Tenor reference 54
Very informative answerI believe your definition of stencils is incorrect. A Stencil saxophone is one that is made for another company by the original manufacturer. For instance, Conn makes a cheaper version of their C melody and sells it to company XYZ. Conn puts no engraving on the sax and company XYZ engraves it themselves. They literallly take a STENCIL, lay it on the sax and engrave it themselves. This was a common practice back in the early days. If your company, (music store, smaller manufacturer, whatever...) was able to purchase a minimum amount of saxes, the larger companies would sell you some. American companies for the most part , would omit some of the features of these stencil saxes. European companies usually just sold theirs as is, with all or most of the features found on their models. Japanese companies (Yamaha & Yanagisawa) usually sold their's with subtle styling differences, but were for the most part identical to their own model. Now this is not true for every instance, but it tends to be correct on the whole.
What you are talking about are copies, not stencils. Yanagisawa and Yamaha have made great copies of the venerable Selmer Mark VI. Yet both of these companies have made stencils for Vito , for example. Yamaha stenciled their 23 series for Vito, while Yanagisawa has used many different models as stencils for Vito. None of these are much different then the models they sold themselves.
I hope this clears this up a little. As for the clones being made in China and Taiwan. Many are copies of the Selmer SA80. But to be a stencil, Selmer would have to make these. I can assure you , Selmer has made none of these clones for other companies. These are copies.
Ianhart is correct, saxpics.com is a wealth of info. Do some homework there, it will tell you all that you need.