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@drewfus

the best available charts for Vito Saxophones were key bt Kim Slava , Dr. Sax, for years until he retired and his site shut down.

They are still available on the waybackmachine


this is the section for serial numbers


according to that list is should be somewhere in the late ’60, that is the most precise that you can get unless you have a proof of purchase (which still wouldn’t exactly tell when it was made)
 

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sure, you never know she may even have documents somewhere, however these may have been in the shop for a while before they were sold, especially an “ unusual” model such as the 35 may have not been immediately sold, so even the actual receipt wouldn’t tell you the exact production date but it would be fun
 

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Does anyone know what the “A” in the serial number of 969A means, if anything?
You really should take a look at the link I gave you above

the suffix A is used for many brands and types, until the serial number 17000 , I don’t think it had an evident meaning
 

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So what is the rationale for that?
Funny that you ask this this way (maybe you meant to)

This is a simplified version of the Leblanc Semi-Rationale , there is also a Rationale system saxophone.

Vito and Leblanc were related companies, the owner Vito Pascucci, acquired Leblanc at some point.

The main difference between the Vito 35 and the Leblanc semi rationale was the regulation of the key height which in the 35 was achieved by corks and the Leblanc by much more precise screws.

the system offerend the possibility to do some special fingerings and for example you could lower any position of the upper hand by a semitone by closing the lower hand .



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I do so love this horn. Gonna keep my eye open for a leblanc system tenor now. I'm picky though, no nickel keys on yellow/gold lacquer, but an exceptional can be make for the exceptional. Sigh, and here I thought I'd ended my tenor sax quest with my cannonball VR.... oh well, no rush :)
There are VERY few true Rationale System around ( lots of people calling a Semi a full and even Model 35 a rationale!) and even fewer people who use them , they come mostly in dual tone or silver and there are less than 500 tenors made so, you get what you can if you can afford one. Make sure that it comes with a book for the tech!
 

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I’m interested if anyone has one available
They do turn up but they are not cheap nor common, do set aside a pretty penny for regulations too

 

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Leblanc Models 100 and 120 are the tenors to go wit this. Semi-Rationale and Rationale System differ from the cheaper Vito only in the regulation made by corks
 

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people loose necks and damage them all the time, they did before and still do to this days, especially on student’s instruments.

Spare necks were sold by companies even before the fashion arose to swap necks with brought about the craziness of horns being offered new with three different necks!
 
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