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Saxophones Martin RMC Medalist Alto... thoughts?

DavidUK

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Chatting to a fellow saxophonist who wants to sell his alto and get back into playing with a tenor instead.

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His Reynolds (see RMC shield top left of bell) Martin Medalist has the heart shaped thumb rest and adjustable thumb hook, pads all good, plays as it did when he was really into it in the late 90's.

Comes with Claude Lakey Jazz, Vito II, and Selmer S80 C* MPs.

I'm aware the Medalist is based on the Indiana, but what of quality when Reynolds took over? Did it drop?
Also, is the key work rudimentary on these or as good as an Indiana pre-Reynolds?

I think @JayeNM may have some of the answers here.

Finally, with the MPs included, what's a good price to pay?

I've had a few Martins and although slightly interested I'm thinking it won't stand up to my SDA and will be heading out the door again so although I like to try new (to me) horns I don't want to be left with egg on my face, nor with an unusual sax which is hard to re-sell.

Thanks to you all for any info.
 
I have been doing a bit of online research about Martin Indianas, and as far as I can tell, the Medalist is the direct successor to the Indiana Deluxe (i.e. with the sliding thumb rest, heart-shaped octave key rest and nickel keywork).
All the pictures of Medalists I have seen on the web have been RMC branded, so my guess is that they simply gave the Indiana Deluxe a new name when Paul Richards took over Martin in 1961.

As far as the Indiana Standard goes, there are two generations of RMC Indianas - the early ones appear to be the same as the previous Indiana Standard, but with the RMC logo. The later ones have different keywork, with a distinctive sheet-metal bell-key-guard, and my guess is that they were not so well made, since Paul Richards' goal was to sell lots of cheap saxophones. But I don't know mow much difference there is. So I guess that the very early RMC Indianas are more or less the same as the Phase 3 models until the new, cheaper version came out.

I don't know whether the same applies to the Medallist - maybe they left it unchanged as a slightly upmarket version of the Indiana. But I would guess that the early ones will be the same as pre-RMC Indianas and that the later the date of manufacture after 1961, the lower the manufacturing quality is likely to be.

My research suggest that sound-wise, it should not be significantly different from a Committee I, but since I have not played either, I cannot comment. I once played a Committee II alto and it was very nice. I wouldn't swap my Buffet-Crampon S1 for it, but I think I could have been very happy with it.
 
Actually, from what I have read RMC doesn't stand for that. It stands for "Roundtable of Musical Craftsmen" or something like this, which was a subtitle name given to the brand at the time, as I believe the new owners owned not only Martin but a few other companies (?)
Folks, understandably, have assumed the RM must stand for Richards, maybe the M for Martin, etc, etc...but naw, it don't.

These are Indianas, rebranded, as Nigeld notes.

Good horns. Interestingly (maybe not, the market knowledge of most people can be quite skewed) these generally do not have the same market value as Indianas, methinks simply because the latter has the more familiar model name.

In US, a Medalist in good play condition only fetches around $350 or so, private market.

That one looks to be in great shape. Realizing vintage American horns sell for more on your side of the Pond, and considering the aesthetic condition, I would say asking price of 400-450 quid or so isn't an unreasonable tag.
 
With the body you mean the sax without neck, bow and bell? Some guys says all Martin saxes shared the same body and and "drillholes" placement on the body. Can be so. But to be sure you must mesure up differnt Martin saxes. I don't know if anybody have done a CAD, 3D scanning ... on Martin saxes. But the shape of the toneholes are different. I have 9 Martin made saxes. And they all playes(ed) (I'm ready to part from my altos) differnt. The last american patent for bore was polyconical bore back in 1947. And "The Martin" saxes are with polyconical bore. So a Martin sax can be "Same, same but differnt"?
 
It looks mechanically very similar to my Martin Committee 1.

As to measuring saxophone bores, it's simple mechanical measurement, no fancy scanning required. Simplest way will be to measure OD at various tone hole locations and then use a ball type micrometer to determine wall thickness and thus ID. To get an answer "same, or different" you probably need no more than 6 or 8 measurements. To reproduce a sax bore you will of course need more than that. Finally, individual tone hole locations or sizes may be tweaked as runnning changes through a product's life, without changing the basic bore. I would consider such adjustments as "minor tweaks" and would consider the products to be essentially the same design. Same with mechanical tweaks.
 
I recently played an Indiana Martin in a vintage instrument shop near Elkhart, Indiana. It looked rough and old. This one was from the mid 50s. With a basic Selmer C*, it played beautifully. I would put them up against anything. I play tenor, but I was getting 8 overtones off of B1. The owner said that while I was trying it, the violins hanging on the wall were all vibrating in sympathy. It had a full rich American sound. I can only imagine what it would do with a better mouth piece. They are dramatically under priced compared to their sound.
 
I heard that all the bodies of Martin saxophones were the same? They never changed the body? is that true?
No, untrue (to what degree is still up in the air). For sure the Comm III bodies were a redesign...we can state that as a certainty.

We have a parallel thread going here about Martins and which ones seem to have had the same body and neck specs, just different furniture...and which ones were actually different designs.

I can do this for the sake of this thread.....I have Nigel's Indiana here which I am still finishing up, and a Martin Comm II Tenor coming in in the next few days.

I will do a measure-up comparison of these two. While I am open to what the results might show, I would posit that given the tonal differences between a II and an Indiana...I will find differences in the body and neck specifications.

Then all I need is to get hold of a I Tenor, eventually, and see if my meaurements/conclusions match up with Jorns'. I will also start keeping a database of all different Martin models I get in here, just to eb able to compare earlier HC's to teh Comms and Indianas, for example.

But, a bit of a digression to this particular thread...the Medalist IS an Indiana, rebranded...
 
Simplest way will be to measure OD at various tone hole locations and then use a ball type micrometer to determine wall thickness and thus ID.
Or you you mesure up a clean HC Comm I or II, HC Standard/Special wo Eb vent/drill key, HC Imperial and an Indiana/Imperial/Medalist. Just the tube with the holes and then mesure the diameter of the hole. Can you be sure to mesure with the chimneys on the tube?
 
Finally, individual tone hole locations or sizes may be tweaked as runnning changes through a product's life, without changing the basic bore. I would consider such adjustments as "minor tweaks" and would consider the products to be essentially the same design. Same with mechanical tweaks.
This depends on how far the differences are from one another. I remember I actually measured up an old King splitbell Tenor once, and compared it to other KIng measurements I had of a VT-2 and S20.

There WERE actually specs and measurements in the S20 which were RETAINED from the old 1920's King horn...IOW they made it thru the VT's, the Zephs, into the S20's...so it appeared to be a relatively slow 'evolution'.
But one would not characterize the splitbell and even the VT 2 as essentially the same design...if you get my drift (?)
 
I was really referring to adjustments that may be made through the course of a model run, not dimensions that carry over from one model to the next. If I were to find out that two tone holes were in a different place in late Mark 6s compared to early Mark 6s, that wouldn't constitute a new model to me. No one would imagine a 1955 Chevy four door sedan is the same model as a 1995 Corvette but the bore spacing of the small block Chevy engine was the same through those 40 years.
 

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