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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody know what make the two old saxes might be, with bell keys on opposite sides?
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They might be martins. they have the same bell keyguard as most of the older martins and octave key pearls.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I take it having bell keys on opposite sides wasn't unique to any particular maker? Was the next development a consistent move to both keys inside, or some brands to inside and other to outside?
 

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So I take it having bell keys on opposite sides wasn't unique to any particular maker? Was the next development a consistent move to both keys inside, or some brands to inside and other to outside?
Nope. Conn, Buescher, Martin (and I'm sure more) all had the B/Bb on opposite sides of the bell in their earlier models. Then it seems it became standard to have both on the left side (as you hold the horn) and I'd guess around the late 30's to early 40's, most manufacturers switched to having both on the RH side. Keep in mind that many student models of horns (Selmer/Bundy for example) still had them on the LH side of the bell well into the 70's.
 

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My 1925 King Alto has the B and Bb on opposite sides. Some saxes have both on the left hand side of the bell, but most modern saxes have both on the right hand side.

I really don't know what difference in playing or play-abiity that makes.

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I could be wrong, but I always thought the right-side bell pads were first associated with the Selmer Balanced Action models. Soon, everyone was switching over to the right side.

I have a '25 King alto and a Buescher C-Mel with the opposing bell pads (some call them "clappers") and several that passed through my closet were similarly designed. My Big B Aristocrat alto and my Cigar Cutter alto have the left-side bell pads, as does my Yanagisawa curved soprano (SC902).

None of that seems to matter much as to playability. DAVE
 

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The bottom one looks like a Buescher C Melody. The other horn (alto) has a tear drop front F, which probably means Holton.
Good eye, mate. What I can see of engraving suggests Holton as well...

Opposing bell toneholes started disappearing in the 30's. Prior to that, just about all the American vintage horns had them.
Myeah...still one of my favorite sax details. Aesthetically symmetrical (generally speaking), I always liked that.

(But since we're here - let's give a shout out to King ! Who maintained split-bellkeys on their Zeph baritones up into the mid 1970's ! :cheers:)
 

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I could be wrong, but I always thought the right-side bell pads were first associated with the Selmer Balanced Action models. Soon, everyone was switching over to the right side.

I have a '25 King alto and a Buescher C-Mel with the opposing bell pads (some call them "clappers") and several that passed through my closet were similarly designed. My Big B Aristocrat alto and my Cigar Cutter alto have the left-side bell pads, as does my Yanagisawa curved soprano (SC902).

None of that seems to matter much as to playability. DAVE
I am not certain Selmer really was the first to do it. I have seen, for example, Keilwerths and Kohlerts within a year of the first year of the Balanced Actions which had right-side bellkeys. FWIW....
 

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...still one of my favorite sax details. Aesthetically symmetrical (generally speaking), I always liked that.
All my gigging horns, except one, have the opposing bell toneholes; my sopranos, alto and bari.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lamp material.
Seein' as no one seems ready to mount a rescue operation, I guess 1saxman pretty much nailed it: these particular horns are probably right where they ought to be— on a shelf in a museum. Which BTW is on Monhegan Island, about ten miles off the coast of Maine.
 

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I think I read somewhere that Holton was the first company to put the two bell keys on the same side (left). This was the Rudy model horns.
 

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Wow! Thanks for that.
 
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