Just thought that for 2009 I’d try and give a periodic ‘heads up’, or ‘eyes down’, on some of the more interesting C-Melody saxophones that caught my eye – either still selling, or possibly annoyingly, just sold, on ebay, from time to time. Prices still seem to be holding up reasonably despite the recession, although the currently poor dollar/pound exchange rate may well mean fewer UK buyers – then again, the very strong Euro will mean that possibly even more will go to mainland Europe. Click on either the text links, or the pictures, to go to the ebay listings.
First up is this 1914’ish Conn, quite an early C, at s/no 29xxx – surprising that even at this vintage it has my favourite key, the auxiliary front-F. Some manufacturers waited until late twenties, or even the early thirties, before fully integrating the aux front-F key – seems Conn, like Buffet, were ‘on the ball’ very early on.
In this example, dished metal touches instead of pearl. I actually prefer the concave metal touches, from my Buescher stencil playing days, makes me feel more in touch with the horn, and they are surprisingly quite slip-resistant even when wet.
This next C-Melody seems at first glance to be an English ‘ Hawkes ‘ – but on closer inspection has Martin toneholes, and Bruce Bailey’s ‘specialist subject’ the famous IBICo ‘ Pontiac Rings ‘ on the body joints. So probably, like the Martin ‘Lewin’ stencils that were imported into, and sold in, the UK – this is a Martin C that was imported into the UK to satisfy 20’s demand. Seems only fair, as loads of European saxophones also went the other way, to the US during that era. Guess there were no ‘carbon footprint’ worries in those days 😆
And now, a chance to acquire that curious beastie, the minimally keyed Martin Home Model – nice example here, languishing at a mere one dollar, with only a couple of days to go.
Go on, you really do need to own one of these at least once during your lifetime ! It’ll really make you appreciate a saxophone with all the usual keys ! And it’ll scare the living daylights out of any saxophone-playing friends when you persuade them to try and play it…
And, last (but not least) for this post - a great looking bare-brass Buescher C-Mel. "Just ready for an overhaul " proclaims the listing…
(quote) "Sax has been completely disassembled, rods and screws cleaned and oiled, pads removed, springs cleanly removed from the posts, and all parts cleaned."
All great stuff, except the "springs cleanly removed from the posts" bit. That makes me shudder, replacing all the springs seems too tedious for me – I don’t mind replacing the obviously weak/broken/rusty ones, but ALL of them ? No, please, don’t take all the springs out… Life is just toooo short to completely re-spring a saxophone.
And now, a very serious Health Warning – remember, decades of playing a straight-neck Conn C-Melody saxophone could seriously damage both your image, and your street-cred… This man really should have played a Martin, or at the very least, a King !
I’m just slightly worried about the angle/perspective – if the sax is swung into the playing position he could potentially lose an eye, or at the very least his sense of smell… 😦