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Saxophones Help!! Can you identify my Silver Alto Saxophone??

Mr Andersson

New Member
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24
Hi, knowlegeable saxophone people, I recently bought a very nice, silver coloured/plated alto saxophone, that has a real nice action & sounds sweet(that's the opinion of my friend who's played with the Norrbotten Big Band, look them up on YouTube, they're good) Anyway, I bought it for a good price, but the seller didn't know what make it was, there's no name on the saxophone, just some nice flower engraving on the bell & what appears to be an Alto Clef sign.
I'd like to put a picture up here, but I can't see how?!?
So...anyone know who made this saxophone?:cool:
 

griff136

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1,048
Without seeing a picture I'm gonna guess that the clef motif is in fact a stylised letter B and the sax make is Bentley
 
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Mr Andersson

New Member
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24
Thanks Mr Pete Thomas Sir, and you other helpful people, I've already got furtherthan I did in my last town. And NOW the pictures of my saxophone are up for all to see!!

Cheers.
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,025
I`ve got a Bentley Tenor in Silver plate that I leave out on a stand and you want to see the patina. It is almost black. " lovely". I like the tone and volume ranges of the horn and it is also sooo easy to play compared to my Conn.
I paid about £400 for it brand new about 9 years ago just before the chinese horns really dropped in price. My only serious concern regarding the horn is the sparing use of good quality felt and cork which makes the action a bit too noisy for my taste.
With a bit of luck Griff or Stephen Howard might be lurking and chip in regarding how much time and money would be required to silence a beast like this for recording work.


It would do just fine as a band or gigging horn.
 
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griff136

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1,048
........ My only serious concern regarding the horn is the sparing use of good quality felt and cork which makes the action a bit too noisy for my taste.
With a bit of luck Griff or Stephen Howard might be lurking and chip in regarding how much time and money would be required to silence a beast like this for recording work.


It would do just fine as a band or gigging horn.

The cost of such a job would depend on whether or not its just the felts and corks that need replacing - bearing in mind that even that job is not a straightforward one! - There are many factors one must consider when making a sax's action quiet e.g.

1. Sloppy/loose keywork
2. heavy or very light spring tension
3. poor regulation
4. lack of lubrication
5. sticking or noisy pads
6. hardened felt/cork/ linkage material

Without seeing the instrument it would be impossible to give an estimate on how much this work would cost however - if you had the instrument "Serviced" removal all keywork, clean the body and bore, inspect toneholes and level as necessary, remove play/sloppiness in keywork, fit linkage material, felts a bumpers where needed, clean keywork, replace up to 5 pads, fit the crook, lubricate the keywork, assemble, regulate the mechanism and set to good working order you'd be looking at forking out £150 ish if your instrument is silver plated and you wanted that polishing that would be an extra £30 or so depending on how tarnished the plating was.
 
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Mr Andersson

New Member
Messages
24
Hmm...hey Griff I have 2 c-melodys', both around 80-90 years old, a Hawkes & Son and a Holton(with extra keys). The Hawkes plays, but need a couple of springs(I'm using elastic bands at the mo) a leak around the low c tone hole(near where it joins the body), maybe a little tightening on the keywork and some silver plating/polishing & previously bad soldering work tidying up.
The Holton is in better condition, tight keywork, one biggish dent at the bottom of the bell, but the main thing is it needs a total re-pad.
I know it's impossible to say how much to fix the Hawkes, but what about the re-pad on
the Holton? Holton after restore..jpg Holton 3.jpg Holton 1.jpg
Oh yes, forgot to mention I may have made a big mistake in too much polishing of the Holton from the grubby, dirty brown colour, back to a nice white brass colour(but it has gone darker in only a few weeks) :doh:
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,807
Hej Mr Andersson.

If you like your Holton C melody I think you should re-pad it. But you must prepare your self that to put an old and used sax back in good playing condition is more than just re-padding.

You wrote that your sax had some extra keys. Does it have high D access? Or “just” C-D trill key and G-G# trill lever?

I have owned some Holton saxes (altos and tenors) from the 20’s and they were not easy to get back in playing condition. The first models (they apperied on the market in 1915-17 with alto, C melody, Bb tenor), “The Revelation Models” (1924) and “Rudy Wiedoeft Models” (1927) has soldered toneholes. But Holton is an interesting brand. Lots of strange solutions and they named their technical solutions with fancy names. This was back in the roaring decade, the 20’s. Holton’s Revelation Models was the first saxline that had a range from low Bb to high F. So from the C-soprano to the bassax, they all had a range that became standard for most manufactors for a long time, until Selmer introduced the BA bari to low A in 1952.

I think your C melody is a Revelation model and the finish is A (bare brass) according to Holton Band Instruments price list from July 1st 1928. The price was $105.00 (cash) or 110.25 (installments). I think it was lots of money in those days!?!?!?!

Thomas
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
My only serious concern regarding the horn is the sparing use of good quality felt and cork which makes the action a bit too noisy for my taste.
When did you last oil the action?

Even crappy corks will do the job of preventing metal-to-metal clanks and suchlike, but even the most carefully corked horn will rattle if there's no oil in the key barrels.
A good tip is to check the guide pillars - those cup-shaped pillars that support some of the longer keys - to see if they've lost the cork out of the cup. These are a very common source of rattles.

Regards,
 

Mr Andersson

New Member
Messages
24
Hey Stephen Howard!!! Did you see the before & after pics of my Holton C-Melody that I, myself, alone stripped down, cleaned, oiled, polished back to shiny brass and THEN re-assembled??
Well...when I say I did it alone, I did have some help from this Saxophone Manual guy, who's book I bought earlier this year :thumb:
What can I say but....thanks.
It was a very good investment & it has proved both useful & informative, I'm sure I'll use it a lot(I seem to like buying old saxophones & cleaning them up) I'm not confident to re-pad, but everything else is so far so good.

Regards, Mr Andersson :cool:
 
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