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Saxophones New tenor needed...what to buy?

thomsax

thomsax

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well, UMI or not the USA models are substandard ( compared to the Super 20 standard that is) Super 20

The keys that are nickel silver are the keywork not the keycups.

These are the official 20 improvements, it they are not there it is NOT a Super 20

( well also Cleveland engraved ones lost some of these improvements at some stage, the triple strap ring for example was discontinued in all Super 20 already in some Cleveland)


1946%20Super%2020%20Features%20Page%20Large.jpg

I agree 100%! But a sax stamped with "King Super 20" is still a King Super 20! Doesn't matter when it was made. But I would say a H.N. White or an early Seeburg S20 is the right thing. I've owned three S20*. The best for me to play was a 66-68 S20! The -52 full pearl was a looker! The -83 S20 was IMO not a KING S20. Not bad but.... A well setup Amati or B&S Blue label was nearly as good as the late S20's. And you could get three of these saxes for one S20's.

Among the American manufactors it was just "The Martin ..." that were roughly the same sax/constuction in the end as it was when it was introduced. Ok, they dropped the adjustable rh hand thumbrest but other wise they never dropped the soft soldered tonholes. Big differences between an Conn Artist 10M from the late 30's compared to a late 10M from the early 70's. The same goes for Beusher 400. And S20 from the late 40's compared to S20 from the early 80's. If you are going to by a late american vinatage sax you should play it and compare it to the right thing. I've seen late S20's that were sold for nearly the same money as a H.N. White S20.

I had some contact with persons at "UMI" and they worked hard to make saxes that was entirely made in USA. And the last models were not bad compared to other manufactors from that time. They didn't reached to Keilwerth, Selmer, Yanigisawa, and Yamaha standard. But better most ROC made saxes from the mid 90's. And all UMI saxes were entirely made in Nogales, Arizona, USA. The exception was the brand "Musica". But UMI was very clear about this in their sales broschure.

Milandro, thanks for the info.

Back o topic. Don't buy the S20 if it's a late one, unless the price is low. The are not bad saxes but there are lots of other good used saxes on the market that are doing the job better.
 
milandro

milandro

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Sorry Thom but my 460xxx S 20 Eastlake 1972 with a silver neck is worth certainly more than any S 20 USA model from the ’80 ( those I wouldn’t buy unless incredibly cheap and only if it were a tenor) and certainly worth the kind of money that we are talking about here.

I paid $1000 only for the silver neck ( my horn originally came with a brass neck where, at one time, there was a pick-up)
 
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thomsax

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an SML Gold Medal mk2. I've always wanted to try one of these.

I think the peak in "SML" production was the "Rev D" model. SML went in the same direction as most other manufactors. They couldn't compete against the early models of Yamaha or Yanagisawa. And "SML" was (IMO) never a threat or competitor to Selmer MKVI or MKVII.

When I started to read and talk about saxes with musicians and teachers back in the late 70's most "saxophone persons" thought SML was a good sax below Selmer, Buffet Crampon and Yamaha. Today I can see that they are asking c 20 000 s e k for a heavy used SML tenor and 12000 s e k for a YTS-61 in good condition. I think the YTS 61 is a much better player/sax compared to the SML's from the same era.

Today the SML are highly regarded! The impact from internet?

@GJ77: If you're looking fro good allround saxes I think you should try the SA 80 II, MKII and YTS 62. But you can also look for YTS 61, (Keilwerth) Couf II and YAN T-880. Sometimes you can find tsaxes like these for less money. And of course the S20 from -70! Even if I love Martin saxes, I must admit that a modern sax is more useful. I do most of playing on a YTS 25. Not the best sax and complete different to my Martins. I play with saxophonist on different levels and it's better to play a "student" sax than hear comments like: "Who is that guy with the fancy Martin Magna that can't play"?.
.
 
thomsax

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Sorry Thom but my 460xxx S 20 Eastlake 1972 with a silver neck is worth certainly more than any S 20 USA model from the ’80 ( those I wouldn’t buy unless incredibly cheap and only if it were a tenor) and certainly worth the kind of money that we are talking about here.

I paid $1000 only for the silver neck ( my horn originally came with a brass neck where, at one time, there was a pick-up)

With no doubt King Super 20 from -72 is a very good sax. Dr Paul Cohen wrote (Saxophone Journal, Vintage Saxophones Revisted, vol 23, #2, Sep/Okt 98, Kings All: Vol-Trues, Zephyrs, Super 20's): " In the early 1970s it became more expensive for King to make a Super 20 than to sell it! Rather than lower the quality of these distinctive instruments, King decided in 1975 to halt the production of the Super 20."

If this is true, who took up the production again? And why did they do it? It can't be UMI because the guys behind UMI were by then making tankers and ferrys at the Kockum shipbuilding yard in Malmö, Sweden.
 
DavidUK

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The S20 the OP has seen for £1,300 is definitely an Eastlake model, not a USA one like I linked to.
 
kevgermany

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Today the SML are highly regarded! The impact from internet?
Most certainly. Pete Hales, he of saxpics fame, started the ball rolling. It's often the case musically/artisitically that things are more highly valued historically than they were in real life.
 
aldevis

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My SML alto is great.
A tenor I tried once did not work for me.
 
milandro

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As an experienced buyer and seller I can tell you that that S 20 Eastlake is a great buy and would be currently worth in excess of €2500 ( brass neck) to €3000 plus ( silver neck). A Cleveland would be worth even more.

The only problem with these horns is that the market is relatively small so it might easily swing lower or higher on an incidental basis.

Before the Crisis I’ve sold an Eastlake of the same age as mine ( 460XXX) for € 2200, the buyer was a Russian buyer who came all the way from Belgium where he now lives and thanked me for buying this at such a low price. That horn was not as nice as the one in the pictures above.
 
DavidUK

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GJ77

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I don't know anything about Lupifaro
 
altissimo

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Thanks for the advice everybody. Just to throw a little more confusion and temptation into my path, I spoke to Rupert Noble in Brighton earlier and in addition to many of those already mentioned, he's got an SML Gold Medal mk2. I've always wanted to try one of these.
go and try it out... and anything else he's got
 
thomsax

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This brain stops working during discussion about vintage sax minutiae.... is Eastlake good or not good?
Yes, Eastlake saxes are good but maybe you should be little more careful with saxes made after 1975. The very late S20 (still Eastlake) stamped just "USA" are often not worth the money they ask for these saxes.
 
DavidUK

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@thomsax what do you know of Nogales late Conn/early Armstrong horns? The "N" prefix carries over to them, but does the stigma too? I don't know when Herb Couf took over the production and whether he had any positive influence on these essentially "late Conn" horns badged Armstrong?
 
thomsax

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Herb Couf was president for Armstrong Company from 68-86 (they merged with Conn who already was under UMI). The late Armstrongs are simular to Conn saxes and they are made in Nogales, Arizona. I'm not familiar with the # numbers of the UMI years.

Bofore UMI and Nogales, Armstrong saxes were made by many different manufactors. Keilwerth, Conn, Borgani .... Herb Couf imported Keilwerth saxes and sold some of them under his own name. H.Couf Suprba I, (Toneking Special, Superba II (Toneking) and Royalist (The New King). Armstrong also had other models (close to Keilwerths), as well, which I think were put together in Elkhart? Beside Couf/Armstrong, Keilwerth also influenced Conn (DHJ modified), King (King Tempo) and Selmer US (Bundy Specials).

The prefix N on Conn saxes indicate the manufactoring year 1969-70. After Conn made thier millionth sax in 1962 they started with letter + five digits. A started in 1962 and it ended with letter R in 1971-73. Conn had production in both Elkhart and Nogales from the early 60's to 1974. I think all Conn saxes were made in Nogales after 1974 to c 1980 and that's when Daniel Henkin bought Conn and moved the production from Nogales.

In the 70's-early 80's the american saxophone companies "top of the line" saxes were stencils: Couf and Conn (Keilwerth), Leblanc Martin T-880 (Yanagisawa). King was the only brand that made thier own S20? But the production made halt in 1975.

An Armstrong (Royalist, same sax as The New King), in very good condition, was sold (in Sweden) for some month ago for c £ 180.00. A bargain.
 
DavidUK

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@thomsax I tried the "N" prefix Tenor on Gumtree last night. I happened to be visiting a client 6 minutes away! Not a pleasant tone - maybe it's me?
The seller, a tenor player of eight years, then played it to me - not a pleasant tone! (he's bought a new Yamaha, hence the sale).
He'd bought it from MIR 2-3 years ago and it seemed in very good condition, set up OK, no leaks etc. Just a weedy, wavering tone! He wants £300 bottom line. I wouldn't give him sixpence for it! Walked away... :)
 
Nick Wyver

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The seller, a tenor player of eight years, then played it to me - not a pleasant tone! (he's bought a new Yamaha, hence the sale).
Did you hear him play the Yamaha?
 
DavidUK

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Did you hear him play the Yamaha?
No, but it would have been amusing to ask "...that sounds crap! Could you play me the Yamaha to see if you're equally crap on that too?"

I don't often play my Grassi tenor but I can remember how good it sounds, even with me playing it, so that was the main reason I lost interest.
 

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