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Did Martin make their own basses, or stencil from someone else?

I think Holton basses are sometimes Conn stencils and sometimes of their own - possibly with parts bought from Conn.

Let's not forget that especially with low-volume horns like basses, there's been some discussion that makers may well have bought parts from each other at times.
 

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vi tenor/alto, yss-62 soprano, the martin baritone, muramatsu flute, R13 clarinet
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
It would seem so. Bert did a ton of research when he started playing bass, so I trust he's correct.

Kudos for finding the "perfect" bass!
Let's get her all fixed up and see how perfect it is. Perfect imperfection is the best I think I can hope for on a horn of this era..! ;)
 

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Let's get her all fixed up and see how perfect it is. Perfect imperfection is the best I think I can hope for on a horn of this era..! ;)
It doesn't really look like she'll need too much work. The pads that I saw in the photos looked pretty decent and if you need to replace a few, it won't break the bank. But keep in mind there is no such thing as a "minor leak" on a bass sax, they are pretty binary in that respect, either they leak or they don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The pads look decent but it's a leaky mess and I'd also like to get the dent work done. It could use some good reforming on the bend directly below the neck and a couple of spots on the first tube run going upwards. I think it's going in for restoration. Gotta say, it sounds pretty great on the four notes I can comfortably play on it, even with those giant waffle resonators even though I prefer smaller/more mild flavors of resos usually.

It doesn't really look like she'll need too much work. The pads that I saw in the photos looked pretty decent and if you need to replace a few, it won't break the bank. But keep in mind there is no such thing as a "minor leak" on a bass sax, they are pretty binary in that respect, either they leak or they don't.
 

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The pads look decent but it's a leaky mess and I'd also like to get the dent work done. It could use some good reforming on the bend directly below the neck and a couple of spots on the first tube run going upwards. I think it's going in for restoration. Gotta say, it sounds pretty great on the four notes I can comfortably play on it, even with those giant waffle resonators even though I prefer smaller/more mild flavors of resos usually.
It really depends on what you want to do with it. This horn looks way better than mine, which almost resembles a banana and has dings and dents everywhere but it's a hell of a player. The problem with those old Conns is that the brass they used is super hard, and even small dents are very difficult to remove. But go for it, if I had the means for a full overhaul of mine, I might spring the dough myself. If you don't, you may just have to refloat some of the pads, especially on the upper stack and that doesn't cost really anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
It really depends on what you want to do with it. This horn looks way better than mine, which almost resembles a banana and has dings and dents everywhere but it's a hell of a player. The problem with those old Conns is that the brass they used is super hard, and even small dents are very difficult to remove. But go for it, if I had the means for a full overhaul of mine, I might spring the dough myself. If you don't, you may just have to refloat some of the pads, especially on the upper stack and that doesn't cost really anything.
Resembles a banana!? That's hilarious.

Gonna have it taken to a good tech next week. Let's see if we can make her sing again!

The end goal is really just to get it in good shape. If I find myself more comfortable on this horn than the other bass I've been learning on I'll sell the other horn. Otherwise I'll list this one.
 

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My C-melody is an American Perfection. I thought it was a 1923 Pan American, but you've certainly collected an array of opinions re your horn, making me wonder if my horn is indeed a Pan American. The "American Perfection" engraving is the very same. I've never seen another American Perfection. I inherited my horn from my mother. She played it in 1926-1927 in a high school stage orchestra, so the 1923 manufacture date seems like it would be correct. The horn had previously belonged to a near-relative who died at age 31 in 1926. He probably was the original owner.
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My C-melody is an American Perfection. I thought it was a 1923 Pan American, but you've certainly collected an array of opinions re your horn, making me wonder if my horn is indeed a Pan American. The "American Perfection" engraving is the very same. I've never seen another American Perfection. I inherited my horn from my mother. She played it in 1926-1927 in a high school stage orchestra, so the 1923 manufacture date seems like it would be correct. The horn had previously belonged to a near-relative who died at age 31 in 1926. He probably was the original owner. View attachment 136665
Beautiful! I know it is off topic here for the bass sax but if you don't mind, post a few more pictures / close-ups of the entire horn and the tone holes in particular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My C-melody is an American Perfection. I thought it was a 1923 Pan American, but you've certainly collected an array of opinions re your horn, making me wonder if my horn is indeed a Pan American. The "American Perfection" engraving is the very same. I've never seen another American Perfection. I inherited my horn from my mother. She played it in 1926-1927 in a high school stage orchestra, so the 1923 manufacture date seems like it would be correct. The horn had previously belonged to a near-relative who died at age 31 in 1926. He probably was the original owner. View attachment 136665
Wowwie!

How did you choose the year 1923 out of curiosity.. serial number or..?
 

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Wowwie!

How did you choose the year 1923 out of curiosity.. serial number or..?
After some research I found what seemed to be reliable information for dating a Pan American according to the serial number. In response to lostcircuits' request, I'm going to post some pictures I just took. One shows the serial number. So look at my reply to him to see pictures of my American Perfection. A manufacture date of 1923 fits the history of the horn as I know it. Just for your viewing pleasure, I'm attaching a picture of Guy Blocker, who was very likely the first owner. He owned it before my mother. This picture shows him before he would have bought the horn. I honor his memory by using his name as my user name. He lived in the Texas Panhandle and played with a band or orchestra, according to the story my mother told me.
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Beautiful! I know it is off topic here for the bass sax but if you don't mind, post a few more pictures / close-ups of the entire horn and the tone holes in particular.
I took several shots of my "American Perfection." Let me know if you want me to post them all . I'm posting about halfe of them. Regarding the date, I do have a 1927 high school yearbook picture of my mother playing the horn.
 

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Martin basses are Conn New Wonder I stencils.
In early times, even Buescher bass saxes were Conn stencils.

As for stencil names, they're not reliable indicators as to who actually built the horn. As sources changed for procuring horns, stencil names did not always change along with them.
 

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I took several shots of my "American Perfection." Let me know if you want me to post them all . I'm posting about halfe of them. Regarding the date, I do have a 1927 high school yearbook picture of my mother playing the horn.
I took several shots of my "American Perfection." Let me know if you want me to post them all . I'm posting about halfe of them. Regarding the date, I do have a 1927 high school yearbook picture of my mother playing the horn.
I took several shots of my "American Perfection." Let me know if you want me to post them all . I'm posting about halfe of them. Regarding the date, I do have a 1927 high school yearbook picture of my mother playing the horn.
Made a mistake and gave you a view of the serial number on my Holton alto instead of the American Perfection C-mel. Let's see who notices that mistake. And let's see who notices what makes my American Perfection serial number rather distinctive.
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I took several shots of my "American Perfection." Let me know if you want me to post them all . I'm posting about halfe of them. Regarding the date, I do have a 1927 high school yearbook picture of my mother playing the horn.
Very interesting, a c-mel labeled as alto (Eb instead of C stamp) . It's 100% an early Conn, NW1 if I am not mistaken and it does have the original curved neck that Conn abandoned around 1920 (?) or maybe 1922 but that doesn't mean it can't be a 1923 because it's a stencil and they often lag in their transition.

Very nice instrument!
 

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Made a mistake and gave you a view of the serial number on my Holton alto instead of the American Perfection C-mel. Let's see who notices that mistake. And let's see who notices what makes my American Perfection serial number rather distinctive. View attachment 136699
Haha, that explains the 3 half steps :)
But just the ring braces leave no doubt about the origin of the horn.
As to the vintage, if the SN is actually Conn, then it is 1917-18 which would be consistent with the neck.
 
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