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Saxophones Olds Parisian and Parisian Ambassador

DavidUK

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Reading the @Jazz Is All threads sidetracked me again onto French horns.

I happened upon the @Stephen Howard review of the Old Parisian, which he didn't like much: Olds ( Pierret ) Parisian tenor saxophone review

But... I think the one he reviewed is actually a Parisian Ambassador, a model I've owned in Alto guise and concur it wasn't very good at all! The Parisian, as here OLDS PARISIAN TENOR SAX – Made in France | Doctor Sax Woodwinds has a cross hatched G# and subtly different l/h pinky cluster and from what I read is the earlier, superior, instrument. White rollers also seem to denote the Ambassador model.

Am I right or wrong? Why do I ask? It seems the Parisian might be a model to track down at a suitable price, but not another Ambassador.

AND... it's my birthday in less than two weeks (9 days).

Who's had either and liked/disliked them... and why?

Thanks for any input.

:confused2:
 
Reading the @Jazz Is All threads sidetracked me again onto French horns.

I happened upon the @Stephen Howard review of the Old Parisian, which he didn't like much: Olds ( Pierret ) Parisian tenor saxophone review

But... I think the one he reviewed is actually a Parisian Ambassador, a model I've owned in Alto guise and concur it wasn't very good at all! The Parisian, as here OLDS PARISIAN TENOR SAX – Made in France | Doctor Sax Woodwinds has a cross hatched G# and subtly different l/h pinky cluster and from what I read is the earlier, superior, instrument. White rollers also seem to denote the Ambassador model.

Am I right or wrong? Why do I ask? It seems the Parisian might be a model to track down at a suitable price, but not another Ambassador.

AND... it's my birthday in less than two weeks (9 days).

Who's had either and liked/disliked them... and why?

Thanks for any input.

:confused2:
By saying I sidetracked you into looking at that sax are you implying that should you buy it and it turns out to be a Parisian street mongrel that you'll hold me responsible. Inquiring minds want to know, mine especially so I can get prepared with a plastic spit shield and a PVC helmet.
 
Here's some info from a French Pierret seller, not too much about Olds, but interesting. Translated:

"Pierret is a French brand from the beginning of the 20th century, ahead of Selmer in 1930 and better rated.

In 1950 Selmer bought Pierret and his reputation. Rumors say that in those years Pierret manufactured for selmer. Extract from the internet about the Pierret brand: Whenever a saxophone is mentioned across the Atlantic, the first question that comes up is, "Was it made by Selmer?" The second is, "If it's not Selmer it's Buffet?" However, other brands have been at the origin of beautifully crafted instruments, like SML, like Pierret saxophones.

Louis PIERRET (1906-1971) Another brand of saxophones frequently encountered, but which we do not know much about. Fortunately, the best testimony remains the instruments themselves. Thanks to the meticulous research of enthusiasts, the history of this manufacture appears to us.

Louis Joseph PIERRET, born December 9, 1874 in the fifth arrondissement in Paris, was a former worker of the company MILLEREAU et BESSON when he created his company specializing in saxophones in 1906. The French directory of instrumental invoice and l'musical edition 1913 mentions "Pierret, 47, rue Piat (Paris XXth), manufacturer of saxophones, brass and repairs - Founded in 1906 - Manufacture of musical instruments - Specialty of saxophones - Former worker of the Millereau and Besson houses -"

But the occupation of 47 rue Piat is attested in 1899. The project managers were then Henri & Roger Junck. In the 1930s, Pierret was ahead of Selmer. The factory also found brand ambassadors, equipping the first saxophone quartet of the Republican Guard, directed by Marcel Mule and accompanied by Hippolyte Poinboeuf, who would become the official assayer for Pierret until the 1950s.

Some "Pierret" saxophones are also marked "M. Poimboeuf". In 1926, the workshops were transferred from rue Piat to 12 rue Béranger. On November 10, 1927, the Pierret house became the Pierret & Cie company. The same year, Pierret filed his first patent. It seems that from that date, Pierret joined Beaugnier in Mantes and that the production was shared between Pierret, Beaugnier and Sax (Lyrist). Beaugnier, which has a factory in Mantes (opposite Selmer) therefore produces for other brands, including Pierret and Selmer (Stencils Sax-Selmer pre-model 22).

But who copied who? In 1950, Selmer bought the company Pierret, but the latter kept the patents in his name. Louis Pierret will continue to have made under his name in Mantes la Jolie (near Paris) by different neighbors and friends (Selmer, Beaugnier ...) and among other things different "stencils" as Couesnon did so well.

Selmer was at the time a less famous brand than Pierret. No doubt taking advantage of manufacturing for Pierret, Selmer could have taken advantage ... Despite a prestigious past and beautifully crafted instruments, Pierret & Cie suffered the same failure as so many other French manufacturers, with the exception of Selmer and Buffet: survival in the 50s and 60s and 70s thanks to large contracts on the US (production of stencils), then liquidation when the Americans turned to Japan. The Pierret company stopped its production around 1971, the date of the last patent. But some testimonies would show that production was stopped as early as 1963, with the last Olds model made in Paris."
 
I've had an Olds Parisian Ambassador alto. It was rubbish. It was a while ago that I owned it, briefly, and it sticks in my memory for being very poor. Feeble weak tone and poor ergonomics marked it out. Felt cheap and lightweight under the fingers. I got rid of it as quickly as I could. The Parisian in the Dr Sax Woodwinds link looks much nicer.
 
good info there folks, only one thing i'm told Sax either elder or younger had nothing to do with lyrist, it was various blokes including briard of the republican guard and robert drouet who founded it. they can be great saxes, but i've seen really flimsy ones too. a bit like this conundrum. i've got a parisian alto and it's good. i've got a super artiste tenor and it's wonderful. it looks a lot like the olds in stephen howards' review.
 
Reading the @Jazz Is All threads sidetracked me again onto French horns.

I happened upon the @Stephen Howard review of the Old Parisian, which he didn't like much: Olds ( Pierret ) Parisian tenor saxophone review

But... I think the one he reviewed is actually a Parisian Ambassador, a model I've owned in Alto guise and concur it wasn't very good at all! The Parisian, as here OLDS PARISIAN TENOR SAX – Made in France | Doctor Sax Woodwinds has a cross hatched G# and subtly different l/h pinky cluster and from what I read is the earlier, superior, instrument. White rollers also seem to denote the Ambassador model.

Am I right or wrong? Why do I ask? It seems the Parisian might be a model to track down at a suitable price, but not another Ambassador.

AND... it's my birthday in less than two weeks (9 days).

Who's had either and liked/disliked them... and why?

Thanks for any input.

:confused2:
The Parisians came before the Parisian Ambassadors...and I would say your inkling is correct...the earlier versions (which just read " Parisian"...are 'better' horns. They are just built better, there ARE some keywork detail differences, and they generally feel more substantial and a bit nicer under the fingers.

There was a guy on SOTW who actually did a long thread about the comparisons between the two...if you care to go try to find it. It was a very thoroiugh comparison, he used a few different samples of each model....
 
FWIW...I have refurbed around 25 or so Parisian Ambassadors....they really are NOT bad horns (keep in mind here this is a horn with a market value of $300 for an Alto, $450-500 for a Tenor, in good playing shape - so I think one has to keep it's appropriate slot in the market in mind, here).

They did have the attributes which Stephen and others mention, when they came in...but most of those should be addressed by a tech during a servicing....and once they are and the horn is put into good regulation....again, IMHO, on a market shelf which may include horns such as Bundy and Armstrong....the Ambassadors weren't bad.
I had alot of happy customers on limited budgets who bought those.
So I think they are getting beaten up here (and everywhere) a bit more than they deserve. I also recall there being variability AMONG the Ambassadors - some were more precisely built than others - so I dunno if that related to the timeline in which they were built (i.e. earlier ones better, later ones not, etc).

But IMHO, put one into good, serviced playing shape, it's a respectable enough sax for the $. I disagree that they sounded thin. At the request of a prospective buyer, I once compared them side by side to Yama 21/23's...and an Olds Ambassador was richer, tonally....not only did I feel that way, but the new owner's teacher also was pleasantly surprised by it, sonically.

Only reason I stopped refurbing them is that the used market tightened up, and there's no profit in trying to turn a $300-500 horn anymore.

But, the Parisian-Parisians...they were a notch up, certainly....
 
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yes, it differs from my version of the table which i have on 3 saxes. 2 of them have a chevron - edged key top and bottom, a sort of rectangle with a shallow V profile. 1 of them has this the other way up at the top too, the others have a rounded one like in the photo you've just presented. on the tables i have the bottom key is the same size as the others. i don't know how that one is going to play, but you do get used to things, i find.
 
FWIW...I have refurbed around 25 or so Parisian Ambassadors....they really are NOT bad horns (keep in mind here this is a horn with a market value of $300 for an Alto, $450-500 for a Tenor, in good playing shape - so I think one has to keep it's appropriate slot in the market in mind, here).

Mine certainly was bad, even when judged by the standards of the lower end of the market. I've had £60 no-brand Chinese saxes which were better - far better. It was also flimsier in both tone and build than the Armstrongs and Bundys I've owned (a bit crude, iffy ergonomics but as tough as old boots and with a decent tone). That sax was just one, and it's the only Parisian Ambassador I've even played, so it may have been a particularly bad example.
 
Mine certainly was bad, even when judged by the standards of the lower end of the market. I've had £60 no-brand Chinese saxes which were better - far better. It was also flimsier in both tone and build than the Armstrongs and Bundys I've owned (a bit crude, iffy ergonomics but as tough as old boots and with a decent tone). That sax was just one, and it's the only Parisian Ambassador I've even played, so it may have been a particularly bad example.

Nah - I've played quite a few and they're mediocre.
Kudos, though, to anyone who can make a YTS23 - one of the liveliest horns ever built - sound that drab.
 
But, the Parisian-Parisians...they were a notch up, certainly....
...so, forgetting the merits or otherwise of any model with "Ambassador" in its name (Olds Ambassador or Olds Parisian Ambassador) have you had hands on experience with the Olds Parisian tenor? That is, to be clear, the model with only Parisian in the model title and no mention of Ambassador anywhere on the horn?
Phew!
 
A great possibility. Couple local friends have had Pierret horns. None disappointed. You have a nice birthday present on the way.

My question was more regarding other possible manufactures. Olds were all stencils. I’m thinking from five different manufacturers. Somewhere there is a timeline of Olds. Early product was marked Los Angeles. Later on they were close to my home in Fullerton Calif.
 
F.E Olds bought stencils from a number of manufacturers for its core business which was bulk selling/renting to schools, marching bands, military...etc and branding them as ‘Olds’ with a nickname based on where it came from. They were for the budget market and built like a tank. I have never heard anyone speak highly of them. But like all things made at that time there can be some gems in the rubble. And from reading @DavidUK posts over the years that’s exactly what he looks for ;)
 

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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