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· Registered
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

First congrats on a great site, I have learned so much from it over the past few weeks. The info on here has helped me in successfully buying and restoring a Weltklang Tenor (model 241), and also purchasing this Dolnet series 2 Tenor. I already have a Universal stencil M70 alto serial 81xxxM70 which I bought about 20 years ago for my wife to learn on, and which has been lying in the cupboard for most of the time when kids and work prevented us from practising.

I recently purchased a Dolnet Series 2 (serial 24xxx) from Ricardo (Swiss version of ebay etc), and it is missing the Body Octave Key, and the top post.
Does anybody have this part lying around (seems the series 2, Belair and Royal Jazz all have the same mechanism) ?

Failing that, does anyone have any similar parts that could be adapted (preferably silver colored, but brass would also work). The post uses a pointed screw, and the screw stands about 10.6mm above the body. The shaft of the key is about 150mm long. Provided I have enough material, it shouldn't be too difficult to make the part.

Payment could be through Paypal.

Despite this missing part, I feel I won on the auction. The sax was advertised as silver plated... Once i stripped it down and soaked it in soap, vinegar, baking soda (wrapped in alu)to get rid of all the dirt, I was able to see what I had got. Turns out it is silver, not silver plated (scratches on the bell, presumably from 70 years in and out of sax stand, show silver below and there is no worn spots showing brass below), and the material it is made from is too thin to be plated (.7mm measured at tonehole).

I know everyone is preparing to jump and say 'are you sure its not HP':), but after learning so much from this site I had checked that it was 74cm long, and had checked the photos for the placement of the F# and D keys, so I was reasonable sure it was LP

Despite the pads being in very bad shape, as soon as I got it I tested it by sealing (taping) up all the keys above the auxiliary B), and then blew a C#. my tuner it was spot on (well, after pushing the mouthpiece on a bit more). I was then to produce the next three notes (C, B and A) as well by applying lots of pressure to make the pads seal. All three notes were in tune, and when I lifted the neck octave pad, all three also played an octave higher in tune.

Unfortunately it seems to have been dropped at some time, the bell was slightly bent in to the body, and also the seam of the bow to bell had been bent, Both of these had been 'fixed' by an amateur, leaving hammer marks, and still a slight bend in the bow seam. IMHO neither of these should prevent the sax from playing, although time will tell. The 'hammer bumps' are not too visible and when one considers the sax is probably over 75 years old, a few scars and wrinkles are (for me) acceptable.

Toneholes are almost perfect, the low C has high spots which will need to be levelled, and all holes will need slight sanding to ensure perfection. Cups all fit squarely, although the low B and low B flat only fell into line when I pushed the bell out a bit more from the body (also explains the low C high spots?)

Here are some photos
Musical instrument Reed instrument Wind instrument Clarinet family Wood
Musical instrument Reed instrument Automotive exhaust Fender Saxophone

Thanks in advance,

· Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
43,582 Posts
Welcome to SOTW

Sorry, for you, but your horn is NOT solid silver, don't be under any illusion, if the metal you see under the silver plate is white it doesn't mean this is silver, it would weigh even more than it already does and it would be the ONLY solid silver Dolnet in the world and one of the very few in the world solid silver Tenors ! If you rub it enough there will be brass.

The octave key of the Dolnet is not a standard part, anyway not comparable to any modern saxophone and you probably would be better off buying a donor body rather than asking a technician to fabricate something new or adapt a completely different mechanism.

Which is where the problems start.

Dolnets in this state are hardly very expensive ( don't know whow much it was but I hope wasn't to much I would consider its value, as it stands, being only in the neck, the rest will cost quite a bit of money to be made playable, certain in your country!)

The problem is that you will be then with two bodies none of which would be playable as is and will need work with even more money invested in this project.

In all honesty you could buy a Dolnet in working order and probably have it cheaper than having this one fixed (with all the things you mentioned) especially because work on saxophones is very expensive in Switzerland ( before people from overseas chime in that they can fix your entire horn for a couple of hundred dollars ... consider than shipping this to where repairs may be cheap and getting it back will cost you maybe as much as the repairs ).

I have seen Dolnets in playing state going for €800 to €1000, I am sure that an overhaul + fabrication of parts , will cost you more in your country. I had a look on ebay and there are Dolnets in much better state for even less.

Good Luck!

· Registered
9,929 Posts
It looks like you're missing much of the octave mechanism.

It wouldn't be particularly hard to adapt the mechanism from a donor instrument (probably any el cheapo Chinese instrument could serve, or another oldie in otherwise poor condition). That would involve removing the existing posts (some or all) related to the octave train, and transplanting the donor instrument's posts, springs, and the rest of the octave machinery. Then spot plating the bits attached to the body and tank plating the rest of the machinery. The octave train will be one of the easier mechanisms to transplant from a horn of different origin, as they all work about the same, and it only interacts with the rest at two points, the place where it rests on an arm from the G key, and where it contacts the neck octave key. You would end up with a functioning octave mechanism which would differ from the original.

For sure if you pay to have this done you'll be upside down on the instrument; if you plan to play it instead of treating it like an investment (it's a lousy investment) then that shouldn't be a big concern.

You will have to find someone who's willing to do this kind of a job, which is outside the normal range of adjusting school kids' band instruments and doing by-the-book "overhauls" of Selmer and Selmer-copy instruments.

Personally I wouldn't be afraid of doing this, except that I'm not a fan of Dolnets (from personal experience). But a lot of people really like them.

· Registered
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies
The sax was very cheap, sold as non-playable. I bought it for the challenge of doing it up, so it doesnt matter what Swiss prices are, I am retired, have all the time in the world, so the only cost will be the new pads, some felts, cork and pearls, and some needle springs. So maybe it will cost me usd 150-200.
Besides the octave mechanism of course.
Yes, I am aware that the mechanism is unique to Dolnet, thats why I asked if anyone had one lying around that they wanted to sell.
Of course I could wait and find another body being sold, and take it from that (it could even be a hp, as I only want the octave mechanism) but maybe the challenge of modifying one from a different manufacturer would also give me great satisfaction? As turf3 says, it shouldnt be too hard (even if the result is non-standard)
If I fix it up, and it sounds good, then i will keep it to replace the Weltklang. If its no good, it will become an ornament on my man-cave wall, so I will have wasted lots of time and some money, but man, I will have enjoyed the time spent, and gained experience.
Much better than spending my winter days sitting watching TV.
I bow to Milandro's experience with dolnets, and accept its not silver

· Registered
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, so the very helpful customer service staff from MusicMedic have very kindly put together the bits and pieces that can be used to create a new Octave Key mechanism, and I have decided to fabricate it myself from scratch.

If anyone does have a series two or bel air tenor, it will really help me if they could provide photos and or measurements of the differential/swivel bar section, body pin and neck pin so I don't have to guess it all and waste time and material in trial and error.

I am on a safari holiday in Tanzania until mid Jan, so there is no hurry.
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