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Vintage or modern to learn on?

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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I'm no expert, but that doesn't look like a sax from 1920 to me. It looks later - I would guess 1930's or later. However the Bassic Sax info suggests 1920 or before. It has a front F key and side alternative F#. So the only difference in keywork with a modern sax would be the high F#.

As I said above, the script LP on the bell probably is the maker's trademark "L. Pierret".

I think some French saxes have a sharp (#) sign or a flat (b) sign to denote high and low pitch. This might be anywhere, for example at the top of the body.
 
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Greg Strange

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2,050
Some info here...maybe helpful...


Greg S.
 

stitch

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216
Stand it upright on a table, sans neck. A LP sax is around 22" tall, a HP one considerably shorter.
 
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Howsey

Howsey

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Without neck its 21 3/4". So I guess LP. But when sorted I'll do what Greg S suggests, to confirm.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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I'm no expert, but that doesn't look like a sax from 1920 to me. It looks later - I would guess 1930's or later.
I agree....that is not likely a 1920's horn.....same-side bellkeys.

Fully keyed, a very slick teardrop front F touch too.

At almost 22" long it's likely to be a Low Pitch (unless it has a big 'wattle' on the bottom of its bowguard which makes it taller than the acutal body is).

Possibly late 20's, in which case we have just discovered Pierret was a trailblazer - and came out with a same-side bellkey horn before anybody else.

This is why I asked for pics.

This is not, by any means, an 'anachronistic' horn which (by virtue of its age) is gonna be nothing but problems, problems, problems and should be avoided.

It appears to be in excellent shape. The pads (what I can see of them) do not look 'shot'. The next thing to do is take it to a repair tech and have them give it a look-over and assess playability. As JBT says, it's all about CONDITION. If the old lass has been treated well in her life, there may well be nothing major to attend to to get her into decent playing shape.

Do NOT assume all techs to be closed. I would call or email around, see if anyone would be willing to have a look at her.

Other alternative is to have another sax player playtest it and see if they think it plays respectably or needs work.

If it does, keep it and use it. If it needs maybe 100-200quid of tech servicing, still keep it and use it. If servicing is required upwards of 250quid, perhaps consider using that $ to buy something else. But keep in mind, given its physical condition, it DOES have some value on the used market. Aficionados would pay at least £250-300 even if it doesn't play.
 
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Murillogf

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I have an old alto from the 30's and I absolutely love it. Thought I've only been playing for a little more than 2 years I wouldnt change it for a new one. The only thing i struggle on it is playing some keys in tune, but at least I can control more it now a days and saw a great progress in my ears.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,584
@Howsey - am curious....who told you it needs a repad ? Post some photos of some of the pads....as I said they do not look shot to me.
 
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Howsey

Howsey

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Well, don't all scream at once, but I re-padded it (using the correct techniques and quality pads, shellac etc, all be it from you tube clips.) It previously had no pads. But having no other experience I now know it needs to go to an expert for a full assessment and most likely repositioning of the pads I fitted (if it's worth while at all). As some springs are missing and whilst I could try and replace, I don't know enough about tensions etc. I know this sounds I bit like "shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted" but I was just keen to get going on it and as it was so old thought I had nothing to lose. Note. I have been very careful not to do anything that couldn't be detrimental.
 
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Howsey

Howsey

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39
Yes and I know thats not the least of it. I guess It goes back to my original question of whether it's possible to learn on it. But I think after hearing all the comments so far, I'm inclined to persevere. Well at least get it to a repairer for his thoughts and if all else fails sell it (or keep it) but ultimately buy one suitable for a beginner.
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
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Yes and I know thats not the least of it. I guess It goes back to my original question of whether it's possible to learn on it. But I think after hearing all the comments so far, I'm inclined to persevere. Well at least get it to a repairer for his thoughts and if all else fails sell it (or keep it) but ultimately buy one suitable for a beginner.
When you first said 1920, I thought it may have been more antique than vintage. Really outdated keywork that would be brutal to deal with. But now i see that's not the case. If you can get it in good working condition, I think you could definitely learn on it. It probably sounds really nice.
 

stitch

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216
One of the café members knows a bit about Pierrets ... peterpick is it? Maybe he'll stroll by, particularly if the title's edited to include the make.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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5,853
I agree....that is not likely a 1920's horn.....same-side bellkeys.
Yes, I think most of us were expecting something more primitive. The keywork on that sax looks like a sax from the 1940’s.

But the Bassic Sax website says that this model was made up to 1920, so either this is wrong or Pierret were way ahead of the others.

@Howsey - you may have a nice saxophone there. In any case, the plan to take it to a repairer sounds like a good one.
 
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Howsey

Howsey

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39
Thanks for all your advise & info. I'll definitely keep you updated as things progress.
 

Colin the Bear

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Learning on an amateur restoration may be frustrating. Not knowing if it's you or the horn will hold you back.

Maybe a cheap but efficient second hand horn that will hold its price will get you going more easily.

The worth of your vintage horn may not be in its monetary value. It's quite a sweetheart. Don't let the cost of finishing it put you off. Spend what you can afford. Resale has no meaning with a keeper. ;)
 
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Howsey

Howsey

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39
Learning on an amateur restoration may be frustrating. Not knowing if it's you or the horn will hold you back.

Maybe a cheap but efficient second hand horn that will hold its price will get you going more easily.

The worth of your vintage horn may not be in its monetary value. It's quite a sweetheart. Don't let the cost of finishing it put you off. Spend what you can afford. Resale has no meaning with a keeper. ;)
Yes, thank you. It's not the money but the thought of saving such an old item and it does look nice regardless. I will do my best to get it playing.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,584
Yes, thank you. It's not the money but the thought of saving such an old item and it does look nice regardless. I will do my best to get it playing.
Have it looked at by a tech. This one is a 50-50 as far as whether a tech can get it into playing shape for 250quid or so.

Sometimes taking an amateur repad and 'correcting' it can be done relatively quickly, but other times it can get complicated.

If the latter, then it may be that Colin's advice of taking maybe 300£-ish and buying another horn would be a cheaper/quicker alternative. In which case...keep the Pierret, learn more about repairing and repadding, and let it be the horn you repair on.
Over time, you can probably get it playing well yourself.
 
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