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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have an old Elkhart alto I picked up a while back at essentially an estate sale in Manhattan. I just had the pads and corks replaced, and any other major issues taken care of. I have read many things about what this sax might be, but most contradict each other. I have been told its a Buescher, a Martin, an Elkhart, that it was made in the 1950's, the 1890's, the 1920's... you get the drift. I am going to post some pictures in hope that I can put this to bed, because its starting to annoy me a little bit. I don't care what it's worth, as it plays nicely and I have no intention of selling it. I also have a mouthpiece that came with it, that I literally spent weeks trying to identify, with no success. I will post that in the mouthpiece forum, I guess.

Thanks in advance,
Adam


 

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To be honest I'm not sure. My best guest would be on it being a 20s horn or earlier and being built by the elkhart band inst. co. at some point before Buescher bought them.
 

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Adam: I'm guessing stencil-Buescher (or The Elkhart line made by Buescher) because of the curved way the serial number is stamped and the shape of the right-hand side keys. It is definitely 1920's - the split bell pads and what looks like a G# trill key tells the age-story.

My mid'20's TT alto looks the same - wire low Bb cage, F# touch, G# trill, right-side touches, bottom of the right thumb rest - offset from the center of the serial number, etc.). The only thing different is the shape of the ribs that hold the low Bb cage wires - mine have sharper points, yours are more rounded on the ends. DAVE
 

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I am not 100% positive on the maker but it does look Buescherish. The keystyle would make it in the 1920-32 era.
 

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+1 on the 'Buescherish' (rather than 'Martinish') and era - a close-up of the octave mechanism, from LH thumb-rest right up to the neck socket, would maybe help further identification.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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That's a Buescher TT. Has a roller G#, so as a stencil, probably late 30's after the Aristocrats came out and the spatula changed.
 

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I can't tell in this pic but having seen pics of others the G# is crescent but doesn't have a roller on it. And if it was late 30s wouldn't it have a front F? There is one on ebay right now thats only 15 numbers away from this one. Item # 390325598918
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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Wouldn't necessarily have a Front F as a stencil, but I looked at the horn on eBay with better pics, and I'm not quite as certain now. Most of the Elkharts were earlier Buescher horns, but the eBay horn doesn't quite match up on things like Eb3. Doesn't quite look like a Martin either.
 

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I too was puzzled by the Eb3 as well as the non roller crescent G#, and the round post flanges instead of oval and oval keyguard feet instead of diamond. Oh and the bow guard. I have seen stencils that match up to true tones on all of those points. I don't think its Martin Conn or King though. As mentioned earlier it would be great if the OP could post a pic of the octave mech.
 

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I would say not a Martin, King or Conn so it is either a Buescher or maybe one of the cottage makers that were around at the time. I would say no later than 1932 as almost every horn had the left side bell keys after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For some reason, whenever I post something here it takes about 24 hours for it to show up. I posted new photos of the octave system yesterday at like 3pm. We shall see when this shows up...
 

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I was cleaning out my parents garage and found an Elkhart sax that looks exactly like yours. Mine has green felt, (where yours is red) and has a serial number 3775.
Looking up the serial numbers on line, i found conflicting info.
I was wondering if you ever dated your sax from your serial number and came up with an approximate value.
thanks for reading.
[email protected]
 

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Was anything ever concluded about the maker of this horn? I have one just like it and could post a picture of the unique octave mechanism if that would help. Thanks.
 

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alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
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Guys, there is a whole area dedicated to Elkhart on this board. Go to the main forum page. Look under Saxophone Makes and Models, Other A to J.
 

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Well I am quite a bit late on this one, like many of the others. However, based on the research to date, the sax pictured above with serial 4878 and the one mentioned at 3775 are both 1930's models.

At this time, based on the registry to date, 1930 started with a serial akin to 1, as I have 6 registered. It also looks that by 1940, Elkhart BIC was at about 24000. We also know from other manufacturers and the trades that production was slow until about 1937, when because of improving US economy and import reductions, the American makers had a production surge. The average pace for EBIC during the 1930's seems to be about 2200 instruments per year.

The two instruments then would likely to have been made in the 2nd and 3rd years of production or 1931 and 1932 if rates were smooth. However at this time since fine tuning is not available one would have to say that the serial 3775 dates to 1932 +/- 1 year and that 4878 dates to 1933 +/- 1year to allow for economics.

Hopefully as the research continues, this can be fine tuned.
 
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