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Saxophones 1952 Dolnet Bel Air

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
I have been looking for a good quality reasonbly priced vintage Alto for a while now, I thought about Selmer Mk VI's/SBA's but the inflated prices for sometimes poor quality horns put me off. I have found this Dolnet Bel Air 1952 Alto which looks to be in amazing condition. It has new pads and been overhauled by a quality repairer who deals with lesser known French horns. I will report back when it arrives

M
 

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thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
I have been looking for a good quality reasonbly priced vintage Alto for a while now, I thought about Selmer Mk VI's/SBA's but the inflated prices for sometimes poor quality horns put me off. I have found this Dolnet Bel Air 1952 Alto which looks to be in amazing condition. It has new pads and been overhauled by a quality repairer who deals with lesser known French horns. I will report back when it arrives

M
Nice sax. Looks great. I like Dolnets saxes and particular the altos. IMO the tenors are too sweet. I want more power. I also owned a -52-53 alto. And the tenor was a -47. Both saxes were with red "stones" on the keygards.

Thomas
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Looks like a beautiful horn! I know what you mean about the MK VI and SBA's. If I was going to splash that kind of money I think I'd opt for a Inderbinen. Shame about the waiting list though!
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
Just received my Dolnet Bel Air (or Imperial) Jules Revan stencil serial no. 41069 from Jeremy Soule at www.thevintageclarinetdoctor.com who deals in rare french makes. The condition is amazing with about 99% of the original lacquer left, with only some spots on the bell, it actually looks as if it has been in its case most of its life. Jeremy has replaced the pads/resonators and overhauled the horn and the action is nice and quick. I like the sound from this horn, its big and mellow with a lovely french core tone. First impressions about the tuning are good when I tried it with a Vandoren AL3 classical mpc, when using a phil tone special .076 tip mpc (my normal mpc) it was out on some notes but really easy to adjust the pitch to where it should be, the large bore may have something to do with it? Does anyone know about anything about these horns?​
 

C_Claudemonster

Formerly saxgirl22
Messages
399
hello,
I have a dolnet alto for sale at the mo! do you mind me asking around what price you paid for your alto? (you can pm if you don't want to say on here) I'm selling mine and think i've got mine up for a good price - i've had a few mails but no sales as yet!
Thanks,
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
hello,
I have a dolnet alto for sale at the mo! do you mind me asking around what price you paid for your alto? (you can pm if you don't want to say on here) I'm selling mine and think i've got mine up for a good price - i've had a few mails but no sales as yet!
Thanks,
I paid $855 which included shipping, I thought it was a bargain!!
 

Rikki

Member
Messages
205
Hi,

I had a Dolnet alto from the fifties with the red beads and it played beautifully but sold it as I am really a tenor man. The guy who bought also owned a Selmer mkVI and was blown away by the power and awsome lower end of the Dolnet, and this was before he got it repaired for leaks etc.. If I were to get an alto the Dolnet would be my first choice as they are still a good price
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
Hi,

I had a Dolnet alto from the fifties with the red beads and it played beautifully but sold it as I am really a tenor man. The guy who bought also owned a Selmer mkVI and was blown away by the power and awsome lower end of the Dolnet, and this was before he got it repaired for leaks etc.. If I were to get an alto the Dolnet would be my first choice as they are still a good price

A buddy of mines who plays in our sax quartet has a Mk VI Alto 170xxx, which is a great horn, really nice ergonomics and a nice even tone throughout the range, but he paid $6500 for it:shocked: The Dolnet seems to have more depth, not in pitch but in character, maybe richer in tone is a better way of putting it, the more air you put through it more of the character comes out. The Bb, B and G# pinky table is definately a tad awkward though being used to playing Yamaha's;}
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I am surprised to how you guys can exactly dat your Dolnets since there are no SN charts in existence to my knowledge.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
Who can be sure in what year a saxophone was made? "My" Dolnets was bought by owners who had the receipt when the saxes were bought new. The selling company was also the importer. But you can newer be sure about this. Manufactoring (tube) year or the year the sax was ready for the market?

Thomas
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
this is one of the few indications that make sense but it is always possible that a saxophone had been for some time in a shop although it is not usually more than a year or two
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
... or wating at the manufactor to be shipped to a shop/distributor!! I have some saxes from c 1925 that were not sold until early 30's. The tube and keys were made in the 20's and they "just" made the saxes a little more up to date by re-design of the key touches. So were these saxes manufactoried in the 20's or 30's?
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
FRance , after WW II could have had metals left from the previous decades because all metals were requisitioned by the Germans and I am sure that they went to Mantes (were all the factories were) and got hold of all the sax bodies and parts left there. They definitely had a problem to catch up production but it would have been all newly made materials. It is entirely possible that someone can have a saxophone new and unsold for years in a shop. I know for a fact of an Italian shop having two NEW SML baritones from the '50!
 
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