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Saxophones TopTone Vintage Alto sax swith special pads and titanium keys?

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I don't know anything about the sax, but I doubt it would have titanium keys. More likely nickel plated brass, or occasionally nickel silver.
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,470
Are you thinking of the B&S Codera Reso-blade sax ? A bit of information here .

No longer made but very interesting. I don't know whether the Reso-blade keys were titanium, but I have got this description from an old WW&BW catalogue:

These keys aren't merely replacements for pads - they are reflectors in the truest sense, offering greater tonal resonance.

The Reso-Blades are found on the lower stack, the bell and the bow. The name "Reso-blade" comes from the fact that the whole key is no thicker than the material which makes the tone hole chimney. The "Reso-blade" is also polished on the inside face, which allows the key to act as a resonator. The Reso-blades are self-sealing, sitting perfectly on the tone hole.

This technical innovation was first introduced by Selmer Paris in 1951. Improving on Selmer's idea, the creators of the Reso-Blade redesigned the sealing ring, which reduced dampening of vibrations. As a result, the whole instrument resonates, not just the Reso-Blades - creating an exceptionally rich, expressive sound.


Wolf Codera was the man behind this design and there is more information from him here and about him here

I think that Milandro on this forum may know more about this ...

Rhys
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Messages
21,947
There's a good stencil list here:

http://reviews.ebay.com/Saxophone-Stencil-List_W0QQugidZ10000000006282122

But Top Tone isn't mentioned.

A good starting point would be to look though the pics at saxpics.com, paying special attention to the LF little finger keys, RH little finge keys, C# keyguard if it's a wire guard. Serial number may be another clue. Some stencils had serial numbers from the manufacturers range.

Some photos would help a lot. Especially detailed shots of the keywork.
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
There's a good stencil list here:

http://reviews.ebay.com/Saxophone-Stencil-List_W0QQugidZ10000000006282122

But Top Tone isn't mentioned.

A good starting point would be to look though the pics at saxpics.com, paying special attention to the LF little finger keys, RH little finge keys, C# keyguard if it's a wire guard. Serial number may be another clue. Some stencils had serial numbers from the manufacturers range.

Some photos would help a lot. Especially detailed shots of the keywork.

Definitely not a stencil...this TopTone was made in Holland up until 2005 (got this info from someone else on another forum) - they stopped producing it because they couldn't fit the market - 3000+ euro for their alto model!!
Gosh, considering how little info about this sax no wonder they failed - it might have been a winner but at least they should had put some more effort in advertising/marketing etc.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
The 'vintage' in the thread title made me think you were talking about an old sax (let's say over 30 yrs), in which titanium wouldn't have been used. Sorry I misunderstood you, I didn't realise they were using vintage in the name of a recent model. .
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
The 'vintage' in the thread title made me think you were talking about an old sax (let's say over 30 yrs), in which titanium wouldn't have been used. Sorry I misunderstood you, I didn't realise they were using vintage in the name of a recent model. .

In fact the actual name of the model is TopTone TT25 Vintage - a very inappropriate name for such an innovative horn. Anyhow, I've just ordered and going to Italy to play it!!! (can't wait).
Still even with the proper name there's little info about it, but I've managed to get a few links:
http://www.gama.gda.pl/go/_info/?id=608
http://cgi.ebay.it/TOPTONE-Holland-Sassofono-contralto-TT25-Vintage-USATO-/400175781644
http://www.annunciprodotti.com/sass...optone-tt25-vintage-made-in-olanda-P2605.html

Links from Italy and Poland....clearly an european affair.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,470
Hi Zannad

Did you buy that alto from Italy on eBay ? I wish I had seen it as it looks very interesting and the price was quite good.

Please tell us how it plays.

Rhys
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
Hi Zannad

Did you buy that alto from Italy on eBay ? I wish I had seen it as it looks very interesting and the price was quite good.

Please tell us how it plays.

Rhys

Someone from Italy bought that for me (saving 40 euro on delivery - it's good to have connections all over the world)....and I was planning to go there anyhow (2+2=10!!).
I guess it's a real bargain but can't say till I try it.
 

singlereed

Member
Messages
124
I have seen and played one of the Toptones. They were available with a full set of those funny pads, or with just the larger ones in the bottom half of the horn. They were Dutch designed if I remember but I think made in Taiwan. A bit like Stephanhouser, these were one of the earlier attempts to take a Taiwanese horn a bit more up market before the likes of Mauriat actually got it right. The Toptone was OK but nothing special, indeed it played like was what it was, a decent intermediate horn.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,845
I think the neck, body and bell was made by B&S/VEB (die Vogtländische Musikinstrumentenfabrik GmbH).

Thomas
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
I have seen and played one of the Toptones. They were available with a full set of those funny pads, or with just the larger ones in the bottom half of the horn. They were Dutch designed if I remember but I think made in Taiwan. A bit like Stephanhouser, these were one of the earlier attempts to take a Taiwanese horn a bit more up market before the likes of Mauriat actually got it right. The Toptone was OK but nothing special, indeed it played like was what it was, a decent intermediate horn.

Did you actually play the TT25 Vintage? There are other models with TopTone pads (some full sets).
Some Toptone are indeed intermediate (sold for around £700) but the TT25 was aimed at the pro market and was indeed the flagship of this dutch company.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,435
Are you thinking of the B&S Codera Reso-blade sax ? A bit of information here .

No longer made but very interesting. I don't know whether the Reso-blade keys were titanium, but I have got this description from an old WW&BW catalogue:

These keys aren't merely replacements for pads - they are reflectors in the truest sense, offering greater tonal resonance.

The Reso-Blades are found on the lower stack, the bell and the bow. The name "Reso-blade" comes from the fact that the whole key is no thicker than the material which makes the tone hole chimney. The "Reso-blade" is also polished on the inside face, which allows the key to act as a resonator. The Reso-blades are self-sealing, sitting perfectly on the tone hole.

This technical innovation was first introduced by Selmer Paris in 1951. Improving on Selmer's idea, the creators of the Reso-Blade redesigned the sealing ring, which reduced dampening of vibrations. As a result, the whole instrument resonates, not just the Reso-Blades - creating an exceptionally rich, expressive sound.


Wolf Codera was the man behind this design and there is more information from him here and about him here

I think that Milandro on this forum may know more about this ...

Rhys

I actually saw one of those for sale on ebay some time ago and if I remember rightly it fetched a fair ammount of money
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
First impressions of the TopTone tt25 Vintage

At last I had the chance to try the TopTone for the very first time....
I dare to give my personal feedback pointing out that I'm not an expert and I've never owned a Selmer or a Yani myself (although had the chance of trying them a bit...) and my views are those coming from an average sax player (a creative one) who doesn't care much about appearances and technicalities. Yet, once I get this horn back to the UK I'll lend it to my technician for a proper test\review.

How does it look? I'm a bit puzzled here, on one side I find it attractive - those platinum disc and minimalistic guards makes it so modernist or techno? Yet there is something of a mismatchness about it...and I'd preferred to see some form of "techno" engravings (if you get the idea).

It's lighter than other horns I've tried before but nothing unusual here.
It feels very good on the keys - the action is medium light and precise...as I close those weird pads I hear some very nice "tuned pops"...a good sign.

How does it play? This is really where it all matters in the end and this is exactly where this horn scores top points in my opinion - this thing isn't just unusual on the outside...it really feels and sounds like nothing I've tried before.
From Top to bottom range the TT25 delivers effortlessly the whole horn vibrates and it seems those pads really do their job in making this sax very efficient - I feel I can play for 10 hours in one go!!
It doesn't seems that obvious initially but the real surprise is the tone...for some reasons after my very first few blows I started playing a Chuck Mangione tune (I can't remember the title)...yep, a trumpet tune. In fact, on the mid to high range the tone of this horn reminds me that of a trumpet - give this horn the transients (attacks) of a trumpet and one might start to get confused - don't get me wrong here...the tone is still that of a sax but I bet this is the one among other saxes which gets the closer to the harmonic spectrum of a trumpet (this can be tested).
I don't think some would love such tone richness on a sax...some sax "purists" would prefer a darker tone. Yet, we must not confuse such beefy richness with some shrill brightness of some cheap modern chinese horns. Personally, I don't remember having enjoyed playing the top register so much on a alto.

When I bought this TopTone I was thinking of having made bargain - and maybe reselling it quickly at double of the price I paid for it...wrong! I'm going to keep it. Time will tell if this Toptone is going to become my main axe - surely there is no substitute for it.
 
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