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  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the Holton geauxsax's Avatar
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    Default York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Here's what I presume to be a York-made (non-stencil) York bari. Notice the oddly-soldered tone holes (with bases or "spats"), visible on lower holes, as well as plate on main body with the remainder of the holes--uniquely York. They apparently had a full line of horns, given this bari, the curvy sop that vintagesax has on their website: http://www.vintagesax.com/soprano.html
    as well as altos, tenors, and c-mels. Anyone seen a non-stencil York straight sop?






  2. #2
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Although there is already a solid reconstructed serial number chart by Dr. John Swain, revised by Mike Keller

    http://www.horn-u-copia.net/serial/Yorklist.html

    we don't know much about own made York models or series - when they were started or replaced etc. To get better insights I'd like to start this serial number registry. It is supposed to include information about all saxophones York manufactured from 1921 to 1938.

    Here is my working hypothesis about the timeline of York branded saxophones:

    Buescher stencils 191x - 1921

    Own makes (1921 - 1938)

    Model 1: Split bell keys; stack key's: toneholes on a common plate on the body tube; based toneholes on bell keys.
    Model 2: Split bell keys; 'PAT. APLD. FOR' (1690862; 1673195)
    Model 3: LH bell keys

    Malerne stencils (1939 - 194x)
    Last edited by LaPorte; 06-21-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  3. #3
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    This York made baritone is imo an appropriate example to start this serial number registry:

    Quote Originally Posted by geauxsax View Post
    Here's what I presume to be a York-made (non-stencil) York bari. Notice the oddly-soldered tone holes (with bases or "spats"), visible on lower holes, as well as plate on main body with the remainder of the holes--uniquely York. ...
    Well observed, Geauxsax!

    York was awarded two saxophone patents concerning tone holes in the later part of the 1920s: 1690862 and 1673195. York alto saxophone 92259 is reported to have unusual tones holes, and the marking "pat. apld. for". These patents were applied for in 1925 and 1926. and granted Nov 6, 1928, and Jun 12, 1928, respectively. (Horn.u-copia)

    The serial number of the bari #65,346 (told by the seller) puts this to the year 1922, the first year of saxophone manufacturing by York - before the patents concerning the toneholes were applied for. Apparently the early tonehole-design like on that bari was not covered by York patents like those mentioned above.


    Model 1: stack key's: toneholes on a common plate on the body tube; visible 'based' toneholes on bell keys.
    Model 2: 'PAT. APLD. FOR' (1690862; 1673195)
    Model 3: LH bell keys

  4. #4
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by geauxsax View Post
    ... Anyone seen a non-stencil York straight sop?
    Model 1: Stack key's: toneholes on a common plate on the body tube; 'based' toneholes on bell keys.
    Model 2: 'PAT. APLD. FOR' (1690862; 1673195)
    Model 3: LH bell keys generally introduced

    #87,443




    Model 1: Stack key's: toneholes on a common plate on the body tube; based toneholes on bell keys.
    Model 2: 'PAT. APLD. FOR' (1690862; 1673195)
    Model 3: LH bell keys generally introduced

    #93,240



  5. #5
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
    To get better insights I'd like to start this serial number registry. It is supposed to include information about all saxophones York manufactured from 1922 to 1938.
    Well done, Felix!
    Life is too short for long tones

  6. #6
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    York
    Grand Rapids
    Michigan

    #92469

    Model 1: Stack key's: toneholes on a common plate on the body tube; based toneholes on bell keys.
    Model 2: 'PAT. APLD. FOR' (1690862; 1673195)
    Model 3: LH bell keys generally introduced

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ALTO-SAX-YORK-GR...item5ad6245fa4

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    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Grand Rapids Band Inst. Co.

    Serial numbers


    #102544 alto rb stencilled 'Supertone Band Master'
    #105479 alto sp 'U.S.A. LINE'
    #117652 baritone rb 'U.S.A.'

  8. #8
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    I have a York C-Melody that looks like a model 1 from the description above: bell tone-holes have a base, split bell keys and tone holes on a common plate. S/N 83586. Another feature that might help in identification are the angular arms on the LH pinkie group.

    http://bw-test.com/Photos/Sax/York_C...es_on_bell.jpg
    http://bw-test.com/Photos/Sax/York_C...rate_plate.jpg
    http://bw-test.com/Photos/Sax/York_C...nkie_group.jpg
    http://bw-test.com/Photos/Sax/York_C...ial_Number.jpg
    --
    John Korchok
    metro NYC

  9. #9
    Walter Webb's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jkorchok View Post
    I have a York C-Melody that looks like a model 1 from the description above: bell tone-holes have a base, split bell keys and tone holes on a common plate.
    This is the model I most often see on eBay, in tenor, alto, soprano and C melody versions. How good are they? How do they compare to other horns of the 20s?

  10. #10
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Webb View Post
    This is the model I most often see on eBay, in tenor, alto, soprano and C melody versions. How good are they? How do they compare to other horns of the 20s?
    I own an alto, model II which served as an organ donator for my Lyon & Healy baritone and a GRBICO (Grand Rapids Band Instrument Company) alto which is very similiar. The first is a parts horn now, the second is waiting on an overhaul to be in fully playable condition. First tones played are really promising.

    I had an alto model I in my hands considering if I should buy it. I found the sound and construction not really convincing. But that may be an superficial impression, That sax was hardly playable.

    Model II is a very well made saxophone. Although their toneholes resemble Holton they are completely different crafted, an elaborate construction according to their own patents. I'll come back to this.

  11. #11
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by jkorchok View Post
    I have a York C-Melody that looks like a model 1 from the description above: bell tone-holes have a base, split bell keys and tone holes on a common plate. S/N 83586. Another feature that might help in identification are the angular arms on the LH pinkie group.
    Thank you for the sharp photos. Yes, that is what mean being a model 1 saxophone. The serial number is relativly high, apparently a late one before switching to model II.

  12. #12

    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    York curved soprano, ser #: 70557. I know very little about this -- serial number seems like it might be from 1920s. If anyone knows anything more (e.g., whether it's a stencil, etc.) I'd love to know. Thanks. Jake
    P1030193 (Large).JPGP1030192 (Large).JPGP1030190 (Large).JPGP1030189 (Large).JPGP1030191 (Large).JPG

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the Holton geauxsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Not a stencil--all the hallmarks of a York-made York!

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Champion of the C-Melody csax's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by saguaroman View Post
    York curved soprano, ser #: 70557. I know very little about this ...
    That's a bit of a coincidence, I've just acquired a York 'curvie' from another SotW member, just seven digits away from that one ! Interesting little horn, pictures to follow.
    csax.net website ------ csax on twitter ------ csax on facebook
    Martin, Kohlert & King C tenors / Martin Bb tenor /SG Orpheo alto / Aquilasax C sop & Mirage curvie Bb sop - Lawton, Berg, Couf, Jody Jazz, Meyer mpcs. RR/LaVoz reeds.

  15. #15

    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Great -- would love to see pics. An idea of the year? It seems to be late 1920s from what I can tell. I picked mine up in London about 20 years ago; it now resides in the USA.

  16. #16
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Quote Originally Posted by saguaroman View Post
    York curved soprano, ser #: 70557...
    Thank you for your input including pictures, this is valuable info!

    Like Geauxsax stated, this is a York made model 1 (post#6) soprano saxophone.

    Quote Originally Posted by saguaroman View Post
    serial number seems like it might be from 1920s.
    1922 65500
    1923 69500
    1924 74000
    1925 78500
    1926 83000
    1927 87000
    1928 91000 ...

    Source: http://www.horn-u-copia.net/serial/Yorklist.html
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  17. #17
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    The above cited serial number chart by Dr. John Swain, revised by Mike Keller, is solidly reconstructed and does include the saxophone according to my own researches.

    The remaining task is

    1. to assign Models, serial numbers and years.

    2. to clarify if serial numbers on saxophones by the Grand Rapids Band Instrument Company including stencils are covered by the same chart.

    This is what this serial number registry is designated for.

    Any info is highly appreciated!
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  18. #18
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    "York; Grand Rapids; Michigan" #83586

    http://johnkorchok.com/ebay/YorkSax.html

    Pictures No 4 and 6 (see post #6) reveals this one being a Model I.

    Source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-York...item416721a44b
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  19. #19
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    "J.W.York & Sons; Grand Rapids; Michigan" #66941, stamped "C-Melody"

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-JW-Y...item41625ff0c0
    Couturier straight soprano > Claude Lakey 7* > Vandoren java / marca jazz 2.0
    Couturier alto > Jody Jazz esp 8 > m.a.r.c.a. jazz 2.0
    Couturier tenor> Jody Jazz esp 7* > m.a.r.c.a jazz 2.5


    "Why would I play on an ordinary, modern horn if it doesn't bring any special character to the music?" Al Mc Lean

  20. #20
    Content Expert/Distinguished SOTW Member LaPorte's Avatar
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    Default Re: York saxophone; Serial number registry

    Researching some older contributions on SOTW I found this one from Farina-man:
    Quote Originally Posted by Farina_man View Post
    I have a York tenor, serial no. 92xxx, which was bought new in 1928 in London by the first owner - I have a copy of the insurance policy he took out on purchase. Regarding quality, and who made them, it appears that some were stencils of Conn. Buescher, and probably Holton, but mine isn't. I have seen Yorks with the tone hole chimneys mounted on a plate attached over the body, and the only one I playeed was horribly out of tune. Mine has soldered tone holes (straight not bevelled) a la Holton, and is a beaytifully built instrument, with a very interesting "extra" octave pip operated by the low D key in higher register. This was apparently to clear the "stuffy" D you can get sometimes on vintage saxes. Intonation on this sax is fine, MUCH better than the Conn Chu I had, and it is a pleasure to play. ...
    1927 87000
    1928 91000*
    1929 95000

    Do we need more evidence of the reliability of the serial number chart?

    *The number marks the beginning production of every year

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