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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could have gone to the Mouthpiece section, but thought the folks here in the Holton forum might have a more focused view. Been a long time Couf tenor player and my horn and I are as familiar with each other as an old married couple. Without a doubt, this is the best tenor (for me). I also have a 1947 backup Martin Com III tenor which I think the world of, but it will never get the playing time that the Couf gets.
Having said that, I recently acquired a Holton 241 tenor at a steal price. It has a serial of 197XXX which I think dates it to 1949, Except for one small bow dent, it looks like it just rolled out of the factory. All original, no leaks, good pads. Replaced a few corks and springs and off we go.
My only disappointment is with the sound I am getting with the Link HR, Couf HR and Vandoran HR mouthpieces I use with the Supurba I and Martin III. I play mostly Jazz and R&B and was expecting to get as great a bottom end from the Holton as from my old standbys. Upper registers play fine, but the lower end just aint there. I am pretty sure it isn't me, since my other horns can rattle the neighbors windows if I want to. Got me to thinking that I just might need a different MPC, a better combination for the Holton construction. Any thoughts or recommendations. What do you folks use with your Holton tenors?
 

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This sounds amazing! My poor 241 is a bit beaten up but makes a lovely sound despite some leaks. I'm currently trying to find out if the octave mech is a bit dodgy.

I use either a Vandoren V16 T6 or a mouthpiece cafe Supreme 7*. Red box java reeds and a Vandoren MO complete the set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PigS, appreciate the response. Check your PM.

Francis T27, A friend had a Vandoren V16 T7L that I tried with some success. Bottom end came out easier, but then I had to start playing around with reed strengths. I'm spoiled with my other horns as everything pops so easily top to bottom with the setups I use. The adventure continues....
I also had to fiddle with the octave mechanism to get it right. It "lifts" differently than my other horns, but is a robust unit and you should be able to get it right. Also, make sure your neck tenon is tight and replace the neck cork if it is too compressed, The neck end where the cork sits is a smaller diameter than I am use to, and all my mouthpieces were loose enough to have leaking issues
 

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Those are all medium chamber pieces except the tone edge and they tend to sound like socks are stuck in them. A good large chamber piece with a moderate baffle will bring out the beast in that horn. If I wee making it Id leave some extra baffle and lengthen the facing to pull out the low end while allowing the baffle to carry the highs and mids. I know vandoren has its fans but ai find them harsh and lacking substance in the low end. To me they sound like a duck call.
 

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Those are all medium chamber pieces except the tone edge and they tend to sound like socks are stuck in them. A good large chamber piece with a moderate baffle will bring out the beast in that horn. If I wee making it Id leave some extra baffle and lengthen the facing to pull out the low end while allowing the baffle to carry the highs and mids. I know vandoren has its fans but ai find them harsh and lacking substance in the low end. To me they sound like a duck call.
Could not have said it better!

And I have a nice #6 facing HR Tone Edge in mint condition that I am not playing if OP is interested.
 

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PigS, appreciate the response. Check your PM.

Francis T27, A friend had a Vandoren V16 T7L that I tried with some success. Bottom end came out easier, but then I had to start playing around with reed strengths. I'm spoiled with my other horns as everything pops so easily top to bottom with the setups I use. The adventure continues....
I also had to fiddle with the octave mechanism to get it right. It "lifts" differently than my other horns, but is a robust unit and you should be able to get it right. Also, make sure your neck tenon is tight and replace the neck cork if it is too compressed, The neck end where the cork sits is a smaller diameter than I am use to, and all my mouthpieces were loose enough to have leaking issues
This is a photo of my octave mech...not convinced it's entirely original!
9502
 

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I'm currently trying to find out if the octave mech is a bit dodgy.
Your octave mechanism is original. Make sure it is properly regulated and the body PIP is not clogged or leaking. These get knackered easily from the lack of a good plug. Try something little stiffer than a Chardonnay. 8 quid is worth it.
look closely at the pictures. At rest you should have distance at the ring. The lower rod should be just off the body, the finger should be holding down the body pip.
3-ish mm lift from first contact on key arm ring.
 

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Your octave mechanism is original. Make sure it is properly regulated and the body PIP is not clogged or leaking. These get knackered easily from the lack of a good plug. Try something little stiffer than a Chardonnay. 8 quid is worth it.
look closely at the pictures. At rest you should have distance at the ring. The lower rod should be just off the body, the finger should be holding down the body pip.
3-ish mm lift from first contact on key arm ring.
Amazing! Thanks so much for your reply. Ever so grateful. Relieved that the mech is original.
The arm is very wobbly and I think there's some rubber padding missing at the bottom. I may fashion something with Sugru. Is the wobble normal? Apologies for all the questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those are all medium chamber pieces except the tone edge and they tend to sound like socks are stuck in them. A good large chamber piece with a moderate baffle will bring out the beast in that horn. If I wee making it Id leave some extra baffle and lengthen the facing to pull out the low end while allowing the baffle to carry the highs and mids. I know vandoren has its fans but ai find them harsh and lacking substance in the low end. To me they sound like a duck call.
Interesting, and thanks. The tone edge does give me the best bottom end results on the Holton, but nothing like the sound that comes from the Couf with that mpc. That power sound is what I want to get from the Holton. Is there a mass produced mpc with your described characteristics or should I just go custom made? FWIW, I have not had any success with Vandorens either. Duck call, I love it.....
 

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Amazing! Thanks so much for your reply. Ever so grateful. Relieved that the mech is original.
The arm is very wobbly and I think there's some rubber padding missing at the bottom. I may fashion something with Sugru. Is the wobble normal? Apologies for all the questions.
May be best to continue this conversation here.
Holton 241 repair it's not entirely off subject but it is a 241 repair a thread. May benefit someone in the future. Besides we do not wish to hack Mr Dustoff's thread.
 

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Having said that, I recently acquired a Holton 241 tenor at a steal price. It has a serial of 197XXX which I think dates it to 1949, Except for one small bow dent, it looks like it just rolled out of the factory. All original, no leaks, good pads. Replaced a few corks and springs and off we go.
If you have not made absolutely sure the horn is free of any minor leaks, then I would make that determination before going in circles on mouthpieces.
what you are describing sounds very much like how a leaky horn behaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is good advice, pontius. I will have my tech take a look for leaks. He is much better equipt than I to find a minor leak. I thought I had ruled that out, but it never hurts to go back to basics. I will put the mouthpiece quest on a temporary hold for now.
 

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My bets are on a leak. I have a leaky neck fit on my tenor and it makes the horn stuffy, especially down low. I temporarily seal it by wrapping teflon tape around the tenon before inserting the neck.
 

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Following on from my earlier mouthpiece related reply, I had the most incredible play on my Holton today. Java red 2.5 with the Mouthpiece Cafe 7* Supreme, this time with a cheap H lig from Rico. Worked a treat!
 

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That is good advice, pontius. I will have my tech take a look for leaks. He is much better equipt than I to find a minor leak. I thought I had ruled that out, but it never hurts to go back to basics. I will put the mouthpiece quest on a temporary hold for now.
Make sure he has the proper tools/methods for finding a leak at the neck receiver end where it attaches to the horn. When an old horn doesn't bark down there, it could be the receiver's out of round. Tight doesn't mean there isn't a leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good point and one I had not considered. The tenon could be slightly oval instead of circular, could still be tight but leak around the non contact points. Should have thought of that. Fixed enough water pipes (water being just a different fluid) in my day to know that issue.
Thanks.
 
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