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Forum Contributor 2013-2017
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714 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

As the title says, I was wondering if it would be at all possible to identify a vintage soprano mpc that was recently given to me by a colleague at work. He found it in a small box in the bottom of a closet in his grandmother's house. Small mystery here, as nobody in the family plays the sax, as far as he can remember. Knowing that I play, he gave it to me, and I'm now asking if there is any way at all of finding out who made it.

Looks like your typical vintage soprano mpc, somewhat Meyerish with a big chamber. Cap is unmarked, says "France". Ligature says "H. Bettoney, Boston." Condition is pretty good, facing flat, tips and rails nice and even.

I've played it with my Pan-American 46M curved soprano, and it's got a nice round tone, mostly even across the range, tip's a bit too small for me, probably equivalent to a Selmer C or C*.

It's not for sale, I'm just curious as to its origins.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Kenneth







 

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Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2013-2016
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7,890 Posts
Riffault?
Looks like a large chamber Riffault...except that normally, they say France on one side and have a facing like R3 on the other. Looking at the shape of the shank and table though, it really looks like a Riffault to me.

It could be an unmarked Babbitt of some sort, but I’ve never seen them make a soprano piece without some kind of shaping in the chamber.


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Looks like a large chamber Riffault...except that normally, they say France on one side and have a facing like R3 on the other. Looking at the shape of the shank and table though, it really looks like a Riffault to me.

It could be an unmarked Babbitt of some sort, but I’ve never seen them make a soprano piece without some kind of shaping in the chamber.


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That was my thoughts as well. Unusual to not see the "France or R3" but it does resemble a Riffault. It could be really good with a proper facing and opened up if desired. I would send it to Joe at Soprano Planet if you want it tweaked.
 

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Forum Contributor 2013-2017
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714 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I knew you all would come through.

Riffault I think it is, too, after having looked at photos online. There're several dead ringers, marked and unmarked, on Ebay and dealer sites. I'll probably have it opened up later, no hurry though.

Again, thanks much, although if somebody has compelling evidence to say that this is not a Riffault but a large chamber Meyer worth 4 figures, I'm all ears :mrgreen::TGNCHK:!

Kenneth
 

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Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2013-2016
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7,890 Posts
I’ll give a little testimonial here...I have several vintage Soloists, all sorts of modern soprano mouthpieces, large chambered Martins, Bueschers, etc. I have settled on a Riffault that I got for €8 on eBay. I bought it as a refacing project, but I put it on my soprano and it was so in tune and played so easily that I made it my main soprano mouthpiece. It’s a small chambered piece, but the large chambers are also excellent.


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