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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title suggested, I'd like to know How to tell if the Beechler bellite is vintage? I see a few ads stating as vintage but what is the detail that shows it is vintage?

thanks
 

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1) Thinner rails.
2) More rounded tip curvature.
3) Tip size on table.
4) No serial number.
5) Milling lines on table.
6) Any others?
 

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To illustrate further, below are 2 listings on eBay (one has been sold). One is a modern Bellite, the other is a "vintage" Bellite. You can compare the points I listed above between the two listings.

1) Modern Bellite: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Beechler-B...m=273263396704&_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982

2) Vintage Bellite: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Beechler-B...jSfcYe0SJvhXhLpxXBIIlBeKkAc%3D&orig_cvip=true

I'd also say a silver metal ligature vs. a black one is another distinction, but then someone could just have a silver ligature and match it with a new Bellite and claim it was "vintage."
 

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as far as i know the oldest ones are ones with silver ligature and vertical machine marks. serial number-wise the oldest ones have no serial number. then the serial is hand carved and the modern ones are machined. older ones come with a silver ligature and unmarked caps. i think they have the tip size on the table until the late 2000's. i don't use rails as an indicator as i've seen thick rails appear with those vertical marks. there are a few vintage beechlers recently sold on ebay and you can find them with the advanced search option.
 

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as far as i know the oldest ones are ones with silver ligature and vertical machine marks. serial number-wise the oldest ones have no serial number. then the serial is hand carved and the modern ones are machined. older ones come with a silver ligature and unmarked caps. i think they have the tip size on the table until the late 2000's. i don't use rails as an indicator as i've seen thick rails appear with those vertical marks. there are a few vintage beechlers recently sold on ebay and you can find them with the advanced search option.
The thing is, you don't take any of these attributes separately -- you take them all together, i.e., rounded tip + thin rails + no serial number + tip opening on table + silver ligature, etc. Can you link to an example of a "vintage" Bellite with thick rails? I've never come across one as the thin rails are one of the clearest giveaways of a vintage example (note that really close-up photos can make the rails appear thicker than they actually are).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your insight,

I asked because I have one sitting in my drawer and it fits all the description of an early vintage:

No serial
Thin rails
Curved tip
Silver lig
Unmarked cap
Tip on table

The opening is a ridiculous 9. What would be a good price to let it go? I see those prices are really high ATM, I'm not really believing it...
 

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Thanks for your insight,

I asked because I have one sitting in my drawer and it fits all the description of an early vintage:

No serial
Thin rails
Curved tip
Silver lig
Unmarked cap
Tip on table

The opening is a ridiculous 9. What would be a good price to let it go? I see those prices are really high ATM, I'm not really believing it...
Nor am I.

They aren't "worth" anymore than the newish ones. But apparently they are worth more to a collector.
 

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Thanks for your insight,

I asked because I have one sitting in my drawer and it fits all the description of an early vintage:

No serial
Thin rails
Curved tip
Silver lig
Unmarked cap
Tip on table

The opening is a ridiculous 9. What would be a good price to let it go? I see those prices are really high ATM, I'm not really believing it...
The 6s and 7s are the ones getting the ridiculously high prices right now. Not sure how much you're going to get for your 9, but you're probably not going to get the same crazy money the 6s and 7s are getting since there would likely be a more limited market of buyers who are looking for a mouthpiece that open.

To give you context, I have a 5 that I'm selling right now and the highest offer I've received for it so far is $400. It’s still more than what New 5’s go for, but not quite the crazy money the vintage 6s and 7s are getting.
 

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I've been on the lookout for a decent newer or vintage Bellite, then I saw this. Contacted Steve Neff and got a killer deal on this exact mouthpiece from him. This guy in China is making these replicas of 80's Bellites. This review looks and sounds very good. Perhaps I will do an additional review of it when I get it.

JX Custom B alto sax mouthpiece 80s Beechler Bellite replicas.
 

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Thanks for your insight,

I asked because I have one sitting in my drawer and it fits all the description of an early vintage:

No serial
Thin rails
Curved tip
Silver lig
Unmarked cap
Tip on table

The opening is a ridiculous 9. What would be a good price to let it go? I see those prices are really high ATM, I'm not really believing it...
Nor am I.

They aren't "worth" anymore than the newish ones. But apparently they are worth more to a collector.
To be fair, they do play significantly better than the newish ones (unless you get the newish piece customized/worked on) just not $1,000 better.
 

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Formerly 1958SelmerMarkVI
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So, I'm curious, I know that there is a certain individual (whose name escapes me at the moment) who has been associated with the early Beechler pieces, yet even the early ones appear to be machine faced. Were they partially hand finished in the early days? Is that what makes them better? If they are just machine made, why did quality decrease?
 

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So, I'm curious, I know that there is a certain individual (whose name escapes me at the moment) who has been associated with the early Beechler pieces, yet even the early ones appear to be machine faced. Were they partially hand finished in the early days? Is that what makes them better? If they are just machine made, why did quality decrease?
Dave Koz plays one, which, let’s face it, is why they are going for so much because smooth jazz is so big in China. Not sure if that’s who you’re thinking of.

As far as I know, they’ve never been handfinished.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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So, I'm curious, I know that there is a certain individual (whose name escapes me at the moment) who has been associated with the early Beechler pieces, yet even the early ones appear to be machine faced. Were they partially hand finished in the early days? Is that what makes them better? If they are just machine made, why did quality decrease?
Dave Koz plays one, which, let';s face it, is why they are going for so much because smooth jazz is so big in China. Not sure if that';s who you';re thinking of.

As far as I know, they';ve never been handfinished.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Eric Marienthal plays one as well. Definitely a huge factor, in the same way the Vandoren Jumbo Java Blues are also going for crazy money (Warren Hill uses one). The difference is that the blue Jumbo Javas are in fact not that different from the modern/black ones. With the Beechlers, there is a real difference.

The folks at Beechler will tell you the modern ones are exactly the same as the old ones, but even by just eyeballing each side by side, anyone can easily tell that they are different. When you play and A-B them, you'll confirm even further that they are in fact different.

As to the reason for the “deterioration,” I have no idea. Maybe someone decided to tinker with the design?
 

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Dave Koz plays one, which, let’s face it, is why they are going for so much because smooth jazz is so big in China. Not sure if that’s who you’re thinking of.

As far as I know, they’ve never been handfinished.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No, I was thinking of someone who worked at beechler back in the day whose name sometimes gets attached to these early ones as a selling point. For the life of me I can't remember who it was, and a google search isn't jogging my memory either.

Still that begs the question, if these were never hand finished, why are the new ones inferior? I honestly don't know what the process of machining a mouthpiece entails. I just imagine that it would be relatively consistent. So, if they were able to make pieces with well balanced, thin rails back in the 80's on a machine, why can't they do that now?
 

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Dave Koz plays one, which, let’s face it, is why they are going for so much because smooth jazz is so big in China. Not sure if that’s who you’re thinking of.

As far as I know, they’ve never been handfinished.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No, I was thinking of someone who worked at beechler back in the day whose name sometimes gets attached to these early ones as a selling point. For the life of me I can't remember who it was, and a google search isn't jogging my memory either.

Still that begs the question, if these were never hand finished, why are the new ones inferior? I honestly don't know what the process of machining a mouthpiece entails. I just imagine that it would be relatively consistent. So, if they were able to make pieces with well balanced, thin rails back in the 80's on a machine, why can't they do that now?
Charles Black? That’s a name I see on a lot of listings for the “vintage” Bellites.
 

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Charles Black? That’s a name I see on a lot of listings for the “vintage” Bellites.
Yep, that's it! I kept thinking Robert Black, but he's a classical sax guy.

I thought I've seen references to him hand finishing the early ones, but perhaps that isn't the case.
 

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Charles Black? That';s a name I see on a lot of listings for the “vintage” Bellites.
Yep, that's it! I kept thinking Robert Black, but he's a classical sax guy.

I thought I've seen references to him hand finishing the early ones, but perhaps that isn't the case.
I';ve seen those references as well, although it';s not clear if he did the hand finishing as a matter of course or only when customization was requested (and paid for) by the buyer. Maybe someone who actually knows for sure can chime in.

With respect to changes over time, seems to me that someone at Beechler may have made a conscious decision to change the design of the Bellites, and the revamped design just doesn';t work as well as the original one. I mean, the rail thickness may be attributed to processing/machining variances, but the roundness vs. flatness of the tip appears to be by design. So taken in combination, the changes appear to be intentional (just not effective).

Btw, why does the system keep adding semi-colons to words with an apostrophe? I’m suing my phone to post.
 
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