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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ha! This is just a post to make all you Beaugnier fans froth at the mouth with jealousy. I just picked up this mint Beaugnier sop, #226XX, I'm not even going to say how little I paid for it, I'm almost ashamed. Almost...

Follow the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lennybenny/sets/72157627298755235/

This is one great-playing, LOUD but not shrill little sop with key action that is to die for. Lucky me...
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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Very nice. Is that silver? Thanks for sharing.
 

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Could just be high light of the outdoors making the gold lacquer look silver. Sunlight will fool the camera like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, silver. This sax is is so resonant that I can feel it in my teeth and in my skull when I'm playing. As to how I got it, apparently somebody who recently died had bought the horn in the 60's. He was an alto player and never got around to playing the sop so it stayed in a closet for 40+ years. Everything's original on it from what I can see, metal resonator pads and all. It's just in incredibly perfect condition. It must be one of the last ones built by Beaugnier, late serial n° and, gold springs and a few gizmos that didn't exist on earlier models. I'd like to find somebody who's got a Mk VI sop for comparison. They look like pretty much the same beast.
 

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A beautiful horn... Lucky you, congratulations!
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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It must be one of the last ones built by Beaugnier, late serial n° and, gold springs and a few gizmos that didn't exist on earlier models.
Yes, it seems to be one of the last ones. DoctorSax has a Noblet baritone on his list in the 226xx range and a stencil alto #23746; nothing later than that. Perhaps the gold springs are really bronze? My tech says the springs on Leblanc and French Vito were bronze, but your sax is actually branded Beaugnier, so it could be different.
 

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Vito mania is actually 'Beaugnier' regard...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Um, gold-plated, I think. JazzManTed ( Google vids on YouTube ) talks at length about gold-plated springs on the later Beaugniers and he seems to know his way around these horns. IMHO bronze would be too soft for saxophone springs.

I sent some pictures of this one to Kim ( Doctor Sax ) and he's going to do a page when he gets around to it.

You all might be interested in this strange Beaugnier alto on his site, too:

http://www.doctorsax.biz/Beaugnier_Bajus_Alto_3508.htm

It's one I picked up here in France, oddball micro-tuner neck, rolled toneholes and a RH high D key ( at least I THINK it's a high D, it was unplayable when I got it and I've since taken it apart for an overhaul, I'm waiting on pads to put it back together ).

There are quite a few Beaugnier stencils to be had here in France if you can spot them. I've seen the above, Bajus & Cie, one called La Vahnée and I'm pretty sure that some ( not all ) of the Louis Augus saxes are Beaugniers.

While I'm on the subject, does anyone know where I can get those half-moon shaped felts for the bell keys that one sees on some of the older Beaugniers? They're about 5mm thick and about the size of a dime. I've found the pencil-eraser style felts but I can't seem to find these other ones. Any suggestions would be welcome...
 

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For the felts, you should be able to take some thick felt designed for other purposes, and cut them the shape needed, with a very sharp exacto knife.

The other key, looks like a high F# key (ala German style, like my 1976 Couf Superba II).

On the soprano, silver plated! Awesome! I love silver plated sopranos, and on my 2nd one now :) . My Beaugnier/Vito Alto also has the gold (presumeabley plated) springs. Very fast and light action. Very much like a Balanced Action Selmer (the in-line keys are also much like a Balanced Action, as is the B/Bb keys being at the keys, and not at the table).

So, in my opinion, rather than compare your Beaugnier Soprano to a Mark VI, try and locate a Balanced Action to compare it too!
 

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Good question Joe. I would be interested in knowing if the intonation and response is as spot as as other Beaugnier saxes (Alto and Tenor). The intonation and response of my 1920s curvy Conn stencil is near perfect, and have been told beats many modern and most vintage brands in the intonation department!

Something tells me Beaugnier built just as good a soprano as their other saxes. A recording would be nice :) .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is silver, not a scratch on it. I've got in-laws here for a few weeks so I've only spent a few minutes actually playing it. It's a big-sounding, resonant horn. From the little I played it, the intonation seems spot on ( well, it IS a saxophone, after all so "spot-on" might be slightly exaggerated ). The palm keys are relatively easy, again, I barely had time to get the reed wet but I didn't have any real problem with them. I like the fact that the Eb palm key opens the D when you press it, it makes for fewer gymnastics up there. Just one thing that irks me slightly is the fact that it came from the factory with metal resonator pads. I tend to prefer plain leather on a sop, maybe that's just me. The sound is somewhere between velvety vintage and a more projecting modern sound without being shrill. This thing is LOUD. The action is butter, typically Beaugnier ( I've got 3 altos and a Noblet tenor so I'm pretty familiar with how they play ). All in all, the build quality that you'd expect from a Beaugnier, that is to say, tip-top. When things settle down around here I'll try to get something recorded with it and post. I'd been hunting for a Beaugnier sop for a long time and this one just fell in my lap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey, Joe, what MP do you think would sound good and play easily on that sop? I go for a more clarinet-like sound but I'd also like projection and a wide sonic palette. I'm not primarily a sop player so ease of emission is a factor. Think Paul Desmond's sound on alto. Think the absolute total opposite of anything Kenny G has ever recorded.
 

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Try a Pomarico Crystal or a Drake Classical piece (I think they only be had in Custom now though. Mine's an early production piece. Sold my Pomarico to Joe via e-bay!).
 

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I would too FS, & I enjoy playing as many fine Beaugnier saxes as I might as well as studying to see as many as possible, and a fine study that is since there were quite a few 'very' different but/and 'very' uniquely great instruments... OK with the preachin'... The choir knows what many people don't...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you GoogleEarth "15, rue Pasteur, Mantes" ( near Paris ) and go to street view you can see what looks to be the old factory. I'm really not sure about this info but it's a long, low building that looks semi-abandonned and the address corresponds.

A crystal MP, huh? I wish I could check one out without having to buy it. I'm playing a Tenney Link 6 for now. I've got one for my Special Perfect alto as well, which I like, but on the sop I find that it adds an edge that that bugs me a bit. I would imagine that a Drake or Pomarico shatters into a million pieces if you drop it and since wine glasses in this house have a half-life of about 3 months the whole idea sounds a bit risky. I can't help it, I drop things...
 
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