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Discussion Starter #1
I Am now the proud owner of a Martin handcraf stencil C-melody saxophone. It came with case and a broken mpc.. the tip was just not there, but this wont be a problem as i`ve read on this forum and on Alan Tucker`s site.

it was in quite ok condition, the pads were fine a few missing corks all the felts were still on it. and i could play it out of the box but only to the low E.. so probably a few leaks. It`s matte silver and quite dirty but i`m going to spend this summer fixing it up. (my first time taking a sax apart btw)

oh and it came with a strange small tube about 1¾ inch long. the top part can turn in such a manner that the vents are open or closed and everything between. the bottom part does also rotate. I have NO clue at all what this is.

and it had a few old "fibercane" reeds in some old paper reed holders.

i`ve made a few pics, hope you enjoy it! https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/19536871/1/C-mel?h=774eb3
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Me
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Koen88 - welcome, good choice, Martin...:lick:

When you've got the sax stripped, it would be a good time to check that the solder is good on the toneholes - here's the link to Stephen Howards excellent article -

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/HandyHints/Martin_toneholes.htm

The sax could be OK, but good time to check, and fix, when it's stripped down. You don't need the old mouthpiece, I'm sure something more modern will do much better, it's a Martin !

btw - I've no idea what the 'mystery object' is, thought it might be a (smoking) pipe reamer, but no blades... Sounds intriguing, like a mad prototype rotating trumpet valve :mrgreen:
 

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mystery object might be a humidifier. Save those Fibercane reeds. Not to be confused with Fibracel, Fibercane reeds are no longer made. Some of them were good players. You can clean them with soap and water.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alan thanks for the tip, but i allready read the article :cool:. I`ve been interrested in C-mels for about a year now, and finally I`ve got one.. but in that year without I`ve been reading up A LOT.

I have tweaked and dissassembled a few things allready and first inspection states no such thing.. however the G# tonehole has been soldered on by a tech.. with a little drip inside the body:(.

Soybean, I`ll try those reeds when It`s all assembled, they look like tenor reeds, and my tenor is away for repairs.. But I think I`ll be washing and disinfecting them on forehand.
 

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Very good choice of horn, & welcome to he C tenor asylum.
Is the small tube the neck plug by any chance...with some form of venting system incorporated for no apparent reason.
Your mouthpiece choice is wide open...I am highly biased, but in your position I would start with a good modern tenor piece...the Martin has a distinct leaning towards the tenor timbre & should be encouraged.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I`ve played my Alto OL 5* on it earlier today (when it was still assembled) It played well but i didnt like the tone, in a few weeks i will be getting a Saxscape FatCat (proto) so I will see how that works. I also have a vintage lelandais superjazz and something what i believe is an old Riffault but this one will only contribute to the stuffy sound / image the C-mel can have/ has.

and the small tube is too small to be a neck plug.
 

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That device looks like a nose hair trimmer!
Insert into nose until tight, then rotate knurled end... :dazed:

But have hot soldering iron on hand to cauterise...

Seriously Bruce, could well be if the openings have sharp edges. Makes my eyes water just thinking about it. Not to mention what could be inside :yikes!:

Prefer to think of it as a well engineered 'coke' dispenser...
 

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I would like to think that it is some form of tuner....attach to a string & whirl it to whistle the pitch of A.
More realistically....a dope grinder.
 

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Welcome! You will really like your new-old horn!
 

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The mystery device looks like one of those siren whistles. Have you tried blowing into it and seeing if it makes a really obnoxious noise?

I wonder if it might be the opposite, some sort of mute?

Enjoy your C-Mel. If it had tenor reeds in the box, it might even be neck-corked properly for a tenor piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the only sound it makes when i blow into it is the sound of wind passing obstacles.. not anything like a whistle.. And I tried to put it in the sax neck (like the saxgourmet thing) but it only makes blowing harder withouth any significant sound reduction..

Oh and its Corked for a mouthpiece with inner cork haha.. It`s allmost completely Gone..
 

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So it's a variable resistance lung exerciser. Or a mouthpiece humidifier for keeping your reed moist without taking it off the mouthpiece. Or a mouthpiece de-humidifier for helping your reed dry without taking it off the mouthpiece. Or a mothball inhaler. The two knurled surfaces suggest that it might be a pocket pepper grinder... everyone should have one of those in the sax case, right?
 

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Right... I just wish that each case had a small 'logbook', with details of the previous owner(s) - all these 20's saxes have a 'tale to tell', and we mostly know nothing of it :(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree Alan. I found it very interesting when some old reedcases and reeds (Fibercane..) were still in there. The cases had the names of several musicshops in america.. And i think i`m going to hand reproduce one of those fibercanes they look quite interesting.

But i sill wonder, who did this sax belong to? what music did he play with it. etc. etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
well some time has passed since then and quite some work has been done as well!

so here`s the update;


  • I have cleaned it in the bath with aluminum foil and baking soda and that worked fantastic!
  • I had some toneholes leveled because some were heavily corroded and especially the palm key toneholes they looked like craters!
  • the bell is resoldered on the body, probably came loose with shipping.
  • A new cork has been fitted as well.

now I got to the point that i can play it top to bottom, but not completely effortless. but there is some work yet to be done:

  • I have to set a few keys to the altered toneholes and I`m missing one spring and an other one is too short so it pops out sometimes.
  • And i`m using the pads that came with the sax, only one was completely dried out and replaced. when I have some more money Its going to get Roo`s.

I`ll see if I can make some pictures tomorrow or maybe this evening..

but for now I`ve recorded some random "noodling" that I mostly play when I`m warming up to check all notes and such:
bit.ly/p2MHdq

I`m using a Lelandais Superjazz IV mouthpiece combined with a 2.5 legere.. the reed is a bit light for such a closed mpc but i can play on it if I concentrate on my breathing..
 

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Sounds nice Koen, get those pads in it and you will have a monster player! Congratulations and have fun with your vintage C!
 
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