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I'm new to Martins, I love my Martin stencil Tenor 26k.
I was wondering what The Martin Club thinks/feels the best years for a Martin Alto to play modern or smooth jazz.

Thanks in Advance!

Darrell
 

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everyone says the "The Martin" Committee model is the best and but I prefer the pre-war Martin style design. To me, thats a real Martin.
 

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I would place the best as Magna or the Martin (1945-65) then the Committees, HC Imperial, Centennial, etc.(1935-43) and then the later Handcrafts: series III, Typewriter and Troubadour (1928-34). I have about 11 Martin altos and of the older ones, I would avoid the pre-1928 (below about 80,000) models (no front F or high C# adjuster) as the intonation is not that great. Go with one of the Comm. models if you can find one at a decent price. Most of the post 1935 horns are lacquered and they are known to look pretty bad. I found a nice 1961 original with good lacquer but there are very few out there. If you need a series III or Typewriter let me know as I have a few extra.
 

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My ranking is in line with Bruce's as well. I'm of the opinion that Martin never really made a substandard horn, but the Martin Committee and Magna horns are their all round best models IMO.
 

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Bob Ackerman, who is a connoisseur or Martin altos, claims that the last few years of The Martin and Magnas are the best of the lot. I guess that would be the mid-late '50s to around 1967. There were a few Magnas that had a silver neck.

I played Bob's favourite Magna alto, which is a motherfu**er!
 

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Not so much snob appeal as they are just absolute monster horns to play. They are more of everything Martin that a The Martin has. They have Nickel silver keywork is like the older Committee models. when you have played one with a silver neck, you will understand. They are the best RnB, contemporary Rock/ Fusion horn I have ever found period.....a mix of old school rich resonant tenor and edgy overdriven sound when pushed. They will take more air than a Selmer or a Keilwerth without losing the sound colour and centre to the sound.

A Magna is what a Keilwerth is wanting to be and with better intonation and altissimo response.
 

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I have a 1963 RMC Committee 219XXX , it has silver-nickel keywork and aside from the decorative differences there's not much that makes it different from a Magna of the same period. I find it a fantastic horn (except for a few mecanical issues with the octave mechnism and an action which could be nippier) and better so than other Martin of an older vintage. Some frown upon the silver-nickel keywork but they are under the misconception that this is a sign of a student horn while this only became a distintive sign of a cheaper horn much later. My ideal sound is a spread sound (I use to call it hollow) which I am trying to achieve by using a Link STM 5* on it which, so far, is the best I've found.
 

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milandro, I have a 218xxx Martin Magna alto, very close to yours, with the nickel-silver keywork and guards (plus of course the silver cross...). Best alto I've ever played, and doesn't seem bothered about whatever mouthpiece I use, fits into any style.

I have a selection of older Martins and Martin stencils as well, but nothing comes close to the Magna (not that the others are bad, of course :) ) for flexibility and pure power when you need it.
 

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Mine has no magna star... but other than that I think that isn't all that different from yours. I love its sound and , although you can certainly play it with any mouthpiece.... and I did (I've used or rather tried plenty on it), the best results come from the link stm (tried Selmer S80, Selmer Super Session, HR Meyer, HR Link and few others I forgot).

I don't get to play it so often these days because I am concentrating a bit on my King (but I do play a little the Martin everyday).

I just want to get a nippier action and sooner or later I wil ask my technician to work on this
 

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milandro, loving the case! It makes my hiscox look very low rent. Just to chime in here, I think my '57 is very sweet, and this one looks good too!

Milandro, I hate to say "you were right" but I have just been reading about my "new" gregory master 420M and it is allegedly very similar to an otto link..............could have saved myself a few £££!!
 

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Thanks Matthew! I like the case too, but it is a little small, just fits the horn and nothing else! Well, not all links are created equal! :) and I was lucky. I am not yet completely satisfied about my link, I probably need some reed adjustment (sizewise), but I am working on it.
 

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I've read several times in the Forum that Martin Magna altos with a silver neck are terrific horns but very hard to find. Bootman made the same point in this thread. Can anyone tell me if the same result can be achieved with an after-market silver neck -- a neck made recently? Do any of them fit the Magna? Thanks.
 

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terrific and as rare as a hen's tooth! :) Seriously, if one should be so lucky to find one for sale it would cost an arm and a leg. How about going for the Gloger option? Not cheap but at least is there!
 

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John S - I saw you posting in another section, and I was going to add there that even 'ordinary' Martin Magna alto's don't come up for sale that often (if you get a good one you tend to keep it...).

So, as milandro says, ones with a silver neck - unless you have a specific seller in mind - might just come along once in a buying lifetime. I've never, ever, regretted buying my normal 'cooking' Magna alto :) ages ago from a London dealer with a choice at that time of underslung Conns, avoidable Mk VI's, even a King or two, but only one Magna (with n/s keys...) alto in the rack.

And, as far as I know, he's not had another Magna since - mind you, I wish I'd taken out a big loan and bought the LOT. Hindsight is a truly wonderful thing :(
 

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Thanks CMelodySax. I see a very few of the Magna altos on dealer websites but, as you indicate, none with the silver neck. I've also had some feedback that intonation is better on the Top Hat and Cane altos, especially in the upper range, than on the average Magna. Anyone have any experience in making that comparison? Thanks.
 

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1930ies --> HC, HC Troubadour and HC Imperial.
I have a fantastic 1934 Imperial.

Mike
 

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now there's a magna baritone on e-bay.....
 
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