Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just did a search for the Martin Imperial and no results, is this a piece that no one has any opinion on?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,202 Posts
Here's a hint...and it took me being here 8 years until someone clued me into it:

the search engine on the Forum pages upper right......s#cks bigtime. It's terrible.

If you want to search the Forum, START your search from the https://www.saxontheweb.net/ page, not the forum.saxontheweb.net pages were we are now.

At the top of the former, there's a search engine. That is a different search engine than the one on these Forum pages (bafflingly)...and it will give you reliable hits. Starting from there and typing in "Martin Imperial", lo and behold...takes you to these results:

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/gtsea...=www.saxontheweb.net/&ref=&ss=6754j3132322j25

To your question: There's the Imperials, from late in Martin's existence...and there's the Handcraft Imperials, from much earlier. The latter are wonderful horns.

The former are, dare I say, arguably the worst Martin models ever made. NOW...this doesn't mean they are BAD. They are sort of a redesigned Indiana....except nothing in the redesign was a good idea. The keywork/action is less responsive, and the tone quality of the horn is inferior to every other Martin.

This is why you tend to see 'em for cheap.

If one wants a nice example of a Martin but cannot shell out for a Committee....an Indiana is a really good bet. So is an older Handcraft, Handcraft Imperial, or Handcraft Standard.

My 2 cents, having refurbed well over 100 Martins at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
Check http://www.themartinstory.net/version7/ and you will find the different models. The old Handcraft Imperials are very good horns...sort of a Committee Zero as they are similar to the later Comms.
I generally agree with Comm zero but there are differences in the beveled vs committee tone holes. I've never encountered a C1. Perhaps Bruce or JayeLID knows if it has the same style action as the handcraft which puts all of the stack keys on one long rod per.

As to later saxes, the more I see if them, the more convinced I am that there is a direct line from the early Handcrafts through the Indianas and out with the new Imp which accounts for it being a good player but more cheaply made. Analogous perhaps to Selmer Signets and Bundys evolving from the Buescher aristocrat.

Unfortunately, that kind of info isn't on the Martin story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks folks!! Much appreciated for your help. The Martin Imp. I purchased on Ebay has a 303604 Ser#. Guess I maybe SOL for having a decent horn but for me being novice it should give me something to use as a yardstick for future horns.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,076 Posts
That horn looks nice and with a few adjustments you will be OK. Under $300 for an original lacquer horn is good.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,202 Posts
They are OK horns, like I said...relative to other Martin models they aren't particularly impressive....but they are still Martins, so they are OK if your investment is gonna be $400 and under total. They aren't a 'bad' model.
They are built well and reliable, they sound good compared to something like a YAS 23 or other modern student horn. Just sorta clunky action and not quite as responsive in the blowing category as an Indiana.

I generally agree with Comm zero but there are differences in the beveled vs committee tone holes. I've never encountered a C1. Perhaps Bruce or JayeLID knows if it has the same style action as the handcraft which puts all of the stack keys on one long rod per.
The Comm I's have the G key separate from the upper stack rod, mounted via pivot screws....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
The Comm I's have the G key separate from the upper stack rod, mounted via pivot screws....
Thanks, Jaye.
Is it safe to assume that the Comm 1 has the committee style tone holes?
So, even if Martin used the same body, a different TH and action design would clearly make for a different model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Thanks folks!! Much appreciated for your help. The Martin Imp. I purchased on Ebay has a 303604 Ser#. Guess I maybe SOL for having a decent horn but for me being novice it should give me something to use as a yardstick for future horns.
I’ve recently been playing an Imperial with a 303xxx s/n about 500 before yours. I’m fairly new to the instrument, about six months of lessons, but to my ear it sounds okay, and my teacher is fairly well impressed by it as well. Don’t think he holds it comparable to his MkVI but still respectable. So I don’t think you’re SOL for having a decent horn, you just don’t have a $7500 pro horn is all. I’m happy to use mine for lessons, until I can effectively use what it has I’m not really worried about upgrading (not that I’d kick a MkVI or SBA out of the shed!). YMMV of course.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top