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Favorite Vintage Sax Brand/Model

  • Conn Chu Berry

    Votes: 17 8.5%
  • Conn 6M/10M

    Votes: 25 12.6%
  • Martin Handcraft Committee

    Votes: 8 4.0%
  • Martin "The Martin"

    Votes: 23 11.6%
  • Buescher Aristocrat

    Votes: 18 9.0%
  • Buescher "Big B" Aristocrat

    Votes: 14 7.0%
  • King Super 20

    Votes: 32 16.1%
  • Selmer Balanced Action

    Votes: 6 3.0%
  • Selmer Super Balanced Action

    Votes: 27 13.6%
  • Selmer Mark 6

    Votes: 59 29.6%
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Discussion Starter #1
Please pick your favorite brand/model from the list. If your pick is not mentioned please write 'other' or 'modern' and describe it if you would like. :)
 

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Forum Contributor 2007 Distinguished SOTW Member
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My favorite from the list was a Conn Chu Berry. The old Conns can have a nice snarling dog type of tone.

Generally though I like German/Czech horns like Kohlerts and Keilwerths. They are a good balance between the American horns and their French counterparts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I am speaking generally, altos or tenors - is there usually a big difference?... sorry I didn't include TH&C's... I guess I'm a bit biased because I never had the pleasure of trying one and it slipped my mind, but only 10 poll options max, so, if you picked TH&C just post it and we can tally the posts later. :)

btw - with only 10 options, what would you have maybe omitted for the TH&C?

I can't vote :(, because I haven't played a good example of a few of them....but I believe my preference is probably for earlier Martins and Bueschers.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
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Vote for the only one I've played and own,a very sweet sounding Big B alto Saintsday was kind to sell to me.

Add a Buescher script 156 tenor 350xxx, also from saint
 

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tjontheroad said:
No Buffet???
Nope, only a la carte.

tjontheroad said:
This poll sucks
Yup, can't even listen to the Radio (Improved). Not allowed to SMiLe either.
 

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Why leave off the Zephyr?

Aside from leaving off some other companies, the biggest omission by far is the King Zephyr. You've got the pre-war professional grade offerings from the other 3 companies, why not H.N. White? "The Zephyr is a Killer!" as an esteemed sax repairman to the south once wrote. if you can include the Martin Handcraft you should include the Zephyr and Zephyr Special.

Wow, looking at it again I notice the Buescher 400 Top & Cane is also no where to be found. This is blasphemy! ;) How could you forget the "greatest saxophone ever," as the same wild-haired repairman quoted above famously mused. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

DELETE MY THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT SAXOPHONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS ALL BIG MISTAKES111111:cry:

I mean it... delete my thread... or allow 20 poll options!!! and then do it again

my real intent was to allow people to anonymously vote on a list of the 'top great model/brands' to see what the trends are as far as what's popular, not to accidently forget 3 or 4 due to my inexperience or personal bias or whatever...

I have not played a TH&C and only picked up a Zephyr for a second, and have not played a S20 either... etc.

And I am referring to instruments for Jazz mainly, thats why I left out the new aristocrat for example.
 

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You might want to try again with just a list of brands and let responders specify models, i.e., Buescher, Buffet, Conn, Keilwerth, King, Martin, Selmer, SML, and other.
 

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coolsax2k7 said:
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

DELETE MY THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT SAXOPHONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS ALL BIG MISTAKES111111:cry:
Hey don't sweat it. These polls "happen" from time to time. No one ever includes everything and ya can't please everyone anyway! Even if you had gone to lengths to include every known vintage model and variant, you'd still have people arguing over the poll results ..... or the semantics of "favorite." Or why you'd start a poll when everyone should be out shedding on their favorite horn, have their nose crammed in a theory book, or arguing over the effects of butterfly farts in China on the way the horn sounds.....
 

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Just reword it to say: Which of THESE particular horns listed is your favorite? By the way, I've been told there's not a huge difference between the TH&C and a Big B with the bigger bell.

I really wouldn't be able to choose between some of these horns, though. In top playing condition, I'd have to choose either the MKVI or the Big B Aristocrat. Then of course there's the Super 20........
 

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Here's what I want to know: Why does Martin "The Martin" get three times the vote that the Committee II gets? Wasn't the Committee the deluxe horn?

I've got a Committee II and the mechanics are sweet, it's like having your hands on a beautiful woman, but I like the sound of my "You really play this thing?" 10M better.

PB
 

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Permanent Beginner said:
Here's what I want to know: Why does Martin "The Martin" get three times the vote that the Committee II gets? Wasn't the Committee the deluxe horn?

I've got a Committee II and the mechanics are sweet, it's like having your hands on a beautiful woman, but I like the sound of my "You really play this thing?" 10M better.

PB
My guess (and it's only a guess) is that more folks own a "The Martin" than the Committee II. Also, Buescher Aristocrat and Big B Aristocrat are both Aristocrats. If you add them together they get a lot of votes. If TH&C was included, there would be even more votes for Buescher. Polls like this are interesting, but the results really don't mean a whole lot.
 

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You're right on there. People usually vote for their own horn; and let's face it, most hobby players who go vintage play Buescher's and Martin's because they're affordable (i.e. under 2K--for now, at least) and because most people who play for fun can't justify spending 3K or more on a sax, which is what you're looking at in the case of an H.N. White Super 20 or a Selmer Mark VI. However, I am surprised that more people choose Buescher and Martin over vintage Conn's, which have historically been used more for jazz than the former two brands. This may indicate that most members do not play jazz but rather blues and rock (both Martin's and Buescher's are known to be great for these styles). Also it appears that the hype recently generated by this forum and other online sources has increased the popularity of Buescher's and Martin's in the last couple of years. It's getting where mint condish Martin's are selling for as much as mint Conn 10M's. And I don't think the former are near as good of horns as the latter. Just ask our fellow member Les about this. But then again, it depends on what kind of styles you're playing.

One thing I have noticed is that there do not seem to be as many threads started by newbies called "Conn 10M tenor--the best kept secret?" or "King Super 20--don't let the word get out on these!" That's because the A-List greats clearly chose these axes down through the decades, as the photograph evidence shows. Not so with the Buescher's and Martin's. After Johnny Hodges, Art Pepper and Ike Quebec, you have to dig a little deeper to come up with some names--at least in the jazz world. But I think the reason for the posting of these threads is that new Martin and Buescher owners are looking for affirmation for their choice from others hobbyists who made the same choice--as if to reassure themselves that they made a good buying decision. If Stan Getz and Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane had played Martin's, then I do not believe this kind of affirmation would be as necessary.

But once again, I have played both Martin's and Buescher's (and currently own an Aristo Tenor), and I think they are fine horns. I am just musing once again on the trends on SOTW and in the sax hobby as I see them....
 

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Swingtone said:
One thing I have noticed is that there do not seem to be as many threads started by newbies called "Conn 10M tenor--the best kept secret?" or "King Super 20--don't let the word get out on these!" That's because the A-List greats clearly chose these axes down through the decades, as the photograph evidence shows. Not so with the Buescher's and Martin's. After Johnny Hodges, Art Pepper and Ike Quebec, you have to dig a little deeper to come up with some names--at least in the jazz world.
I'm not saying you're wrong in the general thrust of your post, (I think if people who play for their main source of income tend to play certain saxes then there's probably some good reasons) but as far as the "great players of the past play XYZ" is concerned I'm wondering if some companies were more active/generous than others in seeking players to endorse and play their brand? Just a question.
 

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Swingtone said:
However, I am surprised that more people choose Buescher and Martin over vintage Conn's, which have historically been used more for jazz than the former two brands. This may indicate that most members do not play jazz but rather blues and rock (both Martin's and Buescher's are known to be great for these styles)..
You make some good points, but I'm not sure I agree on this part. My guess is more vintage players are on a Conn than Buescher or Martin, but that's only a guess. Conn 10M did get 10 votes so far in this poll. Also Conns are known to be great R&R horns, just like the other prominent vintage American brands (BIG sound!).

I own a MKVI tenor, and have played a couple of Super 20s. The Super 20s I tried had nothing on my Buescher Aristocrats, and I always have a hard time choosing between the 'Crats and my MKVI. So, I really do think that polls like this come down to what horns people own and play. All the horns listed in this poll are good horns, if properly set up.
 
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