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Saxophones Have you ever seen a sax without a Bb bis key? Check this baby out.

Jazz Is All

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I just found this sax perusing eBay Netherlands and found this silver Supertone Band Master sax that not only doesn't have a front F but is minus a Bb bis too. WTH you say. That's right, no bis key. It's a Conn stencil and from what I just read on Sax On The Egotrip, it wasn't that out of the ordinary back then. In all my years of looking at vintage saxes I had never seen or heard of such a thing but maybe because I never looked at stencils very much. The first Martin I had was a Wurlitzer stencil alto, but after that I just stuck with the real deal. I cringe to think of how I would play Bb without the bis. I would have to use the Bb side key or the 1-1 or 1-2 fingerings all of which I long ago stopped using most of the time in favor of rolling on and off the bis key. Wow, glad I don't have to.

Meanwhile the sax is a looker. Beautiful satin silver vintage sax with new-looking resonator pads.Of course being a stencil it doesn't have rolled toneholes but that's why it's a stencil and is so cheap.

Supertone band Master Elkhart-ind alto saxophone | eBay
 

JayeNM

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Yes, this wasn't that uncommon. If you come across Cavalier horns (Conns old 'third line' models, one shelf down from the Pan Ams)...be careful, because they seem to be rebranded PanAms but in fact a lot do NOT have the Bis touch. If you websearch images of Cavalier saxes, you can find the absence fairly regularly.

So, yeah second and third-line horn models of that time period sometimes have no bis touch. Truly not something most online buyers would ever see...and certainly NOT something a non-player would notice if they were selling one.

Remember, Bis touch came later in the sax evolution of things....it was an add-on to the earlier versions of the instrument.

Something even weirder....the Itralian-made "Ministeriale" horns which were made well into the 1960's or perhaps even 1970's (these were produced specifically for military/civic law enforcement bands where it was unlikely players would ever pursue music as any sort of career, so the horns were supplied with pared-down keywork) a member here recently inadvertently got stuc---, oops, I mean, 'purchased one'....

here's one I refurbed around 8 years ago...I HAD purchased it intentionally, just out of curiousity. Look closely.....


Ministeriale2.jpg


I had some evil fun with this when when I sold it on SOTW....I entitled the ad "unique Italian Tenor c. 1960's, refurbished ! $200 !!!"....

Then in the description I noted "before you PM me wanting to buy, look at the photos carefully, thanks"



People of course, did no such thing...so I got like 6 PM's in the first two hours....to which I replied "OK, man...just wanna make sure you'd be happy with this horn, y'know ?"....:rolleyes:....then directed them to view the photos one more time....

3 dropped out....but there were still 3 (rather un-astute) individuals who were certain they were gonna 'rob' me of a serviced Tenor so they could resell it at $600, so wanted to close the deal FAST...LOL.

I of course spilled the beans after a few more messages. And it DID sell...a couple weeks later, for the $200.
 
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JayeNM

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I wonder what else is missing?
Oddly, that is all. Besides no Front F, which wasn't that unusual.

You see it has the full sidekeys and F#, and it is keyed down to low Bb.

FWIW, I HAVE helped out unsuspecting new owners with horns like these, before. A Tech soldering on a bis touch is not a difficult nor particularly expensive mod, should one ever find themselves the owner of one of these.

It's no big deal because the rest of the Bb/Bis mechanism is there already. The key is there, the armature linking it to the lower stack is there. So this horn already has 2 of the 3 usual Bb fingering options.

It's just a matter of what size, location, and type/shape of bis touch an owner would want.

The Ministeriale, on the other hand, is un-mod-able, basically. It has NO Bb key, it is even absent a tonehole. So one can only play Bb via sidekey fingering, which again was obviously intentional.
 
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JayeNM

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I cringe to think of how I would play Bb without the bis. I would have to use the Bb side key or the 1-1 or 1-2 fingerings all of which I long ago stopped using most of the time in favor of rolling on and off the bis key. Wow, glad I don't have to.
Interesting, for me the Bis is actually the third option....I usually go RH2, probably 60% of the time. I go Bis maybe 20%....
 

Jmoen3

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Wow, this thread just completely reminded me of my projects, and the gracious help offered from JayeNM! I have one of those Cavaliers he mentions, and indeed no Bis, Which was pointed out to me by our wonderful tech friend Jaye!

I imagine you could still just hit the pad cup, although it would be uncomfortable to reach down the little bit further without the pearl. Either way, I'm setting a reminder and sending you another message Jaye :D
 

JayeNM

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Wow, this thread just completely reminded me of my projects, and the gracious help offered from JayeNM! I have one of those Cavaliers he mentions, and indeed no Bis, Which was pointed out to me by our wonderful tech friend Jaye!

I imagine you could still just hit the pad cup, although it would be uncomfortable to reach down the little bit further without the pearl. Either way, I'm setting a reminder and sending you another message Jaye :D
I am still sitting here at my bench, wringing my hands, anxiously awaiting my mail delivery every day....

That key of yours....I KNOW it's gonna show up .....any day now.... :oops:
 

Jazz Is All

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Yes, this wasn't that uncommon. If you come across Cavalier horns (Conns old 'third line' models, one shelf down from the Pan Ams)...be careful, because they seem to be rebranded PanAms but in fact a lot do NOT have the Bis touch. If you websearch images of Cavalier saxes, you can find the absence fairly regularly.

So, yeah second and third-line horn models of that time period sometimes have no bis touch. Truly not something most online buyers would ever see...and certainly NOT something a non-player would notice if they were selling one.

Remember, Bis touch came later in the sax evolution of things....it was an add-on to the earlier versions of the instrument.

Something even weirder....the Itralian-made "Ministeriale" horns which were made well into the 1960's or perhaps even 1970's (these were produced specifically for military/civic law enforcement bands where it was unlikely players would ever pursue music as any sort of career, so the horns were supplied with pared-down keywork) a member here recently inadvertently got stuc---, oops, I mean, 'purchased one'....

here's one I refurbed around 8 years ago...I HAD purchased it intentionally, just out of curiousity. Look closely.....


View attachment 16516

I had some evil fun with this when when I sold it on SOTW....I entitled the ad "unique Italian Tenor c. 1960's, refurbished ! $200 !!!"....

Then in the description I noted "before you PM me wanting to buy, look at the photos carefully, thanks"



People of course, did no such thing...so I got like 6 PM's in the first two hours....to which I replied "OK, man...just wanna make sure you'd be happy with this horn, y'know ?"....:rolleyes:....then directed them to view the photos one more time....

3 dropped out....but there were still 3 (rather un-astute) individuals who were certain they were gonna 'rob' me of a serviced Tenor so they could resell it at $600, so wanted to close the deal FAST...LOL.

I of course spilled the beans after a few more messages. And it DID sell...a couple weeks later, for the $200.
Oh, you sneaky Devil you :clapping::thumb:.....playing that trick on those poor SOTWers to flush out the ignorant and the snakes in the grass. I applaud you heartily because some of them fully deserved it. I always hated selling on SOTW because of the MO of buyers there. It's the "wait until the seller is sweating bullets and drops the price four times before you show even a glimmer of interest" method where you then make them an offer even lower.

There were some extreme situations I remember where the member, someone known to all of us, was in dire straits due to a medical, family, or unemployment problems and nobody gave a damn and just kept letting them sweat it out and rapidly drop the price out of desperation, so they could get it cheaper and then flip it to benefit from that person's ill fortune. Some "Community".....NOT!! What they did to Carbs (Jonathan) with his Indiana tenor was unconscionable, and I still remember it because he was a good kid. I even posted on that sales thread (you could do that back then) Not to sell it for $250 because he was getting robbed in broad daylight and could get more on eBay, but he did it anyway because he had to pay to get his truck out of the repair shop and he couldn't get to his job without it. I don't remember who bought the sax, but I hope he choked on a fish bone and died in the process for not giving the kid the fair amount he had first asked for which was $450. Screwed him over for $200 bucks....the lowest of the low.
 

Wade Cornell

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OK, I'll admit to being odd: I never...EVER use the bis. How many ways does one need to play Bb? 90% of the time I use the side Bb which to my ears always sounds the most in tune and has the fullest voice. It's also just habit I guess after so many years.

If there was an outstanding sax missing the bis that would be no problem for me!
 

DavidUK

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...and if you fancy trying one, how about this cheapie Paramount Paris for £150...

 

turf3

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Don't forget that the great American bass saxes mostly didn't have the bis. It's easy enough to add one, though.
 

Jazz Is All

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OK, I'll admit to being odd: I never...EVER use the bis. How many ways does one need to play Bb? 90% of the time I use the side Bb which to my ears always sounds the most in tune and has the fullest voice. It's also just habit I guess after so many years.

If there was an outstanding sax missing the bis that would be no problem for me!
Well that Supertone Bandmaster is a really beautiful sax with no bis, so you could go for it. Only snag is it also has no Front F. The bis wouldn't be a problem for you, but without a Front F what are you going to do? Overtones I suppose is all you can do, right? Might as well get a bugle with a sax mouthpiece on it.
 

Jeanette

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OK, I'll admit to being odd: I never...EVER use the bis. How many ways does one need to play Bb? 90% of the time I use the side Bb which to my ears always sounds the most in tune and has the fullest voice. It's also just habit I guess after so many years.

If there was an outstanding sax missing the bis that would be no problem for me!
Me too!!

Jx
 

Wade Cornell

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Well that Supertone Bandmaster is a really beautiful sax with no bis, so you could go for it. Only snag is it also has no Front F. The bis wouldn't be a problem for you, but without a Front F what are you going to do? Overtones I suppose is all you can do, right? Might as well get a bugle with a sax mouthpiece on it.
No front F is also OK since I seldom play altissimo. I just don't need any more saxes and have got the ones that (hopefully) will see me out. I'm currently selling nine which will leave me with only 12. They have been posted for sale here in the past and are mostly going to a dealer who is very anxious to get them (here in New Zealand). Being sold are King super 20, Yanagisawa SC, Martin Com II, Bueschers, and others. It's been a lifetime of finding the horns I like, and I'm very satisfied with them. Tone quality is 90% of what I want in a horn. Enough time and money has been spent in the search...GAS gone...over.
 

Jazz Is All

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No front F is also OK since I seldom play altissimo. I just don't need any more saxes and have got the ones that (hopefully) will see me out. I'm currently selling nine which will leave me with only 12. They have been posted for sale here in the past and are mostly going to a dealer who is very anxious to get them (here in New Zealand). Being sold are King super 20, Yanagisawa SC, Martin Com II, Bueschers, and others. It's been a lifetime of finding the horns I like, and I'm very satisfied with them. Tone quality is 90% of what I want in a horn. Enough time and money has been spent in the search...GAS gone...over.
I don't consider F and F#3 as altissimo. G is where it starts for me especially since on many vintage saxes particularly my Comm III it's a real hit-and-miss affair. I figured that was the same for all saxes until one night at combo practice 5 years ago the newest tenor player let me play his Thomann "Antique" model tenor. The thing cost all 499 euros. So I ran a chromatic scale from Bb1 on up and damned if it didnt play G3 like it was nothing. I somehow managed to keep from showing my surprise and awe, given that playing that note when soloing was always like done in a wing and a prayer mode. The number of fingers I have to employ on the Martin to get that note is more than I can count.....well not quite, but you get the point.....and it also depends on the mpc and reed: low baffle large chamber ones are less prone to playing it than high baffle one's like my Berg SS and the Metalites. Then again I only use altissmo for Rock and Blues so those are the pieces I play for that anyway.

Apropos of you selling 9 of 21 horns (you must not be married) are you going to give us here a shot at some of those? The Comm II sounds interesting. Is NZ in the EU by any chance? It's in the British Commonwealth so should be, shouldn't it.
 

DaveT

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Yes, this wasn't that uncommon. If you come across Cavalier horns (Conns old 'third line' models, one shelf down from the Pan Ams)...be careful, because they seem to be rebranded PanAms but in fact a lot do NOT have the Bis touch. If you websearch images of Cavalier saxes, you can find the absence fairly regularly.

So, yeah second and third-line horn models of that time period sometimes have no bis touch. Truly not something most online buyers would ever see...and certainly NOT something a non-player would notice if they were selling one.

Remember, Bis touch came later in the sax evolution of things....it was an add-on to the earlier versions of the instrument.

Something even weirder....the Itralian-made "Ministeriale" horns which were made well into the 1960's or perhaps even 1970's (these were produced specifically for military/civic law enforcement bands where it was unlikely players would ever pursue music as any sort of career, so the horns were supplied with pared-down keywork) a member here recently inadvertently got stuc---, oops, I mean, 'purchased one'....

here's one I refurbed around 8 years ago...I HAD purchased it intentionally, just out of curiousity. Look closely.....


View attachment 16516

I had some evil fun with this when when I sold it on SOTW....I entitled the ad "unique Italian Tenor c. 1960's, refurbished ! $200 !!!"....

Then in the description I noted "before you PM me wanting to buy, look at the photos carefully, thanks"



People of course, did no such thing...so I got like 6 PM's in the first two hours....to which I replied "OK, man...just wanna make sure you'd be happy with this horn, y'know ?"....:rolleyes:....then directed them to view the photos one more time....

3 dropped out....but there were still 3 (rather un-astute) individuals who were certain they were gonna 'rob' me of a serviced Tenor so they could resell it at $600, so wanted to close the deal FAST...LOL.

I of course spilled the beans after a few more messages. And it DID sell...a couple weeks later, for the $200.
It were me what bought the Orsi missing the 'vital' Bb bis key etc. It is still really pretty and it still makes saxophone noises!
 

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