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Hi all, A friend of mine asked me to find and overhaul a Vito alto saxes like the one Johnny Hodges used to play. Does anyone know what model and what year Vito that would be. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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It was a model 35 but very elaborately engraved. I can send you a couple of pictures by email and the manual pdf.
They come up on ebay once in a while. The easiest way to recognize them is by the extra cup below right hand D. It is not always mentioned in the ebay ads that it is a model 35.
Good luck
 

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Any idea what a model 35 Vito is worth these days? I have one in good state that needs overhauling and I am trying to decide whether to keep it or sell it.
 

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As far as I remember, they sell on ebay for almost as low prices as other Vito altos, Beaugnier or Yamaha. I bought a Vito "The Duke" (Beaugnier) in very good shape 2 years ago for 335 USD.
 

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well, if they do, I am going to hang on to it since they only ever made 2300 of these special horns and they are way more special than any other regular Vito.
 

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On ebay if they are correctly identified they sell for around $500 to $600 with original pads. Sold as just an early Vito sax they can be had for as little as $350. I am sitting on four of them because I believe they are highly under valued. Jaysf has one for sale right now at $950. www.2ndending.com ... mine, I think are all much nicer but I am not selling them yet.
 

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Still, cheap, indeed for such a special and rare saxophone. Mine needs pads and a bit of work (nothing major) but I am not going to sell it for less than a Yamaha 275 second hand will bring these days! So much better to hang on to it . Really incredible to see how the market can be totally oblivious to such an fine instrument........ but there you go.
 

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The gods must be crazy!!! $1525 for a silver '35' on eBay... $400-500 max for a lacquer '35' on eBay... go figger...
 

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Maybe we should all just agree that a Model 35 Vito is worth $1500... Make life more interesting!
 

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I actually played that horn a couple of times. Frank Wess owns it. Anyway, I recall that Hodges' horn felt clunky to me. I also think that it was a Leblanc modified Rationale system which might have been produced by Beaugnier. It had a high F# and some custom engraving including a serpent on the octave key.
 

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Yes... All Vito 35's 'are' Leblanc 'modified' versions of the Rationale horns... They 'do' feel clunky to me too, they are a monster of purpose... 35's have a F#3 key... The beautiful Hodges' horn appears to have silver/gold/engravings uncommon to the 'limited' production models of the 35's... Our knowledge of Vito history is as well limited, but the simple history appears such that Vito 35's (altos) were the few 2300? production units based on some less numbered 1200-1500?? 'Rationale' models (tenor and alto) built within a minor number of developmental types... BTW, FremontSax has suggested that the J/Hodges 35 was a model 135?? Were their other 135's similar or just his? How did J/H's horn 'sound' to you Barry?
 

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Maybe we should all just agree that a Model 35 Vito is worth $1500... Make life more interesting!
Hmmmmmmmmm if that is the case why am I still trying to sell it for a lot less and get not enquiries?[rolleyes]
 

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well, I did advertise it here and elsewhere , maybe I do need to put it on ebay........
 

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A silver-plated Vito Model 35 alto in very good condition just sold for $1525 on US ebay.
Could it be that silver plated model 35 are rare? That would explain the selling price. The ebay seller claims silver plate, but the sax looks nickel plated.
 

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How did J/H's horn 'sound' to you Barry?
I wasn't blown away by it. It seemed fine but not outstanding. You really need the right mouthpiece to match a horn to get a fair opinion. Unless you're playing a Conn. They seem to work well with just about any mouthpiece. I think that the Hodges alto could have been in suspect shape. Frank Wess had owned it for years but chose to play Romeo Penque's gold-plated mk 6 when he had an alto gig. I only saw Frank with the Vito twice. I'll try to get another shot at playing the horn.
 

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I have had nothing but very good experiences with French Vito's; alto and tenor. Ask JayeSF about them.
 

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Yes... All Vito 35's 'are' Leblanc 'modified' versions of the Rationale horns... They 'do' feel clunky to me too, they are a monster of purpose... 35's have a F#3 key... The beautiful Hodges' horn appears to have silver/gold/engravings uncommon to the 'limited' production models of the 35's... Our knowledge of Vito history is as well limited, but the simple history appears such that Vito 35's (altos) were the few 2300? production units based on some less numbered 1200-1500?? 'Rationale' models (tenor and alto) built within a minor number of developmental types... BTW, FremontSax has suggested that the J/Hodges 35 was a model 135?? Were their other 135's similar or just his? How did J/H's horn 'sound' to you Barry?
Well, if you want to own Johnny Hodges' ACTUAL Vito Alto, it has finally come up on ebay:- http://www.ebay.com/itm/170912927702?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

The ad appears to be genuinely the same sax that is also shown on a video of it being played by the legend in 1969. (One and a half days to go; if only funds permitted)...
 
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