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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2010
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573 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't know for sure if this is an A. Sax model or not, but it sure looks like one to me. Check it out...

I just won this horn on eBay. The seller describes it as an Adolphe Sax-style alto. It has no engraving except for a 4-digit serial number on the front of the bell (1302, I believe). It's got 2 octave keys, is keyed to low B and appears to be keyed to high Eb. The pitch isn't exactly Eb, so apparently this is one of the horns produced before the pitch standard was set. The seller believes it was made in the late 19th century.

I've taken a look at all the pics of A. Sax horns I could find on this site and it seems to match closely to a Adolphe Edward 1907 model. The bell is quite short compared to the rest of the saxes I've seen.

Unfortunately, I am having this horn sent to my parents home in the US, so I won't get my mitts on it for another year. :( I may convince them to take pics of it when it arrives though.

Given the pics listed in this auction, does anyone else have any idea what this is? Is it an A. Sax horn?

fm
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss
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1,879 Posts
It is not made by Adolphe Sax because Sax's body ferrules are different, and Sax's instruments are always marked with the AS logo stamp. Also, Sax didn't use the little round bumper holders for the felts on the keyguards.

Because the horn has a side C it is probably from around 1895 - 1905. My best guess is that it is an Evette & Schaeffer. Check Vintage Saxophone Gallery (Saxpics' site) for more clues.

If you use an old mouthpiece with a huge round concave chamber, you will get the best intonation and the most authentic sound, probably around A=435, but still usable in a modern A=440 ensemble. It won't be very loud, but after you've lived with it a while you'll get to like it more. Most modern mouthpieces will make the horn terribly out of tune, but that's not the fault of the horn. Let the instrument tell you what the best mouthpiece is. You'll have fun discovering the sound of the original saxophone.

It's a nice horn. I considered bidding on it myself. You will get used to the double octave key in a few days. Keep us posted after you play it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2010
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573 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Saxtek,
I took a look at saxpics website and couldn't find an evette-schaeffer that looked like this model. The weird thing is that almost ALL of the pics I've seen of saxes from this vintage have SOME kind of engraving. The only exception is one on the French site I posted above...they have a pic of one that is marked "A. Sax?"...apparently because there is no engraving, but the keywork looks so much like an A. Sax.

As far as this horn goes, it looks *very similar* to the one featured on the Cybersax web site (http://www.cybersax.com/features/asax_alto.html), however, I can see there are some differences in the keywork and details such as the key guards. But the basic design of the horn looks almost the same. And I have seen pics of different A. Sax horns with keyguards that are the same. I'm not sure about the felt bumpers. Most of the pics out there are really small with no detail, so it's hard to see if they have the felt bumpers or not.

If it is an Evette-Schaeffer, then perhaps the early 1900s models look different than the late 1800s that I've seen pictured on the saxpics site. But this horn is definitely not the same as those pictured there. I looked at other vintage saxes on that site and found nothing else that looked close. The closest I've come so far are the A. Sax models from the early 1900s from that French enthusiast's web site.

fm
 
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