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Saxophones Old saxophone?

onebdi

New Member
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Hi, I am new here and I have a simple question. I recently bought a very tired old sax on ebay to repair, just for fun. I had a tenor sax years ago and fancied having something to play with. The sax I bought is actually in reasonable condition, apart from a severley damaged neck (pull down and massive dent) I have started to strip it down with a view to replacing a few rusted spring and fitting new pads.
I have stopped because....I have no idea if this might be an important saxophone. I don't want to wreck something that might have importance in the saxophone world.
It is a Pellison,Guinot et Blanchon saxophone...I assume quite old...but there is very little information on the web about this maker, other than they made trumpets.
Obviously,, if it is rare or important, I will stop work and make sure it goes to the right place, if not, I will continue my own refurb and enjoy playing my cheap and cheerful sax.
At present, it is 100% complete, and original. I intend to buy a replacement neck, give it a good clean and play it.
Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated. I doubt it is very important or very valuable, but I don't want to be the bloke who wrecked a faberge egg!!!
It is worth noting that it does not have as many holes as a modern sax, the larget bass note (on the bell) is not there but the rest of the holes and keys look standard....
Thanks.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Sad fact is that old saxes generally have little value. Hopefully it changes one day. Some photos would be good.

Some things to watch:

Some of the saxes like this are modern Indian junk. Most immediate giveaway is red pads and rollers on the keys.

If this is an old sax, there's a good chance that it's high pitch. Which means it won't play in tune with modern instruments. You'll get a few notes to match, but the rest will be way out. You can tell by comparing to a modern sax, the body length from neck socket to the bow will be much shorter on a high pitch sax.

The missing Bb, and possibly very high keys aren't too much of an issue.

The neck damage is a problem. You can find modern necks, but they might not be the right size or look right. At the very least you'll probably need to move the tenon from old to new neck. Probably advisable to talk to a good repairer about this before going too far.

It may not have been made by the firm who's name is engraved on it. It was common for makers to buy in instruments they didn't make and put their own name on them. Some we recognise, many, especially French, are harder.

I'm a sucker for old instruments like this, but think very carefully about how much you invest in this. There's little chance of getting your money back, and if it's high pitch it cannot be tweaked to play in tune. If it's Indian, there's little chance of getting it to play well.
 

onebdi

New Member
Messages
3
Sad fact is that old saxes generally have little value. Hopefully it changes one day. Some photos would be good.

Some things to watch:

Some of the saxes like this are modern Indian junk. Most immediate giveaway is red pads and rollers on the keys.

If this is an old sax, there's a good chance that it's high pitch. Which means it won't play in tune with modern instruments. You'll get a few notes to match, but the rest will be way out. You can tell by comparing to a modern sax, the body length from neck socket to the bow will be much shorter on a high pitch sax.

The missing Bb, and possibly very high keys aren't too much of an issue.

The neck damage is a problem. You can find modern necks, but they might not be the right size or look right. At the very least you'll probably need to move the tenon from old to new neck. Probably advisable to talk to a good repairer about this before going too far.

It may not have been made by the firm who's name is engraved on it. It was common for makers to buy in instruments they didn't make and put their own name on them. Some we recognise, many, especially French, are harder.

I'm a sucker for old instruments like this, but think very carefully about how much you invest in this. There's little chance of getting your money back, and if it's high pitch it cannot be tweaked to play in tune. If it's Indian, there's little chance of getting it to play well.



Thanks for the information. I am not looking to make any money out of it and I don't intend to play with a band or anything like that. I just want a sax to play for fun.How it looks doesn't bother me either!
I just didn't want to wreck something of historical interest. I guess I am propbably safe to continue! To be fair, most of the repairs I do could be reversed if neccesairy so it is not a huge issue anyway.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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It may well be high pitch too.
A decent tech would repair the neck. You'll be unlikely to find a modern neck that would fit and be in tune.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
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As has been suggested it's unlikely to be anything valuable.
There were a number of small makers kicking around at the turn of the 19th century, and their output sort of sits in that no-man's-land between the highly collectable (and valuable) Adolphe saxes and the first of what would be regarded as a modern horn.

It's a bit galling, really - because had it been a table or a chair, it would be worth a few bob, and despite it having required a great deal more skill to build than a chair, it's essentially only worth its weight in brass.

From the description it sounds like it's keyed only to low B (and possibly only to top Eb?), and there's a very good chance that it's high pitched.

As far as I'm aware it won't be stencilled horn...though it's always worth looking around for the letters "A S" stamped on the body of old saxes - as this would indicate an Adolphe Sax stencil.

The chances of finding a replacement crook (neck) are zero to zero. It might be possible to adapt one to work with the horn, but it's likely to be a very expensive proposition.

Sad to say, the only real value such horns have is as wall art.
 
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