Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody!
There is this guy who wants to sell a Martin tenor sax, probably from the 1930's or 40's. We couldn't quite identify it, he said on the engraving it says something like "coinolcroift" which I've never heard anywhere before. It also says "Elkhard Indiana" and probably Martin. The low keys on the bell are on the opposite side of the sax so I think it must be a handcraft type of thing. I was just wondering whether anyone has ever heard something like "coinolcroft" and also if it's not a little funny that it says "Elkhard Indiana" and not just "Martin, Indiana", that's at least what I am familiar with.
He wants 150 $ for that instrument, is it worth that much even if we can't identify it?
Can anyone help me with some clues what kind of model it could be (I think the most important thing is the fact that the low keys are on the opposite side of the bell) and if it's really something good? I don't want to waste time and money with some student model sax out of the 30's. He said he found it in a basement after cleaning out a house, I bet he paid like 50 $ or so for it, he didn't really want to discuss that.
Well, thanks in advance, I really hope someone is able to help me with that!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,486 Posts
for that price you will need to spend loads to get it playable no doubt a repad and resperung and lots of setting up work, sounds like some sort of stencil possibly, never heard of coinolcroft, could be rubbish,
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
The cursive script on the bell probably says "Handcraft." Get the serial number and, if you haven't personally seen the horn, be sure to have the seller measure the height without the neck. You probably want a tenor, not a c-mel, right? Try to have the seller confirm that the SN on the neck is the same as the one on the body.

If it's a Comm I or Comm II, or even one of the older Handcraft Standard-based models, $150 would be a steal even if it still needed a repad, but if it came out of a basement as claimed, the rods in the keywork could be frozen solid from the moisture.

Seller probably didn't pay a dime for it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
623 Posts
It is not a Comm or CommII, nor a Handcraft Standard, as it has opposing bell toneholes. With opposing toneholes, it dates it to prior to approx. 1932?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
Yeah, my bad. Old brain doesn't parse as well as it used to. I read "on the opposite side of the sax" to mean "opposite of modern......"

Well I take that back..... looks like my brain got it right after all......
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
Ask for pictures of the bell. The Scroll font should be on the bell, and make it easy to determine the exact model in which you have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't actually seen it yet, I'm just trying to get some information beforehand about what it could be. I will meet the guy on Saturday and take a look at the horn, then I'll be able to tell more. I just called him today trying to get some idea.
My question is now basically: Is there actually some crap existing with the name "Martin" on it? I figure that they were a big company for musical instruments and produced a lot of them, but I thought they just had several series of productions and not necessarily some out of the line horns which are pretty bad. And I thought they produced in general solid and nice instruments...
But I also read that if the saxes have a split bell design, low B and Bb on the opposite sides of the, yeah, modern, bell it can be either a Handcraft, Type-writer or Troubadour, that's why I figured it could be a Handcraft.
Well, I think I should just look at it, play it and listen what it sounds like. But how are the odds that this horn is actually some junk with "Martin" engraved on it? Did they produce a lot of very bad instruments?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,517 Posts
The spilt bell design deffiantly places the horn, before the 1940's. I have a Martin Handcraft, and only occasionally have problems with it. I paid close to $200 with shipping. And alittle more to get into shape. But it will sing. Try as stated before to get the seial number to the horn, and try to date it. I would deffiantly see if it has a Front F key. $150 is deffiantly worth it for the horn.
try
www.saxpics.com
www.saxgourmet.com
Are two of the sites besides this one that I consulted before buying mine.
Good luck. If you can and it is not a C-Mel get it. It WILL SING!!!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,149 Posts
If the bell keys are on opposite sides, then it is from 1933 or earlier. That word you are seeing is HANDCRAFT and it is common to call it holiocroft or similar as the script is difficult to read. Whatever model it is, that price for a tenor is a bargain if it is all there. Although they all said handcraft, the easiest way to tell is that the series II had the front F, the Typewriter had 23pearls and the troubador has only 2 RH palm keys and is marked on the lower front of the bell. If the bell keys are both on the left side, then that is a whole new story....
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/ Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
573 Posts
Just take your mouthpiece with you and play the friggin thing !! If it plays good the price is a steal. Martins are IMHO the best horns ever made. Your"coinbolcroft" probably is "Handcraft" Model, a pro model too, The horn should read "Elkhart , Indianna too. Play it !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, I saw the sax now and first of all, I had the feeling that I was looking at something really beautiful. I've never actually seen a Martin in real so it was a nice moment to finally look at something with so much history. I really liked the horn, kind of fell in love with it. It is indeed a Handcraft, no splitkey design, both keys are on the left side. Eagle inprint, so beautiful.
But... the horn is not playable. I produced a C# and a B and the rest of it's pads are just not working. So I would need to repad it. And that's not all. The mechanics need to be adjusted, the pearls seem quite ok. I would have to invest some more money. How much do you have to pay for a total makeover these days, i.e. new pads, reajusting the mechanics etc. ? Because that's what it would need, it's not just the pads...
And another thing: We couldn't find any serial number. Nowhere on the horn, not near the thumb rest, not near the octave key or anywhere. All I know now is that it says "Martin, Handcraft, Elkhard, Indiana" and the eagle inprint, kind of something what could be interpreted as the searchlights but it's not that theatrical like on most of the commitee pictures.
I'm now trying to find a picture of it, I couldn't take a good one with my camera. The engraving actually looks a lot like the Commitee Bari Handcraft one, but it's a Tenor. Also, I don't know whether it's C Melody or Bb, how do you tell the difference?
After he saw that it's not playable he said he would go down to 100 $. I think I would give it a shot, but the question is whether it will be playable after the makeover or if it's just a very nice looking old horn.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,994 Posts
Posting some good photos of this horn will enable us to answer all (or at least most) of your inquires.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
It's a tenor. Both B & Bb bell keys on the left side would indicate "NOT c-mel."

If you are still unsure, have the owner measure the height of the horn with the neck removed. Tenor Martin will be around 29-30 inches high.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,149 Posts
Go to www.themartinstory.net and look at the photos. I agree that all the C melodies had opposing bell keys. NOW with no serial number, it could be stolen. The serial number should be at the base of the body tube below the RH thumb rest AND on the base of the neck. I don't know which eagle you are talking about but it may be a HC standard.
 
G

·
Buy it. It's worth every penny of the $100 asking price. You have little to risk , take it to a tech and see what it will need to get it back in shape. Even if you decide not to invest in repairing the sax, it will easily fetch $100 on the open market, and probably even more. You have nothing to lose, and possibly a great horn to gain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey, I researched some pictures now. It was just impossible to take really good ones with my camera yesterday. But I'm pretty sure that it's that:
http://www.themartinstory.net/gallery/Handcraft Committee/Handcraft Committee-124999-tenor-3.jpg
If you look closely you see a star and underneath it the eagle.
And if you look on the Martin History Page under "Handcraft Committee" you see a picture which does also look pretty much like the engraving on "my" horn.

Here's a picture of a serial number engravend into a sax.
http://www.themartinstory.net/galle.../Handcraft Committee-124804-tenor-gold-16.jpg
And the sax I'm looking at has no number engraved. The only thing you can see is this "lowpitch" but really faint, almost faded away. Is the fact that there is no serial number something that should concern me?

Well, I think that I should go for it. But I think I would need some more advise on the horn itself. Does anyone here own a Handcraft Committee and can tell me what it's like and what I can expect of it once it's playable again? How are the chances that it will be playable?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,240 Posts
Committee's are superb horns but without a serial means its been well buffed for a re-lac so it will never be worth a lot of money thou you can date it via the neck serial numbers
Dave
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Great Bloke.
Joined
·
2,968 Posts
A Handcraft Committee tenor is an exceptional sax to play and own, loud, lush and very powerful. I would be concerned about the lack of serial number and the faint low Pitch stamping which is indicative of buffing in this area of the horn.

Can you describe the engraving on the bell of the horn?

Some other points to note, if it has split bell keys then it wont be a handcraft Comm I or Comm II. It will also need to have Nickel keys to be a Comm II model, I seem to remember that Comm I models have Nickel keys too.

My guess at the horn you are describing is a late 20's Martin Handcraft tenor which is nto a bad horn but you would be better off looking for a 30's model Martin sax.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, it's really weird that there isn't the faintest hint of something that could have been a serial number, nowhere. You can just see the faint "lowpitch" engraving which is usually under the serial number, but no sign of a number.
And like I said, it has no split key design, there was a misunderstanding between the seller and me and once I saw it I realised that it wasn't what I thought it is. Both keys are on the left side of the horn.
I'm pretty sure that it's a Handcraft Committee, I postet this link to one picture in my last post and the engraving pretty much looks like that. The diagonal writing, first Martin, then Handcraft, then Elkhard, Indiana. It does look exactly like on this picture. Then the lines, searchlights, and the star, underneath the eagle. Looks pretty much like the horn I'm talking about. So it should be the Committee model and from what you wrote a very good instrument.
But like I said, it's in pretty bad shape and I'd have to invest a lot of money to get it done, not only repadding, also mechanical stuff. Can anyone guess how much this will cost me in the end?
But I think I'll still give it a shot. The only thing that really concerns me is the lack of a serial number.
Well, some more opinions on the Handcraft Committee?
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top