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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to The Martin club having just picked up an early 50s Committee III and hoping the kind folks on the forum can help in explaining what exactly this is and if it's a common thing on these horns.

Okay ... This is disappointing ... Can't post pictures even though my manage attachments function indicates 0 out of 1.91MB used?! Upload error message states the file size is too large which seems odd given they are well below the limit and simple pics from my camera phone.

Anyways ... I'll try to describe the problem until I can resolve the photo issue ... It's a vertical line in the lacquer (lighter than the rest of the horn) that runs the front length of the bell and up to the lip (and actually inside the bell from what I can tell). It's probably only an 1/8 inch at its widest and tapers as it travels up towards the lip. Totally vertical, no waver horizontally, and at regular couple inch intervals imagine a female/male type break in the vertical line ... Like a little block on the left side of the line break that looks like it would fit into a gap of similar size on the right side of the line break. Not sure if any of this will make sense ... And I'll keep trying with the pics.

Thanks for your patience and any insights.
 

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The pieces of a sax are formed by bending sheet metal and then furnace bracing the ends together so that it becomes a tube, or a bell or whatever. The "notches" are alignment features that facilitate the manufacturing process and avoid skew of one side against the other which would result in some crooked design, most importantly, completely negate the manufacturing tolerances. Just take a roll of toilet paper and cut the inner cylinder and then glue it back together and you'll see what I mean.
 

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Well, I'd say it is original lacquer judging by the crisp engraving. What you are seeing is the raw seam that is usually obscured by polishing and tinted lacquer. Maybe this particular bell just had a wider seam than usual and the lacquer didn't stay on it or was rubbed off over time. It is odd to see it that pronounced especially on a bell with lacquer remaining.
 

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looks really clean! post some pictures of complete sax / bell. Would be nice to see. What is the serial number? ???xxx early 50’s?
The seam appears to be normal. Some are just more vivid than others. Some are also covered with plating
 

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your pictures are large but really low quality , shoot them with a camera not a phone if the output is so low

to post a picture please go advanced and click on the icon which shows as a projection screen, there you have the option to paste a link (like the one to dropbox).

I am doing it

 

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While it does look a bit more pronounced than most horns, I think it is normal. you can see it on many horns if you look closely.
 

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Its 'normal' in the sense that every sax has a seam in the bell but it is still unusual to have one that visible with lacquer still on the bell.
 

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While it does look a bit more pronounced than most horns, I think it is normal. you can see it on many horns if you look closely.
True.
Its 'normal' in the sense that every sax has a seam in the bell but it is still unusual to have one that visible with lacquer still on the bell.
Also true.

If it bothers you (OP) and you do not feel it was satisfactorily described/shown/represented...I suppose you can bring it up with the seller. But if you review the pics seller provided and it's visible, you just missed it....then maybe notsomuch (?)

(personally....looks like a nice example of a III and if it plays as good as it looks, I'd be happy with it....)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Milandro and Arkinet ... thanks for the pic assists. Jaye - strictly a fact finding mission ... hadnt seen this on a horn before and perhaps, as suggested, its because the consensus seems its generally not this pronounced. This post is in no way a public airing of a grievance ... if this were the case or i felt there was a representation issue to discuss I would most certainly address privately with the seller. Arkinet has been communicative and easy to work with during the sale and I want to reiterate that this post is simply a "my christmas present showed up, this looks unusual, what can the wise folks at SOTW tell me about it".

At any rate ... from what I've gathered, 1) yes unusual but 2) a purely cosmetic quirk that is not indicative of something further.

Still working on sorting out the pics ... I know there was a request for more. And yep Jaye, I agree its a nice looking III ... that and The Martin sound I've read so much about are the reason I bought it : )
 

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I acquired a 1927 Conn New Wonder II straight soprano a few years ago. It has a visible seam running the whole length of the horn but not on the inside of the bell. The seam is over 1/16" wide and several "locating" tabs are clearly visible. The seam is smooth to the touch.

The horn appears to be original lacquered brass (I know, some claim Conn didn't lacquer their horns in those days but this horn puts that claim into question). The horn is the second-best playing soprano I've ever owned or played (the first being a '59 MarkVI I acquired at the same time from the same person).

I assume your question was not one of concern as much as mere curiosity. That visible seam on my horn sure doesn't hinder its playability. DAVE
 

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The brazing 'scar' does seem wider than on other saxes but you can see from this photo that the line is apparent on both the Comm 3 and Handcraft Standard tenors. On some horns, you can see the notching used to join the seam before brazing.
 

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You see these sometimes with older horns. No issues, and a badge of distinction for a classic. But I agree, I've not seen one with this much contrast? Is it possibly a super high quality re-lac, and maybe there was a chemical conversion associated with the seam that is making it brighter? I wouldn't worry about it either way. Gorgeous horn!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Very helpful - appreciate the pics DD and SS. And Dave, you nailed it inquiry = curiosity. I'm convinced the lacquer is original ... If you look at the initial FS posting I think that the crisp engraving combined with the patent number sticker are strong evidence in support of this assessment. But as has been suggested .... I'm not losing sleep over it either way. This thread has been helpful ... Seems that while unusual it is within the spectrum of what others have observed. So is "brazing scar" the generally accepted description for what I'm seeing on this horn?

I had the good fortune to have the week off .. But coincidentally so did the kids. I had visions of putting some hours on to this horn this week but thus far it's been trips to the arcade, nerf gun wars, intense battleship matches, bowling with 6 year olds, and a dozen other activities ... My wonderful children have run me ragged this week and haven't left dad much time to play with his toys. Still going to work on pics ... But sadly my grasp on technology probably closer approximates the time frame of this horn then the impending start of 2019.

I'd like to post some pics of pads too ... I've been lurking on the various Martin threads and from what I can gather the pads on these horns are 1) a bit thinner than usual and 2) came with rivets only and not resonators. Don't imagine I'll get a repad immediately but if/when the time comes I'd like to get some insight on what was originally on these horns and thoughts from other Comm III owners on how they've approached this (i.e., adding flat metal resos, etc).
 

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But how does it sound? :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wait ... You guys actually play these things instead of just looking at them? Beautiful horn ... You'll have to forgive a Martin newbie for getting caught up in the look.

Horn only arrived yesterday and I just managed to squeeze in 30mins since then ... But my initial impression of the sound: if The Martin were a food I'd call it butter. Even in my marginally capable hands it coated the room in a fat, warm, creamy tone ... Nice rich bottom, leaning slightly dark with a Morgan 9L Jazz mpc ... And ultimately delicious.
 
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