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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

(after years of just reading, I'd like to make a first post here, so a short introduction is in place).
I'm Teake, playing tenor for about 35 years, in several pop/blues/jazz/gospel/bigband settings.
I've got a Vito "Duke" tenor, made in france, nr 18778. Which probably makes it a "Beaugnier"-built stencil from the late 1960's.
The previous owner I bought it from back then (around 1990) bought it in new york, at a Bundy store he told me. (Seems to be at Rod Baltimore Music Co, new york, it has a yellow patch in the case)
The neck appears to be of another make, and that part keeps me puzzled quite a lot. I'd like to ask for your help in this.


I've searched quite a lot, but I never saw another neck with this "heart-shaped-plate" on top, just in front of the cork.

The valve seems to be a bundy-item, grinded down, to remove the bundy logo?
The neck-reinforcement looks strange too, perhaps it's been modified, or just added as a quick fix.
Do you recognize this neck? It fits a Vito. Thus several other models from that era. Le Blanc, Bundy, Vito, Yamaha, Yanigasawa, and then some.

What brand neck is this? (and is the valve indeed a bundy-valve?

Thanks for you help!
 

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Looks like a patch there a pickup once was.
 

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Thanks, (what kind of pickup would that be? electronic like for a guitar?)

Do you recognize other elements of the neck?
 

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Yes an electric pickup for sax. Lookup selmer baritone and you can see an example.
 

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Wow... learning a lot here. I never saw (or heard) these before! Interesting.

The neck itself though is no at selmer, as the pivoting points of the topvalve are outside of the valve, not inside as on a selmer.
The search continues.
 

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Looks like a patch there a pickup once was.
You seem to be right: it's hardly visible inside, but with some light via the keyhole I can see there's been a hole on the inside, where the heart-shaped patch is.
The hole is not repaired flush, just closed off. This probably will have some influence on the sound, for better or worse. Who knows.... I've been playing it like this for 35 years without complaints, but how much better can it be?
An itching question just rose....
 

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Its not a Beaugnier neck. I've had a bunch of those horns. How does the horn play with it? Beaugnier's do have a larger bore as do Conn and Buescher. They could be made to fit. I think its a Buescher neck and the octave key and brace have been modified. The heart shape is a patch as already noted.
 

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Hi Saxcop, thanks for the reply. I have no comparison in necks. This is and has been my only sax for 35 years. I think it plays reasonably well. But as my experience with other saxes is near-to-zero I can hardly tell if it's any good.
I even looked at Martin-necks, as the brace-end looks a bit alike, but the bottom-end is different of these too.
I think this neck has seen quite some blacksmiths :-/
 

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Looks a bit like a Conn neck with a patch, a modified brace and a replacement key.
Good guess.
Thing I cannot tell for sure is whether there is a sheet metal brace already on the underside of the neck (like a PanAm would have) and someone added the wire brace on top of the sheet brace (?) In which case, I'd say your guess is probably right....Conn-made.

Interestingly, the KEY is Italian...the sheet metal kind one finds on Orsi horns. But the neck is NOT Orsi; the curvature is wrong for that.

Teake, as Saxcop says most definitely not an original neck - and really SO very different than a Beaugnier neck tube it sorta surprises me it'd intone your horn well. But if so, that's cool.

The BRACE is from some factory...no way could a home-job have produced the end foot towards the cork....it was probably a single-curvature (or maybe straight) wire brace which was bent.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Intonation probably is not as good as it can be. But I think I'm used to compensating the tone-height. With the otto link tonemaster that's quite easy to do. I find the horn to be to low on low notes, and too high on high notes. But I play by my ears rather than just blowing what the score says :)

But hey! You guys are getting the puzzle finalized slowly!
That Orsi top key seems to be correct, seeing this picture.

It also has the small "nose" protruding between the two legs of the topkey. Spring-mechanism, and hinge-points are the same too.
So: key found.

And regarding the neck: Could it be an early martin neck, of which the brace has been modified to clear the octave-mechanism?

https://i0.wp.com/bassic-sax.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Front-Right-Side-Views.jpg
 

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That would be based on the curve of the tube then? The brace on these conns is much longer.
 

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It is the collar part of the tenon that really looks like Conn to me it is simple and rounded.

I agree that the brace shape and placement look Martin, but all the Martin tenons that I have seen have a small ring detail and usually a serial number.
 

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Ah, thanks. Puzzle seems to get more complex than I thought :) I guess I'll have to accept it as a "Genius composition of individual quality parts"...
(Or a quick and dirty job of some left-overs...)
 

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If I had to guess, I would guess that the original neck got destroyed somehow. The octave key was still usable, however. So someone went into the junk box and found an old Conn neck. The octave key posts were in a good place, and it fit on the horn, but the brace was in the way, so they bent the brace wildly to clear the key. Or, maybe, they put an Orsi key on a Conn neck and had to bend the brace, because maybe the Conn key was missing. Somewhere along the line there was a pickup port that was removed and a patch soldered on, but whoever did it decided to be a little bit more ornamental than just a round piece of brass so they shaped it like a heart.

If it plays well, who cares? In a way I think it's kind of cool the way this instrument has been adapted and modified to keep it going.
 

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If it plays well, who cares? In a way I think it's kind of cool the way this instrument has been adapted and modified to keep it going.
I fully agree on that. The history only makes it more valuable to me. I've also spent a while looking for the shop it was bought. Rod Baltimore, NY, somewhere in the 70-80-90's.
We bought this tenor from a Dutch old colleague of my dad in the 90's. He had a small jazz combo, and made a trip to the USA, which was to be paid by the money they earned while playing small gigs.
YET.... his own tenor got lost when they got of the plane, so he had to buy something quick in NY, to be able to play the first gigs, while waiting for his own horn.
He went to Rod Baltimore, bought an old knackered vito with a neck that sounded pretty healthy, and an old travel-case that fit reasonably well. With this he was able to play the gigs.

The story doesn't tell whether he got his own horn back or not. I only know he took the Vito back to the netherlands, and later sold it to us. I was about 16 then I guess. My dad paid 900 Guilders for it. Approx 450 Dollar back then.

Attached two pics of the markings in the case. It's an old Bundy II case it seems.

.....

So, a horn with some history. Who knows who else has played it.... It at least has seen some countries. Makes you think if the "made in france" is correct. It was in NY at some point in time we know for sure.
 

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Vitos saxophone’s parts may have been made in France and assembled in Kenosha or enturely made in France. They are not paryicularly sought after anywhere and they exist with different names, Noblet, Beaugnier & Vito. There were also Vitos made in Japan or Taiwan.

The price that you paid was as good then as it is now. That Neck has been certainly altered at some point, but rwally makes little difference to the value and this has a meaning to you which transcends any market value. That one is very limited.

Viti Pascucci was importing a number of instruments and was selling Leblanc too in the US

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_Pascucci
 
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