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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi every one.Brand new member james here.I'm learning the sax with a Lark alto.It has the serial # M4019-21.Shanghai,China.My repair guy was impressed with it when he gave it a going over,mentioning that he had found that they tended to be a bit dodgy in the top end.But this one was good.I've been trying to date it.There is little direct infomation on the net that I've been able to find so far.Other than the company no longer exists,bought out by someone.I'm wondering if anyone out there has any info on these horns?In particular dating it,but any info would be great and much appreciated.

Good days & dreams to you & yours,
....James....
 

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I've never heard of this "Lark" before either, but my first guess would be that it's a stencil horn, meaning it is basically a copy of an older horn (Martin, Conn, Bueshcer, Keilwerth, etc...) just with a different company's logo on it. It might be easier to identify if you posted pictures of the horn. Try to get a few, to show off all the angles of the horn, which makes identifying stencil horns much easier.
 

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ThunderWhale said:
...but my first guess would be that it's a stencil horn, meaning it is basically a copy of an older horn (Martin, Conn, Bueshcer, Keilwerth, etc...) just with a different company's logo on it.
A copy maybe, but not a stencil. A stencil is actually made by Conn, Keilwerth etc with a different company's logo on it. A copy is exactly that, and is the only connection with the original horn. In this case it's most probably a copy but definitely not a stencil.
 

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The Shanghai Wind Instrument Factory producing the "Lark" brand (among others) is still very much around and manufacturing cheaper woodwinds and brasswinds. This isn't a stencil horn, nor is it a copy of a vintage Conn/Martin/King etc. These are your run of the mill, PRC knockoffs of Yani/Selmer inspired horns that you see floating all over Ebay etc. Here is a link and auction number to one of many Ebay ads offering these horns:

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Golden-Lacquer-Straight-Soprano-Saxophone_W0QQitemZ7383875528QQihZ016QQcategoryZ16203QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

#7383875528.

I can't attest to just how good or bad they stack up to other horns of their ilk, as I have never played one personally.
 

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Started a number of years ago (too many to admit to ...) on a Lark tenor sax. It got me through school and fostered a love of saxes for me.

W.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi to all,
My apologys for taking so long to reply.Got called away to a big job in the bush,no computers out there,lol.My thanks to all who replied.Your help is much appreciated and has managed to clear things up quite a bit.

Cheers,
....James....
 

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The first Lark horns were exact copies of the Selmer Mark VI. So much so that you can actually use a Lark as a parts donor for a VI! I can't say anything about current Lark horns. They probably bear as much resemblance as current Conns do the ones made in the 50s. Oh wait... Conns are made in China too now...
 

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When I worked for a music store in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the lark was commonly sold through Sears. They spent a LOT of time in repair..
 

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So I have been looking for a student sax and this one has crossed my path, "Lark" serial # M 4021 V . Does anyone have any other info on it? How much is it worth? Will it play as well as the yamaha yas 23? If someone could give me some info that wopuld be great.
:)
 

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So I have been looking for a student sax and this one has crossed my path, "Lark" serial # M 4021 V . Does anyone have any other info on it? How much is it worth? Will it play as well as the yamaha yas 23? If someone could give me some info that wopuld be great.
:)
There is oodles of threads about this on here, from vintage to modern from $300 to $10,000!

Probably won't get much response in this thread. Either search for it (I know, being new, it is difficult, and search can be cumbersome at times), or start a new thread :) . In which case, you'll get many links to the other threads. Good for all :) .

As far as the lark, don't bother. There are MUCH better saxes to spend you money on!
 

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Here is a little history of Lark.
It used to be the oldest and largest manufacture of woodwind and brass instruments in China, with more than 100 years of history now. It's originated in Shanghai which is the first city in China to meet the western culture, in the early 1900s. In the early days, since they are produced in area controlled by France and Germany, their products sometime even mark as "Made in France" or "Made in Germany" and export to the world. The Lark brand come out around 1950. Their products follow the design of Super Balance and Selmer Mark VI. They privatize in the early 90s and don't even make their own sax anymore.

There is really no point buying a new Lark, but think the old Larks, ones made in 1966-1979, are quality products.
 

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well, if they are quality products, then most of the technicians who avoid them as the black death must be wrong! I see often Lark sax ( and Parrots ands Swallows) some are indeed SBA or Mark Vi reproduction or a combination of the two.Their prices are extremely low and as far as I know have no market at all.

Following the comment made by Jason DuMars I have asked several technicians if they have ever used parts from a Lark to fix a Selmer and they have said that they would only ever do this if nothing at all was available because of the bad quality of the donor horn to start with.
 

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Leo van Oostrom wrote about Lark and Gulf saxes (China) in the late 70's. I don't know the name of the article but it was called "Saxologi" in the Swedish magazine "Musikern".
 

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Never read the article but I am quite sure that he was amazed at what piece of human waste these Lark horns were
 

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well, if they are quality products, then most of the technicians who avoid them as the black death must be wrong! I see often Lark sax ( and Parrots ands Swallows) some are indeed SBA or Mark Vi reproduction or a combination of the two.Their prices are extremely low and as far as I know have no market at all.

Following the comment made by Jason DuMars I have asked several technicians if they have ever used parts from a Lark to fix a Selmer and they have said that they would only ever do this if nothing at all was available because of the bad quality of the donor horn to start with.
Found these pictures and decided to add them to this old thread. I am sure that they are impossible to date (unless one has a receipt ) note how someone has inverted the lowest Guards, this is a SBA arrangement with some characteristics of a Mark VI too




 
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