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I've always wondered what Martin fans would say to this question: if you had to choose a horn other than a martin, what would it be?

I personally would choose a Buesher. I've had the opportunity to try a couple, all of which were at a garage sale. Even though the horns had sat in some attic for 70 years and still had the original white pads (which wasn't so white when I tried them) they still managed to show some of their power and impress me (I've tried a couple of tru-tones and an "elkhardt," which I'm pretty shure is their student model). I've always wanted to play one in good repair.

Well, thats my opinion, what do you all have to say?
 

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I just acquired my first Martin Tenor -- A Martin Handcraft Committee II, and it's got a nice mellow tone with quite a bit of punch. However, I think I'm still leaning toward my 1956 King Zephyr as my favorite tenor.

I've played amd owned vintage Bueschers, Selmers, Conns, SMLs, Buffets, Kings, Kohlerts...and now Martins (I also used to own a 1950s Indiana alto); and my conclusion is that the King horns are the best all-around American horns ever made. By that I mean when you consider tone, action, projection, etc., the King is truly the King. I guess that's why the Super 20 has been called "The American Mark VI" (with the idea that the VI is the most versatile sax ever produced). While the Conn 10M might be a shade darker than a King and has a sound just as big, it doesn't seem to have as even of timbre throughout the range a Super 20 or a good double-sleeve-necked Zephyr. Other than the few Mark VI's I have played (they do deserve their reputation btw), I have never played a horn as smooth and even throughout the registers as a vintage King. In other words, it sounds like the same horn from high F down to low Bb, moreso than any other vintage American horn.
 

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I play a King alto and I absolutely love it, so If I didnt have my killer Martin tenor, I'd have a smoking Super 20 tenor
 

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A vintage Keilwerth built sax with rolled toneholes, like New King. The play nearly as good as a Martin! The Euopean substitute for Martins!
 

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I think I would go for another Super 20, the alto version
 

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I've never tried any of these, but I'd love to go "uptown" and try a 30M or a Zephyr Special. Alternatively, I'd love to try an SX90r--they're so controversial and I'd like to see/hear for myself.

R
 

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As a replacement of my Martin tenor ?
Nothing !!!

But if I had to choose:
Buescher BigB tenor from a friend of mine
That late Mark VI I played in a shop...
A truly nice playing SA80 series 2 of another friend..

Yes, all individual saxophones...

Never played a Super 20 though
 

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rleitch said:
I've never tried any of these, but I'd love to go "uptown" and try a 30M or a Zephyr Special. Alternatively, I'd love to try an SX90r--they're so controversial and I'd like to see/hear for myself.

R
You should try those, because among the gazillion horn I own, those are my choices too. The Super 20 and late 1940's early 50's regular Zephyr models must be included too.
 

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Bootman said:
Conn or Buescher, no particular order.
Oy, Bootman!

I hope you're not offended by my greeting. It's just that I've been thinking of AC/DC since I recently visited the same area of Florida that Brian Johnson now resides in (I actually got to see his house on the Gulf). I'm sure you know who he is. ;)

But anyway, I'll get to the point. But let me first preface my question by saying that I am not really serious about all the Martin-bashing I've engaged in in the past. (I say this because I know you are a big proponent of those horns.) It's just that I noticed a while back that the Martin folks seem to be very sensitive to criticism, as I discussed on a recent thread, and maybe I just couldn't resist the urge.... :twisted:

But I must add that I am now one of the gang, so to speak, having just acquired a really nice 1939 Handcraft Comm. II tenor. It really has a lot of bark to it, but has a beautiful mellow tone at the same time.

Sorry, that was quite a wind-up. I guess the main thing I want to ask is why you don't like King's, specifically the Super 20? You see, I have been influenced by your recommendations over the past few years--as many others appear to have been as well. For example, I tried a couple Bueschers, and now a Martin.

But I always noticed that King would be conspicuously missing from your list of recommendations (Buescher, Martin and Conn were cited instead--and not necessarily in that order). To be honest, I see this same suggestion list repeated by many others on here--when it comes to vintage horn threads--and I can't help but wonder if you've had an influence on this, whether subconscious or not. (I know for a fact that many on here have been influenced by your suggestions, such as our very own--and now distinguished--JL).

The only thing I ran across on an old thread was that you didn't like the LH cluster on the King's. But anything you can add to this would help to clear up a lot of curiosity on my part.

Maybe you're just trying to keep the prices down until you can afford a great Silver-Sonic, eh? I suppose they are pretty rare Down Under (and thus a pretty penny).

Well, thanks in advance.... :)
 

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not being so exposed to various makes other than selmer and vito i would stay with selmer mk vi .....i own a martin indiana alto circa 1958/9 and just bought a 1955 indiana tenor...and i agree with some..the martins have a nice mellow tone and can provide "punch" when needed as well....i guess i was spoiled having "cut my teeth" on a 1969 selmer mk vi tenor.
 

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Some of us were lucky to get a Mark VI years ago (I paid $184 new) but with today's prices I would not even consider one. I like to have a variety of horns and for less than a used VI would cost today, I have gotten (in the past 3 years) Martin: silver HC, 2 gold HC, 2 typewriters, Troubador, the Martin, Imperial (total $3,200) 4 Conn NW (2 gold plated) 28M Connstellation (total$2,700) for a grand total of under $6.000. So I have a choice of 13 high end horns. If I was back in school playing juries and Wind Ensemble work, I guess the VI would be needed but for me having these great horns is a dream come true. Only problem is which one to use on the next job. The other guys ask "what are you playing tonight". I reply "Alto".
 

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Conn 6M, although I played a Buescher tenor for 5 years and loved it, definitely a sax worth drooling over.
 

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Swingtone,
No offence with the greeting, I have answered "Oy youse buggahs" many times before now.

The reason for the lack of recommendation on the King super 20's is that whilst they are nice playing horns there is an element to their tone that is great but also a limitation. The element I speak of is that sound that doesn't blend well within the sax section, it is the Cannonball sound for want of a better aspect on the Alto and the brashness on the tenors (in silver sonic format and dullness of tone in the non silver sonic models). The other serious drama I found, particularly with the older pearled side key models (including the Zephyr specials), is the ultra heavy low C# (even by vintage horn standards).

I have also found their intonation to be harder to control, the sound is difficult to blend and the tone colour of the horn is very inflexible. They are great Blues or Soul or Bop horns but lack the subtlety of timbre to be a great all round horn. I have found that the Magna models to be the most flexible and to have better intonation than the Super 20 silver sonic

Hope this helps?

Swingtone said:
Oy, Bootman!

I hope you're not offended by my greeting. It's just that I've been thinking of AC/DC since I recently visited the same area of Florida that Brian Johnson now resides in (I actually got to see his house on the Gulf). I'm sure you know who he is. ;)

But anyway, I'll get to the point. But let me first preface my question by saying that I am not really serious about all the Martin-bashing I've engaged in in the past. (I say this because I know you are a big proponent of those horns.) It's just that I noticed a while back that the Martin folks seem to be very sensitive to criticism, as I discussed on a recent thread, and maybe I just couldn't resist the urge.... :twisted:

But I must add that I am now one of the gang, so to speak, having just acquired a really nice 1939 Handcraft Comm. II tenor. It really has a lot of bark to it, but has a beautiful mellow tone at the same time.

Sorry, that was quite a wind-up. I guess the main thing I want to ask is why you don't like King's, specifically the Super 20? You see, I have been influenced by your recommendations over the past few years--as many others appear to have been as well. For example, I tried a couple Bueschers, and now a Martin.

But I always noticed that King would be conspicuously missing from your list of recommendations (Buescher, Martin and Conn were cited instead--and not necessarily in that order). To be honest, I see this same suggestion list repeated by many others on here--when it comes to vintage horn threads--and I can't help but wonder if you've had an influence on this, whether subconscious or not. (I know for a fact that many on here have been influenced by your suggestions, such as our very own--and now distinguished--JL).

The only thing I ran across on an old thread was that you didn't like the LH cluster on the King's. But anything you can add to this would help to clear up a lot of curiosity on my part.

Maybe you're just trying to keep the prices down until you can afford a great Silver-Sonic, eh? I suppose they are pretty rare Down Under (and thus a pretty penny).

Well, thanks in advance.... :)
 

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I love all of my Martins (Searchlight and Committee altos, HC Comm II tenor, and Committee bari), but if I ever "strayed," it would probably be for one or more Yanis for the modern keywork and low-maintenance. Probably would go bronze.
 
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