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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow Holton enthusiasts.

I am primarily an Alto and soprano player but dabble with the C-Mel as well.

I have been considering buying a vintage Bb Tenor for some time and have favoured the Conn NWIIs or 10Ms but finding a good one that is not a budget buster especially since it would not be my primary instrument seems tough.

It seems that the Holton altos and tenors dont get much respect in the vintage market but after acquiring my Holton C-sop, I find the build quality, tone and playability excellent.

The Holton tenors I see online seem much more reasonable then the Conns, Bueschers, and Martins of the era. I assume it is due to reputation and lack of collector interest. How are they as player's horns and what models are best bets and what models should be avoided?

Thanks
 

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I played a late '50s Holton Collegiate tenor for about five years. With a fresh re-pad, it served me well. Altissimo register was difficult on that horn. When I replaced it with a King Super 20 I found out what I was missing; the King was about 50 percent more powerful.
 

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They are awesome vintage Tenors. Really, I have refurbed about 20 Holton Tenors, and they are every bit as good a horn as the other American Big 4 were.

The Collegiate is a good workaday horn, a reliable second-shelfer along the lines of a Conn Director or Martin Indiana or King Cleve. A good $500 Tenor to get.

But if you could ramp that up to $700-800, you can get a 24X series horn (240, 241, 243) or perhaps even a Revelation...which were Holton's top-shelfers and are real Monster horns.

A bit more focused and warmer in tone than the Collegiates, and oftentimes replete with additional keywork.

If you are in no hurry, I should have some up for sale around beginning of September.

Not a gratuitous plug...I am just a fan of these. Very under-radar horns.....

(Keep in mind, also, you can still pick up a later 10M for around the same price, and honestly...for all intents and purposes regarding design spec and sound and everything that really matters.....they are the same damn horn as the older RTH ones, just with no RTH's).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.
Not really interested in the collegiates but the 24..series looks great to me. Not sure what a revelation model is but am aware of the 243,4 etc. Not in a real hurry at this point.

Yes, I have considered the later 10m s but for some reason I cannot stand the nickel keys on brass lacquer bodies...i guess it is a hangover from the middle/high school days where all the low student grade horns were finished like that. Also, I do like the RTHs whether they really help anything is certainly debatable.
 

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1926 Buescher TT Alto, 1936 Holton Revelation Tenor, 1954 Holton 271 Bari
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The revelation model was a 213 and had the holton style microtuner neck, the sliding sleeve design. Another one of those horns I'd like to try sometime. There's one floating around eBay right now for $725 I think.
 

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If you have a thing for rolled tone holes, you might consider a Keilwerth stencil, such as a Bundy Special, which can be picked up for a pretty low price.
 

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Alto: YAS-62S Conn Trany 6M Jupiter JAS-868 JAS-769 / Tenor: YTS-23 & 52 P. Mauriat 66R Holton 241
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I bought a 241 in great condition from SOTW marketplace for $400. When I played for the first time I was amazed by it tone and it ergos. Sound is mellow but also powerful, darker than my Big B. Keyboard more comfortable than my Big B and every Martin, Conn and King I ever played. There's not too much of these for sale but if you find one you'll be surprised.
 

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I bought a 241 in great condition from SOTW marketplace for $400. When I played for the first time I was amazed by it tone and it ergos. Sound is mellow but also powerful, darker than my Big B. Keyboard more comfortable than my Big B and every Martin, Conn and King I ever played. There's not too much of these for sale but if you find one you'll be surprised.
Good, I am glad you are liking it! Definitely a good value.
 

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The Revelation predated the 24X series. Basically, it's just an older version of. Very similar in design, feel, and sound, although some 24X horns have comfier/faster pinky tables than others.

Don't overlook a Revelation, though (although they are far rarer than a 241). They are really the same beast, for all intents and purposes.

No Holtons had RTH's. Most had silver-soldered chimney holes, really nice craftsmanship on those.
 

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Yep, Jaye is right. The Revelation is just the old model, and existed even before it got the 213 model number. Mine doesn't have a tuner neck either. Think older split key sax with the earlier ones. A lot of folks call the early ones "Elkhorns" because they didn't have a model specified on the original offerings, just the made in Elkhorn sign. They were called Revelation in the advertisements of the day. Rudy Wiedoefts are older too, but with the different keywork. Comparing the old ones to the 24X series is roughly the same as comparing Conn NWs to the classic 10Ms, or Buescher Truetones to Aristocrats or 400s. Its a difference of era, 20s-30s, vs. late 40s-50s, with all that that brings. Not really any models I'd steer away from, although some gripe about working on the keywork of Rudys. That's a Rudy playing in the clip above, so you be the judge. :)

I have both a Revelation tenor and a 241 tenor--they are both awesome saxes in their own ways.
 

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1926 Buescher TT Alto, 1936 Holton Revelation Tenor, 1954 Holton 271 Bari
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Yep, Jaye is right. The Revelation is just the old model, and existed even before it got the 213 model number. Mine doesn't have a tuner neck either. Think older split key sax with the earlier ones. A lot of folks call the early ones "Elkhorns" because they didn't have a model specified on the original offerings, just the made in Elkhorn sign. They were called Revelation in the advertisements of the day. Rudy Wiedoefts are older too, but with the different keywork. Comparing the old ones to the 24X series is roughly the same as comparing Conn NWs to the classic 10Ms, or Buescher Truetones to Aristocrats or 400s. Its a difference of era, 20s-30s, vs. late 40s-50s, with all that that brings. Not really any models I'd steer away from, although some gripe about working on the keywork of Rudys. That's a Rudy playing in the clip above, so you be the judge. :)

I have both a Revelation tenor and a 241 tenor--they are both awesome saxes in their own ways.
Has any comparison been done between the 213 and the split bell "Elkhorn" Revelations?
 

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Has any comparison been done between the 213 and the split bell "Elkhorn" Revelations?
Sound wise, Jaye is probably the best bet.

Just looking at pics of the late 30s 213 on ebay, and my older model, the keys have taken a dramatic step forward with regards to ergonomics. The LH table is much bigger and more modern (many older ones have the little G# button). Unknown if articulated though on later models. Also, the LH palm keys are set up much better, and the alt F is now standard. On the older ones, alt F is pretty rare--mine does not have). The little tone hole on the bow is gone in the 213s too.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-193...759?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3391ad6027

Member LaPorte was tracking changes in the Revelations over the evolution of them. I think he had discovered a change in the body tube over the years, towards a more modern sound. Not 100% sure though--anyone?
 

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Just to clarify, the Revelations I have had (and my own personal Tenor is a goldplated one, serial 112,8XX) had same-side bellkeys and they actually read Revelation. Just wanna say this because there may be some confusion that all Revelations were split-bellkey, and they weren't.

I am getting in a 241 shortly, and actually ....although I meant to do this along time ago, I am gonna measure up the 241 and compare it to this Revelation to see the body specs.

I can say, as Geausax says, that yes, the 241 keywork is a bit more streamlined than the Revelation's is, which would follow considering the former is a later model. But really, the Rev is not clunky to move around on at all..
 

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Probably YES but there's not such a big demand of these great horns. I would keep it if I were you.
I would have kept it (or more likely another horn or horns I had before it), but I have smallish hands, and the right hand keywork was a bit spread for me to finger quickly. This has been a common problem for me - same issue with my King Cleveland and Buescher 400 (I got the Holton as partial trade towards the Buescher) that I otherwise liked - so the Holton is not unusually spread. (This is why I kept my Bundy Special/Keilwerth and my Dolnet BelAir and sold the others - nothing wrong with the King or the Buescher or Holton, they just didn't fit me.)
 

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Hello fellow Holton enthusiasts.

I am primarily an Alto and soprano player but dabble with the C-Mel as well.

I have been considering buying a vintage Bb Tenor for some time and have favoured the Conn NWIIs or 10Ms but finding a good one that is not a budget buster especially since it would not be my primary instrument seems tough.

It seems that the Holton altos and tenors dont get much respect in the vintage market but after acquiring my Holton C-sop, I find the build quality, tone and playability excellent.

The Holton tenors I see online seem much more reasonable then the Conns, Bueschers, and Martins of the era. I assume it is due to reputation and lack of collector interest. How are they as player's horns and what models are best bets and what models should be avoided?

Thanks
Mike---you ever get the Holton Tenor?
 
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