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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

Today I received by post a Holton 241 Tenor (serial 237338). I had ordered it a while back from George at 2ndending.com and, after much adventure, it turned up. Perhaps a bit of a folly as a first tenor, and quite a way removed from my YAS-62, it is quite an amazing experience to play. I've got an Otto Link Tone Edge 6 (a new one), put on a Vandoren 2 and started playing. Great sound, nicely in tune (more or less given the new to me embouchure), with ergos that are, well, different. The pinky table is most noticable, followed by the upper register, but all workable with a bit of familiarity. And it has character, which I very much like. Learning to play this horn is going to be quite a fun ride.

Thanks!
108570
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Thanks for the shout-out Mark.

I consider these totally on-par with the other American classics.....a 10M, Martin Comm, King Zeph, Buescher pre-Selmer 'Crat. Completely off of most folks' radar.

Too much early, old negative stuff still floating around online regarding Holtons...most of that commentary based upon horns which were far, far, far from good playing shape. Yet if one looks at more recent feedback, from people who are playing ones in good tack....a very different picture gets painted.

The shipping drama was getting to be a bit much for me, though....I cannot imagine how it was effecting you....
 

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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the shout-out Mark. ... The shipping drama was getting to be a bit much for me, though....I cannot imagine how it was effecting you....
Thanks, George! All's well, as they say, but we did have a laugh about it getting stuck in Chicago (and who hasn't had that happen to them), then head off to Tokyo to watch some Olympics before coming here. I guess there is a bit of life left in the old girl yet! :)

Now I have to sort out some reeds. The 2s I have (thanks for the send!) are not quite cutting it. I'm thinking a Java Red 2.5...
 

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I bought one of these from original owner couple of years ago and didn't think it was as good as my 10M at the time using a hard rubber Brilhart and slant signature link.. then, I decided to clean a nasty mouthpiece that came with it with a silver ring (Conn double eagle) that had a massive chamber and the thing woke up like beast! it was so much easier to play and had a beautiful fat tone!! I highly recommend trying the largest chamber mouthpiece you can find (hint Conn eagle with a silver ring)
enjoy
 

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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I highly recommend trying the largest chamber mouthpiece you can find (hint Conn eagle with a silver ring)
enjoy
Thanks for the advice, and I'll go down that route when I have some more mileage on the horn. Over the last few days I've been playing around with reeds on a Link Tone Edge HR 6* and, for me, the Vandoren ZZ 3 seems to give me the tone and response I'm looking for.

That said, the experience of playing this horn is quite something else, particularly in comparison with a modern Japanese alto, and I find I am working my embouchure much more, particularly in the lower register. I simply have to learn to relax more as we go down and ease off some. I have much to learn and it's going to be fun! Already the blues are sounding much more like the sounds playing in my head, which is a Good Thing, I think.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement!
 

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Congrats on the Holton 241! I have never heard or played one of these, but everyone on SOTW who has gotten one in good working order seems to rave about them. Yours looks like a great cleanup and setup from George, as usual.

How do you like your new OL Tone Edge 6*? Moving from alto, the .095 tenor piece should be a relatively quick adjustment, especially if you had a somewhat larger alto mouthpiece.

Enjoy!
 

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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How do you like your new OL Tone Edge 6*? Moving from alto, the .095 tenor piece should be a relatively quick adjustment, especially if you had a somewhat larger alto mouthpiece.
Thank you!

I'm finding I have to shift my emboucure more than I thought. On alto I'm using a D'Addario Select Jazz 6M and a WCW '56, typically with 2.5 Java Reds and I can put a fair bit of pressure into the system and the Yammie will lap it up. The 241, not so much. I'm having to be more deliberate in how I approach notes, particularly in the bottom register, below a D: back off the pressure, open space at the back of my throat, think down. Do that and the tone really opens up and the upper partials are thinned out. It is quite an expressive instrument, with pretty good ergos considering (the G# takes more pressure than I'm used to and the bottom Bflat is different), but I don't have a lot of playing experience to make an impartial comparison.

Still, it is exactly what I was after. For under what I could get (locally) a worked up YTS23, I get a piece of 50's magic. I'm very happy with that, and with George's work. :)
 

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Thanks, George! All's well, as they say, but we did have a laugh about it getting stuck in Chicago (and who hasn't had that happen to them), then head off to Tokyo to watch some Olympics before coming here. I guess there is a bit of life left in the old girl yet! :)

Now I have to sort out some reeds. The 2s I have (thanks for the send!) are not quite cutting it. I'm thinking a Java Red 2.5...
I tried a lot of reeds on my 1950s 10M/ RPC .105 tenor and settled on the Java 2.5 red box. For some reason they respond completely differently from the ZZs, Java green box, D'Addario or anything else I've tried. Especially low Bb, B and C. Now the low notes just pop out. Plus they give me a little edge I wasn't getting on that setup.
 

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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I tried a lot of reeds on my 1950s 10M/ RPC .105 tenor and settled on the Java 2.5 red box.
It is really funny that you mentioned this. As I was playing yesterday the ZZ just wasn't really working so I swapped in a Red 2.5 and it was just as you said: the three low notes popped and the top became buttery. This vintage horn thing is a very interesting ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, time for a quick update. Three weeks in and I am loving this horn! It is not "easy" per se, and I am learning a lot about my own embouchure and articulation, but that can't be considered a bad thing, I think. Certainly it makes playing the alto--my YAS-62 "purple label"--seem so effortless but less characterful: different times, different ages, different expectations.

I'm currently playing on a Link Slant 6* with a Legere 2.5 and a Rovner DaVinci lig ($20 on Amazon special--couldn't resist) and find the setup works well for me and I can play a solid hour without compelte destruction of my technique (okay, still a long way to go) and having loads of fun along the way (the Jazzlab harness also helps here, I think). And, in the end, isn't this what we are after? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I recently bought a @10mfan Celebration 7 when Mark made one of his recent SotW special offers. It arrived today and I have had a chance to have a quick blow and my first impressions are "what a fantastic mouthpiece!" Colour me impressed! Back to back against the Link Slant 6* (Legere Signature 2.5 and Bonade H lig) and the Celebration simply has more of everything: colour, tone, power, and intonation; it seems like the perfect match for this horn! More as I get to play with it more, but what a great mouthpiece!
 
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