The last of the Jim Schmidt C’s ?

An couple of ominous statements on Jim Schmidt’s website, maybe reading between the lines, means either there aren’t enough rich ‘C players’ or the ‘C’ maybe doesn’t have a high enough visibility ?

The first statement " I am presently making my last Contralto for awhile because all my attention will soon be focused on Tenors. "

Followed by the more revealing "The labor required to build these specialized horns is too intense for me to sustain by myself. I need help. Investors or manufacturers who are interested in producing this design are welcome to contact me. Musicians who want to purchase these horns at a reasonable cost are encouraged to call the manufacturers and tell them so. Anyone who has the energy, resources and foresight to push for the production of these improved horns will have my cooperation."

The price, or the waiting time wouldn’t really have been a barrier – had I wanted one of these – it’s the concept of learning a whole new set of fingerings…

Jim, I hope someone does come along to keep the project going, shame to have wasted all the calculations in the C design on just a few saxes !  Anyone have any idea who bought Jim’s C’s ? 

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5 Responses to The last of the Jim Schmidt C’s ?

  1. ukebert says:

    It’s the fingering which would get me. It just seems unnatural to have a chromatic scale instead of a diatonic :p

    Shame that he’s not making more though.

  2. lewis Pelham says:

    As you say Alan; as all the design work has been carried out for the correct intonation of a C sax., it does seem a shame not to use it.
    Perhaps it would appeal to a wider market with conventional fingering…using the Schmidt pipework.
    Even better if it has a tenor cone angle.
    I seem to remember reading that the horn was a continuous taper, to include both the tenon and bow.
    The “armadillo” crook is, to me, has a particular aesthetic appeal.

  3. Gandalfe says:

    Hey, the anti-spam word was “Micro”.  ;o)

    I don’t remember the price of the contralto but it seems to me it was something like $12K US. That’s a lot to play for an instrument that probably wouldn’t get played that much. Still, what a work of art it was…

  4. alan says:

    Thanks for that Jim – I’d forgotten to move the ‘musical’ anti-spam list over…   All done now.  Out of interest, the word after ‘micro’ would have been ‘wave’ – subtle, huh ? 😯   By the way, do you guys over there ever use the ‘quaver, crotchet’ etc. words ? Or is it still eighth, quarter notes etc. ?

    Back to the contralto, yes, it would be good to combine the intonation and other innovations with a more Boehm’ish action.  Not maybe so bad if you bought a sax and a flute from Jim, but having to double on standard instruments as well, could be slightly confusing for an old codger like me.  Maybe ideal for a new player ?  So who plays them, anyone know ?

  5. totalsuper says:

    But wait, isn’t this the chromatic horn that requires a completely new fingering to play it? That would be enough to keep a C off the market. Hard enough to sell an alternative tenor.

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