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Did you ever get the Stratodyne back?
 

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apparently there are some job opportunities for repairers in Finland too.

I always marvel at people talking of their techs taking very long to do any repair in several countries of the world. I guess we are really very very fortunate in the NL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hi guys! I am sorry for being too slow and lazy with my report. Also there has been quite many job opportunities for a sax player too, not only repairmen... But now I promise to write down my thoughts soon. Anyhow I can say the Stratodyne is truly one of a kind, even among Holtons. The silver neck makes it very special. But I鈥檒l get back soon...
 

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I guess we are really very very fortunate in the NL.
Yes, you are indeed, but it doesn't harm either that you are 15-18 million people living in a tiny nation with good infrastructure, low-cost healthcare and affordable housing. Count you blessings while you still have them. Copenhagen used to have 4 shops with techs within a square kilometer, but those days are long gone.
 

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Low cost heath care? Affordable housing? In the NL?

THOSE days have gone when we decided to privatize health care and the majority of the housing.

That was a long time ago, but everything is relative, at least we never have to wait months for overhauling a saxophone.
 

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:)Wow, I've been so slow you guys have time to get into politics... But the thing is, I am using different techs in Finland and besides them there is one good guy in Tallinn, Estonia. He overhauled the Stratodyne. I told him in September there is no hurry so he took his time and the overhaul was done by November. Then it took quite a while before I got a chance to travel to Tallinn to get it. I have had it since late November and after that I have just been too busy and/or lazy to write a report. I am sorry for being rather a player than writer. But here are some of my thoughts at last.

After comparing three different Holton models I can say 241 (173 xxx) and 243 (330 xxx) seem to be more or less the same horn. Only slight differences in mechanics and details. The 243 has an old fashioned left thumb rest button that feels uncomfortable compared to the one 241 and 244 have. But what comes to playing, they feel similar. So it is all about the different examples. But both of them have a powerful, compact but still somehow complex sound, that reminds me more of Selmer than other American horns I have tried. The 241 happens to be a great example. Slightly better than the 243. It has been played and loved a lot. Even it suffered from a remarkable damage during the shipping before I got it, my tech spent a lot of time with it and succeeded to make it playing fantastic. Very even sound from top to bottom and the intonation is spot on. The same things I can say about the 243. But unfortunately there was some difficulties in getting the horn to seal well (even with new good quality pads) So the lower register never came out with such ease as the 241. This problem exists probably because of the previous damages the sax have had. Among the other things the neck tenon sleeve had sort of a microrupture. We decided not to make a new sleeve but tried to repair the original one. But even with that type of temporary repair it plays pretty well. This doesn鈥檛 mean a 243 model is worse that 241 or 244 Stratodyne but it just happened this particular example was not in as great condition as the others.

The 244 Stratodyne (302 xxx) certainly differs from the other two. It is truly one of a kind. It has all the great qualities the others have but has smoother and more controlled character. It seems it has not been played a lot. The silver neck seems to give it a smooth, less ringing character to the sound. It is still amazing how easily all the notes comes out from top to bottom. Even in pianissimo. I could think it being a perfect horn for classical playing. Surprisingly the silver neck doesn鈥檛 offer a big volume ( it is completely the other way around with my silver neck Martin Magna alto). But with 241 neck the Stratodyne plays with more powerful, ringing and complex sound. The key heights are set, most likely already in the factory, slightly lower than with the 241 and 243. This has definitely an effect to the sound and character but I didn鈥檛 want to change that. The 244 Stratodyne is definitely my favorite of all these Holtons and I have played quite a many gigs with it. But in order to release its鈥 full potential soundwise it would need a lot more regular playing.

Besides these three Holton tenors I had few years ago a dead mint 243 (310xxx) But like many closet horns it was stuffy and non resonant even it sealed well. It also had a fantastic intonation that seems to be a common advantage of all Holton pro models made from 1940鈥檚 to 1960鈥檚. I could even say they have the best intonation of all vintage horns I have experienced. Holtons also seem to be not very much mouthpiece picky at least with vintage pieces. The modern ones I have not tried. To my opinion the ergos 243, 241, 244 are superior to any Martin, Conn and Buescher tenor saxes. King Super 20 seem to have as good ergos as these, eventhough it feels quite different under my fingers.
 

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Thanks for reporting back about the Stratodyne .
I enjoyed reading about your impressions on the different models you own.

I have a 241 tenor serialed 182,xxx which was made in 1948, I think ? Could use a repad and neck re-fitting. I've
put off doing much to it since I got it a few years ago -- I have too many saxophones needing attention($$) these days .

Anyway, I can definitely hear the potential and I agree it does have very comfortable ergos compared to my Buescher and
Conn tenors, for example. I really need to take it in and get it tuned up this year !
 

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Thanks for the update. I'll keep looking for a Stratodyne of my own, but I did pick up a 232 alto a couple months ago. Good intonation, a tone that works well for me and it can get loud. I need to pare down my inventory (I hesitate to call what I have a "collection"), but the Holton will be staying.
 

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Thank you for the report! I am still searching for a 244 Stratodyne. The one at Wally's looks great, but not at $4,500.


"Hast seen the White Whale?"

"Aye, yesterday. Have ye seen a whale-boat adrift?"

Throttling his joy, Ahab negatively answered this unexpected question; and would then have fain boarded the stranger, when the stranger captain himself, having stopped his vessel's way, was seen descending her side. A few keen pulls, and his boat-hook soon clinched the Pequod's main-chains, and he sprang to the deck. Immediately he was recognised by Ahab for a Nantucketer he knew. But no formal salutation was exchanged.

"Where was he?--not killed!--not killed!" cried Ahab, closely advancing. "How was it?"
 
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