Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw this last week and at first thought it was a Selmer SBA (especially with the Selmer mouthpiece), but then I noticed more and more things that just weren't right about it (tilting spatula mechanism, single screw to hold bell guards, side key shape, no emblem on neck, no branding on horn). I asked the seller for some more pictures and got really one useable picture which shows the serial number. Any help identifying this horn is much appreciated. Thanks!
 

Attachments

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,350 Posts
It’s hard to say what exactly is’70 (could be late’60) made Chinese or Taiwanese copy. I thought It might have been an early Italian maker but there are no distinctive signs that this could have been the case.

There are some distinctive details ( octave mechanics, lyre arrangement, thumbrest and pantsguard which would be probably helpful in identifying the maker but I am afraid that I can’t say that they ring a definite bell.

In China there were a number of horns made in those years which appeared to be based on the SBA design and later on the mark Vi and sometimes showed a mixture of the two on the same model.

I am reasonably sure this is one of them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
i have always thought that it was an early japanese saxophone...only that they,(japan), were also copying many things in the late 50's early 60's and the guitars they put out then had stickers(decals),on them for the "brand" and "made-in".....they were also quality instruments,where these,or something like these,saxophones are pretty good players....
anyways,just my thoughts over the years....
cheers,philip
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,350 Posts
Taiwan has a much longer tradition than Japan in making saxophones, and indeed, when Yamaha started in the ’60 to make their saxophones ( when they bought the Nikkan factory) they went to KHS (Jupiter) to ask for advise.

Prior to 1960 there were only very few Japanese companies, such as Nikkan and Yanagisawa, making saxophones and they normally marked their horns.

In my opinion this in not one of their horns

http://www.elthamwoodwind.com.au/yanagisawa/history.shtml

this is a Nikkan



this is a Nikkan too



they were always marked as such

find more here.

http://purple-cat.info/sense/saxophone/nikkan.html

very different from OP’s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
I must admit, after pretty extensive web searching the earliest japanese horns I could find don't look like the thing I bought. Then again, I can't find any Chinese horns that look like it either. Could it actually be European?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
BTW according to LC Taiwan's own account of its history you are right about the Japanese coming to Taiwan to learn.
http://www.lcsax.com/aboutus/history.html
If 1/3 of the world's saxophone production is right that is pretty remarkable.
(I am postponing judgement about the accuracy of their claims on this page though, it is certainly and extension of their sales rhetoric)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,350 Posts
Perhaps you should look up Lark, Parrot, Swallow brands

Taiwan was a former Japanese colony where people had been making saxophones since the ’30. When Yamaha bought the Nikkan facilities they had yet to develop a model of their own and went to the early KHS factory for advise.

In 1969 KHS and Yamaha opened a piano factory together...and they were previously the Yamaha importer in Taiwan, the brands have a long history together.

http://world.khsmusic.com/front/bin/ptdetail.phtml?Part=Organization-03

this is a Lark Sax ( Chinese)



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
There is that screw... If this is a Lark or from the same factory it must have been made long before this one.
Certainly, that is the most similar Taiwanese horn I have been able to find.

Perhaps you should look up Lark, Parrot, Swallow brands

Taiwan was a former Japanese colony where people had been making saxophones since the ’30. When Yamaha bought the Nikkan facilities they had yet to develop a model of their own and went to the early KHS factory for advise.

In 1969 KHS and Yamaha opened a piano factory together...and they were previously the Yamaha importer in Taiwan, the brands have a long history together.

http://world.khsmusic.com/front/bin/ptdetail.phtml?Part=Organization-03

this is a Lark Sax ( Chinese)



 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,350 Posts
Lark is Chinese

Op’s horn is not Japanese and I am fairly sure that it came from the Lark factory

The Shanghai Wind Instrument Factory producing the "Lark" brand (among others) is still very much around and manufacturing cheaper woodwinds and brasswinds. This isn't a stencil horn, nor is it a copy of a vintage Conn/Martin/King etc. These are your run of the mill, PRC knockoffs of Yani/Selmer inspired horns that you see floating all over Ebay etc. Here is a link and auction number to one of many Ebay ads offering these horns:

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Golden-Lacquer-Straight-Soprano-Saxophone_W0QQitemZ7383875528QQihZ016QQcategoryZ16203QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItem

#7383875528.

I can't attest to just how good or bad they stack up to other horns of their ilk, as I have never played one personally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
I wonder how these things play. Steve Crow has his listed as "feels like an SBA".... ok... but it will be interesting to see how it sounds...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Steve is asking 850gbp for that silver one... it mustn't totally suck...
Actually looks really hip. I want it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,350 Posts
Years ago when I started the saxophone game most techs wouldn’t want anything to do with a Lark, Parrot or Swallow.

Some folks did use them as donor horns for Selmer parts since they were often interchangeable.

In recent times there has been a revival of horns previously object of much criticism and now all manners of brands which you couldn’t sell before are finding a market.

I can tell you that if I come across one of these I don’t buy them for reselling them, because I know that I couldn’t find anyone to buy them from me, maybe someone else’s knows something that I don’t .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Yeah I have heard the whole "if it swims or flies" since I was a young man.
Although I always thought that was mainly a response to those ubiquitous ugly late 70s to 80s horns. Being much earlier I guess it could go either way and be better or worse with this one.
Surely, there aren't as many of these things around as the 80s ones, which I used to see around all the time when I was a kid. They are probably all lamps now.
I realise it isn't going to be financially worth it in terms of resale. But if it can be a decent sounding instrument, that feels similar to my SBA, but that I can be less precious about then that is all good.
At the end of the day it isn't going to cost me very much to get it on the road.
Just pads, time and swearing as i work out how to defuse all that key work which is probably all corroded. That is my biggest concern actually.



Years ago when I started the saxophone game most techs wouldn’t want anything to do with a Lark, Parrot or Swallow.

Some folks did use them as donor horns for Selmer parts since they were often interchangeable.

In recent times there has been a revival of horns previously object of much criticism and now all manners of brands which you couldn’t sell before are finding a market.

I can tell you that if I come across one of these I don’t buy them for reselling them, because I know that I couldn’t find anyone to buy them from me, maybe someone else’s knows something that I don’t .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
I had a horn like this. Not worth 850 anything. Don't bother with it

Why? What was wrong with it?

Steve Crow is a very well respected dude from everything I know about him. There must be a reason he thinks this horn is worth that. It must play. Otherwise I really doubt he would be selling it.
One thing I do know about saxophones is that many models that get a bad rep get it because noone has ever played one that was set up right or done properly. Selmer itself has this problem, as any search of the series III sop will tell you. Play one that actually works (this will generally involve getting rid on most of the pads and corks selmer ships with and straightening out their half-finished ill-fitting key work) and it is a nice horn. People say the same thing about today's chinese horns. Surely one of these Larks can also be made whole. Then its a level playing field to judge at least.
Anyway, I will get it eventually and it will probably play eventually, and i will report back what I find. If it stinks then it stinks and I will tell you it stinks.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,350 Posts
Personally I am not a fan, since there are many more saxophones around which might be getting you better results.

As for example the Rampone de Luxe that I have :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Yeah sure. But any Rampone is going to sell for more $$ generally... (Steve Crow's one being marked as an exception to this statement).
And I still wouldn't like take a Rampone de Luxe kayaking. And if it was damaged I would be upset. I want a horn I can abuse that still feels kind of like my main axe. But doesn't cost me hardly any money.
Have you played one of these in proper working condition?
I am interested in what you thought.
What "results" are we talking here? Intonation? Sound?... it is going to feel kind of sba like once set up decently... Softer metal in the keys?


Personally I am not a fan, since there are many more saxophones around which might be getting you better results.

As for example the Rampone de Luxe that I have :)
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top