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Saxophones Who made this Vito alto sax?

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
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I came across this Vito alto sax on eBay, and I have been wondering who it was made by - clearly not Beaugnier or Yamaha.

Some distinguishing features:
The ring on the body just below the neck screw
The bell brace
The bell-notes pinky cluster
The "staple" strap ring

Any ideas?
I'm not planning on buying it, by the way, just curious.
 

DavidUK

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Isn't this the eBay seller formerly known as... ah what was it... Shreskami or something like that?

In any case, seems pricey.

This may assist: Vito Serial Numbers
 

MMM

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Lovely engraving, but yes a little overpriced imo..
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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Looks like a Conn from the 60's. My first alto sax looked like that.
Yes, exactly. I have a "Shooting Stars" tenor. It looks very similar in design to that Vito.


Yes....and No....and Yes....

Quick (and perhaps overly-simplified) history lesson: Vito, first subcontracted Beaugnier , France to make the Vito horns. These are engraved "Vito" and usually stamped "France" on 'em.

After a while, Vito opened a facility in Kenosha, Wisconsin....and would import the Beaugnier parts and assemble those parts in Wisconsin.
Somewhere in there, early 60's, they (Vito) subcontracted (or opened ?) a plant in Nogales, Arizona (Coin-Art was the plant's name) .....which made Altos. Vito Altos.
Fabricated and made there.
Based off of, or evolved from, the specs of the Beaugnier design, but with some changes.

Coin-Art could not survive ....and was gonna go belly-up. So in the mid 60's, Conn bought the factory. The tooling and labor was still all there to make the horns, as well as some horn bodies, keys, and other parts which had yet to be assembled.
So, Conn used the Vito design/specs and created the 50M "Shooting Star", which became their second-shelf model from the mid 60's to 1980, They discontinued their previous "Shooting Star", which was the 14M and was made at their original plant in Elkhart, Indiana. (14M had the same body as a 6M; & the 14M had - before 1957- been marketed/engraved as Pan American).

So...Vito Altos made in Nogales, AZ...became the Conn 50M's. Thus...you see the obvious resemblences. Over time a few things changed from the Vito design (spat key shape, the location of the trill F#, etc).

THUS, the 50M is actually a Vito design, adopted by Conn.

Matter o' fact...

(I know, you are thinking OKAAAAAY - will he SHUT UP already !? He said this was gonna be QUICK :mad:)....

the FIRST Conn 50M horns...were actually horns left over in the plant, ones which Conn simply assembled and engraved "Conn".
These are identified by the fact that they have 4-digit, Vito serial numbers on 'em...which confuses the heck out of folks because when they check the serial number to the Conn serial sequence, the horns date from around 1919 or something.
But that's why the first few batches of 50M have those weird serial numbers. It was only after they were exhausted and the factory started producing 'new' bodies that Conn started stamping their normal serial sequence on 'em, as well as switching to their standard lacquer of the day (lighter than what Vito had used).

In good shape, one of these Vitos has a market value of maybe $400-450 or so.

They ARE respectable horns, actually. Great tone, good response, and the keywork although of a 'vintage' style, is pretty comfy and easy to navigate around.
 
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JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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Oh, 'old pads but it plays', which is basically what seller is stating...worth perhaps $225usd....
 

GCinCT

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(I know, you are thinking OKAAAAAY - will he SHUT UP already !? He said this was gonna be QUICK :mad:)....
Not at all, George. I appreciate your detailed answers. Once again, I have learned something that I found fascinating. Thank you very much.
 

scotsman

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Actually these horns in four digits made in USA , Are very good. I learnt to pad on four of them and have passed them onto young players.. They have the vibe and the sound..Whats not to like.. I think the maximum I paid on eBay for them was £150 needing work. Regards..
 

ellinas

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George is the undisputable reliable source for anything Vito-Beaugnier ... IMHO ... I know first hand.
 

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