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Grassi Saxophones

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jthole

Member
Messages
231
I've joined the Grassi tenor club :) with a Grassi Professional 2000. Not a looker, because the lacquer is in pretty bad condition, but an excellent player. Definitely a French sound, very different from my American tenors. Or actually tenor, because the only one I have left is a Martin "The Martin".

The instrument was setup by a well-known tech here in the Netherlands. The only thing that needs to be fixed is the thumb rest; the way it is shaped now, it digs into the top of my knuckle. But it feels like a very versatile horn, with excellent intonation, and great response from bottom to top. And for those who claim that Grassis have a small sound; this is not one of them! ;)
 
OP
MMM

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
806
Location
SW of London Town
Congratulations: I've not had the opportunity to try one of these yet.

The thumb hook is easy enough to fix, either have it moved or replace it with an adjustable one. Since the sax is not pristine, you don't have to worry about hurting the lacquer.
Happy honking!
 

jthole

Member
Messages
231
Congratulations: I've not had the opportunity to try one of these yet.

The thumb hook is easy enough to fix, either have it moved or replace it with an adjustable one. Since the sax is not pristine, you don't have to worry about hurting the lacquer.
Happy honking!
The thumb hook is fixed already. And it's a real player! Completely different from the American (Martin, Buescher) and Taiwanese tenors I played so far.

I think that with the Martin Committee III and the Grassi Professional 2000, I have a great combination. The Martin is an American cruiser while the Grassi is an Italian sports car ;)
 

Dannysax85

New Member
Messages
2
Location
England
Hi there,
Thanks for all your Grassi info, it's great and really useful. One of my new sax students came to his first lesson with a Grassi tenor so I thought I would do some reading and came across your thread.

I have been trying to ascertain the saxes worth so he can insure it. Being a woodwind repairer I was really interested when he got it out of the case as Grassi aren't something I come across very often and when he told me he purchased it from a local second hand shop I needed to find out more.

After reading your site it looks like a Tenor Standard very early as the serial number is only 1223. From your threat I can only see one sax, an alto, with a lower number.

Do these saxes have much of a following? And how much should he be insuring it for?

Any info greatly welcomed, thanks in advance!

Daniel, Hull, England
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,070
Location
Berkshire, UK
I think that what lets the Grassi saxes down is that you will seldom find one well setup and adjusted, because they are not highly regarded (in Italy if it's not a Selmer it's worthless!), people are reluctant to spend any money on them. I picked up my "Wonderful" alto and it still has it's original pads (40 years on), once overhauled it will be very nice indeed. They are so rare: yours makes only the third Wonderful tenor I've ever seen for sale!
Enjoy and keep the Cafe updated on its progress!
Manlio
Cannot disagree with those comments
 

Dannysax85

New Member
Messages
2
Location
England
Cannot disagree with those comments
Hi there,

I'm guessing the one I have here isn't part of the wonderful range? From the info above I'm guessing it's a standard original Tenor? L shaped Bell brace and original Ida Grassi engraving. As the serial is 1223 I think this would be too early for the Wonderful?

Many thanks

Daniel
 
OP
MMM

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
806
Location
SW of London Town
Hi there,

I'm guessing the one I have here isn't part of the wonderful range? From the info above I'm guessing it's a standard original Tenor? L shaped Bell brace and original Ida Grassi engraving. As the serial is 1223 I think this would be too early for the Wonderful?

Many thanks

Daniel
Hi Daniel, it should be insured for an amount equal or more than a new (equivalent level) replacement. See what a student Yamaha sells for and set it at that. This way if it a total loss, your student will be able to afford a new instrument.
Hope this helps, M.
 

sizzzzler

Member
Messages
143
Location
London
The Grassi tenor and Martin alto was my first combination back in my gigging days. I got some great reviews. We all know about Martins.
The Grassi was a very flexible blues, soul and rock instrument that loved playing in to a mic, with a far wider sound than the over schooled perfection of whiny gutless Yamahas and pretty boredom Yanis.
Entranced by the reputation, I swapped over to a Selmer tenor which has a lovely rounded sound particularly when practicing, and could scream and wail. But gigging, when the adrenalin kicks in, the dance floor is jumping, the audience are crowded round the stage, the selmer couldn’t do the grit, the drama of the Grassi.
The Grassi is not a jazz, big or wedding band instrument. Its not for the musicals pit. It’s a dancehall live performer, a rasping crying screaming lusting drama king diva.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,070
Location
Berkshire, UK
I tried one some time back and was pleasantly surprised at the noise it allowed me to make! Not sure why I never bought it to be honest......
 

apinter

Member
Messages
39
Location
Milan, Italy
Up of my Grassi of 1980 (my student saxophone of those days, pre all the named Grassi like “Professional”, but very similar in mechanic) are: very nice voice, imho.

Mechanic is not as firm and solid as some other pro saxes I tried but also not bad at all. Ergomically it fits me very well (opposite of a chinese Gear 4music I reviewed here) and also the pad of bell notes, altough not articulated as in more modern saxes works well to me (maybe at the next check I could try to let it make a bit lighter).

Down to me is that nowadays in Italy Grassi of this age are not cheap at all. Maybe even too much.

But I have it already, and am very happy with it.

Back in 1980 I paid eur 250 for it, with a substantial discount. Way more than basic chinese from Thomanm, Gear 4music or similar costs today. At that time it was not regarded as a very good sax, everybody wanted to play Selmer as soon they could afford it.

Today Grassi of that age (or even better of some years younger but still italian) gained a much better reputation, and with some reasons, to me.
 
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