SuperAction80· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Super Action 80 Tenor, Buescher 156 Tenor, Yamaha Vito YAS-21 , Kessler Soprano, Superba II Bari
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out at the local jazz club this weekend, and heard a gentleman playing traditional swing on alto and clarinet. The alto just simply projected. It had a very sweet and complex sound that filled the entire room. There was a PA, and the microphone was just a simple SM58. Nothing elaborate, but the tone was simply amazing. It was clearly a 20's horn with silver plate and split bell keys. After they finished up their set, I chatted with the saxophonist for a little bit, and guessed that it was a True Tone, based upon from what I could see from the other side of the room. Sure enough, it was a 1924 True Tone. I did not study the neck to see which version it had, but the front F was present, and the action felt as good as they can on these horns. They're not modern, but they are arguably the best of the era by a good deal, and are quite comfortable. He was using a modern production Slant Link, and we were discussing the misconception about these horns. They're not just these quiet and quaint little vintage saxophones that you can find in abundance. In fact, they're extremely versatile even when compared to modern standards. We both agreed that if you think that a True Tone sounds compact, then you have a horn with leaks. He uses the same setup in modern groups, and I don't blame him. He easily has one of the best alto tones I've come across in quite a while. Bottom line, these are about as abundant on the second hand market as Yamaha student horns. If you find one in good condition, I'd say anything with that front F, give it a chance. These are absolute gems, and they're cheap. And even if you have to factor in the price of an overhaul, they're still inexpensive when considering exactly what they can keep up with.