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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've had this sax for a couple of years now and love it, but just never officially cleared up EXACTLY what it is/when it's from. Just very recently I decided it was time to figure it all out.

I bought the vintage horn off of Ebay a few years ago for a great price in my opinion and I absolutely love it. Sorry to say I have no pictures of it right now, but if I get a hold of a friend's camera I will try to load some up.

Most people I originally asked believed it to be a Martin or a Conn. Martin, because the shape of the high LH keys. Conn, I don't remember why. I originally believed it to be a Martin as well, but was never sure.

After recent research I now believe it to be a Buescher under the production of Elkhart, but would like some opinions. Engraved on the bell is:
The
Elkhart
BAND-INST.-CO.
ELKHART
IND.
All of this inside a heart with an elk head on top with floral all around. Laquer I think is all original and I would say probably 95%. Nice shiny dark bronze finish (wear marks rubber down by finger use turned cool dull golden colour.

Serial number: 53097 with LP (for low pitch) underneath.

This would date it to 1919-20 if it is considered Buescher, but I think it would more likely be around 1930 (I believe that's when the Elkharts were produced?). I know it was played throughout europe throughout the war by a previous owner. (had some info on original owner on the ebay add, and I'm kicking myself now for not printing it off... I find all that kind of thing interesting).

Is the Elkhart model considered to be a stencil? and if so is it considered worse than originals? Not that I care too much, because the sound on this one is exactly what I love on an alto, but still.

After purchasing this sax, I have really fallen in love with the vintage sound. In my opinion, no new horn brings the same personality in it. But in all fairness I've never touched some of the real pricey models out there either lol.

Anyway, any help/info on this would be greatly appreciated!
(and after that I may have to find out similar info to my original 1st alto. Non-vintage, probably not a great model per say, but again, did me well with a nice sound and I still have it today.);)

Thanks a lot,
Ryan
 

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Buescher bought Elkhart band inst co but it could be an original elkhart as buescher put Elkhart by Buescher on their horns
Dave
 

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The Indiana Band Instrument Company was a company which was owned by Martin and produced most of their stencils.

The tell tale signs of the Martin are bevelled and soldered toneholes (the chimneys). Here http://www.themartinstory.net/ you will find more about Martin.

Of course Buescher is an entirely different sort of horn
http://www.saxpics.com/buescher/index.htm

And they did own a Elkhart Band Instrument Company form 1927 on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elkhart_Band_Instrument_Company

I think the more knowledgeable members on this forum (therefore not me;) ) will greatly benefit from the pubblications of some pics in order to precisely identify your horn.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info guys.

My sax does have soldered and bevelled tone holes, that was another reason I originally thought it to be a Martin. I have not found any model Martin to be the same as this though. The link you gave me on Elkhart is partially what I have read about leading me to believe I have a Buescher.

I am going to try to get some pictures up today.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok I actually just came across an old thread in another forum that pretty much describes my sax I think. Similar serial number too. (Someone had the same problem as me, and there were some good descriptive responses). Here's the link if you're interested:
http://www.saxquest.com/forumThreadView.asp?ForumUID=7&ThreadUID=2655

I will still post some pictures up sometime today, for more confirmation. But now I really think it is a Buescher made Elkhart from 1919-1920.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pictures

Here's the pictures:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I see views, any comments?
 

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Interesting horn.
The body with the soldered toneholes says "Martin" to me - though with no high F it would be pre 1930. The clubbed high Eb key says "Buescher" to me though -the Martin's were generally shaped to be more similar to one another.
If it were pre 1929 Buescher I would think it would have the round pearl G# though - but the G# isn't the later Buescher style either.

So perhaps a Martin body with some Buescher transitional keywork?
My best guess anyway.

Anyone else?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hm interesting. Now I'm all messed up again! lol
Thought I actually had it all down to being a Buescher made Elkhart, but now the Martin idea comes up again...

Thanks hgrail and luispa. But one thign on your comments... so Martin did in fact make Elkharts as well? After some recent reading I thought that it was Beardsley and C.G. Conn that had to do with it... Linking Conn, Buescher and Elkhart all together. How does Martin fit in?
 

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The split bell pads tells me it is 1920's. The G# touch was not Buescher as far as I know. The LP marking differs from what Buescher used (Low Pitch spelled out). DAVE
 

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That horn was made by the Indiana Band Inst. Co. which Martin bought sometime in the late 20s. I have seen them stenciled for a lot of makers including Holton. After Martin bought them, they were renamed INDIANA and continued with the 20s design into the mid 30s at least. I have one from about 1933 with the indian head on the bell. They never had the front F and most of the keywork was similar to Martin but not the same. I find them to be similar to a series I Handcraft with the thinner tone holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
bruce bailey said:
That horn was made by the Indiana Band Inst. Co. which Martin bought sometime in the late 20s. I have seen them stenciled for a lot of makers including Holton. After Martin bought them, they were renamed INDIANA and continued with the 20s design into the mid 30s at least.
So you're saying that my horn was made buy indiana band inst co BEFORE Martin bought it out?... Making it not a Conn, not a Buescher, not a Martin, but technically just called: The Elkhart, made by Indiana Band Inst. co.? hm
thanks for the input:)
 

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If you go to sax.co.uk and look under the section "old saxes" you will see a sax marked "sold" which is listed as "1920's Elkhart (by Buescher)" - sorry I haven't been able to create a link. This is a silver plated model, but other than that very similar to yours. I had a blow on this sax before they sold it, and yes, it really did have a nice tone.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ocvtave mech. pics:

and Nick880, yes that sax apperas to be almost exactly like mine. Only differences I see are that I don't think the tone holes are bevelled on that one (hard to tell), and the key guard attachments on that one are oval, and on mine they're diamiond lol (which is completely insignificant).
But they don't seem sure on the model either, saying only: "Our online research suggests that it is early 1920's and made by Buescher."

but thankyou for the link:)
 

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I would beg to differ because many of the features of that horn are very Conn of the very early 20's and late teens. The tone holes look soldered like my 1921 Conn Bass, in fact they are so similar in terms of set that I would say they were identical. The Eb palm key is very Conn too of this early period.

Some other features look Buescher too. The angle of the bell is very Conn like. The low Eb vent/trill key looks Conn.

I couldn't put a manufacturer on it as a stencil horn but it looks like a conglomeration of various manufacturers. it may have possibly been a way the factory had of getting rid of the older parts lying about in storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hm, I have heard a lot of other people comment on the Conn like features, and that's why it was a toss up between Conn and Martin over the last couple of years and I just left it at that. By what you're saying, it seems like I may never find out exactlyyyy what I'm wondering about what/where/when history of my sax:(. But I have learnt a lot about all of these brands in the process, so that's somewhat of a consolation I guess lol.
But hey, it plays and sounds great and it more than works for me, so I'm happy.

Overall now looking at all the opinions online and in person I've had over the years I haven't narrowed the search, but more-so broadened it lol.
Could be a Conn, Martin, Buescher, just Elkhart on its own, or possibly even a mutt (mix of a few).

I still don't want to give up yet though, so keep the thoughts/opinions/ideas and references coming!

Thanks:)
 

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Well, well, well! I have rarely seen people who usually get it right disagree so much! What to make of this one?!

Firstly, let's clarify the question of soldered tone holes. Yes, Martin was the company that persevered, but Buescher made them and Conn made a few, too. These are nothing like Martin though; the shape is all wrong. Buescher just maybe, but they look more rounded than these. Conn? - sorry, no idea.

The maker, Elkhart B.I.C., used Martin much of the time, but also Buescher, before being bought up by Buescher (I thought 1928, but I can't argue with 1927). The Elk's head is to be expected, too. Split bell keys say 1920s, but then so too does the make.

The Eb key is pure Buescher to me ... but Conn to Bootman. The other keywork - G# excepted - is very difficult to call at that period.

Intriguing!
 
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