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Thread: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

  1. #1

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    Default Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    I have a Martin Galaxy alto that I have no idea who made. I've heard that they were made by either Yanagisawa or Vito. The bell brace has the triangle inside the circle, which seems to be a Vito symbol, but from what I've been reading, all of the Vito horns were actually stencils. Could the triangle/circle be the Leblanc symbol, since Leblanc owned the Martin name at the time? I can't find the Yanagisawa symbol anywhere on the horn. Am I mistaken that Vito didn't actually manufacture their own horns.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member artstove's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Vito at least assembled some of their horns in Kenosha (I have a Vito Kenosha alto), but I'm not sure if they ever made all of the parts.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Most Kenosha Vitos I've seen, all of them LH bell keys (all of them were altos) are Buescher body tubes with fancied up keywork. The keywork is so much better than Bueschers!
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    So then there's no way my horn could have been made by Vito then? This would have been in the 70s.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 jicaino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Vito japans are either Yamahas or Yanagisawas, so if the galaxy is a stencil from a vito, it would be a double stenciled horn man, what weird things saxophone makers are used to do huh?
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by jicaino View Post
    Vito japans are either Yamahas or Yanagisawas, so if the galaxy is a stencil from a vito, it would be a double stenciled horn man, what weird things saxophone makers are used to do huh?
    If Vito's are all stencils, then logic dictates that the horn couldn't have been made by Vito. There are no manufacturers markings anywhere, so who made it?

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    Distinguished SOTW Member DavidW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Post pics and someone here will probably be able to figure out the manufacturer.

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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    I haven't been able to take any pics of my horn, but here are some of one I found on Ebay. It's exactly the same as mine except the wear and scratches are different.

    http://img1.listomax.com/cgi-bin/img...2-20.jpg&idx=0

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Mal 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Houndawg View Post
    I haven't been able to take any pics of my horn, but here are some of one I found on Ebay. It's exactly the same as mine except the wear and scratches are different.

    http://img1.listomax.com/cgi-bin/img...2-20.jpg&idx=0
    I believe by the look of the bell-body brace that you have a Yanagisawa-made horn.
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    What about the brace makes you say that, just outa curiosity?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    That bell brace looks exactly like my Yamaha's, except for the V logo that's on it. Everything else looks like a Jupiter.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Mal 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Houndawg View Post
    What about the brace makes you say that, just outa curiosity?
    It's a Holton logo.



    Yamaha-made Vitos have a plain triangle (point down like a V) punched completely through the brace where the Yamaha logo would normally be stamped. They also do not have the enlarged low C touch, and do have cutouts on the alternate F# to get around the E and D pad cups (though they don't need to be as deep as they are). The link from the F# cup to the bis-Bb and G# is also quite a bit different -- the screws of the pictured horn are much smaller.

    On the other hand, the linkages for side Bb and side C look very much like my Yamaha YTS-21, while my Vito has a fork-and-pin assembly.
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Actually it's a Leblanc logo, and Holton was a Leblanc subsidiary. LeBlanc also owned the Martin name, which is why the Leblanc symbol is on my horn. I figured out it was a Leblanc logo after poking around some more and talking to the tech who did my repad. It still doesn't tell me who made the horn though.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Mal 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Yanagisawa is also part of the Conn-Selmer distribution network. That's why they were the first that came to my mind.

    Other differences I've noted compared to my Vito, which is Yamaha-made:
    • The octave mechanism has the axle on the other side -- I think this one pretty much rules out Yamaha, but it IS consistent with my Jupiter. However I'm still convinced it's NOT a Jupiter, since it has stainless steel springs.
    • The arrangement of the palm key axles is quite a bit different and the lyre holder is in a slightly different place.
    • The pinky cluster is somewhat different.
    • The thumb rest is metal around the outside and plastic on top, while my Vito has a completely plastic thumb rest. My YTS-21 has the plastic-topped metal thumb rest, but without the inset ring all the way around it.
    • My Vito has the typical student Yamaha one-piece bell key guard.
    • The pant guard is fairly ornamental. My Vito has three holes sort of like >.< which is fairly minimalist by comparison, and my YTS-21 has no holes at all.
    • The plastic, movable thumb hook which both the Vito and Yamaha lack.

    The Vito is the horn in the middle, with the Jupiter on the right:
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    It also looks exactly like this Vito which also has no country of origin marked.

    http://doctorsax.biz/vito_alto_402523.htm

    It's the 402523 in Table 1g. http://www.doctorsax.biz/vito_ser_nos.htm.

    According to the chart it's a Taiwan make. That's if the chart is right. You may be right about the Jupiter thing. My tech liked the horn so apparently not all of the older Taiwanese horns were junk.

    I guess that blows the rumor that the Martin Galaxies were made by Yanagisawa.

    If I called Leblanc up in Wisconsin would they give any info or are they snotty about stuff like that?

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member Mal 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    That "no country" horn looks a LOT like a Jupiter, now that I can see all the details. It has some odd construction differences from my JAS-767, but the key guards look quite similar aside from the lack of adjustable bumpers (though the mounts are different). The alternate F# is a match. The RH pinky keys are even more oversized than those on my Jupiter. The G#/bis-Bb helper bar is on its own arm (consistent with my Jupe) but the adjustment screws are much smaller -- this may just be a change in parts over time. The pinky cluster looks like a stripped-down version of the Jupiter's (mine has a plastic pearl on the G# where the Vito has a simple rise), and probably more telling, the arrangement of the axles is the same. Mine also has G# and low Bb mounted on the same rod screw. The check stem under the G# is also very similar. The body-side brace mount looks the same. But the biggest giveaway, I think, is that the shape of the neck octave key is identical, save that mine has a logo on it and the Vito does not. The Vito has a simple bent metal guide for the octave key and my Jupiter's is more substantial, but that is not a major design change and probably does shave off a few cents. The octave lever is very similar, though the thumb rest itself is not (again not a major design change). The rings at the joints are exactly the same. The pant guard is the same.

    Sorry for changing my mind so much, but I think what you have there is probably a JAS-667 with some minor cosmetic differences. If the quality control is anything like the OEM's, it could be a killer or a total dog, though most likely it's somewhere in between.
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    For the $20 I paid for the horn and the $475 I put into it, it seems to be OK. Like I said, the tech liked it so it must not be too bad. The tech said the key arms are pretty stiff so they were harder to adjust, but they should stay adjusted longer.

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member Mal 2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did Vito ever make their own horns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Houndawg View Post
    For the $20 I paid for the horn and the $475 I put into it, it seems to be OK. Like I said, the tech liked it so it must not be too bad. The tech said the key arms are pretty stiff so they were harder to adjust, but they should stay adjusted longer.
    That sounds like my JAS-767 all right. It's a right b!tch to adjust (no adjustment screws on the stacks either), but once I do get it dialed in, it stays that way for a year or more.
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