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Picked up a Vito tenor sax, serial number 115A, from a local shop. Got it for $75. From my research, looks to be a French Vito, assembled in Kenosha, Wisconsin, sometime in the 1960s.

Pads look ok, a few are iffy. Lacquer is probably 85% or better. Bell brace will need to be re-soldered, and at least one tone hole has a slight dent. This will be a beater horn, if the costs don't get too high in repairs.

The most concerning part is the bell..looks like there is damage or a split possibly where the lacquer is worn (can't tell). Can it be re-soldered from the inside and play ok?

View attachment 214454
 

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I had some pretty bad dents in the bottom of the bell of a horn I had. It was $40 i think to have them removed. It did damage the laquer a bit in those spots but still looked much better. Might run a bit more to solder and fix up if its actually split, but if thats all it needs, still seems like you got a good deal.

Thanks!
Kristy
 

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Even if it costs you a few hundred dollars to get it in good working order, you’re ahead. Vito was made by Yamaha, or so I’ve read here on the forum.
 

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Were all Vito made by Yamaha?
And those that were, were Yamaha student model horns.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I’m not sure I’d sink much money into a model that will never fetch much if resold.
If you’re planing on keeping it, I guess it doesn’t matter as much.
 

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Yeah, older Vitos were by Beugnier, later by Yamaha. At the transition point there were some other odd things. Definitely take it to a tech - likely fixable, and with the small amount you have into the horn, it will likely be cost effective.
 

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There are MANY types of Vitos and are absolutely NOT all made by Yamaha , yours isn’t.

Vito were made by Beaugnier , Yamaha , Yanagisawa and Jupiter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_(Leblanc)

Yours is a Beaugnier.

None are particularly valuable with the exception of the more sought after Yanagisawa ones (Soprano and Baritones).

The the bell is bent by means of hammering from sheet metal and then soldered to close it , this is what you see, the soldering seal (look at a video of how they make bells) if it is not open it is of no consequence .


All the rest is cosmetic too and I would leave it alone.

The cost of the repair of this horn can easily go higher than its value ( very modest) so be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There are MANY types of Vitos and are absolutely NOT all made by Yamaha , yours isn’t.

Vito were made by Beaugnier , Yamaha , Yanagisawa and Jupiter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_(Leblanc)

Yours is a Beaugnier.

None are particularly valuable with the exception of the more sought after Yanagisawa ones (Soprano and Baritones).

The the bell is bent by means of hammering from sheet metal and then soldered to close it , this is what you see, the soldering seal (look at a video of how they make bells) if it is not open it is of no consequence .


All the rest is cosmetic too and I would leave it alone.

The cost of the repair of this horn can easily go higher than its value ( very modest) so be careful.
Milandro, the serial is 1153 A. Bell keys on left, and the slanted G# key on the pinky table. Does that mean it's French and assembled in USA? Other than the value, is it a decent horn for a student (my son)? I might play it, too.
 

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Milandro, the serial is 1153 A. Bell keys on left, and the slanted G# key on the pinky table. Does that mean it's French and assembled in USA? Other than the value, is it a decent horn for a student (my son)? I might play it, too.
Yes, that is the story we hear most often about these. I've had about 10 of these over the years, and currently have 2. As everyone has mentioned, they do not have great monetary value. I think they are a bargain, the ergonomics are good, they play in tune, and sound great.
 

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as you probably have worked by now, out all the information is here.

http://www.doctorsax.biz/vito_ser_nos.htm

It is certainly a decent horn and they are very good players but investing heavily in an expensive overhaul is probably not a very good idea (irrespective of where it was made or assembled they are not worth much) unless one has special reasons to do so (like being a family heirloom).
 

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Picked up a Vito tenor sax, serial number 115A, from a local shop. Got it for $75. From my research, looks to be a French Vito, assembled in Kenosha, Wisconsin, sometime in the 1960s.

Pads look ok, a few are iffy. Lacquer is probably 85% or better. Bell brace will need to be re-soldered, and at least one tone hole has a slight dent. This will be a beater horn, if the costs don't get too high in repairs.

The most concerning part is the bell..looks like there is damage or a split possibly where the lacquer is worn (can't tell). Can it be re-soldered from the inside and play ok?

View attachment 214454
If what you're showing is the worst of it, what I see is a few minor dents in the bow that I would ignore, and some lacquer loss right at the brazed seam where the two halves of the bow are joined at the factory; as you note, POSSIBLY a split in the seam (it's not real likely, though).

I would ignore the little dents as they will have zero effect on playing, unless there are some that are much bigger that aren't shown in the pic; or if a dent involves a tone hole that usually needs to get fixed. (However, a sideways dent that just makes the tone hole not-round may NOT need to be fixed - it it makes the rim non-flat it probably does need to be fixed. My main alto has had a sideways dent in the low C# tone hole since I bought it in 1978, never fixed, and plays perfectly down to a pianissimo low Bb.) At any rate, if you need to have a dent repaired (and again I reiterate that the ones I can see do not look anywhere near big enough to require that), it is not expensive to get it fixed to the functional level.

To check the seam, get a strong LED flashlight, put it down the bell pointed at the suspect area, and check it out in a dark room. A split will be immediately evident. If you do have a split seam, fixing it should be a matter of $10-30 at most. The most time consuming part will be removing any keys or hardware nearby. After that, a little flux, heat the spot, dab some solder, wipe off the flux, you're done. No need to try to work from the inside, just solder it form the outside. Have done this more than once.

As an even faster cheaper fix you can temporarily put a piece of aluminum tape over it. I have a small split seam in my bass sax in a place where I will have to do a lot of disassembly to fix it, so I just put a couple pieces of Al tape over it till I can get around to it. Plays perfectly.

If you bought this horn for $75, I would have a "playing condition" done, and the possibly split seam can be fixed at that time, when they have keys off anyway (but check first to see it that is actually what's wrong).

I also believe that what you have there is a Beaugnier, very good horn with currently a low market value that does not reflect its playing value.
 

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that seam is not open, is only showing the place where it is soldered.
 

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that seam is not open, is only showing the place where it is soldered.
With respect, we don't know that for sure from one picture. I agree that it's unlikely that the seam is open, but 5 minutes with a strong flashlight will answer the question for sure.
 

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everything can be, but I have seen a fair deal of things like this and I have never seen one seam open.
Even less than 5 minuets would reveal all.
 

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everything can be, but I have seen a fair deal of things like this and I have never seen one seam open.
Even less than 5 minuets would reveal all.
I have fixed three different saxes with splits at brazed seams; one of them them was related to other damage but two of them whatever caused the split was not apparent. I suspect poor workmanship on those.

All that said we are in agreement that it's probably OK.
 

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Congratulations, $75 for a Beaugnier is a steal!

Even if you were to put a couple hundred into pads, etc. you should have a tenor that plays and sounds way better than most anything else you'd find for $300.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My local tech says $250 for the bell brace repair and some pads and tone hole adjustment. The front of the bell is fine, just a chemical reaction under the lacquer.
 

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the price seems to be adequate and won’t break the bank.
 

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everything can be, but I have seen a fair deal of things like this and I have never seen one seam open.
Even less than 5 minuets would reveal all.
I have seen several even on necks. The ones in the bell bow often go through the low C tonehole. Typically they are "encouraged" to come apart damage to the area followed by aggressive dent removal. The proper way to repair an open seam is to braze (silver solder) the crack. Unfortunately this cooks any lacquer in the area. I have discovered a brass colored silver solder that makes it possible to do a repair that is undetectable after filing, sanding, and buffing the area. The entire bell bow would need to be removed, buffed and relacquered or replated to make the sax look like new.
 
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