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I'm looking forward to getting it in my hands. I have a good friend who is an excellent tech - in fact, he's the one who alerted me to this bari being up on eBay. I'll post some pre and post photos at some point.
 

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I have 2 collegiate Tenors, from around 1950, had a 1939 alto (I LOOOOOVED that horn) and had a collegiate Bari until recently. These horns respond far better than anything else I've played. The overtones are super strong... my only complaint is their fragility. They're heavy, but bendy. Definitely my #1 horns. I prefer them to my Conns.

(plus, all together, for all 4 of the Holtons I've owned, I payed about $1100. :)
 

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Oops forgot to officially join the club last year
1920 Holton revelation alto. Chicago silver plated
1930 Rudy Wiedoeft alto,silver plated with gold wash bell
 

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Hello there you Holton owners on the SOTW forum,

I would like to join you and hope to make you curious, since I have recently (first of january) bought a horn that seems to be rather scarce and special. It is a Holton Revelation baritone saxophone with the serial number: 113255 (Eb and LP) which dates it in 1932, as I read on the list that some true Holton devotees on SOTW put together with a lot of effort. Not so many baritones out there, I understood. I could not find any type-number, like 715 or something like that. They seem to show these type numbers from a bit later on in the thirtees.
It has B and Bflat on the same side and has quick high F, and low Eb/Dis triller also. But it has only two octave keys and not three as later Holton baris from the thirtees have.
I could obtain it not too expensively, but when I bought it, it played rather poorly. Low notes were hard to get to. Some leaks and dents. It was used and abused a lot. The almost wrecked case showed: Lansing School District. So a high school horn, from as it looks like Chicago environment. A heavy life behind it I think. I have no idea how in the world this horn landed in the north of the Netherlands. But I had good hopes that it would turn out to me as a nice horn to join my Martin Standard, silver US army tenor horn from 1942 and my brass Martin Handcraft Imperial alto from 1935. Which are both great horns. (the tenor has a Gloger neck, which works fine!) Last year I had my first experience with a very old Couesnon baritone, which I found hanging on the wall from a cafe in this region. Bought it for 50 Euros. That one was repadded but appeared to be high pitched. And it had no low Bflat, nor anything higher than palm high Eb and two octave handles. But I liked playing this baritone a lot, so I went on the look out for a Low Pitch baritone. And than this one appeared on the Duth counterpart of Ebay. I bought it for 550 euros. I had to outbid a few collectors, the starting bid was 400.
I cleaned it thoroughly, and I had some little soldering repairs on a few lower stack posts done by my tech, including a few new pads and new cork on the neck, which cost me 160 euros. The rest I did myself, put in a lot of time though, which did not cost me anything. only a lot of fine time, because I enjoy this work. New corks here and there, I closed a lot of keys better. Lubricated a lot and loosened some keys and grips and, halleluja, now it plays nice and fine from bottom to top. With a Yamaha 5C mpc and Vandoren 2,5 reed it sounds fine, with an nice 'çolour'.
Intonation is ok. Only exception is low C, which is rather flat. Low B and and Bflat on the contrary are okay.
Ergonomics are a little bothersome too. My hands are not too big and reaching the left hand pinky table was not easy. The G grip was too short to let my pinky get to the low Cis. So I glued a peace of cork on the left side of my left hand thumb rest and now I can play the pinky table a lot better.
A friend who is a professional saxophone player and teacher praised the Holton and liked it as much as his own Buesscher from the thirtees.
Nothing left now than to play it a lot and especially train myself on the ergonomics and master the intonation to a higher level.
I can try to include some pictures, hope it will succeed.

cordially greeting from Groningen, the Netherlands,

Willem Hartholt Musical instrument Wind instrument Reed instrument Woodwind instrument Automotive exhaust Wind instrument Musical instrument Brass instrument Woodwind instrument Music Musical instrument Motor vehicle Brass instrument Electronic instrument Audio equipment
 

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As long as you own one, you are automatically "In the Club", Willem.

Nice looking horn, Revelations were the top-shelf Holtons of the day....I have refurbished quite a few and I still have a gold-plated Revelation Tenor, which stands up very well to any 10M, Committee, Zephyr, or Aristocrat.

You could try raising the keyheights on the Bell Keys, that should sharpen the Low C a bit.

I am glad the 5C works for you. In time I might suggest you get her a better mouthpiece, something large-chamber....to really make the full width of the horn's natural overtones come out.

Enjoy.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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Welcome here Willem. Your baritone is very nice. Thanks the finish appears to be nickel.
 

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Mr. Hartholt,

What a wonderful informative write up on your beautiful baritone. Obviously you have done your homework well. Thank you for including the pictures. I am curious if any engraving is still visible on the bell ? And how you became interested in a Holton baritone of all choices ? Welcome to club H !
 

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Now THAT is one interesting baritone sax. The mechanism is quite unusual.

Lansing is in central Michigan, so 100+ miles north of Chicago.

It does look like nickel plating. The photos I've seen it seems like nickel plated saxes usually had a very simple engraving compared to the silver plated ones.

As you get familiar with it, let us know how it performs. I believe you will adapt to the keywork pretty easily. I have smallish hands with short fingers and have had no trouble playing a Conn baritone (similar finger stretches) for the last 34 years.
 

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Reactions responding to my post on my Holton Revelation bariton were fine. Thanks!

I will try to answer some questions and tell you some more.

- I already tried to sharpen the Low C a bit by shortening the felt stops of the B and B-flat keys. I did some more now, untill the top of the keys almost touch the key guards. I could not test the result yet. It's late in the evening and I cant bother my neighbours with my saxperiments at this hour. But I expect that it will at least help a little more.
- Another thing I forgot to mention is that the baritone is missing the extra key guard over low B and B-flat keys. I saw pictures of old Holton baritones showing this guard. I can see a little impression on the tube showing that it origanally has been there. It s missing is not desasterous. Later on I might ask my tech to solder a new guard on. He already told me he can do that.
- Lansing is a city in Michigan, but also is a neighborhood in Chicago with a school district. So the horn may also be from Chicago.
- I cant tell if the plating is silver or nickel, but it surely is not brass. I can see some brass shining through though but that is because of wear. The keys and the top bow of the horn show most of that wear. I am 63 years old. This sax is 23 years older, so I think we both may show some wear. But we both do still shine !
- I was not specially determined to buy a Holton baritone. But I was looking out for a nice vintage low pitch baritone. And it happened to be that this horn was offered on an Ebay-like internetsite here in Holland. And this horn could be touched and tried some 40 kilometers from the city of Groningen were I live. I knew they are real American horns that can be pretty good. And not too well known, and thus often not too high in price. Just as many good pre-war Martin horns are, of which I own a tenor and an alto. A friend of mine had good experinces with Holtons too.
- I will include a picture showing the engraving on the bell. I think this is beautiful.
- And another picture of the way I cork-fiddled with the thumbrest, so I m able now to reach my low Cis on the pinky table.
- Thanks to many positive reviews on SOTW I now own a Jazzlab Saxholder and I can recommand it because it makes playing this baritone a lot more convenient. And my tenor just feels featherlight now.


Greeting from Groningen, Holland,
Willem
 

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Yes, it's not so unusual to have to modify the thumb rest. You could even bend the octave key touch piece a little to the left. I had to do something like this on my bass sax.
 

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Welcome here Willem. Your baritone is very nice. Thanks the finish appears to be nickel.
Soybean. I had no recollection of ever seeing a finish offered in Nickel. So I had a look here in the 1932 Holton catalog.
https://www.saxophone.org/museum/publications/id/590. See page 37 instrument picture and 38 specifications and finishes. It's really difficult to see the copy but I don't see Nickel listed as a option. Double clicking on the picture should enlarge it but it's not working on my iPad for some reason.
 

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Willem,

You have a very beautiful engraving on your baritone.
These pictures from my 1920 alto show the simple beginnings of Holton. And 1930 Rudy Wiedoeft alto just a few years later. It’s amazing what a little cleaning will do. ;)
 

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Nice horn and welcome! I have a Holton Bari from the 1950s and love it. I also added a cork thumb rest to mine so I could better reach the pinky key. It also helped me with the octave key. Musical instrument Light Wind instrument Brass instrument Wood
 

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Hi all -

I've owned a Holton Bari Sax for nearly 20 years...SN is 2766X, so I've really not owned it for much of its life. It's been really fun to play but I have recently gotten something new. I'm trying to find more information around how old this sax is, what is its value, how much could I sell it for, etc. And I'd love to find a buyer! Any thoughts?
 

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You can look up the serial number on LaPorte's (Felix) chart to find the age.
 

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Hi all -

I've owned a Holton Bari Sax for nearly 20 years...SN is 2766X, so I've really not owned it for much of its life. It's been really fun to play but I have recently gotten something new. I'm trying to find more information around how old this sax is, what is its value, how much could I sell it for, etc. And I'd love to find a buyer! Any thoughts?
It almost looks like gold plate, but it's lacq. Is it a relacq ? Hard to tell. As a new member you cannot technically sell it here, which means you could use Craigslist, consign it with some local music ship, or if you are up for packing and shipping, try eBay.

According to Felix's chart, this is a 1926/7 horn. On the plus side, it's fully keyed up to F PLUS it has a Front F. That's very GOOD. The only downside is, it's got the neck octave mechanism which puts the pip on the side of the neck. That is a value detractor.

If it plays up and down well and there is no horrific damage anywhere which isn't shown in pics, probably worth around $900 incl. case. The side neck pip is taking off around $200 from its value...
 

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It almost looks like gold plate, but it's lacq. Is it a relacq ? Hard to tell. As a new member you cannot technically sell it here, which means you could use Craigslist, consign it with some local music ship, or if you are up for packing and shipping, try eBay.

If it plays up and down well and there is no horrific damage anywhere which isn't shown in pics, probably worth around $900 incl. case. The side neck pip is taking off around $200 from its value...
Hi Jaye - Thanks for the tips! the horn has definitely been relacquored, but still that was probably decades ago. i had also thought it was a mid 20's horn, which is just so crazy because that was so long ago!

it does play pretty darn well across the full range of the horn. of course, I learned how to play on it, and as i've been playing on my new sax it's been obvious that i really learned how to play a holton bari...for all the good and bad that may be :) it does have pretty good tone across the range. over the years, it's been adjusted, pads replaced, etc and any body damage also repaired as it occurred, so it's in good shape. my dad fixed up the case a decade ago, but it's not the sturdiest case in general.

i did once take it in to a repair shop where the technician told me the right collector would pay upwards of $15k for it...I should have offered it to him on the spot for a third of that price! i'll explore some local options to sell - hopefully i can find that guy again.
 

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Any Holton players here?
Hello Holton Players,
I am a young sax player from Venezia - Italy.
I own a Holton Revelation series 19535 and I love it.
I think he's quite old but it works very well!
Can anyone tell me from the serial number in which year it has been produced?
 

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Hello Holton Players,
I am a young sax player from Venezia - Italy.
I own a Holton Revelation series 19535 and I love it.
I think he's quite old but it works very well!
Can anyone tell me from the serial number in which year it has been produced?
1925
 

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Hello Holton Players,
I am a young sax player from Venezia - Italy.
I own a Holton Revelation series 19535 and I love it.
I think he's quite old but it works very well!
Can anyone tell me from the serial number in which year it has been produced?
Can you post more photos ? Other side of sax, octave key mechanism, pinky table keys, engraving ???

Indeed if the serial = 19535 according to Felix's table it would be 1925, but that is a same-side bellkey horn and some of the details I can see look a bit unusual for a Holton.
 
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