

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Thanks stevesklar I will talk to the repair guy I sent it to previously. Knowing kids it probably has been accidently dropped.
 

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I provided quite a lengthy answer to your question over on the Woodwind Forum, but I'll post it here as well:

Well you're in luck. If you're looking for information on B&S saxophones, you've come to the right place. I have been working on history of these saxophones for the last couple of years. This info has not been available before in English, only German--which may be why your daughter's teacher is unfamiliar with the brand.

Let me provide you with the following links to the various B&S pages on my website:







To help you understand your daughter's saxophone a bit better, maybe this graphic will help



When B&S was owned by the state, the blue label horns were the top of the line horns made by the company. However, after the company became a private enterprise once again, they redesigned their saxophones, and the blue label became the intermediate model--1000 Series--instrument.

There is nothing wrong with these blue label horns. As a matter of fact, they are sold on eBay and in saxophone shops all the time. These instruments have stood the test of time. They are well built; solidly made; and are decent horn.

Many teachers prefer their students not play on vintage instruments. Period. Full stop. Why? Well there are kinds of reasons. Sometimes they think that the ergonomics will hold a student back. Sometimes they themselves have a new horn bias, and don't believe that vintage horns have a place anywhere other on an end table as a lamp. Others, well they feel that vintage horns should only be played by experienced players, who at a minimum, are intermediate level players.

I've had students come to me with brand new instruments that leak like a sieve, and can't maintain their regulation. On the other hand, I've had students who have come to me with Selmers from 1935 that are in excellent playing condition.

There is no reason to sell the B&S and buy a Jupiter, or any other new, Asian-made horn, unless your daughter is going on in university, and the professor there requires a particular horn. (And I guarantee it won't be a Jupiter.)

The B&S will do the job nicely of allowing your daughter to learn the sax, and beyond. It was not built as a student model instrument, and if properly maintained, will outlast most student horns currently on the market.

I wouldn't give in to the pressure of the teacher. I would just say you've done your research; consulted with a sax teacher who also happens to specialize in vintage German saxophones; provide them with the links I've given you; and tell them they are more than welcome to contact me for further info if they like. That should be the end of the discussion.
 

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snip...
It it's marked "made in gdr" it was made before the unification of Germany. Otherwise not..
That's not entirely true. I've been developing a database of these blue label horns, and can tell you that the earliest B&S blue label horns did indeed have "Made In Germany" stamping on them. Furthermore, the location of the stamping changed as well.

The early blue label altos that I have a serial # for, that are engraved Made In Germany, appear to have that engraving on the bell to bow connecting ring, and are under serial # 2000. Here is alto 1400 with the engraving on the bow to bell connecting ring. While this is alto 2057, with the engraving in the more traditional place--under the right thumb rest.

Thus the OP's horn (alto 1379) with the Made In Germany stamping does indeed fit into the serial # range that I have already ID'd for that feature.
 

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Many teachers prefer their students not play on vintage instruments. Period. Full stop. Why? Well there are kinds of reasons. Sometimes they think that the ergonomics will hold a student back. Sometimes they themselves have a new horn bias, and don't believe that vintage horns have a place anywhere other on an end table as a lamp. Others, well they feel that vintage horns should only be played by experienced players, who at a minimum, are intermediate level players.

I've had students come to me with brand new instruments that leak like a sieve, and can't maintain their regulation. On the other hand, I've had students who have come to me with Selmers from 1935 that are in excellent playing condition.

There is no reason to sell the B&S and buy a Jupiter, or any other new, Asian-made horn, unless your daughter is going on in university, and the professor there requires a particular horn.

I wouldn't give in to the pressure of the teacher. I would just say you've done your research; consulted with a sax teacher who also happens to specialize in vintage German saxophones; provide them with the links I've given you; and tell them they are more than welcome to contact me for further info if they like. That should be the end of the discussion.
Amen.
 
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