1950s

Showing all 16 results

  • Sold Out

    Berg Larsen 110 2 offset M Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece F32

    $ 275

    Rare 50’s Berg Larsen metal alto saxophone mouthpiece! Straight sidewalls, small round chamber, bullet chamber. Tip opening measures 0.103″. Denim finish on table, duck bill beak. Usually mouthpieces that sound great on tenor are only ok on alto in the same tip number, but if you like bergs on tenor you will love this on alto too. The tip opening plays much easier than expected for this number on alto. The tone is loud and lush, just like on tenor. Great projection and power while maintaining a moderately bright tone.

  • Sold Out

    Brilhart Streamline 5 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece MPC400

    $ 375

    Beautiful almost new example of a rare Streamline Brilhart Ebolin alto mouthpiece. Stamped 3*, it measures like a Meyer 5 tip at .074″ on the original facing. This is often the case with Brilharts, where you only know the tip by measuring.

    This mouthpiece plays great with a beautiful warmth and fullness that also does not lack projection. Brilharts like this are among my favorite vintage alto mouthpieces (along with Meyer and MC Gregory).

    If you happen to want the rare and collectible original Brilhart BB screws streamline alto ligature and cap, I have one in my collection that fits this mouthpiece that I would be open to selling.

  • Conn Connstellation Alto Saxophone 28M Excellent Condition Original Lacquer 338006

    $ 2,650

    The Conn 28M will always have a special place in my heart.  It represents the last time one of the great American saxophone manufacturing companies tried something wholly new, and although the horn never really found a market and not many were made, they are fantastic instruments that besides being unique and historically interesting, play *really* well.  

    These saxophones were redesigned, utilizing many ideas from Allen Loomis (Conn’s resident saxophone visionary) and Hugh Loney, with input from Santy Runyon, with the aim of creating a saxophone that had extremely slick keywork and a very balanced scale.  The keywork, although familiar under the fingers with regard to placement and layout, is mechanically quite different from any other saxophone and has been built from the ground up with the goal of reducing mechanical friction. There are no pivot screws anywhere on this saxophone, instead the long rods have a very long hinge rod with the middle machined down so only the ends touch.   The G# has a very unique torsion mechanism to provide a G# feel that is smooth throughout the range. The side keys are designed so that the angle and distance of travel is the same for each key. There are adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks as well as the left hand pinky table. The bell keys are on the left side, and the pants guard/bell keyguard is a large acrylic plate that was designed with the idea in mind of allowing the horn to vent properly regardless of playing position or clothing choice.  The octave mechanism has three pips (octave vents), one on the neck and two on the body, which has the end result of a very clear middle D and no hiss on the A or G#, as well as excellent intonation. The keywork in general is very light, and the pearls are larger than usual for Conn and a little flatter. The overall feeling is of a very light horn, extremely slick, easy to play, excellent intonation, and very even throughout.

    The one downfall of this design is the pants guard, which is fairly brittle and often broken.  Although nowadays there are excellent replacements available, this one has its original guard is about as good condition as they come, fully present with only a few small cracks radiating from around the screw holes, which is common.  However none of the cracks are large and it is not broken in two or missing any pieces, which is not common! And believe it or not, I have experience shipping these so you can rest easy knowing I will remove it for shipping, wrap it separately, and it will arrive to you in good condition.  

    This instrument plays quite well on older pads, with a strong, moderately bright, cheerful voice.  The clarity of the tone is notable, and it is a lot of fun to play with a unique look and feel and timbre that would lend itself easily to classical, big band, or small group jazz.  The lacquer is original and nearly flawless, with no evidence of past repairs or dents or resolders of any kind. It is also a unique and interesting piece of saxophone history, in exceptional condition, and whoever owns this instrument next will have a lot of fun being its steward for the next generation.  

  • Conn Connstellation Alto Saxophone 28M Very Good Condition Original Lacquer 335771

    $ 2,250

    You could be forgiven for thinking that because there are two original lacquer, very good condition Conn 28M “Connstellation” saxophones on my website at the moment that these are somewhat common, but I assure you that is not the case!   I will copy and paste the general statements about the 28M from the other description, with the unique description of this particular instrument’s physical and playing condition at the bottom.

    The Conn 28M will always have a special place in my heart.  It represents the last time one of the great American saxophone manufacturing companies tried something wholly new, and although the horn never really found a market and not many were made, they are fantastic instruments that besides being unique and historically interesting, play *really* well.  

    These saxophones were redesigned, utilizing many ideas from Allen Loomis (Conn’s resident saxophone visionary) and Hugh Loney, with input from Santy Runyon, with the aim of creating a saxophone that had extremely slick keywork and a very balanced scale.  The keywork, although familiar under the fingers with regard to placement and layout, is mechanically quite different from any other saxophone and has been built from the ground up with the goal of reducing mechanical friction. There are no pivot screws anywhere on this saxophone, instead the long rods have a very long hinge rod with the middle machined down so only the ends touch.   The G# has a very unique torsion mechanism to provide a G# feel that is smooth throughout the range. The side keys are designed so that the angle and distance of travel is the same for each key. There are adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks as well as the left hand pinky table. The bell keys are on the left side, and the pantsguard/bell keyguard is a large acrylic plate that was designed with the idea in mind of allowing the horn to vent properly regardless of playing position or clothing choice.  The octave mechanism has three pips (octave vents), one on the neck and two on the body, which has the end result of a very clear middle D and no hiss on the A or G#, as well as excellent intonation. The keywork in general is very light, and the pearls are larger than usual for Conn and a little flatter. The overall feeling is of a very light horn, extremely slick, easy to play, excellent intonation, and very even throughout.

    The one downfall of this design is the pantsguard, which is fairly brittle and often broken.  Although nowadays there are excellent replacements available, this one has its original guard in decent condition.  There is one repaired crack (visible in the photos) and the common small cracks radiating from some of the screw holes.  I would anticipate, absent any further damage, that this keyguard will last and should not present any problems- although I will furnish you with contact information for obtaining a well made (and somewhat more durable) replacement should you ever need it.  And believe it or not, I have experience shipping these so you can rest easy knowing I will remove it for shipping, wrap it separately, and it will arrive to you in good condition.

    This instrument plays quite decently on what appears to be an older repad with plastic domed resonators, with a strong, moderately bright, cheerful voice.  The clarity of the tone is notable, and it is a lot of fun to play with a unique look and feel and timbre that would lend itself easily to classical, big band, or small group jazz.  The lacquer is original and in good condition with some playing wear and a few stand scratches near the low C#, with no evidence of past repairs or dents or resolders of any kind. It is also a unique and interesting piece of saxophone history, in very good condition, and whoever owns this instrument next will have a lot of fun being its steward for the next generation.  

  • Grafton Alto Saxophone Excellent Original Condition Restored and Playable 10591

    $ 4,750

    Ah, the Grafton “plastic” (actually its acrylic) saxophone.  Famously played by Charlie Parker and David Bowie, crafted by an English company, designed by an Italian, it is, according to sales literature of the time, a “tone poem in ivory and gold”.  

    This particular example has actually been repadded by some enterprising repairer (I say it this way because they are notoriously challenging to work on) and it has been done rather well.  It plays, as you may or may not expect, very much like a saxophone and there is not much in the playing of it to convey that the instrument you are playing is wholly unique, with new methods of manufacture and the completely singular keywork mechanisms that its injection molded acrylic body required.  It is comfortable under the fingers, responsive, weighs about what a normal sax weighs, and plays with a warm, if somewhat uncomplex, tone. It is in fact quite an amazing instrument when taken as a whole, and the experience of playing it leaves me with wonder and respect for the company that made it.  

    These are famously known for being delicate, and not many have survived to this day.  This example is in quite good shape, with the only body repair that I can see being the bell to body brace looks to have been shored up with epoxy where a crack was forming.  There are some small hairline cracks near the tenon receiver, but they are minor and do not appear to be spreading. The finish on the keys is original, and the neck is in very good shape with no evidence of past repair or pulldown.  The keyguard is complete and undamaged, and it comes with its original Dallas case.

     

  • King Super 20 Alto Full Pearls 1952 Fresh Overhaul 328xxx Outstanding

    $ 5,150

    King altos are the best altos ever, full stop.

    This one has original lacquer and looks good in a played in way, with the only past repair being a resoldered low C key guard. It just got a full, fresh, high-end overhaul, done by the highly-skilled Jan Olsen (Norway). This means it got about 30 hours of painstaking labor done to make the mechanism all factory fresh, and to replace everything that can be replaced so that it is back to new playing condition and pad wise. It now performs great and will be ready to go for many many years to come with only regular maintenance needed.

    This King Super 20 alto is from just about the most desirable year, 1952, which is the same version and serial of Super 20 that Cannonball Adderley played on Kind of Blue and Somethin’ Else. It is in great shape, with no serious past repairs at all.  This is the ‘Series II’ which has the best combination of beauty, features, and key work of all of the Super 20 altos. You really can get the Cannonball Adderley vibe going on one of these (with lots of practice) better than almost anything else. Cannonball played almost exactly this serial alto on Kind of Blue. This plus a Meyer 5 or Ted Klum NY Model plus a soft reed and lots of guts is what you need for what I consider to be the benchmark for good alto sound.

    Why do I say that Super 20’s like this are the best altos ever? The overall combination of tone, beauty, and ergonomics. For me, great tone that you get from these full pearls Super 20’s is pretty hard to beat. It’s warm, full, rich, and projecting, but without any hint of shrillness or thinness. Cannonball’s tone, I always think of as a tenor saxophone reincarnated in the body of an alto, and that’s pretty much what a Super 20 alto like this allows. It feels like the tone is coming from a bigger, deeper instrument, but in the alto register, which is really remarkable. You can of course do a million other things with it. Check Francois Carrier’s music for another take on Super 20 tone (also same serial as this). The Super 20 is going to keep getting more and more desirable, and harder and harder to find. They’re just fantastic, and they are way rarer than Mark VI’s or any other top notch vintage or modern alto.

    This horn is priced to MOVE. Once you figure in the overhaul, it’s absurdly cheap. Particularly for the tone you get. Someone should grab it now and not look back. You never need to ‘upgrade’ from this. If you don’t love it, send it back. I take returns.

    Just for fun, here’s Cannonball on his Series II Super 20 playing one of his classic ballads, Dancin’ in the Dark.

  • King Super 20 Alto Saxophone 1953 Full Pearls Original Lacquer

    $ 6,350

    Cannonball Adderley vintage of King Super 20 alto that now comes with a complete, high-end overhaul done right! This is exactly the same as my personal alto. It’s cosmetically a little nicer than mine in fact! Really clean original lacquer, great condition. Full pearls, solid silver double socket neck, the more comfortable left hand pinky keys – this is the Super 20 you want. The ‘full pearls’ means that it has all the bells and whistles that people look for in a King alto. Extra pearls on G#, palm keys and side keys/F#. The bell keys are engraved; the double socket neck seals beautifully. The solid silver is in great shape. The serial numbers on horn and neck match. Cannonball Adderley played an alto just like this on Kind of Blue and Somethin’ Else. To me, you can’t really beat this among alto saxophones for jazz or all purpose playing. The best mouthpiece to pair with it is the Ted Klum New York model or the GS Special version of that mouthpiece. It’s a 10/10 combination. Kings like this are at least 10x rarer than 5-digit Selmer Mark VI’s, and they have strong potential to go up in value over time. That makes this a smart purchase as well as an extremely fun alto to play.

  • King Super 20 Tenor Saxophone 1957 Near Mint Original Lacquer Overhauled!

    $ 5,950

    Holy cow! This is one of the nicest examples of a King Super 20 that I have had the pleasure of selling. It just got a complete overhaul! It was original pads 63 years old, when I got it, and now it’s totally fresh, clean, and completely restored. It’s awesome!

    The tone of these horns is just to die for. Powerful, resonant, very loud when pushed (it goes to 11). The solid silver double socket neck gives you extra focus, and a dark core with lots of overtones. The horn overall is bright and projecting, but in a way that stays fat, like only American saxophones can. Ideal for either cutting through a band, or playing the most gorgeous ballads, this is one of my favorite saxophonse of all time.

    This tenor has no damage, no dents or dings, and almost all its original lacquer. The solid silver neck even looks odd to King fanatics like me because it still has its original gold lacquer over the silver, which you hardly ever see. There’s some scratching on the back of the body tube from normal use, and a couple of tiny, nearly invisible dings I got removed from the bow, but you’d never notice anyway. It’s as nice as you will ever find. And priced to sell!

    The best demo of a “Series III” Super 20 that I know of can be found here. It’s one of the only cases that I have found where I heard a demo and what I consider the essence of the tone of the horn itself is front and center on display (as opposed to the mouthpiece, the player, or a bunch of other distracting noise. Listen and enjoy! This is the same horn as in the demo, just made a year or two later. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBoeWeRyy-o 

     

  • King Super 20 Tenor Series III Mint Silver Neck Unbelievable Overhauled

    $ 7,500

    Cleanest, most mint condition King Super 20 tenor I have seen. (Which is actually saying a lot, as I collect Kings!) The silver neck has all the gold lacquer intact. This peerless sax just got a high-end overhaul and plays absolutely effortlessly. Can’t beat it. Comes with the beautiful original case and a BAM case for safe shipping. Big, bold, effortless player with tons of soul.

  • Martin The Martin Tenor Committee III Original Lacquer Fresh Overhaul!

    $ 3,500

    Photos just updated late June 2020! This beautiful original lacquer The Martin Tenor just got a complete overhaul and restoration! It’s gorgeous, and it feels like a brand new horn under the fingers. The original lacquer is beautiful, and the neck, body tube and bell are in excellent condition. There are no resolders, and aside from a standard bow dent that was removed nicely, there were no past repairs at all! This horn was one owner, and it still had its original pads when I got it. Now, it just got a complete, high-end overhaul, and it is one of those powerful, projecting-but-dark, tenors that I love so much. The Martin Tenor is just such a fantastic tenor. Bold, full-throated, room-filling sound. Excellent build quality and design. Beautiful lacquer and engraving. All American manufacturing – these horns came with a 50 year warranty! Fifty Years!

  • Martin The Martin Tenor Committee III Original Lacquer Old Pads 167261

    $ 1,750

    Great deal on an original lacquer The Martin Tenor Committee III. This horn has older pads, and actually does play on them, but plan on getting it overhauled.

    Previous repairs – the thumb hook is a replacement. The original thumb hook often gets lost on these, because it had an odd design where it only attached by a small post with a leveraged arm coming out that let you torque it easily.
    Besides that, you can see some lines on the back of the bow area where it looks like some small dents were probably removed at some point. Same thing on the bow guard. The two resolders you can probably easily see as they are clearly photographed – lower post of the C/Eb key and the key guard foot right beside that on one side of low Eb. The neck tenon is also resoldered. You have to take it off to do a ’neck fit’ because of the way the neck tightens, so I’m thinking that’s what was done there. The pads are old, but it actually plays on them, so you can easily tell that it is a very strong player. These horns are built like tanks, so this one is in plenty good condition to play its best for many more years to come if you get the pads replaced. Or you could play it for a while on the old pads before doing that.
  • Sold Out

    Selmer Centered-Tone Clarinet Great Condition! No cracks or repairs, big warm tone R5978

    $ 1,150

    Get your Benny Goodman on! Beautiful vintage Selmer Centered Tone Bb clarinet in excellent condition with no cracks or repairs. This instrument has been babied by one owner for several decades and comes to you on consignment. The pads and corks are in good condition, and it plays beautifully with a big, warm, wide, jazz-leaning tone. Nothing is as warm and beautiful as a Centered Tone. You can project over a band and you can bend notes around with ease. I’m not a great clarinet player, but even I sound pretty decent on one of these! Serial is R5978.

    Only one available!

  • Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone 1955 58119 Price Includes Overhaul! Relacquered Great Deal

    $ 5,250

    This 5-digit Selmer Mark VI Alto from 1955 just got a complete overhaul! It’s an excellent player, and it represents a very good value in an alto. For way less than a Reference 54, you can get an actual ’55 Selmer Mark VI with a complete restoration just finished. These first year Mark VI altos play dark, with a lot of focus and warmth, and they are punchy when pushed. They project well with a higher baffle mouthpiece. Effortless response in the low register. They’re just fantastic, and they are better built than most modern altos including modern Selmer. Plus this comes with a better pad job than any new horn you can currently buy, and it will stay in adjustment well for many years with only the most routine of maintenance. You save thousands of dollars because this horn got a new coat of ‘paint’ at some point along the way. That makes a lot of sense to me. It comes in a nice BAM contoured alto case that is similar to the Selmer Flight Cases that come with the Ref 54. Fits the horn hand in glove.

    Only one available!

  • Selmer Mark VI Tenor Saxophone 1957 69533 Original Lacquer Excellent Condition!

    $ 14,500

    This is about as nice an example of an original lacquer early 5-digit Selmer Mark VI tenor as I have seen! It still has all its original factory pads. The original neck is in perfect condition and has not been pulled down or damaged in any way. It has the matching serial number to the body. The beautiful dark honey gold lacquer is almost all intact! This saxophone was babied and then treasured by someone as a keepsake until now. The only past repair it had was a resoldered strap hook. That was done well, with minimal lacquer loss. Sometimes stuff like that just pops off on old Selmers – key guard feet, strap hooks, and braces – not really from damage so much as just the original solder coming loose. Luckily you can just pop it back on there and it’s good to go for another 60+ years.

    It’s hard to overemphasize how clean this tenor is. When you look at it, you just can’t believe how beautifully preserved it is. The body tube is straight and undamaged. The bottom bow even looks brand new. The bell and engraving look factory fresh and untouched. The original pads are falling out, so while you could try to play it on them, it would be better to get it freshly overhauled if you want to play it seriously. I got this horn in one of those beautiful red leather ‘Chesterfield’ original cases, but the zipper was broken on it, so I put it in a new BAM case for safety. If you want to pair this horn with an original 50’s Chesterfield Selmer case, I can possibly sell you one from my small vintage case collection. And if you want to buy it and then get it overhauled to play, I can hook you up with a top notch saxophone repairman who can do the overhaul right! You’ll be able to reuse the original Selmer metal Tone-x resonators on the new pads, which will give the horn a correct, vintage look.

    Tonally, the mid 60k range is a real sweet spot for the Mark VI tenor. These horns have a darker, more focused core tone than the later VI tenors, with plenty of power. As you push it, it will brighten up a bit, but stay fat and complex sounding. It’s super free blowing, and not stuffy at all. Loud and dark and powerful with a good amount of focus. When people make modern tenor necks that are supposed to mimic the ‘Mark VI tenor sound’ they often copy a neck like this one that is medium-dark, complex, and focused with easy overtones. This is the sort of tenor that gave the Mark VI the reputation that it now has. If you want virtually the same horn, but for half price with a new ‘coat of paint’ from the factory, check out the excellent deal I have on this VI tenor, which is virtually identical, and also super clean physically and mechanically.

    But if you have been looking for a really fantastic, original early 5-digit VI tenor that is almost like going back in time to 1957 and buying a new Selmer, then that’s what you have here. It’s a rare opportunity, and getting rarer every year. Soon, these horns will no longer be seen on the market at ALL often, and people will lament for the days when they were priced so ‘low’! It’s crazy, but true, if you compare to literally any other instrument (guitar, violin, piano, flute, even bassoon) — the best examples of the best instruments of all of those cost 3-10x what you can get a super clean Mark VI like this for currently.

    Only one available!

  • Selmer SBA Alto Saxophone Excellent Condition 55xxx Original Lacquer Recent Overhaul

    $ 6,950

    This is a beautiful original lacquer late serial Selmer SBA Alto saxophone with a recent overhaul. It plays really well, with a sweet, centered, lyrical voice, and lots of power. It’s nice and snappy under the fingers, and responds very well too. Minimal past repairs, and the original lacquer is in excellent condition. If you want something sweeter and warmer than most Mark VI’s but with similar ergonomics and intonation, and with even more beauty, then a late SBA like this is for you! Get it now, and it will go up in value while you own and enjoy it. That’s hard to beat. And that engraving!!

  • SML Rev D (=Gold Medal 1) Alto Saxophone Original Silver Plate Overhauled! 11584

    $ 3,500

    Freshly overhauled, and hand-polished! This SML Rev D alto is looking its best and is ready to go for a long time now on a completely new high-end overhaul. It has high quality Pisoni leather pads and correct flat metal resonators with rivet. 

    SML, short for Strasser-Marigaux-LeMaire, is probably the best known small French maker of saxophones.  They produced high quality instruments with a unique blend of features that ended up in what I like to think of as a perfect blend of Selmer and Conn- a very French tone, but big like a Conn.  

    The SML “Revision D”, which was not an official name but rather one given by collectors to the model run with this particular set of features, is a professional handcrafted French saxophone whose features include rolled toneholes, a switchable automatic G#/C#, double sprung octave mechanism (which is an excellent feature preventing slow octave changes and should be standard on all saxophones), a 4 slot neck tenon receiver (again, an excellent feature that should be made standard, this time one that applies pressure more evenly around the neck tenon for a more secure fit less likely to develop leaks), and adjustment screws on the upper and lower stacks.  In fact, the Revision D is very much like the model that came after called the Gold Medal, and shares the same bore. The only features that the Gold Medal has that this horn doesn’t are the rocking octave thumbrest (which isn’t actually so great and is often times disabled at the request of the player) and the adjustable felt bumpers for the low notes, which while nice is not a game changer in any way.

    The original silver plating is in very good condition and seems to be almost unworn, and the neck shows no sign of past damage or repair work. There was a little dent by the F#/G# tone holes that was removed nicely, and is very hard to see now, if you can see it at all. I have a few photos of that spot and it’s nearly invisible. 

    These SMLs have a fantastic sound, unique in their blend of refined yet powerful, and possess excellent craftsmanship.  Not very many were made- about 15,000 total of all sizes of the horns considered to be their best- and they hold up very well over time.