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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an alto about 24 years ago, secondhand. If I recall it cost me around £300. As I didn't know anything much about sax makes, I didn't pay much attention to it. I played it for a few years, then put it away. I'm coming back to playing it again on a more serious basis and know I want to know more about it. I'm not sure that it's particularly good - there are a few things I'm not happy about, the low G tends to split easily and I have difficulty playing a decent low C. I'm not convinced it's in tune. I'm thinking perhaps I need a new one however if it turns out that I actually have a decent horn, then maybe it would be better for me to pay the money to getting it overhauled rather than a 'better replacement'.

Trouble is, I think my sax may be a mongrel. I've tried looking online and entering the serial number but nothing's coming up. The crook has a 'B' on the front - Bundy? Buescher? The case that came with it has 'Bundy' written on it, but the bell has 'Imperial' engraved on it, and the serial number's on the back, but there's no other fancy engraving.

Anyone any ideas?

KAZ JONES

PS. I've tried reply with photos but the post isn't appearing - I'm not sure if it's not worked if it's got stuck in a moderation queue!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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Maybe a Martin Imperial with a 1980's Bundy neck. We will need photos to confirm.

And welcome to SOTW!
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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It looks like a regular Bundy II alto sax. I wonder if they were marketed in the UK with an Imperial model designation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah, thank you, kfoster. That gives me a starting point to start researching, and see if it's actually any good.
 

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I'm guessing that you've got a Selmer-Bundy, because that's the horn I use and it has a B as well as the serial number on the back. However the only brand I know of that used "Imperial" would be a Martin, though I think the brand name would be engraved along the bell. Perhaps you're using a different neck brand? This site should hopefully be able to help you identify your horn.
 

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Your horn doesn't look as though it should be impossible to work with. Have you had it to a repair tech yet? It may just need an adjustment and/or a pad or two to get into playing shape.
 

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Bundy II, must be one of the most common student saxophones sold before the Taiwanese took this market segment and one of the last made in USA product. I am not a fan ( I have been able to bend the left hand table by just be overly enthusiastic ) but know many people who play them and are reasonably happy. looks good, you should be able to have it fixed for less than its market value so it will be a good investment anyway.
There is nothing wrong with the tuning of these instruments but if they are not well regulated and stay that way YOU might be not playing in tune because you are actually pushing too hard to play notes that are not responding. Again, not much of a muchness bit a decent sax nevertheless.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the replies. I've upped my reed thickness from 1.5 to 2 and that has made quite an appreciable difference, and I can get the very low notes properly now, and my G doesn't 'wobble' anymore! I'm a bit happier with it now but am still saving my pennies to buy a new (i.e., decent secondhand) alto. If I was just playing to entertain myself I wouldn't be so worried but, after putting my sax away for 23-odd years, I've just joined a local band who play covers of 60s & 70s soul music (the kind of band that plays at wedding receptions and company conferences, i.e., potential for making reasonable money!). Trouble is, they've been together for over 20 years now and have, individually, been playing since the 60s so they know what they're doing. And I don't want to let them down by honking like a goose. The other sax player is my very good friend Beverly Chadwick who plays the tenor and bari like a demon and is the one responsible for asking me to join her, and I especially don't want to let her down, so there's quite a lot at stake here for me in terms of getting a decent sound. Sorry for the ramble but just wanted to add some perspective!
 

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I would try to get my reed up to 2.5 if i was you :) And it is definetly a bundy II with a unseen before engraving. Practice playing loud and quietly in front of tuner to ensure that you play in tune while you are playing loud and soft. Also do this with high and low notes.
 

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Excuse the interjection! Love your kitties :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE - so, today, I've just bought myself a secondhand YAS62, and found from doing a bit of research that it's the original version with the original crook. Got a good price for it, from a reputable music store (Chamberlains in Haslemere, Surrey, UK), fully refurbished and serviced, and they threw in a free lightweight gig bag as well! I couldn't believe the difference in the sound when trying it out in the practice room, so I knew it had to come home with me. All I have to do now is try and get my head around the different mouthpieces. I kinda like the one it's already got, though, so might stick with that for a bit. Hooray! New Sax!!
 

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It's a great horn and it will serve you well. Some people go for the newer necks G1 or G3 , I think the original neck is fine. I have one and it wails.
 

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Fine upgrade... now time to hit the woodshed!
I bet you are going to have a grand time with the new band.
We expect to hear all about it in the future... :D
 
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